Be Steadfast – 1 Corinthians 15:58 (ESV) “Therefore, my beloved Brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
“The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.’” –Billy Graham
A history of these Daily Devotions along with other valuable Resources can be found at: https://lylebrennan.com.
The Ways of God II
Day Two Hundred Ninety
And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’
1 Samuel 16:2
There are times when God appears to act contrary to His own nature. By way of example, God tells Abraham to kill Isaac, thereby breaking one of God’s own Laws. In Egypt God blessed the midwives because they deceived Pharaoh. In the Law God says that He brings leprosy into people’s homes.369 God told His prophet Samuel to deceive King Saul when anointing one of the sons of Jesse by saying he went up to offer a sacrifice.370
God tells us two things about Himself: He is Truth,371 and He cannot deny Himself.372 Because He is Truth He is secure in who He is and what He does. We search for truth, and when we find it we see it as though, “in a mirror dimly.”373 Thus we have a higher degree of need to be right than does God. All
God does is by definition right, just, and good, while we who love the Lord seek righteousness, justice, and goodness. Our most mature and biblically derived understanding of God and His ways will be partial and prone to error.
You must absorb this into the very fabric of your being as you read Scripture, resisting the temptation to manipulate God’s Word so that it conforms to your understanding of truth. The Bible does not call upon you to be accurate and consistent, but honest. Do not become preoccupied with truth at the expense of integrity. When you manage the text, making it say something different from what the words suggest, in order to make it conform to your understanding of truth, you manifest a heart of unbelief.
369 cf. Leviticus 14:34
370 cf. I Samuel 16:2
371 John 4:24
372 II Timothy 2:13
373 I Corinthians 13:12
Isaiah 50-52 1 Thessalonians 5 (New King James Version)
The Servant, Israel’s Hope
50 Thus says the Lord:
“Where is the certificate of your mother’s divorce,
Whom I have put away?
Or which of My creditors is it to whom I have sold you?
For your iniquities you have sold yourselves,
And for your transgressions your mother has been put away.
Why, when I came, was there no man?
Why, when I called, was there none to answer?
Is My hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem?
Or have I no power to deliver?
Indeed with My rebuke I dry up the sea,
I make the rivers a wilderness;
Their fish stink because there is no water,
And die of thirst.
I clothe the heavens with blackness,
And I make sackcloth their covering.”
“The Lord God has given Me
The tongue of the learned,
That I should know how to speak
A word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear
To hear as the learned.
The Lord God has opened My ear;
And I was not rebellious,
Nor did I turn away.
I gave My back to those who struck Me,
And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;
I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.
“For the Lord God will help Me;
Therefore I will not be disgraced;
Therefore I have set My face like a flint,
And I know that I will not be ashamed.
He is near who justifies Me;
Who will contend with Me?
Let us stand together.
Who is [a]My adversary?
Let him come near Me.
Surely the Lord God will help Me;
Who is he who will condemn Me?
Indeed they will all grow old like a garment;
The moth will eat them up.
“Who among you fears the Lord?
Who obeys the voice of His Servant?
Who walks in darkness
And has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the Lord
And rely upon his God.
Look, all you who kindle a fire,
Who encircle yourselves with sparks:
Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled—
This you shall have from My hand:
You shall lie down in torment.
The Lord Comforts Zion
“Listen to Me, you who [b]follow after righteousness,
You who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.
Look to Abraham your father,
And to Sarah who bore you;
For I called him alone,
And blessed him and increased him.”
For the Lord will comfort Zion,
He will comfort all her waste places;
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the Lord;
Joy and gladness will be found in it,
Thanksgiving and the voice of melody.
“Listen to Me, My people;
And give ear to Me, O My nation:
For law will proceed from Me,
And I will make My justice rest
As a light of the peoples.
My righteousness is near,
My salvation has gone forth,
And My arms will judge the peoples;
The coastlands will wait upon Me,
And on My arm they will trust.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
And look on the earth beneath.
For the heavens will vanish away like smoke,
The earth will grow old like a garment,
And those who dwell in it will die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not be [c]abolished.
“Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
You people in whose heart is My law:
Do not fear the reproach of men,
Nor be afraid of their insults.
For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
And the worm will eat them like wool;
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation from generation to generation.”
Awake, awake, put on strength,
O arm of the Lord!
Awake as in the ancient days,
In the generations of old.
Are You not the arm that cut Rahab apart,
And wounded the serpent?
