Day 4 – Devotional
Jesus tells us in John 15:2 that any branch that does not bear fruit is removed. This statement is a warning so that we will examine our hearts and our actions to be sure that we are in Him, to be sure that we are bearing fruit. If we are in Christ, we will never be removed! But we need to take a careful look; if there is not a single iota of fruit of any kind in our lives, that could be a good indicator that we are not in Him.
Jesus also says in John 15:2 that every branch that does bear fruit will be pruned. Be ready to be pruned! When we are in Christ, we are a part of the stem of Jesse (see Isaiah 11:1-2, 5), we are a branch of Christ.
How incredible! Listen carefully. Be sure that you are in Christ. If you are in Christ, draw near to God, lay yourself before Him, and allow Him to do what He needs to do so that you will bear fruit. Make that your prayer this week. Ask Him to be your Immanuel. What do you fear when you think of Him pruning you?
1. Read of God’s loving kindness as expressed through His warnings in Isaiah 30:1-17 and Isaiah 31. What does God say through Isaiah in each passage?
2. Now read God’s encouragement in Isaiah 30:18-22. What did you learn? How can you apply this to yourself today?
REFLECTION AND PRAYER
Let this be your prayer today: Lord, may I trust in you, your Word, and your power more and more each day. May I look to you and not to the answers and solutions of this world. Pour over me, in me, and through me, Lord. Be my all in all.
John 15:2 TPT
He cares for the branches connected to me by lifting and propping up the fruitless branches and pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest.
Isaiah 10:33-34 NLT
33 But look! The Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will chop down the mighty tree of Assyria with great power! He will cut down the proud. That lofty tree will be brought down. 34 He will cut down the forest trees with an ax. Lebanon will fall to the Mighty One.
Isaiah 11:1-2 NLT
1 Out of the stump of David’s family [11:1 Hebrew the stump of the line of Jesse. Jesse was King David’s father]. will grow a shoot—yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. 2 And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
Isaiah 11:5 NLT
He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment.
Isaiah 30:1-17 NLT
1 “What sorrow awaits my rebellious children,” says the Lord. “You make plans that are contrary to mine. You make alliances not directed by my Spirit, thus piling up your sins. 2 For without consulting me, you have gone down to Egypt for help. You have put your trust in Pharaoh’s protection. You have tried to hide in his shade. 3 But by trusting Pharaoh, you will be humiliated, and by depending on him, you will be disgraced. 4 For though his power extends to Zoan and his officials have arrived in Hanes, 5 all who trust in him will be ashamed. He will not help you. Instead, he will disgrace you.” 6 This message came to me concerning the animals in the Negev: The caravan moves slowly across the terrible desert to Egypt—donkeys weighed down with riches and camels loaded with treasure—all to pay for Egypt’s protection. They travel through the wilderness, a place of lionesses and lions, a place where vipers and poisonous snakes live. All this, and Egypt will give you nothing in return. 7 Egypt’s promises are worthless! Therefore, I call her Rahab—the Harmless Dragon. [30:7 Hebrew Rahab who sits still. Rahab is the name of a mythical sea monster that represents chaos in ancient literature. The name is used here as a poetic name for Egypt.]
A Warning for Rebellious Judah
8 Now go and write down these words. Write them in a book. They will stand until the end of time as a witness 9 that these people are stubborn rebels who refuse to pay attention to the Lord’s instructions. 10 They tell the seers, “Stop seeing visions!” They tell the prophets, “Don’t tell us what is right. Tell us nice things. Tell us lies. 11 Forget all this gloom. Get off your narrow path. Stop telling us about your ‘Holy One of Israel.’” 12 This is the reply of the Holy One of Israel: “Because you despise what I tell you and trust instead in oppression and lies, 13 calamity will come upon you suddenly—like a bulging wall that bursts and falls. In an instant it will collapse and come crashing down. 14 You will be smashed like a piece of pottery—shattered so completely that there won’t be a piece big enough to carry coals from a fireplace or a little water from the well.” 15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it. 16 You said, ‘No, we will get our help from Egypt. They will give us swift horses for riding into battle.’ But the only swiftness you are going to see is the swiftness of your enemies chasing you! 17 One of them will chase a thousand of you. Five of them will make all of you flee. You will be left like a lonely flagpole on a hill or a tattered banner on a distant mountaintop.”
Isaiah 31 NLT
The Futility of Relying on Egypt
1 What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help, trusting their horses, chariots, and charioteers and depending on the strength of human armies instead of looking to the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. 2 In his wisdom, the Lord will send great disaster; he will not change his mind. He will rise against the wicked and against their helpers. 3 For these Egyptians are mere humans, not God! Their horses are puny flesh, not mighty spirits! When the Lord raises his fist against them, those who help will stumble, and those being helped will fall. They will all fall down and die together. 4 But this is what the Lord has told me: “When a strong young lion stands growling over a sheep it has killed, it is not frightened by the shouts and noise of a whole crowd of shepherds. In the same way, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will come down and fight on Mount Zion. 5 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies will hover over Jerusalem and protect it like a bird protecting its nest. He will defend and save the city; he will pass over it and rescue it.” 6 Though you are such wicked rebels, my people, come and return to the Lord. 7 I know the glorious day will come when each of you will throw away the gold idols and silver images your sinful hands have made. 8 “The Assyrians will be destroyed, but not by the swords of men. The sword of God will strike them, and they will panic and flee. The strong young Assyrians will be taken away as captives. 9 Even the strongest will quake with terror, and princes will flee when they see your battle flags,” says the Lord, whose fire burns in Zion, whose flame blazes from Jerusalem.
Isaiah 30:18-22 NLT
18 So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help. 19 O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries. 20 Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. 21 Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left. 22 Then you will destroy all your silver idols and your precious gold images. You will throw them out like filthy rags, saying to them, “Good riddance!”
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