The Suffering Servant

Isaiah 53 is the song of the Suffering Servant. The Suffering Servant is Jesus the Christ. Isaiah prophesies of the Crucified Christ. Isaiah is in so many ways the prophet of the Christ. No other prophets are given more, or more clear revelations of the Christ that was to come to die on Calvary.

There are over 400 Old Testament prophesies that speak of some aspect of the life  and death of Jesus.  Jesus fulfills them all.  Isaiah 53 is so vividly fulfilled only the foolish could deny the power of this prophecy. Isaiah 53 was fulfilled in the passion of Christ. Only a God could direct  the life and death of Jesus as to fulfill this entire word from Isaiah line by line though uttered 700 years before Jesus was born.

Here is what Jesus has done for us through the afflictions of the  crucifixion:

1) Jesus has “borne our griefs” (vs, 4).

2) Jesus has “carried our sorrows” (vs. 4).

3) Jesus was “wounded for our transgressions” (vs. 5).

4) Jesus was “bruised for our  iniquities” (vs. 5).

5) Jesus has “taken our punishments for our well-being” (vs. 5).

6) Jesus has healed us “by his stripes” (vs. 5).

7) Jesus has taken “the iniquity of us all” (vs. 6).

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Proverbs Chapter 16 (Knowing God and His plans)

Esther Scroll and case

Image by Center for Jewish History, NYC via Flickr

Proverbs Chapter 16 – Commentary/Paraphrase by Bishop Sean Teal

Verse 1 – You may not get what you plan for, but you will get what you keep on saying.

Verse 2 – The Lord knows why we do what we do.

Verse 3 – Whatever you do for the glory of God will succeed.

Verse 4 – Everything God creates has a purpose.

Verse 5 – Proud people are the worst kind of people. Pride will not go unpunished.

Verse 6 – It takes mercy and truth to break the power of sin. The fear of the Lord will motivate holiness.

Verse 7 – How you get along with God will determine how you get along with people.

Verse 8 – It’s better to have less money and be right than to have a lot of money and be wrong.

Verse 9 – People can form plans, but only can God determine the outcome.

Verse 10 – God uses leaders to make  decisions that affect our lives.

Verse 11 – The Lord is just; He is not fair. God is using everything, the bad and good.

Verse 12 – Leaders are not leading if they are not committed to excellence.

Verse 13 – Leaders want honesty and appreciate people who know how to tell the truth.

Verse 14 – An angry leader is dangerous. Wise people know how to disarm angry leaders.

Verse 15 – The smile of a leader is powerful. The favor of a leader is priceless.

Verse 16 – Knowing what to do, when to do it and why you should do it, is better than money.

Verse 17 – Living right prospers and protects your life.

Verse 18 – Pride and arrogance will destroy you.

Verse 19 – Choose your company carefully.

Verse 20 – Taking care of business will get you paid. Trusting God will keep you contented.

Verse 21 – People with discernment must know how to treat people kindly.

Verse 22 – Knowing why things are the way they are will benefit you all of your life, but what empty people say will be empty.

Verse 23 – Mature people coach their conversations and train their tongues.

Verse 24 – Kind and encouraging words are good for your mental and phyiscal health.

Verse 25 – Sincerity can never replace simply discovering and obeying the will of God.

Verse 26  – People work because people want to get something they don’t have.

Verse 27 – Ungodly people refuse to leave the past in the past.

Verse 28 – Crooked people start drama and keep it stirred up. Gossiping people seek to destroy the best of friendships.

Verse 29 – People out of order want to bring other people out of order.

Verse 30 – People will seek to manipulate you with their body language and words.

Verse 31 – Gray hairs are a sign of wisdom on the head of a righteous person.

Verse 32 –  True strength is in your ability to conquer your emotions and your attitudes.

Verse 33 – People decide. God determines!

Learning the Difference

Proverbs chapter 13

Proverbs chapter thirteen profoundly discerns the laws of life.  One of the keys to wisdom is the art of knowing the difference. When you can tell the difference between what is useful and what is useless, you are becoming wise. This is commentary/paraphrase by Bishop Sean Teal.

Verse 1 – A wise child receives correction, a child that talks backs is refusing to be corrected.

Verse 2 – You will live by your words. Your life follows your mouth.

Verse 3– People who guard their words guard their lives.

Verse 4 – Lazy people aren’t willing to work for what they want. Hard working people will increase.

Verse 5 – Righteous people hate gossip. Wicked people enjoy hearing garbage.

