As I continue in my study of Acts, I so appreciate the sensitivity of Philip to the Lord’s leading. He was told to “Go south to the road – the desert road – that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” – (Acts 8:26) Despite Philip’s successful ministry in Samaria, he was quick to obey what was asked of him, without even asking why. He simply got up and went.
Philip’s obedience led to an extraordinary encounter with an Ethiopian eunuch. (an important official in charge of the queen of Ethiopia’s treasury) This man had traveled to Jerusalem to worship, yet had not yet heard the great news of Jesus. While Philip was walking on his way, he came upon the man as he was reading Isaiah, seated in his chariot, on the side of the road. Again, Philip followed the Father’s prompting, and went to the man, as he had been told, and ultimately explained how the passage the Ethiopian was reading was speaking of Jesus. Philip was able to tell him of all that Jesus had done, and all the good new that was available to him. The eunuch responded right away, and wanted to be baptized. Right after his baptism, the Spirit of the Lord took Philip away. The eunuch went on his way rejoicing, and was now equipped to share his experience with others.
In my own experience, I know this to be true. As a teacher, I thoroughly enjoyed teaching Social Studies, U.S. History, Art, and Language Arts. I had been stuck in a cycle of teach Mathematics for several years, and was burned out. Finally, I had returned to Language Arts and U.S. History, and was thrilled. At year’s end, my principal asked me if I would be willing to teach Reading Intervention the following year. My first question was, “How am I qualified to teach that?” His reply encouraged me to go ahead and wander into the desert, despite my inexperience with teaching struggling readers. (As did the still small voice in my spirit) One step of willing obedience, has led to a position that I would not trade for anything. I am now in my third year as the Reading Intervention teacher, and I LOVE teaching struggling readers. I get to see the “a-ha’s” and the successes, regularly. I get to know and love kids, that typically are difficult to know and love, in the tradition classroom setting.
Often, what we are called to do, does not make sense. Calls can seem to be a demotion of sorts, or a send-off into the desert. However, each time the call is answered and obeyed, the result is nothing short of remarkable. At times, it takes a great deal of walking before we seem to hear the next step, yet the obedient walking is somehow always a preparation for the next leg of the journey. May we be sensitive to His voice, and quick to make the choice to do as we are asked.
leaving all behind;
willing to trust,
know we’re on His mind.
Steps to obey,
by faith we shall walk;
be our faith-filled talk.
See not the sand,
but trust in Him more;
He paves the path,
and leads us to shore.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much, that You call us to partner with You on this journey. Thank You that You use us and work in us and through us, when we are willing to answer Your call. Thank You that You are faithful, always. Forgive us for questioning Your call, or for fearing that we are not qualified. Thank You that none of us are ever qualified on our own, but rather You in us, is what qualifies us to be obedient and do as You ask. May we be tender to trust You more, and may many come to hear Your call, as we live and love as You call us to. May lives be changed and hearts be moved. All glory and honor to You, Lord. Amen.
As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11
2 Kings 20
King James Version (KJV)
20 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.
2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying,
3 I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
4 And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying,
5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord.
6 And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.
7 And Isaiah said, Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.
8 And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the Lord the third day?
9 And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?
10 And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.
11 And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the Lord: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.
12 At that time Berodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present unto Hezekiah: for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick.
13 And Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and shewed them all the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.
14 Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country, even from Babylon.
15 And he said, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All the things that are in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them.
16 And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, Hear the word of the Lord.
17 Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the Lord.
18 And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.
19 Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, Good is the word of the Lord which thou hast spoken. And he said, Is it not good, if peace and truth be in my days?
20 And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made a pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
21 And Hezekiah slept with his fathers: and Manasseh his son reigned in his stead.
14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.
15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;
16 And charged them that they should not make him known:
17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
“The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1)
The Lord Jesus appropriated this beautiful verse of the prophet Isaiah to Himself, preaching from it one day in the Nazareth synagogue and proclaiming: “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21). Note that He came to preach the gospel to the meek, not the arrogant, and to bind up the brokenhearted, not the hardhearted.
He also came to set the captives free. This was not, however, to deliver the Jews from Roman bondage as many had hoped, but a far greater deliverance. In the Hebrew, the phrase “opening of the prison” is only one word (a doubled word), and it occurs only this one time in the Old Testament. When Christ quoted it in the synagogue, He actually expanded and interpreted it as follows: “. . . recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18).
