Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
Isaiah 40 begins with God’s call: Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Isaiah spends the next 16 chapters describing the comfort God offers. Its essence? Behold your God! See his character and nature in his actions. So the prophet dwells upon God’s greatness seen in creation, his glory seen in his care of his people throughout history, and his grace seen in his Servant who would come and take our sin upon himself to bring us to God. It is the call in the midst of our sin and struggles and brokenness to turn to him, to see him, and to rest in him and him alone.
Beholding our God is not passive. In the final 11 chapters, Isaiah turns from the nature of God’s comfort for his people to the way we are to live in that comfort. And we hear the call to behold swell into the call to live. A living that makes him visible to the world as we turn to him, acknowledging our sin and brokenness and helplessness and resting not in ourselves but in his work in us through Jesus Christ. We make him visible not by our religion, but by being visibly different from the world around us. We make him visible by making him the priority, living for him instead of ourselves. We make him visible by how we respond to the pain, suffering, and brokenness of those around us.
Throughout Scripture, God is clear that this is the inevitable effect of knowing him. When we are radically gripped by the grace of God, we will shine and his glory will be seen upon us. Like a magnet, he will draw people to himself through us. This is the life of comfort that God offers through Christ, the magnetic life lived beholding our God and making him visible.
This is what we’re looking to do together at Free Grace. We want to encourage and support each other as we live magnetic lives beholding our God individually, attracting our family and friends and neighbors. And we want to live magnetically together as a church. How do we do this?
Even as we see God respond and continue to draw people, we all have many friends and family who do not know Christ . How can the church come alongside you as you seek to live a magnetic life before your friends and family? Are there venues we can create, places that encourage you to live in certain ways before them, or places where you can invite them to experience it a little more openly? What would draw those you know and love to come?