Sunday, November 28, 2010

Planned For The Future

      Planned For The Future      

Intro.: How long in advanced do you make plans in advance for a major activity?

  1. For example – right after Christmas we will be traveling to the United Methodist Congress on Evangelism – like we have done the last five or six years.

  2. Our planning started almost a year ago – as we left last years congress when they offered a reduced price on registration on the very last day.

  3. And then we had to decide whether to attend – after all we are no longer part of a United Methodist church. Once we decided to go – then we had to make hotel reservations and we had to choose four workshops each.

  4. Now we still need to make our travel plans – three days down, three days back – driving route, plans for overnights, gas, food.

  5. Then, just before we leave, Sandra will take most of the responsibility for packing – for 10 or 11 days. We don't want to forget our medications – or our toiletries. And we need to make arrangements for BoDandy – his vet has great facilities for him, they allow our son to visit, the allow him to be their office dog while he is there. And one of his long time friends from here at Royal Gardens works there. But we have to make those reservations!

  6. We make all those plans for a 10 or 11 day trip –

Read: Isaiah 9:6-7 Pray Trans: God made plans for his Son starting back in eternity –

  1. The first reference to a coming Messiah was in Genesis 3 – right after Adam and Eve's fall

  2. We start speaking of Christ with His birth

  3. But God doesn't – He knew the role that Jesus would play in the life of His people before day one – and then God created all that we have.

T.S. When I think of the Messiah pictured in the Old Testament, two authors come to mind.

  1. Now before I mention those two authors, I want to be careful to remind each of us – myself included – that virtually every OT book has some reference to the coming Messiah. There is no doubt that the OT authors in scripture looked for God to send his servant to show men how they ought to live.

  2. But when I think of those promises, two authors come to mind – he first is not only one of my favorite OT characters, but also he has a special place in the heart of the Jews. Of course I am speaking of David – the King of Israel that brought the nation together. Rather than being a group of twelve families, it was now one country under one King. Not something God wanted, but something that the Jews wanted.

  3. The other was the first of the major prophets – Isaiah. Important to remember that the “major prophets” get their name because they were more important, but because the five major prophets had more of their thoughts and teaching recorded than the twelve minor prophets. There are several of the minor prophets that I enjoy reading and studying – but none of their books are as long as those of the major prophets.

  4. But when I think of the OT presentation of the coming Messiah, I find myself coming back to the Psalms (most of which was written by David) and the book of Isaiah.

T.S. In the next few minutes I want to look at the two book contributed by David and Isaiah – and give a brief glimpse of what told their people about the coming Messiah.

  1. The Messiah will be both God and Man

    1. If there is anything to be gained from Isaiah's description in Isaiah 9:6-7 it is this.

    2. Of course this is a basic truth of our faith – Jesus was totally God and totally man.

    3. But this is not the only lesson that we might get from Isaiah – Listen to the some what we learn from Isaiah:

      1. Isaiah 7 reminds us that Jesus will be born of a virgin

      2. Isaiah 40 foretells the role that John the Baptist will have in introducing Jesus' ministry to his world.

      3. Isaiah 50 will foretell some of the persecution Jesus will experience during his life.

(Appl.) At times it may seem like discussions such as these are purely academic – not of much interest to the average believer. But it was during one of the darkest times of my life passages like the ones mentioned here kept me hanging onto my faith. I could not ignore the fact that in passages written 750 years before Christ proclaimed a great deal about his life. Passages over which he could have no control, still gave details about events would take place nearly 800 years after they were written.

    1. I don't know how Isaiah could have known these things – He was not there to know Jesus. But my understanding of inspiration is that God so prepared the hearts, minds, and souls of the scriptures that what they wrote was what God intended. Did Isaiah understand it all – I do not know. Brian Edwards put it this way, “The inspiration of Scripture is a harmony of the active mind of the writer and the sovereign direction of the Holy Spirit to produce God’s inerrant and infallible Word to mankind.”

  1. David also knew a great deal about God coming Messiah

    1. I am glad I am not God.

    2. You see, if I used a normal human standard for determining who I would use to communicate a picture of the Messiah, I would not use David. Why?

      1. Here was a man who was so afraid and had so little trust in God, he had to hid in caves for a great deal of his life. He knew That Saul was out to get him – and though his best friend was the kings son, he knew that would not save him. I probably could forgive him for this – I would hide too, but when combined with his other sins, no way would I choose him to tell my world about my Messiah.

      2. He was a murderer – oh, he would not admit it at first, but when one of God's prophets confronted him, he knew it was true. Uriah had not chance given the assignment that David gave him – he would surely die.

      3. And to top it off, David was an adulterer.

    3. We set our standards so high – really no one could really serve God, by our standards.

    4. It isn't that God's standards are less than ours – no not less than our, but they are different.

    5. You see, to paraphrase Lee Venden, God accepts you just the way you are, but he loves you way too much to leave you the way you are.ii

    6. David found this out – even as Elisha confronted him about his sin, he confessed his sin. The same book that points us toward the Messiah contains David's personal confession of sin. Listen to David's confession – Psalm 51:1-12

      1. It takes a man of real faith to get to that point. Recognizing our sin is tough. Oh, we know it is there, but to confess it and acknowledge it before God is hard – but it is what God asks of us.

      2. And when we do, God can give us great responsibility. He gave David the privilege of telling the world about the coming Messiah.

Conclusion: God's plan had its roots in eternity Pray

iWater, M. (2000). The new encyclopedia of Christian quotations (921). Alresford, Hampshire: John Hunt Publishers Ltd.

iiWater, Mark. The New Encyclopedia of Christian Quotations. Alresford, Hampshire: John Hunt Publishers Ltd, 2000.