The “prison” which Christ came to open is evidently a spiritual prison, a binding of the soul, a blinding of the mind. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36)—free from the bondage of sin, translated, “out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
There was also another prison, a very real prison, deep in the heart of the earth to which He came. While His body slept in the tomb, His spirit descended into Hades where the spirits of all who had died in faith were awaiting Him, and “when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and . . . ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things” (Ephesians 4:8, 10). HMM
The Institute for Creation Research
Our Lord said, I am the Truth, and again He said, The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Truth therefore is not hard to find for the very reason that it is seeking us. Truth is not a thing for which we must search, but a Person to whom we must hearken. This is taught or taken for granted in the record of Gods dealings with men throughout the Sacred Scriptures. After the sin in Eden it was not Adam who cried O God, where art Thou? but God who cried Where art thou? as He sought for Adam among the trees of the Garden. Abraham heard God speak and responded, but it was God who was the aggressor. God appeared unto Jacob before Jacob came to appear before God. And in the burning bush God revealed Himself to Moses. Again and again did God take the initiative. He sought for Gideon and found him on the threshing floor of Ophrah. He showed Himself to Isaiah when there is no evidence that Isaiah was seeking Him. Before Jeremiah was born God laid His hand upon him, and He opened heaven to let the discouraged priest Ezekiel see a vision and hear a voice. Amos said he was not a prophet neither a prophets son, but the Lord took him as he followed the flock. Again God was the aggressor. In the New Testament things are not otherwise. True, multitudes came to Christ for physical help, but only rarely did one seek Him out to learn the truth; and even that rare one usually turned away when the truth was told him. The whole picture in the Gospels is one of a seeking Savior, not one of seeking men. The truth was hunting for those who would receive it, and relatively few did. Many are called, but few are chosen.
John Piper has been sharing a series of short videos on him speaking about the gifts of the Spirit. The first was on tongues. I now want to share what he had to say on prophecy. Here are some excerpts to whet your appetite:
“I have been significantly influenced by Wayne Grudem’s book on prophecy . . .I think our tendency is to despise what the New Testament treats as prophecy . . . Prophecy in the New Testament doesn’t seem to have the same scripture quality, inerrant, inspiration and authority . . . you don’t go up to Isaiah and say I am going to test what you say . . . but you do do that with New Testament prophecy. . . Prophecy in the New Testament seems to be down a notch from prophecy in the old testament and is exposed to testing. . . God brining something to mind that you would not otherwise have thought of in the moment for the sake of upbuilding, encouragement, consolation. . . the way I personally appropriate this for myself . . . I pray as I am sitting there, God grant me a gift of prophecy in this preaching . . . bring to my mind things about yourself, and about this text, and about the truth, and about this people that I will be able to say in such a way that they will pierce with unusual, I might say, prophetic power into their lives. . . it happens very regularly that people say “have you been reading my mail, you looked at me and you said” I didn’t even know that I was looking at you . . . I was preaching on small groups . . .and I looked to my left and said “you might be working on the 34th floor of the IDS tower, maybe you should call people together and have a small group. . . a woman comes up afterwards and said “I work on that floor and I have been praying about whether to start a small group.”
Read the rest:
“Comfort, yes, comfort My people! Says your God.
“Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her,
That her warfare has ended,
That her iniquity is pardoned;
For she has received from the LORD’s hand
Double for all her sins.”
The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted,
And every mountain and hill shall be made low;
The crooked places shall be made straight,
And the rough places make smooth;
The glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together,
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
“Listen, O coastlands, to Me,
And take heed, you peoples from afar!
The Lord has called Me from the womb;
From the matrix of My mother He has
made mention of My name.
And He has made My mouth like a
In the shadow of His hand He has
And made Me a polished shaft;
In His quiver He has hidden Me.
“And He said to me,
In whom I will be glorified.’
Then I said, ‘I have labored in vain,
I have spent my strength for nothing
and in vain;
Ye surely my just reward is with the
And my work with my God.’ “
“And now the LORD says,
Who formed Me from the womb to be
To bring Jacob back to Him,
So that Israel is gathered to Him
(For I shall be glorious in the eyes of
And My God shall be My strength).
