PODCAST

Songs of Praise (Isaiah 12)

January 1, 2023 | Kyle Bjerga

TRANSCRIPT_______________________________________________+

The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.

Good morning, Happy New Year to you. Go ahead and grab your Bibles and turn to Isaiah chapter 12. Find that a page 563 If you’re using when the black pew Bibles in front of you. So the calendar has turned. And for some of us, that is a welcome turn, couldn’t wait to get out of 2022 for all sorts of different reasons. For others, it’s been a joy of the year, it’s been one that you’ve enjoyed reflecting on and thanking God for. For many of us here, though, it probably came and it went or it came. And it’s here without a whole lot of thought, without a whole lot of reflection on things without a whole lot of joy. It’s just another year that has turned for some of us since 2020. We just wrote calendars, because why pay attention to them anyways? Right? Because we never know what’s gonna happen in a year. And so for some, it feels very different today. And for others, it just feels like another day. But the truth is for all of us, 2023 lies before us. We don’t know what to expect. There are a lot of predictions out there, maybe you spent some time last couple weeks looking at these different things. And there’s not a lot of positive things that people are looking forward to. So actually a lot more negative things, things like the economy, and politics, and the environment, and mental health. These are all things that people have predictions for, but they’re not looked at positively, rather than negatively. What are the impact of these things going to be? What’s interesting is even with all that negativity, two thirds of Americans still hope that 2023 is gonna be better than 2022. Why? Well, because we don’t like going into a new year with a negative attitude, right? We want to at least think this is going to be better than last year. But no one knows what’s going to happen. Nobody knows what’s coming in this year. But most of us have lived long enough to know, there’s gonna be some challenges, there’s gonna be some victories, there’s gonna be some good things, there’s gonna be some bad things. So the question for us then is, as Christians, how do we approach 2023? How do we approach this year? And then how as Christians as we go throughout this year, can we face the unknowns? The things that we aren’t sure about quite yet. Or maybe there are things we know are coming. So how do we face those and as we finish up our series, the Jesse tree, we’re going to be in Isaiah chapter 12. And it actually helps us answer these questions with one simple word. praise. Praise. That’s it. That’s the big idea for this morning is to make 2023 a year of praise. Okay, make 2023 a year of praise, have that attitude going into this year, and have that attitude be the thing that carries you each and every day. So Israel and Judah, as we’ve seen throughout this series, have had this kind of sneak peek at what was coming in their future. They didn’t know what was coming in the year ahead or decades ahead. And it wasn’t a pretty picture. If you’ve been with us, we’ve seen sin and rebellious SNESs. And corrupt living has brought God’s righteous judgment on the people. And yet, there’s these glimmers of hope throughout all of these passages that we’ve looked at in the last number of weeks, to see that there is actually hope. But that hope is all coming in very, very dark days. Very dark times for the people. And yet, what does Isaiah do and Isaiah 12, after all of his really bad news, with his glimmers of hope is he praises God, He gives us gives us songs of praise. Because what Isaiah knows is that God is a good God. God is a good king, and he is going to bring a remnant back, these people who are going to be exiled, they’re going to come back and they can have hope in God’s salvation. We have more reason now of celebrating because we have the coming of Jesus Christ. So what we’ve been celebrating this past week, so we should stand up and prays to approach this year. And everything that comes at us with praise will radically change the way we live our lives. So make 2023 a year of praise. So I’m going to read all of Isaiah 12. And then we’re going to come back to it and kind of split it up into a couple of sections. But there is a beautiful praise of God here for his saving work. And then a beautiful call to take our praise to the world, making God known to others. So that’s how we’re going to break the passage down. We’re gonna look at personal praise and public praise. But let’s read all of Isaiah 12 together. In that day you will say, I will praise you Lord, although you are angry with me your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God Is my son ovation, I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord Himself is my strength and my defense, he has become my salvation. With joy, you will draw water from the wells of salvation. In that day you will say, give praise the Lord, proclaim His name, make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things. Let this be known to all the world, shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion for great is the Holy One of Israel, among you. So chapter 12, is connected to chapters 10 and 11, by that phrase that we hear over and over again here in that day. So we saw it in chapter 10, verses 20 and 27. We saw it in chapter 11, on Christmas Eve and verses 10 and 11. Get it two more times here. So what does this phrase mean in that day, so in that day means that there is a future day a day still coming. That’s what he’s telling the people, there is a day that is coming, where you will say, The Lord is my salvation. The Lord has done these great things. So he’s saying you will return there will be a remnant. And you will say God is my salvation. In that day. In that day, you will tell others about what he has done. And that day does come because the people do come back from exile. So physically, that day comes and they can physically say God is our salvation like he has taken us from exile back to our home, he has done that so physically, but there is a greater fulfillment of this passage in us. When spiritually we can say God is my salvation, right where he saves us. So let’s look at these first three verses. Because really, we get personal praise here. Can we get personal praise? So what does Isaiah saying to the people here at the beginning, though, is that God was angry with you, that God then saved you. And God sustains and satisfies you. Now that we’ve seen those first three verses, what does that sound like to you? Kind of like our own testimony, right? Your spiritual journey, your faith journey, whatever you call it. When we hear this, we should say, oh, that’s exactly what my story is like. That’s what we hear when people are baptized. Over here. That’s a story that we hear. This is who I was. This is what God has done. And this is what God is doing now. So let’s go. There’s three parts here. So the first in verse one gives us the who we were who I was, I will praise you, Lord, although you are angry with me. Your anger is turned away, do you have comforted me? Why here the bad news again? Why? It’s come up over and over again in this series, because God was angry. God was angry at sin and rebellion. But there’s a key word there. God was angry. You see that God was angry with me. And we know from the New Testaments, we’ve heard, we were by nature deserving of God’s wrath. That’s who we were. What else we lived apart from Christ, we were excluded from citizenship. All of these were true, but not anymore. That’s the beauty of the past tense. This is what you were, this was true of you. So it’s a good reminder, we need this reminder, because we will presume upon God’s grace, because that’s our sinful nature. So we’ll just presume upon God’s grace. So this is part of our story, the fact that God was angry with us, could you imagine someone getting up before a baptism getting in there and telling us their story? And their story was this? Well, I decided to follow Jesus because, well, I figured he’d want me. I’m a pretty good person. I mean, imagine that like that would shake us if we heard that. Or I like some of what the Bible says, and I think I can bring some good to this church. You know, fill in some gaps, here and there. That would shock us. Or someone just gets in and says, I couldn’t it couldn’t hurt to be on God’s side, right?
No, baptism, pictures are death. Because we’re sinners, because God was angry with us, and it had to be paid for. So that death that Jesus died, we get to be brought into that in him, buried with Him and His death and raised the newness of life with him because he conquered the grave. So he went down for our sins. And when he comes up we come up with and not because of anything we did, but but because of what he did for us. God will was angry with us. We were apart from Christ. And hopefully we see that his anger was just and rights that when we give our testimony we say this is who I was. This is what I did deserve. But this is what God did. So his anger fell on Jesus, so that we could get this comfort that we see in verse one, which makes the good news. This next part such good news, what God did look at verse two, surely God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord Himself is my strength and my defense, he has become my salvation. God saves. God is my salvation. Now, there have been hints throughout the Jesse tree series, where we’ve looked at some of these Messianic prophecies about this coming messiah, this coming King, that we like to read at Christmas time, and rightfully so. But oftentimes, we forget kind of what the context is, of all these things. So that’s what we’ve been looking at throughout the series. But here’s some of the hints of salvation that we’ve talked about. Even in the last few weeks, Isaiah seven, The virgin will conceive and give birth to his son, and you will call him, Immanuel. God with us, a hint of God’s salvation coming. Isaiah nine, this child will be born, we’ll call them Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace, of the greatness of His government and peace, there will be no and he will bring on David’s throne. Isaiah 11, looked