Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

"Dead . . . alive . . . raised . . . seated" is the progression of a believer's position in Christ, according to Ephesians 2. What a glorious revelation to know that we have traveled the entire spectrum from death to being seated with Christ in heavenly places!

You were dead in your sins, and yet God still loved you even though you were His "enemy." By His grace He made you alive, breathing the same life into your spirit that He breathed into Christ's dead body in the resurrection. Finally, He lifted you up and seated you in a position so special and honored that it can only be described as the "heavenly places." According to the passage in Ephesians 2, everything that God did for Christ physically, He has done for you and all believers spiritually!

Your Christian life will be transformed as you understand your identification with Jesus Christ in His death, resurrection, and ascension. When God looks at you, He sees you not as you were (dead in sin), but exactly as He sees His Son (alive and seated in the heaven-lies). God loves you exactly as He loves Christ!

You are in Christ in the same way a tiny baby kangaroo is hidden inside the pouch of its mother. So rise up in your new nature and privileges, for "God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God" (Ephesians 2:8).

Isaiah 41:17-43:13

17 “The poor and needy search for water,Isa 43:20

but there is none;

their tongues are parched with thirst.S Isa 35:7

But I the Lord will answerS Isa 30:19 them;

I, the God of Israel, will not forsakeS Dt 31:6; S Ps 27:9 them.

18 I will make rivers flowS Isa 30:25 on barren heights,

and springs within the valleys.

I will turn the desertIsa 43:19 into pools of water,S 2Ki 3:17

and the parched ground into springs.S Job 38:26; S Isa 35:7

19 I will put in the desertS Isa 35:1; 51:3

the cedar and the acacia,Ex 25:5, 10, 13 the myrtle and the olive.

I will set junipersS Isa 37:24 in the wasteland,

the fir and the cypressIsa 44:14 together,Isa 60:13

20 so that people may see and know,S Ex 6:7

may consider and understand,S Isa 29:24

that the handEzr 7:6; 8:31; Isa 50:2; 51:9; 59:1; 66:14; Jer 32:17 of the Lord has done this,

that the Holy OneS ver 14; Isa 43:3, 14 of Israel has createdS Isa 4:5 it.

21 “Present your case,S ver 1” says the Lord.

“Set forth your arguments,” says Jacob’s King.Isa 43:15; 44:6

22 “Tell us, you idols,

what is going to happen.ver 26; Isa 43:9; 44:7; 45:21; 48:14

Tell us what the former thingsIsa 43:18, 26; 46:9; 48:3 were,

so that we may consider them

and know their final outcome.

Or declare to us the things to come,Isa 42:9; 43:19; 46:10; 48:6; 65:17; Jn 13:19

23 tell us what the future holds,

so we may knowIsa 45:3 that you are gods.

Do something, whether good or bad,Jer 10:5

so that we will be dismayedS 2Ki 19:26 and filled with fear.

24 But you are less than nothingS Isa 37:19; 1Co 8:4

and your works are utterly worthless;S 1Sa 12:21; Jer 8:19; 10:5, 8, 15

whoever chooses you is detestable.S Ps 109:7; S Isa 1:13; S 48:8

25 “I have stirredS Ezr 1:2 up one from the north,S ver 2; Jer 50:9, 41; 51:48 and he comes—

one from the rising sun who calls on my name.

He treadsS 2Sa 22:43; S Isa 5:5; Na 3:14 on rulers as if they were mortar,

as if he were a potter treading the clay.

26 Who told of this from the beginning,S ver 4 so we could know,

or beforehand, so we could say, ‘He was right’?

No one told of this,

no one foretoldS ver 22; Isa 52:6 it,

no one heard any wordsS 1Ki 18:26; Hab 2:18-19 from you.

