Sunday service, Dietmar Joosten, 25 Mar 2018
(Before the service some from the Umphakathi team shared about the Umphakathi outreach to the Eastern Cape where God worked mightily in the schools and many learners were helped and their lives changed)
Is 53:1 – 5
1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
This week we will look at our Lord who died for us. And it would be good that we prepare ourselves to meet Him. How many Easters have you already experienced? But by God’s grace may you prepare yourself differently for this Easter. Prepare to meet your God. Prepare yourself as you would prepare yourself to meet an important person. Spiritually. Put away your laziness and your own ways and allow God to start something new in your life.
When last have you washed yourself spiritually. One day Moody was preaching in Chicago. And he preached as if it was his last sermon. He said, take time to consider what you’ve heard today. Go, pray and seek God’s face. Before he could finish his sermon, the cry went out, “Fire”. That was the fire of Chicago that burnt down much of that city. He couldn’t end his sermon. They had to flee. 22 years later Moody went back to visit that same church. He came there and found that nothing went on there. He said that he gave the people time to think and pray about what they heard. But many never got that opportunity. From that day on he never said that again, but told the people to make their lives right with God immediately.
Today when you hear God’s voice, cleanse your life and make it right with God.
We read here of our Father in Heaven who sent His only Begotten Son. God was serious. There was no other way out. His Son had to go. God’s anger and seriousness regarding sin and the sinner was shown in that He gave up everything to save us.
What do you feel for those lost in their sins? God gave up His only Begotten Son, that which He loved the most, was closest to His heart. That’s how serious He was. And He saw and knew what His Son had to go through. But because He hate sin and loved us, He sent Him to save us from our sin.
Do you grasp this Heavenly Mystery? There was a total dedication and seriousness, looking at the result of what God did. Our Heavenly Father withheld nothing from us.
A parent who has to discipline his or her child in God’s way is hurt more than the child. But he does it because he has to do it for the best of the child and the child’s character. So God did not spare His Son even though He knew what His Son would suffer. Our Heavenly Father knew that if He doesn’t kill sin, sin will kill us.
Parents know that if they do not kill the sin in their child’s life, sin will kill that child. And you know that you cannot do it in your own strength, you need God’s strength.
Some parents are so overprotective of their children that the teacher dare not discipline or correct their child. But the parent doesn’t realise that that sin will kill their child.
Children, stay close to your parents who love the Lord. And stay close to those in the congregation who love the Lord.