Archive for October, 2016

The Elect One

October 26, 2016

The second half of Isaiah is filled with messianic verses.  There are many good scriptures to preach on.  I have selected a few.

I.  Come:  Isaiah 55:1-3

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
The sure mercies of David.

A.  Are You Buying That?

These verses are not talking about bread, milk or wine.  They are a reference to the focus of our life.  Are we focused on the things of the world, or the things of God?  In Matthew 6:33 we are told to “Seek first the kingdom of God…” .  If indeed we seek God first, then other things will come into line.

B.  The Abundant Life

Jesus offers those that follow Him abundant life.  (John 10:10)  That life does not begin at our physical death, but rather at our new birth. When we give our hearts to God and seek to walk with Him in this life, we truly have a life that is abundant.

II.  Build Up:  Isaiah 42:1-4

“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
He will not cry out, nor raise His voice,
Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth.
He will not fail nor be discouraged,
Till He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”

A.  My Elect One

These verses are talking about Jesus.  He is the one who will bring true justice to the earth.

B.  Restores Life

As a young person I read these verses and wondered who cared about bruised reeds, or smoldering flax?  Of course, these are symbols for something else.  The bruised reed is that person who has experienced difficulties in their life.  They have been bruised and they need to be restored.  God can bring restoration and life.  The smoldering flax is that person who has drifted away from God.  God calls to them and desires to see the fire of their faith restored.  God wants to bring life to those who seek Him. He does not give up on us.

C.  Justice

There will come a day when justice will reign on this earth.  It will not be under human leadership, but under the leadership of the Lord of Hosts.

III.  Jesus is Lord:  Isaiah 45:20-25

“Assemble yourselves and come;
Draw near together,
You who have escaped from the nations.
They have no knowledge,
Who carry the wood of their carved image,
And pray to a god that cannot save.
21 Tell and bring forth your case;
Yes, let them take counsel together.
Who has declared this from ancient time?
Who has told it from that time?
Have not I, the Lord?
And there is no other God besides Me,
A just God and a Savior;
There is none besides Me.

22 “Look to Me, and be saved,
All you ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.
23 I have sworn by Myself;
The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness,
And shall not return,
That to Me every knee shall bow,
Every tongue shall take an oath.
24 He shall say,
‘Surely in the Lord I have righteousness and strength.
To Him men shall come,
And all shall be ashamed
Who are incensed against Him.
25 In the Lord all the descendants of Israel
Shall be justified, and shall glory.’”

    A.  Escaped From the Nations

God is Lord over all the earth.  We have been gathered from the nations to serve the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

    B.  No Other God

There is no other God.  There is salvation in no other name.

    C.  Every Knee Shall Bow

It is better to serve God now and we can also rejoice later.  For those who reject Christ now, they will still one day bow before Him.  For them, that day will be a day of darkness.

    D.  Righteousness and Strength

We are not clothed in our own righteousness, but in the righteousness of Christ. We do not serve in our own strength, but in the strength that God gives to us.

Isaiah is a part of the Old Testament, but clearly he points to the coming Lord.  We can more fully understand the New Testament because of the prophecies that came hundreds of years earlier.

These are the sermon notes from 10/23/16.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

 

Responding to a Threat

October 19, 2016

Have you ever been threatened?  Or perhaps, you feel threatened by what you see on the horizon.  The message today is for you.

I.  Threat:  Isaiah 37:10-11

 “Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, “Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 11 Look! You have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by utterly destroying them; and shall you be delivered?

A.  Judah was threatened with conquest by the Assyrians.  The Assyrians were a powerful nation that had already conquered many nations.  They had given Judah the option of either surrendering and being deported or resisting and being destroyed.  They had been successful so far, and from the physical evaluation Judah had no chance at all.  The Assyrians did not believe that God would be able to do anything to stop them.

B.  Most of us are not in threat of physical danger.  There are, however, different types of threats.  The response of Hezekiah to this physical threat is a response that will work with any type of threat.

II.  Response:  Isaiah 37:14-20

And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed to the Lord, saying: 16 “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 17 Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. 18 Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands—wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. 20 Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord, You alone.”

A.  Pray:  Hezekiah’s  response was to bring it to God.  Our first response also should be to turn to God.  He is not our last resort, but our first choice.  God, here is our problem.  What should we do?

B.  Trust:  Hezekiah trusted in God.  So can we.  If God is for us, who can be against us?  (Romans 8:31)

C.  Listen:  In the case of Hezekiah, God took care of the problem as we shall see shortly.  For us, it is important to ask God to guide us.  If we ask God for guidance He will direct our steps.

D.  Act:  Don’t bother asking for directions if you are not going to follow them.  It would be better not to ask, than to ask and then disobey.  Throughout the history of Israel, individuals had occasionally been been given unusual directions.  Trust and obedience are rewarded.

