Go Out With Joy, Be Led By Peace

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Audio of 8:30 AM Sermon: 

Audio of 11 AM Sermon:

Sermon Notes: Isaiah 55:1-11 (KJV)  Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.  [2]  Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.  [3]  Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.  [4]  Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.  [5]  Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.  [6]  Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:  [7]  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.  [8]  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  [9]  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  [10]  For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:  [11]  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Isaiah 55:12-13 (KJV)  For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  [13]  Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

You were given a lot of literature when you came to Church today. In addition to your weekly bulletin, you received the 2017 Prayer Guide for the Tennessee Golden Offering for Missions. You also received a “Cowboy Up” Suicide Prevention handout. Today is also the day before the Anniversary of 9/11, a terrible time in our country’s history.

Cowboy Up focuses on Suicide Prevention and Education. In my ministry I have had to bury the remains of several suicides. In every case I had people tell me “They said they were going to kill themselves, but I thought they were just fooling around”. They weren’t. These precious souls spoke out to those around them, telling others that they thought their lives were no longer worth living. They were wrong, but no one shared why they were wrong with them. What a terrible waste this is!

The Golden Offering for Missions focuses on reaching Tennesseans with the “Good News of Christ”, sharing the love of God with our neighbors. Every life is precious to God. People need to know that God loves them, and that God has a plan for their lives if they will only listen to Him.

And the horror of 9/11 happened because at least 19 terrorists from al-Qaeda heeded a false god, committed suicide and in so doing murdered 2997 innocent citizenswhile causing billions of dollars in damage.

In our text today God addresses the horrors of suicide and murder, and reaches out in love to everyone who will hear.

The suicide believes that no one cares.
God cares.
Jesus Christ cares.
God so loved the world that He sent His Son Jesus to tell us that.
Jesus became man to walk among us, to show us the love of God.

God Did Not Make The Thorns – We Did And Do

At the end of our text today we read this together. Let’s read it again:

Isaiah 55:12-13 (KJV)  For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  [13]  Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

What does God – the God of the Bible, not that false god the confused follow …. The God that sent Jesus – want for us?

To Go Out With JOY.
To Be Led FORTH With PEACE.

Joy and Peace are what God wants for us all. And yet it seems at times that life is filled with thorns and briers. Bad things seem to happen all around us. Bad things happen to those we know. We hear it on the news. Hurricane Harvey has just destroyed a lot of Texas and damaged Lousiana. Hurricane Irma is due to hit Florida this morning – perhaps even now – and destroy much of that state. Bad things are coming, have come, and will come. Is that what God wants for us?

Absolutely not. The Bible tells us that when God made creation:

Genesis 1:31 (ESV) God saw everything that he had made, and behold, IT WAS VERY GOOD. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

God is GOOD, and everything He made was VERY GOOD. It was the best that God could make. It was beautiful. It was a Garden called Eden, and in it there was no sickness, no sadness, no death. The trees grew fruit, and there were no weeds, nor thorns, nor briers nor thistles. It was pure Paradise. The weather was perfect, so perfect that clothing was no invented. No one got up with a head cold or allergies. It was P.A.R.A.D.I.S.E. It was gorgeous. Man and woman lived at peace with one another and with God.

Then the Serpent came into Paradise.

Quit thinking about God.
Think about yourself.
Quit obeying God.
Do what you want.
It’s your body, do what you want.
Take, eat, enjoy the forbidden.
Ignore God and become your own gods.
It will be all right.

But it wasn’t. When Adam and Eve walked away from God the Lord:

Genesis 3:16 (ESV) …to the woman He said …. “in pain you shall bring forth children ..”

Genesis 3:17-19 (ESV) … to Adam He said … “cursed is the ground because of you;

in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

With God there was Paradise. Without God Eve found pain in childbearing, and Adam found thorns and thistles. God did not make the thorns and thistles but man did. The thorn and thistle, brier and bane are the children of the curse. We are born under sin and in a fallen and broken world because of what we did and do. Though we blame Adam for the initial sin that caused the Fall of Creation, the Bible is quick to point out:

Romans 5:12 (ESV) …. sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men BECAUSE ALL SINNED

Sin was brought into the world by Adam, but we ALL sin, we ALL are under the curse, and we ALL have done wrong. That’s the bad news. But there is good news.

God wants us to be blessed.
God wants us to go forth with peace.
God wants to bring about a spiritual transformation in every person.

Isaiah 55:13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Instead of the useless and damaging thorn God wants to bring up the useful fir tree. Instead of the vain and vulgar brier God wants to bring the blessing of the myrtle tree. How can this change come to us?

