Do you see what is going on around you? Are you able to tell what it means? How about the seasons? Are you seeing leaves changing color and falling? Are you seeing flowers starting to bloom? [fall in the northern hemisphere vs spring in the southern hemisphere] How about on a spiritual level? What are you seeing happen in the country? What is going on with the world economies? What’s going on with the world governments? Do you see any conspiracies?
Imagine if God spoke to you the words “Maher-shalal-hashbaz” which can be interpreted as “Hurry to the spoils!” or “He has made haste to the plunder!”. Will you be sensitive to the Spirit’s prompting? Will you be sensitive to what the Spirit says to you? Don’t try to force your way but walk in alignment to God’s will and plan! If He closes a door then know He has something else planned! You can knock to see if it will open, but don’t knock it down because it may be that you need to knock on other doors to find the right one.
Where are you at in regards to your relationship with God? Have you invited Jesus into your heart? Are you on the journey with Him through this thing called life? What will it take for you to jump onboard? What’s holding you back from being all in with and for Jesus? Receive the gift of grace from Jesus! Receive the gift of forgiveness from Jesus! Receive the gift of a hope and a future from Jesus! All you have to do is accept it and receive it!
Today’s reading begins in Isaiah…
Assyria Will Rise to Judah’s Neck
1Then Adonai said to me: “Take yourself a great tablet, and write on it with a man’s stylus: ‘Maher-shalal-hashbaz.’” 2So I took for myself trustworthy witnesses—Uriah the kohen and Zechariah son of Jeberechiah. 3Then I went to the prophetess; and she conceived and bore a son. Then Adonai said to me: “Call his name Maher-shalal-hashbaz. 4For before the child will have knowledge to cry ‘my father!’ or ‘my mother!’ the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria.” 5Then Adonai spoke to me further, saying: 6“Because these people have refused the softly flowing waters of Shiloah, and rejoice with Rezin and Remaliah’s son, 7therefore behold, Adonai is bringing on them the waters of the River— mighty and massive— Assyria’s king with all his glory! It will rise over all its channels and spill over all its banks. 8Then it will sweep through Judah, overflow as it passes through, reaching even to the neck! So the spread of its wings will be the full breadth of your land! Immanuel! 9Make an uproar, O peoples— but you will be broken in pieces. Give ear, all you of far countries. Arm yourselves—yet be shattered! Arm yourselves—yet be shattered! 10Take counsel together, but it will amount to nothing. Speak a word, but it will not stand. For God is with us! 11For thus Adonai spoke to me, with a strong hand, warning me that I should not walk in the way of these people, saying: 12 “Do not say: ‘It’s a conspiracy!’ about everything that these people call a conspiracy. You must not fear or tremble at what they fear. 13Adonai-Tzva’ot, Him will you sanctify, and let Him be your fear, trembling at Him. 14He will be a Sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15Many among them will stumble, fall, and be broken, snared and caught. 16Bind up the testimony, seal the instruction with My disciples. 17I will wait for Adonai, who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob, and I will look eagerly for Him. 18Here I am with the children that Adonai has given me as signs and wonders in Israel, from Adonai-Tzva’ot who dwells on Mount Zion. 19When they say to you: “Consult the mediums and necromancers who chirp and mutter,” shouldn’t a people seek their God? Should a people consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20To Torah and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no light. 21They will pass this way that are hard-pressed and hungry, and it will turn out that when they are hungry, they will become enraged and curse their king and their God. Whether they turn their faces upward 22or look to the earth, behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish, and they will be driven into darkness.
A Great Light in Galilee
23But there is no gloom to her who was in anguish, as in time past. He treated lightly the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future He will bring glory— by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan— Galilee of the Gentiles.
–from Isaiah 8
Do you see the light? Will you be light and salt to the world around you? Will you allow the world to hear the good news? Will you be light in this dark world so that people will be able to see the truth? Will you lift up your light so that more is visible? Will you make a difference so that the world can see that there is hope? Will you reflect the light of Jesus to the world around you in darkness just like the moon lights up the sky by reflecting the light of the sun? Will you shine before it’s too late?
Will you point people to the one who can bring true peace into their lives? Jesus the prince of peace! Will you point people who are looking for direction and advice to the one who is given the name of wonderful counselor? Will you align with Him?
