August 9, 2020
Comfort, comfort My people – speak tenderly to the heart of Jerusalem – cry to her that her time of service and her warfare are ended – that her punishment is accepted and her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received punishment from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.
A voice of one who cries PREPARE IN THE WILDERNESS THE WAY OF THE LORD (CLEAR AWAY THE OBSTACLES); MAKE STRAIGHT AND SMOOTH IN THE DESERT A HIGHWAY FOR OUR GOD. Every valley shall be lifted and filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked and uneven shall be made straight and level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory (majesty and splendor) of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it.
A voice says, “CRY [PROPHESY]!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” [The voice answered, “Proclaim:] ‘All flesh is as frail as grass, and all that makes it attractive [its kindness, its goodwill, its mercy from God, its glory and comeliness, however good] is transitory, like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely [all] the people are like grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever.'”
O you who bring good tidings to Zion, get up to the high mountain. O you who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with strength, lift it up. Be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, “BEHOLD YOUR GOD!”
Behold, the LORD God will come with might, and His arm will rule for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. He will feed His flock like a Shepherd: He will gather the lambs in His arm, He will carry them in His bosom and will gently lead those that have their young.
……………. GOD IS ALMIGHTY AND ALL-POWERFUL!!!
Lift up your eyes on high and see! Who has created these?…. Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not faint or grow weary; there is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it abound].
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and (selected) young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted; BUT THOSE WHO WAIT FOR THE LORD [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up tot he sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.
Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (who have borne testimony to the Truth), let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance, and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us looking away (from all that will distract) to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith (giving the first incentive for our belief) and is also its Finisher (bringing it to maturity and perfection). He, for the joy (of obtaining the prize) that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Just think of Him who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself (reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials), so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing or fainting in your minds. You have not yet struggled and fought agonizingly against sin, nor have you yet resisted and withstood to the point of pouring our your (own) blood. And have you (completely) forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons? (EVERY TIME IN YOUR WORD, LORD, AND IN TIME WITH YOU!)
My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the LORD, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him; for the LORD corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. You must submit to and endure (correction) for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not (thus) train and correct and discipline?
“Cheerfully submit to the Father God and live!”
God disciplines us for our certain good, that we may be sharers in His own holiness… discipline may seem grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness – in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God). So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees, and cut through and make firm and plain and smooth, straight paths for your feet [yes, make them safe and upright and happy paths that go in the right direction] so that the lame and halting (limbs) may not be put out of joint, but rather may be cured. Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will ever see the LORD.
Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look (after on another), to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it – That no one may become guilty of sexual vice, or become a profane (godless and sacreligious) person as Esau did, who sold his own birthright for a single meal -(relationship/alcohol/food/drug/sin/idol/selfish kingdom) – understand that later on when he wanted (to regain title to) his inheritance of the blessing, he was rejected (disqualified and set aside) for he could find no opportunity to repair by repentance (what he had done, no chance to recall the choice he had made) although he sought for it carefully with (bitter) tears.
For you have not come (as the Israelite did in the wilderness) to a material mountain that can be touched – ablaze with fire and to gloom and darkness and a raging storm – and to the blast of a trumpet and a voice whose word make the listeners beg that nothing more be said to them…. For they could not bear the command that was given and even if a wild animal touches that mountain, it shall be stoned to death… and so awful and terrifying was the phenomenal sight that Moses said, “I am terrified (afraid and trembling with fear).” But rather, you have came to Mt. Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless multitudes of angels in festal gathering, and to the church (assembly) of the Firstborn who are registered (as citizens) in heaven, and to God Who is Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous (the redeemed in heaven) who have been made perfect, and to Jesus, the Mediator (Go-between, Agent) of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks (of mercy) a better and nobler and more gracious message than the blood of Abel (which cried out for vengeance).
So see to it that you do not reject Him or refuse to listen to and heed Him Who is speaking (to you now). For if (they – the Israelites) did not escape when they refused to listen and heed Him Who warned and divinely instructed them (here) on earth (revealing with heavenly warning His will), how much less shall we escape if we reject and turn our backs on Him Who cautions and admonishes (us) from heaven? Then (at Mt. Sinai) His voice shook the earth, but now He has given a promise. “Yet once more I will shake and make tremble not only the earth but also the (starry) heavens.” This indicates the final removal and transformation of all (that can be) shaken – of that which has been created – in order that what cannot be shaken may remain and continue.
Let us therefore, receiving a kingdom that is firm and stable and cannot be shaken, offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship, with modesty and pious care and godly fear and awe, for our God (is indeed) a consuming fire.
… Be instructed and warned O you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with reverent awe and worshipful fear; rejoice and be in high spirits with trembling (let you displease Him). Kiss the Son (pay homage to Him in purity, lest He be angry and you perish in the way, for soon shall His wrath be kindled. O blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are all those who seek refuge and put their trust in Him.