2021 Sermon Series: “The Book of Isaiah: God's Heart to Rescue & Restore”
by Nathan Parker, Senior Pastor
June Sermon Series: “Two Choices, Two Outcomes: Trusting in the LORD vs. Trusting in the World”
June 6 – “He Will be the Stability of Your Times,” Isaiah 33
June 13 – “The Ransomed of the LORD Shall Return,” Isaiah 34-35
June 20 – “In Whom Do You Now Trust?”, Isaiah 36:1-37:7
June 27 – “That All the Kingdoms of the Earth May Know,” Isaiah 37:8-38
“Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.”
- Psalm 25:4-5
We are blessed to live in a beautiful part of the world here in Tennessee. Our family likes to get outside and go walking and exploring in the beauty of God’s creation. On Memorial Day we loaded up the dog and all went to the Deerwood Arboretum for the first time. It was beautiful and informative, with different trees labeled and marked with numbers to distinguish them. However the trail was not always clearly marked, and occasionally we would come to a place where the path split into two. Having never been there before, we weren’t sure which way to go. I tried to pull up a map on my phone, but the Arboretum is not listed on the “All Trails” app that I use (yes, I’ve been lost before while hiking!). The only thing we knew to do was take one path and see where it led. One time we ended up at a parking lot and had to return to get back on the right path.
Sometimes we face choices in our lives where we aren’t sure what the outcome will be - whether or not to start a new job, a new ministry opportunity, a new relationship, a new class, etc. By God’s grace, we as His children aren’t forced to go through life simply hoping that we chose the “right” path. There is a certain kind of settledness, a “peace that passes understanding” (Phil. 4:7), that comes from abiding in His presence. When we learn to bank everything on God, we slowly discover to follow His path for our lives.
This month, we will be walking through the final texts of the first major section of the Book of Isaiah. The prophet is driving home the theme of chapters 1-38, that putting our trust in Him will lead to flourishing. God’s rebellious people are living in a fearful situation here, with military threats looming on the horizon. But instead of turning to the Sovereign Lord of all creation, they scramble to find their security in earthly powers. Isaiah calls on them (and on us) to make up our minds. Only a small number, a remnant of God’s people, choose to put their faith in Him.
We all are faced with this same choice. As Rick Warren says, “we’re all betting our lives on something.” We are, just like the Israelites, tempted to turn to seemingly obvious solutions. My prayer is that throughout this month, we will be more convinced of the goodness of “betting” everything on God. As the old hymn goes, “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word, just to rest upon His promise, just to know ’Thus saith the LORD!’” May the Lord grant us all grace to trust Him more and more. He will not lead us down the wrong path. He will lead us beside still waters as He restores our souls. He will lead us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake (Psalm 23). Let’s go together!
Grace and peace,