With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” (Isa. 6:7)
Expanded Passage: Isaiah 6:1–8
I clutched the torn highlighter package to my chest as I breathed shakily. My mother was leading me by the arm straight to the grocery store manager. In a fit of foolishness, I had stolen a highlighter earlier that day and convinced myself that I would get away with it. My mother had other plans, and assured me that I would be returning it and apologizing. I was terrified. The manager looked at me sternly and said, “Son, you know I could have you arrested for this, don’t you?” It was enough to scare me into never shoplifting again!
Imagine being Isaiah and experiencing his vision in Chapter 6. Imagine seeing the Lord, with his robe filling the entire temple. Imagine all the terrible-looking and awe-inspiring angelic beings circling his throne. How would you have felt? I would have joined Isaiah and said, “Woe to me! . . . I am ruined!” (Isa. 6:5). When we come face to face with God’s glory and his holiness, it often leads to deep sorrow at our own sinfulness.
God is a merciful and loving God! Not only does he forgive our guilt through the atonement of Jesus, but he cleanses our sin from us. That is the essence of holiness—a spiritual cleansing of sin by God that makes us more and more like him.
Embrace the momentary pain of repentance to build lasting character.
Chris McFadden is pastor of Cherry Street Wesleyan in Ottawa, Kansas. He is married to his beautiful wife, Suzanne, and has two wonderful daughters, Madelynn and Eleanor.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.