“Fast Food” – One Year Bible Reading – September 29

Old Testament: Isaiah 57:14-59:21

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Isaiah 57:14-59:21   Fast Food

Chap. 57:14-21  God has a place for the humble who return to Him (cf. v. 15; Ja. 4: 6-7, 1Pet. 5: 5).  There is no peace for the wicked but there is peace for the humble (cf. 1Pet. 5: 7).

Chap. 58  Chapter 58 is about fasting, going without food in order to put complete focus on God.  The Israelites were fasting for the wrong reasons.  Some Christians engage in fasting today in order to try to manipulate God into doing what they want.  It doesn’t work.

Chap. 59  The reason we need to be saved is because our sins have separated us from God.  This is stated succinctly in verse 2.  You can see why Isaiah is considered the prophet who most clearly states the gospel in the Old Testament.

We recently read Ephesians 6 (v. 10-17) on the “armor of God.”  I said then that the armor consisted of ethical characteristics and that putting on the armor was like putting on Christ.  A parallel can be seen in verse 17.

McGee comments on verse 20 that only a remnant of Israel will be saved at the time of the Millennium (cf. Rom. 9:6).  God has made covenants with Israel that are eternal (cf. v. 21, “from now and forever”).

New Testament:  Philippians 1:1-26

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Philippians 1:1-26   Oh, Joy!

Philippians was one of the four “prison epistles” written by Paul while he was in prison in Rome (others are Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon).  Paul is writing to thank the Philippians for their gifts (Phil. 4:16).  Joy is a major theme (cf. 1:25; Phil. 4:4).

Philippi was a small town, the first town in Europe to have a church.  Paul founded it on his second missionary journey (Acts 16).  The problem of the legalists Judaizers again presents itself (chap. 3:1-3).  There are also problems with “perfectionism” (3:12-14) and licentiousness (3:18-19).

Paul again begins by wishing “grace” to his readers (2).  Grace is when we get what we don’t deserve, “something for nothing.”  Paul describes himself and Timothy as “slaves” (HCSB) or “bond-servants” (NASB) to Christ (v. 1).

Paul thanks God for the Philippians (vv. 3-5).  As a good minister, Paul loves the Philippians deeply (v. 8) and prays that their love would grow (vv. 9-11).

The great apostle does not seek the Philippians’ sympathy though he has suffered much for the gospel (vv. 12-14).  Some are even more bold in their proclamation of the gospel after witnessing Paul’s sufferings (vv. 16-17).  Some may preach Christ out of self-aggrandizement (v. 17a) and spite but Paul relishes the idea that the gospel is being preached by whatever means.  He intends to have Christ exalted through his life or his death (vv. 19-20).The next verse is a classic, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (v. 21).  That should be the motto of every Christian.  What Paul means is that if he lived, he would hope to bear fruit for the Lord in furthering the good news of the gospel.  If he died, he knew he would be better off in Heaven (vv. 22-23).  If he stays on earth, he knows he’ll be able to help the Philippians (vv. 23-25) and especially if he’s able to have a joyful visit them again (vv. 25-26).

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