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Post  Admin on Wed 17 Apr 2013, 10:42 pm

Date: April 17, 2013 12:08 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Serving One Lord
Serving One Lord

"We want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." (Daniel 3:18)
Scripture Focus: Daniel 3:13-30

We tend to think Satan's ultimate goal is to tempt Christians to renounce their faith altogether, to apostasy from the faith. In actuality, he sets his sights on a much more modest goal. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not being asked to renounce their belief in the one true God. They were being asked to renounce His uniqueness. Just make room on the shelf of your heart for another god!

Take note of the way these three Hebrew teens with great conviction and courage draw the line in the sand. In essence, they are saying, "We cannot permit anything to encroach upon the glory, honor and praise of our Great God and King!" They were faced with an ultimatum: Bow or Burn!

The beauty of this story is that while the young men were wholeheartedly resolved to lose their lives for their faith, the Lord delighted in sending His Son to save them from experiencing even the lingering smell of smoke from the fires of hell. He delights to do that for you and me, too. No other god could love us that much.

Insight: When we walk in the audience of One, be ready: The world will turn up the heat, but the Lord will send His Son!

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Tue 16 Apr 2013, 9:13 pm

Date: April 15, 2013 10:47 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The Confidence of Faith
The Confidence of Faith

"Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever." (Psalm 23:6)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 23

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Is your cup half empty or half full? For King David and the Christian, the cup is not only full to the brim, it is running over! As one song writer put it, "I am drinking from my saucer 'cause my cup overflowed!" How can a Christian have this kind of confident faith?

Psalm 23 generously answers that question by presenting the Good Shepherd in three key places in our lives. He is leading us into green pastures beside the still waters where we can find rest for our weary souls. He is with us in the valleys and shadows of this life. He is following us with His goodness and mercy so that we will delight in feasting at His banquet table for all eternity! Do you believe the Lord is before you, beside you and behind you?

There are three powerful affirmations in Psalm 23 that spring from a Christian who is drinking from his saucer because his cup has overflowed: "I shall not want," "I will fear no evil," and "I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever!"

Insight: A confident faith can be ours because the Lord is the author and finisher of our faith.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Fri 12 Apr 2013, 7:35 pm

Date: April 10, 2013 10:48 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: A Suffering Servant [25 of 27]
By Grace: A Suffering Servant [25 of 27]

"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 52:13; 53:12; Ephesians 2:1-10

Isaiah 52 and 53 portray Christ so clearly, and yet were written more than 700 years before His birth. How is it possible for anyone to miss Jesus in these verses? To whom else in history could these words possibly apply? What other "servant" has been so "highly exalted?" (Isa. 52:13). What other "highly exalted" one has been "despised" ; (Isa. 53:3), "stricken by God" (vs. 4), "pierced, " and "crushed" (vs. 5)? Further, how could a mere human take upon himself "the iniquity of us all"?

The odds that all of these prophecies do not apply to the God-man - Jesus - are astronomical. And yet, unbelievers still will not be convinced. They will not see Jesus here. Why? Paul says it best in 1 Corinthians 2:14: "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." Men love the darkness (John 3:19). Only God's Spirit, by grace, can shine the light of truth into them. Will you let His light shine through you today?

Insight: Many believe that being born again is a result of our faith. But the Scriptures teach the opposite. Dead men don't decide! (Ephesians 2:4-5)

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
Date: April 11, 2013 10:38 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: Good News! [26 of 27]
By Grace: Good News! [26 of 27]

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because [He] has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me ...to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor..." (Isaiah 61:1-2)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 61:1-11; Luke 4:13-21

You may remember that Jesus quoted Isaiah 61 to announce the opening of His earthly ministry. After being tempted by Satan in the wilderness, He went to Nazareth and began to speak in the synagogue. He was handed a scroll bearing this text in Isaiah 61:1-2. After reading it, Jesus said, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing" (Luke 4:13-21). Following a brief reference to the grace given Gentiles, Luke tells us what happened next: "All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way" (Luke 4:28-30).

Notice where Jesus stopped reading Isaiah. He does not say the words of Isaiah 61:2b, "...and the day of vengeance of our God..." In His coming the first time, Jesus brought the "good news" of God's grace. His second coming will include the "bad news" of God's wrath.

Insight: Do you sometimes feel depressed? I do. Hear God's cure in verse 3: "...a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." Try it!

