Scripture - Isaiah 6:6-7,
In the burning light of God’s holiness, Isaiah saw in desperation his own dark sin and corruption. “I am ruined, he cried out. I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips!” (Isaiah 6:5) In other words, he was a sinner living among sinners. How else can on respond when confronted with God’s holiness? We may think we are living a pretty good life until the radiance of God’s holiness shows up. Then our flaws (sins) are revealed.
Our Lord, however, did not abandon Isaiah in his sinfulness, and thanks to Almighty God, He does not abandon us. He touched Isaiah’s mouth with a fiery coal and said, “Behold your iniquity is taken away.” After beholding God’s glory, Isaiah saw his own sinfulness.
High and lifted up is how we should see God when we come into His house. We need hope, just as Isaiah did. A sinful human cannot stand before a Holy God without the fear of judgment. The Holy One reached out to the hopeless one. Without God, without His mercy and His grace, we are hopeless.
God touched Isaiah with the cleansing fire of forgiveness. All of this happened during a worship experience. This shows us that we should not consider worship as something on our religious or traditional to-do-list. We can receive that same touch to help us through whatever He has allowed into our lives. One touch from God can help us be what He wants us to be, get to the place where He wants us to be spiritually. We can approach God’s throne without being consumed by His holiness because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on Calvary. Thank God today for His touch.
Tell somebody about Jesus today. Pray for all Pastors. Remember, we are one at the throne (1 Thess. 5:17).
— Sister Catherine Raphael
Having a Greatful Spirit at All Times:The Lord desires that we have a grateful spirit no matter what our circumstances are. Even in the midst of pain or hardship, we can always thank Him for our salvation, His presence, and His work in our lives. Here are a few reasons we should be grateful to God in everything:
- Thanksgiving is essential for rejoicing in the midst of our suffering. There’s no way we can “rejoice always” without giving thanks in everything (1 Thess. 5:16-18). Although the pain may be so penetrating that we cannot feel joy at the moment, we can choose to express gratitude with our mouths until it becomes a reality in our hearts. God hears and understands the depth of our agony just as He understood Jesus’ pain when He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46).
- Gratitude to God in difficult times gives our witness a greater impact. Our painful experiences and grateful response allow us to help those who are hurting in their own lives. By sharing our struggles with others who don’t understand what God is doing, our witness for Christ becomes more powerful.
- Thankfulness displaces anxiety with peace. The Greek word for peace means to bind together. When we keep thanking the Lord in the midst of sorrow, loss, and heartache, we are bound to Him, and His peace fills us as our anxieties dissolve. The pain and difficulty may remain, but we’ve changed inside. This kind of peace is only available to those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Although anxiety may suddenly come upon us, we don’t have to stay in that state. If we keep praying and giving thanks to God, His peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6-7).
- Thanksgiving focuses our attention on God rather than our circumstances. If we fix our eyes on the difficulty, the pain becomes unbearable, peace eludes us, and the situation seems hopeless. But thanksgiving shifts our focus to the Lord and reminds us of what we can know for certain:
- We’re not alone.
- God is with us.
- He loves us.
- We’re eternally secure.
- He walks with us.
- He will bring us through.
- He will turn this experience into something profitable in our lives.
- Gratitude energizes us physically, emotionally, and spiritually in difficult times. Pain, trouble, and disappointment are draining, but trusting God, focusing on Him, and thanking Him revitalize us. It’s His presence within that renews us in every way so we can keep going.
We are told to thank the Lord “for all things” (Eph. 5:20). We can thank Him for whatever He allows in our lives that is according to His sovereign will, knowing that He promises to work everything for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). We won’t always see the good immediately or even during our lifetime, but in heaven, it will all make sense. Until then, gratitude demonstrates our trust in the Lord and our willingness to surrender our lives to Him.
—Dr. Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries
This Month's Scripture
Scripture: Exodus 15:24
One of the things the people of Israel overlooked was the fact that when they grumbled against Moses, they were really grumbling against God. More than likely, none would admit to this. If asked, they would totally deny it, and so would we.
After all, Adam failed to take responsibility in the garden of Eden. When God asked Adam why he had disobeyed, Adam began to blame the woman God had given him. The best thing you can do today—especially if God has caught you grumbling - is to take responsibility.
Many of our dads would tell us, "When I talk to you, stand up like a man." That is good advice for a generation that seems bent on creating excuses for their acts of violence and anger. Be willing to admit to God where you have taken a wrong turn. Then pray that He will guide you back to a safe place—a place where you can prosper and grow in every area of your life.
For years, the Israelites had complained about their Egyptian bondage. Finally, God began to move them and set them free. However, no sooner had the waters of the Red Sea settled behind them than they began to grumble. First, they needed water to drink. Later, their issue was a desire for meat.
When they reached Marah, they found a pool of water, but it was bitter, and thoughts of replacing Moses filled their minds. Isn't it a little odd that after they witnessed God's mighty deliverance, they would fail to believe He had the ability to provide for their every need? However, instead of calling out to Him for help, they threatened Moses.
The next time life turns rough and seems ragged along the edges, refuse to become mad at your spouse, children, or even your superior at work. God holds your very life within His hands, and He knows your every need. Make your request known to Him, and He will provide sweet water—enough to refresh and renew you.