Opportunities

August 30, 2014
12:00 AM

Re: Verse reading–Isaiah 6:1-8; Revelation 4:1-11 (Day Five)   What is it about God that compels or “draws” you into worship?  As we read the Re:Verse  passages this week we see several possibilities:  His Holiness, His Purity, His Sovereignty, His Beauty, His Kindness, His Graciousness, His Generosity, His Strength.  William Temple says worship is to “quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.”  Opportunities are available because the scripture says that God “seeks” worshipers (John 4).  Personal Worship, Corporate Worship, and Small Group Worship all present moments and experiences to see and hear from the Lord.  Worship begins with a holy anticipation and ends in holy obedience (becoming more like Christ)- the point and goal of each spiritual discipline we’ve studied this summer.

 

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“The things which are”

RE Verse reading–Isaiah 6:1-8; Revelation 4:1-11 (day six)  In the last book of the Bible, Jesus shows John the Apostle ”the things which are, and the things which shall take place”–Revelation 1:19.  It is a revelation, a God-given insight into invisible and eternal reality.  There are many instances in Scripture of this same grace.  Isaiah’s vision of God in Isaiah 6.  Ezekiel’s visions (many).  Even Paul’s encounter with the Risen Christ on the road to Damascus falls into this category (Acts 9).  When God opens our eyes to ”see” hidden realities, it is called a vision.  No wonder that Paul later writes to the Ephesians, “I pray that the eyes of your heart will be enlightened”–Ephesians 2:18.  Understandably, visions come to us with compelling power. ”I was not disobedient to this heavenly vision”–Acts 26:19.  Not imaginary things, God is helping us see invisible realities, things more real and more urgent than any we see or touch with physical senses.  God is revealing ”the things which are.”

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Great Faith

Re: Verse reading–Isaiah 6:1-8; Revelation 4:1-11 (Day Four)  This passage in Isaiah has always disturbed me.  A burning coal sounds to me like it would really hurt the lips.  I’m not sure what Isaiah’s thoughts were as the seraphim approached him with a red hot coal, but the results were very good…his iniquity was taken away and his sin was forgiven.  Fortunately for Isaiah, he was the only human present…had anyone else been there, I am sure they would have warned him not to let the hot coal touch his lips.  Isn’t that how we often are with God’s truth?  God commands us to be kind to our enemy and we fear destruction…God tells us to be reconciled and we fear humiliation…God instructs us to live a life of holiness and we fear rejection.  Isaiah demonstrated great faith in yielding to what looked to be destruction.  God, grant us faith to accept Your Word for truth and to trust in Your blessed results!

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Actuality

Re: Verse reading–Isaiah 6:1-8; Revelation 4:1-11 (Day Three)
“The whole earth is full of his glory.”  In one sense, the worship of God means seeing things as they actually are.  The vision that the prophets in the Old Testament had in common reflected this understanding: “The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”  Elisha prayed for his servant: “‘Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”  If we would worship God, we must be convinced of the reality of his reign.  Perhaps a prelude to worship is this prayer: Open my eyes, Lord.

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Powerful Worship

Re: Verse reading–Isaiah 6:1-8; Revelation 4:1-11 (day two)
When confronted with the majesty of worship that surrounded the throne, Isaiah was shaken to his core. The beauty of the scene made him very aware of how small and inadequate he was. This, however, did not end his worship experience. It called him to repent…and then to serve. When was the last time worship caused you to have this kind of reaction? When we meet together do you enter that gathering with an expectation to be filled? Before Isaiah could be sent out he had to first recognize his frailty. That kind of vulnerability is difficult to encounter without at least a modicum of willingness to acknowledge God’s sovereignty. What do you expect worship to be like? Is it up to the Pastors? I want to challenge each of you to come into worship with an expectation that God will move, call us to repent, and send us out to do his good work. Let’s meet him together.

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A Life-Changing Vision

Re: Verse reading–Isaiah 6:1-8; Revelation 4:1-11 (day one) 
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on the throne, high and exalted.” (Isaiah 6:1)  There was clear time line.  Years later, Isaiah would recall the vision that changed his life.  Happened the year that King Uzziah died.  Great king, symbol and sponsor of 52 years of stability and growth for Judah.  No one could imagine what would happen without his leadership.  In this condition of great anxiety, the young prophet was given a vision.  “I saw the Lord.” (v 1) High.  Holy.  Huge.  “THEN I said, ‘woe is me.’ “ (v 5)  “THEN the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal.” (v 6)  “THEN I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ “ (v 8)  One step following the other, the prophet moved forward from despair, to revelation, to conviction for sin, to cleansing, to volunteered service.  His life was never the same.  Yours?

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The word is near you

Re: Verse reading–Romans 10:8-15; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (day seven) 
“Was blind but now I see”–John Newton.  I have been blind before.  Right in front of my face.  Didn’t see it. Sometimes for years. Blind to what I had, to my duties, to God’s mercy.  Skimming over Bible verses, thinking I knew what they meant, only to discover later that I was a complete stranger to the experience being described.  In this blinded condition, it was easy, when I needed something, to assume that I needed something new.  (I had, after all, already mastered the old material.) In Romans 10, Paul is working with the Jewish nation.  He says to them (quoting Moses who noticed the same tendency years before)  ” ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’, it is the word of faith that we are preaching!” (Romans 10:8)  Maybe “new” is not what we need.  Maybe the real need is new eyes to see the truth we already have!

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If you confess with your mouth

Re: Verse reading–Romans 10:8-15; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (day six)
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus Christ as Lord. . . you shall be saved.”  (Romans 10:9)  Confess is an interesting word.  In English it sounds guilty, “he confessed to a crime”.  In Greek it simply means “to speak the same word”, “to stand in unity on a matter of truth”.  With whom do we stand when we confess that Jesus is Lord?  We stand with God and watching universe!  ” He (God) has made Him (Jesus) both LORD and Christ.”–Acts 2:36“All authority (Lordship) has been give to me” said Jesus in Matthew 28.  Being original is not the point!  Solidarity is!  When we confess that Jesus is LORD (of the universe and of our lives) we are joining a mighty army of truth-telling people (saints and angels together).  All history moves toward this great climax.  “And every knee shall bow and will confess that Jesus Christ is LORD.”Philippians 2:11.  Better for us to join this wave now!

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Fear of Man

Re: Verse reading – Romans 10:8-15; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (day four)
It is a simple message…1 Corinthians 15:3-4.  We call it the Easter verse…”that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”  It is not hard to learn, so why do so many fail to communicate this message of redemption?  Could it be the fear of man?  Peter faced the same fear…he was more concerned with what a young slave girl thought about him than what his Lord thought.  Fear of man…does it keep you from sharing the Gospel message?  It does not have to be complicated…Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose on the third day…according to the Scriptures!  Are we afraid of what our family will think? …our co-workers? …our neighbors? …our friends? …a perfect stranger?  Fear of man vs. fear of the God of the Universe…go share, according to the Scriptures!

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Invitation

Re: Verse reading – Romans 10:8-15; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (day three)
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  It’s not uncommon for some to claim that Christianity is exclusivist, whereas other religions or systems of thought possess much more generosity of spirit and remain open to anyone.  The hallmark of God’s revelation in Christ, though, is not exclusivity, but radical inclusivity: “Come, all that are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  While the world measures every man by this or that standard to determine his worth, Jesus Christ says that whosoever will may come.  Invitations don’t get more inclusive than that.

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