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Look to the Rock May 4, 2008

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Isaiah 51

1 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness
and who seek the LORD :
Look to the rock from which you were cut
and to the quarry from which you were hewn;

2 look to Abraham, your father,
and to Sarah, who gave you birth.
When I called him he was but one,
and I blessed him and made him many.

3 The LORD will surely comfort Zion
and will look with compassion on all her ruins;
he will make her deserts like Eden,
her wastelands like the garden of the LORD.
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the sound of singing.

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Isaiah encourages us to look back to the rock from which we came.  Why would he do this?  I think there are probably many reason, but here he seems to note 4 that we should remember:

1.  The Lord blessed in the past.  He reminds us of the story of Abraham and Sarah and how they hoped against all hope and God provided for them.  Since He has blessed in the past we should be encouraged knowing that He will bless in the present and future.

2. The Lord provides comfort and compassion on His own.  When things appear to be at their worst, God has a way of stepping in and providing hope.

3.  The Lord takes wastelands and makes them into gardens.  What we make wastelands, God turns to beautiful lush gardens.

4.  When we remember such things it should lead us to joy, gladness and thanksgiving.

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Isaiah continues with some powerful reminders of His power and work!

4 “Listen to me, my people;
hear me, my nation:
The law will go out from me;
my justice will become a light to the nations.

5 My righteousness draws near speedily,
my salvation is on the way,
and my arm will bring justice to the nations.
The islands will look to me
and wait in hope for my arm.

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The Lord calls us to listen and to hear what He is saying to His people.  He is at work.  His righteousness is coming quickly!  May we take note of God’s word and His work around us and be ready.

May we never forget to look to the Rock!

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Is the Lord’s Arm too Short? April 23, 2008

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Isaiah 50

1 This is what the LORD says:
“Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce
with which I sent her away?
Or to which of my creditors
did I sell you?
Because of your sins you were sold;
because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.

2 When I came, why was there no one?
When I called, why was there no one to answer?
Was my arm too short to ransom you?
Do I lack the strength to rescue you?
By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea,
I turn rivers into a desert;
their fish rot for lack of water
and die of thirst.

3 I clothe the sky with darkness
and make sackcloth its covering.”

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Thankfully we know that the Lord’s arm is never too short. He is the Sovereign Lord that ransoms the lives of His Children. The same Lord that clothes the sky with darkness wants to know you and work in your life. Sounds pretty special to me.

Make the Most of Today April 12, 2008

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Today I was cleaning out some things in my office and came across a picture with these words on it and I thought I would pass it along here: 

I Cannot Change Yesterday,

I Can Only Make the Most of Today,

And Look with Hope Toward Tomorrow. 

Good words to live by!  Have a great day!

Will Never Forget April 8, 2008

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Do you ever forget things?  Aren’t you glad the Lord never forgets to show compassion and holds us in the palms of His hands?

Isaiah 49

13 Shout for joy, O heavens;
rejoice, O earth;
burst into song, O mountains!
For the LORD comforts his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

14 But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me,
the Lord has forgotten me.”

15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!

16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.

A Continual Struggle April 3, 2008

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Recently I have been preaching through Romans 7 where it talks about the continual struggle that is going on between our spirit and our flesh.   A church member sent me the words to an old DC Talk song called “In the Light” because it talks of that very struggle. I thought it was so good I would share it here with the Cave Dwellers.

In The Light

I keep trying to find a life
On my own, apart from you
I am the king of excuses
Ive got one for every selfish thing I do

Whats going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That Im still a man in need of a savior

(chorus)
I wanna be in the light
As you are in the light
I wanna shine like the stars in the heavens
Oh, lord be my light and be my salvation
Cause all I want is to be in the light
All I want is to be in the light

The disease of self runs through my blood
Its a cancer fatal to my soul
Every attempt on my behalf has failed
To bring this sickness under control

Tell me, whats going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That Im still a man in need of a savior

(repeat chorus)

Honesty becomes me
[theres nothing left to lose]
The secrets that did run me
[in your presence are defused]
Pride has no position
[and riches have no worth]
The fame that once did cover me
[has been sentenced to this earth]
Has been sentenced to this earth

Tell me, whats going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That Im still a man in need of a savior

(repeat chorus 2x)

[theres no other place that I want to be]
[no other place that I can see]
[a place to be thats just right]
[someday Im gonna be in the light]
[you are in the light]
[thats where I need to be]
[thats right where I need to be]

Stubborn April 1, 2008

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Are you and I stubborn?   If the answer is yes (and you know that it is) then we find ourselves in good company.  God has been dealing with stubborn children since the beginning.

Isaiah 48

3 I foretold the former things long ago,
my mouth announced them and I made them known;
then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.

4 For I knew how stubborn you were;
the sinews of your neck were iron,
your forehead was bronze.

5 Therefore I told you these things long ago;
before they happened I announced them to you
so that you could not say,
‘My idols did them;
my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’

6 You have heard these things; look at them all.
Will you not admit them?
“From now on I will tell you of new things,
of hidden things unknown to you.

7 They are created now, and not long ago;
you have not heard of them before today.
So you cannot say,
‘Yes, I knew of them.’

8 You have neither heard nor understood;
from of old your ear has not been open.
Well do I know how treacherous you are;
you were called a rebel from birth.

9 For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath;
for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you,
so as not to cut you off.

10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.
How can I let myself be defamed?
I will not yield my glory to another.

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What does God have to say to stubborn children?

1. He speaks and acts in spite of our stubbornness

2.  He knows the depth of our stubbornness and still loves us and refines us.

3.  He does it all for the sake of His glory and praise.

Let’s give up our stubborn ways and remember the Lord and His Word today!

Error March 26, 2008

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The Lord uses Isaiah here to proclaim some rather harsh words . . .

Isaiah 47

12 “Keep on, then, with your magic spells
and with your many sorceries,
which you have labored at since childhood.
Perhaps you will succeed,
perhaps you will cause terror.

13 All the counsel you have received has only worn you out!
Let your astrologers come forward,
those stargazers who make predictions month by month,
let them save you from what is coming upon you.

14 Surely they are like stubble;
the fire will burn them up.
They cannot even save themselves
from the power of the flame.
Here are no coals to warm anyone;
here is no fire to sit by.

15 That is all they can do for you—
these you have labored with
and trafficked with since childhood.
Each of them goes on in his error;
there is not one that can save you.

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There is nothing humanly speaking that can save us.  On our own we can attempt anything we want and try any new program or gimmick and we are hopeless.

If there story ended there it would be a very sad commentary.

But let us not forget one other verse in Isaiah 47:

4 Our Redeemer—the LORD Almighty is his name—
is the Holy One of Israel.

Salvation is only found in Him, everything else is error.

He is Risen! March 23, 2008

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“You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.  He has risen! He is not here.” Mark 16:6

May all of you have a wonderful Easter!

Good Friday March 21, 2008

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Luke 23

44It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. 47The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

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Lest we ever forget the glorious cross!

My Purpose Will Stand March 19, 2008

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Isaiah 46

9 Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.

10 I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say: My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.

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We hear a lot today about purpose. The problem I see with that concept is that it often focuses too much on man’s purpose and not enough on God’s purpose. Our focus should be on His purpose. Why? Because His purpose will stand!