Return To The Mighty God
Sunday, July 29, 2018
The idea of a remnant is strong in Isaiah. We spoke last week about the remnant, the stump. Those who are left after the dust settles. Those who are still trusting God when they see little about their lives that would cause anyone to trust Him.
Isaiah is also a source of many of the prophecies of the coming Messiah. Jesus, the long-awaited Savior of the Jews. But he would not just save the descendants of Jacob. The nations, the Gentiles, would also become heirs to the truths of God. They would see a great light and come to believe in the Holy One of Israel.
Do you recognize this verse? There has been a lot of controversy over one word here.
7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel. (NIV)
The Hebrew word for virgin can also be translated as young woman. Actually, this verse applied to two births. In Isaiah’s time a child was to be born to King Ahaz the grandson of Uzziah (the Uzziah that is famous for the line “in the year that king Uzziah died). That child was to be a sign to Ahaz that the fall of his dreaded enemies, Aram and Samaria was coming.
We, as believers, know this passage today as a prophecy of the coming of the Messiah. He was indeed born of a virgin. He is the Son of God, conceived by God and not man. The New Testament is clear on this point. Mary had not had relations with a man when she conceived her son by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is God. This is the truth we have accepted as people who claim the title of Christian.
Have you accepted Jesus into your life as Lord and Savior? Are you living with Him as Lord? Is He the reason you have faith that God loves you and reigns as Lord of your life? He is Immanuel, God with us! Jesus is God and lives within us by the work of the Holy Spirit.
Another passage in Isaiah concerning the coming of Jesus, the Christ.
8:11-17 11This is what the Lord says to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people:
12 “Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. 13 The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread. 14 He will be a holy place; for both Israel and Judah he will be a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare. 15 Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken, they will be snared and captured.”
16 Bind up this testimony of warning and seal up God’s instruction among my disciples. 17 I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the descendants of Jacob. I will put my trust in him. (NIV)
The Lord Almighty… He will be a holy place… He will be a stone of stumbling and a rock that makes them fall (a rock of offense as some translations put it).
Both Peter and Paul quoted these verses as evidence that Jesus is the promised Messiah. He was and still is the stone that trips people up. How can Jesus be both God and Man. How can Jesus be divine and human at the same time?
The leaders in Israel when Jesus walked among us could not, or at least, would not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. They had invested too much in doing religion their own way. They felt they had too much to lose if they would accept His claim to be God. They refused to believe. If they accepted Jesus for who He claimed to be, they would have to move out of their comfort zone.
In our churches today we often have trouble moving out of our comfort zones. When we know we are called to witness to our neighbors, but resist this urging of the Holy Spirit, we are stumbling over the rock of offense.
When we are called to accept those who are not like us, we resist and stumble over the stone that the builders rejected.
When we are called to change our thinking about how God might move in our church, we resist and fall prey to the temptation to stay where we are comfortable and do what we have always done.
But the remnant believed. Even some of those leaders in the days Jesus walked in the flesh were convinced and put their faith in Jesus as their hoped for Messiah. Those who were honest with themselves came to believe and found the salvation that God freely offers to all who believe.
In Isaiah chapter nine we read:
1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan – 2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (NIV)
This kingdom of Peace will last forever. We have a King who will reign forever. His reign shall be eternal. For unto us a child is born, a son is given. He was born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit of God and His Peace, His Reign will be eternal.
Return to the God who proved His love by becoming human and dying to give eternal life to those who will put their faith in Him.
Come and be healed of the disease of sin and rebellion against God. He has a plan and a purpose for each of us. Are you following Him? Are you His disciple today? Come and join us. We have dedicated our lives to telling the story of Jesus and calling people to believe that God loves us and He is indeed our Lord. Return to God Almighty.
20 In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. 21 A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God. (NIV)
Are you serving the Mighty God? Is He real to you? Have you allowed Him to come live within your life, to become your eternal life?
Return to the Mighty God! He is waiting for you.
Isaiah prophesied about the coming Messiah. One who would be known as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
He came. He lived and walked among us. He pushed the early church to move outside the walls of Jerusalem. He pushed them to reach out to the Gentiles. This was not an easy change for them.
Change is rarely easy for any of us. Change we must. When we stop changing, we have stopped growing. When we stop growing we are dying. This is true for people and it is true for churches.
What are the next steps Green Valley Church of God needs to take to keep us alive and growing?
As the speaker at camp meeting said this week we are in a passing through place. I ask you, will we go into the promised land? Or will we end up wondering around in the desert until our generation dies off?
When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord we do not have the luxury of following our own desires. God calls us to follow Him. He calls us to reach out to those around us and make disciples of all nations, of all people, even those not like us.
Our focus must be on meeting the needs of others. Our focus must be on reaching out in love to those who are struggling in life. We need to love the unlovely. We need to reach out to people who do not know how to act in church. How will they learn unless we lead them?
Where does this Mighty God want us to go as a congregation? What part does He want each of us to play in seeing this congregation grow and become the light house in this community that He wants it to be?
Return to The Mighty God!