Summary: Isaiah is a model for volunteering. There are many reasons why people volunteer. Isaiah did so for 3 reasons – an appreciation for what God had done for Him,a realization of others' need, and God’s will
Volunteering for Duty
In its simplest definition a volunteer is someone who freely, without any legal obligation, chooses to act in recognition of a need. In Mark 10:45 we read “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Christ came to serve and He expects us also to serve not out of compulsion but freely. Isaiah is a model for volunteering. There are many reasons why people volunteer. Isaiah did so for three reasons – an appreciation for what God had done for Him, realization of the need that others had, and a recognition of God’s will.
I. Isaiah volunteered out of appreciation for what God had done for him.
A. One reason people volunteer is out of gratitude for what they have received.
B. Isaiah encountered God and it radically changed him forever.
C. He had a vision of God, and he was devastated by the contrast between himself and the Lord.
D. Isaiah 6:5 “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”
E. He saw himself as a vile wretched sinner. He cries out “I am undone, because I am unclean”, “I am silenced”, “I am doomed”. Jerry Bridges says that this was “remarkable considering Isaiah was a member of the religious elite"
F. When Isaiah said he was “unclean” he was saying that he had become consciously aware that in comparison to the holiness of God he was dirty, soiled, sullied, impure, polluted and unfit to be in the presence of God.
G. Isaiah's confession and contrition was met with God's gracious provision of mercy.
H. Psalms 85:10 “0 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”
I. When a person comes to the realization that they have “sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” and turn to Christ in repentance of their sin and acceptance of His cleansing God provides forgiveness and cleansing.
J. On June 1, 1973, Charles Colson visited his friend Tom Phillips, while Watergate exploded in the press. He was baffled and shocked at Phillips' explanation that he had "accepted Jesus Christ." But he saw that Tom was at peace and he wasn't. When Colson left the house, he couldn't get his keys in the ignition he was crying so hard. He says, ‘That night I was confronted with my own sin—not just Watergate's dirty tricks, but the sin deep within me, the hidden evil that lives in every human heart. It was painful and I could not escape. I cried out to God and found myself drawn irresistibly into his waiting arms. That was the night I gave my life to Jesus Christ and began the greatest adventure of my life.’ (Loving God, p. 247)
K. Grateful for God’s cleansing Isaiah stood ready to serve.
L. Psalms 66:16 “Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.”
II. Isaiah volunteered out of a realization of the need that others had
A. Isaiah 6:5 “Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips...”
B. Not only did Isaiah see his soul’s condition but he saw the condition of those around him in his daily life. He caught a vision of the lost state of family and loved ones.
C. Quite often we do not want to recognize or admit the lost state of family, friends, and those we come in contact with.
D. Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision people perish…”
E. John 4:35 "Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!”
F. Wheat that has ripened usually has a golden hue and is ready for harvest. However, if not harvested timely, the grain begins to turn a pale white, and will soon fall over. In speaking of fields "white" unto harvest, Christ is stressing the urgency of getting the gospel to the lost before it is too late.
G. God wants us to see the world's people as He sees them. Lost and on their way to Hell but redeemable just as Isaiah found redemption through cleansing at the mercy seat.
H. Looking at the world with this in mind reminds me of a man on a train going across the desert in Arizona. He was the only person in the chair car who had not pulled down the window shades to keep out the glare of the hot sun on the parched earth. In contrast to the other passengers, he kept looking out his window, and seemed actually to enjoy the dismal scene. After a while the curious man seated across the aisle, asked, "Sir, what do you see in that wasteland that makes you smile?" "Oh," he replied," I'm in the irrigation business, and I was thinking if we could only get water to this land that the desert would become a garden.".- copied