Isaiah 4:3

Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem.

In the previous chapter we hear a scathing doom and gloom prophecy against Judah and Jerusalem.  In Israel, however, there is a remnant, survivors, those whom God will call holy.  Because of them, He will provide protection and a shelter.  We want to be part of the remnant, those who love God and honor Him in a society that seems to be going the other direction

Isaiah 3:10

Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.

In the midst of this scathing judgment on Israel comes verse 10.  God is faithful to reassure the righteous remnant not only that they will be cared for by Him, but also,  that they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds while the wicked will, instead, come to disaster.  Our righteousness is in Christ Jesus, the Saviour.  He is our Ark of Safety.

Isaiah 2:12

The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled)…

If we were ever in doubt…here it is.  all the proud and lofty have a “day” already set aside in eternity when they will be humbled  by God.  No need for us to seek revenge,  or even to wonder when someone will be brought to justice – God has already decided it.  If they do not repent, they will perish.

Isaiah 1: 27 and 28

Zion will be redeemed with justice, her penitent ones with righteousness.  But rebels and sinners will both be broken, and those who forsake the LORD will perish.

Repentance brings redemption and righteousness – sounds like the “3 Rs” of spirituality.  Those who forsake the Lord will perish.

Here it is in the prophecy of Isaiah – the Gospel, pure and simple.  Repent and be redeemed, or forsake God and perish.

Acts 28: 26 & 27

“Go to this people and say, ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.’  For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.  Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.”

This can happen to us.  If we neglect our time in God’s Word, if we choose to do things our way instead of the way God has clearly laid out for us, we too can become calloused and hard-hearted.  We will know it when this happens.  When what WE WANT becomes more important than what God wants, when having our own way is more important than the needs of others, we are on our way to a calloused heart.

 

Acts 27

Their ship ran aground and was destroyed, but they were saved.  The vessel that carried them through the storm was damaged, but they were saved.  What a great analogy for our lives!  We may suffer through storms of physical illness, financial struggles or broken relationships, but we are saved.  As Christians, our lives are secure in the palm of God, no matter the storms that buffet our lives.

Acts 26:17 and 18

I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles.  I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that the may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.

Before we knew Christ as Saviour, we were governed by the power of sin and Satan.  We lived in darkness.  Only Jesus, The Light of the World can pierce this darkness, heal our blindness and release us from the power of sin.  Sometimes we look at people and shake our heads.  How can they act the way they do?  If they are not Bible believing Christians, they are in the dark still.  This is a truth to remember when we are praying for unsaved family and friends.

Acts 25

We often speak of Paul’s missionary journeys.  My Bible has a map in the back of it that highlights the missionary journeys of Paul.  But here in Acts 25 we read of the most amazing missionary journey of all.  From Felix (like a county commissioner), to Festus, the governor, to Agrippa the king, and then on to the highest authority in the land – Caesar himself.  Would Paul have had access to these people and places any other way?  Most likely not.  God had a plan.  Paul’s suffering was not in vain.

How are you suffering?  Do you feel trapped or imprisoned?  Lift your eyes.  Look from your circumstances to the God Who loves you.  What is He doing for you, or for others through the struggles of this life?

Acts 24:27

When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison.

Felix kept Paul in prison, his case undecided so he could continue to hear Paul speak to him of Jesus and the Way.  This is an unusual mission field – Felix, his wife, Paul’s jailers, but also,this is the birthplace of most of the epistles, the letters to the churches. found in the New Testament.  If you feel that you are confined, and have no ministry opportunities, look around, you may have a greater impact than you realize.