- Sermon Notes
1. COVID-19 has radically impacted our world. Even graduation ceremonies have been modified due to the pandemic.
2. But there is one thing that COVID-19 has not changed; graduates still face the same question, “What are you going to do after you graduate?”
3. Now, what graduates are really being asked is, “What are you going to do when you ‘grow up’?”
ILLUS – Malina’s conversation with her preschool/ballet buddy after watching Swan Lake.
4. I think a better question for graduates and for the rest of us is, “What does God want you to do with your life?”
5. God has a plan for our lives. There is a reason for our existence, for why we are here.
6. In such trouble times, it is critical for Christians to know what God has called them to do and then do it.
7. But many Christians wonder, “What does God want me to do?”
8. Tonight, we are going to discover God’s plan and purpose for His people, the Church.
9. God is still calling, and He is still asking, “Who will go?”
10.The question is, “Will we answer God’s call?” and say, “Here am I. Send Me.”
I. We Need a Biblical Vision of God (1-4)
A. God is King (1)
1. Uzziah became Judah’s King when he was 16 and he reigned 52 years (2 Chronicles 26).
2. Uzziah walked uprightly before God and Judah was blessed under his leadership.
a. Judah prospered financially.
b. Judah was secure with fortified cities.
c. Judah had military success, possessing an elite army of over 307,000 soldiers.
3. But when Uzziah died Judah felt insecure and vulnerable.
4. Isaiah “saw the Lord.”
a. “Lord”, Adonai means “sovereign,” “master.”
b. “sitting on a throne” – God is the King of kings.
c. “lofty and exalted” – Transcendent, Eternal.
d. “train of His robe filling the temple” – Majesty.
5. Judah’s throne was vacant, but the throne of heaven was occupied; it was then, it is now, and it always will be.
6. The Apostle John declared that Isaiah saw Jesus Christ seated on the throne; a preincarnate appearance of God the Son.
John 12:41, These things Isaiah said, because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him.
APPL – During these troubling times when our hearts may feel insecure, we need a biblical vision of God, like Isaiah.
• Do not trust in princes.
• Look to God. He is our help and our hope.
Psalm 146:3-5, 10, Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation. His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God; the Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!
B. God is holy (2-4)
1. “Seraphim” means “to burn.”
a. They are only mentioned here in the Bible.
b. Seraphim burn in their zeal for God.
2. Seraphim have six wings.
a. Two wings cover their eyes – forever reverent
b. Two wings cover their feet – forever submitted
c. Two wings to fly – forever serving
3. Seraphim forever proclaim the excellencies of God.
a. Not merely stating facts or declaring truth.
b. They call out to one another from the heart.
ILLUS – Cheering at a high school football game
4. Holiness is foundational to our understanding of God’s nature.
a. Holy means “to be set apart, unique, distinct.”
• Set apart from creation.
• Set apart from evil.
Habakkuk 1:13, Your eyes are too pure to approve evil
b. The holy word is repeated 3 times, meaning God is without peer, complete.
• The word “holy” is the only attribute of God that is repeated three times in the Bible.
• So, holiness is the defining attribute and helps us understand God’s character and actions.
5. “Lord of hosts” – Lord of the heavenly armies is fighting for you.
6. “The whole earth is filled with His glory” – Where?
a. Through creation.
Psalm 19:1, The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
b. Under the Old Covenant, through Israel.
Romans 9:4, . . . who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises
c. Under the New Covenant, through born-again Christians, the Church.
2 Corinthians 3:18, But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
7. The foundations trembled, and the Temple filled with smoke.
II. We Need God’s Forgiveness (5-7)
A. All of us have sinned (5)
1. Compared to others, Isaiah was a righteous man.
2. In Isaiah 1-5, Isaiah pronounced judgment upon Israel because of their sin.
3. But once Isaiah saw the holy King of all creation, notice what Isaiah did not say. . .
a. “God, it is good that I am finally here because I make heaven more heavenly.”
b. “So, here’s why I deserve to go to heaven. . .”
4. Isaiah said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined!”
a. Compared to others; he was righteous. In God’s presence, he called down a cursed on himself.
b. Isaiah literally declared he was coming apart at the seams. Why?
5. “Because I am a man of unclean lips”
a. Isaiah did not cover up his sin or make excuses.
b. Isaiah confessed his sin without hesitation.
c. But why did he confess that he was a “man of unclean lips”?
Matthew 15:18, But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.
ILLUS – Foul-mouthed drunk at the Portland waterfront on the 4th of July.
6. “For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts”
a. Typically, God reveals our sin to us bit by bit.
b. Here, Isaiah received a rare revelation.
c. At that moment, Isaiah knew two things: God is holy, and he is not.
APPL – And we are in the same boat with Isaiah.
Romans 3:10-12, There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have been become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.
B. God is faithful to forgive our sin (6-7)
1. God did not leave Isaiah to grovel and implode.
2. God immediately dispatched one of the seraphim to cleanse Isaiah with a burning coal.
3. So, grace flowed from God’s throne to Isaiah just as it does to us through Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 4:16, Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
4. In fact, notice how quickly God’s forgiveness came after Isaiah’s confession.
1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
APPL – Have you confessed your sins to God and asked Jesus Christ to be your Savior?
Romans 10:9-10, … if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
III. It is Time to ‘Get in the Game’ (8)
Matthew 9:36-38, Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
A. God is asking the same question today
1. Isaiah heard God’s voice for the first time. With his sins forgiven, he was ready to hear God’s call.
2. God was looking for someone to be His ambassador.
a. Isaiah did not hear a job description along with a list of benefits.
b. Isaiah heard an invitation, “Who will go?”
3. Isaiah said, “Here am I. Send Me!”
a. No reservations.
b. No conditions.
c. Isaiah knew he was serving God.
• He is the King of kings! Holy God.
• He is the Lord of heaven’s army.
d. Isaiah also knew what God had done for him.
e. Isaiah knew he had been created and cleansed for this purpose, to glorify God with his life.
APPL – If you have confessed your sins to God and received Jesus Christ as your Savior, then God has cleansed you so that you may serve Him.
• He will not reject you.
• God wanted to use Isaiah and He wants to use you.
• Paul understood this about God. Look at his response to God’s calling and grace. . .
1 Corinthians 15:10, But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
APPL – But you may be wondering, what has God called you to do? Three things.
• Trust Jesus.
John 6:28-29, Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
• Love Jesus.
John 14:15, If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
• Share Jesus.
Matthew 28:18-20, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you
B. Remain true to your calling
1. Isaiah’s calling was not easy.
Isaiah 6:9, He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.’”
2. Here is the problem. After saying “Yes” to God, the challenge is to remain true to the call.
3. There will be distractions, difficulties, and failures. We must stay focused and leave the results with God.
ILLUS – Lesson learned while planting a church in Dallas.
4. Be faithful even in the little things.
5. Run the race set before you and finish well.
2 Timothy 4:7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith
APPL – God is calling. Will you go?
• Will you answer the Lord and say, “Here I am. Send Me!”?
Isaiah 6:1-8 NASB