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!
The Vision of Joy! A sermon on Isaiah
The Vision of Joy
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
† Jesus, Son, and Savior†
May you enjoy the grace and glory of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
What was Going Through His Mind?
The Old Testament Reading this morning was the basis for a sermon before. In fact, the sermon was one of the shortest sermons in history.
It is recording in Luke’s gospel, chapter 4. And after reading the first two verses from Isaiah, the preacher said this,
“The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”
Luke 4:17-21 (NLT2)
I would have thought this would have caused great joy… but it did not that day. They decided to kill the person who read the passage from Isaiah….who dared to give them a Vision of Joy…
I wonder what was going through Jesus’ mind as He looked forward to that sermon, knowing the joy that He set before Him. Was there a massive smile on His face, knowing He came to do was now, finally going to happen?
Imagine if a scientist had to break the news that he had discovered a simple, easy cure for COVID. Imagine the smile he would have on his face as he approached the microphone that all the challenges it has caused were over!
Yeah, what Jesus had come to do… was a billion times better.
And I get to show you that today!
What He Had Observed
Consider what God looked down upon, that Isiah describes,
There were the poor,
There were those whose hearts were shattered
There were people who could not leave the horrid situation they found themselves in…
There were people who lived, prisoners of their own choices, of their own sin, which was crushing them.
There were people mourning,
There were people in despair,
There were people living in lives lived in ruins
Sounds like 2020, doesn’t it?
One of the points we have to understand is that when we are crushed like in this time, by what is going on around us and what is going on inside us, God knows…
That is why the Apostle Paul says,
8 We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 9 In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 (NLT2)
Been there, done that.
And then I forget it and start the process all over.
I need to hear Jesus calling; I need to hear Him describe what He will do again.
The Vision of what was coming
Usually, I focus on the bringing good news, the comforting the brokenhearted, the release of those locked in and the freeing for those imprisoned, and the other ways our salvation is shown.
But today, I want to look at a specific one of the changes that happen because Jesus said that this prophecy is full.
Everyone will realize that they are a people the LORD has blessed.” 10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me in the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.
This is the greatest thing ever.
To realize that we are the people the Lord has blessed! What an incredible realization – we are the people the Lord God, the Creator of the universe, has blessed!
Even more than that – look at the excitement of Jesus’s words,
He’s overwhelmed with joy because of what God the Father has caused to happen.
Jesus is as happy as the groom; he awaits the wedding and life that is to come with his bride.
Kevin – you are the most recent groom around here… how did you feel in the moments before the doors opened, and you saw Susan there?
That is how Jesus felt as He preached that day… as the relationship that He had been waiting for since the worlds were created through Him finally was here.
No wonder Jesus was looking forward to the crucifixion for the joy set before him
As he was handed the scroll..the anticipation began to build, as He red the words, oh my the joy that began to spread, and continued to, until that point, when nailed to the cross, Jesus would say…
It is done… it is finished …..
the same thing that he said that day in Galilee….will be said at the cross.
And He says that to us today… today hear the good news, you are free from whatever crushes you, for you can see God, and you are free and blessed, for He is your God. It is done this day – to you.
Rejoice! He is your God, the God who blesses you… Today, He has done this… AMEN!
Keep Confident and Hope in Jesus Christ! A Transfiguration Day Sermon on Heb 3
Keep Confident and Hope in Christ!
† I.H.S. †
May the grace, mercy and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ not just give you hope, but confidence in God walking with you through your life.
How cool to have a Leader like Moses!
I can’t even imagine the feelings that would run through the hearts and minds of Peter, James
I mean Elijah
The leader of all of the leaders in Jewish History, and the man through whom the greatest miracles in history were performed! Remember the water from the
I can imagine Peter asking, “so what was that stuff anyway?”
And Mount Sinai and the Ten Commandments? (lucky
And what about the Red Sea? Man, can you imagine someone doing that today!
I can imagine the apostles being so incredibly excited by the leadership of Moses and Elijah! Wow – now we are really getting somewhere! Now things can really change around here!
I could even here James telling John, “Hey, Moses is with you!” and hearing him echo back, “and also with you!”
I don’t think it is much of a stretch to think the apostles were more than impressed, more than in awe of this. That’s why Peter goes to Jesus, and asks, “Hey can I build some tents for you guys to dwell in? We’ll even make one for you Jesus!
There is an obvious problem with this, something the apostles overlooked in the excitement! Something the reading from Hebrews recognizes.
How good are we at following leaders?
We need a better leader than Moses. I mean he was pretty good at handling what God wanted Mosses to be responsible for, with only an error here or there. But Moses didn’t do a good enough job. He was as faithful as any.
But he didn’t get all of God’s people to the Holy Land. In fact, an entire generation was left all over the desert. 600,000 men (and their ladies) didn’t make it.
Did some awesome stuff, but there is only so much you can do when you aren’t the owner of a place, but just one of the servants.
The problem wasn’t completely with Moses, it was just as much with the people that didn’t follow his leadership. Don’t get me wrong, Moses sinned, but he had a lot of people who didn’t listen, and what could he do about them?
We aren’t much different today when it comes to listening to leadership. We tend to dismiss them, we tend to think of them as our servants, not as those who are out there to help us and lead us.
I saw the meme yesterday, and it is exactly how people treated Moses,
We need someone better, someone, who can deal with our rebellious nature, someone who isn’t just a servant, someone who can really make a difference. And it would help if they had our best interest at heart.
We need the owner to show up, someone really in charge!
We Need Something More than a Boss!
We look back at the transfiguration, and we get that Jesus was there. But I’ve even heard that Elijah and Moses were there not just to talk to Jesus about his upcoming death, but to encourage and strengthen Him for the ordeal.
I don’t think so, to confirm it maybe, but Jesus’ strength was found in His love for us, and in His love for the Father.
The Father with whom He planned all this, with the Father who created all this through Jesus.
The Jesus who is Lord of all.
And we need to understand what it means for Jesus to be Lord. It means He is the builder of the
You see Jesus being the LORD, the builder of the house means more than just ordering us around, more than just saying “do this, don’t do that” and “here is the punishment, here is the reward.”
Jesus being Lord is all about His plans for the house, how He intends to build it and care for it. It means He has committed Himself to care for His house, for His people. It means He has committed Himself to dwell in the house He is building, building with us.
And because He is the builder and the designer of the church, there is something He can do, that Moses didn’t have the ability to do.
He can make our sin, our rebelliousness of no account. He can take our brokenness and make it part of the masterpiece of His dwelling.
And He does, because He paid the price, and that’s been part of the design from the beginning. It was the cost of building His home, a home we are part of, along with all those who depend on
That is why we can keep our courage, that is why we remain confident.
Because we know His plan, even as we begin to realize we dwell in His presence, as we realize that He loves us so much, the cross and the death of Christ were planned, so we could be at home with God.
So, may you know you dwell in His peace, a peace you can’t be stolen from Him, for He has claimed you and made you, His! AMEN!