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Thu 11 Apr 2013, 10:12 pm

Date: April 10, 2013 3:04 AM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: Everlasting Joy [24 of 27]
By Grace: Everlasting Joy [24 of 27]

"The ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away." (Isaiah 51:11)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 51:9-16; Hebrews 12:18-24

Do you recall the old poem, "Casey at the Bat”? Remember that the Mudville team was behind when the mighty Casey stepped to the plate in the ninth inning, runners on second and third. The crowd cheered! But then the terrible final stanza: "Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright; the band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light, and somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout; But there is no joy in Mudville, mighty Casey has struck out."

That's the way "joy" is in this sinful world — fleeting and often based on heroes who aren't as mighty as we'd like to think. But ours is a forever joy; it comes by the sovereign, loving grace of Almighty God. We have not come to applaud a hero who strikes out. "But [we] have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. [We] have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven" (Hebrews 12:22-23a).

Insight: For the Christian, joy isn't based on circumstances, but upon the Sovereign LORD's promise that our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
Date: April 10, 2013 10:48 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: A Suffering Servant [25 of 27]

By Grace: A Suffering Servant [25 of 27]

"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 52:13; 53:12; Ephesians 2:1-10

Isaiah 52 and 53 portray Christ so clearly, and yet were written more than 700 years before His birth. How is it possible for anyone to miss Jesus in these verses? To whom else in history could these words possibly apply? What other "servant" has been so "highly exalted?" (Isa. 52:13). What other "highly exalted" one has been "despised" ; (Isa. 53:3), "stricken by God" (vs. 4), "pierced, " and "crushed" (vs. 5)? Further, how could a mere human take upon himself "the iniquity of us all"?

The odds that all of these prophecies do not apply to the God-man - Jesus - are astronomical. And yet, unbelievers still will not be convinced. They will not see Jesus here. Why? Paul says it best in 1 Corinthians 2:14: "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." Men love the darkness (John 3:19). Only God's Spirit, by grace, can shine the light of truth into them. Will you let His light shine through you today?

Insight: Many believe that being born again is a result of our faith. But the Scriptures teach the opposite. Dead men don't decide! (Ephesians 2:4-5)

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.
Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Tue 09 Apr 2013, 8:55 pm

Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: Light of Nations [23 of 27]
By Grace: Light of Nations [23 of 27]
"I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth." (Isaiah 49:6b)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 49:1-36; John 3:16-21

Chapter 49 speaks of the coming Servant of the LORD and of Israel's restoration. That restoration will include the islands (vs. 1) — the distant Gentile nations. Israel was a conduit — a pipeline, if you will — for the blessing of people everywhere, not without exception, but without distinction. Through Israel would come the Servant to shine light in the world's darkness. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12).

We must not separate the nation Israel from the invisible Church universal. God's plan was to raise up a chosen people through whom would come the Savior. It is a plan established in history and in the Word of God that came to men like Isaiah as it unfolded. That Word is all about Jesus, the Light of the world. "... But men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19). They crucified the "Holy One of Israel" (vs. 7)! Yet their dark actions only played into God's gracious plan.

Insight: "But you are a chosen people... a people belonging to God...who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." (1 Peter 2:9)

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Mon 08 Apr 2013, 5:19 pm

Date: April 8, 2013 12:46 AM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: Ultimate Exodus [22 of 27]
By Grace: Ultimate Exodus [22 of 27]

"They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he split the rock and water gushed out." (Isaiah 48:21)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 48:1-22; Exodus 17:6

Isaiah chapter 48 spells out the Gospel - the Christian' s salvation by grace alone. Read it carefully. We see who we are, who God is, and what He has done for us in Jesus Christ. We are a stubborn people (vs. 4), treacherous, idolatrous, rebels from birth (vs. 8b), and deserving of God's wrath (vs. 9a). On the other hand, God is the righteous, omniscient, omnipotent Creator who foretells future events because He alone brings them to pass.

The greatest event in Jewish history, perhaps even of ancient world history, is the Hebrew exodus from Egypt. Yahweh miraculously took His people out of slavery and into their own land. In verse 20 of our text, Isaiah speaks of a future exodus from Babylon. It would not occur for about 200 years! Both of these events speak of an ultimate exodus — out of slavery to sin and into an eternal land of promise — the new heavens and new earth. How is it accomplished? By the Rock of living water — the Lord Jesus Christ (John 4:13-14, 1 Corinthians 10:4). He has done it by His grace alone!

Insight: God saves us from sin and death for His glory - for His own sake (see Isaiah 48:11). Our salvation is all about Him!

