I Corinthians 1:7

Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.

Ever since I first became a Christian, I have heard about spiritual gifts – how to determine which one you have, and how to use it.  Here, Paul makes it clear, we do not lack any spiritual gift.  Because the Holy Spirit operates in our souls, we lack none of the spiritual gifts.  In any given situation – conflict, counseling, grief visitations, helping the sick, leading a Bible Study – if we listen to the Spirit of God within us, and remember to ask for help, we can expect that any gift we need will be provided.

Isaiah 29: 13 and 14

The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.  Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”

Here the Lord speaks of what He will do to these empty rule followers.  He will ASTOUND them with wonder on wonder.  Their wisdom will vanish; their intelligence become as nothing.  God is flexing His muscle.  I AM Who I AM,  He says.  I am not who you think I am.

Isaiah 28:5 & 6, 16, 29

vs. 5 and 6  In that day the LORD Almighty will be a glorious crown, a beautiful wreath for the remnant of his people.  He will be a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, a source of strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.  A crowning glory to His remnant.  vs. 16  So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.”  The precious cornerstone (Jesus)   vs. 29  all this also comes from the LORD Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom.  Promises from the Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom.

In the midst of the doom and gloom and destruction that is the fabric of Isaiah 28, there are gold, silver and precious threads woven – sparkling, precious reminders of the Amazing God who loves us.  In Scrapbooking, we call these embellishments.  In this passage, they are wonderful reminders: the God of magnificent wisdom and glory is watching over us.

Isaiah 27:11

When its twigs are dry, they are broken off and women come and make fires with them.  For this is a people without understanding; so their Maker has no compassion on them, and their Creator shows them no favor.

This is clear.  These people do not acknowledge the existence of the Lord.  They do not love Him or obey Him.  Their lack of understanding does not change the truth.  God IS their Maker.  God IS their Creator.  Think of today.  People shake their  fists at God, claim He doesn’t exist, hate Him and those who follow Him.  It is a great, loud noise, but it does not change the facts:  God IS their Creator.

Isaiah 26: 1

We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts.

What an incredible picture this is – a strong city, impenetrable, able to withstand not only the battles outside the walls, but also any within the walls.  Salvation is the wall that surrounds the city, and makes it impossible for the enemy to enter.  It is also salvation that fortifies the city within its own walls.  We are secure in Christ.  Our own individual cities are protected and sustained by the walls of salvation.  The owner of our city is Christ; the mayor is the Holy Spirit.  God is our governor.  These truths make vs. 3 come alive.  vs. 3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.

Isaiah 25:1

O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.

Praise and exaltation –  for God in perfect faithfulness has done marvelous things: rescuing Israel over and over again, salvation for all including the Gentiles, destroying the death shroud and swallowing up death forever, bringing down the “bad guys”, those who celebrate evil.  All of this deserves a song of praise, but mostly we should praise Him for Who He Is, and that He chose us.  He is our God.  What confidence, what trust we can have no matter what is happening in our world.  For He has promised, therefore we know, that HE remains the same.

Isaiah 24:3

The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered.  The LORD had spoken this word.

The LORD has spoken this word.  Just as He has said He will destroy the earth, He has promised a new heaven and a new earth for those who love Him. (Revelation 21:1)  The Sovereign Lord has said this.  We believe it.  Don’t fear the collapse of earth and society.  Put hope in God and His promises.