Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Isaiah 65-66, Mark 15
What a warning Isaiah 65 gives to us. Since the Jews did not want what God was offering them and would not respond to His appeals, God turned His program to the Gentiles. There are consequences for rejecting God’s word and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. “Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.” (65:12) If I had to narrow down the number one problem in the church today, I would say it is apathy. People are not passionate about 100% surrender to God and His program. We are so distracted by this life and the appeals to our flesh. We love to treat our service for the Lord like a smorgasbord restaurant. The things God wants us to do are simply options among all the things we want to do. In this chapter, God lists the reasons why He was not answering the prayers of the Jews. They resisted His grace and His loving appeals, though He held out His arms to them and spoke to them through His Word (Rom. 10:21). They went their own way (Is. 53:6) and provoked Him with their evil worship of false gods. They ate food that was unclean and openly worshiped idols in the high places. And yet these rebellious people considered themselves to be better than others! “I am holier than thou!” (Is. 65:5) It is interesting to compare how Israel responded to God (Is. 65) in selfish rebellion and how Christ responded to God (Mark 15) with humble submission. Today we find the church, much like Israel, often sitting through preaching but refusing to change, living according to their own desires, worshipping money or other false gods, taking liberties God never intended for His children, and all the while thinking they are better than the unsaved world. No wonder we have powerless Christians with pathetic prayer lives today.
• Lord, help me to always be sensitive to the conviction and leading of the Holy Spirit.
• Lord, please help me to always be honest with my own heart. I am not better than any other person, but I want to be conformed into the image of Christ. Please help me learn to be consecrated and never conceited.
• Lord, remind me of your justice and the clear consequences for disobedience to your word. Help me to live according to your program for my life.