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devotional - an encouraging word

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scripture text

isaiah 1:18 (nlt)

“come now, let’s settle this,” says the lord. “though your sins are like scarlet, i will make them as white as snow. though they are red like crimson, i will make them as white as wool.“

we had a piece of equipment at the church the other day that stopped working. instead of throwing it away we determined there was a way to restore it. we had to unplug the equipment, stick a pin in a small hole in the back of the equipment, and at the same time plug it back up. when we did that, the piece of equipment was restored back to its original status and ready to be used again. it seemed like a lot of work; however, in the end it was worth it.   

just like the piece of equipment, we all have things in our life that need to be restored; however, without work and fully addressing the issue at hand there cannot be true restoration.   
when we face situations that seem irreparable we can become angry not because of what happened, but what we expected, did not happen. if not properly addressed missed expectations can become shattered expectations.  

if you will allow me to stretch, i believe isaiah calls shattered expectations “sin” in today’s verse. when we think of sin we often think of things like: stealing, lying, and murder; however, if we do not address our shattered expectations they can lead to sins of unforgiveness, strive, and envy, just to name a few.   

isaiah says something powerful in today’s verse, “come now”. there comes a time when we must stop what we are doing and come to jesus. many live in the past, but today there is a call to come into god’s “now”. 

true “godly restoration” cannot occur until we bring our shattered expectations to the lord. we must realize that our good works, best intentions, suffering, time or even death cannot cleanse the stain of shattered expectations. 

what is it that needs to be restored in your life? relationships, hope, peace, your faith? whatever it is, i invite you to bring it to the lord and “reason together” or talk about it with him. in other words, “let’s settle it.” 

isaiah lets us know in isaiah 1:19 that if we reject coming to the lord we cannot and will not experience his restoration. god wants to restore you. 

will you come to him and allow him to wash you whiter than snow?

pastor dr. elmer hess, jr. - be encouraged

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