Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Isaiah 43:21 “This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.”

As Christians, we are here, by His appointment.

He has placed us, for His own purpose.

And of course, His first purpose is?

“They shall show forth My praise”!

But how?

Romans 8:29 “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

“Foreknowledge” has to do with us….it means He saw us in Christ Jesus before the world began (2 Timothy 1:9)

“Predestination” has to do with the personal Will and Way we are to go….God has chosen…will we follow along?

Here, wills collide.

Your will and God’s revealed will for you. And His way of bringing His will to pass, through you.

Our battle may be short, or it may be long; but it is finished when He has had the Victory over us, and we see (with the eyes of faith, willingly):

Revelation 4:11 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things,…

(Usually, we have no problem with these. We shout hallelujah!)

….and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

(But here, is where we squirm a little)

We do not like to think of ourselves as “creatures”.

It is true, we are blessed, for we were made in the image of God.

We were the only creatures that He formed, by His hands; and so an intimate bond was given us.

But we are creatures, and God is the Creator.

Therefore He has the Right to do what He wills with His own.

For the Christian, there is the double right, that He bought us with His own precious blood, from the penalty of sin.

The word “pleasure” here, is really “determination”.

God has a determined Will for each, He has created. For you and me.

And He works,…..to see that Will performed within us.

We must be brought to the place in our experience with God, that we throw down the weapons of our warfare against Him, and as the creature, yield to the Creator.

You say, What weapons?

How about the weapon of self-pity.

If we do not lose “sympathy” with ourselves; we will lose out on many joys, and blessings. They will simply be ruined, for we are too wrapped up in what “we thought” should be.

How about the weapon of “You can’t ask me to do that!”

Pride is a terrible king.

(It makes us do the stupidest things: because “I” can’t be made to look silly, or embarrassed, or wrong. “Why should I forgive? They were the ones who were wrong.”). Is it enough that Christ Jesus asks you to?

How about the weapon of “I’m sure someone else can do that,…and probably, better.”

We look for ways to get out of our duty, and one of the easiest is, giving the job to someone else.

There are many “weapons” we use against Christ and His Will for us. Little things we give in to; which hinder our joy.

Sometimes we are praying about things, we already know the answer to…..just putting them off a little while longer.

The Lord showed me once, that I was like “a certain lawyer”:

If you read Luke 10:25-37, you will hear how a certain lawyer asked Jesus, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Pretty good question,……very pious….till he got Christ’s answer. “What is written” in scripture?

He knew the answer:

“To love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thy self.”

That is right….Jesus said, “This do, and you will live.”

“Whoa, wait a minute….You don’t want me to take that literally, do you?!”

(Of course those were not his words….but mine, when the Lord showed me something from the Bible)

And like this “certain lawyer” it had to do with “and thy neighbor as thy self”.

I doubt he treated his neighbor as himself”….but neither did I want to.

He was not willing to obey, but to justify himself.

[10:29] “But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor?”….as though, “who” he was, made a difference.

Of course, that wonderful parable of the Good Samaritan came from that conversation…..where the brotherly-kindness of a stranger (one who was not thought well of) was better than the religious people.

I doubt that “certain lawyer” learned anything….but I did.

I got Jesus’ point,….to me.

We are often not even aware we are arguing with the Lord, over this or that.

But, He reminds us…..You are My people….I have formed you for Myself. That you will show for My praise.

For me it was enough….to know this, from Him. And I stopped making excuses, and did what He wanted.

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Remember not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

Forget all your fast failures. All those things that did not turn out the way you thought they should have.

The past, is just that: past.

So cast off the former things; and determine to face today.

To do His Will.

And let Him make a way for us in the wilderness of this world, and to see Him give rivers of living water in us and through us, because we are yielding…..to Him,…and His determination for us.

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