Isaiah 55:11

Verse of the Day Devotion Isaiah 55:11 

“So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” –  Isaiah 55:11 

The beginning of this verse shows that what was stated previously was an example or a metaphor regarding what was coming next.  In the prior verse we see the metaphor.  “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth, And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;” Isaiah 55:10. Now, verses 10-11, where the latter is our focus verse, gives a reason why we should seek the Lord and abandon our unrighteousness, which is the absolute dependability of God’s word.  Whatever He says, will come about.  In verse ten above, God speaks of the rain and the snow that fall from the sky.  When it comes down to earth, it will do the work God called it to do.  In the ancient Near East, rain was the difference between life and death. When the rain came at the appropriate time the farmer could hope for good crops, which meant enough food for the coming year.  However, if the rain did not come, not only was the crop lost but also the seed that was planted.  And what followed was famine and starvation.  Isaiah here states that God’s word was just like the rain, and only returns when it has completed what it was sent to do.  In particular, he compares the effectiveness of both.  Now we know that the water eventually returns to the sky, but as these verses state, not until the rain and snow had accomplished the watering of the soil and the seeds. It will remain until this was accomplished. 

And God’s preexistent purpose and the certainty of its accomplishment is a central theme throughout the scriptures.  “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, my purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure;” Isaiah 46:9-10.  He knows the end of all things from the beginning of all things.  He is never surprised and everything He declares absolutely will come to pass.  And the main idea specifically meant here in this chapter is found in verse 7.  “Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:7. 

Jesus said the following as recorded by John “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18.  As Christians, if we truly believe in Him and turn away from our sins, we will be pardoned.  Again, as Isaiah said, “Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him; And to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:7.  God loves those who have turned their hearts to Him and abandon their former sinful life.  God has spoken and His words are true.  We who truly follow God and love Him with all our hearts are assured of our pardon because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.  Whatever He has declared as our future is assured.  Therefore, be confident that this will totally come to pass. For as our focus verse states, “So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

Philippians 2:3

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Philippians 2:3 

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3

Paul in this section, and especially in our focus verse is addressing something that was prolific within the church and thereby being the reason he mentions it; this being pride which ultimately leads to division.  In our focus verse, Paul tells the Church in Philippi not to do anything for the purpose of lifting themselves up and being conceited.  He then continues in the next verse with, “do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4.  They were to be focused on meeting the needs of those who they taught and discipled, and not on their own interests.  And they were not to be in competition with the others who taught in the church. 

This was said in order not to have division within the body.  This is a very important idea, for I have seen so many churches today who have found themselves in this situation.  Division comes when different ideas are taught in the church and the teachers attempt to get the church to agree wholeheartedly with their belief.  This causes splits in the church which can cause arguing and competition.  Nothing is to be done through strife.  And we should never allow the church to be separated into sects that then work against each other in order to become more popular and influential than any other.

And this is not healthy for the church.  This can cause churches to split and may cause many to drift away because of the dissention caused by the split.  This is not what God wants in the church.  Paul writes to the Church in Corinth the following regarding unity, “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10.  Paul is saying the church needs to be in unity, and when I say church, I mean not just individual churches but also the  church corporate.  Unfortunately, the enemy has creeped into the Church and has divided the people, often through differences of beliefs.  I have attended a church where some believed in the doctrine of Calvinism which states God has selected some people to be saved and others not to be.  And it is not their choice, for God has predestined some to salvation, while the rest cannot be saved.  Others would speak against this doctrine declaring it to be heretical.  Unfortunately, these differences would be discussed in Bibles Studies which caused confusion in the class and caused new believers to question their decision. 

He then tells the Church “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 2:5.  We need to take on this attitude as well.  Christ labored to promote no separate interest; as man he studied to promote the glory of God, and the welfare and salvation of the human race.  He ministered in humility, focusing on the Father and His purpose.  This was His focus and it should be ours as well.  “who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:6-8.  This is the way that Christ spread the good news here on earth.  He did not consider, as a man, equality with God something to be grasped.  Instead, He emptied Himself, being humble and obedient to the point of death, where He gave His life to give everyone the opportunity to be saved.  This is the Son of God who knew no sin but died for ours.  In essence, He put us ahead of Himself.  This is true love He and the Father had for us.

As He humbled Himself to serve us, we should humble ourselves to serve others.  This is our calling and our purpose here.  We must humbly witness to the lost and in training the saved, not looking at how we can look good and impress others, but how we can put other’s interests and needs above our own.  When we do this, we will do the work God just as Christ did.  And we will be amazed at how God will work through us to do His good pleasure.   

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.