September 30

Isaiah 60:1-62:5; Philippians 1:27-2:18; Psalm 72:1-20; Proverbs 24:11-12

Isaiah was a prophet who spoke of things to come. He ends His book by speaking about when the Messiah (the Christ) would come. When the Messiah comes He will reverse the negative outlook of people’s lives.

We know  Jesus is the Messiah about whom Isaiah spoke. Hope was given to the poor, the broken, the bound, the hurting and the sick. In any society, these are the most vulnerable people. God cares about all hurting people and never ignores them. At any point, we all fall into one of these categories. We are always confident when things are going well. But when life turns sour, who is there for us?

Jesus is! He tells us in those difficult seasons, I am with you and will turn your situation around. Joy will return. Peace will be established. If you are in one of those seasons, turn to God and let Him encourage you with His Good News.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Isaiah 62:6-65:25; Philippians 2:19-3:3; Psalm 73:1-28; Proverbs 24:13-14

September 29

Isaiah 57:15-59:21; Philippians 1:1-26; Psalm 71:1-24; Proverbs 24:9-10

Our motives are important when it comes to God. He does not desire routine action, or religious habits that have no substance to them. God does not want us to obey Him out of a sense of duty. The story of Israel is one where God has been wooing them so He would gain their loyal heart.

It is very easy to fall into habits and our heart is not in it. So, we come to church, because we have to. We pray because we have to. We serve because we have to. We give because we have to. We love people because we have to. God wants to move us from “have to” to “want to”. How does this happen?

Remember what is most important! God has been good to us and has made the first move to love us, forgive us and bless us. All He wants in return is our whole heart. Israel religiously fasted but their hearts were not in it. God told them the light they shine by doing good to help others and, not by the religious duties they perform, would show their heart. Don’t misunderstand: should we have the spiritual disciplines, “Yes.” And, everything we do for God, in public and private, should be done with our whole heart.

Tomorrow’s Reading:  Isaiah 60:1-62:5; Philippians 1:27-2:18; Psalm 72:1-20; Proverbs 24:11-12

September 28

Isaiah 54:1-57:14; Ephesians 6:1-24; Psalm 70:1-5; Proverbs 24:8

Have you become so comfortable with the way life is that you do not expect anything good to happen? Israel had suffered in exile and foreign opposition. Even though God promised to bring them back home to their land and bless them, He could never do it so long as Israel saw themselves as slaves and unworthy.

In the midst of their exile, God’s promise of hope had to come with a word of encouragement to make plans for better. God tells Israel to expand their territory and make room for more because soon they will be “bursting at the seams.” God can fill whatever receptacle you give Him.

Your faith will only work to the degree you are in expectation for better. But, then you have to make plans for better. Are you planning for a better career? Are you planning for a better marriage? Are you planning for a better life? If so, God will meet and exceed every expectation you put before Him.

God has given you His Word that you are blessed. He will keep His Word because “It always produces fruit” and it will “accomplish all” God wants it to.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Isaiah 57:15-59:21; Philippians 1:1-26; Psalm 71:1-24; Proverbs 24:9-10

September 27

Isaiah 51:1-53:12; Ephesians 5:1-33; Psalm 69:19-36; Proverbs 24:7

Good news is in short supply these days! But, if you look at all ages, it appears good news was hard to find. There is an old saying, “good news travels on a turtle and bad news on a gazelle.”

God is all about Good News and He enlists His children to help carry the Good News. God used prophets to speak forth His messages. But, to carry His magnanimous love, God chose His son! God took all the bad we deserved and leveled it against Jesus so we could be in God’s family.

“Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5)

Jesus endured all this for us so we could share the good news that God loves people. Will you accept your assignment and share the Good News in a world that so desperately needs it?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Isaiah 54:1-57:14; Ephesians 6:1-24; Psalm 70:1-5; Proverbs 24:8

September 26

Isaiah 48:12-50:11; Ephesians 4:17-32; Psalm 69:1-18; Proverbs 24:5-6

It is a good reminder about how big our God is. God is a Redeemer who will not allow His people to be left in bondage and slavery. You are worth so much to God that He will pay whatever price is necessary to get you back.

Our Big God can move heaven and earth for His children. Israel came to know this as they went through exile and then were brought back home. You and I are too valuable for God to leave you alone. Even if we run away from Him, God will not allow too much distance be between us.

If you call out to God, no matter how far you fall or run, God will be right there to rescue you and bring you back home. “For I can speak to the sea and make it dry up! I can turn rivers into deserts covered with dying fish.” (Isaiah 50:2). God makes it clear that He can do whatever it takes for His children. Thank God today that He has you covered and will do what it takes to bring you back home.