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Sat 06 Apr 2013, 11:50 am

Date: April 4, 2013 11:02 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: An Irrevocable Word [21 of 27]
By Grace: An Irrevocable Word [21 of 27]

"Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered... a word that will not be revoked..." (Isaiah 45:22-23a)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 45:13-25

One of the watchwords of today's politically correct society is "tolerance. " Formerly the word meant being forbearing and patient with those who disagree, allowing others the faith of their choosing without interference. Today, however, "Tolerance&quo t; has come to mean “Equality." Many condemn Christianity as being "too exclusive," in that it claims to be the only way to the true God (see John 14:6). They claim that all religions are equally true; we must be tolerant.

Nothing could be further from the truth! Biblical Christianity is not exclusive, but all-inclusive. It is the only true faith. In today's verse, Yahweh claims to be the only God, yet invites everyone to come and be saved. To guide the way, He has given the world a word of integrity that will not be revoked. It is our Bible, written over thousands of years, and yet with one overarching message: the Lord Jesus Christ and His mission to save His people. His infallible, irrevocable Word goes out to all the world saying, "Come."

Insight: Everyone will ultimately come to Christ, but not for salvation. "Before me every knee will bow..." (Isaiah 45:23b, Romans 14:11)

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Thu 04 Apr 2013, 5:42 pm

Date: April 3, 2013 10:57 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: Ruler of Nations [20 of 27]
By Grace: Ruler of Nations [20 of 27]

"This is what the LORD says... to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut..." (Isaiah 45:1)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 45:1-13; 2 Chronicles 36:22-23

Let's pause here and review the dates of Isaiah's prophetic ministry - 760 to 698 B.C. Even if Isaiah had inscribed these words toward the end of his service, Cyrus, king of the Persians, would not have been born for over 100 years! He would be enthroned in 559 B.C. and reign for about 30 years. During that time, he was unwittingly Yahweh's servant. God had summoned Cyrus by name
(vs. 3b), and had established the work he was to do before he was even born.

Part of Cyrus' foreordained duty was to release the Judean captives from Babylon in 536 B.C. under Zerubbabel. It was the beginning of a new exodus, this one from Babylon and continuing under Ezra and Nehemiah. At the time of Isaiah's writing, Judah had not yet even been carried off by Babylon! In verse 7 Yahweh says: "I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things." Just as Pharaoh was raised up for God's purpose (Romans 9:17), our God rules the nations through men like Cyrus.

Insight: In these troubled times, as nations rise and fall, remember that our loving Father is in absolute control of every event.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Wed 03 Apr 2013, 8:27 pm

Date: April 3, 2013 1:14 AM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: Sovereign Grace [19 of 27]
By Grace: Sovereign Grace [19 of 27]

"I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you. Sing for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done this..." (Isaiah 44:22-23a)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 44; Matthew 13:20

Isaiah 44 begins with five verses affirming Israel's election as God's people by sovereign grace. Then, for the next fifteen verses, God (Yahweh) mocks the idols of men. With a holy sarcasm, He parodies what Dr. R.C. Sproul humorously calls "the Fig Newtons" of human imagination. A man cuts up a piece of wood. Half he uses to cook his food, and the other half he bows down to and worships! He "bows down to a block of wood" (vs. 19)! Can a block of wood help him? "Is not this thing in my right hand a lie" (vs. 20)?

Yahweh - the LORD God - is sovereign over His creation. He not only has all power, but also has the will to exercise it. No other "gods" exist! They are but out-workings of sinful man's desire to be autonomous - to be in control of his own circumstances, and to be a law unto himself. Only Yahweh, and neither human effort nor idol, can meet mankind' s greatest need - to sweep "away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist" (vs. 22). Only the sovereign grace of God can do it.

Insight: If God isn't sovereign over everything - even the election of His Church - He isn't sovereign at all.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Tue 02 Apr 2013, 7:41 pm

Date: April 2, 2013 2:02 AM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: Children of God [18 of 27]
By Grace: Children of God [18 of 27]

"Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth - everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made." (Isaiah 43:6b-7)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 43:1-7; Romans 8:15-17

One of the most wonderful doctrines in the Word of God is "sonship. " God's children - whether sons or daughters - are His "sons." We have been twice-blessed by being born into the family of God, and also adopted as His children. To be adopted is to be chosen. To be a "son" is to have all rights of inheritance. Only those who have been born again by God's Spirit and chosen by Him in adoption will inherit His kingdom (John 3:3; Ephesians 1:5).

