Listen to me, O coastlands,
and give attention, you peoples from afar.
The Lord called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name.
2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow;
in his quiver he hid me away.
3 And he said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my right is with the Lord,
and my recompense with my God.”
5 And now the Lord says,
he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him;
and that Israel might be gathered to him—
for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord,
and my God has become my strength—
6 He says:
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
I will make you as a light for the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
7 Thus says the Lord,
the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,
the servant of rulers:
“Kings shall see and arise;
princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
God, being rich in mercy, because of the great Love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved —
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
God describes Himself to us, 1 Corinthians 13:
Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.
It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.
All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever...
There are three things that remain -- faith, hope, and love -- and the greatest of these is love.
8 You brought a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it;
it took deep root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches.
11 It sent out its branches to the sea
and its shoots to the River.
We could relate this to:
Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.
I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots; his young shoots will grow. His splendor will be like an olive tree, his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.
God gives us a path, giving us His help accomplishing His plans for us. Psalm 11 tells us life tests us, but if we look for the good pitches -
24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared -
Jesus compared the Kingdom of Heaven to putting down seed - starting a crop - then He tells us to work - to chase away what would not be enduring. To remove the hard knots of bitterness. To protect our lives from over analysis without mercy. To set priorities deliberately and not to be pushed by the day when possible. Always first in prayer for His blessing, grace and mercy.
31 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
If you are expecting a Sequoia - there is importance in the decision to be like the Centurion - Expecting God to be with us. God allows Himself time - we wait upon Him.
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
The Kingdom of God IS Joy. Expectation of Joy.
And the second is like unto it:
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
In both parables - God knows the way forward for the Kingdom of Heaven.
47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. 48 When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
God tells us we know this to be true. When we decide to buck this - people will get argumentative.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.