Hear, That Your Soul May Live

Come, Everyone Who Thirsts
Isaiah 55:1 ESV

“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.”

All of us humans thirst for (yearn, desire, long for) something, perhaps not even knowing what we want. As sinners we have a God-void that needs to be filled with God, but as sinners we may try to fill that void with many things but never be truly satisfied because we are trying to fill that void with the things of this world that will never truly satisfy the thirsting of our souls.

So, this is truly a call to come to the Lord to have our spiritual thirst satisfied. We don’t pay money for this, though. Jesus Christ, God the Son, paid the price for this with his blood shed on a cross for our sins. And what he is offering to us is not anything of this world, but it is of the kingdom of heaven. For, it is our salvation from sin and our eternal life with God.

All this comes from God and not from ourselves. We can do nothing to purchase or to earn or to deserve our own salvation from sin. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ. And even the faith to believe in Jesus is not of ourselves, but it is a gift of God to us, and it is founded and perfected in Jesus.

But it is critical that we understand what that gift is, i.e., what all our salvation entails and what all faith involves. For, when we receive by God-given faith the free gift of salvation from sin, we are not just accepting forgiveness for our sins and the hope of heaven when we die. We are accepting that we must die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness in his power and strength.

For, the free gift of salvation is freedom from our slavery to sin and empowerment of God to live holy and godly lives pleasing to the Lord. For, when we believe in Jesus we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. All this comes from God.

Eat What is Good
Isaiah 55:2-3 ESV

“Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live.”

So, the question comes as to why we labor and spend money on what will not satisfy the deep longings of our souls. Even many people who are Christians will get caught up in trying to find satisfaction and fulfillment in the things of this world rather than finding them in Christ alone. But the things of this world will always leave us empty and not fulfilled.

Our only true peace and satisfaction and fulfillment is to be found in Christ alone and in his true gift of salvation from sin, which is not just forgiveness of sins, but which is deliverance from our enslavement to sin so that we can now be slaves to God and to his righteousness. So, this is a call to listen to Jesus and to die with him to sin and to live to him and to his righteousness.

Seek the Lord
Isaiah 55:6-9 ESV

“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

For, you see, coming to faith in Jesus Christ involves us forsaking our wicked ways, not just being forgiven our sins so that we can now continue in our wicked ways guilt free. And it involves walks of obedience to our Lord and to his commands. For our salvation from sin is not according to the ways of man but according to the ways of God which are higher than our ways.

When we believe in Jesus with God-given faith we die with Christ to sin that we may live to Christ and to his righteousness in his power and strength. Basically, we make a spiritual U-Turn with our lives. We were living in sin and we were headed to hell, and now we have turned away from our lifestyles of sin to now following our Lord in his ways and in his truth.

Not Return Empty
Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

We who are followers of Jesus Christ are to be his servants and witnesses in taking his gospel to the ends of the earth. We are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth in bringing forth a clear message of salvation from sin and eternal life with God according to the fulness of God’s word and not according to the teachings of sinful humans.

For, many preachers today are teaching a diluted and altered gospel which appeals to human flesh but is not according to the Word of God. They are mixing lies with truth, and they are teaching half-truths which are lies. So, their “gospel” messages have the ring of truth but they are deceptive and misleading and many are following them to their deaths.

For what they are teaching is that Jesus died on that cross merely to forgive their sins and to give them the hope of heaven when they die. But they are not teaching that our salvation involves us dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness. So, those who follow this diluted gospel are being given a false hope of salvation and eternal life with God.

So, we need to be those who are carrying the true gospel throughout the world, sharing the truths of God’s word which teach that the free gift of salvation is deliverance from our slavery to sin and it is freedom to walk in holiness and righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit living within us. For it is the truth of the gospel which will set people free, not the lies.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; 1 Pet 2:9; Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-20]

Do You Hear the People Sing?

From Les Misérables

Do you hear the people sing? …
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start…
Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Then join in the fight
That will give you the right to be free!
Will you give all you can give
So that our banner may advance
Some will fall and some will live
Will you stand up and take your chance?
The blood of the martyrs…

We are in a war which is not fought with the weapons of this world, but with the armor which God has supplied. And the battle is for the souls of humans who need to hear the truth of the gospel (the whole counsel of God) which teaches freedom from our enslavement to sin and which teaches that we must now surrender our lives to Jesus Christ to do his will.

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