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God’s Miraculous Love Letter

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
September 16, 2021 9:00 am

God’s Miraculous Love Letter

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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September 16, 2021 9:00 am

As Pastor J.D. continues our series called, The Whole Story, he’s looking at the greatest love letter ever written: the book of Isaiah.

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Today on Jeannie Greer. This is how God sees us. He sees us like she lost her way. So we don't know where we came from and get back and were confused were lost to God continues but I can't stop loving, come to find your son sending you a shepherd look after you. Would love to carry back home to me all the gospel is not that we came searching for God. The gospel is a God came searching for us, especially when it's coming from someone why so many romantic movie center on a love letter. It's really an opportunity to present your unedited feelings to your beloved, without stumbling over your words are feeling embarrassed about today on Summit life pastor Jeannie Greer is looking at the greatest love letter ever written. And guess where it's located. You guessed it in our Bible today.

Teaching is part of our series called the whole story. An overview of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. If you missed any of the previous messages they are available online. Jeannie right now let's dive into today's message titled God's miraculous love letter.

You have a Bible will take it out and opened it to Isaiah chapter 2 faith as I have told you before, has not always come easily for me always like as a pastor is supposed come easy for me it's just mostly what I do.

But that is not true throughout my life I have wrestled pretty significantly with different questions of faith do I believe all these things simply because this is how I grew up in a different house maybe a believe different things. Is this all just a fairytale that we have made up together so that we can feel affirmed and secure.

Just this week I was reading in the magazine called the New Yorker, which is not a Christian magazine metal but there was an article in by an atheist who was explaining why he did not believe what caught my attention.

What he said it hears what is extraordinary claims he says require extraordinary evidence. It's hard to imagine a more extraordinary claim to met some hidden intelligence created a universe of more than 100 billion galaxies, each containing more than 100 billion stars, and then he waited 13.7 billion years ago, a planet in a remote corner of a single galaxy involved in atmosphere efficiently oxygenated to support life, only to then reveal his existence to an assortment of violent tribal groups before disappearing again for thousands of years, we read that you think what, that's sounds really life a significant question: explain to you that I believe that there are extraordinary reasons to believe. In fact, I believe these reasons are quite compelling for those who have ears to hear. You see, the problem will go ahead and tell you that people have with what I'm going to present to you today is not that this stop is not compelling in and of itself, it's that the implications of these things, being true, would lead to a number of conclusions that certain people find objectionable, widest, like how God rules the world. This is true. That means that there's a good God in Georgia. I can't reconcile that or I don't agree with this or that moral approach or something along those lines.

So from the very beginning. Many people approach these things with the attitude. This just can't be true.

Just create too many problems that were all inwardly biased, including me, so I would encourage you as much as you can to just here what I'm going to present to you and consider it with an open mind. I understand that some of you doubt the Bible's message, and I know that many of you so like you have very good reasons for doing so. My question for you as we begin as this are you willing to doubt your doubts in the face of some pretty substantial evidence. You pride yourself on being a doubter.

What about doubting your doubts in the face of some pretty overwhelming evidence. Are you willing to consider this evidence just for what is without a bias or preconceived bias against it because a you are not sure of what it would lead Sue let me to start this discussion with the CIA when the CIA is a double agent in the United States a means to identify themselves to the US authorities that use a number of layers of identification because they don't want any chance of getting the wrong person. So for example I read about one Soviet double agent who wanted to reveal himself to US authorities so they gave him these instructions in six different things he had to do.

He had to go to Mexico City where he was the one to write a letter to the Sec. inside his name is I Jackson. Then he was number two.

After three days to go to the Plaza deck alone in Mexico City and at noon. Number three.

He was to stand before the statue of Columbus just looking up at it number four with his middle finger placed in a guidebook when he was approached number five.

He was to say it was a magnificent statue. Number six, despite his Russian accent, but he was only visiting from Oklahoma God's way of verifying his messenger was giving layers of prophetic fulfillment if I can remember if you were here when we went through Deuteronomy in this whole story series, we saw what God said would be the validation of what God says versus what other people say that he says that's not true Ronnie 221. If you say in your heart.

How can we know the word of the Lord has not spoken.

Here's the answer.

Verse 22, and a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord. If the word does not come to pass or come true.

That is the word of the Lord is not spoken. The prophet's spoken it presumptuously.