Are You not the One who dried up the sea,
The waters of the great deep;
That made the depths of the sea a road
For the redeemed to cross over?
So the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness;
Sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
“I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you should be afraid
Of a man who will die,
And of the son of a man who will be made like grass?
And you forget the Lord your Maker,
Who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth;
You have feared continually every day
Because of the fury of the oppressor,
When he has prepared to destroy.
And where is the fury of the oppressor?
The captive exile hastens, that he may be loosed,
That he should not die in the pit,
And that his bread should not fail.
But I am the Lord your God,
Who divided the sea whose waves roared—
The Lord of hosts is His name.
And I have put My words in your mouth;
I have covered you with the shadow of My hand,
That I may [d]plant the heavens,
Lay the foundations of the earth,
And say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’ ”
God’s Fury Removed
Stand up, O Jerusalem,
You who have drunk at the hand of the Lord
The cup of His fury;
You have drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling,
And drained it out.
There is no one to guide her
Among all the sons she has brought forth;
Nor is there any who takes her by the hand
Among all the sons she has brought up.
These two things have come to you;
Who will be sorry for you?—
Desolation and destruction, famine and sword—
By whom will I comfort you?
Your sons have fainted,
They lie at the head of all the streets,
Like an antelope in a net;
They are full of the fury of the Lord,
The rebuke of your God.
Therefore please hear this, you afflicted,
And drunk but not with wine.
Thus says your Lord,
The Lord and your God,
Who pleads the cause of His people:
“See, I have taken out of your hand
The cup of trembling,
The dregs of the cup of My fury;
You shall no longer drink it.
But I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you,
Who have said to [e]you,
‘Lie down, that we may walk over you.’
And you have laid your body like the ground,
And as the street, for those who walk over.”
God Redeems Jerusalem
Put on your strength, O Zion;
Put on your beautiful garments,
O Jerusalem, the holy city!
For the uncircumcised and the unclean
Shall no longer come to you.
Shake yourself from the dust, arise;
Sit down, O Jerusalem!
Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck,
O captive daughter of Zion!
3 For thus says the Lord:
“You have sold yourselves for nothing,
And you shall be redeemed without money.”
4 For thus says the Lord God:
“My people went down at first
Into Egypt to [f]dwell there;
Then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
Now therefore, what have I here,” says the Lord,
“That My people are taken away for nothing?
Those who rule over them
[g]Make them wail,” says the Lord,
“And My name is blasphemed continually every day.
Therefore My people shall know My name;
Therefore they shall know in that day
That I am He who speaks:
‘Behold, it is I.’ ”
How beautiful upon the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who proclaims peace,
Who brings glad tidings of good things,
Who proclaims salvation,
Who says to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
Your watchmen shall lift up their voices,
With their voices they shall sing together;
For they shall see eye to eye
When the Lord brings back Zion.
Break forth into joy, sing together,
You waste places of Jerusalem!
For the Lord has comforted His people,
He has redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord has [h]made bare His holy arm
In the eyes of all the nations;
And all the ends of the earth shall see
The salvation of our God.
Depart! Depart! Go out from there,
Touch no unclean thing;
Go out from the midst of her,
You who bear the vessels of the Lord.
For you shall not go out with haste,
Nor go by flight;
For the Lord will go before you,
And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
The Sin-Bearing Servant
Behold, My Servant shall [i]deal prudently;
He shall be exalted and [j]extolled and be very high.
Just as many were astonished at you,
So His visage[k] was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men;
So shall He [l]sprinkle many nations.
Kings shall shut their mouths at Him;
For what had not been told them they shall see,
And what they had not heard they shall consider.
- Isaiah 50:8 Lit. master of My judgment
- Isaiah 51:1 pursue
- Isaiah 51:6 broken
- Isaiah 51:16 establish
- Isaiah 51:23 Lit. your soul
- Isaiah 52:4 As resident aliens
- Isaiah 52:5 DSS Mock; LXX Marvel and wail; Tg. Boast themselves;Vg. Treat them unjustly
- Isaiah 52:10 Revealed His power
- Isaiah 52:13 prosper
- Isaiah 52:13 Lit. be lifted up
- Isaiah 52:14 appearance
- Isaiah 52:15 Or startle
1 Thessalonians 5
The Day of the Lord
5 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be [a]sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
