PAST LENTEN SEASONS WITH YOU ON THIS BLOG
CAUSE ME TO SO LOOK FORWARD TO WHAT GOD WILL DO IN 2017!
MY FRIEND TWILA RECENTLY SAID, “JESUS IS AS REAL TO ME AS YOU ARE.”
I PRAY WE CAN ALL SAY THAT BY EASTER SUNDAY!
I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT WHERE HE IS LEADING FOR THIS LENT.
ISAIAH CONTAINS “SERVANT SONGS” DESCRIBING THE COMING MESSIAH.
EACH SONG UNVEILS MORE OF HIS BEAUTY,
MORE OF HIS LOVE FOR YOU.
THIS WEEK WE WILL LEARN THAT HE IS SO GENTLE
THAT HE WOULD BE CAREFUL NOT TO BREAK A BRUISED REED
A MOTHER WHO WOULD NOT FORGET THE BABY AT HER BREAST
WHEN WE GET CLOSE TO HOLY WEEK WE
WILL BEGIN TO GAZE ON A LOVE THAT WAS WILLING TO BE CRUSHED FOR OUR INIQUITIES
EACH WEEK I WILL POST A STUDY ON A NEW SONG
AND YOU CAN FOLLOW ALONG SILENTLY,
OR PARTICIPATE ACTIVELY WITH A WONDERFUL GROUP.
JUST CLICK ON THE BIBLE STUDY BLOG AT THE TOP OF THE HOME PAGE
AND THEN IT WILL TAKE YOU TO THIS PICTURE:
I give a suggested timeline to help you pace yourself, but go ahead if you like.
If you get behind, don’t drop out, but just do what you can.
It is important to get in a regular habit of a time and place to meet with Him.
You may need to cut something from your life to carve out a time daily for Him
if meeting with Him is not already a habit.
SUNDAY: FEB 26TH
1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
2. If you have participated during Lent on this blog, can you give some encouragement to new people to come and stay the course?
3. IT IS GOOD TO HAVE A PLAN!
When and where will you meet with Him on a daily basis? Do you need to carve something out to make time?
MONDAY: GETTING READY
Lent actually begins this Wednesday, traditionally called Ash Wednesday to remind us that from ashes we came and to ashes we will go. And yet, if the Spirit of Christ is in us, He will raise our mortal bodies just as He raised Christ from the dead. One day, as Job said, we will meet our Redeemer face to face on the earth. But He can be as real to you now as your spouse, your best friend, or your neighbor. From Ash Wednesday to Easter, not counting Sundays, there are 40 days, paralleling Jesus 40 days spent in the desert preparing for His ministry. The opening chapters of Isaiah prophesy much judgment, much “bruising” coming to God’s disobedient people. But by Isaiah 40 there is a promise of comfort, of a servant to come that would be nothing like they could imagine.
Prepare your heart with this:
James tells us we have not because we ask not, and when we ask, we often do not ask according to His will. But we know His will is for us to know Him better, to love Him better, and so now, today, please write out your request to Him to help you be intimate with Him this Lent, and to experience His presence. We have many who begin and drop out — pray you will stay the course. We will get weary, but if we wait upon Him, we will rise up, as Isaiah 40 promises, like eagles!
4. Write your request here to Him:
Material to enhance your study:
We will be listening to many sermons from Tim Keller from his series, the Servant Songs. We won’t listen to all, so you may want to purchase one by one — but they are all great. Here is the link if you want to get them all: http://www.gospelinlife.com/the-songs-of-the-servant-from-isaiah
TUESDAY, FEB 28TH: THE SERVANT IS COMING
The first servant song is found in Isaiah 42:1-4. It is so laden with meaning that we will study it this week and next week, taking the first part “a bruised reed he will not break” this week, and “a faintly burning wick he will not quench” next week. There is so much here that will be a balm to your soul.
4. Read Isaiah 42:1-2
A. Find at least six things that will be true of the Messiah that Isaiah says is coming.
B. How might this be different from the kind of Messiah God’s people expected?
5. Read Isaiah 42:3-4 and find two metaphors that show what He will be like.(verse 3a)
ASH WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 2017 THROUGH FRIDAY, MARCH 3, 2017
I remember pacing and crying out to the Lord at my 93 year old mother’s deathbed. I had taken the baton from my sister Sally at midnight, pacing, praying. In dying, the internal organs disintegrate, and Mother was suffering so. I cried to God: “You promised you would not break a bruised reed. Mother is just a baby Christian. Please take her, and don’t break her.” And Oh! Right after I prayed a Christian nurse came in, telling me God had told her to come in early. (It was 3:00 A. M.) She knelt down and talked to my little mother, telling her she didn’t need to be afraid to die, for she was completely forgiven. Mother calmed, opened her eyes, smiled — and was gone. It was the Word God knew she needed to let go. He didn’t break her, He spoke tenderly to her, comforting her, just as He told Isaiah to comfort His people!
Richard Sibbes, that great Puritan, wrote a devotional on this first servant song called The Bruised Reed. (Some of you may want to get it, for it is only 99 cents on Kindle.) My questions this week and next owe a debt to Sibbes.
A. Genesis 21:8-21
B. 1 Kings 19:1-9
C. Luke 7:11-15
7. Share a time (if possible, recently) when you were this kind of a bruised reed and the Lord brought you comfort.
We often think of “bruising” as being a lighter affliction, but as Keller explains in next week’s sermon, the word bruise is used prophetically in Genesis 3, when we are told that the serpent will bruise Jesus heel and Jesus will bruise his head. Neither bruising is light.
But he will crush (or some translations say bruise) your head.
The Lord bruised Israel, but only to bring them to their senses. Likewise, He does so with individuals. When they come to their senses, Oh, how He comforts them rather than breaking them.8. How did God bruise but not break the following individuals?
A. Luke 15:11-23
B. John 8:1-11
C. John 21:15-179.
9. The story of Joseph at the end of Genesis is illuminated by Spurgeon who says that Joseph foreshadows Christ in that he “bruised” his brothers in order to bring them to repentance, but he did not break them. Read Genesis 44-45 and describe the bruising and then the mercy.
10. Share a time when God bruised you to bring you to your senses concerning your sin, but He did not break you.
Contemplate this from Richard Sibbes:
Christ’s way is first to wound, then to heal. …When he humbles us, let us humble ourselves, and not stand out against him, for then he will redouble his strokes. …Do not pull off the plaster before the cure be wrought, but keep ourselves under this work till sin be the sourest, and Christ the sweetest, of all things.
11. Be still before Him. Let Him search you. Confess and repent, not “pulling of the plaster of conviction until sin is the sourest and Christ the sweetest.”
12. Has the presence of Christ become more real to you in this opening week of Lent? What do you think you will remember?