Ever messed up? Ever made a mistake? Ever missed the mark? Ever done something you were sorry for? Ever done something you weren’t proud of? Ever broken a rule? Ever broken the law? Ever done something unfair? Ever done something immoral? Ever done something immoral?
Do you realize what the penalty is? Do you realize what the repercussions are? Do you realize what could of or should of happened to you because of it? Do you realize the impact it had on others and on you?
Do you realize we all have a choice? Do you realize we all have options? Do you realize there is a way out? Do you realize there is a way into hope? Do you realize that there is a way to compensate for the faults? Do you realize that there is a way to compensate for the bad? Do you realize that there is a way to restore or regain what was lost? Do you realize that there is a way to be redeemed? Do you realize that there is a way to be vindicated? Do you realize there there is a way to get help?
Did you know that there is a way to hear a word of wisdom? Did you know that there is a way to hear a word of encouragement? Did you know that there is a way to hear a word that will sustain you? Did you know that there is a way to hear a word that will renew you?
Want help? Need help? Know where to go and find help?
Turn back to God! Cry out to Jesus! Trust in Him! Lean on Him and His ways!
Today’s reading starts in Isaiah 50..
1Thus says Adonai: “Where is the divorce certificate, by which I sent your mother away? Or to whom of My creditors did I sell you? See, you were sold for your iniquities, and for your transgressions your mother was sent away. 2Why was no one there when I came? Why was there no one to answer when I called? Is My hand too short to redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, I dry up the sea at My rebuke, I make rivers a wilderness— their fish stink for lack of water and die of thirst. 3I clothe the heavens with blackness and make sackcloth their covering.”
Third Servant Song: Face Like Flint
4Adonai Elohim has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning. He awakens My ear to give heed as a disciple. 5Adonai Elohim has opened My ear, and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn back. 6I gave My back to those who strike, and My cheeks to those pulling out My beard; I did not hide My face from humiliation and spitting. 7For Adonai Elohim will help Me. Therefore I have not been disgraced. Therefore I set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed. 8The One who vindicates Me is near. Who will accuse Me? Let us stand up to each other. Who is My adversary? Let him confront Me. 9See, Adonai Elohim will help Me. Who is he who would condemn Me? See, they all wear out like a garment. A moth will eat them up. 10Who among you fears Adonai? Who hears the voice of His servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the Name of Adonai and lean on his God. 11“Behold, all you who kindle a fire, encircling yourselves with firebrands. Walk in the light of your fire and among the brands you have lit. This you will have from My hand: you will lie down in torment.”
–from Isaiah 50
Looking for justice? Turn to God! Looking for comfort? Turn to God! Looking for righteousness? Turn to God! Looking for salvation? Turn to God! Looking for strength? Turn to God! Looking for joy? Turn to God! Looking for gladness? Turn to God! Afraid of the unknown? Turn to God! Ask the Spirit of God to come into your heart! Ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior!
Comfort Zion With Justice
1“Listen to Me, you who pursue justice, you who seek Adonai. Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. 2Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you. For when I called him, he was but one, then I blessed him and multiplied him.” 3For Adonai will comfort Zion. He will comfort all her waste places. He will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of Adonai. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and a sound of melody. 4“Pay attention to Me, My people, give ear to Me, My nation. For Torah will go out from Me, My justice as a light to the peoples. 5My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone out, and My arms will judge the nations. The coastlands will wait for Me— for My arm they will wait expectantly. 6Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and its inhabitants will die like gnats, but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness never wane. 7Listen to Me, you who know justice, a people with My Torah in their heart: Do not fear the taunt of men, nor be dismayed at their insults. 8For the moth will eat them like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool. But My righteousness will be forever and My salvation for all generations.” 9Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of Adonai, awake, as in days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces, who pierced the dragon? 10Was it not You who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made the depths of the sea a path for the redeemed to pass over? 11Now the ransomed of Adonai will return, and come to Zion with singing. Everlasting joy will be upon their heads. They will obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. 12“I, I am the One who comforts you. Who are you that you should fear man, who dies, or a son of man, who is given up like grass?” 13But you forgot Adonai your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth. Are you in constant dread all day because of the fury of the oppressor as he makes ready to destroy? But where is the fury of the oppressor? 14Soon one bowed down will be released. He will not die and go to the Pit, nor will his bread be lacking. 15“For I am Adonai your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—Adonai-Tzva’ot is His Name. 16I have put My words in your mouth, and covered you with the shadow of My hand— I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’” 17Awake, awake! Stand up, Jerusalem! From Adonai’s hand you have drunk the cup of His fury, the chalice of reeling that you have drained to the dregs. 18There is none to guide her among all the sons she has borne, nor is there one to take her by the hand among all the sons she has raised. 19These two things have befallen you —who will mourn for you?— devastation and destruction, famine and the sword. How will I comfort you? 20Your sons have fainted. They lie at every street corner, like an antelope in a net. They are full of Adonai’s fury, the rebuke of your God. 21Therefore hear this, you who are afflicted, who are drunk, but not with wine. 22Thus says your Lord, Adonai your God who defends His people: “Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of reeling, the bowl of My wrath. You will never drink it again. 23Then I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, who said to you, ‘Lie down, so we may walk over you.’ You have made your back like the ground and like a street for passersby.
–from Isaiah 51
Will you choose before it is too late? Will you ask Jesus into your life and follow after Him the rest of your life? Will you call upon Jesus and be saved?
Judgment is coming! Eternity is at stake! We each need to make our own choice and decision!
Don’t worry about revenge! The battle is the Lord’s and vengeance is His!
God Really Judges
1For the music director: “Do Not Destroy,” a Michtam of David. 2Do you really speak of justice, O “gods”? Do you judge with fairness, sons of man? 3No, in heart you devise injustice. Your hands weigh out violence on earth. 4The wicked are strangers from the womb. Speaking lies, they go astray from birth. 5Their venom is like a serpent’s venom, like a deaf cobra shutting its ear— 6not hearing the voice of charmers, or a cunning spell binder. 7O God, break their teeth in their mouths. Tear out the fangs of young lions, Adonai. 8Let them flow away like water that runs off. When he bends his bow, let the arrows be cut off. 9Like a slug melting away as it slithers, like a woman’s miscarriage, may they never see the sun. 10Even before your pots can feel a thorn —whether alive or ablaze— He will sweep the wicked away. 11The righteous one will rejoice when he beholds vengeance, when he washes his feet in the blood of the wicked. 12Then men will say: “There really is a reward for the righteous. There really is a God who judges on earth!”
–from Psalms 58
Don’t try to trick or deceive God! He knows your every thought! Don’t try to cheat God! He already owns everything and knows your heart! Walk with Him! Trust Him! Live life to the full in and through Him! Let’s be living lives that testify of God’s goodness and great love! Let’s be living lives that testify to His power and greatness! Let’s allow the Spirit of God to work in us and through us for the glory of our God! We need to be telling people God’s way! We need to go beyond man’s way and do it God’s way! From the beginning people tried to stop God, but as today’s reading tells us “If it is of God, you will not be able to stop them. You might even be found fighting against God.” Don’t lose hope in the trial, the troubles, and the persecution! Trust in God! Rejoice that you were considered worthy!
Ananias and Sapphira Lie to the Ruach
1On the other hand, a man named Ananias together with his wife, Sapphira, sold a property. 2He kept back some of the proceeds, with his wife’s full knowledge, and brought part of it and set it at the feet of the emissaries. 3But Peter said, “Ananias, why has satan filled your heart to lie to the Ruach ha-Kodesh and keep back part of the proceeds of the land? 4While it remained unsold, it was your own, wasn’t it? And after it was sold, wasn’t it at your disposal? How did this deed get into your heart? You haven’t lied to men but to God.” 5As soon as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and died. Great fear came upon all who heard about it. 6The young men got up and wrapped him in a shroud, then carried him out and buried him. 7After an interval of about three hours, his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8Peter responded to her, “Tell me if you sold the land for this much.” She said, “Yes, for that much.” 9Then Peter said to her, “How did you agree to test the Ruach Adonai? Look, the feet of those who buried your husband are at the door—they will carry you out, too!” 10Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came back in, they found her dead and carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11And great fear came over the whole community and all who heard these things.
