Summary: It is about the Lord’s help and three kinds of living in Christ.
On behalf of my family and the ministry I wish you all a blessed and prosperous new year. Early in the morning I want to place before you the promise for the year. It is taken from the book of Isaiah chapter 41 and verse 10. It says, “I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Hold to this promise through the year and you will surely see the Lord help you in every aspect of life.
To begin with I wanted to quote from J. R. Macduff, D. D. “A trinity of Divine forces: -- "Strengthen," "help," "uphold," a trinity of Divine forces, a triple wall of Divine protection. "If God be for us, who can be against us?"
This scripture indeed is so amazing in its own sense because it talks about the creator God, the Almighty to go out of His way to help His own creations. What is the purpose of the Lord to strengthen, help and uphold? These are the question for which we will try to find answers from the Bible.
Why does the Lord want to strengthen, help and uphold?
I have 2 reasons from the same passage…
1. I called you:
I took you from the ends of the earth; from its farthest corners I called you.
Let us look at a simple proposition when would someone call you, it is only when you are away from the person calling you…that way all of us were once away from God and He has called you. If you look the people of the world and they need to call you when you are away, they call you mister or so and so but it is not so with God since He says I have called you by name and you are mine and He has each of us on the palm of His hand. This morning if you think you are called by God – why don’t you risk an Amen?
From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
This scripture really amazed me since it tells us that He has been our God from our mother’s womb that is why He decided to call you and me so earnestly. The very first reason why the Lord wants to help is – He has CALLED us.
2. I have chosen you:
I said, ’You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
This scripture thrills me for the very fact that He has not rejected us. In this world amidst all competitions it is very difficult to get selected and even after selection it is no guarantee that you will remain selected. Recently one of our family friends’ son got selected in the campus interview and upon graduation can join the company, but it did not happen, he was rejected since the company was affected by the financial crunch. My dear people this does not happen with Jesus, because if He made a choice of someone He is going to see them through and never let down that is why this trinity of help for us. Shout a big Amen if you think you are CHOSEN. Surely there is no rejection, no not at all.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last.
It is again an affirmation that it is the Lord who made a choice of us and not us. So you can be rest assured of the Lord’s help through this year and all through your life time.
Having set the base for God’s help, we need to analyze the purpose of His help and how would we reciprocate to this help and support that we get from God. Let me again bring another couple of reasons for His help and our response to that.
You are called and chosen – so that people may SEE and KNOW
So that people may see and know, may consider and understand that the hand of the Lord has done this.
The very first reason for us to be called and chosen is that the people may see and know from us who the Lord is. In short we are the reflection of God’s glory on this earth. If you look at the scripture in Acts chapter 6 there was a dispute over food distribution and the disciples chose seven from the group and made them wait at the tables, one among them was Philip who was called to serve. After Stephen’s persecution people scattered and Philip went to Samaria – you know what he did; he began preaching the gospel and was not looking for serving at the tables. The bible tells us that people saw what he did and paid attention to what he said. Dear people of God our purpose for being called and chosen is also that people might see and know who God is.