I'm a daughter, granddaughter & niece of pastors. I love God & studying the Bible and want to empower others to do the same.
⇩ Digging Deeper, optional
M Memory verse suggestion
Read Isaiah Chapter 1.
Write out any verses or phrases that stood out to you, or questions you have:
Read verses 1-2.
What part does God play in raising His children?
In what ways are we rebelling against Him?
Read verses 3-10.
Abandoning God often means chasing other gods or priorities in our lives. Based on your schedule and finances, take some time this week—or look at last week—to estimate (guess at) the percent or minutes or hours spent on each thing you do or spend money on. “Free time” is any non-obligatory time where you have more freedom to decide what gets accomplished, or by not deciding, what just “happens” with your time.. What are some of your gods, or things you abandon God for, and how can you adjust or remove the things that have crept into the small spaces, becoming a priority that shouldn’t be?
Is there a way you can maximize certain times, such as praying, listening to worship music, sermons, or the Bible while driving/cooking/cleaning/walking the dog, etc.?
Remember, we are to “Rejoice at all times. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in everything...” (1 Thess. 5:17) and “...my tongue will proclaim Your righteousness and Your praises all day long. (Psalm 35:28)
⇩ Digging Deeper: Finances:
|Where I spend||Amount of Money||Percent of total income|
Widows and Orphans/Missions
"Fun money" -Hobbies
"Fun money" Out to Eat
Read verse 11. The people’s sacrifices were empty. Careless, done weakly out of obligation, rather than from joy or thankfulness. Could the same be said of your worship, your tithing, or the time you give God?
If so, pray and ask God to give you joy and eagerness in obeying Him. Also reevaluate the way you talk to yourself about it— (Circle one) do you more often say “I have to” or “I get to” about reading your Bible, praying, and obeying what He commands you to do? Look ahead at chapter 50:4, and write what stands out to you below:
Read verses 12-13. What does the writer mean that God “cannot stand iniquity..” (write the definition of iniquity here:_______________________________________________________) “...with a festival”?
Why do you think that is so?
Read verses 14-17: In what modern ways can we “defend the rights of the fatherless”?
What are some good organizations (where the CEO doesn’t make millions—do some research first) you can donate to regularly?
⇩ In modern times, widows often now are financially provided for. However, they are often very lonely. How can you find a widow in your church or community to invest some of your time in, or if you are a man and want to meet with a widower?
Do you also have any family members who are widowed that you could schedule time to visit?
Best and Worst Charities by spending/Search for your charity
- Charity Navigator - Your Guide To Intelligent Giving | Home
Charity Navigator is the largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities in the United States providing data on 1.8 million nonprofits and ratings for close to 10,000 charities.
More Good/Bad Charities (in terms of percent actually given to the causes)
Some of the Worst Charities You Shouldn't Be Donating To
- Cancer Survivor's Fund
- The Committee for Missing Children
- Purple Heart Foundation
- Veterans Support Foundation
- Children's Wish Foundation. (not the same as Make-a-Wish)
- Kids Wish Network
- Firefighters Charitable Foundation
- Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation
- Police Protection Fund.
- Vietnow National Headquarters.
- United States Deputy Sheriffs' Association.
- Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth.
- National Caregiving Foundation.
- Committee for Missing Children
- Youth Development Fund
Great Charities to Donate to:
- Direct Relief
- Ronald McDonald House Charities, Inc.
- Matthew 25: Ministries
- Samaritan's Purse
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Some Best/Worst Charities for Donations
- Best and Worst Charities for Your Donations - Consumer Reports
This is the time of year for charitable giving. Consumer Reports checked out the charity watchdogs to tell you some of the best charities for your donations.
Read verse 18. When was the last time you sincerely thanked God for dying and cleansing you of your sins? Take some time to do so now, out loud, in prayer, or here on paper as a reminder.
Read verse 19. The phrase “to be both willing and obedient” may seem redundant, but what are the differences between the two? Look up the word’s definitions in the dictionary or using the app.
Read verse 20. What are some of the “little ways” we rebel against God, or put Him off for later?
