Summary: Christ makes himself known to us as our creator, redeemer and keeper. (We are created by God, redeemed by his grace and kept by his power.)
Title: Three Truths About God … and You
Text: Isaiah 43:1-7
Thesis: Christ makes himself known to us as our creator, redeemer and keeper. (We are created by God, redeemed by his grace and kept by his power.)
The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s “Oasis of the Seas" is the largest, tallest, widest, heaviest and costliest passenger ship ever built.
• Taller than a 20 story building
• Carries 8,000 people
• 21 swimming pools and a water park
• On-board actors and actresses perform off-Broadway style productions in a playhouse that seats 1,400
• Central Park green space half the size of a football field w/trees over 20’ tall
• Generators produce enough power to light 105,000 homes
• 3,300 miles of electrical cable and 158,000 gallons of paint to cover the ship… enough to paint the George Washington Bridge three times
• Even boasts a tattoo parlor
Our text tells us that God will be with us when we pass through the waters… that when we pass through the waters of life they will not sweep over us. The Homiletics Magazine writers cleverly point out that Royal Caribbean may provide a “Oasis of the Sea” but God declares Himself to be something of a “Lord of the Seas.” (Homiletics, January / February 2010. Vol. 22, No. 1, PP 14-15.)
The “Lord of the Seas” is not a luxury cruise ship or ocean liner. “The Lord of the Seas” is God. “The Lord of the Seas” is not something we have created to sustain us through the waters of life. “The Lord of the Seas” is in fact the creator, redeemer and sustainer of our lives.
This is what the text says about “The Lord of the Seas.”
I. God created you
But now this is what the Lord says, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel… Isaiah 1:1a
At the very onset of our knowledge of God’s creative activity is the vivid imagery of the creation of humankind from Genesis 1:26-27, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness… so God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
“The Lord formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7
In Isaiah 29:16; Jeremiah 18 and Romans 9:21 we are given the image of a potter at work molding the clay into the vessel of his choosing. The implication clearly is that God is the potter and we are the clay. We are molded and formed by God.
In Isaiah 44:11-13 the creative activities of the craftsman, a blacksmith and a carpenter are cited as examples of objects being formed by the hands of their creator.
The Psalmist instructs us, “Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his, we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3
Psalm 139 describes God’s activity in our making. The Psalmist wrote, “You created my inmost being,; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are too wonderful.” Psalm 139:13-14
And it is because you are created by God that:
• You are precious and honored in God’s sight and loved. Isaiah 1:4
• You are created for God’s glory. Isaiah 1:7
In the Disney animated movie Toy Story, Woody, who is a toy cowboy confronts Buzz Lightyear who is a toy astronaut. Woody tells Buss, “You are not a space hero. You are not a space ranger! You are an action figure… a child’s plaything.”
This of course is devastating news to Buzz Lightyear who then realizing who and what he really is says with his head hanging in resignation, “I am just a stupid, little, insignificant toy.”
Then Woody comforts Buzz with another reality. He says, “Look over in that house, there’s a kid who thinks you’re the greatest, and it is not because you are a space ranger; it is because you are his.”
Lifting his foot, Buzz notes… written on the sole of his space ranger boot in black permanent ink, is the name of the little boy to whom he belongs. (Toy Story, Disney, 1995, Directed by John Lasseter and submitted by Greg Asimakoupoulos to PreachingToday.com)
Our value is not in who we are and what we can or cannot do… it is in to whom we belong. It is in who made us and who considers us precious in his sight. Our value is in who loves us.
The second truth about God and you is that:
II. God redeemed you
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 1:1b