Daily Encouragement

September 30 – Hephzibah: The Lord Delighteth in Me!

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

Isaiah 60:2-3 — This passage forms the tenth movement of Handel’s Messiah. Verse three foreshadows the Great Commission – universal, no longer tribal.

Isaiah 60:19 — Revelation 21:23 and 22:5 echo this verse, but notice the addition in Revelation 21:23 – the lamp of the city is the Lamb!

Isaiah 61:1-2 — Jesus’ first synagogue message in Nazareth after His baptism (Luke 4:16) was from Isaiah. Interestingly, this was not His request, but it was given to Him (Luke 4:17). He quoted from this verse and presumably from Isaiah 60:3. Notice that Jesus stopped in the middle of verse 2. This was not the day of vengeance but the day of mercy. Yet, the synagogue crowd tried to stone him (Luke 4:29).

The traditional site of the synagogue is believed to be under this church in Nazareth.

Isaiah 62:4 — The woman called “Forsaken” shall now be called “Hephzibah”, i.e. the LORD delighteth in me! What a gracious and forgiving God we serve!

Philippians 1:29 — Suffering is a gift of God.

Philippians 2:7 — This is referred to as the Kenosis passage, as Jesus debased himself unto the death of the cross.

Philippians 2:10-11 — Yes, every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Philippians 2:14 — Murmurings? Paul had to warn the Corinthians about that (1 Corinthians 10:10), and remember that the Israelites had done the same thing to Moses (Exodus 15:24).

Psalm 72:1 — Who is this King that has dominion unto the ends of the earth (Psalm 72:8)? The answer is in vs. 18 – this is the LORD God’s reign on earth.

Proverbs 24:11-12 — Paul echoed this thought in 1 Corinthians 9:16. “Thousands are dying, every day now, with no hope or light. How can we standby without telling of Christ’s great sacrifice!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

September 29 – Never Give In!

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

Isaiah 57:15 — This is a great memory verse to add to your list. The plan for revival is what Isaiah saw in Isaiah 6, i.e. understanding Who God is and who we are.

Isaiah 58:5-7 — Does God prefer sackcloth and ashes or action? God wants us to loose the bands of wickedness, set free the oppressed, feed the hungry, clothe the needy. Is Isaiah teaching social justice? No, he’s teaching personal justice. We find that the more important religion is to a person, the more likely that person is to give. Is Isaiah talking about giving money to the panhandler? If you’re thinking about giving a couple bucks so that you feel better, then I think that’s what God is talking about in vs. 5. It’s “tokenism!” In vs. 7 God talks about a radical idea; “bring the poor that are cast out to thy house!” Wisconsin State Rep. Dale Kooyenga has been a passionate advocate for SafeFamilies, an interesting church-based alternative to foster care.

Isaiah 58:13 — Romans 14:6 answers the question of what day is the Sabbath for believers. Just like Jesus expanded adultery from the act to the thought in Matthew 5:28, Paul expanded the Sabbath to every day. Do we idolize our own pleasure, or do we delight ourselves in the LORD (Isaiah 58:14)? With the average working American spending just 2 minutes a day on religious activity, it’s hard to say we are fulfilling this call at all.

Isaiah 59:2 — Why aren’t my prayers answered? Because God does not hear us when we sin.

Isaiah 59:7 — Over one billion babies have been estimated to have been killed by abortion worldwide.

Philippians 1:9 — What was Paul’s thoughts towards the Philippians? Was he jumping into correcting their heresy like he did with the Galatians, or was he dealing with serious sin like he had to with the Corinthians? No, his prayer for the Philippians is that their “love may abound yet more and more.” Les Ollila shared how studying 1 Corinthians 13 changed his view of his life. If we do not have love, we have no reward.

Philippians 1:21 — For me to live is Christ, to die is gain!

Psalm 71:1 — In whom is your trust? This Psalm is the senior citizen prayer (Psalm 71:9, Psalm 71:18).

Proverbs 24:10 — 

Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

Winston Churchill

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Ark Encounter Blue Sky
Daily Encouragement

September 28 – Temporary Pain, Everlasting Mercy

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

Isaiah 54:1 — Galatians 4:27 quotes this verse talking about Jerusalem in reference to Sarah. Theologians are still unsure about how the verses fit together.

