Alienated From God

Day 2 of “Jesus I Need You, part 1” A study by Thistlebend Ministries, as posted on Youversion

Scripture Reading: Isaiah chapter 1 (focus verses 2-4); Ephesians 4:17-19

Listen, O heavens, pay attention, O earth!

For the Lord speaks:

“I raised children, I brought them up, but they have rebelled against me!

An ox recognizes its owner, a donkey recognizes where its owner puts its food;

but Israel does not recognize me, my people do not understand.

 Beware sinful nation, the people weighed down by evil deeds.

They are offspring who do wrong, children who do wicked things.

They have abandoned the Lord, and rejected the Holy One of Israel.

They are alienated from him.

Isaiah 1:2-4 NET
Observations: What’s the Message?

The message in Isaiah chapter one is from the LORD, Himself. He is obviously offended, angered, and grieved over how His children do not even recognize Him and how they have chosen to live. Their choices have alienated them from God. Verses two through four paint the main part of the picture but reading the entire chapter is to more fully understand the perspective and emotion of God.

Paul’s message in Ephesians chapter 4, specifically verse 17-32, is about living in holiness. While we are focusing on verses 17-19, it is worth reading, and quite helpful, to read the larger passage. In doing so we realize not only the danger of living an unholy life like the Israelites were in Isaiah’s time, but we also gain a comprehensive look at the choices we should make in order to not alienate ourselves from God.

Application: How Then Should We Live?

Paul answers this question quite well with his instructions, actually His insistence, that the Ephesians [Christ Followers, like us] should “no longer live as the Gentiles do”. The description here in these verses is that the Gentiles were alienated from the “life of God”, their hearts had grown hardened to sin which caused ignorance in their choices and a callousness to the way they lived. Basically, Paul is telling the believers to make better choices. He paints a vivd picture and exhorts them not to allow their hearts to grow hardened toward sin and rebel against God, or lose sight of Him or His Word, but that they should, as we saw in our previous lesson from John 15:5, abide closely and stay familiar with Christ and His ways.

– no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts. Because they are callous, they have given themselves over to indecency for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

A description of the Gentiles, as described by Paul in Ephesians 4:17-19 NET

One other application we can and should make from both messages – is to Encourage others in this way. I believe this is the same message we find in Hebrews 3:13, where the writer tells the believers to encourage each other daily for the specific reference to not allowing themselves to be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

But exhort one another each day, as long as it is called “Today,” that none of you may 
become hardened by sin’s deception.  Hebrews 3:13  NET
Prayer: Response to the Word

Father, set a watch upon our hearts, that we not lose sight of You. Keep us ever hungering and thirsting for Your Word and living and loving like Jesus. Help us to encourage one another daily so that none of us become callous to sin and it’s deceitfulness. These things I pray in Jesus’ name and power – Amen an Amen!

Want More?

Visit Thistlebend Ministries for their encouraging devotional – Be sure and check-out what comes after their devotional! It’s a great and profitable way to go deeper in the Word.

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