Rev. Tim Surber brought the message.
Isaiah 43: 1But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. 2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. 7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?
We have been called with a holy calling. Here God speaks to Israel but it is for everyone called by the name of God. When we take the name of Christian, we are part of a family. We don’t have to fear. God is still on the throne. We can know we have salvation now. We don’t have to wait to find out. When we take Christ, through the adoption of God, we become heirs and joint heirs with Christ. I was there when I got saved. It’s a personal experience when God calls someone out of the darkness. We don’t remain servants of sin. We can serve and live for God.
He called our name. After the resurrection Mary knew it was Jesus when he called her by name. Jesus said in verse 1 I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. Who do you belong to? God says “you’re mine.” We belong to the One who had only to speak the word and formed all that is. We’re going to live somewhere forever; the choice of where is yours and mine. Israel had to choose whom they would serve. Joshua said as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. It’s a privilege to choose. When the Holy Spirit convicted your heart you came to a crossroads, and a decision had to be made. Jesus comes into a person’s heart as an invited guest not an intruder. He demonstrated his love by dying for us. It is his will that all repent and be saved. There is a literal heaven and hell. After we’re saved we strive for heaven on a journey through this world.
It’s wonderful to have a heavenly Father. We pass through storms in life. Some think that becoming a Christian means troubles are over. That’s not true. We will suffer in this life. Be assured God walks with us. The rivers won’t overflow us. God is bigger than any problem. Nothing comes in our life that surprises God. Sometimes the battle gets hot. Our enemy throws his fiery darts. We have an armor to protect us. Three men were thrown into a fiery furnace in the Bible; a fourth man joined them. God was with them in the furnace. Not a hair on them was singed. God knows our name. We know his voice. As his followers we are not to follow the voice of a stranger.
In the book of Acts the Christians went house to house. Many wanted them to stop, but the gates of hell will not prevail against the church of God. We are created for his glory and should let God use us where and how he desires. He needs vessels that will obey him and bring glory to his name. We are to lift each other up and edify the church. If we have taken the name of God, he wants to use every one of us. I believe some are afraid to ask God his plan for their life. We put limitations on God by saying we’ll do this but not that. It’s a wonderful opportunity to do what God wants. It’s a troubled world. Heaven is getting nearer each day. We are to be his witness in this world. In the book of Acts Jesus told his followers they would be witnesses for him to the uttermost parts of the earth. People get burned out by religion, but I’m talking about salvation, a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. He’s real. He is God. There is one way to heaven and it’s through Jesus. Allow him to be the Lord of your life. Let him have control.