Mini Bible Studies
"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the
What is this "glory of
the Lord"? It's the evidence of his Presence. It's ALL of his
goodness (see Ex. 33: 19). It's his weight (a root word in Hebrew) -- that
is, all of his weightiness, mightiness, splendor, and full
If one counts up the stories in the Bible, Jesus seems to have spent nearly eighty percent of his time here on Earth in healing those who needed help. Isaiah looks forward to an event Christians sometimes call "the Second Coming of Christ". This passage of Scripture gives us great hope that one of the signs of God's glory our generation will see, is healings.
For we see how dark it's getting in the world. But Christians with waiting hearts say the Lord's brightness is getting stronger. ("Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound..." Rom. 5:20)
Many believe our generation
is living in the "last days" before Christ's return, and that in
this time, there will be a great outpouring of
In every generation, God brings forth persons who become willing containers (vessels), emptied entirely of self, and completely filled with him. That's why we go through the fire (trials). To be cleaned and ready for God's glory to fall upon us. That we may walk in darkness no more! For we belong to him, who is the Light.
2. OUR GOD FIGHTS FOR US
The overwhelming truth is -- God is Love. He can be nothing but love. How wonderful if everyone could really grasp this wonderful truth, so often stated in the Scriptures.
God loves me, he loves you, more than any human can possibly imagine. If we have come to the Lord and asked him to "adopt us into his own family" (see Eph. 1:5), then we need never be afraid of all the dark places that show up in this life. Sometimes, trials and difficult circumstances make us afraid of life. But if we have come to the Lord, then we actually dare to RELAX in his holy presence!
As a child of God, you need not fear anything, even death -- because by the time that comes, your battle is over. Then unimaginable glory will be waiting for you.
For then we shall be "forever with the Lord." (see Eph. 1:10).
So let us accept the gift of courage that the Lord offers us. Even when our situations seem quite hopeless, we may "fight the good fight of faith" (see I Tim. 6:12.)
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
"...Our God shall fight for us." (Neh. 4:20)
"...Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of
3. REACH OUT
Dear friend, reach out your hand in true faith,
Dear friend, learn to know the Friend who will live
You may be called to die for him: are you prepared
to stand firm? 5
(see: 1. Mk. 5:27-28; 2. Dt.
5:29; 3. Eph.4:23-24; 4. Jn. 12:26;
4. THE DEPTH OF THE LORD
Who is the Lord?
Who is the Lord?
Jesus, show us how to receive, how to grasp,
Father, thank you for loving us
"Many shall be purified and made white and tried." (Dan. 12:19)
We like our Scriptural
promises to be "positive," to bring blessing.
Purity means being made white and bright. How is this achieved? Not through the easy way of leaving stains and wrinkles in place -- but, depending on the material, a bleaching, scouring, or burning out of imperfections.
The action of becoming purified is not a comfortable one. Nevertheless, may we allow "hard times" and difficult circumstances to press us more closely to our Lord. Then will his own glory transform the whole material which makes up our being. And then we shall see all the mighty blessings that come!
6. BRAIDED WITH THE LORD
"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength..." (Isa. 40:31)
The English word "wait" has come to be rather passive. Wait (ho hum) for a traffic light to turn. Wait (yawn) in line at the grocery.
"They that wait upon the Lord," sounds like a struggle, a lesson in patience. How long do we have to wait? A lifetime? Will he ever act in our behalf? Will our lives really be changed? If we wait long enough, will we receive his blessings?
But the Greek word isn't passive. It means to expect, to anticipate, to hope for, look for. It can even mean: to entwine, or be braided.
Braided together with the
Lord! Now, that's true security!
"They that expect and anticipate and hope for him and look
Now that sounds promising!
Prayer: Oh Lord, braid together your children, with you! Hold us all together. And hold us to yourself.
We surrender, Lord. Teach us to entertwine and truly worship you. Then may your blessed revival and restoration and cup of true grace surely come. That we "may be one". Unity of the body of Christ, Lord. Show us how to entwine with you until we respect and show courtesy to each other, and are braided together with your holy love.
However, that's not the end of God's treasures hidden within this verse. There's even more power to come!
"Shall renew their strength". The original meaning is: "to change and renew strength and power." Renew, in this form, can actually mean "exchange." God exchanges his own strength for our weakness.
Halleluiah! Are you ready to ask for that? I sure am! May God's strength fill us up to the brim. May we be running over with his power (not our own control).
Even so, Lord Jesus, come!
7. A MODERN PARAPHRASE
Much comfort and help comes from a verse in Isaiah 50:10 -- especially when one looks into the fullness of original word-meanings and implications.
"Do you reverently fear the Self-Existant, Eternal Lord, and (seek to) hear intelligently (with intent to obey) the calling voice of his helping Servant, God's Messiah?
"Yet in your walk with God, do you feel as if you must be wandering in a place of misery and trouble, where all light and hope seem to be withheld?
"Then take heart, absolutely relying on the mighty and holy Lord for your every need. Lean on him as your support and confidence. Rest in God." (M.M. paraphrase)
8. ASK FOR LIVING WATER
Text: John 7:37-39a.
"In the last day, that great day of the feast [of
"He that believeth on me, as the scriptures hath said,
"But this spake he of the Spirit, which those which
When Jesus of Nazareth performed miracles, when he taught by acceptable traditions of his day, then the crowds would have crowned him their King. But many times he broke the long-standing traditions. He offered life and hope instead of the need to be tied down to rules and laws. In those times, he wasn't popular with the Jews who loved the letter of the Law more than the spirit of God.
For one thing, he healed the sick even on the Sabbath day! Anything wrong with that? As a matter of fact, the Jewish religious leaders forbade any work being done on the Sabbath. They said that healing was "work." So Jesus broke their interpretations of God's laws.
("Shame on you, Jesus! To break the Sabbath laws merely to comfort a man, to heal a woman! We, the religious leaders, the Pharisees, prefer the comfortable approach to religion. Don't break our studies of legalism merely from a motive of compassion! You confuse us! You jolt our lives too much!")
Jesus compounded his "sin", as the leaders saw it, by referring to himself as the Son of God. He even dared to call God his Father! He never used the words, "I am the fulfillment of God." But the meaning seemed implied. For Jesus told the multitudes that he had a special kind of Living Water. That only he could give. He said that those who drank from him would never thirst again. But they would overflow so much they could also spill over the life-giving water of the Spirit of God onto others.
("But that is blasphemy, Jesus! Only God is able to give life and power to men! Who is this young upstart from country Galilee, who comes to the Feast of the Booths in Jerusalem, preaching like a heretic, a rebel? Who does this fellow think he is?")
At any of the great feasts, pilgrims from abroad, and the devout from all Israel, came to the temple to be taught. But they didn't seem to want to hear that Jesus had the power to impart spiritual power or satisfaction, as symbolized by giving a drink of water.
What about us today? Are we any more willing to drink from the "wells of salvation"? Have we accepted Jesus as our own Messiah and Power-giving One? May we receive all that God has for us. Living water! We don't always recognize God's hand at work in our lives. But let us trust him. Let us ask him for Himself, the Living Water. That we never need be thirsty again, but will KNOW that he is our Redeemer and Hope.
And having drunk the water which floods our spirits and makes us new, let us pass along the "good news" to others, everywhere we go.