Welcome back to Week 3 in the Book of Isaiah! Thank you to everyone sharing in the comments on Facebook and Instagram. You are doing so good! Keep on going!!!
If you are looking for guidance for the color coding and daily insight into the reading – please visit me on Instagram and visit the hashtag #WomenLivingWell – there are lots of women posting their pictures of their color coded Bibles and their reflections on our reading. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to do this and not all of our Bibles will look alike.
Here’s what mine looked like last week:
If you are new here – jump in with our reading this week and catch up on the weekends.
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This Week’s Bible Reading Plan:
(Facebook Leaders: You can use this as your Facebook Header this week. Just right click and “save as” or screen shot it.)
This week’s Reflection & Discussion Questions
(Leaders: Copy and paste these into your groups. If you do not have a group, use these for a personal time of reflection.)
As the Lord restores Israel, he comforts them and promises to never forsake them. He is their maker, their husband, the Lord of hosts, the Holy One, their redeemer and the God of the whole earth. Like a woman who is barren or a wife who has been deserted, he removes their shame. He promises his people peace and protection.
Israel was not only taken captive by their enemies, but they were disgraced and humiliated. God not only released them from captivity, but he also removed their disgrace and humiliation, and he gave them the greatest gift of all — himself. Is there an area of your life where you have been embarrassed or humiliated? Satan is the father of lies and he wants you to live in the shadow of shame rather than freedom. The God of the whole earth, who is your maker, loves you deeply and has removed all of your past sin and shame. In what area of your life has the enemy taken you captive? Do not let the enemy destroy you any further. Today is the day you must give this to God and start living in freedom.
God’s thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours. God does not think the way we think or act the way we act. The difference between our ways and his ways is the distance between the heavens and the earth. That’s a big difference! When he speaks, it accomplishes what it is supposed to accomplish. His word is powerful and does not return empty. It never fails to accomplish his intended purpose.
Sometimes it is hard to understand God. I’m embarrassed to admit that there are times I have prayed and been frustrated that God did not take my advice as to how he could solve a problem of mine. But his perspective, his plans, his purposes and his will are so much greater than ours. This should not discourage us but rather comfort us. We can trust him. What has studying God’s word accomplished in your life? How does considering the great wisdom and power of God and his thoughts, ways and word – help you trust him more?
God wanted his house to not just be a house of prayer for his people but also for foreigners as well. Israel had not considered that God’s love would spread to those outside their borders. Their years of captivity and pain at the hands of foreigners led them to believe that only they were accepted, and all others would be rejected. But Isaiah tells them that the foreigners burnt offerings and sacrifices would be accepted too.
I am so thankful that the Lord accepts the outcasts and foreigners because that means he accepts me! In Matthew 21:13 we see the anger of Jesus displayed when the outer courts of the temple, which is the only place where the Gentiles could pray, had been turned into a marketplace. Jesus quotes Isaiah 56:7 when he says: “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you make it a den of robbers.”
Jesus made a way for both you and me to be acceptable in the sight of the Lord. God’s design and purpose for his house is that it would be a place of worship and prayer for all. Are you a member of a local church? Do you attend regularly and pray there? If not, I encourage you to find a local church this week. If you are a regular, who is someone who may be a bit of an outcast or a foreigner that you could invite to church?
God, in his great love and mercy, heals and restores. He gives peace to those both far and near, to the Gentiles and the Jews. But the wicked are like a tossing sea that cannot be quieted. The moving waters toss up mire and dirt. There is no peace for the wicked.
When we examine the lives of those who are not honoring God, it can appear as though they have a life of peace and rest. But Jesus told us in John 14:27, that he gives us a peace that the world cannot give. This world can offer peace on a good day but it’s an illusion because the very next day something can change, and that peace can be lost. Those who seek peace from the world will find that they have to continually exhaust themselves pursuing it or participate in wickedness to get that peace and maintain it. The pursuit of “happiness” from the world can lead to wickedness. In what ways have you sought to find peace and rest from the world? How has this type of peace fallen short? How is the peace that God has given you different than the world’s peace?
Isaiah compares two types of fasting. One is hollow, empty and for show. The people did the right things with the wrong heart. They appeared spiritual but under the surface they were full of selfishness. The Lord did not answer their prayers. Then he compares this type of fasting with those who are sincere and seek to honor God. Pleasing God began with how they treated others. He says when they feed the hungry, give to the poor, care for those in their family and help the oppressed, God would hear and answer their prayers. Blessings would be poured out on them, as their gloom would be turned to joy. God would be their guide and strengthen them.
Pleasing God begins with how we treat others. Have you ever considered that how you love others can affect your prayer life? Isaiah shows us that when we pour our lives out for others, the darkness in our own lives begins to lift. How have you experienced joy in the past, when you have cared for the needs of the hungry, poor or oppressed? Have you struggled with unanswered prayers and felt down and discouraged lately? Consider, taking your eyes off of your own problems today and reaching out to someone in need who has it worse off. Be the answer to their prayers.
To print the 23 Reflection and Discussion Questions for Isaiah 44-66 –> Click Here.
This Week’s Verses of the Day:
(Leaders: You can use these images in your groups by using right click and “save as” or screen shoting them.)
Here’s the Printable Bible Bookmark for Isaiah 44-66.
Here’s another explanation of the SOAK Bible Study Method and Bible Coloring Chart if you need more guidance:
Here is the SOAK method I refer to in the video:
And the Bible Coloring Bookmark:
Click HERE to Print the full page Coloring Chart
or Click HERE for the Bookmark Coloring Chart
Here are the highlighters, pens and pencils I refer to in the video:
Highlighters – Acid Free – Bible Hi-Glider
Fine Line Non-bleeding Pens – Micron Archival Ink and Multi-Colored Gel Pens
Colored Pencils – Crayola Twistables and Crayola Colored Pencils
I use the ESV Inductive Study Bible as my personal study Bible.
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Remember to leave at least 20 minutes for your reading each day. I am in prayer for you all and asking God to help us understand his word clearly.
Have a wonderful week in God’s Word – I’ll see you back here on the blog this Friday as we go deeper into God’s Word together! (Don’t forget to visit me Monday through Friday over on Facebook and Instagram. )
Keep walking with the King,