“You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.”
It’s no secret that we live in a world of hurt, pain, sorrow and shame. Today, maybe more than at any time in human history people feel isolated and alone, uncertain about life, what to do, who to trust and where to turn. Now more than ever people need the Lord, and the good news of the Gospel is God is near!
When Jesus began his public ministry his very first sermon was from Isaiah 61:1-3 where he declared, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…”
Jesus didn’t come into the world to make bad people good. Jesus came to give dead people life. The Bible makes very clear that we all have fallen short of God’s glory. In other words we have all missed the mark of God’s perfection. The Bible takes it a step further when it says, “and the wages of sin is death”. Not only have we all sinned and fallen short, we each have earned the right to die and spend eternity separated from God. Jesus was fully aware of man’s dilemma and basically said, “over my dead body” as he went to the Cross in our place and as he who knew no sin became sin for us, so that by him we could be become the righteousness of God. Jesus Christ came to earth to save us not to punish us. In Isaiah 61 he tells us there is in fact a day of vengeance coming but not on this visit, not today! Jesus first coming is all about saving us and loving us.
Some people have a misconception of God. They have been taught that God is a lot like Santa Claus in that all he does each day is make a list and he checks it twice looking for who is naughty and nice and that he takes care of the “good kids” and he gives coal to the bad ones. Our bible teaches us that God loves us and seeks to bless us. He causes the rain to fall on both the just and the unjust we read. Jesus didn’t come to rub our sin in, he came to blot it out. It was pastor Alistair Begg who said, “Christianity introduces us not to a God on a deck chair but to a God on a cross, who understands rejection, who understands pain, who understands grief at its deepest level.” The bottom line, God understands.
Don’t let your fears or failures turn you away from God. Take them all to God, to the God who does understand and offers forgiveness, the one who cares. You have an invitation from God to cast all your cares upon him today because he cares about you. Don’t miss your chance. Let God give you beauty for ashes today, allow him to take your mourning and replace it with joy! Why, because God understands and he cares.
“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
I LOVE YOU!
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