at a Christmas Eve, a shoot from the stump of Jesse, as you see in represented in the picture. There, a king was coming, who would bring his kingdom, a new kingdom. And all of that, those hints, those glimmers of hope. All of that was pointing to what we just celebrated, in Bethlehem, with Jesus Christ. Eight days after Jesus born, his parents bring him to Jerusalem, to do what they’re supposed to do. And they meet this righteous and devout man named simian, in seeming takes Jesus in his arms. And this is what he says, Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servants in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation. That’s, that’s what we praise God for. That’s what can bring us into this new year and sustain us throughout the year, to know that our salvation has come. And part of our story, then is we respond, we respond with trust. That’s what it says, I will trust and not be afraid. Because we know who God is. We know what he has done. What he has saved us from that has brought us great comfort, because we don’t fear him like we once did. Because his anger now has brought comfort instead. So what is faith? That’s, it’s putting your trust in, it’s standing with standing behind God and saying, I am with him. We’re not putting our salvation in ourselves any longer. Because we cannot save ourselves. That’s something only God and God alone can do. So his anger turns from being against us to being a comfort for us. And then it says something interesting here says that he is our strength in our defense, he has become my salvation. What does that mean? It means simply that Jesus is everything. He’s our strength is our defensive salvation. He is everything to us and encompasses all of it. So when we live this Christian life, listen to what Martha Martin Luther says about this verse. Christians are surrounded by countless evils and varieties of death. Many are their enemies and detractors. But God provides wings so that they may fly away. Christ is with them and preserves them and does not destroy them. That’s the God who saves and he deserves our praise. To the third thing that what do I do now? What does my life look like? Now look at verse three. With joy, you will draw water from the wells of salvation. We draw water with joy, with joy from the wells of salvation. What a Wells mean? Wells mean life. That’s, that’s what it means it’s water. It’s a source of life. You don’t go on a journey without wells along the way. You need to know so you equip yourself you make sure you have lots of water to start, then you go on your journey, you’re gonna go the way where you know there’s sources of water. Because you know, if you go too long that that could mean your life. So you need to be sustained and satisfied throughout your journey. Now, the amazing thing we see here is these wells of salvation are ones that never run out. And they never run out because they’re wells of salvation. Well, who is our salvation? God, God never runs out. So salvation will never run out. These wells will never run dry. So we come with joy. Come with joy, because we know, because we know that when we get there, there’s something for us. When we show up, there’s always something there for us every single time. One of the things that we talked about at Cityview, is that we want to be gospel, fluent. People want to speak the gospel. And what that means is we want to see every area of our life, we want to bring the gospel message to bear on all areas of our lives. And that’s what it looks like to have these different wells of salvation. There’s one way to salvation that is through Jesus Christ. So these multiple wells are not multiple ways to be saved. That’s not what it’s talking about. It’s about there’s multiple ways that you can tap into get the water, get the life from that salvation, all sorts of ways. Because we realize that the truth of the gospel are deep. They can be viewed from all sorts of angles. And then we think back to our former life, and we think how many times that I try and dig wells, myself, what wells that I keep running, running back to thinking they were going to satisfy and they didn’t, so I had to create new ones. But here, it never runs dry. No matter what when we dig, we will find these wells of salvation. It is a living water, living water. We heard it read this morning, the woman at the well in Samaria. In John chapter four. Jesus shows up and she has all the tools necessary to get water. And so Jesus says, Can you give me a drink, and quickly their conversation turns from the physical water to something much greater the spiritual water that Jesus offers. And that’s what he says he answered Everyone who drinks this water from a well, a physical well will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst, and tea, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. We don’t need to keep looking for new things, new ways, new people, we go to the one person who saved us, because he never runs out. These wells of salvation will never run dry. Everything this woman here in John four is looking for everything we are looking for is found in Jesus Christ. Not only