Editor’s Note: This is the sixth in an eight-part Advent series. We’ve invited some friends of our ministry to write the devotionals. The theme is based on 1 John 4:19: “We love because he first loved us.” The heart of our ministry is to connect people to Jesus. As we near Christmas, we want to reflect on the fact that we only get to connect people to Jesus — and have a personal relationship ourselves (PTL!) — because God first connected with us through Jesus. We hope this Advent series encourages you.

 

I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne … Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:1,8 (NIV)

 

by Paul D. Bramson

The Lord called Isaiah to look in four directions.

Look upward. Isaiah saw the King of glory seated upon a throne, and heard the seraphim proclaiming, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (6:1-3)

Look inward. Experiencing the indescribable splendor and intense purity of God’s presence caused Isaiah to confess his own sin and shame, and that of his guilty and defiled nation. (6:4-5)

Look forward. Foreshadowed by an innocent lamb ablaze on the altar, and fulfilled seven centuries later by the sinless sin-bearing Lamb of God on the cross, Isaiah’s guilt was taken away and his sin atoned for. (6:6-7; 53:5-7)

Look outward. Then the voice of the Lord called out on behalf of the Triune God, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Isaiah volunteered and the Lord commissioned him to broadcast His way of righteousness to a spiritually dull and blind people. (6:8-13; 51:1-8)

Next, the Lord foretold how the Messiah would come to earth and who he would be. “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (7:14) In this prophecy, God revealed in a single word the heart and theme of his Word from Genesis to Revelation:

Immanuel (With-us-is-God)

And who was it that Isaiah saw exalted on the throne? The gospel of John tells us: “Isaiah … saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about HIM.” (John 12:41)

This Christmas season, may we not miss Jesus’ call to see HIM, display his glory, and declare his gospel in our dark and defiled world.

About Paul:

Paul D. Bramsen was born in California. He and his wife raised their three children and saw a church planted in Senegal, West Africa, a majority Muslim nation on the edge of the Sahara. Bramsen writes for an international audience, creating multi-language, multi-media resources that tell the stories and explain the message of the biblical prophets in chronological order. His projects include The Way of Righteousness (a 100-program radio series in many languages, first written in the Wolof language of Senegal), One God One Message (a book designed to help Muslims and skeptics over their obstacles and into a clear understanding of the world’s best seller), and King of Glory (a picture book and movie in 35+ languages). All three of these resources are used extensively and effectively by TWR (Trans World Radio). Paul is president of ROCK International. For more information, visit www.rockintl.org/resources