How can we be better about not doing those things? Write an action plan below:
When ________________ happens, I can _______________________________________
Instead of ____________________________ I can _______________________________
When I am tempted to ______________________________, I can do this instead:
More action steps I can take:
Read verses 21-22. When we stop obeying God, our silver becomes tarnished, or dross. Look up the definitions for silver and dross and write them out:
⇩ Now look up one or all of the following verses to compare: Psalm 115:4, Proverbs 10:19-20—who is speaking in this one?
Some biblical facts about silver:
In Gen. chapter 20, Abimelech gave Abraham 1,000 pieces of silver and his wife back, whom he’d thought was Abraham’s sister (because that’s what had Abraham lied and said). Later, Abraham wanted to pay 400 pieces of silver for a large piece of land to bury his dead in. Ephron agreed to it, a place with a field and a cave for burial.
Joseph’s servant, at his order when he was second in command in Egypt, placed some of Joseph’s silver in his brother Benjamin’s bag when he and his other brothers left Egypt to return to their father. Benjamin and his brothers did not yet know Joseph was their brother, and were perceived as thieves. Then, later, after Joseph revealed himself, Joseph made amends and gave gifts to his brothers of clothes and 300 pieces of silver to Benjamin.
Moses commanded the Israelites to ask the Egyptians for all their silver and gold when they fled from captivity, to plunder them as they left. In Exodus 20:23, the Israelites were commanded not to make gods of silver or gold to rival God. And yet when Moses left to receive the 10 commandments, that’s exactly what they had Aaron do.
In Exodus 21-32, if an ox were to gore a slave, the ox’s owner had to pay 30 shekels of silver to the slave’s master—the price for a slave; the price for which Jesus was betrayed.
Psalm 119:72 says:
Now look up Psalm 66:10 and write it below:
⇩ For more verses about silver, read Job 27:13, 16-17; Psalm 115:4, Proverbs 17:3.
Reread verse 22. Diluting beer or wine for guests when they visit was a way of being cheap, sly, deceptive. Even in little things such as this, these people were greedy and deceivers. Are there any “little” deceptions you’ve observed lately anywhere (even in your own life)?
Are there any you need to confess to God and repent of? Or make amends if you’ve cheated someone else? Write your plan to get back on the right track today here:
Read verse 23. Some versions of the Bible use the word graft in the part of the verse about bribes.
Graft: the acquisition of money, gain, or advantage by dishonest, unfair, or illegal means.
Look up several or all of the following verses (it’s okay to just do one a few a day, or to come back later in the day to answer more). Write out any that stand out to you, and highlight them in your Bible as a reminder, or write them on a sticky note to put somewhere you’ll see it regularly (I often use the bathroom mirror, fridge, and key hook).
In what ways can we aid, give to, or “defend the rights of the fatherless”?
This is a repeated command throughout the Bible. For example: Ex. 22:22, Deut. 10:18, 14:29, 24:17, 24:19.
Some of the most generous, faithful Christians I know personally take this verse—Deut. 26:12—as a call to tithe and to donate, as God calls them, to the cause of orphans through trustworthy, responsible organizations they’ve researched.
Pray and ask God today how much HE wants you to give ______% or $______ and to where or whom? Write it out below, and make sure to stick to it on your next payday, doing it before you spend money on anything else, even bills.
Make sure to give in faith, not begrudgingly, trusting God to meet your needs, and see if He doesn’t “open the storehouses” for you (Mal. 3:10).
Personal testimony: I personally took this challenge on the day I wrote this, to either match or exceed my tithe with giving to the cause of orphans through a charitable organization I trust, regardless of my income, and though a new, unexpected new trial occurred every single day for over a week (almost 2!). Through that, I learned to prioritize better, and realize some things as not needing my money right now. Other things, God miraculously provided money or means to take care of that I couldn’t have predicted or planned for. There was a solution for every problem, and I learned to trust God deeper as He showed me what to do, when, and how, with what little I had. And now my faith is deeper, and I trust Him more than ever before.
Though my tendency is to want to fix everything broken right now, as a homeowner, sometimes that isn’t always possible right away. So before making any decision, financial or otherwise, I have learned to consult God and submit to HIS plan, and things may be tight sometimes, but they always work out when I’m obedient with my finances.
We always have enough for what God calls us to do, no matter how frightening it seems. And afterward, we make sure the Lord gets the credit and the glory, because He’s the one who blesses us and makes all things possible that He wills.