He or she is made up nearly 25% of that Bible that you holding your hand is prophecy. Prophecy means God foretelling things that had not happened yet, often in great detail. They almost all have to do with a rescue plan that God was commencing a rescuer that God would send who was called in Hebrew terminology, a Messiah, there are 322 direct prophecies specifically about him, not to mention the dozens of historical pictures and analogies that are embedded in Scripture, many of which we have unpacked together over the last six months as we walked away to the Old Testament were to focus this morning primarily on only one prophet that is the prophet Isaiah, because I think he is a great example of all the prophets together. His writings point us to the main subject of prophecy. Jesus, as well as give us a glimpse of taste of the miraculous nature of prophecy. Now I am without shame going to take us through Isaiah's prophecies today and a little different way than we typically do things I'm going to use the text of Sally Lloyd Jones Jesus storybook Bible which we use our family devotions as we are going through the year where where Sally Lloyd Jones summarizes Isaiah's prophecies in the form of a love letter that God wrote to Israel. You say Jesus or the Bible is about a kids book. Aren't you a PhD about theology. Are we all adults.

Why yes you are. Yes I am. And yes, it is. I think that she does a great job of capturing the entire message of the whole of Isaiah's message, and I think that sometimes we adults can get so bogged down in the particulars that we miss the beauty of all. So were to use her, summary of it we walk you through it. Now a few different parts of it and explain it and I will put the references where she gets the base from out of the book of Isaiah, because literally just about every word of that chapter just comes from a verses like she strung together a bunch of different verses certain we all start at the beginning there, little flock there, little foxes Isaiah you're all wondering away from me like sheep in an open field. You've always been running away for me and now you're lost. You can find your way back. This is the substance of the Bible's description of the problem from the garden of Eden onward. We've all been running away and now Isaiah says, like sheep sheep that everyone of us believes we know the best way for us to go and so we choose our own way. Now most of you probably don't have a great deal of experience, receipt by those who do say that sheep are a particularly dumb animal. They walk right off of outright in the harm's way Bay if there in the mountain regions. They will stop right off a cliff and drop hundreds of feet to their death. They will step in moving fast-moving streams and just drown them back. Just this week I saw an article you may have seen this that a shepherd in Spain fell asleep for an hour and 1300 sheep went into downtown Madrid.

That's where they ended up they disable a cargo cover for five out what is there in the sheep :-) that's probably a good way to go, let's go the building. Charles go roll the driver get just dumb make a particularly bad eyesight. They can only see a few feet ahead of them really nearsighted. Plus their heads hang down you know how they can walk around, which means that they are not animals of forethought or keen insight. All they pretty much think when they think about where to go is where's the next by the grass and when they look up because their heads hang down all they can see is that the heinie of the sheep in front of them and they follow that there are layers of symbolism in that for the human race. Furthermore, when they fall over the sea become of the call casting like a beetle where you stick your legs you get yourself back over so you flip them over. They'll die now this is not a very flattering picture of us what you have to admit while unflattering is pretty compassionate. This is how God sees us. He sees us like sheep will lost her way. Week so we don't know where we came from and don't want to get back and were confused were lost to God continues but I can't stop loving you.

I want to come to find you son sending you a shepherd look after you. Would love you to carry you back home to me all the gospel is not that we came searching for God. The gospel is a guy came searching for us. That book that you hold in your hand is not a collection of insights from enlightened men and women who had lofty thoughts about God is the story about God's relentless pursuit of rebellious people who didn't want anything to do with them and he said I did this. Isaiah 43 for I did this because you work precious in my eyes and I love you know that work. Precious is not a word that I use a great deal because precious impressions means that something is so valuable to you that you give up anything else for it there very few things I have that would be precious to me. My kids are precious to me, which means that if a doctor came to me and told me that Monta my kids had a disease. The disease was fatal and the only way for them to be cured was to get this medicine that was extraordinarily expensive and insurance didn't cover it because millions of dollars without even thinking, I would give up everything I have be able to get this medicine because my kids are precious to me, the God of the universe.

Isaiah says he looked at you. The rebellious sheep and he said your precious to me someone to come like a shepherd to find you in Luke 15 Jesus would describe that shepherd talking of course about himself by describing them like a like one. What 100 sheep.

That's a lot of sheet and discovered late one night, one of them was missing. Jesus said that shepherd this shepherd let the 99 one city had to go after the lost one, which honestly does not make a lot of financial sense is not make financial sense to put yourself back in harm's way for only 1% of what you have. The only only way that you would do that is of each individual one was precious to you you like my kids you know night, years ago we were at Disney World and the thing happens in many times are you parents for like two minutes a loss on my kids and I ground you notice like you. That moment we got. I cannot find that I did not turn to Veronica and say well we got three more percent of the majority were to be fun know each one is precious to me. So we will meet him on the three we went to find the one Isaiah says 749 15 secular nursing mom forget her newborn child. Of course, not kin, whichever have no compassion on the child Jesus, born that I have told you guys avoided my wife when we had our kids develop this and it was crazy ex man, Spidey sense, being in tune with our babies at the slightest whimper that I did even here she was out of bed and up the stairs. One of the dumbest things that I ever said in my marriage was was that's amazing our babies only two weeks old and I think she slept the night Veronica said the baby was up six times last night you slept the night the baby and I did not God says. Isaiah 4916. He said your even more precious to me than a newborn child is to a mother but a newborn mother would never forget. I will never forget. In fact, I know how many hairs are on the top your head. My wife is in tune as she is with our kids never knew how many hair follicles are on their body. God says this is how I see you, and then God continues to say some of the more than just come after the seat, give them a light for the seat is a 53 for leaving the 99 go after the one did make financial sense, and this is just insane. Why would a shepherd give his life in the sheep the life of the sheep is not equal the life of a human right anything about it. If you have sure you love your dog is your dog would turn across the interstate in your 12-year-old went here across interstate after the you don't get it back and say that's so brave I'm so proud of you know you like you, let the dog go because you're like yes you love the dog but the dogs life does not compare your life. This shepherd's life is not compare the seams like why is the creator dying for the creation. This is crazy kind of love me as this love. What's even more staggering. He has the sober people don't even love them back.

