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 | Wednesday Weekly Blog |

A Sign 6/10/15

Good morning,

I have been studying in the book of Isaiah for my personal devotion time lately and the more I’m there the more I love what God is saying to me.  Yesterday I was in chapter 7 and there are some amazing things that have challenged me more and more.

Let me begin by telling you that my summer preaching on people in the Bible who did things that they could not do has been the catalyst for God’s challenges to me to trust Him.  Two weeks ago we looked at the four men who brought their friend to Jesus and what we saw was the “. . . when Jesus saw their faith . . .” their friend was not just healed but his sins were forgiven as well!  It was their faith that brought that to their friend.  This past Sunday when we looked at the woman and the oil, the question that Elisha asked her, “What do you have?” has been a question that I’ve felt God asking me, “What do you have?”  All too often we look at the things that we have in light of our economy instead of God’s economy and we come to the conclusion that what we have won’t do any good.  The thing is, that is exactly what that widow thought, but God looked at what she had and He provided not only for her debts but He also provided for she and her sons for the rest of their lives.  I’m asking myself the question what could I do that I can’t do . . . what could we do that we can’t do?  But back to Isaiah 7 . . .

Isaiah tells us about Ahaz, the king of Judah in Jerusalem.  They are under siege and the king has decided that he is going to call on the Assyrians for help to escape the siege.  But God tells the king that they have more to fear from the Assyrians than they do those who are attacking them, and in fact, ultimately it is Assyria that destroys Jerusalem and takes over 200,000 captives from Judah.

But here’s the part that got to me.  In the middle of all of this God directs Isaiah to tell king Ahaz, “Ask God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights” (7:11).  Literally what God was saying is, “ASK ME FOR ANYTHING AT ALL – NO LIMITS – NOTHING WITHHELD – JUST ASK!”  And king Ahaz, with mock piety, refused to do so, pretending it would be against the Law of God.  (In fact, he had long ago closed the Temple and discontinued the public observance of the Law.)  The real reason that he does this is because he has already made up his mind that he’s going to ask the Assyrians and he doesn’t want to trust God.  As I said before, it was Assyria that ultimately overthrows Jerusalem and Judah.

BUT LOOK AT WHAT GOD DID – “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:  The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (7:14).  The sign that God gives is Messiah.  There is so much there in the grammar and the original language that we don’t necessarily see in the English that just makes it that much more powerful.  For instance, God stops speaking to Ahaz alone and begins to speak to everyone, the whole house of David – the entire Davidic dynasty.  There is a definite article “the” in front of the word “virgin” indicating a specific virgin in God’s plan.  And there’s even more – “Immanuel” means “God with us,” we know that.  But a better translation might just be “The with-us God!”  There is a little nuance there that I see that He is not just “with us” but He IS the “with-us God!!!!!”  That’s His idea – that’s His plan and purpose OVER 700 years before Christ was even born.

Now with all of that, what do you think God is asking you today?  Could it be that He wants to involve your faith in someone else’s miracle?  Could it be that He is asking you what you have in your hands KNOWING that if you’ll put it into His hands there is NO LIMIT to what He can do?  Could it be that God wants to use you and me to do things that we cannot possibly do?

I love you,

Rick

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Upcoming Activities

Today, Wednesday May 27– We will continue our “Amazing Grace” study by Francis Chan at 5:30 in the Sanctuary.  No meal provided except for the teens.

Sunday June 14 – Dave and Kim Hane, missionaries in Singapore, and their children, Jonathan and Joy, will be with us on Sunday.  The Hanes have been with us before and you don’t want to miss this time as they share the incredible things that God is doing throughout the Asia/Pacific region.

Friday June 19 – Food 4 Kids Backpack Program, which Angus Church helps to sponsor, is having a golf tournament to raise money for this incredible program.  The 4-person scramble will be on Friday June 19th beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Rainmakers Golf Course.  The cost is $125 per person or $450 per 4 person team.  For more information contact Elizabeth Potter at lincolncountybackpacks@gmail.com or the Rainmakers golf pro John Rogers at jrogers@rainmakersuse.com.