And The Winner Is……………
Read Isaiah Chapter 59
Isa 59:20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the LORD. 21 “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit, who is on you, and My words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever,” says the LORD.
Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him, 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. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.
We cover the subject of repentance often. By now you likely know it’s going to turn up again and again in these devotionals. Today, we are doing it again, but with a little different slant. Today our subject will be less about repentance, and more about the benefits of repentance. Let’s begin with the thoughts from the latter verses, from Isaiah 55. It is important to know why we need to repent of our misdeeds.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of repentance is that we will obtain mercy. Of course we need mercy. Without mercy, we have no hope of eternal life. Without mercy, we will receive what we deserve, which it eternal death. We could ask why God requires repentance before He is willing to grant mercy, and maybe we could come up with some good possibilities. But does it matter? He requires all men to repent, and if men do not respond correctly, mercy will not be theirs. Even in the OT, there was no forgiveness, no mercy, if those bringing sin offerings were not repentant. A man had to know that the offering represented a physical evidence of his repentance. He recognized that his sin had separated him from God, and an offering was a way of showing that he knew he needed mercy.
We could stop here and have ample reason to agree to repent of our transgressions. But there is more. Now we will look at the verses from chapter 59.
- To those who repent, the Redeemer will come. What more could we wish for, that the Creator of all things, the one and only Holy God, would enter into our presence and fellowship with us? Can we conceptualize the enormity of this thought? Can we truly understand what this means? The most important being who exists wants to come to us and enjoy our company. Even as I type this, I am flooded with the magnitude of the thought.
- Our good fortune will be multiplied over and over again. As a married man with grown sons and growing grandchildren, it is a tremendous blessing to see and know that the Spirit of God, given to me even though I deserve it not, has been passed on to two other generations. You are not married? You have no children? No matter. The Spirit residing in you and the words of eternal life can be passed on to others through you. There are those who are Sunday School teachers, public school teachers, mentors, big brothers and sisters, and many other kinds of avenues by which God’s word and His Spirit are passed on to others. Your connection with God, your right-standing with Him, can be passed down to many others, simply by your obedience; by the testimony of your life’s story. The Lord stands ready to bless your work in His name.
Without these beautiful carrots looming before us, there would be no reason, no advantage, to our repentance from SSA actions and lusts. It is likely that every one of us have weighed out our options time and time again. “Do I want to continue with my gay life? It beckons me with a strength and pull that makes me believe that I can’t NOT give in to it! So what do I gain by abandoning the gay life? Is the allurement which God provides me powerful enough to make it more worthwhile than staying in the gay life?” The real answer lies in today’s passages. There is no doubt whatsoever, that God’s rewards for our repentance and obedience are worthy of our full allegiance to Him. Our blessings will far outweigh any benefit we might believe we have by remaining in our gay life. Really, isn’t it a given? There is no good end to our sinfulness, not even a glimmer of good.
Prayer: Father, how in the world can You consider me as one of Your children. I have disobeyed You so many times, returned to sin over and over. Yet, Your word promises that our repentance and desire to follow and obey You will reap great rewards for us. Even more, our obedience will benefit many others as well. Lord, thank You for being so loving, so merciful, so full of grace, that You would call us unto Yourself, and that You would come to us in love and full of forgiveness.