God is our heavenly Father (Matthew 6:9), Creator and Sustainer of all that exists. He has chosen and re-created you and me for a special purpose - His eternal glory. Yahweh says that we are precious and honored in His sight. He has called us from "the ends of the earth" to be His precious, honored, and beloved children. It is all through His grace alone, and not because of anything in us. He is neither our landlord nor our boss. Though we may have had difficult earthly fathers, we take comfort knowing God is our loving Father, and we are His beloved children.

Insight: "As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him." (Psalm 103:13)

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Mon 01 Apr 2013, 10:28 pm

Date: March 31, 2013 11:51 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: A Covenant People [17 of 27]
By Grace: A Covenant People [17 of 27]

"I, the LORD, have called you... to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open the eyes of the blind, ...to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness." (Isaiah 42:6-7)
Scripture Focus: Genesis 42:3-9; Jeremiah 31:31

The Creator of the universe - the One who gives breath and life to every creature - continues to speak about His chosen Servant. The central idea here is that the only One who can make promises that come true all the time is the One who created and sustains all creation. Notice the four main verbs in verse 5 - "created, stretched, spread, and gives." Then in verse 6, these verbs - "I have called, I will take, I will keep, I will make." These are the words of Almighty God. He has made a covenant with His people - Jews and Gentiles alike - through His Son, Jesus.

The Bible is all about covenants that God makes with His chosen people. You might translate the word "covenant" ; as "promise, " because biblical covenants are all are based on God's promises. Even God's covenant with Moses and the giving of the Law was a gracious promise with a gracious purpose - to save His people from their sins. God's promises are always true and not binding because the sovereign Creator is faithful to do what He says He will do.

Insight: The entire world is in a "dungeon of darkness." But by grace, God has shed His light in Christ and His New Covenant.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Sun 31 Mar 2013, 12:18 am

March 28, 2013 9:41 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: A Chosen Servant [16 of 27]
By Grace: A Chosen Servant [16 of 27]
"Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations." (Isaiah 42:1)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 42:1-4; Matthew 3:17

Chapter 42 begins a segment of Isaiah that speaks of a coming "Servant" who will be the answer to the world's plight. His key role is to "bring justice to the nations" (vs. 1). Biblical "justice" is indeed the revealed truth of God compressed into a single word. The Servant will bring the truth of God to a dying world, and He will bring justice to His people who would otherwise face the wrath of God. The Servant is, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ, full of grace and truth.

When Christ went to the cross to die for His people's sins, He satisfied the justice of God that would have otherwise fallen upon us. Jesus came into this world to do the will of His Father in heaven. His Father was delighted with Him in every way (Matthew 3:17). He came in meekness, serving others, not dominating them. The "islands" of verse 4 are the many nations of the world. People from every nation have and will put their hope for eternal life in Him. The Servant will not disappoint, but will fulfill the promises of God.

Insight: The justice that befell Christ should have fallen upon you and me. This is the gospel that rests on grace alone.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Fri 29 Mar 2013, 1:08 am

Date: March 28, 2013 1:58 AM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: A Great Shepherd [15 of 27]
By Grace: A Great Shepherd [15 of 27]

"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." (Isaiah 40:11)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 40:9-41; John 10:1-30

In these verses, we find a picture of our Lord Jesus as the gracious Shepherd of His flock. Jesus is called "Yahweh Adonai" (vs. 10), the Sovereign Lord of all power and majesty. He comes in humility as a shepherd, but He is much, much more. In the rest of the chapter we are told who this Shepherd truly is - "The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth" (v. 28). There is none other like Him who "brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name" (vs. 26).

The parallel New Testament chapter to Isaiah 40 is John 10. Here is what Jesus claims in its verses: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (vs. 11). "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me..." (vs. 14). "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish..." (vs. 28-29). The Great Shepherd of Isaiah 40 is the Great Savior of John 10, the great Friend of sinners like us.

Insight: Have you heard the voice of the Shepherd? Be assured, "The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Thu 28 Mar 2013, 12:14 am

Date: March 27, 2013 1:36 AM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: The Eternal Word [14 of 27]
By Grace: The Eternal Word [14 of 27]

"The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever." (Isaiah 40:7-8)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 40:1-8; 1 Peter 1:23-25

Throughout this entire chapter, the grace of God is evident. Notice the doubling of the word "comfort" in verse 1, signifying the intense comfort of God's grace. The word "double" at the end of verse 2 reminds us of our gracious double salvation. Christ took our sins upon Himself and gave His righteousness to us. Verse 3 looks forward to John the baptizer, who would introduce the coming King. Salvation for God's people is coming! The LORD's glory will be revealed! The mouth of the LORD has spoken!

