Isaiah 53:1-5 (NIV)

1 Who has believed our message1 and to whom has the arm2 of the LORD been revealed?3 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,4 and like a root5 out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance6 that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows,7 and familiar with suffering.8 Like one from whom men hide9 their faces he was despised,10 and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,11 yet we considered him stricken by God,12 smitten by him, and afflicted.13 5 But he was pierced14 for our transgressions,15 he was crushed16 for our iniquities; the punishment17 that brought us peace18 was upon him, and by his wounds19 we are healed.20 

Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.                            

DEVOTION -Bonnie Rose Hudson (Pennsylvania)

When I first saw the video in an online class, I winced.  It featured a young woman in Vietnam with a scar etching an uneven path across her check.  The scar bore witness that she had suffered at the hands of Persecutors for her love of Jesus.  The I noticed the earring dangling from her ear just at the end of the scar.  The golden cross was a sparkling testimony.  “My love endures,”  God seemed to whisper.  I doubt I would have noticed the cross had it not been for the scar.

What would happen if I allowed others to see the scars on my heart caused by past hurts and fears.  Would they wince?  Or would seeing the scar draw their attention to the cross?  Could God use me to comfort others with the same comfort he had given me?  (See 2 Cor. 1:4.)

We all have scars, whether visible or invisible.  Because God’s love out shines my scars, I can help someone else -whether through a hotline, a help center, or simply through lending a listening ear.  Even when it means being honest about my own struggles, with God’s help I can speak, listen, and act with love.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: How can my scars lead others to Christ?

PRAYER: Dear God, your scars led us to life.  Please use ours to draw others to you.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: THOSE PERSECUTED FOR THEIR FAITH

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