Thursday, August 23, 2007

Morning Devotion

Here are some thoughts from my morning quiet time:

Isaiah 1:16, 17
The Lord has just finished telling Israel that He doesn't want to listen to their prayers anymore because they are not really seeking Him. They are going through the religious motions, but their hearts are far from Him. So He spells out for them what He desires from them:
  • learn to do good - seek after what is good, try to learn it, you don't have to be perfect right now
  • seek justice - be proactive about things being right and just
  • reprove the ruthless - speak up and against evil
  • defend the orphan - those who have no rights and no defender
  • plead for the widow - one who has no one to protect her
The Lord is saying "This is what I'm all about - goodness, righteousness, kindness, compassion - and you can learn to be like me. No, good deeds won't save you, but they will draw you closer to me. And you know, this is all about a relationship, not religious motions."

And then the Lord goes on to say that if they will just obey Him, all their sins will be removed, forgiven, and as though they had not sinned. They will be provided with the best of the land. If they refuse to obey, they will be destroyed by the sword.

So not only does He continue to tell them what to do to be restored in their relationship with Him, but He also offers grace to remove their sin.

I think it's important in every relationship to understand where you stand with the other person and what you can do to get closer, if that's what you want. God realizes that and spells it out for us over and over again. Our God is so good to us.

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