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Posts Tagged creation

Be Strong in Praising God 20150208 Isaiah 40:21-31 RSUMC

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Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in; who brings princes to naught, and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows upon them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. To whom then will you compare me, or who is my equal? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: Who created these? He who brings out their host and numbers them, calling them all by name; because he is great in strength, mighty in power, not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. [NRSV]

WARNING: Don’t forget God in the PROCESS of Leading the People

The prophet Isaiah is warning King Hezekiah to be clear as the leader who is God and for the king to put himself and the people in perspective of God.

The prophet Isaiah is warning King Hezekiah to be certain there will soon be a day when all the wealth and possession will be taken away. Where will the king turn when there is no peace?

The prophet Isaiah is warning King Hezekiah to be aware that they people and his kingdom will be turned over to Babylon and he speaks for God saying: Who is mighty, Who is in control, who is THE king when the kingdom is overthrown due to arrogance, misplaces alliance and a loss of faith?

Isaiah reminds the king of God’s place in the order of politics:

TO THE PEOPLE

1. FIRST, God’s words are to the people: “Comfort, O comfort my people” The king may be leading you to destruction but that does NOT mean I have forgotten you.

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

2. (There are consequences for following a king that leads people away from God)  Nevertheless: God is still with us.

3. FOLLOW GOD FIRST, above all:

A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.

Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

FOLKS WILL SAY

People will say… Folks will shout out… Leaders will talk but let’s look at the basics:

GRASS: Flowers, grass.. When the winds blow, where will you run?

MOUNTAINS: High places don’t make you closer to God.

GOD is a GOOD SHEPHERD: Feed on God’s grace… grazing

OCEANS and SEAS and LAND: God’s handiwork, and it operates by God’s design, not king’s command and laws.

POWER, WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE, JUSTICE, UNDERSTANDING:

God’s heart/spirit is God’s to will.

God is God’s own counselor.

You might explain how a tomato is formed, but who designed and produced the first one.

Who taught your kings what they know and who taught them..

A DROP in the bucket

Add up all the wealth, knowledge, wisdom and talents in the world and no one can make a blade of grass from scratch.

The DEFINITION OF DEPRAVITY

Here is an equation: Take all the fuel in the world, efforts of humanity focused on one task, use all your resources, all the gross national products of all nations combined and who can make a blade of grass.

WE ARE ALL EMPTY and NOTHING without God.

COMPARISON: piss’n contest (forgive the crudeness)

To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him?

IS an IDOL greater than God?

A thing, shaped by a workman, guilded by another, and displayed by another with (no rot wood)

Designer’s CHALLENGE

CAN ANYTHING WE MIGHT FORM, DESIGN OR DREAM UP out do what God has already done. Start with a mustard seed, a carrot, a flea, on tick on an fly….

WHAT ABOUT THE ORDER of things?

WHO WAS AT THE BEGINNING? Who created the matter? Who defined gravity, mass and energy? Who started the big bang? Who determined relativity, string theory and quantum mechanics would be the guiding factors?

WHO ARE YOU KIDDING: Who are you king? Who are you president? Who are you Hezikiah? compare yourself to God. God says through ISAIAH: I think, at best, you are a grasshopper.

You didn’t form the earth and all that is in it.

You didn’t form a chicken or an egg.

You didn’t make a blade of grass much less the seasons that both kill the grass and renew it in the spring.

SO WHAT ?

LIFT UP YOUR EYES AND SEE. (KNOW and SPEAK the truth)

WHY DARE do you ask: Where is God? What does it matter? Life is not fair!

HAVE YOU NOT HEARD

  1. God is everlasting.
  2. God is always creating and recreating
  3. God gives power to the fainting and powerless
  4. God does not get tired.
  5. God renew those who are tired.

Therefore, Fly, Run and Walk

The Soar like eagles makes for a good song or placard.. but more significant is the series of perspective.

Can you fly, can you run, can you even walk without using what God has already made for you?

A CASE for reminding the king, the people and the nations of the world:

God, who made heaven and earth, shows grace through his Son, and power, knowledge and wisdom through his Spirit and Counselor is to be trusted with all that we are.

BOTTOM LINE: (Yeah, Preacher, we know all that stuff, so what?)

Isaiah is making a case for us to tell the king, tell each other and tell the world, God is all around. Don’t doubt it. Don’t forget it. Don’t confuse it. Don’t deny it. Don’t take it for granted. PRAISE the LORD.

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Isaiah 44:2a “What on Earth am I Doing Here” Week 1 JUMC 20130217

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“I am your Creator. You were in my care even before you were born.”  Isaiah 44:2a (CEV)

If someone asked you life’s big questions:

Why am I alive?  Does my life matter?  What is my purpose? What’s the point?

