by Pastor Mark Gierus
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They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him (Isaiah 1:4b).
This doesn’t sound like us, does it? We are surely not like the people of old, people chosen by God and called to follow him. Are we not a forward-thinking, have-it-all-together (at least it seems so on social media), and totally inclusive society which voices opinions boldly? Who voices the truth – well, our truth – boldly?
Are we okay to be people of the world entitled to be the owner of our lives and able to treat people how we want to treat them, not how we would treat ourselves?
In a world where we say we want the truth, why is it that we don’t want to hear it? The truth God spoke through the prophet Isaiah gives us insight into human nature. We, God’s chosen people – yes, just like the Israelites, we also are chosen by God to be his people – are corrupt to the core. We put ourselves first. We would rather put ourselves first, put others down, take a little more than we need and live by the flesh. Let us be honest – our hearts are sick, full of self and sinful desires. We tell ourselves that we are not as bad as others or don’t really sin, yet, sadly, we cannot save ourselves.
But the great news in all of this is that God had a plan a long time ago to heal our sinful, broken, diseased human hearts. Jesus. God sent his only Son, Jesus, to be the Saviour of the world. He sent Jesus to suffer and die on the cross so that we might have life – eternal life and life lived by faith now. Jesus rescues us from our sinful, corrupt hearts and recreates us daily through his word. He gives us new hearts to love not for ourselves but to love others out of God’s love in us. The truth now is, in Jesus, you are new, no longer the old human but rather a saint washed in the blood of Jesus, and through the birth, death and resurrection of our Lord, we have peace.
Lord, thank you for washing me clean with the blood you shed for my sin. Thank you that you have changed my heart, making me whole again. Jesus, let me live for you as I live for others, sharing your love with them. Guide me each day by your holy presence, and show me those who are broken today needing your grace. May I bring your love to them in your name. Amen.
Pastor Mark Gierus is currently serving in Brisbane, Queensland, as a Lutheran college pastor. He has two beautiful girls aged six and nine and enjoys hiking with them, looking after their pets as a family and going on road trips. Mark prays that God will continue to bless you as you grow in him and come to know him more and more through his life-giving eternal word.