27 I was the first to tellIsa 48:3, 16 Zion, ‘Look, here they are!’

I gave to Jerusalem a messenger of good news.S Isa 40:9

28 I look but there is no onePs 22:11; Isa 50:2; 59:16; 63:5; 64:7; Eze 22:30

no one among the gods to give counsel,Isa 40:13-14

no one to give answerS 1Ki 18:26; Isa 65:12; 66:4; Jer 25:4 when I ask them.

29 See, they are all false!

Their deeds amount to nothing;S 1Sa 12:21

their imagesS Isa 37:19 are but windJer 5:13 and confusion.

The Servant of the Lord

42 “Here is my servant,S Isa 20:3; S Mt 20:28 whom I uphold,

my chosen oneS Isa 14:1; Lk 9:35; 23:35; 1Pe 2:4, 6 in whom I delight;Mt 3:17

I will put my SpiritS Isa 11:2; S 44:3; Mt 3:16-17; S Jn 3:34 on him,

and he will bring justiceS Isa 9:7 to the nations.S Ge 49:10

He will not shout or cry out,Pr 8:1-4

or raise his voice in the streets.

A bruised reedS Isa 36:6 he will not break,S Job 30:24

and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.S Job 13:25

In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;Ps 72:2; 96:13

he will not falter or be discouraged

till he establishes justiceS Isa 2:4 on earth.

In his teachingver 21; Ex 34:29; Isa 51:4 the islandsS Isa 11:11 will put their hope.”S Ge 49:10; Mt 12:18-21*

This is what God the Lord says—

the Creator of the heavens,S Ge 1:6; Ps 102:25; Isa 48:13 who stretches them out,

who spreads out the earthS Ge 1:1 with all that springs from it,Ps 24:2; Ac 17:24

who gives breathS Ge 2:7; Ac 17:25 to its people,

and life to those who walk on it:

“I, the Lord, have calledEx 31:2; S Jdg 4:10; Isa 41:9-10; 43:1 you in righteousness;Isa 45:24; Jer 23:6; Da 9:7

I will take hold of your hand.Isa 41:13; 45:1

I will keepIsa 26:3; 27:3 you and will make you

to be a covenantIsa 49:8; 54:10; 59:21; 61:8; Jer 31:31; 32:40; Mal 3:1; S Lk 22:20 for the people

and a lightS Isa 9:2 for the Gentiles,S Isa 26:18; S Lk 2:32

to open eyes that are blind,S Ps 146:8; S Isa 32:3; Mt 11:5

to freeIsa 49:9; 51:14; 52:2; Zec 2:7 captives from prisonS Ps 66:11; S Isa 24:22; 48:20; Zec 9:11; S Lk 4:19; 2Ti 2:26; Heb 2:14-15

and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.S Ps 107:10, 14; Ac 26:18

“I am the Lord;Ps 81:10; Isa 43:3, 11, 15; 46:9; 49:23 that is my name!S Ex 3:15; S 6:3

I will not yield my glory to anotherIsa 48:11

or my praise to idols.S Ex 8:10; S 20:4

See, the former thingsS Isa 41:22 have taken place,

and new things I declare;

before they spring into being

I announceS Isa 40:21; Eze 2:4 them to you.”

Song of Praise to the Lord

10 SingS Ex 15:1 to the Lord a new song,S Ps 96:1

his praise1Ki 10:9; Isa 60:6 from the ends of the earth,S Dt 30:4; S Ps 48:10; 65:5; Isa 49:6

you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,S 1Ch 16:32; Ps 96:11

you islands,S Isa 11:11 and all who live in them.

11 Let the wildernessS Isa 32:16 and its towns raise their voices;

let the settlements where KedarS Ge 25:13; Isa 60:7 lives rejoice.

