He is despised and rejected by men

He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.  Isaiah 53:3

These verse described prophetically what Jesus would go through at Calvary.  He was despised and rejected because of us.  He knew the price that had to be paid at Calvary and He knew the pain and suffering He would face.  But it was His love for us that drove Him to choose to come to the earth and lay down His life.

Many in the world today despise the name of Jesus.  They reject the existence of God and want nothing to do with Him.  They want to simply live their lives to fulfill the selfish desires that exist within their hearts.  But God in His grace and mercy continues day after day to knock on human heart.  The Lord continues to advance the gospel throughout the earth.

When we understand the grace and mercy of God we will surrender our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ.  To follow Christ means to simply give Jesus all that we are.  His will becomes the driving force in our lives.  We simply live our lives to bring glory and honor to His name.

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Isaiah 40:27-31

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27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:27-31

There are times in our walk with God when it may feel that the Lord has forgotten us or that He doesn’t see the trial or challenge we are currently facing.  But God has designed our lives and it is not by accident that we are following Christ.  He has so designed our lives to cause us to continue to grow in maturity and intimacy with Him.

The Lord has not forgotten us.  His strength and His understanding has no end.  As we wait upon the Lord it is the Lord who strengthens us and enables us to overcome.  Even the young at some point grow tired and weary, but those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.

One of the most difficult thing to do is to wait upon the Lord.  We can’t see beyond today and all we have is God’s word and His promises for us.  He has given us His word and in His word we have example of time and time again of God being faithful in the lives of those who follow after Him and serve them.

There is a very deep work that takes place in our hearts as we wait upon the Lord.  The Lord is continually stretching and growing our faith.  He is teaching us to walk according to His word and the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Throughout the history of God’s people God has brought His servants through seasons of waiting and it is in those seasons that God has done His greatest work.

We live in a microwave culture in which we want everything and we want it right now.  But it doesn’t work the same with the Lord and His kingdom.  When He calls someone He takes His time shaping and molding their life like a piece of clay.  Often when we are waiting on the Lord it is like a bottle in a wine cellar that ages over time and becomes better with time.  Waiting is not easy.  But waiting is essential for us experiencing and walking in every promise and plan God has for us.

Isaiah 25:1

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

Isaiah 25:1 NIV

The Lord is perfect in all things and that includes faithfulness.  Many times when we are waiting upon the Lord and His time it can be very hard for us because we live within time and cannot see beyond today.  But God exist outside of time and sees all things.  He sees the end from the beginning and He is fulfilling His plans and purposes by His grace and power on a daily basis.

The plans He has for us were established before the foundations of the world.  He has placed us on this earth for such a time as this.  He has created us with a unique plan and purpose.  There is no one else like us on this earth.  As we seek Him daily and come to know Him in greater ways we experience His peace and presence in greater ways.

We become more sensitive and more aware of the presence of the Lord.  His voice becomes much more clearer and His leading and His guidance becomes clear.  We learn to praise Him in every situation because we know that He is working all things together for our good.  Walking in deep intimacy with Him and seeking Him daily is key for our relationship with Him.  The more we come to know Him, the more we will be used by Him in greater ways because every decision we make will align with His heart and His will.

Isaiah 1:18: Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” 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 NIV

Our sins are washed away when we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  Our sins no longer remains because of His precious blood that was shed at Calvary.  Under the old covenant which was based upon the law the blood of bulls and goats could not atone for the sins of the people.  Day after day sacrifices needed to be made because the blood of animals could not fully atone for the sins of humanity.

But through Jesus Christ our sins have been atoned for.  Jesus has taken the penalty that we deserved and has offered us the gift of salvation.  Daily the gospel message goes forth into the earth and the Lord is continually knocking on the hearts of people.  He has given all people a freewill whether to choose to follow Him and make Him Lord and Savior, or choose to live this life for themselves and the selfish desires of  this world.

Eternal life is not based upon our works nor our performance.  It is based upon faith in the Son of God alone, Christ Jesus.  As we walk in authentic faith with the Lord we will follow the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives which will produce the fruit of the Spirit and will accomplish the works that God created us for.  May our hearts daily be focused upon Jesus and what He has accomplished for us at Calvary.  May we simply use every day to glorify and magnify His awesome and mighty name.

 

But those who wait on the Lord

31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:31

Waiting on the Lord can be a very difficult and painful thing.  Often times we may ask ourselves why we are called to wait.  The Lord’s timing and His ways are much different than our own.  We base our judgments often times on what we see with our physical eyes and based upon our current circumstances.  But the Lord sees the end from the beginning and everything He does is perfectly designed based upon His sovereign will.

There is a deep work that is done in our hearts and lives as we are called to wait upon the Lord.  There is a maturing process that takes place in our faith and in our relationship with the Lord.  As we wait upon the Lord there are things in our lives that are pruned away and they are replaced with the character of Christ.

Our journey with the Lord is one of transformation.  When we are born into this world we are born into sin and live according to our sinful nature.  But when we come to Christ we are set free from the curse and bondage of sin and the journey of transformation begins.  It is a journey that takes place throughout the course of our lives while we are upon the earth.

The Lord’s desire is to develop within us the fruit of the Holy Spirit.  The fruit of the Holy Spirit is simply the character of Christ and the more we walk with the Lord and spend time in prayer and the study of His word, the more our lives are transformed into His image.  But during our time of waiting upon the Lord the Lord shall strengthen us and sustain us.

One of the reasons waiting is so very difficult is because our sinful selfish nature wants things right now.  When we desire something we want it right way.  But our Father in Heaven understands what needs to take place in our lives so that we will be a wise steward of the things He is bringing into our lives. Through the waiting our hearts are prepared to receive all that He has for us.

All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way

Surely our [e]griefs He Himself bore,
And our [f]sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
[g]Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was [h]pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our [i]well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To [j]fall on Him.  Isaiah 53:4-6

Jesus paid the penalty that we deserved.  Long before Jesus ever walked the earth the prophet Isaiah prophesied about the sacrifice that Jesus would make.  He is the center of all things and when He is lifted up, He will draw all men unto Himself.

Sometimes we can get caught up in our own lives and the things we are facing.  We become discouraged by the circumstances we face, but we must always remember the sacrifice that Jesus made.  He gave His very life and shed His very blood so that we could be free.

Freedom is not a feeling, it is a reality that is only found in Jesus Christ.  But what does it truly mean to follow Jesus.  To follow Jesus means that we must be willing to deny ourselves and pick up our cross.  Our journey with Jesus is one of continually dying to ourselves and abiding in Him in all things.

The Holy Spirit lives within us and empowers us to do all things that God has called us to do.  In ourselves we are nothing, but as we seek the Lord and seek His face, the Holy Spirit makes all things possible.  Let us always focus and fix our hearts upon Jesus.  As we fix our eyes upon Him and seek Him with all our heart, He will use our lives to bring glory and honor unto His name.

But He was pierced through for our transgressions

But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

Isaiah 53:5-6 NASB

Jesus took the punishment that we deserved.  All of us are born into sin and all of us from the day we are born are lost.  We are under the curse of sin and death and it is not until we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ that we are born again.  Isaiah prophesied this hundreds of years before Jesus ever came to earth.  It was God’s plan from the beginning to send His Son to take the place of humanity.  All we have in Christ is because of His love, grace, and mercy.  May we fix our eyes upon Jesus and continue to abide in Him daily.  May we continue to grow and be transformed into the image of who Jesus is.  As we abide the fruit of the Holy Spirit will be produced in our lives.