Leadership Thoughts: Isaiah 57

Brokenness

Devotion: Isaiah 57:14-19

14And it will be said: “Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”

15For this is what the high and lofty One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.

16I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry, for then the spirit of man would grow faint before me– the breath of man that I have created.

17I was enraged by his sinful greed; I punished him, and hid my face in anger, yet he kept on in his willful ways.

18I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him,

19creating praise on the lips of the mourners in Israel. Peace, peace, to those far and near,” says the LORD. “And I will heal them.”

These verses followed the passage in Isaiah that we looked at last week in the sermon. I was given a new-to-me set of commentaries from Pastor Joe, and was reading through the Isaiah volume, and was encouraged by what I read about chapter 57, as Isaiah tries to prepare God’s people for the time of salvation. Here’s what I found for us as leaders in our congregation:

  • Verse 14: “Build up; remove obstacles” – one of the challenges that we have as servant leaders in a congregational setting is to build up those who are already here, and to remove roadblocks that might prevent new people from joining us.

  • Verse 15: “high/holy & low/humble” – God’s perfect holiness is not something that we need to strive to attain; He’s already there. He works with us just as we are, and He is the one that shapes us.

  • Verse 16/17: God wants to *not* be angry, but when we cling to our sin instead of Him, we leave Him no choice; we cannot choose to flaunt our sin before a holy God without consequence.

  • Verse 18: And even so, God *actively* looks for ways to heal us; God-our-restorer uses broken people to minister to other broken people!

  • Verse 19: Changed lives result in praise to God; we who are being reconciled will see it in others. Watch for that praise that accompanies change, and encourage them.

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Pastor Ed Backell

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