Skip to main content

Abandoning it all

 Seek God while he’s here to be found, pray to him while he’s close at hand. Let the wicked abandon their way of life and the evil their way of thinking. Let them come back to God, who is merciful, come back to our God, who is lavish with forgiveness. (Isaiah 55:6)

During a time when the nation of Israel stood divided into two kingdoms and were constantly threatened by attacks from Assyria and Egypt, the prophet Isaiah is called to write these words - a prophesy of redemption to those who would seek it. The nation had been mostly deaf and disobedient to the words of God through the prophets - in fact, if they could break the rules, many of them did. Isaiah was called to focus on the redemption that would come through the Messiah (Christ), but the divided nations of Judah and Israel stood in opposition to much of what they knew they should be doing. Isn't it just like us independent humans to choose our own way of doing things, even when we know it stands in complete opposition to what we know to be right and true? Even worse, the two kingdoms did much to 'display' the 'look' of righteousness, but in reality, they were living without any form of intimate relationship with God. In today's vernacular, we'd call them hypocrites.

Do you ever stop to consider scripture and just have one of those 'huh' moments? You know - those times when you just sit and ponder the 'why' behind what you are reading and then realize you might have a bit of the same kind of attitude or behavior. If you find that happening from time to time don't get discouraged. It is just God's way of reminding you (and me) just how much you are loved. God only exposes our hypocrisy in order to help us realize he has something so much more for each of us. In fact, he shows us where we have a 'facade' of righteousness, but lack the 'heart' of right-living. Anything short of 'heart-investment' into the 'right-living' we do is just nothing more than hypocrisy. Did I step on any toes with that one? Remember, God talks to me about this stuff first, then he allows me to talk with you! 

Abandoning our way of thinking affects our way of living. Whenever we compromise our beliefs, we will see a change in our living - our 'heart' for right-living will be affected. We might put up a good front, but the reality is that we are like the kid who is sitting down on the outside, but standing up on the inside. God warned his people to avoid certain things because he knew it would begin to affect their 'heart' for right-living. He warned them not engage in certain behaviors they might see around them because he knew those would prohibit the development of solid morals. The 'heart' of the mankind is really all God had in mind as he gave instructions to avoid certain thinking/actions/behaviors and to embrace others. If you have ever developed a wrong way of thinking, you know how hard it is to break free from it. It is much easier to avoid it in the first place!

It is a wonderful place to come to - the place of forgiveness. The place where God embraces you with his grace and goodness. It is a far more beautiful place to never have abandoned that place of grace and goodness in the first place! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce