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Bible Ballistics: BBs #496 Building On Ashes!!!

 

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me;

because the LORD hath anointed me

to preach good tidings

unto the meek;

he hath sent me to bind up

the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty

to the captives,

and the opening of the prison

to them that are bound;

2 To proclaim

the acceptable year of the LORD,

and the day of vengeance of our God;

to comfort

all that mourn;

3 To appoint unto them

that mourn in Zion,

to give unto them beauty

for ashes,

the oil of joy

for mourning,

the garment of praise

for the spirit of heaviness;

that they might be called trees of righteousness,

the planting of the LORD,

that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3

A bit of a lengthy passage this morning, but God laid it on my heart this morning, and it is one of my favorite passages; as we talked last time about the “marginalization” of our God, I wanted to remind us all that no matter how broken hearted we may be, our God knows how to forgive, heal and restore! And I praise Him for that, for I have experienced that very forgiveness, healing and restoration because the “blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin”, and when HE forgives, HE forgets!(1 Jn. 1:7)

But God doesn’t stop at forgiveness and leave us to live with regrets from the past, but He gives us “beauty for ashes”, and a confidence that Paul mentions in his letter to the Philippians.

Brethren,

I count not myself

to have apprehended:

but this one thing I do,

forgetting those things

which are behind,

and reaching forth

unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark

for the prize

of the high calling

of God

in Christ Jesus.”    Philippians 3:13-14

Can I get an Amen? Paul reminds us, as well as the Philippian Christians, that our “ashes” of the past can be trusted to God, who will exchange them for HIS “beauty” in us! But there’s something that you may not have considered; we must let go of the ashes and let God have them. We cannot, no, we must not, go digging up those ashes and dwelling on what was “burned up”, rather we must keep our eyes, our heart and our longings set on HIM not our lost past! God has something better for us ahead.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about

with so great a cloud of witnesses,

let us lay aside every weight,

and the sin

which doth so easily beset us,

and let us run

with patience

the race

that is set before us,

2 Looking unto Jesus

the author and finisher of our faith;

who for the joy

that was set before him

endured the cross,

despising the shame,

and is set down

at the right hand

of the throne of God.”    Hebrews 12:1-2

We must embrace the “beauty” that God is working in us, and let go of the ashes! God’s beauty working itself out as His Holy Spirit works within us through His Word!!! What a joy and a delight to know that God does have the power to make “something beautiful of my life” (From an old song of the Gaithers, “Something Beautiful”.) I pray that you will find comfort, encouragement and hope from this reminder that God is ever at work in the lives of His own—you and me! Always! He doesn’t waste any encounter or experience—you can trust everything to His grace, love and perfect provision. Amen and Amen!

And we know that

all things work together for good

to them that love God,

to them who are the called

according to his purpose.

29 For whom he did foreknow,

he also did predestinate

to be conformed

to the image of his Son,

that he might be the firstborn   

among many brethren.”  Romans 8:28-29