Let not the [stranger] who has joined himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely separate me from his people”;and let not the [one who is 'damaged goods'] say,“Behold, I am [totally useless].”4 For thus says the Lord:“To [all] . . . who
choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant . . . to them I will give an everlasting name that shall not be cut off." (Isaiah 56:3-5, [Kathy's paraphrase])
Though I believe the Bible, sometimes I wonder if God's promises really apply to me in a personal way. I don't always feel it. Sometimes don't feel very special, at all, as a matter of fact. In those not-so-special moments, I begin to wonder if God will really change me, if He will let others see his character in me, if I will ever get it right, or whether I'm bound to keep digging the same rut without ever moving forward.
There is a purpose for that doubt that creeps in from time to time, in that it qualifies me to speak to others who think the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is simply a dry historical record, a relic of history. I know the feeling. From promises to prophecies, I read and consider, I think and ponder, "I want this to be true, but it really pertain to me?"
That is exactly the question in my heart when I read the verses above. And what is amazing about the Bible, which proclaims itself to be "living and active," is that it really IS! The verses above clearly answered the honest questions of my seeking heart, and I receive that message gladly. I receive the hope, the vision, the mindset, and all that it implies: the security, all the good things for the future, the promise of true and lasting CHANGE.
God is "The Lord God, Who Gathers the Outcasts." Is there someone who needs reassurance of a place in the kingdom? Is there someone who doubts that God will ever intervene? Let's talk a lot about the truth of God's love for everyone -- not just those who look the part, but everyone with a heart to seek Him. Let's keep an eye out for even those close to us who are battling discouragement and distress. Most of all, tell it to your own heart, and I'll tell it to mine: "Yes, there is a place for ME!"
" . . . these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their . . . sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." The Sovereign LORD declares—he who gathers the exiles: "I will gather still others . . . besides those already gathered." (Isaiah 56:7-8)