Isaiah 54:7-8 — Exodus 20:5-6 states that God will punish sin for 3-4 generations but have mercy for a thousand generations. Here we see a small forsaking but great mercies. Little wrath but everlasting kindness. Throughout the Bible we are warned that yes, God’s punishment will hurt but it’s worth it (Proverbs 3:12, Hebrews 12:6, Revelation 3:19, Deuteronomy 8:5, Psalm 94:12, Proverbs 13:24).

Isaiah 54:9 — I’m writing this having just been to the Ark Encounter today. Someone told Ken Ham, “Your boat won’t float!” Ken Ham said, “We don’t need it to float! God has sworn that the world will never flood again!”

Ark Encounter Blue Sky
Ark Encounter Blue Sky

Isaiah 55:2 — How’s this for a bad investment? Spending money for counterfeit bread when God is offering food for free (Isaiah 55:1)!

Isaiah 55:6 — When is the time of salvation? 2 Corinthians 6:2! Take advantage of the abundant pardon (Isaiah 55:7).

Isaiah 55:10-11 — The song “This is My Word” is based on these verses.

Isaiah 56:4-5 — From EnterTheBible.org:

Eunuchs were excluded from temple worship by Torah itself (Deuteronomy 23:1-3; Leviticus 21:18-20), not for moral or ethnic reasons but because they were understood to be “blemished,” excluded by the purity laws in the same way that blemished lambs were not acceptable as sacrifices …

But now, says the Lord (through the prophet), all that is changed. Foreigners and eunuchs are welcomed in the same way as anyone else–that is, those who keep the sabbath and hold fast the covenant. Sabbath-keeping had taken on even greater importance during the exile because it was a religious observance and a sign of the covenant that people could do within the family even when there was no temple for sacrifice and festival worship.


Relational commands started yesterday; they were addressed to husbands and wives. Today, Paul’s addressing children (Ephesians 6:1), then those with a parent (Ephesians 6:2-3), followed by fathers (Ephesians 6:4), servants (Ephesians 6:5-8), and finally masters (Ephesians 6:9).

We have a gap between Ephesians 6:1 and 6:2 because while children (those under 18, for lack of a better definition) are commanded to obey, all are commanded to honor.

Ephesians 6:10-11 — From Earl Martin:

Ephesians 6:15 — We read the other day in the Old Testament about the beautiful feet of preachers (Isaiah 52:7); today, we read in the New Testament about the feet ready to preach the Gospel!

Psalm 70:5 — Echoing the great truth of Psalm 40:17!

Proverbs 24:8 — What name do you want (Proverbs 22:1)?

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

September 27 – Who Is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53?

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

Isaiah 51:6 — Someone recently posted on Facebook that they can’t believe that the Bible teaches that the Day of the LORD is “an event that involves the whole earth literally burning-up.” They believe all of Bible prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70, and presumably we’re just lingering on until something happens, but nobody knows what. They point to the Old Testament prophecies as the key to interpreting the New Testament prophecies, but both Old & New Testaments point to an incredible event that has not happened yet.

Isaiah 51:11 — This is an incredible promise set to music:

Isaiah 51:13 — From Abraham Lincoln, March 30, 1863:

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

Isaiah 52:7 — The prophecy of the preacher’s beautiful feet! Quoted by Paul in Romans 10:12-15.

Isaiah 52:13 — Who is this servant of the LORD? He shall be very high? “Very high” is a rare expression, used in a negative contrast in Deuteronomy 28:43, describing a divinely placed setting in Ezekiel 40:2, and most important to our discussion, describing the righteousness of God in Psalm 71:19.

Isaiah 52:14 — What servant is exalted (Isaiah 52:13), marred (Isaiah 52:14), without beauty (Isaiah 53:2), and despised and rejected (Isaiah 53:3)? This doesn’t seem to make sense … yet.

Isaiah 53:3 — ”Man of Sorrows” is only found in this verse, but it was the subject of a hymn by Philip Bliss.

Isaiah 53:4 — The exalted servant (Isaiah 52:13) will be mutilated (Isaiah 52:14-53:3) for us (Isaiah 53:4-11). This is the doctrine of the vicarious atonement. The innocent slain for the guilty. Summarized in one verse: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21).”

Isaiah 53:5 — Yes, he was wounded for our transgressions!

