Friday, March 20, 2015

Isaiah Chapter 42 - The Bigger Picture

Buried in Isaiah chapter 42 is a verse that speaks to eternity. Inverses 6-7 God reveals His purpose for the nation of Israel, and the covenant He made with them: 

“I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house.” (Isaiah 42:6-7)

Do you see it? God’s intention for the nation of Israel was for them to bring light to the Gentiles! (that would be everyone that is not a Jew, including you and I.) 

See God had a bigger picture for this small nation - His purpose wasn’t only for Israel to know God, be a holy nation, and let the rest of the world be damned. God wanted to use this small, insignificant nation to be a light to the rest of the world. His desire was that they would tell people about God, open their eyes, release them from the prison of sin and death. They were to declare the goodness of God to the nations!

And that was part of Israel’s problem, they saw themselves as being holy, "God's people," and the rest of the world - well, they were on their own. 

But check this out - the same principle applies to Christians today. Jesus said:

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."(Matthew 5:14-16)

Saints, it’s easy to get comfortable in our Christian lifestyle - we go to church, we fellowship with our Christian friends, we participate in bible studies and other church activities… but are we allowing anyone outside of our Christian bubble to see our light? 

Are we aware of the sea of faces around us, that without the Lord will die and spend eternity in hell, separated from God?
Are we willing to step out and share our story of hope with someone who is hopeless?

Are we seeing the bigger picture?

See Christian, that’s the bigger picture for us. Yes we should celebrate the fact that we have a relationship with God, and our future in heaven is secure. But it’s imperative that we recognize that God didn’t save us to just sit and enjoy being a Christian - He saved us to reach out to a hurting world, so that others could experience the same life-change that we have. 

So I encourage you to begin praying TODAY - who will you reach out to? If your church is holding an easter service, I’ll bet that the pastor will be sharing the gospel message. Why not invite some of those folks to church that Sunday? You never know, they lives could be changed forever.

Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:12-14)

Pastor Clay

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