Are you in need of life-giving, life-nourishing words? Do you feel dragged down? You’ve come to the right place. I want to share with you a gem in the Bible: the chapter 55 in Isaiah. We need to read and re-read this every time we feel spent, tired or over-whelmed (or all three at once). Because here God offers you love, grace, and joy. All three at once.
“Hey there! All who are thirsty,
come to the water!
Are you penniless?
Come anyway—buy and eat!
Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk.
Buy without money—everything’s free!
Why do you spend your money on junk food,
your hard-earned cash on cotton candy?
Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best,
fill yourself with only the finest.
Pay attention, come close now,
listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words.
I’m making a lasting covenant commitment with you,
the same that I made with David: sure, solid, enduring love.
I set him up as a witness to the nations,
made him a prince and leader of the nations,
And now I’m doing it to you:
You’ll summon nations you’ve never heard of,
and nations who’ve never heard of you
will come running to you
Because of me, your God,
because The Holy of Israel has honored you.”
(Isaiah 55: 1-5, MSG)
With God we don’t need to pretend to be worthy and wealthy. God knows everything about us. Yet he invites us into abundant life with him. God is incredibly generous, he offers us grace upon grace for free. We should feel giddy when we just think about it. God Almighty offers a lasting covenant for us. For free. How awesome! Sure, solid, enduring love forever and ever!
Seek God while he’s here to be found,
pray to him while he’s close at hand.
Let the wicked abandon their way of life
and the evil their way of thinking.
Let them come back to God, who is merciful,
come back to our God, who is lavish with forgiveness.
(Isaiah 55: 6-7, MSG)
God indeed wants to lavish us with grace upon grace. Yet so many take their own path. But those who seek God will find everlasting love and peace in him. God wants to be found. Even though we don’t have anything to give him except dirt and shame. God wants to cleanse us, feed, cloth and take care of us. He wants to redeem, restore and share life with us. How astonishing! How amazing! Pure grace. 100% grace.
“I don’t think the way you think.
The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.
(Isaiah 55: 8-11, MSG)
When we are tired, spent, and overwhelmed let’s lift our gaze from ourselves to the Lord. We can’t solve our problems. We can’t nourish ourselves. We can’t make things happen. BUT GOD CAN! God is not bound to our limitations. God is God. We can count on him. We can trust him. We can rest in him. We are not to keep our lives separate from God. We are to bring our lives – just as they are- as a living sacrifice to God. He can do so much more with our lives that we ever could! And when our faith and life are integrated we find true peace and are truly living in abundance of God’s grace.
“So you’ll go out in joy,
you’ll be led into a whole and complete life.
The mountains and hills will lead the parade,
bursting with song.
All the trees of the forest will join the procession,
exuberant with applause.
No more thistles, but giant sequoias,
no more thornbushes, but stately pines—
Monuments to me, to God,
living and lasting evidence of God.”
(Isaiah 55: 12-13, MSG)
God wants good things for each of us. He wants to pour out love, grace, and joy. God wants to uplift, energize and encourage. God wants to give us a whole and complete life. It’s available for all of us. For free. Christ has already payed the price on the cross.
Come, let’s run to God! Let’s dump our burdens to the cross. Let’s receive God’s gifts of grace, love, and joy. Right now, right here. We are meant to live abundant life. There are joy-steelers all over the place. There are voices whispering that we are not worthy. But we are not to listen to them. We are children of God. We are free! We are loved! We are invited into abundant life!
We come to you with our burdens, worries, and trespasses.
Forgive us, renew us, restore us!
Let our lives brim with your love, grace, and joy!
How great thou art, Lord!
Give us a whole and complete life in your presence.
May thy will happen in and through our lives.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Why do we sometimes forget to feast in God’s abundance?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you claim the promises of God and live them out in your life!
Image courtesy of Michael McFatridge