Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 7.20.11

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WEDNESDAY—Game Changing Experience
Big Point: Isaiah’s humbling experiences and learning about forgiveness prepared him for ministry.

Life is full of ups and downs. We are constantly facing trials and tribulations wondering ‘Why me?’ or ‘When will I catch a break?’ or even… ‘I am a Christian, isn’t life supposed to get easier?’ Did you ever stop to think that you needed to experience the tough situations in life to be prepared to do God’s work? Isaiah lived among the wicked and the corrupt. So much so that when he came face to face with the Al-mighty Lord, he was instantly humbled. Isaiah felt that he was not worthy and that now he was doomed. He had lived a sinful life among the sinful people who disobeyed this all powerful God and there was no way God would spare him. God had other plans for him though. God forgave Isaiah and this created even greater admiration on Isaiah’s part for the Lord, so much so that Isaiah pledged himself to the Lord as His servant. God wants us to learn valuable lessons from our experiences and pass them on. He does his good works through us, if only we open our eyes to His glory.

READ…What does the Bible say?
Isaiah 6:4-7 (New Living Translation)
4 Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.5 Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”

Isaiah 66:2 (New Living Translation)
My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the Lord, have spoken! “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word.

Micah 7:18-19 (New Living Translation)
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

THINK…Find the answers
Isaiah felt that he was doomed because of his sins, but then something remarkable happened. What did God do to him?

What are some reasons we should humble ourselves?

LIVE…What will you do now?
Can you think of different situations you have encountered throughout your life in which God was preparing you for the future in some way, shape, or form?

How can reflecting on your life‘s lessons and using what you have learned from the past help you make better choices in the future?

PRAY…God, What do You want me to know & do?
We may not always understand God‘s reasoning, but we need to trust in the Lord that He is preparing us for His bigger purpose. Pray for God to humble your heart, forgive you of your sins, and use you along with your experiences to help bring followers to Christ.

DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY:
v7-10 As this section opens God sends Jeremiah to the Temple gates to refute the false belief that God would not let harm come to the Temple or to those who lived near it. Jeremiah rebukes the people for their false and worthless religion, their idolatry and the shameless behavior of the people and their leaders. Jeremiah was almost put to death for this message but was saved by the officials of Judah. The people followed a worship ritual but maintained a sinful lifestyle. It was religion without a personal commitment to God. There are many parallels between how the people of Judah viewed their temple and how people today view their churches. Jesus uses the words from 7:11 in clearing the Temple.
v8 When people fall down or realize that they are headed in the wrong direction, it only makes sense for them to get up, or change directions. But as God watched the nation, He saw people living sinful lives by choice, deceiving themselves that there would be no consequences. Jeremiah pleaded with God to save his people and portrayed his emotions as he watched them reject God.
v9 Jeremiah felt conflicting emotions concerning his people. Lying, deceit, treachery, adultery and idolatry had become common sins. He was set apart from them by his mission from God, but he was one of them too. He was angered by their sin, but he had compassion also. God’s justice results from the condition of our hearts, not some physical sign of our bodies.
v10 Most people would like to know the future, or at least they think they would. God promises to guide us. He knows our future and the plans he has for us. Those who trust in man-made devices to tell the future will not be successful, and will ultimately look foolish for trusting in something or someone other than God. The “shepherds” of Judah were the evil leaders, leading the people of Judah astray. God’s ability to direct our lives is far superior to our ability.

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