by Pastor Linton Smith
2,500 years ago the people of Israel lived in very uncertain times. They had been taken captive into Babylon . They did not live in fear of a nuclear holocaust.. but they did live in fear of what their captors might do next. Would they have a futureÖ would their children have a future?
What God said to them at that time is recorded in Isaiah 43:1-7.
He said to them, "Fear not." "Do not be afraid." And He told them why.
He said.. Fear not.. do not be afraid.. because..
o I CREATED YOU AND FORMED YOU.
Isaiah 43:1.. But now, this is what the LORD saysó he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel ..
God speaks to them as a nation.. reminds them that He created them and formed them.
He brought them into being as a nation. He began with Abraham.. and created and formed a nation from his descendants. About 1,000 years later they were at their peak.. when David and then Solomon was king. Now.. a further 500 years on.. they were in trouble and God says,
Remember how you came into existence. It was I who created and formed you. Why should you fear?
What has that to do with us today? If we believe in Jesus Christ.. we also are Godís people.
Peter writes to believers.. 1 Peter 2:10.. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God..
God sent His Son into the world.. Jesus.. He died.. rose again.. sent the Holy Spirit.. those who believed in Jesus.. that He was the Son of God.. had died as the sacrifice that takes away sin.. found peace with God.. became new creations.. and became part of the people of God.
That is why Paul can write to believers and say..
Ephesians 2:10.. For we are Godís workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
God created us in Christ Jesus.. each of us.. and all of us.. in Christ.. recreated,, new creations.. Godís workmanship..
He says to us.. I created and formed you.. What have you got to fear?
God says.. Fear not.. do not be afraid.. because..
o I HAVE REDEEMED YOU.
Isaiah 43:1.. Fear not, for I have redeemed you..
The people of Israel had been slaves for 400 years.. and life had become very bitter.. then God intervened! He sent Moses.. and set them free.. redeemed them.
We too have been redeemed. . but at far greater cost.
The Apostle Peter writes to believers like us..
1 Peter 1:18-20.. It was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
Redeemed with the precious blood of Christ!
God says to us.. I brought you to myself and made you my people. How? I sent my precious Son.. whose precious blood was shed for you. Why should you fear?
Next God says.. Fear not.. do not be afraid.. because...
o I HAVE SUMMONED YOU BY NAME.
Isaiah 43:1.. I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
In Deuteronomy 7:6 Moses reminds the people of Israel ..
The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
He called them.. as a people.. to be His people. He chose them and called them.. It was a personal invitation.. not a general invitation..
From time to time.. we read in the bulletin.. so and so is being married.. all invited.. We may read it.. may come.. or may not.. but when we get a personal invitation with our name on it.. we come!
God gave these people an invitation with their name on it! And it was even more than that.. It was compelling.. more like a summons! I summoned you by name!
God calls us to Himself in a similar way. Paul said to believers..
2 Thessalonians 2:13,14.. From the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God chose these people.. then Paul preached the Good News to them.. and God used that Good News to call them to Himself.. His Spirit worked with the word preached.. and called them.. He gave them a personal invitation with their name on it! Hearers felt.. He is speaking to me! I must respond.
Do we believe in Jesus.. trust in Him?
Then God has called us to Himself, has given us an invitation with our name on it. Then why fear?
Then God says.. Fear not.. do not be afraid.. because....
o I LOVE YOU.
Isaiah 43:4.. Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you..
You are precious and honored in my sight. I love you!
Ponder that.. because God says the same to us..
Ponder these words..
Titus 3:4,5.. When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.
He saved us.. out of kindness.. love.. mercy. And how he loved us! So much that He sent His Son to be atoning sacrifice in our place!
He says.. to you.. to me.. I love you.. why should you fear?
And then He says.. Fear not.. do not be afraid.. because..
o I WILL BE WITH YOU.
Isaiah 43:2.. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:5.. Do not be afraid, for I am with you..
I created you.. redeemed you.. called you by name.. love you.. and I will be with you.. at all times.. whatever life throws at you..
Note He says.. When you pass through waters / rivers.. when you walk through the fire.. When.. not if..
The troubles and trials.. and tests of life will come.. just has they have come for every generation of people.. but.. God.. will be with them.. and bring them through!
And God says the same to us today.. Paul again..
1 Corinthians 10:13.. No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
The word Ďtemptationí can be translated, trial.. You will be tried.. just all people are tried.. and you will come through.. you will not be tested beyond you ability to endure.. I will bring you through.
God says.. take that to heart.. whatever the future holds.. be it a terrorist attack.. terrible suffering.. I will be with you all the way. I will bring you through! We may lose loved ones.. God will strengthen and comfort. We ourselves may be killed.. God will take us to heaven. So.. why fear?
Does the threat of terrorism worry us.. cause us to think.. why do this or this.. why study.. why work.. why press on.. why not just throw it all in.. and have a good time.. while we can..
Donít yield to fears.. but hear what God says.. I created and formed you.. I redeemed you.. I summoned you by name.. I love you.. I will be with you.. and trust Him.. press on.. with courage and faith.
Some.. I wish I knew this God and this experience you are talking about..
You can.. look to Jesus.. see Him dying for you.. rising again.. and believe.. entrust yourself to Him.
Jesus Calms The Storm by Metropolitan Mor Eustathius Matta Roham
The Gospel narrates that after a long day of ministry, Jesus wanted to cross the Sea of Galilee. While traveling He fell asleep. .. When Jesus rises from His sleep, He does not at first speak to the disciples, but to the winds and the waves, telling them to be quiet and to be still. By doing so, Jesus eliminates their reason to be afraid. ...
It is I; do not be afraid by Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros
We often ask: why God does not save us from the storm? Storms are part from our human nature and from the changing conditions of this world. Jesus did not come to change the weakness of the human nature or the physical conditions of this world, but to change the hearts of men and women. He does not always stop the storms, but he is always present with us in the storms to give us the inner strength to weather the storms.
How to Face Life's Storms by Dr. Stephen Felker
I have gone through several storms in my life. At times God allowed the storm or defeat to get my eyes back on Jesus. At times I believe God was just strengthening my character, and teaching me some important lessons. But through it all, I can say that none of those storms really hurt me, but only made me a better person.
What Should I Do When Trials Come? by Steve Brandon
I hope that you would get beyond, "survival mode," which simply seeks to endure until the trial is done. Such a response, though natural for us, fails to see God's purpose for you within your trials. My heart is that you would see God's purposes in the trials in your life and respond appropriately when they come.
Bearing Life's Burdens by Rev. James Mattek
I'd like to have you picture the burdens of life as being like stones. Every time we don't deal well with life it's kind of like we're adding another stone to our burlap sackóbefore you know, we've got quite a burden.
Who's to Blame for Human Suffering?
I daresay that if the innocent suffer they do so because one of us -- you or me or some other thug -- now or in the past has set their pain in motion. If the innocent continue to suffer they do so because we have yet to take responsibility for their pain; we have yet to take sufficient responsibility for their relief.
Suffering | General Sermons | Lectionary Sermons | Spiritual/Moral Articles | Malankara World Journal | Malankara World Library
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