I told you before the groupies are people who love somebody that will never love them back. Some of you ladies watch till teenage girls today swoon over Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan or Channing Tatum or semi like I get the pictures up on the wall you like sweetheart give it up. You never know who you are but you have a hard time being judgmental because you remember when you were convinced that you were to marry Donnie from new kids on the block culture. You know exactly how is going to happen. You put on your best pair of acid washed Jordache jeans and you really go down to the concert. New kids about concert your stint on the front row. The thousands of other girls scream as Dottie wall by your screams to be just a little bit louder and he was an attorney, although make eye contact and I have to give the concert about to you with the sole note written from Donnie that said you got the right stuff, baby. You're the reason why sing the song you guys are to get married in order to live happily ever after. Right, but unless your name is Jenny McCarthy.

That never happened. Instead you married Phil from accounting a slightly overweight, balding man who wears penny loafers and draws a minivan and you're okay with that because as you got older, you realize this is not wise. Love people who are never to love you back feel the most amazing thing in Scripture is that we seem to live loving people, giving himself to people who don't love them back and coming after them relentlessly and laying down his life for them. What kind of love is this three words any analogies we would have to describe the kind of love Charles Spurgeon. The silver tongued orator, the British pastor the 19th century could say anything.

They said he could put it beautifully said there's one subject that makes me back away from this platform. Utterly ashamed of my poor people, words, is the subject. The love of Christ, the love of Christ is the most amazing thing under heaven, if not all of heaven itself is a can't stop loving you is somewhere around the people in a dark room and into the darkness of bright light is a shot that bright light as you chase away all the shadows and sunshine CEC when you you will of God in your life.

Life without conflict. Darkness not sure you come from you.

Not sure where you're going, tragedy you want to deal with tragedy. You don't have open tragedy.

Knowing how to deal with success. Just like your loss to be says in the darkness is light is going to come but it's not gonna be a light like you would expect the light that is going to show up. The sunshine is going to come in the form of a baby little babies going to be born. His mom is going to be a young girl don't even have a husband will be born miraculously to a virgin's name will be Emmanuelle Emmanuel, which means literally in Hebrew, God is going to live with us is also Isaiah says go to be one of King David's children's children's children. In other words, you can be fully God, God with us but is also to be the son of David, a very real human with a lot of real problems.

A lot of little flaws, including betraying his best friend sleep and his wife and having a murder. This Jesus has given me the son of God and man, fully God and fully man. Yes somebody to come and rescue you, but it will be who anyone expects. He's going to be a king but he will live in a palace and you will have lots of money is going to be poor became like nobody you've ever seen will be a servant. This came to be able to heal the whole world to see. Like David the shepherd boy everybody's can overlook this king, this king will not be one who amazes us with his power, wealth, in fact, he's gonna take the form of a servant, and live like somebody's poor but his poverty and his servant stature is going to enable him to do for us what no king is ever been able to do and that is heal us, which is going to help us listen this see his true glory, far better than any display of micro wealth ever could.

Isaiah opens out that the book of Isaiah with this vision of seeing God hi lifted up Isaiah 6 I Saul got high and lifted up missing is exactly what you would think it would be. It's God on his throne and glory and Angels of smoke and trembling and fire and fear and is a is on his face till it is going to die exactly what you think of God hi lifted up Isaiah only uses that phrase God hi lifted up one other time in the entire book of Isaiah. One of the.and it's right before Isaiah 53 is there in Isaiah 52 when he says God hi lifted up to be shown in Jesus's death on the cross, he humbled himself, and he died for sinners is a God could have been glorified by coming to earth to avenge the wrongs and to punish the criminals. But God said there's a greater glory that I will get that doesn't come through smashing them will become from being smashed for them as I give myself in love to receive them. Athanasius, the early church father used to say so you can tell the strength of a flame, not by its ability to burn up words but by its ability to burn down the skin. The weakest link. Try to match the weakest flame will burn upwards but if you have a flame that burns downward that takes a blow torch. It takes the flame coming out of a rocket engine.

