Torchbearers for Christ
Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Look and Live

We are all dependent upon someone else in one way or another. Everybody needs to look to someone else to supply some need. For example, we look to the farmer to grow our food and to people who will transport the food to our area. We look to medical people to help us in times of physical need and to the postal services to deliver our mail. We are constantly looking to another for some service or help we cannot provide for ourselves. This is certainly true when it comes to our need of God.  We are not sufficient of ourselves when it comes to the matter of the forgiveness of our sins and the enabling to live the Christian life. We must look to Him for help continually and the Bible abounds with promises of God’s willingness to come alongside and to be our helper if we will simply look to Him.
Think about the first and all-important “look” in Isaiah 45:21-22. It reads “....there is no God apart from me, a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me and be saved all the ends of the earth for I am God and there is none else”. These verses contain some rich promises abut god’s nature and the provision He has made for us to have a personal relationship with Him.
We learn first of all that the Lord is a God of justice. He has made good laws which, sadly, we have all broken. The Bible is quite clear. It says “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). In Psalm 130:3, we have a very searching question. We are asked, “If you Lord kept a record of sins, who would stand?” None one of us could stand. God, being just, must punish sin and this is exactly the reason for the coming of our Lord Jesus and His death on the Cross for us all.   Jesus bore the indignation of God’s wrath against sin on our behalf.   We read in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For He (God) has made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” and in Isaiah 53:6 we read “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all”. We learn from Romans 3:26 that at the Cross God demonstrated both His justice and His ability to justify the man or woman who has faith in the Lord Jesus.
Looking further into Isaiah 45:22, we have four simple and yet profound truths. To begin with, let us think of the words “be ye saved”. What does it mean to be “saved?” It means to be saved from our sins and from the penalty of our sins. The New Testament tells us in the simplest terms that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15) and to save us from God’s wrath to which all sinners are exposed (John 3:36, Romans 5:9). Surely, then, to be saved must be the best and the most important experience that any of us can enjoy. The second piece of good news is contained in the words, “Look unto Me”. This salvation is available on the simplest possible terms. We must look in faith to the Lord Jesus on the Cross and accept His loving invitation, “Look unto Me and be ye saved”. How simple and yet so true.
Then we have the promise that this salvation is available to all mankind. God tells us that He is the Saviour of “all the ends of the earth”. There is hope for all men and women in Christ. In Revelation 5:9 we read of people from all nations singing a new song. “You are worthy to take the book....for You were slain and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation”.
We are then told that His salvation is offered with the greatest possible security – “I am God and there is none else”. So to sum up, we have in Isaiah 45:22 four wonderful truths, namely, the best possible news - “be saved”, on the simplest possible terms - “look unto Me”, for the greatest possible number - “all the ends of the earth” and with the greatest possible security - “I am God”. The same God who is able to save us is also able to keep us until the end of our days (Jude 24). What great and precious promises! Let us receive them, rejoice in them and share them with others.
“Look around and be distressed,
Look within and be depressed,
Look to Jesus and be blessed”.
This article was written by Pastor Geoffrey Davies. He is a frequent contributor to this column. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he pastored a church for over twenty-five years.  For many years, he has travelled widely, continuing his ministry of encouragement and Bible teaching.