Verse 6 – A righteous life is protected by God. Sin destroys the sinner.

Verse 7 – People pretend to be rich and they are over their heads in debt. Other people seem to live simply, with less luxuries, but have great wealth.

Verse 8 – The rich are accustomed to financial planning and wealth protection. The poor are less likely to receive financial correction and an economic education.

Verse 9 – The lives of righteous people shine and make a difference. The wicked grow darker and die.

Verse 10 – When people are in strife and arguments one or both persons are in pride. Wisdom is humble, it settles matters and heals relationships.

Verse 11 – Money gained dishonestly doesn’t last long. People who work hard will continue to increase.

Verse 12 – A dream deferred can be disappointing, but when the dream is fulfilled it creates a new life for you and others connected to you.

Verse 13 – If you ignore the word of God you will suffer for it. If you obey the word of God you will be blessed by it.

Verse 14 – Wise people can positively affect and help redirect the destiny of  lost people.

Verse 15 – Strategic thinking will gain you favor. Doing things out of order creates more difficulties.

Verse 16 – People with wisdom have uncommon sense for common problems. Unwise people will always find ways to display their lack of wisdom.

Verse 17 – People who are irresponsible with their words put themselves in bad situations. A person who knows how to talk to others can help heal wounded souls and situations.

Verse 18 – People who refuse to be educated will be reduced to shame and poverty. Learners are earners.

Verse 19 – Pursuing and achieving noble goals is the best part of life.  The unwise can never find a good reason to change their behavior.

Verse 20 – Show me your friends, I’ll show you your future. Who you hang out with will determine what you get hung up on.

Verse 21 – If there is “bad luck” it belongs to the sinner. The righteous are being rewarded with the abundant life.

Verse 22 – Good leaders set out to leave a legacy and prosperity for the next generation to build upon. The wealth that sinners are holding illegally will be transferred to the righteous.

Verse 23 – There are economic opportunities for the poor, but because of injustice and lack of  education they don’t fulfill their potential.

Verse 24 – A parent that does not discipline does not love their child. Children need to be corrected early and often.

Verse 25 – The righteous know how to live within their means and enjoy their lives. The wicked are always frustrated and never have enough.

The Promises and Prayer

Polish throne at Warsaw Royal Castle

Image via Wikipedia

If God told you to tell Him what to do, what would you tell Him to do?

Can you even imagine God approaching you and offering you the opportunity to direct His eternal plans?  What would you do with the ability to move the heart and hand of God? What would you get God to do if you knew, for sure, He would do it?

By the authority of Holy Scripture, I can assure every born again child of God, you have been given the privilege to influence Father Almighty. Father God wants you to speak to Him and speak for Him exactly what He has been speaking to you. This is how you know, for sure, that the Father will do what you have spoken.

“Once God has spoken, Twice have I heard this: That power belongs to God and lovingkindness is thine..” (Psalm 62:11). God says something once and yet we can hear it twice. How can this be? We must become “echoes of the Eternal”. Whatever God says to us in a promise we should hear  it again in our own prayers. Confession of sins is not our only confession. The confession of our righteousness is just as important.

When the Father has spoken we must speak what He has said. When He speaks the Word what He speaks is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). When we speak the same word the Father has spoken that same word becomes settled on earth (Matthew 18:18).

This is how prayer is to function. Prayer is more than petition. Prayer is supplication and more. Prayer is requisition and more. Prayer is asking and more. Prayer is seeking and more. Prayer is knocking and more.

Prayer is proclaiming. Prayer is declaring. Prayer is commanding the promises of God.

“Ask of me things concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me” (Isaiah 45:11). This verse is a challenge given to every believer. There is petition and more. There is also proclamation. God calls upon His people to proclaim His works and and His will.

The Father introduces Himself as “the Lord, the Holy One of Israel and his Maker”. (vs.11a). We are given the assurance that God is more than enough to answer our prayers. He is “Lord”.  This means He is always and ultimately in charge. He is “Holy One of Israel”. This means the Father has the character to keep His word and bring about His purpose. He is “Maker”. This means the Father is the only true reason and only real cause. All we know and have came from the Father.

The Father has offered you an exclusive position in the kingdom. You can be involved with getting the will of the Father done in earth as it is in heaven. You must “ask concerning” in order to understand God’s will for any particular situation you are dealing with. Once the Lord has confirmed His will to you then command His will in your situation. The Word is how God confirms His will.  If it is God’s will you will find it in God’s word!