Summary: Are you ready for some Mega Changes in life with Jesus?
• SLIDE #1
• Here we are, it is now 2013, doesn’t seem possible, 2012 went by so quickly. Last week we talked about New Year’s resolutions and the reasons we sometimes make them.
• Today we are going to build on the thought of change, growth, and self-improvement as we start this month-long series entitled, “A New Year For A New You.”
• Sometimes it does us good to take the time to look in the mirror and evaluate what we see and where we are.
• As we muster up the courage to do this sometimes we will see that some changes are in order. We tend to look at change as a bad thing, but in the appropriate setting and for the right reasons, change can be a great thing.
• Many people know that some things need to change but the changes and improvements never happen because of they do not have a plan.
• Today we are going to mine some gems from a passage in the book of Isaiah. We will be in Isaiah 54:2-5.
• Isaiah was preaching to a nation in ruins. The kingdom divided in 931 BC.
• Isaiah’s ministry started in 739 BC, it lasted until 685 BC and Isaiah dies in about 680 BC.
• Isaiah saw the fall of The Northern Kingdom of Israel at the hands of the Assyrians in 722 BC.
• The book of Isaiah consists of 66 chapters, the first 37 spoke of the coming and subsequent attack by the Assyrians. Isaiah saw this happen in 722. Then in chapters 38-66 he speaks of the future destruction at the hands of the Babylonians.
• Isaiah is the second most quoted Old Testament book by Jesus and the Apostles where 47 of the chapters are quoted from our alluded to. Psalms is the most quoted.
• Laced throughout the book of Isaiah we find references to the coming Messiah.
• Now sandwiched in between all the doom and gloom Isaiah tells the nation that they will ultimately be restored and that they would be delivered.
• In the context of what we will study together today, we will see that Isaiah is going to try to encourage the nation to make some changes, to plan for some big things God is going to do with them in the future. It is from this context that we will draw out some principles that will help us to be in a position to be able to make some Mega Changes in this New Year!
• Let’s turn to Isaiah 54
• SLIDE #2
• Isaiah 54:2–3 (ESV) 2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. 3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.
• SLIDE #3
In order to be able to experience some Mega Changes one must…
I. Make your plans with boldness!
• In the midst of some difficulties for the nation, Isaiah’s message from God is that things will get better and at some point the nation will grow.
• This is a reference concerning the growth of God’s family throughout the ages after the coming Messiah.
• Clear back in Genesis God promised Abraham that he would have numerous descendants and that through him the world would be blessed.
• Now here we are, things have not seemingly going to well and Isaiah is encouraging the folks to prepare for growth.
• One of the reasons we are not able to make some of the Mega Changes in life, is we look at the future with pessimism.
• Maybe things in the past have not always been great, past performance does not mean that the future is not going to be bright.
• Isaiah must have sounded crazy to his audience giving what the nation had been through.
• We fail to be able to great things because we do not plan with boldness!
• What do you want out of life and what are you doing to get there?
• I have been a no guts no glory type of person for much of my life. I have come up against a lot of obstacles but I do not like to let those things stop being bold.
• We cannot live a fulfilling life if we are short-sighted or pessimistic all the time.
• If we are not happy with the past or the present, plan boldly for the future!
• In the context Isaiah is alluding to the future blessing that would come with the Messiah.
• When we plan with boldness, we prepare for more than we expected.