I woke this morning with “the man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53) on my mind. Since studying the book of Isaiah many months back I’ve been changed in my understanding of the Lord and in the understanding of my own sin and that of the world. It changed my heart by binding me ever more deeply in love with my Father and His Precious Son, the Lamb of God, who came to take away the sins of the whole world. I guess what changed the absolute most for me, though, was my understanding of my own sin personally and the great love that was poured out on me through the sorrows and suffering of Jesus. I thank Him for ever caring for and teaching me His ways. If you haven’t read Isaiah 53, please read it, take it all in, and I think you will then understand the effect it has had on my mind and heart.
As I’ve pondered this man of sorrows, I’ve come to see the necessity for me to see my sin as He sees it, not to wallow in it but to understand the great and miraculous gift of God’s great forgiveness in order to be more fully bound to Him in love. I remember getting to a place where I realized that if a scroll were dropped down from heaven with all of my sins listed for all to see, my shame would be so great I would not be able to lift my eyes to see what the sins of others might be. It would not relieve my shame to know the sins of others. It would not lessen my guilt of my own failures. And so it will be when we stand before the Lord to give account of our lives. We will stand, one by one, before a Holy God to give an account of what we did with the life He gave to us, and the gravity of that thought keeps humbling me day to day. Some do not believe the saved will stand in judgement but Revelation reveals that indeed we will.
I was just singing to Riley and the words I sang to him which are recorded in the song “O How I Love Jesus” so adequately describes the plight of man as we recognize the grace given to us in Christ Jesus:
“Was it for crimes that I have done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity grace unknown and love beyond degree!
But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of love I owe; Here, Lord, I give myself away, Tis all that I can do.”
Until we hate our sin, we cannot love Jesus for who He is on our behalf. Until then, we cannot know what He has done for us “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised and we esteemed Him not. Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows.” (Isaiah 53:3-4a) When sin in any way is funny to us or exciting or pleasurable, we are still in darkness, blind to the Truth of the One who came and hung on a tree to give us freedom from the bondage of sin and death.
I often pray for the lost and I recently had the realization that life for the lost is a completely different experience than the life of a believer. The difference is at least as great as seeing the world in one dull shade of gray verses seeing it in its vast array of color that is displayed which brings to life and into focus what otherwise cannot be seen. It is also the difference in being bound to the temporal verses having your scope expanded to account for the eternal. Indeed, what does light have in common with darkness? They are in opposition, stark contrast, light exposes what was covered in darkness.
I’ve been blessed in this temporal world to experience many joys of life. I’ve lived in new homes, driven new cars, had rewarding jobs, adventurous experiences, yet that pales in comparison to the bliss that I experience when basking in the presence of God’s Holy Spirit as His people arise and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, or when He comforts me when all others seem far away.
When my eyes fall on the countenance of one of God’s children as they are being blessed by His grace and His joy and He is pouring His Spirit upon them, the love that swells in my heart is beyond description and there is no earthly joy that can compare. The hearts of believers are knit together in a love unlike any other.
How can we tell the unsearchable riches of the blessings that are given to God’ children to someone who does not know? There is truly nothing like it! Apart from being in harmony with the God who created us, we are limited and bound by our own selfish agenda, yet when we come into His presence, into the center of His will, eternity opens up to us, the gifts of knowing who we belong to becomes real, and we enjoy the fruits of the Spirit of Christ who dwells in us. Amazing…amazing!
I want above all else for my children and grandchildren to know this perfect peace. Yet, I must say that this love that abounds in me is not limited or selfish. I want, above all else, for everyone’s children and grandchildren to know this peace and this passion for a life lived in grace! Every day is a gift, a blessing to be cherished!
I was thinking this morning about the Love of God, expressed to us through His gift of Christ and how we as His children have that same love. Are we willing to be spent for others? Do we walk daily with a desire to show others the love of Jesus? If not, then we need to go to the Lord and ask HIm to change our hearts so that we will live as He has called us to live. He commands us above all else to love Him and to love others and when our hearts are absent this love, then we are not living in the will of God.
May I always be called back to Him, day in and day out, that my life may be spent for the cause of Christ to whom I owe my all!