Today is Friday. I had a great day yesterday reading God's Word, working out, appointments, a special Veteran's Day luncheon and program by Grand View Christian Academy. Then in the evening, I went soul-winning and led three to Christ, and then spoke to a group of men meeting at Church getting trained for a job opportunity. I enjoyed the time. Today, I have just a little time since I am taking my grandson, Will, to an appointment downtown with a doctor. Will broke his wrist two months ago, but now it is healed and they want to look at it one more time. Here are some thoughts from Isaiah 41-50:
Isaiah 1-39 is about judgment, and Isaiah 40-66 is about redemption. Interesting? 39 chapters about judgment, 27 chapters about redemption. 39 books in the Old Testament about judgment; 27 books in the New Testament about redemption. Interesting?
1) FEAR NOT- In every endeavor for God... there is fear. There is fear because we know that in ourselves, we cannot do what God wants us to do. We are not enough. Many years ago, I knew God wanted me to leave Arkansas and come to Oregon to start a church. But that was a 2,300 mile move! I didn't know a single soul in Oregon, and had never been there. I had fear. I didn't know if I could do that. One day, I was reading in Isaiah 41, and read these verses: vs. 10- "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." and verses 13,14 "For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not: I will help thee. Fear not, thou work Jacob, and ye men of Israel: I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer the Holy One of Israel." These verses spoke to me so powerfully! They took away my fear and replaced it with confidence! Not confidence in me, but in the Holy One of Israel, and my God! I knew God was speaking to my heart to take away my fear, and He did! Hope these same verses can help you through your times of fear.
2) FOR WHOSE SAKE? Isaiah 43:25 says: "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." It is for Christ's sake that He forgives our sins. Not that we want to be brought back into fellowship with God, but that God loves us and wants us brought back into fellowship and so for God's sake, Christ died on the cross to redeem us to Himself. For God's sake, for His glory!
3) HOW GREAT IS GOD? Isaiah 44:28 says: "That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid." How remarkable was this when Isaiah spoke it! Assyria was the world superpower and on a journey of destruction and conquest. They had conquered nation after nation and were the most fierce warriors the world had ever seen. They were feared by reputation. But God says that their leader, Cyrus, will rebuild the city and especially the temple. (The book of Ezra is all about this.) But oh how amazing this prophecy had to seem at the time. Why would a heathen king think such a thing? Well, the answer lies in the fact that when God wills something, no one can stop it. Not even a heathen king. Cyrus was God's shepherd, His servant.... and so are we. Let us get about our Master's business!
Well, that's all I have time for today. Blessings on you friend! Pastor Mike Mutchler