Luke- Week 4- Day 4

Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,  (29)  Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:  (30)  For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,  (31)  Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;  (32)  A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Luke 2:28-32

And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Luke 2:38 

Explanation:

Aspect #4- We should imitate their worship.

Notice what it says about Simeon’s response to seeing Jesus.  He took Jesus up in His arms, and as he held him, he “blessed God”.  What an incredible thing to be said about you!  I want to be a blessing to God.  I know there have been times where I have been a burden to Him.

He asks God to be able to “depart in peace”, an expression describing the way a believer passes away.  It is not a “ceasing to be”.  It is a departure to another place.  He believed God’s Spirit that told Him he would be able to see the Messiah before he died.  This expression is saying that He believes this child, Jesus, to be the promised Messiah.  This is confirmed by what He says about Jesus. 

Notice also that He calls Jesus “thy salvation”.  He says that Jesus was “prepared before the face of all people”.  The word for people here is a word for a kind of people.  The idea is that Jesus is salvation for Simeon’s people, the nation of Israel, but also for the Gentiles.  Verse 32 confirms this idea.  He is saying that Jesus, the Messiah, is the prepared salvation for every nation, tribe, tongue, and ethnicity.  Jesus isn’t just salvation for Israel, though He certainly is that.  He is salvation for the whole earth!

Anna had a similar response in verse 38.  “And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord”

Luke’s inclusion of their response is instructive for us.  It is confirming the identity of Jesus and giving us insight into His true mission.  Yet, for these people, in this moment, it was an expression of praise and worship.  It was for them a resolution to the consolation and redemption of Israel for which they had been waiting.  They were anticipating God’s work and His salvation, and now they had seen it in the person of Jesus.  This led them to worship!

Application: 

Our worship should have an anticipatory flavor.  Paul said that when we observe the Lord’s Supper that we remember his death “until he comes”. 

For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 

1 Corinthians 11:26

It is an obedient expression of worship in anticipation of Christ’s imminent return. 

And Christ will return.

And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.  (7)  Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Revelation 22:6-7

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.  (13)  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Revelation 22:12-13

He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 

Revelation 22:20 

Response:

Are you worshipping in a way that anticipates Christ’s return?

Isaiah- Week 12- Day 5- Isaiah 58:9-0

God blesses obedient worship.

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.  (9)  Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.

Isaiah 58:8-9a

And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:  (11)  And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.  (12)  And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. 

Isaiah 58:10-12 

Explanation:

Most fathers love to bless their children.  This is a point that Jesus made.

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?  (12)  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?  (13)  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Luke 11:11-13 

In this passage God has answered the question of those in Israel who were asking why God did not seem to be responding to their expressions of worship.  He told them that they were practicing oppression and selfishness along with their worship.  The remedy He called for was to offer expressions of worship that lead to sanctification, mercy, justice, generosity, selflessness, fleeing injustice and expressing compassion. In today’s verses we see that the results of these expressions of genuine worship toward God would lead to the blessings of God in their lives.  Look at the expressions of blessing God promises will be poured out to the children of Israel when they forsook empty worship, and worshipped God authentically:

Light

“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning…” v.8

“then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday…” v.10 

Health

“and thine health shall spring forth speedily…” v.8

Righteousness

“and thy righteousness shall go before thee…” v.8

Reward

“the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward..” v.9

Answered Prayer

“then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am….” v.9

Guidance

“And the LORD shall guide thee continually…” v. 11

Provision

“…and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” . v.11

Legacy

“And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.”  v.12

Application:

Do you want to live under the blessing of God?  Do you want to have a legacy of being used by God to make a difference in the lives of those around you?  If you do, you must reject empty ritualism.  You must reject oppression and selfishness.  You must reject a kind of worship that seeks to manipulate God into getting what you want.  You must understand that God expects genuine, authentic worship.  God’s desire is to bless those who are obedient.  The first step of obedience is to trust in Christ as your personal Savior.  We must acknowledge our sin and repent.  We must turn to Him by faith, knowing that outside of Jesus Christ we are lost and still in our sin.  Once we are saved, we can offer God worship that honors and glorifies Him.  We become one of His kids, and like a loving Father, He blesses His obedient children.

Response:

Do you know Christ as Savior?  Jesus said that no man comes to the Father except by Him.  Trust in Christ today?

Believers, is your worship of God regular and authentic?  God blesses obedience!

Isaiah- Week 12- Day 1- Isaiah 58:1-3

God Rejects Empty Ritualism

Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.  (2)  Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.  (3)  Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.   