Let the people of SelaS Jdg 1:36 sing for joy;

let them shout from the mountaintops.Isa 52:7; Na 1:15

12 Let them give gloryS 1Ch 16:24; S Isa 24:15 to the Lord

and proclaim his praiseS Ps 26:7; S 66:2; 1Pe 2:9 in the islands.S Isa 11:11

13 The Lord will march out like a champion,S Isa 9:6

like a warriorS Ex 14:14 he will stir up his zeal;S Isa 26:11

with a shoutS Jos 6:5; Jer 25:30; Hos 11:10; Joel 3:16; Am 1:2; 3:4, 8 he will raise the battle cry

and will triumph over his enemies.Isa 66:14

14 “For a long time I have kept silent,S Est 4:14; S Ps 50:21

I have been quiet and held myself back.S Ge 43:31; Lk 18:7; 2Pe 3:9

But now, like a woman in childbirth,

I cry out, I gasp and pant.Jer 4:31

15 I will lay wasteEze 38:20 the mountainsS Ps 107:33 and hills

and dry up all their vegetation;

I will turn rivers into islands

and dry upS Isa 11:15; 50:2; Na 1:4-6 the pools.

16 I will leadS Isa 29:24; 40:11; 57:18; 58:11; Jer 31:8-9; Lk 1:78-79 the blindS Isa 32:3 by ways they have not known,

along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;

I will turn the darkness into lightS Ps 18:28; Isa 58:8, 10; S Ac 26:18 before them

and make the rough places smooth.S Isa 26:7; Lk 3:5

These are the things I will do;

I will not forsakeS Dt 4:31; Heb 13:5 them.

17 But those who trust in idols,

who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’S Ex 32:4

will be turned back in utter shame.S Ps 97:7; S Isa 1:29

Israel Blind and Deaf

18 “Hear, you deaf;S Isa 35:5

look, you blind, and see!

19 Who is blindIsa 43:8; Eze 12:2 but my servant,Isa 41:8-9

and deaf like the messengerIsa 44:26; Hag 1:13 I send?

Who is blind like the one in covenantIsa 26:3 with me,

blind like the servant of the Lord?

20 You have seen many things, but you pay no attention;

your ears are open, but you do not listen.”Isa 6:9-10; 43:8; Jer 5:21; 6:10

21 It pleased the Lord

for the sakeIsa 43:25 of his righteousness

to make his lawS ver 4; 2Co 3:7 great and glorious.

22 But this is a people plunderedS Jdg 6:4; S 2Ki 24:13 and looted,

all of them trapped in pitsS Isa 24:18

or hidden away in prisons.S Ps 66:11; S Isa 24:22

They have become plunder,

with no one to rescue them;S Isa 5:29

they have been made loot,

with no one to say, “Send them back.”

23 Which of you will listen to this

or pay close attentionDt 32:29; Ps 81:13; Isa 47:7; 48:18; 57:11 in time to come?

24 Who handed Jacob over to become loot,

and Israel to the plunderers?S 2Ki 17:6; Isa 43:28; 47:6

Was it not the Lord,Isa 10:5-6

against whom we have sinned?

For they would not followS Isa 30:15 his ways;

they did not obey his law.S Jos 1:7; S Ps 119:136; Isa 5:24; Jer 44:10

25 So he poured out on them his burning anger,S 2Ki 22:13; S Job 40:11; S Isa 51:17; S Eze 7:19

the violence of war.

It enveloped them in flames,2Ki 25:9; Isa 66:15; Jer 4:4; 21:12; La 2:3; Na 1:6 yet they did not understand;S Isa 1:3

it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.Isa 29:13; 47:7; 57:1, 11; Hos 7:9

Israel’s Only Savior

43 But now, this is what the Lord says—

he who createdS Isa 27:11 you, Jacob,

he who formedS ver 7; S Ge 2:7 you, Israel:Ge 32:28; Isa 44:21

“Do not fear, for I have redeemedS Ex 6:6; S Job 19:25 you;

I have summoned you by name;S Isa 42:6; 45:3-4; 49:1 you are mine.S Dt 7:6; Mal 3:17

