In Charles Spurgeon Morning and Evening the author (December 7 devotional) invites readers to “walk the streets by moonlight, if you dare, and you will see sinners.” He also says we could go to jails, reformatories or “where cannibals do their terrible deeds.” He writes, “You’ll find sinners in every home and street of every city, town, village and hamlet.”
As I read this devotional our Lord reminded me that I didn’t need to travel anywhere to find a sinner. I simply needed to look at the face peering back at me from the bathroom mirror as I shave, comb my hair or brush my teeth. If I drive somewhere I don’t need to look at other drivers but only at the face in the rear-view mirror.
Isaiah faced the reality of his sinful state after he saw our Lord’s glory. He said, “Woe is me, for I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people with unclean lips; for I have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5) Notice that Isaiah did not say, “Look at them! Look at how immoral they are.” He expresses his understanding that he is a sinner in three simple words: “Woe is me.” God, in His grace, did not leave Isaiah there in his hopelessness and helplessness. He directed an angel to touch a burning coal to Isaiah’s lips and tell him, “Your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” (v. 6) God moved him from the woe of despair to the glow of being forgiven.
When we read Scriptures like this one or like Romans 3:23 we understand how much we need our Savior. Any room for pride is utterly destroyed. We understand how hopeless and helpless we would be without Him. Praise God, He doesn’t leave us in that hopeless condition!
Our cleansing was not done with a burning coal on the lips, but by Jesus’ shed blood and life given for us on the cross. Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave on the third day we are reconciled with God. We have peace with Him and assurance of our home in Heaven one day. Jesus transports us from the woe of being without God to the glow of being His beloved children.
Not only are we transported from the woe of being without God to the glow of being His beloved children, we are called saints! David advises us to “Sing to the Lord, ye saints of his; praise his holy name.” (Psalms 30:4) Paul writes to “the saints in Ephesus” (Ephesians 1:1), to “all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi (Philippians1:1) and “To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints.” (Romans 1:7) Did Paul think more highly of any of these people than he ought? Certainly not! He saw them as God sees them and as God sees us!
This wonderful transformation from woe to glow happens only through God’s amazing grace and incredible love!
Praise His name today and forever!