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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
March 15, 2014

[NOTE: This message was originally published June 14, 2003.]

Then I cried out, "I'm doomed! Everything I say is sinful, and so are the words of everyone around me. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord All-Powerful."
     One of the flaming creatures flew over to me with a burning coal that it had taken from the altar with a pair of metal tongs. It touched my lips with the hot coal and said, "This has touched your lips. Your sins are forgiven, and you are no longer guilty."
     After this, I heard the Lord ask, "Is there anyone I can send? Will someone go for us?"
     "I'll go," I answered. "Send me!"

Isaiah 6:5-8 (CEV*)
God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.
John 3:16 (CEV*)

This Isaiah passage is fascinating and very instructive in the sequence it presents. Isaiah confesses his sinfulness and declares his unworthiness to be in God's presence. God responds with forgiveness of his sins. Then the Lord asks for someone to send out. Isaish responds by offering to go. There is no hint of unworthiness in his response.

This is the classic Christian message, prefigured by the prophets as is most of what Christ taught. The role of the flaming creature in the Isaiah story is played now by Christ, as expressed in John. It is clear in the Gospels that the forgiveness to God is offered to all who follow Isaiah's pattern.

Isaiah has shown each of us the way. We need to confess our sinfulness and our unworthiness in our human condition before God. No particular formula or ritual is required; what is essential is what is in our heart. We will be forgiven by God and made worthy through His grace. Then we will be prepared to serve God, and will yearn to do so in gratefulness for the love and grace we have been shown by God. We will not need to know just what God is calling us to do before agreeing before God to do it, just as Isaiah was not told his mission until after he offered to be sent.

Dear friends, may we each confess our unworthiness before God, and receive His forgiveness and grace. As forgiven people, may we be ready to go wherever God sends us.

Bill Samuel

* Contemporary English Version ©1995 American Bible Society.

©2003, 2014 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 22-Mar-2014 17:16:01 EDT