The last service for the month of June began with our song service. Congregational selections this week were: “I Got Peace Like A River” and “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks.” The Mathis Family finished the song service with: “He’ll Make A Way” and “What A Day That Will Be.” Bro. Don’s sermon came from Isaiah 51.
“Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the LORD: Look to the rock your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him. For the LORD will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places. He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; Joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody. Listen to Me, My people; and give ear to Me, O My nation: For law will proceed from Me, and I will make My justice rest as a light of the peoples. My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth, and My arms will judge the peoples; The coastlands will wait upon Me, and on My arm they will trust. Lift up your eyes to the heavens and look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment, and those who dwell in it will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not be abolished. Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, you people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men; nor be afraid of their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; but My righteousness will be forever, and My salvation from generation to generations. Awake, awake put on strength, O arm of the LORD! Awake as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Are You not the arm that cut Rahab apart, and wounded the serpent? Are You not the One who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep; that made the depths of the sea a road for the redeemed to cross over? So, the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy one their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away. I, even I, am He who confronts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass? And you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth; you have feared continually every day because of the fury of, the oppressor?” Isaiah 51: 1-13.
Three times in this passage God tells us to listen to Him. In verses 1-3, He says” Listen to Me and look to the rock.” Who needs to listen? Well He tells us those who follow righteousness, those who seek the LORD. Look to your people, your ancestors. He calls us because He called Abraham. He comforts us because He comforted our earlier generations beginning with Abraham. He calms us because He also calmed them. We are where we are because of what God has done. Verses 4-6 tell us that all law proceeds or comes from Him. Even our laws today come from God. The reason God tells us to summit to the government is because our laws come from Him. Not believing this is to miss knowing God’s heart. He says, “ I will make My justice rest as a light of My people.” Justice in the Old Testament justice and judgment are closely related. Judgment is where God examines our sins. Justice is what He does as a result of His judgment. Today many people cry out for justice, but do we really want justice? When we ask for justice, we are asking for what we deserve. What we deserve (justice), I believe would not be pleasant or what we anticipated. But God says He will let His justice rest, so His people could see the light. Many people are afraid of the dark. I am one of them. We sleep with a light on. We generally do not like the dark but prefer light. When Gods justice rest it is an act of mercy. Law comes from God and results in forgiveness, mercy for us. In verse 7, God’s law is written on our hearts. We do not have to fear what man can do to us. God put His law in our hearts so we would know what was (is) right. He did this so we would know His heart. He gives us comfort. A day will come, maybe sooner that we imagine, when Christians will be persecuted. Yes, even here, in the land of the free. But in this passage God tells us not to fear men who will die. God will be with us always. Do not be afraid of a dying man. Do not forget the designing God, who made it all. Do not fear the oppressors when they come because God is in control of it all. Listen to God. He has been in control from the beginning and will be at the end. He will never desert us. He has given us mercy and joy and comfort. Do not be afraid, God is with you always, and forever.
Our services are still being broadcast over the radio for those who are more comfortable listening from their vehicles in the parking lot. The services are also available on our Facebook page. The services are being held in the Family Life Building at 11 a.m., in order to better accommodate social distancing. For now, our services will continue as they have been with our 11 a.m. service in the Family Life Center. As other services are added back, we will make announcements. The situation is very fluid, and plans are being adjusted to ensure the safety of everyone. Please bear with us during this transitional period.
Pray for peace. Pray for perspective. Pray for patience. Pray for an outpouring of wisdom and direction. Remember the sick and brokenhearted and those who have lost love ones. We can all get through these times together, by loving one another.
God bless you all. Stay safe; stay healthy.