Summary: Understanding that the power of God has to be working in our lives. That we must accept the invitation God has to live a more abundant and fulfilling life.
Invitation to abundant life
Isaiah chapter 55:1-11
Introduction- (Some ideas taken from fellow coleagues of Sermoncentral)
Most invitations are restrictive. Weddings are family and close friends.
Sleepovers: are for a group of people that get along well with each other.
Businesses send invitations to people they think will do business with them, and direct it to certain types of people.
When you were a kid, your class had a valentine day party and all were invited. The teacher made sure everyone got an invitation, but the older we get, the more direct that invitation becomes.
The unnamed prophet here, speaking words from God has an open invitation. “Come, all you who are thirsty”.
Now you have to understand the context of this verse, or you will miss some of the truths.
You will miss the very personal invitation that is being offered.
It is the Lord speaking to those about to return from exile. Those that have lived on the rations of the captive are being invited to a royal and divine banquet.
The covenant of love that God had with David was to be renewed in the rebellious Jewish people.
He says that return and pardon are possible by ways beyond human understanding.
There is a thread that ties it all together.
The power of God working in ways that’s beyond our thoughts and imagination.
On most invitations, they have instructions. They include a gift registry from stores like Walmart, Babies R Us, Sears, Pennies, and then you go and get them what they need.
Some say “No Gifts needed”- just bring yourself.
(v1) We see God gives us an invitation with some directions on it also- Come- All who are thirsty!
All you who want to come to the table of God- have to be thirsty and hungry for the things of God. (Which is a far cry from most today)
This included the Jews and the Gentiles.
Today it includes all people seeking a new relationship with God. One that is renewed and fresh.
“You who have no money, come buy without money and without cost”
“Those that labor on what does not satisfy, Come eat what is good and what will satisfy your soul. “
Have you ever watched the movie “Field of Dreams? It is about a man named Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) that builds a baseball field in the middle of a corn field and players from the 1919 White Socks come out of the corn field to play baseball. He is told to pick up a man named Terrance Mann (James Earl Jones) from Minnesota who is suppose to write about it. The players are in the field playing, Ray Kinsella and Terrance Mann are watching and Shoeless Joe Jackson(pitcher) comes over and says to them, “Hey, you want to come with us’? Ray Kinsella asks, “You mean it?” Shoeless Joe Jackson says, “no, not you…him” and points to Terrance Mann. At this Ray is upset, wait a second, why him? I built this field, you wouldn’t even be here without me. I want to know what is out there. Joe Jackson says… your not invited!
We have all felt the alienation of not being invited.
Maybe last to be picked,
live on the wrong side of the tracks,
not enough money,
not born into the right family.
All are invited ! just be thirsty and hungry for the things of God.
I. You have to be thirsty
Water is a necessity of life.
You cannot live without it.
To be satisfied, you first have to be dissatisfied and looking for something better.
To be filled, you have to be emptied of yourself and filled with God.
Our problem is we don’t recognize what will satisfy our thirst, because we look for temporary pleasures and fixes.
The suppressed Nation of Israel got use to being a captive instead of enjoying freedom.
They got use to eating scrapes from someone else’s table and God invited them to His banquet.
You know water is the only thing that satisfies. You can drink a soda, it can taste good going down but it doesn’t satisfy the thirst. Only water satisfies.
Our temporary pleasures that we try to satisfy the void for God always falls short.
Francis Chan/author/pastor/ wrote two great books. Crazy love/ Forgotten God.
If I had to condense those books into a couple of sentences, it would be that we need to realize that God is all we need and that we create so much turmoil in our lives trying to fill a void in our life that only God can fill.
“Why spend money on what is not bread, and you labor on what does not satisfy. Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good and your soul will delight in the richest fares.”