The Holy Bible (The New Century Version – Isaiah 57:17-21): 17 I was angry because they were dishonest in order to make money. I punished them and turned away from them in anger, but they continued to do evil. 18 I have seen what they have done, but I will heal them. I will guide them and comfort them and those who felt sad for them. They will all praise me. 19 I will give peace, real peace, to those far and near, and I will heal them," says the Lord. 20 But evil people are like the angry sea, which cannot rest, whose waves toss up waste and mud. 21 "There is no peace for evil people," says my God.
Thoughts: It is so easy for us to beat up on a friend because of the wrongs we see in them, but way too often others see very similar traits, or wrongs in us. I found it encouraging to read in these verses where, in spite of Israel's sin and the punishment God was already extending to them, yet He still chose to heal them, guide them, comfort them and give peace to them. Friends, I believe this is evidence of God looking at the heart of mankind, and not the stupid acts that we are so often guilty of. Now please don't assume that this means you can go on doing whatever you please, knowing that God has your back, for when you do that you are doing it in deliberate disobedience, and from a heart filled with total disregard for God. When we surrender our lives to Jesus, and do our very best to live according to His Word and His will, there is not a wave of perfection that comes over us. However, God's Holy Spirit working in us, should give us a deep sense of guilt and a desire for forgiveness that leads us to beg God for strength to overcome that certain weakness and His guiding hand to help redirect us towards holy living going forward. I believe in the last two verses we are shown that when we feel unsettled, or angry about our actions and challenged in getting no rest over them, we may want to question ourselves about whether we truly have sought forgiveness from God over our actions. I believe when we act sinfully and have no remorse or desire to seek God's face and His forgiveness, we had best examine the spiritual state of our heart. Remember, God knows our heart, and His Holy Spirit helps us to not only know our own heart, but directs us to all Truth so that we might have a heart like Christ. So how's your heart friend? Does God reside in your heart as evidenced by your words and interactions with others? We might easily fool those around us friend, but God is the only One who truly knows our heart. Make Him proud today, won't you?
Prayer: No matter how hard I try to dress up my outward appearance and my outward reflection to my fellow man, I am convinced that only You know the condition and intent of my heart dear God. Lord, I want to be just like You in my everyday life, whether it's inside my church doors; in the middle of the marketplace; in the presence of Your saints; or in the presence of unbelievers. Please take hold of this sinful man and make me into Your own image. May You see enough value in my intent that You have no reservation in accomplishing Your will through me. Many who might meditate on this devotional today might have similar challenges in this tough life here on earth, please touch them with Your powerful and almighty hand so that Your work might flourish in and through clean and holy vessels today. This my humble and respectful prayer that I ask in the precious and almighty name of Jesus, my Lord, with thanksgiving, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day's devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!
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