“Foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations.” The Sovereign LORD declared—he who gathers the exiles of Israel: “I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.”
Meditate a moment on God’s declaration: “I will gather still others.” Do you realize that by God’s grace through faith, you are a fulfillment of these words? Think of all the amazing stories in the Bible you wish you could have been a part of. This one in Isaiah—it includes you!
Imagine yourself sitting in the house of God. Now reflect on why you are here. You have a phenomenal story, don’t you? Consider where you came from. There is no darker place than “dead in sin,” is there? But here you are. Recall your prodigal paths, each one illustrating how lost in sin you were. Still, here you are, in God’s house. You realize you should be on the outside looking in. “Foreigner” describes you well, doesn’t it?
But here you sit in God’s house, bound to him, loving his saving name, giving him the glory he deserves, clinging to his promises, praying with fellow believers. Why? The Sovereign LORD has gathered you here. That word “sovereign” says a lot about your Lord.
And it says a lot about your life, about the Lord’s gracious rule that has brought you into his presence. Do some more reflecting. Think of where you’ve been, the company you’ve kept, the rebellion of your life. You know there are times you could have died because of your foolishness. You would cringe at the thought of detailing these disgraces in an autobiography for all the world to read, but your God knows your story intimately. Yet here you are, sitting in the Lord’s house. Again, why? You sit here because of God’s grace. You sit here because the saving waters of baptism have made you alive in Christ. You sit here because “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
You sit here because while you were still a sinner, Christ died for you and saved you from God’s wrath. This isn’t just your story. It is the story of countless others from all nations, all whom the Lord has gathered by grace.
The next time you go to church, remind yourself, “I get to sit here in the house of God because of his astonishing grace.” And may your heart stir with delight as you recall his promise, fulfilled in you: “I will give them joy in my house of prayer.”
Dear Lord, it is a humble honor and privilege to be in your house. Thank you for your grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.
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