When you pass through the waters,S Isa 8:7

I will be with you;S Ge 26:3; S Ex 14:22

and when you pass through the rivers,

they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire,Isa 29:6; 30:27

you will not be burned;

the flames will not set you ablaze.Ps 66:12; Da 3:25-27

For I am the Lord your God,S Ex 20:2

the Holy OneS Isa 41:20 of Israel, your Savior;S Ex 14:30; S Jdg 2:18; S Ps 3:8; S Isa 25:9

I give EgyptS Ps 68:31; Isa 19:1; Eze 29:20 for your ransom,

CushThat is, the upper Nile regionS Isa 20:3 and SebaS Ge 10:7 in your stead.S Pr 21:18

Since you are precious and honoredEx 19:5; Isa 49:5 in my sight,

and because I loveIsa 63:9; Rev 3:9 you,

I will give people in exchange for you,

nations in exchange for your life.

Do not be afraid,S Ge 15:1; Isa 44:2 for I am with you;S Ge 21:22; S Ex 14:22; Jer 30:10-11

I will bring your childrenIsa 41:8; 54:3; 61:9; 66:22 from the east

and gatherS Isa 11:12; S 49:18 you from the west.S Isa 24:14; Zec 8:7; S Mt 8:11

I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’

and to the south,Ps 107:3 ‘Do not hold them back.’

Bring my sons from afar

and my daughtersIsa 60:4; Eze 16:61; 2Co 6:18 from the ends of the earthS Dt 30:4; S Isa 11:12; Jer 23:8; Eze 36:24

everyone who is called by my name,Isa 48:1; 56:5; 62:2; 63:19; 65:1; Jer 15:16; Jas 2:7

whom I createdS Isa 27:11 for my glory,S Ps 86:9

whom I formed and made.ver 1, 21; Ps 100:3; S Isa 19:25

Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,S Isa 6:9-10

who have ears but are deaf.S Isa 42:20; Eze 12:2

All the nations gather togetherS Isa 41:1; 45:20; 48:14

and the peoples assemble.

Which of their gods foretoldS Isa 41:26 this

and proclaimed to us the former things?

Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,

so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”

10 “You are my witnesses,ver 12; S Jos 24:22” declares the Lord,

“and my servantS Isa 20:3; 41:8-9 whom I have chosen,

so that you may knowS Ex 6:7 and believe me

and understand that I am he.

Before me no godver 11; S Ps 86:10; Isa 19:21; 44:6, 8; 45:5-6, 14 was formed,

nor will there be one after me.S Dt 4:35; S 32:39; Jer 14:22

11 I, even I, am the Lord,S Ex 6:2; S Isa 42:8

and apart from me there is no savior.S ver 10; S Ps 3:8; S 18:31; S Isa 25:9; 64:4

12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—

I, and not some foreign godS Dt 32:12 among you.

You are my witnesses,S ver 10” declares the Lord, “that I am God.

13 Yes, and from ancient daysPs 90:2 I am he.S Dt 32:39; Isa 46:4; 48:12

No one can deliver out of my hand.

When I act, who can reverse it?”S Nu 23:8; S Job 9:12

17 “When the poor and needy search for water and there is none,

and their tongues are parched from thirst,

then I, the Lord, will answer them.

I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them.

18 I will open up rivers for them on the high plateaus.

I will give them fountains of water in the valleys.

I will fill the desert with pools of water.

Rivers fed by springs will flow across the parched ground.

19 I will plant trees in the barren desert—

cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, cypress, fir, and pine.

20 I am doing this so all who see this miracle

will understand what it means—

that it is the Lord who has done this,

the Holy One of Israel who created it.

21 “Present the case for your idols,”

says the Lord.

“Let them show what they can do,”

says the King of Israel.Hebrew the King of Jacob. See note on 14:1.

22 “Let them try to tell us what happened long ago

so that we may consider the evidence.

Or let them tell us what the future holds,

so we can know what’s going to happen.

23 Yes, tell us what will occur in the days ahead.

Then we will know you are gods.

In fact, do anything—good or bad!

