Thursday, November 3, 2016

God says, "Here I Am!"

What current events in the media just now worry you?  I will not seek to bring my personal observations to bear regarding these, but I too have such worries.  I have wondered if Scripture speaks clearly to them.  In my daily devotions, this did…
            “I say, Here I am!  Here I am!  To a nation that did not call upon my name.  I have stretched out my hands all the day to a rebellious people who walk in evil paths and follow their own thoughts—people who provoke me continually to my face.”  (Isaiah 65:1-3)
            God, talking through God’s servant Isaiah thousands of years ago, may have a word for us as well. “I say, Here I am!  Here I am!”  This is a word to boost our spirits and make our conscience free.  It suggests that the number one expectation God has of us is to “call upon God’s name”.  How?  We pray.  We discipline ourselves in private devotions.  But even more important is to worship God.  That is what calling on God’s name is, worshipping God, in God’s house, on God’s day of rest.  When we gather to worship God, not only do we place ourselves in God’s presence, but we allow God’s will and ways to influence our thoughts about the issues of the day, even when they are as complex as our current issues are.  So come to worship.  God calls us to worship.  God says to each and every one of us, “I say, Here I am!  Here I am!”
Next, we hear of God stretching out God’s hands all the day. It tells us God takes the initiative.  If you or I were to try to stretch out our hands all the day long, we could not do it. God has the strength and the tone and whatever else is needed to bridge whatever gap we have allowed to happen between God and us, no matter what path we have wandered down, no matter what kinds of thoughts we have followed.
Picture God stretching out God’s hands to us, as far as God can, all the day long, and not just to us, but to all the people God has made.  Even to those who are walking in truly evil paths, to those who are following only their own thoughts, to those who provoke God continually to God’s face.  To each one, God says, “I say, Here I am!  Here I am!”    God goes to whatever lengths it takes to reach the ones God loves.  And God urges those whom God reaches, to do likewise.
            If you form the mental picture of God extending God’s hands all the day long for all of us, and all of these, then you soon form one particular picture, the mental image of our Lord Jesus Christ, upon the cross, with His arms extended for everyone, everywhere in every time and season. “I say, Here I am!  Here I am!”  Jesus loves the world that much.  Jesus loves those we love that much and Jesus loves those we don’t love that much. By any stretch of the imagination, we find that Jesus is the only One who can reach that far, to everyone for all eternity. “I say, Here I am!  Here I am!”

‘See you in church,

John A. Dalles, Pastor

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