The sermon for February 10th 2019 is now available on the New Life web-site.
In this sermon, which is based on Isaiah 4:1-11, I speak on the topic “His Train Fill The Temple.”
It was the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple.
The heavens open for Isaiah, and he sees the Lord sitting on a high and lofty throne. Mighty six- winged seraphim fly around the throne calling out praise to God. Their noises shake the Temple, and it is filled with smoke.
Isaiah is afraid because of his sin, but one of the seraphim comes down and touches his lips with a burning coal for forgiveness.
Isaiah is given a message to take to the people to hear but not understand. They will fail to repent until the nation is devastated by God’s judgement.
Oh to see the Lord high and lifted up!
When we truly enter into worship, whether at home or in church, we can go beyond ourselves and lift up our eyes to our Redeemer.
To see the Lord high and lifted up, we must lift up our eyes.
The problem is that too often our eyes are firmly pointed down, our focus remains on earth and not in heaven, even when we pray or sing praise. Too many people keep their focus on their circumstances.
For other people, the focus is on themselves. “I can’t pray out loud or sing aloud because other people might think I’m doing it wrong.” We are not to be self-conscious but God conscious.
The open vision that Isaiah experienced is not a common event. That does not mean that we should not expect to see the Lord in dreams and visions or hear His voice through the Holy Spirit.
To do these things we must seek Him. We must look to Him. We must pursue His glory.
It doesn’t have to be spectacular. It is the still, small voice or the tough of the hem of His garment that will change our hearts and our lives.
Lord, let me see our glory. Teach me how to pursue you and to seek your face. Amen.
The nations will see your righteousness;
world leaders will be blinded by your glory.
And you will be given a new name
by the Lord’s own mouth.
Isaiah says he loves Jerusalem and will not stop praying for her. Her hard times will give way to glory and righteousness. Then the nations will see Jerusalem and be blinded by her glory.
This speaks of the church. This is the “new name” for Jerusalem. The covenant isn’t just with Israel any more but to all who love Jesus.
So, like Isaiah, we should continue to pray for the church- the assembly of christians, the people who love God. We should pray for the local church, persecuted christians around the world, the mission of the church locally and globally.
As we learn to more fully worship and obey the Lord, nations will come streaming to the church. When we live in the grace and power of the Holy Spirit, the radiance of God shines from us to those who are thirsty for the Lord.
World leaders and local politicians will see the way that christians live and what they achieve. They will ask “How do you do that?” The ways of the Holy Spirit are perplexing and attractive to those who do not know the Lord.
Of course, those who see what the church is and what it does and don’t like it, will rise against it. There are many people who do not like the light but prefer the darkness. Persecution will always be a fact of life for christians, but what glory awaits for those who remain faithful to the Lord.
Help me Lord to see the glory of your church. May the nations come to taste of your mercy, and leaders see your glory. Amen.
“Don’t be afraid for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.”
God calls Israel (and us, His followers) to not be afraid. The Lord is God, and He has called me by name. He knows me; He knows my circumstances; He knows my fears.
The Lord says to me, “Do not be afraid! I am with you.”
God has ransomed me. He is my Redeemer. We celebrate the coming of Christ into the world at Christmas, and it is easy to miss the point that the baby will grow and mature and give His life as a ransom for many. A ransom for me!
If God loves me like this, can anything overcome Him? Can anything hurt me so that I should be afraid?
No! God’s love is never ending. He has ransomed my soul. I was in captivity to sin, but He has set me free.
He has called me by name. I am not a number in a computer, but a person with a name. God knows my name. He called out to me as Jesus called out to Lazarus, “Lazarus come out!”
My captivity is over. My bondage is broken. I am dancing on my chains!
I am Christ’s, He declares that He owns me. I am no longer living without purpose or direction. Now I follow Jesus, and He directs my path.
I am His, but not as a possession or a plaything. I am a part of the Bride. He tells me, “You are mine” because He loves me. I am safe at His side.
Thank you so much Lord for redeeming me, ransoming me, setting me free from bondage to sin and death. Amen.
Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom shall I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”
I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
Isaiah sees the Lord sitting on a lofty throne, the train of His robe filling the Temple. Mighty seraphim surround the throne singing praise to the Lord. The voices shake the Temple, and smoke fills it.
Isaiah is filled with fear because he recognises his own sin. One of the seraphim touches Isaiah’s lips with a burning coal from the altar and declares that his guilt is taken away.
Then the Lord asks, “Whom will I send to this people?” Isaiah volunteers, “Here I am Lord. Send me.”
God is a sending, missionary God. His desire is to send His people to tell the world about sin, God’s love, and His forgiveness.
The mark of the truly born again christian is that they are willing to be “sent”; that is to be God’s messenger. Isaiah’s guilt was not taken away for his own benefit alone. It was done to equip him to go and tell God’s message.
We get it wrong when we think that we have been saved for our own benefit alone. The blessing is to be shared, for when we share a blessing we multiply it.
My salvation equips me to tell others how to be saved. In fact it energises me to “Go” and tell others.
God will not stop sending His people until the very last person on earth is saved.
Whenever we pray, praise or worship the Lord, our attitude should be, “Lord here I am. Send me.”
Lord, please show me who you are sending me to today. Who is the person you want me to take the gospel to? Here I am Lord. Send me. Amen.