1The people walking in darkness will see a great light. Upon those dwelling in the land of the shadow of death, light will shine. 2You will multiply the nation. You will increase the joy. They will rejoice before You like the joy in the harvest, as they revel when they divide spoil. 3For You will break the burdensome yoke and the rod on his shoulder— the war-club of his oppressor— as in the day of Midian. 4For every stomping boot quaking and cloak rolled in blood will be for burning— fuel for the fire.
Prince of Peace
5For to us a child is born, a son will be given to us, and the government will be upon His shoulder. His Name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God My Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. 6Of the increase of His government and shalom there will be no end— on the throne of David and over His kingdom— to establish it and uphold it through justice and righteousness from now until forevermore. The zeal of Adonai-Tzva’ot will accomplish this.
Warning About Defiance
7Adonai sent a word to Jacob, and it fell upon Israel. 8All the people will know what Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria say in pride and in arrogance of heart: 9“The bricks are fallen, but we will rebuild with cut stones. The sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.” 10Therefore Adonai raises up Rezin’s adversaries against them, and spurs on his enemies. 11The Arameans from the east and the Philistines from the west— they will devour Israel with open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is still outstretched. 12Yet the people will not turn back to the One who strikes them, nor will they seek Adonai-Tzva’ot. 13So Adonai will cut off from Israel head and tail, palm branch and bulrush in a single day. 14The elder and the man of rank— he is the head. The prophet who teaches falsehood— he is the tail. 15The leaders of this people lead them astray. Those they mislead are swallowed up. 16Therefore Adonai will have no joy in their young men, nor will He have compassion on their orphans and widows, for everyone is ungodly and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks foolishness. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is still outstretched. 17For wickedness burns like a fire and consumes the briers and thorns It kindles the thickets of the forest, so they roll up in a column of smoke. 18By the wrath of Adonai-Tzva’ot is the land burnt up; The people are as fuel for the fire. No one spares his brother. 19One grabs with the right hand but is hungry, and eats with the left hand but is not satisfied. Everyone will eat the flesh of his own arm— 20Manasseh will devour Ephraim, and Ephraim, Manasseh, both are against Judah. For all this His anger is not turned away, yet His hand is outstretched.
–from Isaiah 9
Do you know the day in which you live? Do you want to know? Have you asked? Will you ask? Do you know who to ask? Do you realize there is an answer? Turn to God and God’s Word!
Make Me Know the Number of My Days
1For the music director, for Jeduthun, a psalm of David. 2I said: “I will guard my ways, so I will not sin with my tongue. I will muzzle my mouth while the wicked are before me.” 3So I became utterly speechless, kept silent even from good, but my anguish was stirred up. 4My heart was hot within me, while I was musing, the fire burned. Then I spoke with my tongue: 5“Let me know, Adonai, my end and what the number of my days is. Let me know how short-lived I am. 6Behold, You made my days mere hand-breadths, and my lifetime as nothing before You. Surely all humanity is but vapor. Selah 7Everyone goes about as a mere phantom. Surely they are making an uproar in vain, heaping up stuff— yet not knowing who will gather it. 8And now, my Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. 9Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of a fool. 10I am speechless, not opening my mouth —for You have done it. 11Remove Your scourge from me. I perish by the blow of Your hand. 12With rebukes You chasten one for iniquity and You consume like a moth what he finds pleasure in. Surely all humanity is but a vapor. Selah 13Hear my prayer, Adonai, and listen to my cry— do not keep silent at my tears. For with You I am an outsider, a sojourner, as all my fathers were. 14Turn your gaze away from me, so I may smile again, before I go, and am no more.”
–from Psalms 39
Do you realize that no matter where you are at, Jesus can make a way? Miracles go beyond the pages of the bible and are still taking place today! Will you be part of a miracle? Will you be open and available to be a part of a miracle? Will you be willing to respond to God’s prompting and be part of the miracle God wants and needs you to be? Will you ask for what you have need of? Will you seek for what you have need? Will you knock to open up that door to help fill your need? Ask God!
