“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn,; look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah who gave you birth. When I called him, he was but one, and I blessed him and made him many. The Lore will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all he ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.” (Isaiah51:1-3)
To be God’s people is to worship Him and to pursue right actions which give stability to society. If God could achieve so much through one family, surely He can fulfill all His promises of a just society to Him people.
God’s freedom often extends to those who are in the depths of despair. He can and often chooses to extend His grace to those who are suffering, even though they may be reaping the result of their own sinful ways. He creates new opportunities and delivers them in new ways. In His freedom, God acts in ways that seem strange to us. He does so to call His erring creation back to Himself.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, it is abundantly clear that Your goal is to get everyone, all Your children, into the kingdom of heaven. You desire not to lose a single one. Your love and grace and forgiveness are beyond our understanding. At times in our smugness, we want to see others punished for their sins, while we revel in Your grace and forgiveness with us. Forgive us when we fall into the trap of judgment upon others while overlooking the sins of our actions. Open our eyes, Lord, to see others at You see them, that we might also reach out to them with the love of Christ, Help us to be more forgiving. It is in Your Honor we pray this. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Thanks be to God that He doesn’t give us what we deserve. Instead, He gives what we cannot earn.”
“Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed grounds; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you. But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended upon your own strength and on your many warriors.” (Hosea10:12-13)
Righteousness and justice sowed in the name of God will bear its fruit in due time. God’s people cannot wait passively for His salvation. They must act in ways to give stability and hope to society. In His time God will act righteously to save us.
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, your are slaves to the one whom you obey—-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body to slavery to impurity and to ever increasing wickedness, so now offer them to slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap a that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! Bur now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” (Romans6:15–22)
Beloved, through Christ’s righteous act we are transformed, devoting our lives to the righteous way of life He pioneered. Thus our lives mirror God’s holiness, and we received eternal life as God’s gracious wage.
Second Thought of the Day:
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing cloths and clothe you? When did we see your sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of he least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left,’Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and yo gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison and did not help you? He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of he least of these, you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew25:37-46)
Jesus draws our attention to the least of the world (the widows, orphans, aliens, and poor of the Old Testament). Our response to these who have no advocate and are unable to help themselves gives us some indication of the validity of the bond we profess to have with Christ. Jesus virtually says to see Him we must recognize Him in the hungry, thirsty, strangers, sick, and imprisoned. If we love Him, would we not go to Him? Then, let us love Him through these oppressed humans.
Those who have been made right with God through faith in Christ, and who reflect this as they live by God’s standards, will live forever with God in Heaven. Those who are not and do not will experience the eternal punishment of hell. Eternal life begins here as we live out God’s quality of life among those for whom God cares especially.