Signs and Wonders, Angelic Jailbreak, and Bold Witness
12Meanwhile, through the hands of the emissaries many signs and wonders were happening among the people. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. 13But no one else dared to join them, though the people continued to think highly of them. 14Yet more than ever those trusting in the Lord were added—large numbers of men and women. 15They even carried the sick into the streets and laid them on stretchers and cots, so that when Peter passed by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. 16Crowds were also gathering from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing those who were sick or tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all being healed. 17But the kohen gadol rose up, and all those with him (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy. 18They grabbed the emissaries and put them in a public jail. 19But during the night an angel of Adonai opened the prison doors, and leading them out he said, 20“Go, stand in the Temple and speak to the people the whole message about this Life.” 21Now when they heard that, they entered the Temple at daybreak and began teaching. When the kohen gadol and those with him arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin, even the council of elders of Bnei-Yisrael, and sent to the prison to have the prisoners brought in. 22But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison. So they returned and reported, 23saying, “We found the prison locked with maximum security and the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened up, we found no one inside.” 24When the captain of the Temple and the ruling kohanim heard these words, they were perplexed about them, wondering where this would lead. 25But someone came and reported to them, “The men you put in prison are standing in the Temple and teaching the people!” 26Then the captain went off with the officers and brought the emissaries—but not with force, because they feared they might be stoned by the people. 27When they had brought them, they placed them before the Sanhedrin. The kohen gadol questioned them, 28saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name—and look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring on us the blood of this Man!” 29Peter and the emissaries replied, “We must obey God rather than men. 30The God of our fathers raised up Yeshua, whom you seized and had crucified. 31This One God exalted at His right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and removal of sins. 32And we are witnesses of these events—as is the Ruach ha-Kodesh, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” 33Now when they heard this, they became enraged and wanted to kill them. 34But a certain Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Torah respected by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. 35Then he said to them, “Men of Israel, be careful what you are about to do with these men. 36For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody; and a number of men, maybe four hundred, joined up with him. He was killed, and all who followed him were scattered and came to nothing. 37After this fellow, Judah the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and got people to follow him. He also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38So now I tell you, stay away from these men and leave them alone. For if this plan or undertaking is of men, it will come to an end; 39but if it is of God, you will not be able to stop them. You might even be found fighting against God.” They took his advice, 40called in the emissaries, flogged them, ordered them not to continue speaking in the name of Yeshua, and let them go. 41So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were considered worthy to be dishonored on account of His name. 42And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming Yeshua as the Messiah.
–from Acts 5
So choose to be on the winning side! Choose to walk in the victory that has already been won. Jesus has won! So choose to walk with Him and be on His side!
The Victory of the Resurrection
1Now I make known to you, brothers and sisters, the Good News which I proclaimed to you. You also received it, and you took your stand on it,
2and by it you are being saved if you hold firm to the word I proclaimed to you—unless you believed without proper consideration.
3For I also passed on to you first of all what I also received— that Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
5and that He appeared to Kefa, then to the Twelve.
6Then He appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time— most of them are still alive, though some have died.
7Then He appeared to Jacob, then to all the emissaries,
8and last of all, as to one untimely born, He also appeared to me.
9For I am the least of the emissaries, unworthy to be called an emissary because I persecuted God’s community.
10But by the grace of God I am what I am. His grace toward me was not in vain. No, I worked harder than them all—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
11Whether then it is I or they, so we proclaim, and so you believed.
12Now if Messiah is proclaimed—that He has been raised from the dead—how can some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Messiah has been raised!
14And if Messiah has not been raised, then our proclaiming is meaningless and your faith also is meaningless.
15Moreover, we are found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified about God that He raised up Messiah—whom He did not raise up, if in fact the dead are not raised.
16For if the dead are not raised, not even Messiah has been raised.
17And if Messiah has not been raised, your faith is futile—you are still in your sins.
18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Messiah have perished.
19If we have hoped in Messiah in this life alone, we are to be pitied more than all people.
20But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also has come through a Man.
22For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah will all be made alive.
23But each in its own order: Messiah the firstfruits; then, at His coming, those who belong to Messiah;
24then the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all rule and all authority and power.
25For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.
26The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
27For God has “put all things in subjection underneath His feet.” But when the psalmist says that “all” has been put in subjection, it is clear that this does not include God Himself, who put all things under Messiah.
28Now when all things become subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also become subject to the One who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all.
29Otherwise, what will they do who are immersed for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, then why are they immersed for them?
30And why are we in danger every hour?
31I die every day—yes, as surely as the boast in you, brothers and sisters, which I have in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.
32If, for human reasons, I fought with “wild animals” at Ephesus, what good is that to me? If the dead are not raised, “let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
33Do not be deceived! “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
34Come to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning! For some have no knowledge of God—I say this to your shame.
35But someone will say, “How are the dead raised?” and, “With what kind of body do they come?”
36Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.
37As for what you sow—you are not sowing the body that will be, but a bare seed, maybe of wheat or something else.
38But God gives it a body just as He planned, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.
39All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of humans, another flesh of animals, another of birds, and another of fish.
40There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one thing while the earthly is another.
41There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
42So also is the resurrection of the dead: Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption!
43Sown in dishonor, raised in glory! Sown in weakness, raised in power!
44Sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body! If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
45So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
46However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.
47The first man is of the earth, made of dust; the second man is from heaven.
48Like the one made of dust, so also are those made of dust; and like the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.
49And just as we have borne the image of the one made from dust, so also shall we bear the image of the One from heaven.
50Now I say this, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and what decays cannot inherit what does not decay.
51Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—
52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.
53For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility , and this mortal must put on immortality.
54But when this corruptible will have put on incorruptibility and this mortal will have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55“Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?”
56Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Torah.
57But thanks be to God, who keeps giving us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah!
58Therefore, my dearly loved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord—because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
–from 1 Corinthians 15