The things of this world are changing and eventually passing away. Nations come and go. People are likened to the flowers and the grass. But one thing never changes, one thing we can grab on to that we know is solid and secure in this ever-changing world: "the Word of our God." God's gracious Word, written down by numerous authors over thousands of years, never changes. It speaks the truth (John 17:17). "Jesus Christ - the Word of God - is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).

Insight: The eternal God who spoke His Word into being defines and ordains all past and future events - the beginning and the end.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Tue 26 Mar 2013, 2:30 pm

Date: March 24, 2013 9:59 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: A Sure Foundation [12 of 27]
By Grace: A Sure Foundation [12 of 27]

"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.' " (Isaiah 28:16)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 28:16-19; Ephesians 2:20

When I came to Christ over 40 years ago, my trust in Him was relatively weak. But as I have come to know Him better, my trust in Jesus and His Word has strengthened. Besides growing spiritually, I have grown emotionally and intellectually. Some in the evangelical church might react negatively to my claim of "intellectual& quot; growth, saying, "I have Jesus in my heart, not just in my head." But to get to one's heart, trust in Christ must first pass through the mind. Christ's "sure foundation" is laid there.

And this verse is about Christ. He is the stone whom "the builders rejected" (Matthew 21:42). He is the cornerstone from Judah (Zechariah 10:4). He is the spiritual "rock" in the desert from which water poured (1 Corinthians 10:4). He is the "rock" on which the wise man built his house (Luke 6:48) and the "rock" of Peter's confession (Matthew 16:18). He is the earth's foundation - its "cornerstone&q uot; (Job 38:6). The Scriptures prove overwhelmingly to the mind that Jesus is the "sure foundation."

Insight: Do I know Jesus loves me because "he lives within my heart?" Or, do I know that because "the Bible tells me so"?

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
Date: March 25, 2013 11:18 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: Key to a Treasure [13 of 27]
By Grace: Key to a Treasure [13 of 27]

"[The LORD] will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure." (Isaiah 33:6)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 33:1-6

Back in the early 1980s, I studied Proverbs in some depth. The key to understanding any book of the Bible is the key of which Isaiah speaks here - "the fear of the LORD." To define its meaning, I developed an acronym using the word FEAR.

"F" stands for "faith. " The key to a rich store of salvation is faith in Christ - trusting in His life, death, and resurrection.

"E" stands for "enjoyment. " The Westminster Shorter Catechism states that we are to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Christ is to be our real and only source of satisfaction.

"A" stands for "active obedience." I will never understand the Bible unless I am eagerly willing to do what it says. Many scholars know the Bible intellectually, but do not know its Author because they've never sought to obey Him.

Finally,
"R" stands for "reverential awe." Jesus is our great Friend by His grace. But He's not our buddy. We approach Him in His rich majesty and in the respect due to Almighty God. This treasure is ours by His grace alone.

Insight: The "treasures&quo t; of this world are nothing compared to knowing the rich and everlasting treasure we have in Christ.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Sat 23 Mar 2013, 9:36 am

Date: March 21, 2013 10:41 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: Life Out of Death [11 of 27]
By Grace: Life Out of Death [11 of 27]
"In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit." (Isaiah 27:6)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 27:2-11; Romans 11

In Numbers 16 and 17, Aaron's role as High Priest was challenged. Moses took the rod of the leaders of each tribe into the Tent of Meeting. There, God did this to end discussion: "Aaron&# 39;s staff, which represented the house of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds" (Numbers 17:8). The LORD brought life out of death. In our verse today, we see that Jacob - Israel - will one day blossom and bear fruit, just like Aaron's rod.

The whole world is the LORD's vineyard. The people of God - Israel - will cover the entire earth, as Gentiles and Jews together - Christ's Church - celebrate their common ancestry in Abraham and the Patriarchs. How is this to be? God will again bring life out of death. How? We have the answer in vs. 9: "By this, then, will Jacob's guilt be atoned for, and this will be the full fruitage of the removal of his sin." God will not pay back His people for what they deserve. Instead, by grace, their sins are atoned for in Christ, who brings life out of death.