Isaiah 53:6 — From Earl Martin:

We’re told that the suffering servant will die (Isaiah 53:9), that he is the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15), and that he will be bruised (Isaiah 53:10) as a sin offering. How is it that he will also prolong his days? Keep in mind what happened to the sin offerings in Leviticus – they were unblemished (Isaiah 52:13) but slaughtered (Isaiah 53:8-9). Not just beaten. Slain.

But does this verse mean that the suffering servant who dies as a human sacrifice will be resurrected? Can this amazing description of Jesus really be written aforetime? Would God have preserved a scroll written two hundred years before the birth of Jesus only to be discovered just 70 years ago? Isn’t it amazing that we can browse this very scroll in high definition on our phones right now?

Ephesians 5:2 — Jumping over to the New Testament, we see the “why” to the mystery of the suffering servant. Because of love, He was the offering.

Ephesians 5:3 — Because of His love, our values are not set by opinion polls but by the Lord Jesus Christ. We’re not participating in the long list of sins (Ephesians 5:3-12).

Ephesians 5:16 — Need help? Check with our friend Rick Grubbs!

Ephesians 5:19 — Why do I include so many Scripture-based songs in the emails? Because we are commanded to speak to ourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs! God did not abrogate the hymnbook of Israel (Psalms).

Ephesians 5:22 — Submission, a controversial topic today, is matched with self-sacrifice (Ephesians 5:25). Not “throwing socks in the general direction of the laundry basket” but vicarious self-sacrifice. Both seem extreme. This is a radical standard for marital relationships that Paul is advocating; it’s far from today’s push to ban “’til death do us part” with a new standard of “give it a good try and you’re ok.” Yes, biblical Christianity is vastly different from modern society.

Ephesians 5:31 — Having recently “leaved and cleaved,” I am working continually on the next part: “… love his wife even as himself …” (Ephesians 5:33). As someone once said, the Christian life isn’t difficult. It’s impossible!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

September 26 – Ten S’s of Ephesians 4 for the Saved

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

Isaiah 48:17 — So many people are afraid of what God will lead them into. God wants you to profit! Yes, the word literally means “profit.” Now, God doesn’t believe in “get rich quick schemes” – His path for your profit may not be your path (see Job) but trust His Word!

Isaiah 49:16 — Can God forget you? Your name is graven on His hands!

Isaiah 50:7 — Hope … another word destroyed by popular culture! From Webster’s 1828 Dictionary: “Hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired … Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well-founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises; a scriptural sense.” We do not need to wish for God’s help; God is our hope – He will help!

Ephesians 4:17 — How are you walking? Those who know not God walk self-confidently, separated from God (Ephesians 4:18), sightless (Ephesians 4:18), submitted to sensuality (Ephesians 4:19), and seeking sin (Ephesians 4:19).

Ephesians 4:23 — What are we to replace our former conversation with? (Ephesians 4:22):

  • Sanctification (Ephesians 4:23)
  • Sanctity (Ephesians 4:24)
  • Sincerity (Ephesians 4:25)
  • Smoothness (Ephesians 4:26)
  • Steadfastness (Ephesians 4:27)
  • Sharing (Ephesians 4:28)
  • Supportive Speech (Ephesians 4:29)
  • Sealing of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30)
  • Separation from sin (Ephesians 4:31)
  • Softheartedness (Ephesians 4:32)

Psalm 69:5 — “It ought to render confession easy, when we are assured that all is known already.” (Spurgeon)

Psalm 69:9 — Jesus identified with this verse in John 2:17, but obviously not Psalm 69:5. But Psalm 69:8 could apply to Jesus as well.

Proverbs 24:6 — One of the oldest proverbs on the value of diversification (“multitude of”). Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, even in the wisdom market!

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Daily Encouragement

September 25 – Every Knee Shall Bow!

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

Isaiah 45:12 — Creation is not just a doctrine taught in Genesis. It’s emphasized again and again throughout the Bible (Psalm 102:25; Nehemiah 9:6; Isaiah 40:28, 42:5, 44:24, 45:12, 45:18; Jeremiah 27:5, 32:17; Zechariah 12:1; Hebrews 11:3).

Isaiah 45:18 — Evolution says that modern man (homo sapiens) has been around for only 0.078% of the alleged 4.5 billion years that the earth has been here. Yet, the earth was created to be inhabited. Theistic evolution compromises the authority of God’s Word.

Isaiah 45:22 — God declares a universal invitation – look and live!

