HOPE AND FORGIVENESS
Read: Isaiah 55:6-8
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. ” (NIV Isaiah 55:6-8)
Study: Isaiah 55 observed that God’s wonderfully merciful ways are very different from our natural patterns. How does Isaiah’s picture of the gap between God’s mercy and our ways of relating speak to your heart? Are there persons (or groups of people) to whom you do not want to show mercy? Are you convinced that God’s ways are indeed different from, and higher than, ours? Two chapters earlier, Isaiah 52:13-53:12 declared that the figure God called “my servant” would conquer evil, not by brute force, but by taking all of evil’s worst upon himself. A great quote that I read this week that encompasses God’s mercy says, “God’s power is at its greatest not in his destruction of the wicked but in his taking all the wickedness of the earth into himself and giving back love.” Let that sit with you today.
Pray: O Jesus, I’m not God—but you can shape me to be more and more
like you. I offer my life to your re-shaping hand, because in the end your
forgiving way of life is the best way of life. Amen.