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Word from Scotland

    by Sandy Shaw

It Is Jesus Who Makes Us Useful and Fruitful
Date Posted: February 19, 2024

What will Isaiah's next grim word be? But, no, it is not grim - it is the very opposite. Chapter 4 .

This part of Isaiah's message ends with real hope - with real encouragement - with assurance - but not in man - but it is in the Branch of the Lord.

What is this? Isaiah sees a branch. This is the first time the word "branch" has been used referring to the coming of the Lord Jesus, and it is developed later on.

Isaiah was a prophet with extraordinary insight. Was this one of the results of his life of prayer - 2Chronicles 32verses 20,21 ? God sent an angel who annihilated all the fighting men and leaders and officer in the camp of the Assyrian king. But Isaiah also foresaw that the protection of Jerusalem would not last for ever.

God had to deal with sin because HE is a holy God. God required righteousness among His People. The time would come when HE would take away His Hand of protection.

The suffering which was coming would bring cleansing as well as judgement. Isaiah sees the glory of God returning to Mount Zion.

Verses 5,6 – Isaiah saw a canopy providing shade and shelter.

This is one of the tremendous things which happens when you just read right through the Word of God - you can be in a dark tragic judgmental passage - and suddenly you come across another shaft of light. And if you had not read the whole passage you would have missed the light.

Isaiah sees a branch appearing - and, as he begins to point us to Jesus, he sees that this branch will be beautiful and glorious and fruitful. Jesus is to be our beauty and glory.

It is Jesus who makes us fruitful and useful. Read John Chapter 15 if you need these truths confirmed.

What makes us, is NOT our appearance - our dress - our so-called fashion - our achievements as we strut around - but what we are in Christ.

It is what we have done for Jesus that will be significant - and it is Jesus Christ who gives us purity and holiness. It is Jesus Christ who washes away all the impurity and removes all the vanity - and fills any emptiness in an individual - and even in the nation.

It is Jesus who is able to shelter you from the heat of the day - from the various pressures - and from the many temptations.

It is Jesus who can warm your heart when you feel cold - who can inspire you when you feel discouraged - and who can refresh you when you are dry.

It is Jesus who can re-light you when your enthusiasms are flickering - it is Jesus who can make you burn again, when you thought your flame was about to be extinguished.

Isaiah gives us a picture here of Israel returning from captivity - with no armies - with no money - with no fortune-tellers - with no idols - but they had GOD.

When the enemy came - there was no protection - God was not covering them. People did not want His Covering. They had moved out from being under His Mighty Hand. That is a sad thing to see.

Isaiah sees a branch - on which we are able to perch and rest when we are tired.

When we need a refuge and shelter - this is the right place. When we need a little shade in the heat of the day - this is where we can find that - underneath the Branch.

When we need a hiding place - a harbour from the storms which can rage and roar - someplace where there is protection and safety and security - this should be the right spot.

And a canopy - Isaiah saw some marvellous things - such is the ministry of a prophet.

A Branch from the loving heart of the Father - where we can perch and rest and shelter and recover and be renewed - all in Christ.

“Lord God Almighty – You are such a loving Father – so merciful and tender and strong – providing in Christ Jesus, a perch where we can rest – a shelter from all the stormy blasts – a place where we can be refreshed and renewed – we give You thanks and praise for these blessings available to us – in and through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. Amen”

"Point of Reference" from Fred Price

The In-Between-Times

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Biography Information:

Alexander 'Sandy' Shaw is pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship in Nairn, Scotland. Nairn is 17 miles east of Inverness - on the Moray Firth Coast - not far from the Loch Ness Monster!

Gifted as a Biblical teacher, Sandy is firmly committed to making sure that his teachings are firmly grounded in the Word.

Sandy has a weekly radio talk which can be heard via the Internet on Saturday at 11:40am, New Orleans time, at wsho.com.

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