Verse of the Day Devotion: Isaiah 53:6  All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

This is a very important verse for us to understand, especially when it comes to our ministry to both the saved and unsaved.  It is important because of the first three words of this verse; ‘All of us.’  We must remember this in all aspects of our ministry.  This picture of sheep is a popular one within the scriptures.  “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, For I do not forget Your commandments.”  Psalm 119:176.  Also, “For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:25.  And finally, this lesson from Jesus tells us, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying. If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.” Matthew 18:10-14

We all have gone astray from God.  We all have walked away from Him and, as the verse says, have turned to our own ways instead of following after God.  This started in the Garden with Adam and Eve.  “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” Genesis 3:6.  They listened to the lies of the serpent rather than the truth from God.  And as it says in our focus verse, “… Each of us has turned to his own way …”.

We were not able, because of our iniquity, to resolve the issue ourselves since it required a perfect sacrifice, one without any spot or blemish.  But the Lord had an answer, which was to send His Son, to live a perfect life, and then die, paying for the iniquities of the rest of us.  The Messiah, the long-awaited promise, who came in human form as Jesus, paid the complete penalty for everyone, and we have our sins forgiven if we simply believe in Christ, and declare Him Lord.  “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Romans 10:9-10.  Also, there are times when we mess up and do things we should not.  He has a solution for that as well. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

However, we must not think differently about others than we do ourselves, except that we look at them more highly.  “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4   I have seen too often Christians who look down on others who do not have the knowledge or goodness they do.  We cannot think this way, because we at one time were in the position, and it was only by the grace of God that we were restored.  These learned the truth, and it is theirs and all of our jobs, as Christians to teach others and help them grow in Christ.

We must not decide there are people who are so bad or too low that we will not reach out to them.  They may do horrible things, but they deserve to be reached out to as well as we did and do.  Paul put it well, “Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.”  Romans 12:16.  We are called to go into world and make disciples of all men.  We are called to go into the highways and byways and compel them to come to the Lord.  Again, we all were lost.  We all went our own way.  However, someone came to us and showed us the truth and helped us understand.  We were saved by the blood of Christ when we accepted Him, and so it is our job to help others be saved by accepting Him as well.

No one is too far gone for us to ignore.  He has placed this calling on us, formerly sinners, who now understand.  We must reach out to all whom God brings our way.  It only takes one sin to corrupt, and we were corrupt.  So, as someone did for us, let’s go out and do for others.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

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