When you go through a significant change, it produces a profound impact on almost every area of your life. That change often changes your outlook on life and causes you to speak and act differently. Society calls it “Singing a different tune.” When you let Jesus into your heart, and he comes and cleans house and fills it with His Spirit, you start singing a new song. All those old things are in the past, and new life has sprung forth.
“Indeed, God is my salvation; I will trust him and not be afraid, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my song. He has become my salvation.”
Sing of Your Salvation
Isaiah chapter twelve is a short song that God gave to the people. God wanted to be the strength and song for the Israelites. Isaiah recognized that. Sometimes singing it in a song can help people remember better. That is the case here where Isaiah declares God is his salvation and the source of his strength. Because of this, Isaiah will sing about his trust. Do you have the song of salvation in your heart? Are His praises continually on your lips?
Notice Isaiah’s confidence. He is putting his trust in the Lord and refuses to succumb to fear. There are a lot of Christians that are paralyzed with fear. Want to know how to be set free? Start by singing a new song. I know songs from your generation are almost as good as the ’80s, but you need to put those away and sing unto the Lord. Many old and new worship songs take your eyes off of our problems and place your heart on the Lord.
Singing a New Song
When you start singing a new song, you will find the strength you never knew you had. The longer you sing that song, you will find that the fear starts to dissipate, and your trust will begin to grow. Open your heart and let Jesus reign and let your lips be full of His praise.
The word “redeem” in the New Testament is a financial term and means “bill paid in full.” It was often used when it came to slaves debt. When that slave worked off the debt, the creditor would stamp “redeemed” on the invoice, which meant his debts were paid in full. When Jesus died on the cross, he paid the debt of your sin and stamped redeemed on your heart. You’ve been redeemed to rebuild your life.
“And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer.”
Same Old Thing
Israel had a pattern of forgetting God and then crying out to Him when they were in a hole where they couldn’t get out. It usually started with sin but then devolved into idolatry. God would get angry and be ready to judge them, and Israel would beg for forgiveness. God would forgive them in His infinite mercy and let them start fresh. Sadly, Israel could never break that pattern. They were sent off into captivity as judgment, and only a remnant returned to the Lord.
Do you go through similar patterns with the Lord? Are there periods in your life where you went off and did your own thing only to find yourself in a predicament you couldn’t fix? This led to you returning to the Lord and making things right, only to fall back into your old habits soon after that. Are you ready to break that pattern and become a new person? Remember that God is your rock, and you have been redeemed.
Rebuild Your Life
A rock symbolized an anchor in times of a storm, a steady foundation to build on. If you are going to break the repetitive patterns, you need to build your life on the rock. He will anchor you when the storms of temptation and turmoil batter your life. You start rebuilding your life by understanding that you have been redeemed. Jesus did that on the cross when He paid the price for your sin. Make Jesus your foundation and His grace and mercy your building materials.
Have you heard of the seven wonders of the world? There are two classifications, ancient and modern. The world’s modern wonders include the Great Wall of China, the ancient city of Petra, and the Colosseum in Rome. Millions of tourists visit these attractions each year. Did you know that you follow the God who works wonders? There are no other gods like Him.
“Your way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.”
His Way is Perfect
Our God is holy, mighty, and works wonders. He makes His strength known by working wonders among His people. There are no other gods like Him. As a follower of Jesus, you can put your complete trust in Him because He is both holy and strong. You can trust His word because His way is perfect, and you can rest in His power because He will protect you. No one can separate you from His love.
If you look at all of the other religions in the world, you will find stories of miracles that happened to their founder, but none of the gods perform wonders. The God of Christianity consistently does miraculous acts from the beginning of time until now. This shows that the other religions are devoid of power. They may promise you serenity on earth or great treasures in the afterlife, but they offer nothing else. Scholars will tell you that all roads lead to heaven, but if their god doesn’t exhibit the strength and wonders that Jesus does, then you are on the wrong path?
The God Who Works Wonders
You can’t go wrong choosing to walk in the ways of the Lord. His ways are holy, and He will not lead you astray. You discover His ways by reading God’s word and following the leading of the Holy Spirit. Don’t wander off the path and do your own thing. Instead, trust in His word, rely upon His strength. Over time, as you remain faithful, you will see the God who works wonders work in your life.
One of the memorable moments is when your child takes their first steps as a parent. Babies don’t come out of the womb walking. They need to learn. Those steps don’t come easily. The baby needs to learn to control their body by rolling over, then crawling, followed by pulling themselves up, and finally taking that first step. There is a spiritual principle to learn in that process. It is being faithful in the little things. Learn how to take baby steps.
“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.”
Learn to Be Faithful
Jesus lays out one of the essential principles humans need to learn. The principle of “Baby Steps” is vital to spiritual growth and maturity. You have to start small and learn to be faithful with what you have before being trusted with more. If you are impatient with what you have and are expecting more, ask yourself if you are faithful to what you have right now? Getting ahead of yourself will only lead to failure. Ask God what lessons you need to learn to move to the next step.
One of the most damaging things you can do to someone is giving them everything they want. This is true with children and adults alike. When someone is given every desire of their heart, they don’t learn to appreciate what they have and always want more. They look at their parents, spouse, and employers as people who supply their lifestyle instead of people who bring balance. Jesus tells His listeners to be faithful in the small things, and they will be given more.
Take Baby Steps
You can’t run before you walk. Be patient in the baby steps God is taking you through. Ask Him to grow the fruit of patience in your life. Be content where you are at right now and enjoy worshipping God. In due time, He will bring about the desires of your heart as long as they align with His righteous plan.
Set it aside. One of the steps of our daily walk with Christ is set aside a portion of our money to give back to him. Paul tells us to set it aside at the beginning of the week so we don’t spend it. Learning to faithfully give is an essential part of our discipleship. If we are to follow him we have to learn how to deny ourselves. The Corinthians struggled with this and Paul is challenging them to make it right.
Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper so that there will be no collecting when I come. And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.
Struggling in Jerusalem
Paul was taking up an offering for those who were struggling in Jerusalem. That was a major need in the church at that time. The church was being persecuted and most Christians had a hard time finding a job to provide for their family. The Corinthians had promised they would take an offering to support these people but had failed to do so. Paul was calling on them to fulfill their commitment.
There is a responsibility on the part of each Christian to give. We are to set aside a portion of what we make to give back to the Lord. We are also to give to those who are in need. Unfortunately for many Christians, money is a god that is hard to conquer. We can’t deny ourselves and so there is nothing left over for God’s work. This is where Paul gives us some helpful advice. Make giving a priority. This is why he says to set it aside at the beginning of the week. Just as Proverbs 3:9 tells us to set aside our first fruits, which means the first and best, we need to set aside our giving to the Lord before we pay for anything else.
The Struggle is Real
So many people are struggling financially because they aren’t giving. God’s word is very clear about the consequences of holding back our finances. Plus, we are also missing the blessing that comes from giving and from blessing other people. God wants to show us how we can live better off of the amount after we give than we can with the full amount. Sometimes our biggest lessons of faithfulness come through our finances. Can you trust God to cover all of your needs when you give? This is the only area in the Bible that challenges us to test God. So go ahead and try it. Set it aside. Give to the Lord first and watch as he provides for you.
“Store up your treasure in heaven.” That’s what my grandma used to say all the time. It was her way of trying to take my focus off of money and onto God. The rich young ruler struggled with the same thing. He did the right thing but his wealth was a stumbling block to his faith. Money can be both good and bad depending on how you approach it. If your priorities are right then you don’t have to worry about.
Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.
There are things that keep us from picking up our cross. Jesus told the rich man to sell everything and give to the poor. To this man, his wealth was his greatest stumbling block to following Christ. He walked away dejected because he wanted to keep his idolatry of money and the pride it gave him and still get into heaven. Money is not a stumbling block for everyone but it is for a lot of people, and we need to take note. Jesus is not asking all of us to sell what we have; he is asking us to have no other gods before him.
Count It All As Loss
Count it all as loss.Those were Paul’s words. He considered everything lost for Christ. Jesus wants us to live the same way. We do this so we can live unencumbered by the things of this world and press on towards for more of what Jesus has for us. When we sacrifice here on earth, we are storing up treasures in heaven. What do we need to count as lost in our lives? How can we live less attached to possessions and money and more focused on Christ?