Contrasts

Connecting Points

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Today’s Topic: Salvation and Strength

Today’s Text: Isaiah 30:15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…”

The thirtieth chapter of Isaiah is one of contrasts. In it we see the rebellious nature of man and the gracious nature of God. Our pride seeks to protect us from looking at the reality of our nature. Our hearts long to know the depths of God’s grace. The truth is, the magnificence of God’s grace towards us cannot be fully comprehended unless we also understand the depths of our depravity. It is where sin abounds that grace abounds more.

We are taught by our flesh and all those around us under the influence of their flesh to avoid any focus on our faults. We grade our spiritual condition on a huge curve of comparison. So many people are worse than us, and very few are better, so we believe we are in no real danger of flunking. But when compared to the holiness of God, all of us fail, and all of us need forgiveness, and none of us can save ourselves. This is the truth that makes the grace of God so grand.

The contrasts between our condition and God’s compassion in this passage have really spoken to my heart this morning. May they bless you as well. You may want to open your Bible and follow along, or just click on the link to each verse. But please read each point carefully and make the personal applications the Lord has for you today. I guarantee that it will bless you with a deeper appreciation of God’s grace.

Man’s Rebellious Nature (verse 9):

  • We tend to devise and pursue our own plans rather than God’s – verse 1
  • We seek protection and provision from the world and not from God – verses 2-5
  • We build ourselves up in our own eyes by oppressing others – verse 12
  • We make ourselves look good to others by lying about who we are – verse 12

(Note the serious consequences of not being honest about who you are – verses 13-14)

  • We even reach a point where we don’t want to hear the truth anymore and reject all attempts by God to help us – verses 10-11

Now notice God’s Grace:

  • God longs to be gracious to us even during our worst rebellion – verse 18
  • God rises above our stubbornness to be compassionate towards our needs – verse 18
  • God reveals truth to us through adversity and trouble – verse 20
  • God walks with us constantly and gives us specific direction – verse 21
  • God provides for our every need and will bring out the best in everything He gives us – verses 23-24
  • God will heal all the wounds of our suffering – verses 25-26

I know we are all very busy, and that taking time out for lengthy devotions every day is difficult. I’m thankful that you take the time each day to even consider reading what the Lord has shared in my heart. But I would encourage you to take some additional time today to really let God’s Word speak to you about our own tendency toward self-sufficiency, which is rebellion against God. Then, when it seems that you have a good grasp on the reality of your own sinfulness, let the splendor of His grace shower you with salvation and strength. After all, God has said,

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…”

Pastor John

 

One thought on “Contrasts

  1. Self sufficiency seems to be my weakest point. Having lived alone for so long it’s hard to depend on others for help. As a result of this sin I’ve set my recovery back at least a week.

    But the good news is I’m still God’s child He loves me, forgives me and always gives me another chance.

    Like

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