Do something that will amaze and frighten us.

24 But no! You are less than nothing and can do nothing at all.

Those who choose you pollute themselves.

25 “But I have stirred up a leader who will approach from the north.

From the east he will call on my name.

I will give him victory over kings and princes.

He will trample them as a potter treads on clay.

26 “Who told you from the beginning

that this would happen?

Who predicted this,

making you admit that he was right?

No one said a word!

27 I was the first to tell Zion,

‘Look! Help is on the way!’Or ‘Look! They are coming home.’

I will send Jerusalem a messenger with good news.

28 Not one of your idols told you this.

Not one gave any answer when I asked.

29 See, they are all foolish, worthless things.

All your idols are as empty as the wind.

The Lord’s Chosen Servant

42 “Look at my servant, whom I strengthen.

He is my chosen one, who pleases me.

I have put my Spirit upon him.

He will bring justice to the nations.

He will not shout

or raise his voice in public.

He will not crush the weakest reed

or put out a flickering candle.

He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.

He will not falter or lose heart

until justice prevails throughout the earth.

Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction.Greek version reads And his name will be the hope of all the world. Compare Matt 12:21.

God, the Lord, created the heavens and stretched them out.

He created the earth and everything in it.

He gives breath to everyone,

life to everyone who walks the earth.

And it is he who says,

“I, the Lord, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness.

I will take you by the hand and guard you,

and I will give you to my people, Israel,

as a symbol of my covenant with them.

And you will be a light to guide the nations.

You will open the eyes of the blind.

You will free the captives from prison,

releasing those who sit in dark dungeons.

“I am the Lord; that is my name!

I will not give my glory to anyone else,

nor share my praise with carved idols.

Everything I prophesied has come true,

and now I will prophesy again.

I will tell you the future before it happens.”

A Song of Praise to the Lord

10 Sing a new song to the Lord!

Sing his praises from the ends of the earth!

Sing, all you who sail the seas,

all you who live in distant coastlands.

11 Join in the chorus, you desert towns;

let the villages of Kedar rejoice!

Let the people of Sela sing for joy;

shout praises from the mountaintops!

12 Let the whole world glorify the Lord;

let it sing his praise.

13 The Lord will march forth like a mighty hero;

he will come out like a warrior, full of fury.

He will shout his battle cry

and crush all his enemies.

14 He will say, “I have long been silent;

yes, I have restrained myself.

But now, like a woman in labor,

I will cry and groan and pant.

15 I will level the mountains and hills

and blight all their greenery.

I will turn the rivers into dry land

and will dry up all the pools.

16 I will lead blind Israel down a new path,

guiding them along an unfamiliar way.

I will brighten the darkness before them

and smooth out the road ahead of them.

Yes, I will indeed do these things;

I will not forsake them.

17 But those who trust in idols,

who say, ‘You are our gods,’

will be turned away in shame.

Israel’s Failure to Listen and See

18 “Listen, you who are deaf!

Look and see, you blind!

19 Who is as blind as my own people, my servant?

Who is as deaf as my messenger?

Who is as blind as my chosen people,

the servant of the Lord?

20 You see and recognize what is right

but refuse to act on it.

You hear with your ears,

but you don’t really listen.”

21 Because he is righteous,

the Lord has exalted his glorious law.

22 But his own people have been robbed and plundered,

enslaved, imprisoned, and trapped.

They are fair game for anyone

and have no one to protect them,

no one to take them back home.

23 Who will hear these lessons from the past

and see the ruin that awaits you in the future?

24 Who allowed Israel to be robbed and hurt?

It was the Lord, against whom we sinned,

for the people would not walk in his path,

nor would they obey his law.

25 Therefore, he poured out his fury on them

and destroyed them in battle.

They were enveloped in flames,

but they still refused to understand.

They were consumed by fire,

but they did not learn their lesson.

The Savior of Israel

43 But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.

O Israel, the one who formed you says,

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.