(Isaiah 58:1-3)

Explanation:

At the beginning of Isaiah 58, God gives Isaiah 4 commands:  Cry aloud, Spare not, Lift up thy voice, and shew my people their transgression.  Notice that these commands are both confrontational and seem to indicate being loud about them.  There is an urgency in verse one.  God is telling Isaiah to declare the sins of God’s people, “the house of Jacob”, and to do it both urgently and loudly.

In verse 2 we see why it is a good time to do this.  God’s people are sinful, as we can tell by verse 1, but God declares that there seems to be a desire that these people had to know and please God.  There seems to be the possibility of repentance.  He says they “seek him daily”, that they “delight to know my ways”, and that they “take delight in approaching to God”.  You see in this verse the desire for knowledge, and the desire to commune with God.  This is good, but apparently it was not enough.  God was pleased with this desire to know Him, but there was a problem.  They were lacking in their true obedience to Him.

Verse three records their question to him.  “Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge?” They could be summed up in this way:  “God, we are doing these religious practices like fasting, so why aren’t you listening?  It’s like you don’t even know or care about the worship through fasting that we are offering to you!”

God begins to the answer to them in the last half of verse 3, when he says, “Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.”  In other words, on the same day that they sought to you worship God through a fast, they were oppressing other people and serving themselves.  Their worship of God was shown to be just empty ritual because of the worship of themselves expressed by disobedience to the law of God during the rest of the day.

Notice what God did not say.  He did not deny that He was unresponsive to their worship.  He was being unresponsive to their worship and was not answering them in the way they desired.  Their behavior exhibited the fact that their worship was mere empty ritualism, and this kind of worship is unacceptable to God.

Application:

God does not desire for us to worship him formally on one day of the week, and then to act disobediently and worship something else the other six days of the week.  Worship does not just happen corporately at a weekly religious event.  Worship is a lifestyle.  It is the flow of our life.  This is why Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”  Of course, that verse refers to eating meat offered to idols or not, but also calls us to have a proper motivation behind every decision we make in life.  Every decision we make throughout our day ought to be filtered by the question:  “Am I doing this as unto the Lord?”

Response:

Does your Sunday match your Monday?  Is worshipping God a one-day event for you, or is it the pattern of your life?

Isaiah- Week 12- Day 5- Isaiah 58:8-12

God blesses obedient worship.

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.  (9)  Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.

Isaiah 58:8-9a

And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:  (11)  And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.  (12)  And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. 

Isaiah 58:10-12 

Explanation:

Most fathers love to bless their children.  This is a point that Jesus made.

Luke 11:11-13  If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?  (12)  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?  (13)  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

In this passage God has answered the question of those in Israel who were asking why God did not seem to be responding to their expressions of worship.  He told them that they were practicing oppression and selfishness along with their worship.  The remedy He called for was to offer expressions of worship that lead to sanctification, mercy, justice, generosity, selflessness, fleeing injustice and expressing compassion. In today’s verses we see that the results of these expressions of genuine worship toward God would lead to the blessings of God in their lives.  Look at the expressions of blessing God promises will be poured out to the children of Israel when they forsook empty worship, and worshipped God authentically:

Light

“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning…” v.8

“then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday…” v.10 

Health

“and thine health shall spring forth speedily…” v.8

Righteousness

“and thy righteousness shall go before thee…” v.8

Reward

“the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward..” v.9

Answered Prayer

“then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am….” v.9

Guidance

“And the LORD shall guide thee continually…” v. 11

Provision

“…and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” . v.11

Legacy

“And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.”  v.12

Application:

Do you want to live under the blessing of God?  Do you want to have a legacy of being used by God to make a difference in the lives of those around you?  If you do, you must reject empty ritualism.  You must reject oppression and selfishness.  You must reject a kind of worship that seeks to manipulate God into getting what you want.  You must understand that God expects genuine, authentic worship.  God’s desire is to bless those who are obedient.  The first step of obedience is to trust in Christ as your personal Savior.  We must acknowledge our sin and repent.  We must turn to Him by faith, knowing that outside of Jesus Christ we are lost and still in our sin.  Once we are saved, we can offer God worship that honors and glorifies Him.  We become one of His kids, and like a loving Father, He blesses His obedient children.

Response:

Do you know Christ as Savior?  Jesus said that no man comes to the Father except by Him.  Trust in Christ today?

Believers, is your worship of God regular and authentic?  God blesses obedience!