Morning Prayer 18/07/21 (7th Sunday after Trinity)
(Denise Gelder -Diocesan Reader)
Jesus Our Hope
(Bible Readings : Isaiah 60: 1-5,8-22 and Mark 6: 30-34,53-56)
Lord, help us to hear and receive Your truths and apply them to our life, Amen
Last week we sang a hymn that Jeanette said she grew up with and one I love too.
“Will your anchor hold in the storms of life?”
We have certainly been through some storms recently and according to Scripture we can expect more. When the world turns away from God, when we turn our back on Him and His teachings, we can expect consequences.
We live in God’s world, He made it, it is His. He created us and put us here, so how dare we do things our way and change His ways and teachings. Someone in this church once said to me, some time ago,
“If only we obeyed God and did things that He said and obeyed Him , we wouldn’t have any problems .” True. But we seem to enjoy sin!
The Israelites were sent into exile because they sinned, they went against God, did things their way, so had to learn the hard way, and receive God’s discipline.
But God was watching over them and will fulfil His Covenant with them.
Isaiah saw the dawn of salvation for them,
Messiah has come and His glory is among them.
“Arise, shine for your Light has come.”
Jesus is the Light of the world. There is Hope for them.
Israel was to be the bearer of salvation to the nations of the world.
In his vision, of the coming of Messiah, Isaiah saw all nations covered in a cloud of thick darkness. No knowledge of God---ignorant of the Truth. [He could be talking about God’s world today!]
God’s response to the darkness was to come in Glory among His people Israel;
the people of God.
John, chapter 1 verses 1-5, gives a lovely picture of this.
Isaiah simply foresaw the coming of Messiah, Jesus; and the Glory of His Presence, which would shine out from His people to those in darkness.
This of course began to be fulfilled when Jesus was born and is continuing to be fulfilled today. We are encouraged to be eagerly looking forward to the return of Jesus who will rule and reign over the whole nation from Jerusalem.
His Glory is among all who decide to put our trust in Him, who have accepted His death, His Blood, as the price paid for our salvation. This is available for both Jew and Gentile, for rich and poor, for all who believe in Jesus and accept salvation in His Name allowing Him to change us, making us like His Son. Living a life different, separate from the way the world lives. All who are part of the New Covenant of believers are called to,
“Arise, shine and reflect the Light of the Glory of God, to shatter the darkness of ignorance and sin and to show compassion, love and truth to those around us”.
In earlier chapters, Isaiah had prophesied a mass return of Jews to Israel but many of the exiles chose to remain, and only a few returned to their homeland. It is believed only since 1948 when the modern state of Israel was founded that more Jews are returning to Israel. We call it ‘making Aliyah’, returning home!
Many have now returned, firstly by ship and now by air. Many don’t know why they are returning but the Lord is behind this as His plan is to make Himself known to them once he has fulfilled His plan for us Gentiles. So if you haven’t yet accepted Jesus into your heart and confessed our sinful state, don’t delay, turn from your sin and turn to Christ today and tell your family, friends and neighbours before it is too late.
On one of my teaching, deliverance and healing trips, this time to Israel, I was privileged to stay in the apartment of a family who were on the very first boat from Albania , with Jews making Aliyah to Israel. Since then they have all accepted Yeshua, Jesus, as their Messiah. Very exciting.
God will never reject the Jewish people, even though they reject Him. He will ever be faithful. That goes for us Gentiles too , who love Him. Once we belong to Him, He will never abandon us, His love permanently surrounds us and even when we sin, He is waiting to forgive us and restore us to a right relationship with Him when we are sorry.
The Jewish people had been scattered across many lands by conquerors from many armies. Armies from Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Greece and the Romans, who deliberately attempted to wipe the Jews off the face of the earth. But Isaiah foresaw a time coming when the scattering would stop. The Romans renamed Jerusalem, Capitalina, and the land,’ Palestine’, as a final insult to the Jews. But the day will come when God will be honoured in Jerusalem, not only through the re-gathering, the return of the children of Israel, but by people bringing the wealth of their nations to honour God. People who once hated and oppressed Israel would come to recognise Israel’s God as the One True God of the universe and bring their gifts to honour and praise His Name.
There will be difficult days to go through yet before we see the fulfilment of this prophecy. But we look with Hope to the return of Jesus and the fulfilment of Micah 4 when all nations will say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the House of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways so that we may walk in His paths.”
The day will come when,
“The law will go out from Zion, the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
God never fails to keep His promises to His children. He is unchanging and utterly reliable. We do well to put our Hope and trust in Him. We would be wise to pray for the land of Israel and the people, as Jesus said,
"I will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse her.”
And remember Jesus is Jewish.
We meet Him in our second reading. The ordinary people loved Him and followed Him whenever they could. Jesus had compassion on them as they were like sheep without a shepherd, lost. He taught them many things. We read it is His teaching that sets us free. That is the key; His teachings the Word, the scriptures, the Bible.
When I became a Christian I read and read my Bible, asking Jesus to give me a revelation of what I was reading . He showed me Scripture after Scripture to do with deliverance leading to healing, all from the Old Covenant [Testament ]. He showed me that I could apply them to myself and as I did I received healing from many issues.
I had struggled for 30 years with an issue which was completely healed by one Scripture that God showed me. The doctor was utterly amazed when I told him I didn’t need the tablets anymore as I had been healed by God through prayer. I even died on a Russian train on our journey from Kiev where we had been teaching and ministering Jesus’ deliverance and healing in a church.
Jesus took His disciples aside and taught them all they needed to know to carry His work on when He was no longer with them. He told them,
“I have come that you might have life in all its fullness.
The devil has come to steal, kill and destroy.”
[John 10 verse 10]
Wherever He went He had compassion on the people. They knew He could help them, hence they followed Him wherever possible. And He healed them.
Whoever touched the hem of His garment also received healing .The fringes and hem of the garment reminded them, not only of the commandments, God’s teachings to protect us, but also they were not to live their life after their own ways. Their life had to be one of obedience, trust, submission and of living faith to God. Like the fringes and tassels on their prayer shawls they were to be daily twisting, tying and binding their lives together with the Lord, thus gaining the strength needed for a tightly wrapped relationship with the God of the universe.
This is what God is looking for from all of His disciples today. We need to be constantly topping up our lamps with oil, so that when the cry comes,
“Behold the Bridegroom is come.” ,
we will go in with Him to the wedding Feast at the end of the age.
But we need to obey all His Word, not just pick and choose what we like the sound of. We need to seek Him and reverently pester Him for our healing. He came to a hurting and lost world, to feed the hungry, the physical and spiritual, to heal the sick and hurting and proclaim salvation into the Kingdom of God.
Let us put our Hope and Trust in Him
and daily seek ALL of what He wants to do in us.
Help us Lord to be greedy for all You have for us,
so we receive every little crumb that You planned for us individually.
Thank you Lord,