Isaiah 56:6-8 MSG
“And as for the outsiders who now follow me,
working for me, loving my name,
and wanting to be my servants—
All who keep Sabbath and don’t defile it,
holding fast to my covenant—
I’ll bring them to my holy mountain
and give them joy in my house of prayer.
They’ll be welcome to worship the same as the ‘insiders,’
to bring burnt offerings and sacrifices to my altar.
Oh yes, my house of worship
will be known as a house of prayer for all people.”
The Decree of the Master, God himself,
who gathers in the exiles of Israel:
“I will gather others also,
gather them in with those already gathered.”
I respect this quote. So often people can hear the name Jesus and assume this means the judgement and wrath of God. The name of Jesus should conjure up freedom, love and acceptance. This verse in Isaiah shows us that God is a fan of the outsiders. He does not look upon them as humans can with disgust or judgement. He welcomes anyone who follows Him, who is fearlessly pursuing Him, He is all about restoration. He does not keep record of wrongs.
God longs to bring you close. To give you joy. To worship Him and to welcome you home..no matter what you have done. He wants to gather all the lost and bring them in with those who have already found Him. Like Jesus says in Matthew and Luke “How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.” Isn’t that the Jesus, the God you should know? One who is feverishly trying to rescue, find, and protect His children but is not always accepted?
Today I am thankful for God. I am thankful for His Son. I am thankful that even when I pursued wrong things, Jesus was desperate to gather me back from the distances I had gone. I pray that no matter what you are facing that you stop running and let yourself be brought back into His loving protection. His acceptance. His grace and His love.
Photo credit: http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2008/06/proust_cusack200806