Pul­pit Notes

The Covington News - - RELIGION -

The best is yet to come!

This Sun­day, our church took a big step. We moved. Leav­ing the comfy con­fines of Vet­eran’s Me­mo­rial Mid­dle School where we’ve been since be­fore I started writ­ing th­ese ser­mon sum­maries for The News, we have made our way over to our new tem­po­rary wor­ship lo­ca­tion at To­tal Child­care Ex­pe­ri­ence on the cor­ner of 81 and Salem Rd.

Mov­ing any­thing can be a stress­ful thing, es­pe­cially for a church. Will peo­ple know we’ve moved? Will God con­tinue to bless us? Is this the right thing?

Well, in our text from Isa­iah, God re­as­sures us. He makes it clear that for all of his peo­ple — The Best is Yet to Come.

How can I say that? Well, look at our text. Verse 15: “I am the Lord, your Holy One, Is­rael’s Cre­ator, your King.” This holy, sav­ior God, who made us and rules us, is speak­ing. We have rea­son to lis­ten and to trust what he says. But then the next verses go on and give us even more rea­son, where he re­minds us of some of the things he had done — bring­ing his peo­ple out of slav­ery in Egypt, split­ting the Red Sea, de­stroy­ing Pharaoh’s army with­out a sword, pro­vid­ing food and wa­ter in the desert, giv­ing them the promised land, crum­bling Jeri­cho’s walls, mak­ing the sun stand still, giv­ing peace in the Mid­dle East.

Those are some im­pres­sive things. But God says, “O that? That’s noth­ing. The best is yet to come.” This is verse 18: “For­get the for­mer things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am do­ing a new thing!”

This new thing he was do­ing was this bla­tant demon­stra­tion of his love — an act of kind­ness that was any­thing but ran­dom – a sac­ri­fice that had been planned since the be­gin­ning of the world. And the blood of that sac­ri­fice, he says in our text, blots out our trans­gres­sions. Verse 25: “I, even I, am he who blots out your trans­gres­sions, for my own sake, and re­mem­bers your sins no more.”

He blots them out. That’s the same word used to de­scribe what hap­pened to ev­ery­one liv­ing on earth in the time of the flood – their lives were blot­ted out — gone. Je­sus’ sac­ri­fi­cial blood so com­pletely blots out each of our sins, that they can never be held over our heads again, they can never tor­ture our con­sciences again, be­cause they have been re­moved from God’s sight. Re­mem­ber, he, even he, is the Lord. And he makes a prom­ise. He will not re­mem­ber our sins.

They are gone. He can’t see them any­more. All he sees now is our per­fec­tion through faith, our Sav­ior, and all the good things he pre­pared in ad­vance for us to do. Hav­ing a per­fect record like that feels pretty good. Be ex­cited about it. Be proud of it. God loved you enough to sac­ri­fice his son to give it to you.

So whether you’ve been blessed as richly as God has blessed our con­gre­ga­tion as we’ve been start­ing this church, or are strug- gling through a test God has al­lowed to be put be­fore you, take com­fort. You see, the fact is — with this record, with your sins gone and Je­sus’ per­fec­tion in your pos­ses­sion — there can be no doubt. For you, the best is yet to come. Rev. Jonathan E. Scharf Abid­ing Grace Lutheran

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