Insight: God's grace is not merely "unmerited favor." It is God's decision and act to give His people the exact opposite of what we deserve.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Thu 21 Mar 2013, 8:16 pm

Date: March 20, 2013 10:01 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: A Perfect Peace [10 of 27]
By Grace: A Perfect Peace [10 of 27]
"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." (Isaiah 26:3)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 26:1-11

We spoke yesterday about "salvation&quo t; as meaning being brought from death to eternal life. Many think we have to die to inherit that life. But the LORD says otherwise. We have eternal life right now! We are saved in three tenses. We have been saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved - past, present, and future. There was a time - you may not remember it - when you were brought from death to life by God's Spirit. There will be a time in the future when you and I will be brought into the LORD's presence for eternity. But Isaiah 26:3 is all about the here and now.

The words "perfect" and "peace" in our focus verse are actually one Hebrew word - "shalom. " Shalom is not just the absence of conflict or worry, but the perfection of security, joy, prosperity, and serenity. It is the "peace of God, which transcends all understanding" (Philippians 4:7). It comes to anyone who places his or her trust completely in the all-powerful, all-loving, sovereign grace of the LORD - the "Rock eternal" (vs. 4).

Insight: When we trust in anything or anyone more than the living God, we practice idolatry. Only in Christ can we have true "shalom. "

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Thu 21 Mar 2013, 12:04 am

Date: March 19, 2013 9:09 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: A Sure Salvation [9 of 27]
By Grace: A Sure Salvation [9 of 27]

"In that day they will say, 'Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.&# 39;" (Isaiah 25:9)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 25:1-9; 26:19; Ephesians 2:8-9

A student was walking across the campus one day. Another student approached him and asked, "Brother, are you saved?" He replied, "Saved from what?" Salvation can mean many things. The Hebrews were saved from their enemies. We might think of being saved from a burning building, or from some other danger. But when the Bible speaks of salvation, its ultimate meaning is in verse 8: "[God] will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken."

Eternal life was a concept spoken of rarely in the Old Testament. In Jesus' day, the Pharisees believed in life after death, but their counterparts, the Sadducees, did not. The problem was that the Pharisees thought that righteousness came by keeping the Law of Moses, and placed a heavy load on those they taught. But these verses are clear. God's salvation is a free gift of grace, through faith - trust - in the One who speaks only truth.

Insight: Don't be deceived by those who teach that we must add something to what God has already done in Christ. Trust Christ alone.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Tue 19 Mar 2013, 6:36 pm

Date: March 17, 2013 9:59 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: Gentiles Included [7 of 27]
By Grace: Gentiles Included [7 of 27]

"The LORD will have compassion on Jacob; once again he will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land. Aliens will join them and unite with the house of Jacob." (Isaiah 14:1)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 14:1-2; Ephesians 2:1-19

The Hebrew word for "compassion&qu ot; here is that of a mother's deep love for her child. The LORD loves Jacob - Israel - as a son. He promised Abraham children as numerous as "the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore" (Genesis 22:17). Isaiah reiterates God's promise - the Israelites will settle in their own land. During the Babylonian captivity, a remnant returned to the land under leaders like Ezra and Nehemiah. Is this the return Isaiah has in mind?

Verse 2 argues against that notion. Israel has never made "captives of their captors, and rule[d] over their transgressors. " No, Isaiah is speaking about an age where "aliens will join and unite" with Israel. The doubling indicates true unity - a real and perfect union. Has this already occurred? Yes. In Christ! "For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility... " (Eph. 2:14). God's promise to Abraham included the Gentiles. Israel was but a conduit for God's ultimate purpose.

Insight: A key to understanding the Bible is that God's people have different names. In the OT they are called "Israel; " in the NT, the "Church. "

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."

Date: March 18, 2013 10:01 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: A Loving King [8 of 27]
By Grace: A Loving King [8 of 27]

"In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it - one from the house of David - one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness. " (Isaiah 16:5)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 16:5; Psalm 89:14

In 2 Samuel 7:16, God promised King David, "Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever." As you may recall, David's son, Solomon, reigned over Israel following David's death. Following Solomon, the kingdom split into two opposing factions - ten tribes in the North and only Judah and Benjamin in the south. The line of Judah ended with King Hezekiah in 586 B.C. when the Babylonians overran Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple.

Who then is the King of whom Isaiah and Nathan speak? It is, of course, the Lord Jesus. His will be an eternal reign, characterized by the four key words in Isaiah 16:5: "love, faithfulness, justice and righteousness. " "For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love" (Psalm 33:4-5). "Unfailing love" is "chesed" in the Hebrew. For me, it's the greatest word in the Bible, speaking of the grace of God to me.

