October 24, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO BEND US WITHOUT BREAKING US

Isaiah 42:1 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. 2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. 4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law

EXPLANATION:
BRUISED REED
A bruised reed – The word ‘reed’ means the cane or calamus which grows up in marshy or wet places (Isaiah 36:6; Isaiah 43:24). The word literally denotes that which is fragile, weak, easily waved by the wind, or broken down; and stands in contrast with a lofty and firm tree.

* Matthew 11:7 ‘What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?’

The word here, therefore, may be applied to people who are moved and broken by circumstances or failure; that feel that they have no strength to bear up against the ills of life. The word ‘bruised’ means that which is broken or crushed, but not entirely broken off.

JESUS DOESN’T BRAKE THE BRUISED
Jesus never discouraged anyone. If there was any life or hope left in a situation, Jesus capitalized on it! When Peter sank, Jesus noticed his “little” faith. Jesus welcomed Stephen home by standing. While Paul was at a low point in his life, Jesus came and stood by him in jail. Jesus encouraged a backslidden Peter to get back to serving God.
During the storm in Matthew 14:27, He told the disciples not to fear. Jesus told the woman who was caught in adultery that she could be forgiven (John 8:3).

* John6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

God will not break the bruised reed. Maybe the winds of life have bent you. Maybe the storms of circumstances have bruised and battered your strength. Maybe your reed has been damaged by others or even by yourself. If your reed is still alive, He can still use it.
God doesn’t quit! Verse four says He never gets “discouraged”, and there is something in your life God can use. God loves to take broken Reeds and mend them, fix them, rehabilitate them, nurture them. I am persuaded that He is able.

October 23, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO MAKE IT UNDERSTANDABLE

MATTHEW 13: 10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He was God in the flesh. That is as high as you get. He is over all, above all, and beyond all. But although Jesus was over all of mankind in His position, Jesus never treated anyone in a condescending way. Jesus never talked down to anyone. Jesus always put others above Himself.

* Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Jesus was wise enough to make the gospel understandable. It would not help anyone if they could not understand it. Jesus did not use fancy words, higher educated phrases, or conceited jargon. Jesus used parables. Jesus talked at people’s level. Jesus was literally “down to earth”. Sometimes we do not share our faith because we think that we will not be smart enough, smooth enough, or educated enough. People do not normally want that anyway. They do not want to feel like they are being manipulated, fast talked, or sold something. They just want it to be understandable. I encourage you today, share what God has done for you with others. You don’t need to have all the answers. You just need to introduce them to the One that has the answers.

October 22, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO KNOW THE REAL ME

Jeremiah 12:3 But thou, O LORD, knowest me…

Very few people in our life really know us. Your mate probably knows you well, and yet often you will hear of a mate that has been deceitful and kept things from their mate. I can’t tell you how many times I have had a brokenhearted husband or wife look at me and say, “I had no idea”, or “I never saw it coming”.

Our children know us well. They probably know us better than we realize. They see us and watch us as we face everything that comes our way. Sometimes we handle it well, and sometimes we handle it poorly. They see our failures, our weaknesses, and our shortcomings. They make fun of our mannerisms and our quirks because they see it all. They imitate us because they know us so well.

If you are blessed with close friends, they know you well too. They know how you feel about certain things and they know what has hurt you. They know what you like and enjoy, and they know what you can’t stand. They know your frustrations, your regrets, and your victories.

No one, however, knows the real you like God does. We still tend to put on a good facade. We try to put our best foot forward and be on our best behavior. We would be embarrassed if our mate, or children, or even our friends knew some of the things we have thought in our minds. We would be embarrassed if our children knew some of the things we have done. Even those who know us the best, really don’t know all there is to know.

God does! There is nothing that ever has or will be hidden from God. In fact, the verse goes even further:

3 But thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward thee:

God knows things that no one else knows, God has seen things that no one else has seen, and God knows the inside of your heart, which no one else really knows. It is good to start each day remembering that God knows you. We might hide a lot of things from a lot of people, but we will never hide anything from God. Live today remembering throughout the day that God knows you. It will change our day, our attitude, and our heart. God knows you, and He is watching you. Do not ever forget that.

October 20, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO CORRECT ME

Jeremiah 10:24 O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.

