He’s Making His Lists: An Advent Sermon on Isaiah 11
He’s Making His Lists
† I.H.S. †
May the grace and peace of God, our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ flood over you, as you realize how God has planned for and desired an intimate relationship with you!
- Wisdom from our youth—Three lists
The average sermon takes 8 hours to develop—and another 4-5 to write out the manuscript, which then is the basis for what you hear.
I said basis, anything good said beyond the manuscript is God caused… anything odd—blame me for!
For tonight’s sermon, the preparation time was shortened by our youth considerably! As we looked at the passage a couple of weeks ago, their conversation is the basis for this sermon, as they talked about what was important for me to communicate to you!
Our theme for Advent is the idea that God made a bunch of lists in the Bible, to help us understand what it means for Jesus to be the Christ, to be our Savior. There is a lot about Jesus, and the Bible neatly organizes it into lists for a reason.
To overwhelm us knowing that Jesus is, and that He loves us and works on our behalf, and to help us see what His work accomplishes in and for us.
In tonight’s passage from Isaiah 11, there is not one, not two, but three different lists the youth identified. We are going to focus on lists two and three, because when I asked which list I should focus on, they divided on lists two and three, and then realized you need list two, the things Jesus would do, to see list three, the effects of those actions in our lives…
So let’s get into List #2
- List two – What Jesus Did!
So here is what Isaiah said Jesus would do, things we know He has done and is doing still.
First, it says he will delight in obeying the LORD – that is God the Father.
How did Jesus obey the father? Well, Paul describes it this way,
“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:5 (NLT2)
God the Father said to Jesus, “Go save them – and bring them Home!” And that is what everything else sets up.
That’s why Jesus doesn’t judge us based on our appearance, nor will Jesus ever listen to rumors and hearsay about us! No matter how many sins Satan will accuse us of, Jesus will cover each one. (that doesn’t mean we go commit more!)
Jesus will give those who are broken and poor justice, and make fair decisions for those who are exploited and oppressed. Again—this is both physical and spiritual – some people are physically poor and exploited and others are spiritually so. In each situation, God is there, working in their lives. (Which probably means we should do the same!)
That is the power of God’s word at work, when He declares those who are broken are healed, those who are imprisoned are free, when those who are alone, are those He gathers and invites into the deepest relationship.
So that’s the work in list 2, and here is the effect in list three.
- List three – The Effects of His actions
The third lists detail the results of what they were to expect Jesus to do. Simply put, it seems like His coming was to provide them a life of peace that is crazy!
All these natural enemies resting side by side, Wolves and lambs, Leopards and goats, Lions hanging out with small calves—that just sounds crazy! Isaiah will up this idea of of peace though.
Anyone want to take an infant into a cobra den?
Or let a toddler play with a bunch of rattlesnakes?
God’s work in our lives is leading to a place where everyone is that peaceful! Who are the people that are your enemies, your adversaries, those that damage you, whether unintentionally or intentionally? They cannot do so, and if they are, or become believers, they will be as close as your closest friend, and you will rejoice in that!
The Apostle Paul talks about the power that raised Christ from the dead at work in us, and that is what happens! God at work in all who believe in Him, and calling others to that place!
First, He judges us, and instead of finding us guilty as charged, He makes us righteous, cutting away all the sin and all that goes with it. Then He puts changes our heart—and gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us and makes us more and more like Jesus.
And then we learn from Him to live in His peace… to even love and pray for those who do not know that peace… That is why He came… that is what we need to see!
That is why these lists are here—to get to know Jesus, to see what He is miraculously doing, and to see the profound impact on our lives, and our world, and to provide for us a future that is amazing…
He is our God, and we are His people. AMEN!