Isaiah 45:23 — This promise is echoed throughout the New Testament, but especially in Romans 14:11 and Philippians 2:10. Notice that Isaiah stops short – what will every tongue declare? Paul says in Philippians that they’ll declare Jesus Christ is LORD!

Isaiah 47:10 — “None seeth me.” Throughout the prophets, we’ll see God attacking this false belief.

Ephesians 4:3-6 — The unity of believers is a beautiful thing. However, we must be united in truth.

Ephesians 4:11 — What gift has God given you that you can use for the ministry? We see in this verse the free gifts (vs. 11), the function of the gifts (vs. 12), and the fulfillment of the gifts (vs. 13).

Ephesians 4:15 — The balance between speaking the truth and speaking it in love is tough. On the one hand, you have groups dedicated to “love.” Love is love, according to them, but they never define love. On the other hand, you have the Westboro Baptist Church gang that preaches “truth.” The path of the straight and narrow is framed by deep ditches on each side!

Psalm 68:19 — What a great prayer of thanksgiving to declare each morning!

Proverbs 24:3 — Yes, wisdom is the foundation and the building block of our lives!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

September 24 – God Called a Pagan King by Name 150 Years Before He Was Born!

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

Isaiah 43:14-15 — Notice the titles for the LORD. Who is this that is addressing us? The LORD, Our Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the Creator of Israel, Our King! Sometimes we forget Who we serve.

Isaiah 43:22 — Have we ever grown weary of our LORD, Redeemer, Creator and King? Have we gone without calling on the LORD, have we wearied Him with our iniquities (Isaiah 43:24)?

Isaiah 43:25-26 — 

The 1 John 1:9 of the Old Testament! We can have our sins blotted out! Notice the play on words:

  • If you remember me – I won’t remember thy sins!
  • Instead, we forget God and He remembers our sins!

Isaiah 44:2 — “Jeshurun” – this is the only mention of this name other than in Deuteronomy. Ellicott believes it’s a tender nickname:

“Jeshurun is a diminutive—a term of endearment: either ‘the child of the upright’, or ‘the beloved Israel'”. He suggested that “the letters of the diminutive of Israel, if slightly abbreviated, would make ‘Jeshurun'”


Isaiah 44:3 — While the verse comes from Isaiah 55:1-2, the chorus comes from Isaiah 44:3 – “Ho! Every One That Is Thirsty“.

Isaiah 44:19 — Jacob (Genesis 35:2) knew God’s commands 400 years before Moses had them carved into stone (Exodus 20:3). Eight hundred years after Moses, God is having to point out to His people the stupidity of idol worship. That which isn’t burned as fuel is worshiped as a god? Really?

Isaiah 44:25 — Speaking of foolish:

Andrew Grove was one of the founders of Intel, which profoundly shaped the semiconductor industry. He was Time Magazine‘s Man of The Year in 1997. Yet in 1992 he made a prediction that looks amazingly shortsighted in retrospect.

A New York Times article described Grove as standing diametrically opposed to the position taken by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) that smartphones, then imagined as “personal communicators,” might develop into a huge business.

Grove disagreed. The idea of a communicating device that people carried around with them is “a pipe dream driven by greed,” he said.


Isaiah 44:28 — Cyrus? No, we’re not teaching the Donald Trump Prophecy! The more exciting prophecy is that Cyrus was called out by name 150 years before he was born over 2,000 kilometers away. We read the fulfillment of this prophecy in 2 Chronicles 36:22-23. It is rumored that Daniel was the one who showed Cyrus the prophecies. By the way, liberals see this verse as proof that Isaiah was written after Cyrus was king! From Josephus:

This was known to Cyrus by his reading the book which Isaiah left behind him of his prophecies. For this Prophet said, that God had spoken thus to him in a secret vision: “My will is, that Cyrus, whom I have appointed to be King over many and great nations, send back my people to their own land, and build my temple.” This was foretold by Isaiah one hundred and forty years before the temple was demolished. Accordingly when Cyrus read this, and admired the divine power, an earnest desire and an ambition seized upon him, to fulfil what was so written. So he called for the most eminent Jews that were in Babylon, and said to them, that “He gave them leave to go back to their own countrey, and to rebuild their city Jerusalem, (3) and the temple of God; for that he would be their assistant; and that he would write to the rulers and governours that were in the neighbourhood of their countrey of Judea, that they should contribute to them gold and silver, for the building of the temple; and besides that, beasts for their sacrifices.”