III.  Deliverance:  Isaiah 37:33-37

“Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria:

‘He shall not come into this city,
Nor shoot an arrow there,
Nor come before it with shield,
Nor build a siege mound against it.
34 By the way that he came,
By the same shall he return;
And he shall not come into this city,’
Says the Lord.
35 ‘For I will defend this city, to save it
For My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’”

36 Then the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. 37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh.

God is able to deliver us.

Whatever we face, whatever our problem may be, nothing is too big for God.

Sometimes, we do need to remember that God is working from an eternal perspective.  From our point of view, we do not always see things working out for us.  We can trust that God knows what He is doing and that in the end, everything will work out for good.  (Romans 8:28)

These are the sermon notes from 10/16/16.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

A Hymn of Salvation

October 12, 2016

Music has meaning.  Some music has more of a message than others.  As I was reading through Isaiah I came across a hymn that is filled with meaning.  This is especially true as we look back, with the knowledge of what God has done for us through Jesus Christ.

I.  Salvation Offered:  Isaiah 12:1-2

 And in that day you will say:

“O Lord, I will praise You;
Though You were angry with me,
Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.
Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song;
He also has become my salvation.’”

    A.  You Were Angry:  We recognize that we have all sinned.  We have broken the commandments of God.  We have not been the people that God wants us to be.  We are not able to meet His standards.

    B.  Salvation and Comfort:  God is willing to forgive us.  The knowledge of salvation offered to us through Jesus Christ makes this proclamation even more comforting.

    C.  Strength:  God is our source of strength.  We do not serve God in our own power, but in the strength that God gives to us.

II.  Response to Salvation:  Isaiah 12:3-4

Therefore with joy you will draw water
From the wells of salvation.

And in that day you will say:

“Praise the Lord, call upon His name;
Declare His deeds among the peoples,
Make mention that His name is exalted.

    A.  Joy:  God is our source of joy.  As I read verse 3 I am reminded that Jesus offered his disciples living water.  (John 7:38)  When we are growing weary we can go to the well and be refreshed by the living water that God has for us.  The joy of the Lord is our strength.  (Nehemiah 8:10)

    B.  Praise:  It is appropriate to respond to what God has done for us with praise.  God is worthy of our worship and praise.

    C.  Proclamation:  One of the best ways that we can share the message of salvation is by declaring what God has done for us.  God works in our lives in a whole variety of ways and we should share the good news of the hope that God gives us.

III.  Song of Salvation:  Isaiah 12:5-6

Sing to the Lord,
For He has done excellent things;
This is known in all the earth.
Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!”

    A.  Sing:  At each of our services we spend time singing songs of praise.  This is a good thing to do.  It doesn’t matter if we feel like singing, or if we are good at it.  God deserves our praise and worship.

    B.  Shout:  Every once in a while it is good to let out a good, hearty shout of praise.  Praise God!  works quite well.  Give it a try sometime.  (We did in service.  It doesn’t come across as well in writing.)

This chapter in Isaiah was meaningful when it was written.  It is even more meaningful as we look back at it with the knowledge of what God did for us through Jesus Christ.    We should give praise to God for our salvation in Jesus Christ.

These are the sermon notes from 10/9/16.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

Serve With Joy

October 5, 2016

The Christian life can be difficult at times.  When times become difficult we need to remember to find joy in the journey.

I.  That Your Joy Might Be Full:  I John 1:4

 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

Is it possible to have too much joy?

I don’t think so.

As Christians we need the joy of the Lord, because the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)  Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit.  (Galatians 5:22) As Christians, we can expect to have the joy of the Lord in our hearts, providing us with strength.  If we find ourselves running low we simply need to spend time in God’s presence, for in the presence of the Lord, there is fullness of joy.  (Psalms 16:11)

II.  Test the Spirits:  I John 4:1

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

A.  The Word:  The first test for what is presented to us is the Word of God.  If the spirit is presenting information that is contrary to the Word of God then it is not of God.  The first and most important test is about Jesus Christ.  He is the Son of God.  God in the flesh.

B.  The Spirit:  The second test is the love test.  If a person has the Spirit of God then love for God and for people will be evident.

I John 4:7-8

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

The Word and the Spirit work together to mold us and to guide us as the people of God.  We should not believe every spirit, but subject them to the test of the Word and the Spirit.

III.  Greater is He:  I John 4:4

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

When we feel overwhelmed it is good to know that we do not face the challenges of this life alone.  God is with us and the Spirit that He gives to us is greater than that which is in the World.  On our own we would be in trouble, but we are not alone.

As we face the challenges of serving God in this changing world it is good to be reminded that our joy can be full, that we should test the spirits, and that greater is He who is in us.

May you be encouraged in your service to the Lord.

These are the sermon notes from 10/2/16.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.