Bible Pathways - Aug. 13, 2008
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Isaiah's final prophecies about the Messiah are included in these last three chapters. He also speaks of God's people being called by a new name (62:2; 65:15). New heavens and a new earth will be created (65:17) and both we and they will remain in His presence for how long (66:22)? Don't miss the last prophecy — the righteous and the wicked will be eternally separated (66:22-24).
There is a peace of God (and with God), which passeth all understanding (Philippians 4:7) — as never-ending as a great and mighty river. This peace is the promised inheritance of every child of God. Isaiah foretold how the Messiah would provide this marvelous peace, saying: Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream (Isaiah 66:12; compare 30:21).
Jesus assured us: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27) regardless of circumstances.
Our Lord did not promise freedom from suffering, but He did promise His amazing inward peace — even in the midst of great suffering and opposition. But, if we are to enjoy this gift of peace, we need to know and follow the biblical qualifications.
The Lord will allow our hearts and faith to be tested by Satan — to become troubled and afraid. But His Word is always available and quick, and powerful (Hebrews 4:12) to calmly face all troubles and fears. Don't forget it is the source of victory. Since God created us, He did not overlook anything in His Guide through life and knows exactly what we need physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
It is of little importance that we excel in the wisdom of the world, but it is of utmost importance that we steadfastly read the life-giving, inspired Word of God and follow all the will of God as recorded in it. Furthermore, when we read God's Word and ask the Holy Spirit, He will illuminate our understanding of life's complicated problems as Jesus promised: He will guide you into all truth (John 16:13-14).
There is often conflict between self-will and God's will (Isaiah 66:7-8). However, through suffering, God provides an opportunity in which His life in us through Christ may win the victory over our old independent nature of self-will and self-sufficiency. But the question is: "Will we surrender our own feelings and yield to our Father's will?" All who surrender to His Spirit will answer: "Yes" and are obedient even, if necessary, unto death.
Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28).
Thought for Today:
The more turmoil in our world, the more we need the peace that comes from obeying God's Word.
As the Creator of new heavens and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; compare John 1:1-3; II Pet. 3:13). As the One whose glory will be declared among the nations (Isa. 66:18-19; Rev. 5:12-13).
64:3 terrible =b> awesome; 64:11 are laid waste =b> have been destroyed; 65:14 howl for vexation of spirit =b> cry out in misery; 66:6 voice =b> sound.
Pray for International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Bett Brown • Staff: Karen Hawkins • Government Officials: Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL) and Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN) • Country: Brazil (168 million) in South America • Major languages: Portuguese and Spanish • Religious freedom • 67% Catholic; 21% Protestant; 4% spiritist; .7% Buddhist; .7% Muslim; .15% Indigenous; 2.4% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to bring our nation to repentance (I Kings 8:33-36).
Optional Reading: 1 Peter 3
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:17