Ephesians 3:6 — Paul has been hinting at the mystery (Ephesians 3:3, Ephesians 3:4) that the Gentiles would be part of the same body as God’s chosen people, the sons of Jacob! And not only that, but God called Paul “less than the least of all saints” to preach this mystery (Ephesians 3:8)!

Ephesians 3:13 — Notice Paul’s attitude. He does not chide the Ephesians (see Galatians 3:1); he is praying for them to continue to be:

  • strengthened (Ephesians 3:16)
  • indwelt (Ephesians 3:17)
  • rooted (Ephesians 3:17)
  • grounded (Ephesians 3:17)
  • comprehending (Ephesians 3:18)
  • knowing (Ephesians 3:19)
  • filled (Ephesians 3:19)

Psalm 68:9 — I was at the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, and Franklin Graham said that rain was a sign of God’s blessing.

Psalm 68:18 — Tomorrow we’ll read about this verse in Ephesians 4:8!

Proverbs 24:1 — A message to Asaph in Psalm 73! We’ll read about him in a few days.

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

September 23 – Transformed by Grace in Ephesians!

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

Isaiah 41:23 — God dares the other gods to a challenge. Can they prophesy the future? What are they? Nothing (Isaiah 41:24)!

Isaiah 42:1 — If you feel whiplash reading Isaiah, don’t worry. Matthew Henry felt the same way:

The prophet seems here to launch out yet further into the prophecy of the Messiah and his kingdom under the type of Cyrus; and, having the great work of man’s salvation by him yet more in view, he almost forgets the occasion that led him into it and drops the return out of Babylon; for indeed the prospect of this would be a greater comfort and support to the believing pious Jews, in their captivity, than the hope of that. And (as Mr. Gataker well observes) in this and similar prophecies of Christ, that are couched in types, as of David and Solomon, some passages agree to the type and not to the truth, other to the truth and not to the type, and many to the type in one sense and the truth in another.


Isaiah 42:8 — The LORD God is a jealous God. This is repeated in Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, 1 Kings, Psalms, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Nahum, Zephaniah, and Zechariah. Elijah was jealous for God (1 Kings 19:20), and Paul was jealous (2 Corinthians 11:2). God was jealous because He has a right to be unrivaled.

Isaiah 42:10 — Sing to the LORD a new song!

Isaiah 43:1 — From Earl Martin:

Isaiah 43:2 — ”Be Not Afraid” is based on this verse.

Isaiah 43:11 — The Acts 4:12 of the Old Testament!

Ephesians 2:4 — Only God could do this! From children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3) to seated in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6)! From aliens and strangers (Ephesians 2:12) to made right by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13)! From strangers and foreigners (Ephesians 2:19) to fellow citizens of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19)!

Ephesians 2:7 — Stop and think about that for a moment … we have no clue what all God will show to us in the ages to come. God’s grace to us has only just begun!

Ephesians 2:8-9 — From Earl Martin:

Psalm 67:3 — Praise the Lord for His mercy and His grace!

Proverbs 23:33 — They say 1 out of 8 people meet their spouse in a bar. Solomon says it’s a great place to also find the strange woman!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

September 22 – Wings as Eagles

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

Isaiah 39:3 — Joshua said the same thing about the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:6). Seek the LORD first before you start making alliances (2 Corinthians 6:14).

Isaiah 40:3 — John the Baptist quoted this to identify his role (John 1:23, Mark 1:3).

Isaiah 40:5 — The Lawrence University Orchestra performed this part of Handel’s Messiah:

Isaiah 40:8 — The only two things that will live forever are God’s Word and a person’s soul. Spend time in God’s Word and with people!

Isaiah 40:11 — The Shepherd of Psalm 23 will come (from Isaiah’s perspective) and has come (from ours)!

Isaiah 40:12 — This sounds a lot like the end of Job. This wisdom poetry reminds us that we are unable to compare the LORD to anyone (Isaiah 40:25)!

Isaiah 40:28 — This is a great memory verse on the nature of God: His infinitude!