Read verse 25. God warns that He will completely burn away or smelt away the dross of His people, and remove all their alloy—everything that isn’t silver, or isn’t who they truly are and were created to be. Have you ever looked at your sins and your impulsive or self-focused decisions as dross, and yourself as silver or gold? _______ Why or why not?
Sometimes God refines us by completely removing a person or a temptation, and sometimes it is unpleasant or undesirable, because we still long for it or them. Other times he puts people in our path that we find unpleasant, or allows us to be led into a difficult situation, in order to change us and lean on Him for support because it's too difficult to do on our own. Can you think of a recent time when God was refining you this way? If you’re in this situation now, how can you focus on refining through it?
Of what things or personal qualities do you think God still wants to purify you? Draw a wide pan over a fire below, and list those things falling into the fire. Then ask the Lord to help you, starting today.
Why do we need God to smelt our alloy?
Think of some of the God-given talents and positive qualities you have that are part of who God created you to be, and write them in big letters (and even change the color of the pen you use, if you’d like) inside the frying pan above. If you’re not sure what to write, consider asking a close friend or family member. You may be surprised to see how others see you.
If you struggle with despair or depression during trials, how might it help you to look for and focus on what is being smelted instead?
Read verse 26. This verse contains a hopeful promise, that your city would be called R___________ and F__________, and your judges and advisers would be redeemed. When was the last time you prayed for your city/county officials?
Do you know their names? Take some time today (later, if need be) to look them up and list them below and pray for them individually, in addition to praying for them collectively right now.
⇩ Circuit court judges:
Clerk of Court:
City Council Members:
State House of Rep.:
Read verse 29. Sacred trees here could refer to the Asherah poles some worshiped, both pagans and, because of their association, even the Israelites as well. But the warning here speaks to the things we focus on, long for, spend time/money acquiring; the things we choose to pursue that God didn’t intend for us (maybe just not right now, maybe not ever). The author is talking about the things we have pursued and longed for now that we will regret having done in the future. Can you think of any of these pursuits God is right now calling you to give up?
Read verses 30-31. When we pursue the wrong things, or the wrong-for-us-right-now things, we become withered, dried up, because all our energies have been spent in the wrong places or with the wrong (at the moment) people in our lives, and sometimes we rob others of a blessing they were meant to have by too eagerly jumping in where God isn’t calling us to do so. Even the strong in these verses gave too much and used up what God had for others who actually needed them. It’s easy for spouses and parents and those with any type of family (especially aging parents) to fall into this category, pursuing other things or people instead of doing what we’re needed to do, perhaps because those other things are more exciting or we need a distraction, or because we’re tired, or because sometimes it’s just hard. There’s nothing wrong with taking breaks and having fun once in a while, but we should consult God in ALL things, and when we do, listen to His leading and obey. Look up Isaiah 30:21 and write it out here:
Sometimes we focus too much on the house, and not the family in it, or the boss’ and coworkers’ needs over our families’, or the “squeaky wheel” in the family or friend group, but the one crying loudest is not always the one with the most dire need. We, and our families, don’t need as much stuff as society tells us we do. They need our time. Children remember memories, more than toys, or the lack of memories, which can become regrets.
What are your actual priorities based on your calendar?
Use the chart below to help you. Fill in what activities you spend your time on, on average, or just look at this week.
..........Sun............Mon.......... Tues........... Wed............ Thurs.......... Fri............ Sat
Most of us have obligations like jobs, and of course, we all need to sleep. However, now, let’s look at your “free time.” List the days and whatever hours (or half hours, etc.) you have during the week for this below, and how much time you spend on each activity.
What things crept into your life this week and took your time that you wish you’d spent elsewhere?
What are your actual biggest, most time-consuming priorities (aside from obvious necessities like work, sleep, etc.)?
What are some priorities you need to rethink or re-prioritize by scheduling them in your life?
Fill in the blanks for Ephesians 5:15-17: “Look _____________ then how you ____________, not as unwise but as wise, making the ___________ use of the _____________, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be _______________, but understand what the ____________ of the _______________ is.
Conclusion of the chapter:
What verse or passage stood out to you most?
What verse on you working on memorizing?
What’s your biggest takeaway idea or lesson from this chapter?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Amanda Lorenzo