is it where it can be found one time, but it’s that constant sustaining and satisfaction for us. Always, we don’t run to Jesus once. Don’t ever think that we don’t ever just run to him once and then walk away. We run to him every single day. Because we need him every single day. And when we find him, when we go to that, well, it will not be dry. Listen to what John Piper says about these wells says the wells of salvation are the places and the times where you draw nearer to God, and drink from the fountain of living water that he is. So there are as many wells in your life as there are meetings with God. There are many, I hope meetings with God and they can be had in the most horrible places, emergency rooms, the grave sides, the hospital beds in the counseling offices, there are places where God will bubble up for you, if you will pause and drink from him. We go into the wells of salvation. Now there’s a movement we didn’t talk about here from the first couple of verses, verse three, and that will continue through the rest of the chapter. And this is the fact that the you here in verse three is actually a plural, you. So he’s taking this very personal thing now and including the community, the whole body together. So we as the body of Christ as brothers and sisters must be running to the wells of salvation, Together. Together. The point is that this true this if this is a true community of believers, we are a bunch of individuals who are saved to something we’re saved to a family. We’re saved to a community. And we’re all pursuing Jesus together. That’s what makes Sunday such a vital and special time. Because we’re running to the wells together. It’s a reminder that we don’t have to live nor are we ever intended to live the Christian life alone.
That was never the plan. So our testimony, which is really what these first few verses are talking about is very personal. We recognize who we are apart from Christ and our imperfection. You know that even as God’s enemies he said, I’m going to make you mine. And that is the real personal aspect of our faith that God looks at you and me and says son, or daughter, perfect in his sight through the blood of His Son. And yet, we are not called to see It home alone, or with our family, or even with our church and just talk about this together, we’re called to do more. That’s what the second half tells us that there needs to be public praise. So moving from personal to public, look at verses four through six. I’m just gonna read them again for us and then talk through them a little bit. First Four, and that day you will say, Give, praise the Lord, proclaim His name, make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things. Let this be known to all the world, shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel, among you. So public praise. So the first thing we know publicly, what are we doing, we’re telling people who God is. Right? That’s what we need to do. We see that here throughout we see that with the Holy One of Israel. This is God, the Holy One of Israel, his name matters. Earlier it said the Lord, the Lord Himself is my strength and my defense. And it’s very intentionally to put the Lord the Lord Himself, because it’s this, it’s this using his name a couple times to really emphasize that God is the one who brings salvation. And so God’s name really matters. It’s his name we proclaim. We don’t proclaim our church’s name. We don’t proclaim our name, our family name, we proclaim the name of Jesus. And no one else’s. People around us, people in our workplaces, in our schools, they don’t know who God is. Okay, they have an idea of a god. But they don’t know who this God is. Are we telling them? Are we showing them? Are we correcting them? Trying to point them to exactly who he is. Next week in the New City catechism. Our question is, what is God? Can you answer that? What is God? Like? Do we have a definition? Do we have things we can tell someone, this is what he is like, and this is what he is not like. And then is everything we say grounded in God’s word, as he’s revealed Himself to us or in our experience? Hope it’s grounded in his word first, and then the experiences that we share will just confirm what we’ve already seen in this book. Who is God? What does he do? Do people around you at least that they’re rejecting God? Are they rejecting the right? God? That’s the question we need to ask. Because if people end up believing in the God of their own making, if they end up believing in a god, other than the one that we see in the Bible, then they are not saved. Because they’re creating their own gods. We need to make sure people understand who is this guy? What is his name? What is he like? And then the second thing that we see throughout these three verses, is what has he done? What has he done? So first, I’m gonna, we’re gonna start to get very practical, we’re gonna be very, very practical here in a minute. But I’m gonna I’m gonna start here, because I think this is important for us. Because what we what we don’t see here in this text is we’re not talking about defending God, defending the faith, having all the right answers. So what is the public praise that we’re supposed to take to the world? The wonderful things, the glorious things that God has done. Which means that’s your story. That’s your life, if you know Christ, so first, you share your testimony with people, you tell them your story, you tell them of the glorious things that God has done in your life, because nobody can fight you on that. This is what God has done in your life. This is how you see God work. These are the prayers you’ve seen answered, and you share that with them. And then hopefully, your words match your actions. And they’re able to see that you actually do these things, because of what you believe. That’s really what Matthew five is getting at very familiar passage. In the same way. Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Why are they going to glorify Your good deeds? Or why are they going to glorify your Father because of your good deeds because they know it’s backed up? This is backing up what you already said. He said, I follow him. And these are the things that I do. And then people are going to take notice of that. So first, you share your testimony, the glorious and wonderful things that he has done in your life. The second thing is you can share about the glorious things that he has done in other people’s lives in our church. His faithfulness on The mission field, no stories of other believers, something that will connect with somebody you know, and share those stories. Third, you can point them to the gospel to show them what he has done for them. Make sure they know that this God who has done this for you have also made a way for them to be saved, and made sure that that is clear. These are wonderful things, glorious things that the Lord has done, and people need to know about them. And the Lord has tasked us with this look at Romans 10. How then, can they call in the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written? How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news? That’s us. How beautiful are the feet of those of us who go and publicly praise God, publicly tell people what he has done? And who he is. So how can 2023 be a year of praise? By simply returning to the wells of salvation, over and over again? How can we make sure that we look more like Jesus at the end of 2023, than we do today? I share this with you guys every year at this time. That’s my goal every year, I want to look more like Jesus at the end of one year, or at the beginning. Yes, how’s that? I want to look more like Jesus at the end of 2023 than I do now on day one. That’s my goal every year, it’s a very simple goal. And it’s a very simple way to get there return to the wells of salvation, stop looking at my own efforts, my own ways of getting there and look to Jesus and the wells that will never run dry. So we can we always take time, in this first Sunday to really kind of talk through some different resources and strategies and tips and things for all of you to really help you in your growth in Christ this upcoming year. And so I want to do that. And I want to do that by walking through these couple sections that we’ve looked at through this text. All right, so we’re gonna just kind of follow our outline. So the first thing and if you’re taking notes, excuse me, if you’re taking notes, this would be the time you know, if you’re like to scratch out some ideas, some thoughts, I’ll be kind of rattling off a bunch of different ones, for us. But first, for personal praise for 2023. Okay, dig deep into the wells of salvation. And how do we access these wells? God’s word, right, number one, God’s word. That’s how we access what these wells are, what the salvation is, how deep it goes, and how it applies to our lives. So reading through the Bible, you guys, if you get the policy saw it this past week, Brandon sent it out with a bunch of different reading plans that you can use for reading through the Bible in a year or two years, or however long it’s going to take you. And so that’s definitely an option. So consider doing that. Look at some of those plans. Something else, where you can walk through the Bible, in a year or two years, or at least some intentional time of having a plan for reading through large portions of Scripture. This year, at the very least, take one of the bookmarks, every sermon series, this is the one for Colossians coming up, take a bookmark every time and read it once a week or daily and answering the questions on the back. If you want to dig deep into God’s word, if you want to dig deep into the wells of salvation, then come on Sunday morning, not hearing this text for the first time. But maybe for the second time, the fifth time, the seventh time you’re hearing this text, you’ve got all these questions that you’ve been walking through. And so you are prepared. So what does it look like to dig deep into the wells of salvation? It means not just showing up on Sunday morning and hearing it once. But being in it all week? And then you hear the message and you say, Oh, that makes sense of this. I had that question, or I have more questions. Or oh, that’s what that looks like, in my life.
