Monday, February 29, 2016

ISAIAH 1:1-20

ISAIAH 1:1-20

1 The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he received in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah kings of Judah.
2 Listen, you heavens; earth, attend, for Yahweh is speaking, 'I have reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master's crib; Israel does not know, my people do not understand.'
4 Disaster, sinful nation, people weighed down with guilt, race of wrong-doers, perverted children! They have abandoned Yahweh, despised the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away from him.
5 Where shall I strike you next, if you persist in treason? The whole head is sick, the whole heart is diseased,
6 from the sole of the foot to the head there is nothing healthy: only wounds, bruises and open sores not dressed, not bandaged, not soothed with ointment,
7 your country a desolation, your towns burnt down, your soil, foreigners lay it waste before your eyes, a desolation like devastation by foreigners.
8 The daughter of Zion is left like a shanty in a vineyard, like a shed in a cucumber field, like a city besieged.
9 Had Yahweh Sabaoth not left us a few survivors, we should be like Sodom, we should be the same as Gomorrah.
10 Hear what Yahweh says, you rulers of Sodom; listen to what our God teaches, you people of Gomorrah.
11 'What are your endless sacrifices to me?' says Yahweh. 'I am sick of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of calves. I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
12 When you come and present yourselves before me, who has asked you to trample through my courts?
13 Bring no more futile cereal offerings, the smoke from them fills me with disgust. New Moons, Sabbaths, assemblies -- I cannot endure solemnity combined with guilt.
14 Your New Moons and your meetings I utterly detest; to me they are a burden I am tired of bearing.
15 When you stretch out your hands I turn my eyes away. You may multiply your prayers, I shall not be listening. Your hands are covered in blood,
16 wash, make yourselves clean. Take your wrong-doing out of my sight. Cease doing evil.
17 Learn to do good, search for justice, discipline the violent, be just to the orphan, plead for the widow.
18 'Come, let us talk this over,' says Yahweh. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
19 If you are willing to obey, you shall eat the good things of the earth.
20 But if you refuse and rebel, the sword shall eat you instead -- for Yahweh's mouth has spoken.'

As in the days of Isaiah, today God has grown weary of our false worship and our failure to remain faithful to his laws.  We look around us, around the world and what do we see? VIOLENCE AND MORE VIOLENCE, pornography, killers of the UNBORN, those addicted to drugs and those so willing to take advantage of them by selling the illicit drugs to them, robbery, murder, people killing children in school and multiple deaths at the hands of those we call "terrorists".  Our leaders lie to us, they do what they want to do even when the majority of our country revolts against many of their selfish decisions. The love of money has tied a noose around the necks of society.  Churches less than half full on the Sabbath. People who come to church on Sunday, and sin Monday through Saturday. It is all for appearance, not for the Word of God and Jesus that they come. Our children are led astray by other children whose parents turn a blind eye toward their illicit behavior. How can we protect them?

Dear Ones, the scripture above is nothing new, nothing we have not been taught all of our Christian lives. Why do we continue to go against God, knowing he could bring an end to it all in the next second? Why take so very many chances with your salvation, your place in Heaven?

The answer: It is not for the lack of faith in God, but a lack of faith that he will come in the night and bring down his swift justice. People are falsely judging themselves, and who can do that without total prejudice? We tell ourselves "I am right with God; He will take me to heaven straight away when the time comes."  Dear Ones, to take our God so much for granted in like a death sentence.

God is weary. He is tired of the "burnt offerings" (people who kill other people in His name is a disgrace to Him), God gave us the greatest gift of all -- LOVE!

How can YOU put his love into your hearts and it remain forever? You must accept that God's son, Jesus, died on the cross, a very painful and slow death that day, all for all sin, for all time. You must throw away your bad deeds and thoughts, and bring Jesus and The Holy Spirit into your lives. You must worship God every day of your life, i.e., through prayer every day.

And speaking of prayers, it is not all about asking God for this and that, the "things" you think you need in your lives. It is about giving thanks to God for each and every thing he has done for you, and coming away from your prayers knowing that he knows best. You know that old saying: You don't always get what you want, but you always get what you need? That is how God works. He gives us what we need according to His Will, not ours.

A few weeks ago, I was terribly upset over a matter that has plagued my faith for a few years now. When I say it plagued by faith, it is not that I don't believe, it is that I have grown impatient. My husband hurts to see me cry and be torn apart by this. So he finally says, after all this time, "you should get down on your knees and thank God for all the good things in your life!" He went out a short while later and I went to my bedroom and in the silence, I began to pray. I apologized to God that I had not been more thankful for all the good things in my life, and thus, I began by naming them, one-by-one. It was not long before a tear escaped my eye, then another and another, until I was crying my heart out to God in thanksgiving.

When you stop to think and then thank God for every little thing in your life and in the world, who could help but cry in shame because they had not looked at their lives in this way before?

Yes, the world is in a mess, our country, the same; but, there are many, many things to be thankful for. I believe God does grow weary of "requests" and that he feels the greatest of love when we humble ourselves before him.

I came away from those prayers a better child of God. My heart bursts whenever I enter His House. I bolstered my faith by my confession of thankfulness, and I really do want to hold onto that.

I have another topic on which I would like to solicit opinion. Last Thursday, I was on Skype with a dear friend of mine who is not Catholic, but we discuss many things of the Bible. Suddenly, I stopped mid-sentence and from his end, I know that all he could see was me looking all around and sniffing. "What is it?", he asks. It was the most overwhelming smell of flowers. I looked around, stupidly, as if I would see who was there with the beautiful flowers. This lasted about 90 seconds, but seemed longer. This past Saturday, I was alone in my bedroom and suddenly, there it was again - the strong and very beautiful smell of a perfect garden of flowers. Was it our Holy Mother? Jesus? Who?

Please do give me your thoughts below this post. You may respond anonymously and I will not release your comment onto the blog if you ask me not to.

God in Peace, Dear Ones. Love God with all your hearts and please do thank him for specifics when you pray. It will do you much good and show Him how very much you love him.

Lovingly in Jesus Christ,

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