Indeed He says,
‘It is too small a thing that You should
be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob,
And to restore the preserved ones of
I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles,
That You should be My salvation to the
ends of the earth.’ “
Thus says the LORD,
The Redeemer of Israel, their Holy
To Him, whom man despises,
To Him whom the nation abhors,
To the Servant of rulers:
“Kings shall see and arise,
Princes also shall worship,
Because of the LORD who is faithful,
The Holy One of Israel;
And He has chose You.”
Thus says the LORD:
“In an acceptable time I have heard
And in the day of salvation I have helped
I will preserve You and give You
As a covenant to the people,
To restore the earth,
To cause them to inherit the desolate
That You may say to the prisoners, ‘Go
To those who are in darkness, ‘Show
“They shall feed along the roads,
And their pastures shall be on all
They shall neither hunger nor thirst,
Neither heat nor sun shall strike them;
For He who has mercy on them will
Even by the springs of water He will
I will make each of My mountains a
And My highways shall be elevated.
Surely these shall come from afar;
Look! Those from the north and the
And thse from the land of Sinim.”
Sing, O heavens!
Be joyful, O earth!
And break out in singing, O mountains!
For the LORD has comforted His people,
And will have mercy on His afflicted.
But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken
And My LORD has forgotten me.”
“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
And not have compassion for the son of
Surely they may forget,
Yet I will not forget you.
See, I have inscribed you on the palms
of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.
Your sons shall make haste;
Your destroyers and those who laid you
Shall go away from you.
Lift up your eyes, look around and see;
All these gather to gather together and come to
As I live,” says the LORD
“You shall surely clothe yourselves with
them all as an ornament,
And bind them on you as a bride does.
“For your waste and desolate places,
And the land of your destruction,
Will even now be too small for the
And those who swallowed you up will
be far away.
The children you will have,
After you have lost the others,
Will say again in your ears,
‘The place is too small for me;
Give me a place where I may dwell.’
Then you will say in your heart,
‘Who had begotten these for me,
Since I have lost my children and am
A captive, and wandering to and fro?
And who has brought these up?
There I was, left alone;
But these, where were they?’ “
Thus says the LORD God:
“Behold, I will lift My hand in an oath to
And set up My standard for the
They shall bring your sons in their
And your daughters shall be carried on
Kings shall be your foster fathers,
And their queens your nursing mothers;
They shall bow down to you with their
faces to the earth,
And lick up the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am the
For they shall not be ashamed who wait
Shall the prey be taken for the
Or the captives of the righteous be
But thus says the LORD:
“Even the captives of the might shall be
And the prey of the terrible be
For I will contend with him who
contends with you,
And I will save your children.
I will feed those who oppress you with
their own flesh,
And they shall be drunk with their own
blood as with sweet wine.
All flesh shall know
That I, the LORD, am your Savior,
And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
- Ezekiel 39 (loopyloo305.com)
- Better to Trust God than Man Psalm 118 (loopyloo305.com)
- Bless the LORD, All You People Psalm 103 (loopyloo305.com)
“Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat the bread.”
But He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?
“For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother‘; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’
“But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me has been dedicated to the temple”—
‘is released from honoring his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.
Hypocrite! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain the worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the
commandments of men.’ “
Then He called the multitude and said to them, “Hear and understand:
“Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”
Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
But He answered and said, “Ever plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.
“Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”
The Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”
So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding?
“Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated?
“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.
“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
“These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”
- A place where the eagles will be gathered together (creationconcept.wordpress.com)
via Grace Partakers
via YOU DECIDE
- Finish the Job (via YOU DECIDE) (thechristiangazette.wordpress.com)
- Finding Meaning in Our Labor (wdednh.wordpress.com)
- Seeing Us for What We Will Become (via YOU DECIDE) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)
- Finish the Job (via YOU DECIDE) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)
- Second Chances (via YOU DECIDE) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)
via YOU DECIDE
- Moving Ahead of God (via YOU DECIDE) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)
- When God Speaks-Do You Listen? (via YOU DECIDE) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)
- Are You Horizontal or Vertical? (via YOU DECIDE) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)
- Making Decisions by Hearing God (wdednh.wordpress.com)
- Receiving Your Inheritance (via YOU DECIDE) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)
- Resurrected Faith (via YOU DECIDE) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)
- Testing for Obedience (via YOU DECIDE) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)
- Such a Time as This (via YOU DECIDE) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)
- Humility in Relationships (via YOU DECIDE) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)
- Your Testimony (via YOU DECIDE) (loopyloo305.wordpress.com)