Beauty For Ashes

Beauty_for_ashes_by_annakatt

I have some time this evening so I thought I would share one of my most favorite passages of scripture …

Isaiah 61

“The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me.


He sent me to preach good news to the poor,


heal the heartbroken,


Announce freedom to all captives,


pardon all prisoners.


God sent me to announce the year of his grace,


a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies,


and to comfort all who mourn,


To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,


give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,


Messages of joy instead of news of doom,


a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.


Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness”


planted by God to display his glory.


will sing for joy in God,


explode in praise from deep in my soul!


He dressed me up in a suit of salvation,


he outfitted me in a robe of righteousness,


As a bridegroom who puts on a tuxedo


and a bride a jeweled tiara.


For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers,


and as a garden cascades with blossoms,


So the Master, God,


brings righteousness into full bloom


and puts praise on display before the nations.

In reading the Gospels I am keenly interested in observing the ministry of Jesus Christ, His attitude towards those who were acknowledged, confessed sinners. To the woman that was brought to Him caught in the very act of adultery, He shows great tenderness, understanding and grace. “Woman, where are your accusers?” “Sir, I guess I don’t have any.” “Well, neither do I condemn thee, go thy way, sin no more.” (John 8) Oh, how tender He deals with her. Then there is the woman at the well in Samaria. Now she wasn’t the most moral woman around obviously. She had been married to five different men. And then finally decided marriage wasn’t for her and so she was just living with a man. And yet Jesus in His dealing with her was so gracious, revealing to her His identity. Oh, the attitude of Christ towards the sinner was always beautiful! He had good news for sinning man and those that confessed and were aware of their sinful state. “Bouquets of roses instead of ashes” indeed!

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