Thursday, 25 September 2014

Studying through Isaiah {a nearly new Bible study}

I am SO sorry for not telling you about this sooner, but I am studying through a new Bible Study. I had fully intended to tell you BEFORE I started, but life kind of got "in the way". As before, if you want to join, we have a Facebook group where we are sharing our thoughts, daily, or whenever we are able.

Previously, I have studied through smaller books, such as an Epistle, and only read a few verses per day.  In recent years I have read through Isaiah, and thought about coming back to it, to write down my thoughts, and study it in a bit more detail. I thought now was as good a time as any!

I knew that there were many references to Christ, particularly in a prophetic way, throughout Isaiah. Springing from that knowledge, I decided to do two things, as I read a chapter a day. Firstly, asking, and noting down, how is the Lord challenging me in this chapter? Secondly, how can I see Christ in this chapter. I knew it wouldn't always be a direct reference, but just searching to see the Saviour in my reading. It's a valuable thing to do in ANY Bible reading. It may not be reading more into the meaning of the verses, than God intended in its literal meaning, but simply trying to remember that Christ is the theme of the whole of scripture. He's there, in many ways, all the way through.

So, we began last Monday, reading a chapter a day, Monday to Friday, with the weekend to do less of a formal Bible reading, or to catch up on the week.

Already, my heart is being blessed, as I see Christ afresh, in new ways, chapter by chapter.

Let me share some of the thoughts that have blessed my heart, and challenged me.

One thing that has struck me is the reference to conflict and enemies.  We live in a day and age where we see much conflict, and many enemies. It's SO like the times of Isaiah.

Chapter one challenged me to be DOING. There is a list, in verses 16-19, of verbs.

Wash, put away, cease, learn, seek, relieve, judge and plead.

Our Christian life SHOULD be one of action. We don't rest on our laurels, waiting for heaven. We should be working for the Lord - serving Him, in whatever way we can.  More importantly, the instruction to be "willing and obedient" is given. We are not to begrudgingly serve our Saviour, but with a willing heart, give of all we have and are. Obeying, with a happy heart.

Chapter 2 mentions two times (and any time something is repeated in scripture, it's worthy of note), that the loftiness of man will be bowed down, and haughtiness brought low.  Chapter 9 also spoke of pride. We need to send pride packing. We can not be anything other than humble in our Christian walk. To think that we are without fault, and never in the wrong, is sinful! Pride abased, the Lord lifted up. "He must increase, and I must decrease".

Chapter 3 reminded me that it is the righteous who eat "fruit". We need to seek righteousness, "and all these things shall be added" unto us.

Chapter 5 was a reminder that sin must be punished, and it angers God.

Chapter 6 was the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up. Where is the Lord in MY life? Is He in the highest position, or am I allowing other things to come before the things of my Saviour?

I have especially enjoyed finding Christ!  Seeing my Saviour, has been the joy of my mornings, and a treasure worth seeking and finding.

Chapter 1 I saw him in scarlet and crimson, pointing me to His shed blood,.
Chapter 2 was Christ as a rebuker, as we remember Him doing so to the Pharisees, and even His own disciples.
Chapter 3, was pointing to THE righteousness, and my own unrighteousness before Him.
Chapter 4, Christ the branch, beautiful to us, and all glorious.
Chapter 5, Christ, arms outstretched to save, in love, as the antithesis of judgement, also needed.
Chapter 6, our sin purged, by the work of Christ alone, not by any works of our own.
Chapter 7, Immanuel, God with us! What a precious, yet awesome, truth!
Chapter 8, a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence - but to us who believe, HE IS PRECIOUS!
Chapter 9, oh the thrill in that list of names - Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. SO much, in just a few names.

It's fascinating how much you can find.  The Lord has already truly blessed the reading of this book, to my heart and life.

Please join in this study, or plan to start it at some point.  You will not be disappointed.

I will be coming back to you, to share some more deeper insights, which the Lord has challenged me with.

You can find our study group if you search for Bible Study Blessings on Facebook. We'd love to have you join us!

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