I have called you by name; you are mine.

When you go through deep waters,

I will be with you.

When you go through rivers of difficulty,

you will not drown.

When you walk through the fire of oppression,

you will not be burned up;

the flames will not consume you.

For I am the Lord, your God,

the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;

I gave EthiopiaHebrew Cush. and Seba in your place.

Others were given in exchange for you.

I traded their lives for yours

because you are precious to me.

You are honored, and I love you.

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.

I will gather you and your children from east and west.

I will say to the north and south,

‘Bring my sons and daughters back to Israel

from the distant corners of the earth.

Bring all who claim me as their God,

for I have made them for my glory.

It was I who created them.’”

Bring out the people who have eyes but are blind,

who have ears but are deaf.

Gather the nations together!

Assemble the peoples of the world!

Which of their idols has ever foretold such things?

Which can predict what will happen tomorrow?

Where are the witnesses of such predictions?

Who can verify that they spoke the truth?

10 “But you are my witnesses, O Israel!” says the Lord.

“You are my servant.

You have been chosen to know me, believe in me,

and understand that I alone am God.

There is no other God—

there never has been, and there never will be.

11 I, yes I, am the Lord,

and there is no other Savior.

12 First I predicted your rescue,

then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world.

No foreign god has ever done this.

You are witnesses that I am the only God,”

says the Lord.

13 “From eternity to eternity I am God.

No one can snatch anyone out of my hand.

No one can undo what I have done.”

17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.

18 I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

19 I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together:

20 That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.

21 Produce your cause, saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.

22 Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.

23 Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.

24 Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you.

25 I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon morter, and as the potter treadeth clay.

26 Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words.

27 The first shall say to Zion, Behold, behold them: and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings.

28 For I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counsellor, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word.

29 Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion.

42 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.

A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.

Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:

I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

10 Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.

11 Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.

12 Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare his praise in the islands.

13 The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.

14 I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.

15 I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools.

16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

17 They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.

18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.

19 Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lord's servant?

20 Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.

21 The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.

22 But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.

23 Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?

24 Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the Lord, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.

25 Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.

43 But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.

Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;

I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.

Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.

10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.

12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.

13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

Ephesians 2:1-22

Made Alive in Christ

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,ver 5; Col 2:13in which you used to livever 3, 11-13; Ro 11:30; 1Co 6:11; 5:8; Col 3:7; Tit 3:3; 1Pe 4:3 when you followed the ways of this worldRo 12:2 and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air,S Jn 12:31 the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.Eph 5:6All of us also lived among them at one time,S ver 2 gratifying the cravings of our fleshIn contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.S Gal 5:24 and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.But because of his great love for us,S Jn 3:16 God, who is rich in mercy,made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressionsver 1; Ps 103:12—it is by grace you have been saved.ver 8; Jn 5:24; S Ac 15:11And God raised us up with ChristS Ro 6:5 and seated us with himEph 1:20 in the heavenly realmsS Eph 1:3 in Christ Jesus,in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace,S Ro 2:4 expressed in his kindnessTit 3:4 to us in Christ Jesus.For it is by graceS Ro 3:24 you have been saved,ver 5 through faithS Ro 9:30—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works,Dt 9:5; Ro 4:2; 2Ti 1:9; Tit 3:5 so that no one can boast.1Co 1:2910 For we are God’s handiwork,Isa 29:23; 43:7; 60:21 createdEph 4:24 in Christ Jesus to do good works,S Tit 2:14 which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Jew and Gentile Reconciled Through Christ

11 Therefore, remember that formerlyS ver 2 you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)Col 2:1112 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreignersIsa 14:1; 65:1 to the covenants of the promise,Gal 3:17 without hope1Th 4:13 and without God in the world.13 But now in Christ Jesus you who onceS ver 2 were far away have been brought nearver 17 by the blood of Christ.Col 1:20

