“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” Isaiah 53:3-4
Many in this life are labeled as an outcast — and yet the person of Jesus was also labeled as such.
We think because of His life and legacy that we should be held in high esteem and considered as something to be appreciated — or at least, accepted. And yet, that was not case for Him.
There are many still in the religious community who still personify the Pharisees of many years ago.
The same religious spirits that Jesus confronted are still labeling and attempting to restrict the movements and characteristics of those who do not conform.
We should know all too well that when someone steps into a church service in tattered clothes that they would be shunned.
It’s not that we shouldn’t care about our appearance, but that it shouldn’t dominate, or be at the top of the list.
Church should not be a social club, or even worse, a place to impress others because of our dress or status in society!
But you see, it’s not even about appearance that these things are evident. It’s about conformity and tradition.
It can also be about saying religious phrases, or saying that “all is well with my soul”, when perhaps it really isn’t.
Somehow along the way, we’re told to pull up our boot straps and say that everything is fine. We say that God is good, and we pretend that our smile shows that we are victorious.
Somehow we hold the same standards as the world around us. We look upon others only as being successful, when their family is smiling, their car is clean and washed, and the kids are doing well in school.
Maybe a lot of it is only because we haven’t looked below the surface of their lives.
It’s time to get compassionate, people!
It’s time to accept the outcasts into our circle of friends.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to The LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?
Stephen is a full-time Artist of original architectural, landscape, portrait, still-life and spiritual oil paintings, available at StephenHansonArtist.com