Although Your Sins Are Scarlet…

21st & 22nd January

Weekend Edition

Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them white as snow. Though they are like red crimson, I will make them white as wool.”

Isaiah 1:18

Sin is serious. Sin has consequences. Sin leaves scars. Yet there is no sin that’s too big for God to forgive, to heal you of or to set you free from.

In today’s passage taken from the first chapter of Isaiah, God is communicating with the people of Judah. They had abandoned Gods laws, God’s righteousness and set out to live a life in opposition to Him. The first few verses in this chapter are almost like a conviction statement being read out in a court. The verdict was guilty. Even Jerusalem, once so faithful, is now branded as a promiscuous prostitute. The situation was looking bad.

Yet in the bleakness of utter condemnation, a light shone in the darkness… Gods never ending, unlimited resource of grace, love and mercy. The judge and prosecutor slams down the judgement… “Let’s settle this” He says. However, the next sentence absolutely blows the readers mind; “Though your sins are like scarlet” “though they are red like crimson”, “I will make them as white as snow” “as white as wool.” What a promise. God promised to not only forgive their sins, but to wash them completely clean in His love.. What love is that!

The interesting thing is that although God would and did forgive them, the fullness of that complete personal washing was only fully fulfilled at the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was made complete when the sinless Son of man, both fully human and fully God, came and gave His life as a sinless, spotless lamb, bearing our punishment on the cross. He had a clear conviction statement that declared we were guilty, yet in His goodness, presented Himself in our place, as our replacement.

Jesus’ words in Luke 4 are so ever true today, “He has sent Me to proclaim that CAPTIVES WILL BE RELEASED, THE BLIND WILL SEE AND THE OPPRESSED WILL BE SET FREE!” Take your healing, claim your forgiveness and be free. We are no longer prisoners, our ransom has been paid and our crimson stains are washed clean.

Keeping Our Eyes Ahead

20th January

Another said,”Yes, Lord, I will follow You, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plough and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

Luke 9:61-62

Sometimes in order to fully experience the living water of the Holy Spirit we need to let go of the past and give up what is holding us down. Let’s take a look.

In the last few verses of Luke chapter 9, Jesus educates three keen men, in what it means and costs to follow Him. In summary, Jesus highlights to these men that in order to follow Him, they have to fully surrender their hearts, even if it means there is a great cost. So often our response to Jesus’ call is, as the man Jesus is talking to said, … “BUT first let me…!” However, Jesus wants our whole heart, not part of it.

In verse 62 Jesus answers the “but first” statement with a profound statement of His own. “Anyone who puts a hand to the plough and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

If we are to fully surrender our lives and follow Christ, if we want to be fully washed and cleansed by the Living Water from His heart, then we simply cannot afford to live in the past. Looking back, after you have had your hand on the plough, implies that you are still living in the past. A farmer cannot plough a field if his eyes are not fully focused on the task. The plough would simply loose control and not dig up the fields evenly. So it is with our lives. If we keep looking back then we can never move forward.

What is hindering your today and your future? Are there things that you need to let go of in order to move forward in and with Christ? Looking forward may not always be clear and we may not always know where to go or what to do, but it encourages us to trust in God and lean on His guidance and know that our past is forgiven and that there is healing in His Name.

Fix your eyes on Jesus, follow Him, and you wont get lost.