Insight: When we think of "justice, " we need to see it as helping the poor and the less fortunate, as well as judging rightly.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Fri 15 Mar 2013, 2:26 pm

Date: March 14, 2013 9:03 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: A Return to Eden [61 of 27]
By Grace: A Return to Eden [6 of 27]
"The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them." (Isaiah 11:6)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:25

In Genesis 3, we have the story of the first couple's sin and subsequent expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Here, Isaiah speaks of a return to Eden, brought about by the grace of God. The earth and its inhabitants will be renovated. Ancient hostilities will be forgotten. The cow and the bear will share the same food. No longer will the lion be a menace to the calf. "And a little child will lead them."

In the original Garden, Satan came in the form of a serpent. Here, in verse 8, we see that Satan's power to harm has been destroyed. "The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest." The prophecy of Genesis 3:15 will have been completely fulfilled by "the seed of the woman" - Jesus. What a place that will be! What glorious peace! The battle has already been won by our Savior. Someday soon, these verses will become reality, and "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea" (v. 9).

Insight: Since the fall, mankind has dreamed of returning to Eden. Many have proposed man-centered notions of getting there. But only Christ has the way.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Thu 14 Mar 2013, 5:48 pm

Date: March 14, 2013 12:07 AM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: From David's Line [5 of 27]
By Grace: From David's Line [5 of 27]

"A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse.... The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-the Spirit of wisdom... understanding. .. counsel... power... knowledge and... fear of the LORD." (Isaiah 11:1-2)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 11:1-5; Jeremiah 33:15

Isaiah speaks again of the coming Messiah. He is to be of the line of Jesse, who, of course, was David's father. Notice that the coming One is both the shoot and the root of Jesse. To be a "shoot" means to be a descendant of Jesse. However, to be a "root" means that Jesse came forth from the Messiah, who is also the Creator - the pre-existent Christ. Notice also that He is to come up from the "stump" of Jesse. Like a felled tree, the line of David is to end with the Babylonian captivity of Judah some 100 years yet in the future.

Jeremiah will take up the prophetic office in Judah during that terrible time. He also writes of this "Branch. " "'The days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch , a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land'" (Jeremiah 23:5). The Branch will bear the fruit of righteousness and justice (Psalm 97:1-2). The Spirit of God will rest on Him, endowing the Messiah - the Christ - with a six-fold empowerment (Isaiah 11:2).

Insight: Many believe that Jesus Christ was merely a good teacher. Isaiah begs to differ. Isaiah's Christ is the very incarnation of the eternal God.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Wed 13 Mar 2013, 6:01 pm

Date: March 11, 2013 10:28 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: Gift of a Holy God [3 of 27]
By Grace: Gift of a Holy God [3 of 27]

"One of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand...With it he touched my mouth and said, 'See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.'" (Isaiah 6:6-7)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 6:1-13

One of my favorite hymns is "Holy, Holy, Holy," based on Isaiah 6:3. The LORD - Yahweh - is the thrice-holy God. When the Hebrews wanted to give heightened significance to something in their language, they repeated it. Saying it three times raised it to the ultimate. The LORD God is ultimate holiness - He is the thrice-holy God. But what does it mean to be holy?

First, it means righteousness. Yahweh alone is altogether righteous - He always does what is right. Second, holiness means to be set apart. God is not a part of His creation, but altogether separate from it. On the other hand, Isaiah, as he is called to the prophetic office, realizes that he is altogether wicked. He is a "man of unclean lips." He cannot approach God's throne. Still God has a plan. By pure grace, He cleanses the prophet from sin, taking away his guilt. Like Abraham in Genesis 15:6, like Saul on the Damascus Road, and like you and me in rebirth, Isaiah has received an alien righteousness and has been set apart for service.

Insight: The Gospel has three parts. They are all here: Who we are, who God is, and how His grace cleanses our sin and guilt.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."

Date: March 12, 2013 10:54 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: A Savior Among Us [4 of 27]
By Grace: A Savior Among Us [4 of 27]
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 7:13-16; Matthew 1:20-25

Here, we are given specifics about One who will be born a Savior. A sign will be given to the house of David: a virgin will bear a Son. Some skeptics have argued that the Hebrew word for "virgin" can also mean "young woman." They would attempt to eliminate the miraculous. But in ancient Hebrew society, the word meant a young unmarried woman. For such a one to give birth would have caused the utmost scandal. Others have contended that the ancient Hebrews didn't know where babies came from. That, of course, is ridiculous!