You can tell the strength of the flame by its ability to burn down words he says in the same way you can tell the true glory of God, not by his ability to create the expanses of the universe by his willingness to humble himself and die for people who had rejected him and turned against him know y'all if you reject his offer.

He will come a second time in judgment that is clear and Isaiah, but he would prefer he would prefer to be glorified in saving you not judging you, but you gotta make a choice. He will be glorified in the way in your life, either through saving or due judging. You gotta choose, but the Messiah came said I'm going to allow you to glorify God by demonstrating the extent of his mercy and his kindness in your life and that's what he prefers.

He will be a hero to fight for his people always rescue them from their enemies, but even I have big armies way most heroes do.

He won't fight with swords.

This Messiah is not in a fight with weapons because this Messiah's aim is to heal and to save not to avenge God could have restored justice by just punishing all sin, but God wanted to not just restore justice. He wanted to make just and righteous people. So when it came time to wield the weapons determined not on you deserve and return them on himself, so that in him we could become righteous Jesus or Isaiah says he can make the blind see you make the lame leap like a deer make everything the way it was always meant to be people, even though it does are things going I hate them will listen to them will be like a lamb, he will suffer and die but he won't stay dead may come alive again one day one day because like will forever mountains and the trees will dance and sing for joy. The article shout out loud this thing will fill the whole earth, like the waters fill the oceans. Everything started to become untrue, even death is going to die. He will wipe away every tear from every eye. One day he will heal the whole earth, and bring bring that existence that we have yearned for, and crave for all of our lives we get a glimpse of that by the way, in the bodily resurrection of Jesus.

One day God will do to you and me and the entire earth. What he did to the body of Jesus dealt two thirds of evangelical believers will churches like this would two thirds of evangelical believers do not believe it will have actual physical bodies in heaven. I guess they think were floating around up there on clouds playing harps wear diapers before going.

I don't know what you think.

But is not true. Jesus had a real body in Jesus's body were to be raised like him. Plus plus. The Bible describes where were headed as the new heavens and the new earth. New heavens and new earth means, like the old but a lot better. Write to me that unity tell me you got a new car as you drove a 1983 Toyota Corolla and I dwell there in the thing I'm looking for a new car motive or a jet motive or helicopter or orders I'm looking for a car like your Toyota Corolla, but a lot nicer when same way we got old have an older that's been crushed and broken by sin. God is going to put us in a new heaven and a new earth that has not the slightest trace of sin in it which means all that we love and enjoy down here is a much better version of over there. They are down here where was good to be music, food, nature is to be a heavenly Grand Canyon Grand Canyon, we see now is been cursed by sin.

What's the real you look like about the heavenly Hawaii. I'm looking forward to flight over that one because I think I will be able line of the awesome wipe away every tear to make all the sad things, and through that phrase said things come untrue. That's not from the book of Isaiah. That's actually a quote from J.R.R. Tolkien from Lord of the rings, and is a great little phrase because what it means is not that God to make us forget everything the past is not to take out a little flashy stick like a minute black and also we don't remember anything on what is going to do is he's going to heal every hurts and he's going to show us how God used, even those hurts to weave something so beautiful and so glorious and filled with so much joy that while we remember what happened in the past. There's not an ounce of pain that goes along with it because it's been swallowed up in the glory and the beauty of what God has done know what an incredible story incredible story by like Isaiah laments nobody believed him. Nobody believed in, why, why did they not believe him. Well, it's like Sally will Jones ends that the chapters uses the inseam from like a fairytale like it's too good to be true, which is now it's a store you makeup to make yourself feel comfortable and we all know that fairytales don't come true for me CS Lewis wrote an essay sizzles was a literary scholar at Oxford before becoming a Christian.

CS Lewis wrote this essay on fairytales and myths in the process of becoming a Christian, which he explained. Listen to this. He says all of mankind myths and fairytales all follow a pattern that is because their expressions listen of a yearning deep in our hearts.

All these fairytales follow a pattern because our hearts are making them but because they are hungry for the very thing they were created easily saying that all these very gels follow a pattern because there's something behind them that were yearning for and we almost know is true or missing assignment right to help you deeper into the gospel. No matter what book of the Bible were studying about Jesus and his work on the cross. All God's love letter finished reading a book of the Bible and wondered what on earth you just read in this method was for two punishments were offering a set of 66 books of the Bible cards will help make you mentioned as you read understanding more of the original context with the original today. The Bible cards when you give right now my calling 335-5220 868-335-5224.

You can get the cards online changing our our I'm not even if it's inviting you to join us again Friday Time on Senate night Jeannie

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