Listen! The Lord ’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore. Your hands are the hands of murderers, and your fingers are filthy with sin. Your lips are full of lies, and your mouth spews corruption.
Isaiah 59:1-3 NLT
This morning, I am inspired by these verses that a friend recently highlighted in the Bible App. I’m encouraged because the gospel of Jesus Christ is not just a “get out of hell free card” or “key to prosperous living” or “way to look religious/good to others” — but it is a convicting call to repentance.
We see that Jesus is quite focused on repentance as “not just some type of optional condiment” to be made available beside the Christian meal — but these table that He sets for us in the presence of our enemies has humble repentance as our cross to bear. Conviction that leads to personal repentance is the activity in our lives that is so different to the way of the world that Christ is put on visible display to even the blind when we are faithful in this way.
The way of the world says, “If you hear something that makes you uncomfortable or that might call you to change your ways or consider a different perspective — go into self- defense mode and make war against whoever spoke it.” And both the lawless rebel and the religious hypocrite both know this and live it well. Just look at the division ands warlike behavior that takes place on social media, in political debate, etc. So the way of the world is clear.
And haven’t we even acted this way towards God? I’m not talking about “them” with a pointing finger. I’m talking about “we” — us who call ourselves Christians and seek to sit at His table and sup with Him. How often have we been eager to drink the milk of forgiveness, eat the bread of glorifying God, but stopped short of the cutting and chewing and digestive work of personal repentance?
As our verses today point out first and foremost, “Listen! The Lord ’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call.” He is not to weak to save us from our sin, nor is He too far away to hear us. But have we shown up at the table ready to eat? Have we picked up that phone of confession? Have we turned back from the prodigal road in repentance to walk with resolute focus the narrow path home?
Each of us has something that we should repent this morning. Like the verse says, “It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore. Your hands are the hands of murderers, and your fingers are filthy with sin. Your lips are full of lies, and your mouth spews corruption.” And if our pride has us too religious to admit our own shortcomings, our own missing the mark, our own sin — how deep is that darkness that we call light?
So do not be afraid to come to the fight of the Blood of the Lamb to be washed clean. Do not be so proud that you cannot hear conviction and let it have its way to work upon your heart. Do not be so rebellious that you are offended and hear conviction to repent as condemnation to perish. Do not be so lukewarm and immature as to pick at your spiritual meal and be malnourished.
He loves you just like He loves me — that makes us “we” — and we are in this together, Christ follower. So let’s dine on this full meal and grow strong in humility and even stronger in repentance together for His glory. Amen.
And you who might read this and feel that you aren’t sitting in the inner courts with Jesus at the table — for those who feel they might be in the room but not at the table — or for those who feel they might be on the outside looking in — come, there is a seat for you. In fact, you can have mine, because I was just finishing and heading out to welcome more in to feast. Don’t worry, He has plenty of seats for me too. Come, say your prayers of thankfulness, of belief, of confession, of repentance, and enjoy this full meal. The dessert of blessing is amazing once you finish your plate.