Thursday, November 10, 2016

Comfort My People: The Prophecies Of Isaiah, Day 135

Comfort My People:
The Prophecies Of Isaiah
Day 135

When we closed yesterday, the Lord had just proclaimed He would reveal Himself to the Gentiles. He was going to save Israel with an everlasting salvation and somehow, through His awesome design, the Gentiles were going to be saved too. Today's passage picks up there, "For this is what the Lord says---He who created the heavens, He is God; He who fashioned and made the earth, He founded it; He did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited---" (Isaiah 45:18a) The Lord had a plan for mankind before the earth was ever formed. The entire purpose of making everything seems to have been for one goal: the creation of man. And because God planned to make you and me before the first atom of the universe existed, He also formed a plan of salvation for us. He created the earth to be inhabited by men and women of all nations and races and He intended to include us all in the family of God, so that "whosoever will" could be His children through Christ the Lord.

"He says: 'I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob's descendants, 'Seek Me in vain.' I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right." (Isaiah 45:18b-19) After engineering the whole universe and the atmosphere of the earth to support human life, God does not then say to us, "You can seek Me but you will never find Me." No, instead He says, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8) 

"Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations. Ignorant are those who who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods who cannot save. Declare what is to be, present it---let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, who declared it from the distant past? Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no God apart from Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but Me." (Isaiah 45:20-21) The Lord keeps coming back to the subject of idolatry because this is the most prevalent danger to mankind. There may not be as many idols of wood in the world today, but we've simply exchanged the old idols for new ones. Materialism is a form of idolatry, according to the Apostle Paul, because he equated covetousness with bowing down to an image. (Colossians 3:5) Living according to our carnal natures is idolatry, for it either denies the existence of God or else it renounces God and serves the self. This is why He declares in no uncertain terms, "There is no God apart from Me." We are not gods. We did not make ourselves and can do very little to help ourselves. Yet we boast that we will go our own way, do our own thing, and nobody has the right to tell us what to do or to force rules of morality upon us. This attitude makes ourselves into an idol, putting ourselves in the place of God. I once heard a radio program where the guest speaker was the stepson of the late Christian author and speaker C.S. Lewis, and he said at one time he only served himself and that whoever serves himself has a fool for a god. 

Because we cannot save ourselves, and because there is no other God, the Lord offers us the one and only solution, "Turn to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. By Myself I have sworn, My mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before Me every knee will bow; by Me every tongue will swear. They will say of Me, 'In the Lord alone are deliverance and strength.' All who have raged against Him will come to Him and be put to shame. But all the descendants of Israel will find deliverance in the Lord and will make their boast in Him." (Isaiah 45:22-25) 

We can't look to presidents and politicians to save us. We can't look to priests or pastors to save us. We can't look to ourselves or to the works of our own hands to save us. We can only look to the Lord Jesus because, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) The Lord makes this offer to all mankind, saying, "Turn to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth." (v 22) This is all we have to do! We look to Him, the author and finisher of our faith, to the One who wrought salvation for us in agony on the cross, who took the curse of sin upon Himself so we could go free. We look to Him, knowing that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". (Romans 3:23) We look to Him, because we also know "all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus". (Romans 3:24)

We live in a fallen world, in uncertain times, and we have little control over the future. Why not turn it all over to the One who holds the future? Why not reach out for the One who promises we can seek Him and find Him? In an uncertain world, there is one thing about which we can be absolutely sure: our salvation in Christ. If you don't have this assurance in your soul today but would like to have it, you may pray this simple prayer of faith:

"Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I believe You came to the world in the form of a man to take my place. I have sinned and fallen short. I have made mistakes and am unable to live a perfect life. But You, who lived a perfect life, took the punishment I deserved, and now I only have to look to You and trust that what You did for me is enough. I believe You died for my sins and that You were raised from the dead to prove that Your sacrifice on my behalf was acceptable to God. So I invite You into my life as my Savior and Redeemer. Forgive me of my sins and make me a part of the family of God. Create in me a clean heart and guide me in Your ways. I believe in You, Lord Jesus. I believe there is no other name under heaven by which I can be saved. I accept what You did for me on the cross and I accept You as my Savior. Help me to honor You with my life. I ask these things in Your loving and merciful name. Amen." 

No comments:

Post a Comment