11 Therefore [b]comfort each other and [c]edify one another, just as you also are doing.
12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and [d]admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
14 Now we [e]exhort you, brethren, warn those who are [f]unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
Blessing and Admonition
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify[g] you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
25 Brethren, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.
27 I charge you by the Lord that this [h]epistle be read to all the [i]holy brethren.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:6 self-controlled
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Or encourage
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 build one another up
- 1 Thessalonians 5:12 instruct or warn
- 1 Thessalonians 5:14 encourage
- 1 Thessalonians 5:14 insubordinate or idle
- 1 Thessalonians 5:23 set you apart
- 1 Thessalonians 5:27 letter
- 1 Thessalonians 5:27 NU omits holy
Please Pray for Brad and Regena Mitton and their family. Regina has been diagnosed with cancer and Brad has put his landscape business on hold to be with his wife. Pray God will move in the Mittons lives and that He will be glorified.
Please Pray for C… he is going through some very difficult times with his marriage and his business.
Please Pray for Jeff from Oregon that has cirrhosis of the liver and has been given only six months to live. He is unsure of his faith and trying to fill in his remaining days traveling. Please Pray God awakens Jeff’s spirit to His Salvation. (Like Jeff, we are all terminal…“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalms 90:12)
Please Pray for Larry who has been diagnosed to have leukemia. Pray God would bring Larry and his love ones closer to Him and His Blessed Hope of Glory.
Brother David Porter requests: “My stepdaughter Brittany and her husband Jose are raising support to go on a Mission trip to Mumbai, India in early November. The focus will be to encourage church planters and share the gospel.” They have covered most of the costs of the trip but they need some financial assistance. If you would like to help, click: https://hopechurchonline.focusmissions.com/!/#/12416/south-asia-november-2019/participants/134351/donate
Please continue to Pray for Lisa Long and her family … UPDATE as 10/9/2019: Lisa has an appointment with her surgeon on the 22nd to determine if they will do the eye surgery and hopefully when they will do it. She’s currently in an assisted living facility that seems like a jail to her and she’s seemly losing what she has left of her mind.
Please Pray that God performs a miracle and allows her to see and for Him to move in her life, to reveal His plan for her.
Please continue to Pray for Darrell Blalock who has Parkinson’s disease. Pray for Darrell to become closer to the Lord.
Please continue to Pray for John LaPorte whose doing ministry at UNLV … a student named Tyler is propaganda machine for the enemy… he continuously interrupts their ministry. Pray God will intervene and radically save Tyler and that our God will use Tyler to bring many to Christ. (Please continue to Pray for God’s supernatural strength of the witnessing group members as several are weakening.)
Brother JohnLaPorte reports… Bryce, a UNLV student who recently received the Lord and came from occult background is engaging Tyler and defending the Faith. Recently, Bryce has come under intense attacks and heckling from unbelievers on campus. Please Pray for God to Grow and Strengthen Bryce and use him in a Holy Mighty Way.
Remington, another UNLV student, says he is a new catholic… not a Believer, yet, but says he is a seeker. Pray God reveals His Truth, His Salvation to Remington.
Please Pray that our families and Brothers and Sisters in Christ will gather together to Pray… Jesus says in Matthew 18:20 (NKJV) “… For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Please pray for Lisa Greene who is having both her hips replaced… Pray for her surgeon and her quickly for coverage and that God will be seen in her.
Please continue to Pray for Brother Lance going through perilous times. Pray he would let God’s strength and peace show through his weakness and his testimony be a Blessing to many.
Please continue to Pray for our unSaved family members and those around us that we have relationships with. Or, is that you? … Have questions &/or need Prayer?… If yes, please reply or call (702) 592-4098.
Please continue to Pray for family members and those relationships around you who say they are Saved, but their lives don’t show it. And, if that’s happens to be you, the Holy Spirit can change you into a New Creation, Christ in you… but, you must totally surrender everything to Him. (As long as you think you can do it on your own, He’ll let you; and, you will fail.) … Have questions &/or need Prayer?… If yes, please reply or call (702) 592-4098.
Please continue to Pray for our nation that God would open all our eyes to the sins that are drowning us. Lukewarmness, abortion, sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, hatred & divisiveness, greed, pride, rebellion, covetousness, etc. Please Pray and Fast for our nation to turn from this evil that is enveloping us.
II Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
… AND YET, God is Sovereign and has called us to live in such a time as this and to be His Light in the darkness… to give Hope to some. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Please Pray for Brother Robert traveling to preach in several churches in several states.
Please continue to keep Sister Fabiola and her children in Mexico in our Prayers. This Sister and her family, in a short time period, have been hit with a more tragedies (persecutions) than most of us have in our entire life time… the murder of her husband, x-husband and one of her children. And, recently, her modest home (a shack by any American standard) was burnt to the ground. …Her neighbor’s house caught fire and due to the closeness of her home, it caught fire, too. Brothers & Sisters, please Pray for God’s Holy touch on Fabiola and her family.
Please continue to Pray for Geo, a banker, who was deployed by the military to the Mideast. Pray God would keep him safe and that God would bring Geo closer to Him; and, that Geo would share God with all his company and those who come in contact with him.
I’ve been told by one Geo’s co-workers, Lorraine Flores, who says she considers Geo a son, that the day Geo was deployed to the Mideast, his girlfriend delivered his new baby. Please Pray Geo would Walk in God’s Light and be a Godly husband and father. And, please Pray for Geo’s family. (Also, please Pray for both Lorraine Flores and her biological son that was deployed the same day as Geo, but to Africa.)
Please continue to Pray for Brother Mark Pedder, a missionary in the Philippines. Please Pray for Mark, Mark’s wife for strength in their trials, tribulations and persecution.
Please continue to Pray for Gemma that she be delivered from evil and receive Jesus as her Savior.
Please continue to Pray for Brother Walt to be reconciled with his son and his son’s family.
Please continue to Pray for Brother John LaPorte’s roommate, Brother Freddy, whose commitment to Christ caused his wife to separate from him for 6 years. The couple have 2 daughters. Both parents has stayed single all this time of separation… Within the recent past, it appears his wife, Arlene, has been Saved and the couple are beginning their reconciliation process. They are planning to reunite the family again under one roof in the next few months. Please Pray for their total reconciliation with God at their helm.
Please continue to Pray for a group of well-known Southern Nevada commercial real estate brokers and associates recently in a one-car accident. The occupants had all been drinking alcohol. One passenger died leaving 3 young daughters, one suffered serious head trauma, two had mild trauma, and the driver has been charged. Please Pray for the driver and all those effected by this tragedy …that God would direct their eyes to Him, The King of Mercy, Grace and Salvation.
Please continue Pray for our President and ALL our government leaders of both parties. Pray they would submit their authority to His Authority and ask for His Wisdom in directing the affairs of our nation. Please Pray that God would open their eyes and they would be obedient to His Will.
Please continue to Pray for Brother Frank Sun, a Taiwanese, that owns several businesses in China and Taiwan. Please Pray Frank will be bold in his sharing Christ in his companies and that he will be faithful to disciple the new Believers.
AND, let each of us use Frank’s example and share the Love and Salvation of Jesus to our coworkers, employees, family, friends and acquaintances … Invest in the Eternal!
Please continue to Pray for Brother Walt and His Friday Bible Study.
Please continue to Pray for the Women’s Pro-Life ministries in Las Vegas that they would lead women to the Lord and continue to assist in saving babies’ lives.
Please continue to Pray for Jim Nelson and family ministering in China.
Please continue to Pray for Dave Ubank and his family. They are ministering and rescuing children and families in Syria directly affected by ISIS – Pray for their protection and their ministry. For a short 2 minute video about Ubanks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_htIgIvgDM[/embedyt
Please continue to Pray for our Brothers’ and Sisters’ struggling with various addictions. Pray that God would reveal Himself to them that all things are possible through Him… He can Cure any addiction … He is our Great Creator, He is our Savior, He is our Healer …He is our All and All!
Please continue to Pray for Alejandro Corral, his son Alejandro Jr.
Please continue to Pray for Brother Steve Venable dealing with ALS.
Please continue to Pray for our Persecuted Brothers and Sisters and their families that are suffering and giving their lives for our Faith.
Please stand with your Brothers and Sisters in Prayer and Support. (See: The Voice of the Martyrs: https://www.persecution.com)
Please continue to pray for Biblical “headship” in families.
Please continue to Pray for all our children.
Please continue to Pray that there would be a resurgence of Biblical “Fear of the Lord” in the church and in each of us… “to fear the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.”
Please continue to Pray for Brother Ron Brink’s son who had 3+ military tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and who is now suffering brain damage and PTSD. Pray for God’s Healing Power to fall upon Johnathon. (Ron is a 20 plus year missionary in Mexico with Touch Baja… for info on Touch Baja and how to touch the Mexican people for Christ, see http://www.touchbaja.com.)