Water to Wine
1On the third day, there was a wedding at Cana in the Galilee. Yeshua’s mother was there, 2and Yeshua and His disciples were also invited to the wedding. 3When the wine ran out, Yeshua’s mother said to Him, “They don’t have any wine!” 4Yeshua said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with you and Me? My hour hasn’t come yet.” 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” 6Now there were six stone jars, used for the Jewish ritual of purification, each holding two to three measures. 7Yeshua said to them, “Fill the jars with water!” So they filled them up to the top. 8Then He said to them, “Take some water out, and give it to the headwaiter.” And they brought it. 9Now the headwaiter did not know where it had come from, but the servants who had drawn the water knew. As the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, he calls the bridegroom 10and says to him, “Everyone brings out the good wine first, and whenever they are drunk, then the worse. But you’ve reserved the good wine until now!” 11Yeshua did this, the first of the signs, in Cana of the Galilee—He revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
Yeshua Purges the Temple
12After this Yeshua went down to Capernaum with His mother, brothers, and disciples, and they stayed there a few days. 13The Jewish feast of Passover was near, so Yeshua went up to Jerusalem. 14In the Temple, He found the merchants selling oxen, sheep, and doves; also the moneychangers sitting there.15Then He made a whip of cords and drove them all out of the Temple, both the sheep and oxen. He dumped out the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables. 16To those selling doves, He said, “Get these things out of here! Stop making My Father’s house a marketplace!” 17His disciples remembered that it is written, “Zeal for your House will consume Me!” 18The Judean leaders responded, “What sign do You show us, since You are doing these things?” 19“Destroy this Temple,” Yeshua answered them, “and in three days I will raise it up.” 20The Judean leaders then said to Him, “Forty-six years this Temple was being built, and You will raise it up in three days?” 21But He was talking about the temple of His body. 22So after He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He was talking about this. Then they believed the Scripture and the word that Yeshua had spoken. 23Now when He was in Jerusalem for the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, seeing the signs He was doing. 24But Yeshua did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all men. 25He did not need anyone to testify about man, for He knew what was in man.
–from John 2
Do you realize how much you have to be thankful for? Do you realize the importance of unity? Do you realize the wisdom you need is available through God?
1Paul, called as an emissary of Messiah Yeshua by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2To God’s community in Corinth—having been made holy in Messiah Yeshua, called as kedoshim—with all who everywhere call on the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, both theirs and ours: 3Grace to you and shalom from God our Father, and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah!
4I always thank my God for you because of God’s grace that was given to you in Messiah Yeshua. 5For in Him you were made rich in every way—in all speaking and all knowledge— 6just as the evidence of Messiah was confirmed among you. 7So you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you eagerly wait for the revealing of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 8He will also strengthen you until the end—blameless in the Day of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 9God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Yeshua the Messiah our Lord.
Concern about Disunity
10Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, through the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. 11For it has been reported to me concerning you, my brothers and sisters, by those who are from Chloe’s household, that there are rivalries among you. 12I say this because you are each saying, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Kefa,” or “I follow Messiah.” 13Has Messiah been divided? Paul wasn’t crucified for you, was he? Or were you immersed into the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I immersed none of you, except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one should say that I had immersed you into my own name. 16(I also immersed the household of Stephanas; besides them, I don’t recall if I immersed anyone else.) 17For Messiah sent me not to immerse, but to proclaim the Good News—not with cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Messiah would not be made of no effect.
Whose Wisdom Is Foolish?
18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the intelligent.” 20Where is the wise one? Where is the Torah scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For seeing that—in God’s wisdom—the world through its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased—through the foolishness of the message proclaimed—to save those who believe. 22For Jewish people ask for signs and Greek people seek after wisdom, 23but we proclaim Messiah crucified—a stumbling block to Jewish people and foolishness to Gentile people, 24but to those who are called (both Jewish and Greek people), Messiah, the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26For you see your calling, brothers and sisters, that not many are wise according to human standards, not many are powerful, and not many are born well. 27Yet God chose the foolish things of the world so He might put to shame the wise; and God chose the weak things of the world so He might put to shame the strong; 28and God chose the lowly and despised things of the world, the things that are as nothing, so He might bring to nothing the things that are— 29so that no human might boast before God. 30But because of Him you are in Messiah Yeshua, who became to us wisdom from God and righteousness and holiness and redemption— 31so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in Adonai.”
–from 1 Corinthians 1