Good Monday Morning to you!
Did you have a lot of trick or treaters last night? Do you perhaps have kids who brought home tons of candy. I had four little ones many moons ago and when the candy was brought in it was a candy buffet. I’d send the kids to bed then feast. Oh I miss those days! Where we live now we get no trick or treat children, but as an old scout, our motto was “be prepared.” So, I purchase lots of candy, then ….. Well, it would be a sin to waste it. (Bill and Patty I’m just kidding --- simply taking “poetic license.”) I’ve made my son Jason a deal. If I lose thirty pounds, he will stop smoking. I sure intend to try because I know if I do, he will fulfill his end of the bargain. To keep me honest, Bill and Patty Wolfe parked me on their scale. I’m not going to publicize what the scale said because quite frankly, I believe it is broken! Let’s move on to more spiritual matters.
Yesterday was another awesome day at Friendship Harmony Church. The Spirit of the LORD was very present and attendance was extremely good. God has been so good to our Church. The blessings from week to week are nothing short of phenomenal! All I can say is, “Praise His holy name!!!”
The sermon topic was from Isaiah 43:1-7. I preached a verse by verse expository of that passage. What I wanted people to see was the encouragement that comes from being a child of God. The first verse reads, “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” In that particular verse is four words that are key to the entire passage. Not only are they of importance, but so is their placement. The words are “created,” “formed,” “redeemed,” and “called.” Let’s talk a quick look at each. As they are defined, their placement becomes obvious. The first word is “created.” This word comes from a Hebrew word that indeed means created, but it has to do with choice. God chose us. He certainly didn’t have to; He just did. There was nothing in us worthy of His favor, He simply favored us. If we were worthy, salvation would be earned. It would become salary. However, grace is not earned nor is it deserved. Remember, grace is receiving from God that which you do not deserve. It is a gift from God, and God is no Indian giver.
Our next word is, “formed.” Formed comes from a Hebrew word pronounced “yaw-tsar’.” It means being “squeezed into shape.” Did you play with Silly Putty as a child? Do you remember squeezing it and making things out of it? The concept is essentially the same, but on a much grander scale. God squeezes us to mold us. Sometime squeezing hurts, but God does it for our good. Surgery also hurts, but our doctors do it for our good; it is necessary. As God molds us, we become better fit for His service. That is the purpose of the squeezing.
Next is the word “redeemed.” This is the most familiar of the words. It means to “buy back.” Scripture teaches us from 1 Corinthians 6 and 7, “You are bought with a price.” God purchased you with the blood of His dear Son, Jesus. That means in God’s eyes, you are valuable. Do not let the devil make you feel cheap. Do not buy into his lies when he says you are worthless or useless. You certainly are not! God paid the ransom for you with the life’s blood of Jesus Christ. Remember the last part of verse one. God declares, “You are mine.” I’m surely glad for that.
The final word is, “called.” The Hebrew word is qura,” pronounced kaw-raw.’ It literally means being accosted in a good way. Think of two people walking side by side with one person having their hand on the other one’s back gently guiding them. This is exactly how the LORD walks with us. As we walk down this road called life, His hand is on us making sure we are maintaining a proper course. But why? The answer is found in verse seven: “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” Be sure you open your Bible and read the entire section. As you read those words, hear them as if The Holy Spirit is speaking directly to you because actually He is. May the LORD bless you as you read.
Well, I imagine you have things you need to get to, so I’ll say good-bye for now. Thank you for allowing me to share this time with you and as always, I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.