Thanks for coming today, we are so glad you’re here! I believe that GCC has something for every one- no matter where you are on your spiritual journey… you’re going to take some practical and productive away from your experience. We want to be a church that if you’ve never been to church or you’ve been in church all your life, you’ll love to come here!
Wow! We are already 4 weeks into 2013! How many of you believe something new is beginning to emerge for your life? I hope too, you’re participating in our 21 Days of Prayer- this past week was all about “confidence”… This week is focused on “conviction”- what convictions do you need to develop for your life in 2013? These things are going to help you experience something brand new for your life!
Last week we talked about being “branded new!” “Brand old” just isn’t working out for us and we need to be “branded new”- of you missed that teaching make sure you check it out… Today I want to continue that thought and build on by sharing with you something powerful that God does that makes “brand new” and being “branded new” very possible!
And this is it: MERCY!! God is MERCIFUL! Mercy is where power and compassion converge! (BE Series) God has the right to condemn us, but because of his compassion for us, he constantly gives us another chance, and another, and another…
Ever get “another chance?” Ever have someone say, “I’m going to give you one more chance?” To prove yourself… to get it right… to avoid deserved punishment or consequences?? Mrs. Boyliard my English teacher!! “Terry, you didn’t do your homework correctly, so I’m going to give you another chance to do it right!” Mercy!
Brand New is possible because of Mercy!! Look at this from our theme…
Text: Isaiah 43:22-28 22 “But, dear family of Jacob, you refuse to ask for my help. You have grown tired of me, O Israel! 23 You have not brought me sheep or goats for burnt offerings. You have not honored me with sacrifices, though I have not burdened and wearied you with requests for grain offerings and frankincense. 24 You have not brought me fragrant calamus or pleased me with the fat from sacrifices. Instead, you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your faults. 25 I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again. 26 Let us review the situation together, and you can present your case to prove your innocence. 27 From the very beginning, your first ancestor sinned against me; all your leaders broke my laws. 28 That is why I have disgraced your priests; I have decreed complete destruction for Jacob and shame for Israel.
FOR GOD’S SAKE!
Have you ever used the expression, “For God’s sake!” In Isaiah 43:25 God says “he will blot out your sins for my own sake…”
What?? I thought God blotted out or forgave me of my sins for my sake, to save me, to set me free from guilt, etc.?? But along comes Isaiah and he says God does it “for God’s sake!”
Actually there’s quite a few times in the Bible where it says this: “For God’s sake”, “for his name’s sake”, just Google it. We use it all the time when we get peeved at someone: “For God’s sake Terry can’t you pick up your socks??” But I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to be used…
So what’s God saying?? It sounds like God does things to keep himself and his name “looking good!” It’s sorta like when parents tell their children “When you go out, you represent this house, so behave for your Mom’s sake’…”
Sounds like God is protecting his image- “I gotta blot out y’all’s sins or the angels or the devil will think I don’t know what I’m doing when I created you in the first place. Geez!”
But, that’s not what it means at all. It means “for the ‘sake’ of God or His Name.” In Hebrew, the word for “sake” is “ma-an” and means “intent” or “purpose”. And as an adverb means “on account of.”
So, where you would see this phrase used in the Bible the word for “sake” corresponds to the subject matter – whether mercy, or righteousness, or grace, etc., and therefore means “on account of… his mercy” or “on account of… his righteousness” or “on account of… his grace…”
In other words, it is because of WHO God is and WHAT his name is that he “blots out my my sins!” Because of WHO God is and WHAT his name is, he withholds his hand of anger. Because of WHO God is and WHAT his name is, he is gracious, etc.
It is an indication of God’s very character! It is WHO God is and WHAT God is all about!
“I have burdened God…” HOW? Maybe it’s hard to think of God being “burdened!” After all, if He is God then nothing should bother him or weigh him down, right? But what if this means that God takes on Himself the things that “weigh” us down- specifically sin, which is to “miss the mark” with your life, and he removes the burden or lifts it off of us (through Christ) so we’re good with God again we’re not trying to journey through life with all that baggage??
** Ever see people at the airport literally hauling their life around in big ole suitcases and then they try and take it all on the plane with them??
God is basically saying, “Why not check your ‘baggage’ in with me…?” And guess what, YOU WANT HIM TO LOSE IT!!
“You’ve burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your faults…” Got any of those? Faults? in 2012 had some? Probably will have some in 2013? And those things create baggage and burdens?? I can reject God. I can disobey God. I can make dumb decisions. I can doubt God. I can make some messes?
And I need and I’m gonna need in 2013 a “quicker-picker-upper… You know, Bounty Paper Towels! “… GOD BLOTS OUT MY SINS!”
And how is that possible? Through Jesus Christ yes, and BECAUSE of SOMETHING INCREDIBLE THAT I CAN PROMISE YOU WILL BE NEW EVERY DAY IN 2013!!
NEW MERCIES EVERY MORNING!
The whole motivation of what is sandwiched between vv.22-24, “You’ve messed up”, and vv.26-28, “You made more messes”, is “For God’s sake… He is all about MERCY!”
What is “mercy?” It’s WHO God is! He is mercy! Mercy it not getting what you deserve. It’s being found guilty but instead of punishment you get another chance to prove yourself. It is compassion and it enables God to “blot out your sin, blot out our messes!” Mercy is God’s “quicker-picker-upper!”
And haven’t we all messed up?? And we will probably mess up a couple times in 2013! And we’ll be or are tempted to think, “I’ve really made a mess of things and no way is this stain, that mistake, this hurt, that pain, this goof up, that bad consequence ever going to come clean!” But it will! God can and will “blot” it out!
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…” Say, “God’s love never ceases!” God will and does ALWAYS love you, no matter what, you can’t keep God from loving you!
“His mercies never come to an end…” Say, “God’s mercies never end!” As Buzz Lightyear says, “To infinity and beyond!” There is an unlimited supply of God’s mercy!
“They are new every morning…” Say, “God’s mercies are new every morning!”
“Great is your faithfulness….” Say, “Great is God’s faithfulness!”
Man, I would tape Isaiah 43:19 and Lam. 3:22-23 to my mirror so I have to read it and be reminded of God’s promises!
You see, MERCY is why we can be BRANDED NEW!
Three practical steps:
- There’s some “baggage” in my life I don’t want to carry around anymore that I need to give to God so he can lose it…
- There’s some “messes” (sin) in my life I need God to blot out…
- I believe that God’s love never ceases, his mercies never end, they are new every morning, and God’s faithfulness is great…
Week 2- 21 Days Prayer Focus: “God, give me a brand new conviction about your Word and your Ways; that you can lose my baggage and blot out my messes because your love never ceases, your mercies never end, they are new every morning, and your faithfulness is great! I surrender and submit myself to the something new you want to do in my life!”