I have always been told to avoid disciplining your children when you are extremely angry. You do not want to discipline them out of anger, you want to discipline them in love. So, if something happens that merits strong discipline, make sure you are calm, in control, and composed before you discipline. You want the discipline to bring your children closer to you and the Lord, not take them further away in bitterness.

This word “judgment” is a legal term. It means to listen to all sides before deciding. It means to weigh all the angles before passing sentence. Here Jeremiah is saying that God’s people deserved God’s correction. There was no argument about that. I think you and I can say the same thing. We deserve God’s discipline at times. We’ve done wrong and we really have no excuse. But Jeremiah was asking that God consider several things before handing down the sentence. Jeremiah wanted God to consider the depravity of man. Jeremiah wanted God to remember that they were flesh, that they were sinners. Jeremiah wanted God to discipline with love, not just in anger at their sin.

Sin makes God angry. It always has. God hates sin, and He always will. If God disciplined us in anger, we could not survive that. We need God’s mercy. We need God to “calm down” if you will. Jeremiah was echoing what David said:

* Psalm 38:1 O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

If God let His wrath loose on us, there would be “nothing” left. God will let His wrath loose one day. He will unleash it on Satan and those who have rejected God. It will be a horrible day. Our minds cannot fathom how horrible it will be. I encourage you to take time today to thank God for His mercy. He could disintegrate us immediately. We probably would deserve it. But God’s mercy is everlasting to us that know Him.

Remember:

* Psalm 103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. 9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. 10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

October 19, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO BE THE ONLY TRUE GOD

Jeremiah 10:10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

Some powerful statements are made in this verse. They tell us so much about the characteristics of God. The more we know about God, the better. We can study the Bible our entire lives and still not know all there is to know about God. He is an inexhaustible subject, and an incomprehensible God. These statements describe who God is, and what kind of God He is.

THE AUTHENTIC GOD
10 “But the LORD is the true God”.
Don’t you love the Word of God? It does not say that our Lord is “a” true God, it says “the” true God. He is the only one. A god is anyone or anything that an individual worships. A lot of people worship a lot of different things, but our God is the only one that deserves it and has earned it. So many things are false today. There are false teachers, false doctrines, false gods, and false promises. Our God, however, is authentic. He is true, and He is truth.

THE ALIVE GOD
“He is the living God”
Here is that definite article again. “The” living God. As Matthew says, “He is not here: for He is risen”. He is the only founder of any faith of whom there is an empty grave. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. This is the difference maker. This is what sets us apart. This is the foundation of all of our faith and belief. The fact that God is alive.

THE ALMIGHTY GOD
“Everlasting King”
God is not just true, God is in charge. God is sovereign. He is “King”. God is on the throne. This means we answer to Him. God is love but notice what this verse says about our King. “At His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide His indignation”. Let me put it this way, you do not want to take on our King. The whole “earth” is smart enough to be respectful of the King of Kings. Entire nations know that they are no match to the power of our sovereign ruler.

I encourage you today, let’s praise God for being authentic, praise God for being alive, and respect God for being the Almighty everlasting King.

October 18, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO BE EXALTED

Psalm 57:5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.

Notice if you will the progression in this wonderful chapter:

2 I will cry unto God most high…..

3 He shall send from heaven, and save me…….

5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens…….

9 I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people….

10 For thy mercy is great …….

Isn’t that great? What a synopsis of life as a Christian. We have a need, we go to God with that need, God meets that need, God is exalted by meeting our need, and then we praise God for what He has done. That whole process seems to operate correctly in each of our lives until we get to verse nine, if you will, of our life. So often we forget to praise the Lord after He has met our need. We overlook that part. We remember to cry out, and we do not mind God meeting our need, but often it ends there. God met the need, so God needs to be exalted. We need to give God the glory and give God the praise for what He has done.

What needs has God met in your life lately? Can you remember? We have trouble remembering all the details over a months’ time. Just imagine over the past year how many needs that God has met in our life that we have failed to praise Him for. Let me give an example that I am guilty of. We need breath to survive do we not? We must have breath to even make it through the night. When was the last time you awoke first thing in the morning and praised God that you had breath? I overlook it and take it for granted. Do you?

Let’s make sure we do not skip verse nine today. Let’s exalt God, and praise God today for His mercy, His generosity, and His faithfulness. Remember, we cry, we receive, and we praise. God hears, God saves, and God is exalted.