If you do that, I guarantee you will not walk away on a Sunday morning. Right without some sort of change without some sort of aha moment. Some that you were not expecting as you walked in, because you’ve been digging deep. And so I encourage you to do that. You could also go on our website, on the resources page and find our Listen well document that really just helps you prepare for Sunday morning with how you praying for your heart, how you’re going to receive the words, how you’re going to talk through what you hear in the message, both right after the service, and then in the week to come. So I would encourage you to go download that on the website as well. And then one book I just want to highlight for you because I know one of the one of the things is some of you you’ve read through the Bible many many times. And some of you have shared things like I just feel stuck. It just feels like it’s rote. Like I’m just doing this again. I’m not really getting out of it. It’s very dry. These are All things that I’ve heard before from people. I had somebody just a couple years ago, tell me, I read through the Bible once. So what do I do now? I don’t know what he was looking for. Not a different book. It’s gonna still be the Bible. But it was kind of that point like, well, I did it. So what, like, I kind of know it now. It’s like, well, you’re not digging deep into the wells of salvation at that point. So one of these books that might be helpful for you is called before you open your Bible. It’s nine heart postures for approaching God’s word. Things like coming to God’s word prayerfully, expectantly, obediently, joyfully. So nine different ways that we can come to God’s word. And I encourage you just read through that. And say, like, I want to read my Bible this year, expectedly. Like, I’m gonna pray through God’s promises, expecting he’s going to do something, or I’m going to go to God’s word saying, I want to obey this year. And so every time I come to, there’s something I can do as a result of what I’m reading. So I would highly encourage you to read that before you start a plan this year, if you could find your heart in that place, where you’re just not where you feel like it’s drier, or nothing’s happening. So we access these wells through His Word and through prayer. Couple things with prayer in the polls every week, we have a little section there that’s helping you pray for different ministries, different people in the church, different leaders. So I encourage you to start there, if you’re looking for a list to pray through. The other thing is we gave a book away earlier this year for free, called praying the Bible. So if you have that book, I would recommend reading through that. And just saying, if you need to start somewhere, start there. In the passage of scripture that you’re reading, like you’re taking classes this week, you’re taking classes one, one through 14, and you are going to pray through that portion of Scripture, praying God’s words back to him. Right. So leaning into that, and using that, to pray, I guarantee you if you do that, you will access these wells. And you’ll be able to access them throughout the week, because you know where you’re going, and how you’re going to pray. Finally, for this section, do this in community. Okay, we’re not meant to do this in isolation. Our personal faith brings us into community. So if you want to dig deep, you have to do this with others. So that is with community groups, because we dig into what we study on Sunday mornings in the service together. So you get to hear what other people have been thinking throughout the week, what other people heard and how they’re responding to it, and how they’re letting it change their life. And hearing from other people will also help you sharpen again, what your understanding is, and then maybe challenge you with how you’re responding and how you’re living. Journey groups, we do this with the gospel waltz, what does it mean to repent and believe and obey? And not just do that the first time we come to Jesus, but what do we what does it look like day in and day out? We continue to live this Gospel out. repent, believe and obey. Explore our classes. Starting next week, we will usually have three classes running upstairs, sometimes four, sometimes two, but there always at least be three. And these are the places to go to dig deeper into certain topics, books of the Bible themes that we can’t always get to on a Sunday morning in a sermon. So it’s great time to come and be more equipped with again, how you can take these truths of God’s Word and bring them into your life. And then finally, just read other good books. And I would encourage you this year to find a really good book to study God’s character to know him better. So three all mentioned quickly knowing God by J. I packer, holiness of God by RC Sproul and the knowledge of the holy by AW Tozer. If you get one of those and read that alongside with your Bible, you’re going to see and understand who God is, and your view and vision of who God is, is going to grow this year. And just quick plug our library is up and running. So when you’re getting your Christmas cards, the books are back out there for you to go and take and bring back when you’re done. But all three of those books I believe are in there. So first come first serve, don’t fight over them, but they are there for you. So