Some days we might sound the prophet Jeremiah who asks, “Was I born to be a disgrace?” Jer 20.18.

  • I have so many problems, disappointments, failures and sins, what difference does my life make?
  • Others will say, “My life is not so bad, I just don’t want to thing about meaning.” Life just is what it is.
  • Still others might be saying, “I love my life, just don’t take away my toys, my control, or my plans”

There are some who look for meaning and call it spiritual, but what they actually are describing is “Mystical”

Take Oprah for example, but its true of TV talk shows. Guest author after expert sit in the same chairs selling the same books that say the same thing:

“Look within yourself.” This sounds spiritual, but our purpose is always limited by our own limitations.

Another method is “Mechanical”

A self-propelled lawn mower, you look at the parts and features and you figure out what the parts are intended, but the mower does not decided what it suppose to do. It is a machine and you and I are not machines.

Still another way of answering the meaning questions is the “Me Method”

The Self-help approach. You’ve got to invent it, you’ve got to decide

Yes, you might become successful if you:

  • Follow your dreams,
  • set goal,
  • give 110%, and
  • never give up.

You might certainly become successful but that does not equate to meaning and purpose.

Purpose is far greater than your personal wealth, or fulfillment, more than your dreams because you can have great success and still feel empty and want only more.

There is the Mental Approach

Philosopher René Descartes taught,  “I think therefore I am.” The trouble that patients with Dementia and Ahlzimer’s would cease to exist repeatedly throughout the day.

And there is the “It’s Meaningless” Method

There is no purpose: Don’t bother searching.

We live in a God removed culture and its no wonder folks give up on God because we have given up on God…

Here lies the path for our journey.

YOU WERE MADE FOR A PURPOSE

Ask your creator. The answer is direct: We are made by God for God’s purpose

Prov 16.4 Lord made for God’s purpose. Not yours…

TEST: If you are living and breathing then God has a purpose for you.

God’s Motives: GOD CREATED ME TO LOVE ME

Significance: Isaiah 49.4 my work seems to be for no purpose, life seems pointless.

We are made for meaning!

Significance is worth more than wealth, health, strength, etc…

We find significance through God

“I am your Creator. You were in my care even before you were born.”  Isaiah 44:2a (CEV)

YOU ARE NOT AN ACCIDENT

Accidental parents and unexpected births, but all have purpose  Psalm 139.16 you saw me before I was born.

Knowing all our dumb decisions and those of others, God still loves us, dispite all Purpose will last for ever. His plans endure forever.. Psalm 33.11

WHAT DO I DO ABOUT God’s purposes NOW

Life is prep for eternity.

This life is prep for the next, that is the meaning.

We are hear to be prepared for what we are going to do from now on..

WRITE IT ON YOUR HEARTS: I was made to last forever.

The sum of your life is not the experiences of your years.

God determines our significance.

This life is our prep for understanding that significance..

THIS LIFE IS

  • Pre-school,
  • the warm up lap,
  • the pre-SAT,

Our Purpose now is to practice… mistakes are expected during the practice

When this tent…there will be a house that lasts forever…. 2 Cor. 5.1

  • 1.God made you to love you
  • 2.God made to last forever, meaning
  • 3.Intention: What is MY purpose

SO WHAT: Particularly, What do “I” do now before eternity

This the next five weeks will be talking about how we practice finding and understanding our meaning and purpose.

HOW: Go to the creator and ask..

Ask the inventor, read the owners manual,

Why did you make me? This is the prayer we will practice

The more you know God

REPEAT: I FIND MY PURPOSE IN GOD.

Col 1.16 everything finds its purpose in God.

Life is about God. It’s not about you.

Otherwise it does not make sense.

Get to know God is to learn your purpose

“It’s not about me, it’s all about God”

It’s not about you, it’s all about God…repeat

 

40 days to unfold…

a spiritually significant period throughout bible

  • Noah rain,
  • moses on mt,
  • david prepares for Goliath,
  • city of Niniva 40 days to repent,
  • disciples 40 days after the resurrection.

25550 day in 70 years… is it worth 40 to be clear about your purpose

PRAYER:

Dear God

If it were not for you I would not be alive

You have a purpose for me

I admit I’ve been focused on my plan

I commit the next 40 days to learning your purpose

Thank you for creating me

My life will last for ever

Thank you for bringing me to this place

I want to live with meaning

I want to get to know your better

I take the first step today

Teacher me what you want me to know

Amen.

 

Resource “What on Earth am I Here for?” by Rick Warren

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