“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
Isaiah 1:18 NIV
Our sins are washed away when we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Our sins no longer remains because of His precious blood that was shed at Calvary. Under the old covenant which was based upon the law the blood of bulls and goats could not atone for the sins of the people. Day after day sacrifices needed to be made because the blood of animals could not fully atone for the sins of humanity.
But through Jesus Christ our sins have been atoned for. Jesus has taken the penalty that we deserved and has offered us the gift of salvation. Daily the gospel message goes forth into the earth and the Lord is continually knocking on the hearts of people. He has given all people a freewill whether to choose to follow Him and make Him Lord and Savior, or choose to live this life for themselves and the selfish desires of this world.
Eternal life is not based upon our works nor our performance. It is based upon faith in the Son of God alone, Christ Jesus. As we walk in authentic faith with the Lord we will follow the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives which will produce the fruit of the Spirit and will accomplish the works that God created us for. May our hearts daily be focused upon Jesus and what He has accomplished for us at Calvary. May we simply use every day to glorify and magnify His awesome and mighty name.
31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Waiting on the Lord can be a very difficult and painful thing. Often times we may ask ourselves why we are called to wait. The Lord’s timing and His ways are much different than our own. We base our judgments often times on what we see with our physical eyes and based upon our current circumstances. But the Lord sees the end from the beginning and everything He does is perfectly designed based upon His sovereign will.
There is a deep work that is done in our hearts and lives as we are called to wait upon the Lord. There is a maturing process that takes place in our faith and in our relationship with the Lord. As we wait upon the Lord there are things in our lives that are pruned away and they are replaced with the character of Christ.
Our journey with the Lord is one of transformation. When we are born into this world we are born into sin and live according to our sinful nature. But when we come to Christ we are set free from the curse and bondage of sin and the journey of transformation begins. It is a journey that takes place throughout the course of our lives while we are upon the earth.
The Lord’s desire is to develop within us the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is simply the character of Christ and the more we walk with the Lord and spend time in prayer and the study of His word, the more our lives are transformed into His image. But during our time of waiting upon the Lord the Lord shall strengthen us and sustain us.
One of the reasons waiting is so very difficult is because our sinful selfish nature wants things right now. When we desire something we want it right way. But our Father in Heaven understands what needs to take place in our lives so that we will be a wise steward of the things He is bringing into our lives. Through the waiting our hearts are prepared to receive all that He has for us.
4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him. Isaiah 53:4-6
Jesus paid the penalty that we deserved. Long before Jesus ever walked the earth the prophet Isaiah prophesied about the sacrifice that Jesus would make. He is the center of all things and when He is lifted up, He will draw all men unto Himself.
Sometimes we can get caught up in our own lives and the things we are facing. We become discouraged by the circumstances we face, but we must always remember the sacrifice that Jesus made. He gave His very life and shed His very blood so that we could be free.
Freedom is not a feeling, it is a reality that is only found in Jesus Christ. But what does it truly mean to follow Jesus. To follow Jesus means that we must be willing to deny ourselves and pick up our cross. Our journey with Jesus is one of continually dying to ourselves and abiding in Him in all things.
The Holy Spirit lives within us and empowers us to do all things that God has called us to do. In ourselves we are nothing, but as we seek the Lord and seek His face, the Holy Spirit makes all things possible. Let us always focus and fix our hearts upon Jesus. As we fix our eyes upon Him and seek Him with all our heart, He will use our lives to bring glory and honor unto His name.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
Isaiah 53:5-6 NASB
Jesus took the punishment that we deserved. All of us are born into sin and all of us from the day we are born are lost. We are under the curse of sin and death and it is not until we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ that we are born again. Isaiah prophesied this hundreds of years before Jesus ever came to earth. It was God’s plan from the beginning to send His Son to take the place of humanity. All we have in Christ is because of His love, grace, and mercy. May we fix our eyes upon Jesus and continue to abide in Him daily. May we continue to grow and be transformed into the image of who Jesus is. As we abide the fruit of the Holy Spirit will be produced in our lives.