that’s personal praise. Another way that we dig deep in the wells of salvation is to tell others about Jesus. So public praise for 2023 A couple quick things who was on your oil cost list? Okay, who is that those people that sphere of influence that you have? These are people you know are not Christians. Okay. People you know are not are you are really not sure where they are. And they’re on this list and you are praying for them regularly. You’re talking to other people about them regularly asking them to pray for them as well. And just saying what is my next step, my next opportunity to take this praise public with them? What does that look like this year? I would also get to know other people’s spiritual journeys. Remember, we’re just telling people what God has done in your life. So why don’t you sit down with somebody else and just say, Hey, can you share with me where you’ve been? What you think of God what you think of the church? Why you are here today? and just listen, don’t talk, just listen to them, and get to know their stories. And then ask if you could share yours. Ask if you could share yours, we’re going to have a Christianity explored class after Easter. That’s very intensely for those who want to know and check out what Christianity is all about. So hopefully, you’re gonna bring some people here and they’re gonna get plugged in that class or you come to that class, get a very basic understanding of what Christianity is, and what people need to hear about it. So that you’re better equipped to go out and take that to those in your own costs list. Serve with one of our partner ministries, ici carry network ministries like that, that are outside the church or partner some of our mercy and compassion ministries here in the church like clothes closet, like cap, right? So looking for those opportunities to say I want I want to not just say I believe this, I want actually want to live this out. I want people to see this in my life. So maybe getting plugged into one of those. And then looking at who did you invite to Christmas Eve? So here’s the thing, some people who invited people to Christmas Eve actually came way more did not. Don’t let that be the last time you ask them anything until Easter. Okay, like what what is your handoff? What are you going to do between now and Easter between now and next Christmas, where you’re going to have some sort of follow up with them. So who was that pray for them, pray for that conversation. And then a quick word families in the family ministry newsletter that’s gonna go out this week, I’m gonna be giving you a lot of things in there for your family to look at for this upcoming year for how you can get more plugged in to God’s Word in prayer. And then also with the new city catechism and kind of taking advantage that as a family, so be on the lookout for that this week. So all of what we talked about this morning should sound very familiar to you. I hope it was encouraging. I hope there was nothing really new. I don’t think there probably was. But something that shouldn’t sound familiar is this sounded an awful lot like our mission as a church. What is our mission as a church?
To equip people to magnify Christ, and to serve others, made to magnify, sent to serve me to magnify personal praise, sent to serve public praise. We make much of Jesus in our life, we make much of Jesus with others. And that is our mission as a church. We spend time worshiping God, we know he is what he has done. And he’s called us to go out and take that news and to serve others, as well. So as we approach 2023, with praise, and we continue in 2023, with praise, we know that no matter what comes our way, what comes at us, that God is our salvation. So I want to read from Milton Vincent Psalm, we’ve come back to over and over again. But I just feel these are words that I want you and I think you need to hear this morning, as we head into 2023, not knowing what is ahead of us. But if you are in Jesus Christ, this is true for you. Just listen to these words, for the gospel is the one that great permanent circumstance in which I live and move. And every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves his gospel purposes in me. When I view my circumstances in this light, I realized that the gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad. I realized instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every aspect of my life, including my severest trials, the good news about my trials that God is forcing them to bow to His gospel purposes, and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ. That is who we are in Christ for this year. So let’s praise Him for that glorious truth. Let’s pray. Lord, we thank You. We thank you for who you are. We thank you for what you’ve done for us. Are we thank you that we live in this permanent circumstance of being your sons and your daughters. Lord, I pray for this years we don’t know what’s ahead. For any of us, we don’t know what’s ahead for this church. But we do know you are there. We do know this is who we are in Christ. And so there are we praise you now. We praise you with our prayers. We praise you with our voices. We’re gonna praise you around this table, as well. As we remember what you did, to remember the cost to your life for us Jesus we love you and we pray this in Your name amen

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