"For now the Lord has spoken Who formed Me as His Servant from the womb, that Jacob may be brought back to Him and Israel gathered to Him." —Isaiah 49:5
Jesus is like "a sharp-edged sword" or "a polished arrow" (Is 49:2). He can pierce us and cause us pain. Jesus is like a concealed sword or hidden arrow (Is 49:2). Unless we are attentive, we won't notice Him. Jesus' work in our lives at first often appears to be "in vain, and for nothing" (Is 49:4). Consequently, to be open to Jesus, we must suffer pain, be attentive, and persevere in walking "by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor 5:7). It is difficult to be open to Jesus.
In one way, Jesus is the most attractive Person Who has ever lived. After being lifted up in His death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus draws all people to Himself (Jn 12:32). Yet, in other ways, Jesus is not attractive. "There was in Him no stately bearing to make us look at Him, nor appearance that would attract us to Him. He was spurned and avoided by men, a Man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, One of those from Whom men hide their faces, spurned, and we held Him in no esteem" (Is 53:2-3).
Jesus simultaneously attracts and repels us. If we focus on ourselves, we will spin away from Him. If we die to ourselves, we will gravitate toward Him. Sin disrupts the attraction of Jesus' love. Repentance and faith lock us into his love. "Draw close to God, and He will draw close to you" (Jas 4:8).
Prayer: Jesus, may I be baptized into, immersed in, and preoccupied with Your love.
Promise: "God will, in turn, glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him soon." —Jn 13:32
Praise: After a prayer meeting one night, the Martins and the McCoys, both deeply in debt, burned their credit cards and put their finances in the Lord's hands.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, September 13, 2012
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