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Summary: There are many voices clammoring for our attention during the holidays. It is so loud that we might miss the important voices of Isaiah 40. 1. Repent & Prepare 2. "Cry Out" 3. "here is your God"

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November 30, 2003

Title: 3 Voices of Isaiah 40

Text: Isaiah 40:1-9

Introduction

1. There are many voices clamoring for our attention this holiday season!

I have already been receiving many donation requests in the mail

Many that I’m sure are important and legitimate.

different ministries and groups...

My family has already decided where we are going to donate some of our money...

I’ll tell you more about that next week.

2. I have been seeing the ad flyers in the newspapers...

Each one has its own voice...

"shop here"

"buy me"

3. I have already heard the voices of my children...

"I want a Barbi Doll

I want a Play Station

I want a motor bike

I want a bb gun...

I want...I want...I want...

4. I’ve heard the voice of my wife...

"when are you going to get out the Christmas tree...

When you are going to do this...

when are you going to do that...

5. All these voices....

all clamoring for my attention...

all wanting me to prepare for Christmas in ways that are important to them...

Have you heard any of these voices?

6. There are other voices too...

these voices are just as important...

and even more important than these other voices...

But, sometimes, the voices get so loud...

and they are all crying out at the same time...

that these other important voices get lost in the noise...

7. I have a mild hearing problem...

I have trouble hearing people speak when I am in a noisy room...

for example, when we are having a fellowship time in the fellowship hall...

and there is a lot of visiting and laughing going on...

if someone across the table is speaking to me...

I have a hard time hearing what they are saying to me...

I went to several doctors...

and they finally diagnosed my problem...

and came up with a solution...

a hearing aid in my left ear...

(yes, it sure does make me feel old!!)

This hearing aid is programmed to amplify sounds that are at a certain frequency...

thus enabling me to hear better.

8. This morning, I would like to amplify 3 voices that are getting lost in the hubbub of holiday noise...

These voices are so important....

and yet, if we don’t focus on them...

we are in danger of not hearing the important message that they are trying to communicate to us.

And all 3 voices can be heard in our text this morning.

Read Text: Isaiah 40:1-9

9. This is a fascinating passage of Scripture...

A. First of all, it was a prophetic message for Isaiah and the Israelites in his day...

The message for them: God wanted Isaiah and other prophets to share the Good News that the captivity was coming to an end.

God’s deliverance was at hand.

Babylonian Exile took the chosen people away from the Promise Land

They were taken away from their homes...

away from their Temple...

where they worshipped God...

The story of Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego happened during the Babylonian Exile.

And God sends a message through Isaiah, that the time is near...

He tells Isaiah to "comfort, comfort My people"

B. It also prophesy concerning the birth and ministry of Christ...

This message to Isaiah prophesies about the coming of John...

who is the voice of one crying in the wilderness...

and he is preparing the way for the coming of Christ

C. And, it is also a message for us today in 2003.

Let’s open our ears to the voice of the Lord this morning...

so that we can hear the message He has for us.

Body

1. Voice #1: Repent and Prepare vs. 3

A. This first voice is found in verse 3

"In the desert prepare the way for the Lord...

This voice is frequently associated with John the Baptist.

John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus...

was the be the voice of preparation for the people of Jesus’ day...

they were to prepare for the coming ministry of Jesus Christ...

B. And how were they to prepare?

In Matthew 3:2, John the Baptist says, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near"

The first step of preparation for the Israelites for release of captivity...

was repentance...

repentance for allowing idol worship to enter in...

repentance for not keeping the covenant with God...

to worship Him and Him alone...

And so here, around 700 BC, the message is to "repent"...

C. The first step of preparation for the Jewish people in Jesus day...

they were to repent...

repent for their sins...

repent for attitudes...

D. And the first step of preparation today, in 2003...

we need to repent...

If we truly want to enjoy the Christmas season...

we need to prepare our hearts...

and the first step of preparation is repentance.

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