14 For he himself is our peace,ver 15; S Jn 14:27 who has made the two groups one1Co 12:13; Eph 3:6 and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,15 by setting aside in his fleshCol 1:21, 22 the law with its commands and regulations.Col 2:14 His purpose was to create in himself oneGal 3:28 new humanity out of the two, thus making peace,16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross,2Co 5:18; Col 1:20, 22 by which he put to death their hostility.17 He came and preached peaceS Lk 2:14 to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.ver 13; Ps 148:14; Isa 57:1918 For through him we both have accessEph 3:12 to the FatherCol 1:12 by one Spirit.1Co 12:13; Eph 4:4

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers,ver 12 but fellow citizensPhp 3:20 with God’s people and also members of his household,Gal 6:1020 built1Co 3:9 on the foundationMt 16:18; 1Co 3:10; Rev 21:14 of the apostles and prophets,S Eph 4:11 with Christ Jesus himself1Co 3:11 as the chief cornerstone.S Ac 4:11; 1Pe 2:4-821 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple1Co 3:16, 17 in the Lord.22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.1Co 3:16

Made Alive with Christ

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins.You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world.Greek obeying the commander of the power of the air. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Oneness and Peace in Christ

11 Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts.12 In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope.13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.

14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups.16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.

17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near.18 Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.

A Temple for the Lord

19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Psalm 67:1-7

Psalm 67In Hebrew texts 67:1-7 is numbered 67:2-8.

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm. A song.

May God be gracious to us and bless us

and make his face shine on us—The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 4.Nu 6:24-26

so that your ways may be known on earth,

your salvationIsa 40:5; 52:10; 62:1 among all nations.Ps 98:2; Isa 62:2; Ac 10:35; Tit 2:11

May the peoples praise you, God;

may all the peoples praise you.ver 5

May the nations be glad and sing for joy,Ps 100:1-2

for you rule the peoples with equityS Ps 9:4; 96:10-13

and guide the nations of the earth.Ps 68:32

May the peoples praise you, God;

may all the peoples praise you.

The land yields its harvest;S Ge 8:22; S Lev 26:4; Ps 85:12; Isa 55:10; Eze 34:27; Zec 8:12

God, our God, blesses us.S Ge 12:2

May God bless us still,

so that all the ends of the earthS Ps 2:8 will fear him.Ps 33:8

Psalm 67

For the choir director: A song. A psalm, to be accompanied by stringed instruments.

May God be merciful and bless us.

May his face smile with favor on us. Interlude

May your ways be known throughout the earth,

your saving power among people everywhere.

May the nations praise you, O God.

Yes, may all the nations praise you.

Let the whole world sing for joy,

because you govern the nations with justice

and guide the people of the whole world. Interlude

May the nations praise you, O God.

Yes, may all the nations praise you.

Then the earth will yield its harvests,

and God, our God, will richly bless us.

Yes, God will bless us,

and people all over the world will fear him.

67 God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.

That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.

Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.

O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.

Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.

Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.

God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.

Proverbs 23:29-35

Saying 19

29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?

Who has strife? Who has complaints?

Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?

30 Those who linger over wine,ver 20-21; Isa 5:11

who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.

31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,

when it sparkles in the cup,

when it goes down smoothly!

32 In the end it bites like a snake

and poisons like a viper.

33 Your eyes will see strange sights,

and your mind will imagine confusing things.

34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,

lying on top of the rigging.

35 “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt!

They beat me, but I don’t feel it!

When will I wake up

so I can find another drink?”Pr 20:1

29 Who has anguish? Who has sorrow?

Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining?

Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?

30 It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns,

trying out new drinks.

31 Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is,

how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down.

32 For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake;

it stings like a viper.

33 You will see hallucinations,

and you will say crazy things.

34 You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea,

clinging to a swaying mast.

35 And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it.

I didn’t even know it when they beat me up.

When will I wake up

so I can look for another drink?”

29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?

30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.

34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.

35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

Sep 22 Sep 24
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