We Need To Invest Ourselves In God

The promise of blessing is at the end of this chapter, but we cannot get to the blessing unless we heed what comes before it. God said:

Isaiah 55:1 (KJV)  Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

If you are thirsty, come to the waters. Quit trying to satisfy your thirst yourself. You were made in the image of God. You were made by God for a purpose. Come to Him to satisfy your thirst. Jesus told a woman at a well one day:

John 4:13-14 (my paraphrase – MP) … whoever drinks of this well water shall thirst again … but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst …

Jesus calls to the thirsty, calls us to Himself. He cries out:

John 7:37 (MP) … if anyone thirsts, let them come to Me and drink …

John 6:35 (MP) … I am the Bread of life. The one who comes to Me shall never hunger, and the one who believes on Me shall never thirst…

The Lord will transform our lives from thorns to fir trees and from briers to myrtle trees if we would come to Him. The Lord says:

he that has no money, come, buy and eat

The Lord has provided the way of blessing and salvation in Himself. We cannot earn it. We do not deserve it. None are worthy in themselves, but it is the free gift of God. The Lord says:

Romans 5:15-17 (ESV)  But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.  [16]  And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.  [17]  For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

Adam brought thorns and briers into the world, hunger and want. But Christ came to give us life and purpose. He came to bring us into union with God, to give our lives purpose. We do not have to purchase what Christ has purchased – we just need to come to Him and invest ourselves in Him. To trust Him, to believe in Him. God asks:

Isaiah 55:2 (KJV) Wherefore do ye SPEND MONEY FOR THAT WHICH IS NOT BREAD? and your LABOUR FOR THAT WHICH SATISFIETH NOT? hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

Why do we spend money seeking happiness, spending money for that which is not bread – and yet find no happiness there. The life without Christ is an empty life. The life without God is purposeless. People frantically search for happiness in …

Sex
Money
Power
Employment

But the life without God is unsatisfying. God says “listen to Me, let Me lead you to the good, and your soul will delight itself in the overflow”. Oh, how horrible the empty life is! But if you fill your life with Christ and His Word and Work, how blessed you will be!

God Calls Us Into Partnership With Him Through Christ

Isaiah 55:3-4 (KJV)  Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.  [4]  Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.

The Lord calls out to whosoever will. He says “incline your ear, and come to Me”. Not lower your ear but lift UP your ear. Listen to God, not man.

Stop listening to the world and its foolishness, and focus on the call of God in Christ. We are all broken, but God can fix us. We are born wandering, but God can take us into the Promised Land. God says:

If you’ll hear Me and come,
I will make an EVERLASTING COVENANT with you.

Jesus said in John 3:16-17 (KJV)   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have EVERLASTING life.   [17]   For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Life with God is EVERLASTING. He calls us to come to Him, to trust Him, to turn from being our own gods and follow Him as Lord God.

John 3:35-36 (KJV)  The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.  [36]  He that believeth on the Son hath EVERLASTING life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Oh how God wants to covenant with you, to make a contract with you. How God wants to be part of your life. The life in Christ, receiving Him as Lord and Savior, is a life of purpose and joy. Christ was given by the Father to be …

I have given Him for a WITNESS to the people,
a LEADER and COMMANDER to the people

Christ is the Witness of God. We are told in:

Revelation 1:5 (KJV)   … Jesus Christ, WHO IS THE FAITHFUL WITNESS, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Jesus came to tell us that God loved us.
He told us – then He showed us.
He went to the Cross for our sins.
He ATONED for our sins so that we can be AT ONE with God.

When you receive Jesus as Lord and Savior – as Commander and Leader – God promises to come be with you. He enters your life through faith and His Spirit.

BUT WE CANNOT SERVE GOD AND SERVE THE GODS!

Isaiah 55:6-7 (KJV)  SEEK YE THE LORD WHILE HE MAY BE FOUND, CALL YE UPON HIM WHILE HE IS NEAR:  [7]  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and HE WILL HAVE MERCY UPON HIM; AND TO OUR GOD, FOR HE WILL ABUNDANTLY PARDON.

When we come to God we forsake the other gods. We seek Him while He is near. We forsake wickeness, forsaking the ways we used to walk. We come to Him by faith trusting Christ, knowing that Jesus paid for my sins, and that God forgives me for Christ’s sake.

I am pardoned because of Christ.
I am now a Child of God because of Christ.
My purpose is no longer myself, but found in God’s Word.
I am no longer a useless thorn or brier.
I belong to God!

I forsake the thoughts of the world.
The world says “You are useless. Your life has no meaning.”
God says “You have meaning in Me. I love you, and make an everlasting covenant with you. You are mine, and I am yours.”

When we started in verse 1 God called the THIRSTY to Himself. Now He says:

Isaiah 55:8-11 (KJV)  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  [9]  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  [10]  For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:  [11]  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Words come from thoughts. Thoughts are the clouds that words come from. Rather than fill our heads with the world, let us drink in the Word of God. His Word is life. His Word satisfies our thirst. His Word “accomplishes what God pleases”. Just as God gave us rain and snow that waters the earth, God gives us His Word. Please hear His Word. Please receive Christ to yourselves. Please hear the Word of God, and know that God saves by it.

Titus 3:4-7 (KJV)  But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,  [5]  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  [6]  Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;  [7]  That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

God loves you and wants you in His family. Receive Him today. Live for Him. Your life is precious – do not waste it, but live it in Him.

May God lead someone to Christ through His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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