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December 07

Isaiah 55, 5-7

Something to read

See, you shall call nations that you do not know,
   and nations that do not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, 
   for he has glorified you.

 Seek the Lord while he may be found,
   call upon him while he is near;
 let the wicked forsake their way,
   and the unrighteous their thoughts;
let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them,
   and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
New Revised Standard Version

To read the King James Version, click here

Something to think about

Chapter 54 of Isaiah depicted blessings for Zion, but in chapter 55 we read of blessings going far beyond that and acting to us as a reminder of the universal mission of God.  Now the attraction of God and His people will draw others into His family.  The call to “Seek the Lord” (v6) can be read as simply a prayer for God to react, and the parallel ‘call’ may be similarly understood.  A sense of urgency is in the call – perhaps more so than in the preceding verses, for the time is limited with which to respond (Isaiah 61:2). 

Finally in v7 the message takes a more personal tone, “let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts”, so that they may return to the Lord.  In three verses therefore we see a universal call, an appeal for petition with urgency, and a deeply personal admonition.  Are these words which speak to us?  Do we hear God’s call in all areas of our life, do we have this sense of urgency to cry out to God, are we prepared to accept words of admonition and change?  Read these verses through again one more time and reflect on what today, this Tuesday in early December, God wishes to say to you.

Something to do

The main walls in church are constructed by human hands.  God calls all people to relationship with Him and the obstacles that people find are – sadly – human inventions.  In your friendships, your church or community groups, ask what is acting as a barrier to all people and nations running to God.  Perhaps it is something of human invention, that we can help deconstruct and open the way afresh for people to come to God.

Something to pray

Heavenly Father, I resolve in my heart and mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.  Where my actions previously have meant this is so, forgive me.  Where my hesitancy has held others back, give me courage.  What I do not see and hear, open my eyes and ears Lord.  May Your Holy Spirit fill me. In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

Today's contributor is Russell Winfield, a minister training at Westminster College, Cambridge.

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