Isaiah 40:31 — This is an incredible chapter we’ve read, ending with the phrase “wings as eagles.” From our good friend Ron Hamilton:

Isaiah 41:10 — Another great verse to memorize thanks to another good friend Earl Martin:

Ephesians 1:1 — We’ve read Paul’s doctrinal discussions with the Romans, his dealings with the deep troubles of the Corinthians, his disputations with the defecting Galatians, but now we read of his delight in the Ephesians!

Ephesians 1:7 — Redemption through his blood! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!

Ephesians 1:11 — Notice how “inheritance” is used three times – we’ve obtained an inheritance through Christ (Ephesians 1:10), the Holy Spirit is the “down payment” (Ephesians 1:14), and there is unknown riches of glory ahead (Ephesians 1:18). All things, starting with our redemption, are through Jesus Christ!

Psalm 66:3 — As we mentioned before, the English language has devolved. “Terrible,” from the Latin Terreo (frighten), has been hijacked to mean “poor quality (I did a terrible job).” It’s true meaning is “impressing terror, dread, awe.”

Psalm 66:18 — The Psalmist shares with us this important truth about prayer. As we see sad tales of pastors falling into sin, we realize that their sins were done in secret. What’s sad is that, like David, it’s possible to spend a year as the leader of God’s chosen people, and yet not spend any time with God (2 Samuel 11:27).

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

September 21 – You Reap What You Sow!

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

Isaiah 37:1 — We read earlier in Kings and Chronicles that Hezekiah finally, after losing 46 cities and strip mining the temple for the gold, entered the temple to pray.

Isaiah 37:2 — Interesting that Eliakim and Shebna are working together. Isaiah 22:20 says that Eliakim was more devout and replaced Shebna from his position. Also, interesting that instead of Isaiah speaking, Isaiah is spoken to.

Isaiah 37:6 — “Fear not” is found 48 times in the Old Testament. “Be not afraid” is found 19 times.

Isaiah 37:14 — God had delivered once through disinformation (Isaiah 37:7) but allowed the threat to return – this time Hezekiah went to God first!

Isaiah 37:16 — What makes the God of Israel different from other gods (Isaiah 37:12)? This God is the Creator of heaven and earth! No other god has created anything – much less heaven and earth! In fact, they were no gods (Isaiah 37:19).

Isaiah 37:33 — He shall not shoot an arrow? Nor come with shields? Let’s look at the Lachish Reliefs (now in the British Museum). This miracle would be done not for the faithfulness of Hezekiah (took him 46 losses to turn to the LORD), but for the LORD’s own name’s sake!

British Museum

Isaiah 38:5 — The LORD who took life in Isaiah 37:36, now gives life (Isaiah 38:5).

Hezekiah shares his testimony: “My life was miserable (‘great bitterness’), but God so loved me that I should not perish, because He has forgiven me!” As the Psalmist says, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered!” (Psalm 32:1)

Hezekiah was a good king (Isaiah 38:3), but his goodness could not save him for Hezekiah was still a sinner (Isaiah 38:17). But God forgives those who call upon His name – The LORD is ready to save (Isaiah 38:20)!

Galatians 6:1 — At the Christian school I work at, this was one of the verses I challenged our staff with at in-service. We have a responsibility not just for ourselves but for our fellow brethren as well. Restore the fallen. Bear their burdens (Galatians 6:2). It’s not enough to say, “I’m ok – but the Joneses are struggling.” Love one another!

Galatians 6:6 — It is appropriate and good to share financially with those who have shared with you spiritually.

Galatians 6:7 — From our friend Patch the Pirate – “You Reap What You Sow!

Galatians 6:9 — The Christian School teacher’s life verse! Pray for those who are serving in the high stress fields!

Galatians 6:13-14 — Paul exposes motives. Those teaching obedience to the Law really don’t care about the Law, only about getting a following. Paul didn’t care about a following but in being faithful!

Psalm 65:7 — Who stills the noise of the seas (Psalm 89:9, Psalm 107:29)? The God of our Salvation (Psalm 93:4)! Interesting that this predated God’s calming of the seas after Jonah (Jonah 1:15), and the LORD’s calming of the sea of Galilee (Matthew 8:26). Yet the disciples didn’t connect His action to His deity (Matthew 8:27).

Proverbs 23:24 — Is the joy of a father found in the hours spent at the office or in the raising of a wise and godly son? Steve Jobs was an interesting example. A brilliant inventor, but by most accounts, he was a bad father. While he was alive his fame for invention grew, but now his tales of parenting are edging out his reputation.

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