Monday, October 19, 2015, 3:13 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Your Grace Divine.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 62 (NASB). For Zion’s Sake (v. 1) For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, And her salvation like a torch that is burning. Zion is another name for the church, the body of Christ. Much of the church of today, particularly here in the USA, is living in open rebellion against God, or is living in spiritual apathy and/or adultery, and is following after the gods of this world, instead of following their Lord Jesus in obedience to his will for their lives. They go through the motions of having a relationship with Jesus Christ, and of religious activities, but their hearts are far from God. God gets little of their time, thoughts, energies, heart and/or passion. They live primarily to do what they want and to please themselves. Many who claim to know Christ are still in slavery to sin and are walking in darkness. They are liars and deceivers, who profess one thing outwardly, while they do the opposite when they think no one sees. Others, who know Christ, have forsaken their Lord and have returned to a sinful course, and are living as though they have not been cleansed from their sins. And, many of these have, thus, chased after a false grace gospel, which gives free license to continue in sin. So, God is saying here, that for the sake of his people, the church, the body of Christ, he will not keep silent, and his messengers will not remain quiet until Zion’s (the church’s) righteousness shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a torch that is burning. Righteousness means, “What is approved in God’s eyes” - http://biblehub.com/greek/1343.htm). This has to do with not just being positionally righteous through faith in Jesus Christ, but it has to do with living righteously, i.e. with walking according to the Spirit and no longer persisting in conducting our lives after our sinful flesh (See: Ro. 8:1-14). It has to do with death to sin and living to righteousness, no longer living to please ourselves, but living to please the ONE who gave his life up for us. And, it has to do with submission to the Spirit of God, and walking in Christ’s holiness – set apart (unlike, different) from the world, because we are becoming like Christ. Appointed Watchmen (vv. 6-7) On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves; And give Him no rest until He establishes And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. A watchman is a person who keeps watch over God’s flock, who confronts God’s people with their sins of idolatry and spiritual adultery, warns of divine judgment, warns of wolves in sheep’s clothing and against false doctrines, calls for repentance and holy living, but also promises restoration and renewal to the repentant. Jerusalem, in this case, is heavenly Jerusalem, i.e. those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior of their lives. God has called some of his servants and messengers today to serve as his watchmen and watchwomen to the church to do just what the prophets of old did with regard to the children of Israel when they were living in adultery against their Lord. Those whom God has called to be his watchmen and watchwomen are to be encouraged here to not give up, but to keep persevering in giving out God’s messages, even in the face of much rejection, persecution, opposition and much apathy in the people’s responses to the messages. We are to continue to believe God to change the hearts of his people, and that he is going to revive his church, even if it looks hopeless, sometimes, from all outward appearances. We are to be diligent and dedicated to the call God has placed on our lives, and we are to never give up hope. We are to stay the course until the church is revived. Clear the Way (vv. 10-12) Go through, go through the gates, Clear the way for the people; Build up, build up the highway, Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples. Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth, Say to the daughter of Zion, “Lo, your salvation comes; Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.” And they will call them, “The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord”; And you will be called, “Sought out, a city not forsaken.” The message here, I believe, is that we are to break through these barriers and obstacles that are keeping God’s people from obeying him, i.e. we are to expose them for what they are, to confront the lies and deceptions, and to reveal how, biblically, these deceptions are not supported, and that, in fact, they are contrary to the teachings of scripture. Then, we need to proclaim what the truth is, so that the people will know what the Bible really says. We are to teach the way of holiness, and of walking in Christ’s righteousness, teaching the people of God that his grace is not a free license to continue in sin without guilt and without remorse, and teaching them, too, that God does indeed require repentance and obedience. We are to teach that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, not just so we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die (1 Pet. 2:24). We are to teach that God has called us to be holy, set apart (unlike, different) from the world, because we are becoming like Christ. We are to share with God’s people that Jesus also died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave himself up for us, and so that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us who walk, not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (2 Co. 5:15; Ro. 8:1-14). We are to proclaim that faith in Jesus Christ means putting off our old lives of sin, being transformed of the Spirit of God in heart and mind, and it means putting on our new lives in Christ Jesus, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:17-24). We must also proclaim to the ends of the earth that Jesus Christ is coming soon to judge all things and to gather his people to him. This is when our salvation will be complete. This is when we will receive our rewards for the things done in this life (See: Rev. 22:12). If we have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we will live eternally with God in glory. If we have refused his voice, have gone our own stubborn way, and have not followed him in obedience, and have not turned from our sins, and thus have not be regenerated of the Spirit of God, what awaits us is eternal punishment in eternal fire. Those who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives are called God’s holy people, set apart for God and for his service. We are the redeemed of the Lord, because he bought us back for God with his shed blood on a cross for our sins. Your God Will Rejoice (vv. 2-5) The nations will see your righteousness, And all kings your glory; And you will be called by a new name Which the mouth of the Lord will designate. You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, And a royal diadem in the hand of your God. It will no longer be said to you, “Forsaken,” Nor to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate”; But you will be called, “My delight is in her,” And your land, “Married”; For the Lord delights in you, And to Him your land will be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, So your sons will marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So your God will rejoice over you. As a result of the messages of these watchmen (and women) going forth, and of God’s persistence in continually speaking to his adulterous church concerning their sins and concerning the veil of deception which they are presently under, exposing the lies, proclaiming the truth, and calling them to repentance and renewed faith, the church, which presently in a spiritual stupor, will be awakened, and will repent of her sins, and will return to her Lord, and she will be revived and restored to fellowship with her God. Then, the nations will see the light of Christ’s righteousness and holiness coming forth from the revived church, and many people from all over the world will come to faith in Jesus Christ. No longer will God’s holy people be referred to as “adulterous” and “idolatrous,” or as in a state of “spiritual stupor,” for they will be revived, and will be called by a new name which will indicate that the bride of Christ is now living in purity, righteousness and faithfulness to her Lord and husband. Yet, this can take place only because Jesus paid the price for her sins so she can be free, and only because she trusted in Christ to be her Savior and Lord, and only in the power and working of the Spirit of God within her. The bride of Christ, who was living in adultery, will return to her husband, and the Lord will take delight in her, and she will now truly submit to him as her only Lord and master. Amen! Your Grace Divine / An Original Work / November 6, 2011 All I have is Yours, Lord. You gave all to me, When You died at Calv’ry On that cruel tree. Crucified for my sins; You paid what I owe, So I’d be forgiven; My God come to know. All I have is Yours, Lord. You gave all to me, When You died at Calv’ry On that cruel tree. Lord, I am so thankful For Your grace divine. I invited You, Lord, In this heart of mine. I have been forgiven For all of my sins, So I’d live with Jesus; His grace flow within. Lord, I am so thankful For Your grace divine. I invited You, Lord, In this heart of mine. Growing in Your grace, Lord; Live for You each day; How I love to worship You throughout my day. Sitting at Your feet, Lord, List’ning to You speak, Leads me to love You, Lord, More throughout the week. Growing in Your grace, Lord; Live for You each day; How I love to worship You throughout my day.