Advent: Hear the Voices and Get Ready

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We all have holes in our lives that need filling and barriers in our lives that need to be torn down. We all suffer through rough patches that need to be made smooth and crooked ways in our lives that need to be straight. There is only one way to do that and that is through Christ. He is always present to give us everything we need to be the person He created us to be. Let's Prepare our hearts to welcome Him in.

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Intro

Bad story of getting what you pay for
parts
Chapters 1-39 deal basically the events leading up to their captivity.
The rest of the book deals with the predictions of the coming Christ and the redemption of God’s people.
In this season many churches celebrate advent. This week we lit the second candle of lent - the candle of preparation. And while we need to spend the whole year preparing for our coming Christ we take particular care during this time of your to remember.

Explanation

The Israelite nation during the time of Isaiah was heading towards a time of captivity...
Command has always been simple
Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live
Deuteronomy 30:15–18 NIV
See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
Dt 30
However they were not...
Isaiah 1:4 NIV
Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.
Isaiah describes the current state of Israel and the trouble that is coming.
Here is the issue .. the story for Israel is the story for our personal lives… at times we forget who he is and do things just to please ourselves. We try to be righteous but we never quite get there. If God is just punishment must come - whether in this world and in the next. THe day of judgment is coming.
But He promises never to leave us.. and there will be a time when we come through the other side. But we need to hear 4 voices to prepare ourselves.
The voice of his comfort.
The voice of His Coming re
The voice of His Continuance
The voice of Declaration

Propositional Statement

Get ready, the Lord is here.

Comfort

Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
Isaiah 40:1–2 NIV
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
The struggles we have are real and they are hard
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
The world we live in is corrupt.
Ro 8:
Romans 8:22–24 NIV
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?
We in fact are in desperate need of grace and mercy
grace- getting what we don’t deserve
mercy - not getting what we do deserve
double for all her sins.
Christ paid the penalty for our sins in full.
1 John 4:10 NIV
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
The blessing to come far outweigh the sufferings of the moment.
Romans 8:22–24 NIV
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?
So let us prepare.
The blessing to come far outweigh the sufferings of the moment.
1 Peter 2:1–2 NIV
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,
1 Pe

Coming

3 A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
the way for the Lord[a];
make straight in the desert
Isaiah 40:3–5 NIV
A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
a highway for our God.[b]
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
Just like John the Baptist prepared the Jews for the coming Messiah we need to prepare our hearts for his indwelling as well.
the rugged places a plain.
Any voids or areas of deficiency or need (valley) that need to be filled?
Any problems or barriers (mountains and hills) that need to be brought down or made low?
5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
Any broken relationships that make the way rough and need to be smoothed out?
and all people will see it together.
Any crooked or wicked way, any twisted behavior that needs to be straightened out?
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Any sin or unholy behavior that keeps you separated from fellowship with God?

Continuance

Is
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
“All people are like grass,
Isaiah 40:6–8 NIV
A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
7 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
If there is one thing i tire of in this world is my own fickleness. One day things can be great, the next not so much. I used to feel like there was something wrong with me until I looked around and found that everyone else is in the same boat.
Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
In James we read out of the same mouth comes blessings and cursings
but the word of our God endures forever.”
In Romans Paul writes about the good he wants to do but can’t and the evil he doesn’t want to do he does.
But His Word is forever. We can get strength from who he is.
1 Peter 1:23–25 NIV
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.
1 Pe 1:

Declaration

9 You who bring good news to Zion,
go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,[c]
lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
Isaiah 40:9–11 NIV
You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
say to the towns of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10 See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power,
and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him,
Part of our preparation is the bold declaration of His presence.
and his recompense accompanies him.
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
Romans 1:16 NIV
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
The declaration: Here is your God!
he gently leads those that have young.
Exclamation point.. Your life should shout an introduction to Christ. Does it?
To deliver the message, one must looking for Him. Then when you see Him, point it out.
If all things really do work together for good, it shouldn’t take long to see Him.
His description
He has all the power
His rule is mighty-almighty
Recompense - he has the payment for our sins to deliver us from all forms of captivity
He cares for His flock (provides and protects)
he gathers us to Him
He loves us and keeps us close to His heart
He gently leads

Conclusion

Today let us prepare our hearts for our coming savior. In fact, it is not that he is far off in a way that we have to wait, He is present. It’s our hearts that are distant.
He is here to provide comfort in the middle of our storms.
He is here to fill all the empty parts of us that are so desperate for His fulfillment
He is here to tear down any barriers the keep us from being who He created us to be.
He is here to smooth all the rough areas in our lives and relationships.
He is her to make our crooked lives straight.
He his here to give us strength where needed.
To provide where needed
to protect where needed
To gather us in his everlasting and ever loving arms
We have but one thing to do - be His sheep.