Overeager Worshippers

“He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel burned incense to it; and it was called Nehushtan.” (2 Kings 18:4)

We love to worship, but we seem to struggle with worshipping in spirit and truth.  When Moses made the bronze serpent in Numbers 21, it was for the purpose of saving lives… but it later was used as an idol.  This should serve as a worthy reminder to us of why God hasn’t left us relics behind… we would quickly worship them instead of Him.

The shroud of Turin, supposed splinters from the cross, even the bones of martyred Christians have been warped into objects of worship by the misguided and the idolatrous.  We worship an invisible God (see 1 Timothy 1:17) and we need not have any earthly representation of Him as substitute.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

Make Your Peace

“Or let him rely on My protection, let him make peace with Me, let him make peace with Me.” (Isaiah 27:5)

We cannot tell God that we do not wish for Him to lead us, but then beg for His power of protection.

Have you made peace with God?  If not, you cannot rely on His protection.

Man is designed to be guarded.  We are born into this world helpless and in need of protection, we grow up, leave our father and mother, and then realize that the world is still too big for us to cope with on our own.  Adulting is much harder than expected!

When we are weaned from our earthly parents it becomes time for us to realize our need for our Heavenly Father.  We need Him because the world is too big and we are too small.  We must make peace with Him in order to have peace at all.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

A Whisper of Distress

“O LORD, they sought You in distress; they could only whisper a prayer, Your chastening was upon them.” (Isaiah 26:16)

May this be said of us – that our reaction to distress is to view it as an opportunity to grow and seek God.  The righteous in their greatest trials find themselves turning to God in prayer – even when all they can do is whisper it the weight of their sorrows is so heavy.

When we are humbled by the circumstances of life, we must look for the hand of God in it.  He disciplines us for our good and His desire is to strengthen us, not destroy us.

When society slows to a stop and the anxiety of fear sets in – who’s name will we whisper?

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

Always Learning

“For when the earth experiences Your judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.” (Isaiah 26:9)

We’re learning people.  It ain’t easy, but we’re learning right now.”

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

We Wish to See Jesus

“Your name, even Your memory, is the desire of our souls.” (Isaiah 26:8b)

Is this not the heart of the issue?  There are two types of people – those who take comfort in truly knowing God and those that do not.  It isn’t religious people and non-religious people.  Nearly all mankind is religious in some respect or another.  Paul mentions that in Acts 17:22-23.

The distinction is in whether or not we wish to really know God as He is, not as we wish Him to be.  The goal should be to seek and understand the one true and living God, yet what often happens is the opposite – we attempt to mold God into our image instead.

For the Christian, the desire of our souls is to see God as He is.  We believe the reality is far better than any illusion we create for ourselves.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

Choosing to Wait

“Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us, this is the LORD for whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9)

Waiting is awful.  Few of us like it… but those things that we do have to wait for in life seem to be seasoned all the more lovely by the anticipation.  The parents that eagerly await the birth of their child is all the more filled with joy when the babe is born because they have infused the waiting with their expectant dreams.

We must wait for heaven and the salvation of our God, but let us do likewise.  Let us so fill our lives with visions of heaven and the myriads of delicate joys that await us on the other side of death that the anticipation seasons our lives with joy.  The day of our death should be the culmination of a lifetime of hopeful expectation.  God is faithful.  It will all be worth it.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

Fight the Wealth

“The LORD of hosts has planned it, to defile the pride of all beauty, to despise all the honored of the earth.” (Isaiah 23:9)

When city of Tyre became prosperous and successful, their pride increased at the same rate as their revenue did.  There was a direct correlation between the cities luxuries and their focus on frivolity.  Tyre was eventually destroyed by God because of their irreverent pride in their own beauty.

Why is it that the more we have, the less time we spend on important things?  A man that loses all his earthly possessions realizes he is still alive and gives thanks for that.  Yet, a man that has everything often despises his life and wastes it on meaningless things.

Do not wait for decadence to erode your remembrance of what matters.  You have one soul, one God, and one life to serve your neighbor.  Make the most of it.  We must fight to keep the pride of excess from turning us into selfish beasts that God must rebuke.

Remember, the antidote to wealth is selflessness.  We must strive every day to be the most selfless people the world has ever seen because we are the wealthiest people the world has ever seen.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

Remember Him

“But you did not depend on Him who made it, nor did you take into consideration Him who planned it long ago.” (Isaiah 22:11)

Isaiah warned that Jerusalem had become a great and mighty city, but as their prosperity had increased, their remembrance of God diminished.  They beautified their city while forgetting the Planner and Architect… and then when that security was threatened they tried to fix the problem themselves without turning to God who built them in the first place.

The goal in life is not to become so comfortable here that we forget about God.  The goal is to rejoice in the world He has crafted and be filled with gratitude and faith in the Almighty One that could conceive of such a wondrous thing.  Do not let the marvels of cell phones, running water, combustion engines, and avocado toast cause you to place your faith in them.

If these luxuries do not lead to gratitude, eventually, they will be taken away because we didn’t consider Him who gave them to us.

The answer to the terrors our society is facing isn’t better infrastructure or a healthier economy.  It isn’t better policy and economic relief, either.  It’s a return to God.  It is a heartfelt, genuine national return to our Creator who plans and creates all nations.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

We are One

“In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.” (Isaiah 19:23)

The Egyptians and Assyrians were constant enemies, always pitted at war with each other – feuding over whatever territory and power their empires could consume.  Many a smaller nation was left desolate after those two rampaging nations turned their lands into a battlefront.  The thought of an Assyrian worshipping and dwelling peaceful with an Egyptian was unthinkable in Isaiah’s day.

And yet, that was Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Christianity.  That one day, people would drop their swords and worship the same God together.  Each Lord’s Day, the voices of God’s people are raised up in song to Him around the globe, and the humbled and forgiven dwell upon the memorial of the Son.  The peace and love that can be found in Christ has broken down cultural and personal boundaries all over the globe.

In Him, we are all family.  We are one.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

Champion of the World

“…and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them.” (Isaiah 19:20)

A champion has defeated and surpassed all rivals and competitors.  A champion is also a way of describing one who defends others and advocates for them.  “To champion a cause” means that the person has endeavored to throw their whole being into leading the charge on behalf of something they believe to be valuable and worthy of the effort.

Jesus is our Champion.

He has decided to throw the full weight and sacrifice of His effort into our redemption and protection.  There is no visible or invisible enemy that He cannot slay.  To Him, we are worth defending.

In Jesus, God sent us a Champion.  We are already delivered.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

Ready to learn?

Take a class!