We're also told here that this Son would not be any ordinary child. He will be called "Immanuel, " a Hebrew word which means "God with us." The child, in other words, will be the incarnate God - Creator of heaven and earth. He will come to earth, live the life we should have lived and die the death we should have died, bringing gracious salvation to His people. No human could have planned it! No human could have even foreseen it! God in human flesh? Absurd! No way! But true.

Insight: God's grace to us is miraculous. That is, it cannot be explained with human reason. Like Jesus' birth, our new birth is miraculous, too.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Mon 11 Mar 2013, 2:37 pm

Date: March 10, 2013 10:59 PM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: Sin Is Conquered [2 of 27]
By Grace: Sin Is Conquered [2 of 27]
"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." (Isaiah 1:18)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 1:10-20

The LORD says to His shameless people, "...let us reason together." But, no. They will not come and learn from Him. They prefer to go through the motions of religious practice, thinking that will make them worthy. Meanwhile, their hearts are far from Him. Instead of seeking justice, encouraging the oppressed, defending the cause of the fatherless, and pleading the case of the widow
(vs. 17), they've focused on false worship that has sickened the LORD.

These verses ring true in today's world. Many who call themselves "Christians&qu ot; refuse to believe the Bible, preferring instead to follow the outward trappings of religion. But God says, "Come now, and let us reason together." They who will not come to the LORD "forfeit the grace that could have been theirs" (Jonah 2:8). Only the grace of Jesus can make scarlet sins as white as snow. Notice the Hebrew parallelism in verse 18. Sin is scarlet and crimson; righteousness is like snow or wool. The parallel contrast emphasizes that salvation is by grace alone.

Insight: God's grace is not just the heavy artillery in the war against sin. It's the only artillery - the only solution to the sin problem.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 11:40 pm

Date: March 7, 2013 12:34 AM
Topic: +DEV+ By Grace: Hope for Sinners [1 of 27]
By Grace: Hope for Sinners [1 of 27]

"Unless the LORD Almighty had left us some survivors, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah." (Isaiah 1:9)
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 1:1-9

The book of Isaiah is a story of God's grace in the midst of the sinful lives of His people - the nation of Israel. Isaiah's prophetic ministry ranged from approximately 760 to 698 B.C. During that time, in 721 B.C., Samaria was besieged by the Assyrians, and Israel's ten northern tribes were enslaved. They had become like Sodom and Gomorrah, never to be heard from again. But God will always rescue a remnant saved by grace. In 721, the remnant was the two southern tribes - Judah and Benjamin. Isaiah's central message to them is one of warning, but also of comfort.

As Isaiah begins, Israel's problem is exposed. In verse 4 we read, "Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him." "Only the Daughter of Zion is left," (vs. 8) - the tribes centered in Jerusalem. They, too, will be enslaved in 586 B.C. But by God's grace, a remnant will again return to Zion.

Insight: If we fail to understand the depths of our depravity and sin, we will never truly understand the extravagant grace of our heavenly Father.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
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Post  Admin on Wed 06 Mar 2013, 7:42 pm

Date: March 6, 2013 1:23 AM
Topic: +DEV+ The King's Coming, Are You Ready?
The King's Coming, Are You Ready?
"Keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come ... Be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." (Matthew 24: 42, 44)
Scripture Focus: Matthew 24:36-50

Many years ago, I was responsible for safety of a communications site in South Korea. I was advised to make unscheduled visits to various military posts and check on readiness to respond any aggression. I would make frequent checks on supplies of water, food and equipment. No one knew when my surprise visit would come.

The King says His coming again will be like a thief in the night - totally unexpected and sudden. The Lord emphasizes this not so much to say people will be caught off guard, but rather that they should live in a perpetually alert state.

A 19th Century Scottish pastor gathered his elders and asked them one by one, "Do you think the Lord will come again tonight?" Each one hesitated but when pressed said, "I don't suppose so." The pastor then read them v.44 of our reading: "The Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

Keep watch; be expectant. The Lord's coming might be at any moment. Be concentrated on His priorities when He comes. Watch and pray!

Insight: The sheer ongoingness of our daily round makes it difficult to remain expectant. Live every moment as though it will be the last.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.
Michael D. Inman
- The Only Thing Necessary For Evil to Triumph is for Good Men to do Nothing -- Edmund Burke...
"If the First Amendment fails, use the Second one."
"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato
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