Summary: God Takes those who trust in Him and provides them with the opportunity to be what He wants them to be.

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April 20, 2008

Morning Worship

Text: Isaiah 44:1-5

Subject: Stages of Growth

Title: What I Want to be When I Grow Up

One of the really special things that I have held on to as a dad is that as our children grew I celebrated the various changes that they went through as they grew. Yes, some of those times were emotional. I suppose that I am not the only one who was sad when their child went to school for the first time. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who got excited as they watched their child make a great play to win a ball game or bring home good grades for the first time. We watched as our girls went from elementary school to junior high to high school. (Don’t forget driver’s licenses). Then we cried as we took them off to college and then one by one gave them away in marriage. And now they are doing the same things with their families. But each step was something special and unique and was worth celebrating.

Having said that, I think that sometimes we look at ourselves and like children, as they are growing up, wonder if we are ever going to get where we are supposed to be. Are we ever going to go higher, farther, deeper or wider with God? Will we ever see His promises come to pass in our lives? Will we ever begin to really move forward with Him? The Psalmist asked the question, “46 How long, O LORD? Will you hide yourself forever?”

Fortunately, we have His promise that a life in Jesus is never wasted. But growth is a process and we can be sure that if we continue with Him we will get to where He wants us to be. Most of us are in different stages of development, but you can be sure that the Lord is right there with you. You never have to face life alone. Every day God is answering your question, “What do I want to be when I grow up.” And the answer is, He wants you to be faithful to Him.

Open your hearts to receive a touch in your spirit today.

I. SOWN (1-2) 1 “But now listen, O Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen. This message is for those who wonder where God is in their lives. He says, “Listen!” That word, “listen” in the original language means, “to hear intelligently”. This message was originally intended for the nation of Israel but notice how God also refers to Israel by another name; Jacob. Jacob was a deceiver. He tricked his father into giving him the blessing intended for his brother. Even though Jacob was called by God to be the father of many nations, he somehow thought he had to help God make that happen. So when God refers to the nation of Israel He reminds them where it was that they came from when He first called them. Not only does God remind them of their past, but He also mentions what He wants them to be – His servants. Finally, God wants them to know that He is the one who chose them and not the other way around (whom I have chosen.) Do you understand what this is saying? It may be difficult to grasp, but God chose you. You may have made the decision to accept Jesus into your life. You may be the one who has decided to live for Him. It may be your choice to be everything that He wants you to be. But none of those decisions hold any validity if God didn’t first choose you. Jesus told His disciples in John 16, You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. When God chose you a seed was planted – something was sown. God saw that seed fall to the ground before the creation of the earth. 2 This is what the LORD says— he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you. Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” I want you to get the significance of this fact. If God knew you and chose you before you were ever born, that must mean that He has a plan for you life. That plan was for you to bear fruit as Jesus said. But before you can ever bear fruit you have to be planted. Before you can be planted you must be willing to submit to God. When that happens He sows you and He sows into you. In verse 2 God uses the name “Jeshurun”. It is another symbolic name for Israel and it means’ Upright”. Do you see what God is saying to Israel. First He reminds them that they were like Jacob the deceiver. But eventually they will become “Jeshurun” – upright! That is the way that God is working in your life right now. When you were first planted you weren’t much. (I’m talking about when you were first saved.) Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. You can boast in the Lord because God is taking you from being a “Jacob” to being a “Jeshurun.

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