March 24

Third Sunday in Lent

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts.”

Scripture: Is. 55:1-9  

“Is anyone thirsty?

   Come and drink—even if you have no money!

Come, take your choice of wine or milk— it’s all free!

2 Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength?

   Why pay for food that does you no good?

Listen to me, and you will eat what is good.

   You will enjoy the finest food.

3 “Come to me with your ears wide open.

   Listen, and you will find life.

I will make an everlasting covenant with you.

   I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.

4 See how I used him to display my power among the peoples.

   I made him a leader among the nations.

5 You also will command nations you do not know,

   and peoples unknown to you will come running to obey,

because I, the Lord your God,

   the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious.”

6 Seek the Lord while you can find him.

   Call on him now while he is near.

7 Let the wicked change their ways

   and banish the very thought of doing wrong.

Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.

   Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.

8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.

   “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.

9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,

   so my ways are higher than your ways

   and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Reader: This is the word of the Lord.   Response: Thanks be to God.

Some thoughts:
There is so much richness in this text appropriate for the Lenten season. As always, note the verbs of invitation: come, drink, listen, enjoy, seek, call, turn.  They are all “doing” words, nothing passive. Our God is offering salvation to all people freely. It cannot be purchased, “it’s all free!” Come with a listening heart. Do not waste your time and money on things that accomplish nothing and don’t satisfy. God made an eternal covenant with David, and through him to bless all the nations of the earth. What does this have to do with you today, afterall, the covenant was with King David 3,000 years ago? The covenant was with David, but the verses also apply to you as you hear God speak through his word. Verse six is as current as the time it takes to read it. “Seek the Lord while you can find him,” which would be now. “Call on him now while he is near.” Friends, you are reading this, which means you are alive. The fact that you are alive means you can seek the Lord and call on him right now. I called on him after the last sentence. And as I’m typing this devotional, the Lord is impressing on me that I need to learn how to listen to his voice much better. I need to learn how to sit still, be quiet and listen. His forgiveness is certain when there is repentance. Verses eight and nine give great insight into a better understanding of our God. When the the Lord says, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts and my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine,” we begin to see the immense greatness of our God. Perhaps more accurately, we begin to see our actual significance and God’s great mercy. Do you see how futile it is to always try to understand what God is doing in your life. God does not think like we do at all. Say that about a dozen times a day! The word is nothing! So completely nothing that we can’t imagine it, that is, it won’t fit into our brains; we don’t have that capacity. Going at the speed of light, (circling the earth at the equator 7 times in 1 second) it takes less that a second and a half for light to get from the earth to the moon, and about 8 minutes and 12 seconds to get from the earth to the Sun, our nearest star. The far reaches of the universe are trillions of light years from the earth. So when the Lord says “just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts” you begin to get the idea of the distance between our thoughts and God’s! And in all of this grandeur, he asks you to seek him while you can find him.  Do it!

Music: “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name:     First Baptist Choir Dallas, TX


We praise thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.

All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting.

To thee all angels cry aloud, the heavens and all the powers therein.

To thee cherubin and seraphin continually do cry,

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;

Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of thy glory.

The glorious company of the apostles praise thee.

The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise thee.

The noble army of martyrs praise thee.

The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge thee:

the Father of an infinite majesty;

thine honourable, true and only Son;

also the Holy Ghost the Comforter.
Te Deum 4th century