Tomorrow’s Reading:  Isaiah 51:1-53:12; Ephesians 5:1-33; Psalm 69:19-36; Proverbs 24:7

September 25

Isaiah 45:11-48:11; Ephesians 4:1-16; Psalm 68:19-35; Proverbs 24:3-4

God has a long term commitment to His children. God does not function as we do. We plan today for tomorrow. God planned out our lives even before we arrived on earth. He has an eternal plan and purpose for our lives if we will yield to Him.

You should not see this plan as some rigid obligation forced upon you by a disconnected God. No! The God who made a plan for your life, did so with care because He cares for you. Because God cares, He took the time to craft a life journey for you which will bring out the best in you.

God told the descendants of Jacob that He carried them before they were born and He cared for them after they were born. God says “He will care for them even when their hair turns white.” You should have a sense of peace and joy knowing  God has a journey for your life which is tailor-made to bring out the best in you– all because God cares!

Tomorrow’s Reading: Isaiah 48:12-50:11; Ephesians 4:17-32; Psalm 69:1-18; Proverbs 24:5-6

September 24

Isaiah 43:14-45:10; Ephesians 3:1-21; Psalm 68:1-18; Proverbs 24:1-2

Are you stuck looking at the past victories that God has given you? Is your life story about things which happened years ago? Are there new things  God is doing in your life? More than likely there are, but we cannot see them because we are looking back at past miracles!

God reminds Israel of the Red Sea victory (which is probably the biggest miracle in the world until that time), and God’s response to it is: “But forget all that!” Wow! Why would they forget such a great deliverance? Because God says He wants to do something new.

Isn’t it great to serve a God who continues to find ways to bless us and help us? In essence God was saying, “You haven’t seen anything yet!” God wants to show us His might and glory if we are in expectation for it. God wants to do new miracles in your life so you will know who He is today!

Take the limits off of God because He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21). Start looking for a new and better thing to occur in your life!!

Tomorrow’s Reading: Isaiah 45:11-48:11; Ephesians 4:1-16; Psalm 68:19-35; Proverbs 24:3-4

September 23

Isaiah 41:17-43:13; Ephesians 2:1-22; Psalm 67:1-7; Proverbs 23:29-35

God is truly our helper!!! If we will allow God the opportunity to work in our lives, every rough place He will smooth and every low place, God will raise up. But, the question is: “Will we accept the help God offers?”

God continued to show Israel how much He loves them but they rejected His love time and time again. In yesterday’s reading, God showed the portrait of the Savior who would come to deliver humanity from its sin. We know that Savior as Jesus the Christ.

The greatest help God gave us was, and is, Jesus. There is no challenge we face in life, that Jesus cannot show us the way out of. There is no heartbreak or headache, Jesus cannot heal. Jesus is truly God’s answer to our problems. Just like Israel, who had to believe help was sent, you do too! What are you facing that seems impossible? Jesus wants to help you, if you will let Him.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Isaiah 43:14-45:10; Ephesians 3:1-21; Psalm 68:1-18; Proverbs 24:1-2

September 22

Isaiah 39:1-41:16; Ephesians 1:1-23; Psalm 66:1-20; Proverbs 23:25-28

How do you regard the things God has put under your management? As God’s children, we must be very careful how we see the items God places in our trust. We are only managers and God is the One who owns everything.

King Hezekiah had experienced the power and mercy of God in a miraculous way. God healed Hezekiah, delivered him from all his enemies and even made Hezekiah’s name great. Yet, Hezekiah did not fundamentally acknowledge that everything he had was really God’s.

When a foreign nation, who had previously attacked Israel, came bearing gifts, Hezekiah took credit for all  God had done for him. This act of pride caused him to lose everything. In response to Hezekiah’s pride, the prophet Isaiah spoke a Word from God saying everything that was seen by the Babylonians would be taken. Don’t make Hezekiah’s mistake. Whatever God puts in your hands, never forget it all belongs to God and He should get all the credit.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Isaiah 41:17-43:13; Ephesians 2:1-22; Psalm 67:1-7; Proverbs 23:29-35

September 21

Isaiah 37:1-38:22; Galatians 6:1-18; Psalm 65:1-13; Proverbs 23:24

Sometimes, the devil will use a person to tempt you to distrust God. The Bible testifies that satan can only tell lies and that he is the “father of lies.” If we are not careful, we will let the words of others subtly cause us to distrust our God.

King Sennacherib knew that Hezekiah would seek direction from God. He also knew that God is always victorious and no one could defeat Him. The only way for Hezekiah to lose was if he stopped trusting God. The King sent Hezekiah a message to shake his trust in God: “Don’t let your God, in whom you trust, deceive you with promises that Jerusalem will not be captured by the king of Assyria.”

Look at the irony! The man who first threatened Israel is now telling Israel not to trust the only One who can deliver them. Disregard anyone who undermines your commitment and dependence on God. He is the only one who can help you in the time of trouble!

Tomorrow’s Reading: Isaiah 39:1-41:16; Ephesians 1:1-23; Psalm 66:1-20; Proverbs 23:25-28