Hidden Treasure in Unexpected Places

       Are you searching for something? Do you feel empty or as if you are missing out on life? There is only one place in the entire world where complete contentment and security may be found! It isn’t in riches, no, it is not in people, fame, relationships, possessions, power, influence or any other tangible item that we seek and search for in our lives.  These things are nice and will satisfy for just awhile but before long, the satisfaction wears down and we find ourselves searching for the next big thing that will make us feel important or secure. It seems it is never enough for very long.

       I submit to you that there is only one place where we as human beings can find complete security and wholeness. For many in our world today, it is the last place they would consider looking.  The secret to our deepest needs is found only in a deep, abiding relationship with the God who created us in the first place. Before you start discounting this, please consider a couple of points. Who knows a computer program better than the one who designed that program? Who knows the inner workings of an engine better than the engineer who designed the engine?

By the same token, who better to know an individual than the one who designed them and brought them to life?

Whether you believe in God or not, I know one thing for sure. God believes in you, He loves you with an everlasting love and He desires to have an intimate relationship with you! Maybe that is hard for you to believe. Maybe your thinking that may be true for some people but He could never feel that way about me.  Some of you may think, God has too much on His plate to be concerned with little ol’ me, others just feel unworthy. If you dare, I challenge you to read on and give me a chance to convince you.

Let’s start with a look at an invitation to those who thirst for more. In Isaiah chapter 55 we will find this invitation and it is quite compelling.

 Isaiah 55 The Free Offer of Mercy

 1“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;

         And you who have no money come, buy and eat
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without cost.
2“Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And delight yourself in abundance.
3“Incline your ear and come to Me
Listen, that you may live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
According to the faithful mercies shown to David.
4“Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
A leader and commander for the peoples.
5“Behold, you will call a nation you do not know,
And a nation which knows you not will run to you,
Because of the LORD your God, even the Holy One of Israel;
For He has glorified you.”
6Seek the LORD while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
7Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the LORD,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
8“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
9“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
12“For you will go out with joy
And be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13“Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up,
And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up,
And it will be a memorial to the LORD,
For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.”

What does this have to do with me, you may ask? Maybe you are thinking “this sounds good, but how? Who is He talking to? How does something written in ancient times apply to me today?  All are valid questions asked by people in all walks of life.  Let’s set aside for a moment that Isaiah was written thousands of years ago and take an honest look at what is being said in this passage and what insight it might have for our lives today.

This book was written by the prophet Isaiah approximately between 700B.C. and 681 B.C… It is a book of judgment, prophecy and of comfort for God’s people and the world. Prophets not only foretold future events but also spoke to their people about the events actually occurring in real-time. Two chapters back, in chapter 53, Isaiah predicted the coming of Jesus Christ, the Suffering Servant hundreds of years before His birth. His existence is proven through historical records, as well.

In chapter 55, Isaiah is speaking to world of that day and to us today. Isaiah calls for those who thirst and are not satisfied; he asks why we waste our cash from our labor on things that don’t satisfy. He offers us a chance to delight in the richest of fare that will bring not only satisfaction but lasting satisfaction. He asks us to seek the Lord, His mercy and pardon. He gives us assurance of God’s thoughts and ways and that they are higher than ours and that God’s Word and purpose will be accomplished. Next, he ends the chapter with some promises for those who pursue God, seek His mercy and forgiveness and a relationship with Him. He tells us we will go out in joy, we will be lead in peace, and our lives will be blessed for His renown and His glory.

It is clear by God’s invitation that it is His desire to be in relationship with mankind.  It is also clear that any sinful ways and thoughts need to be turned from and we need to seek His mercy and forgiveness. The way was made for us to be able to do this through Jesus who was amazingly foretold in Isaiah 53 and again in chapter 61.

God, because of His great love for mankind, gave His most precious gift for us.  He gave His only Son as a substitution for us in order to restore mankind back to Him. What Adam lost when he disobeyed God and brought sin into a perfect and innocent world, the Messiah, Jesus Christ purchased back for us by His death, burial and resurrection. However, it is only through Jesus that we can be made right with our Creator.  If you have already made a decision for Christ in your life, I rejoice and celebrate with you!  If you have never considered this decision, I challenge you to take a serious look at the Bible and see for yourself what is in there, trying to have an open mind and heart. It is a very compelling book!

A decision for Jesus Christ is the most important decision we can ever make in our life, but the next question that begs to be asked is: Why so many of us who have made that decision are still feeling like something is missing or we are dissatisfied?  Why do we not live out the victorious life? I believe one of the biggest hindrances’ to our living in victory is our not knowing or understanding who we are in Christ. As we continue, let’s take a look at scripture that gives us glimpses of how God sees us.

Designed with a Purpose

Do you realize that you were designed with a purpose in a Divine plan long before you were even born, before even your parents were born? Let’s take a look at this and consider what God has to say about you and your birth.  Psalm 139:13 says that God created our inmost being; that He knit us together in our mother’s womb. It continues to say that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. He tells us that our frame was not hidden from Him in the secret place and He saw our unformed body! All the days appointed for us were written in His book before we ever existed. Let’s look further into this in Jeremiah 1:5.  In this passage, Jeremiah is told, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

What irresistible proof that God has a plan for each person and loves them deeply!

Let’s go back a few verses to Psalm 139: 1-12. The Psalm starts out looking at God’s knowledge of people. It tells us He searches us and knows us, and He knows all our ways. Even before we begin to speak a word, He knows it! He is aware of our every coming and going and there is no place we can go where He is not.

That is pretty powerful. Nothing we say or do is hidden for the God of all creation, yet He chose us! He formed us in our mother’s womb, knew every single thing that we would ever do, good or bad, and He chose us. He brought us into being with a plan and a purpose whether or not we would choose to serve Him and fulfill that plan.  He knows our abilities and our gifts because He is the one that gave them to us. We can choose to use them for His glory or we can choose not to. He loved us enough to allow us that freedom even though His desire is that we love Him and have a relationship with Him.

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