The title for the morning message is : Faithful living in a falling world. In many countries in the west Christians find themselves in the minority. This is not an opportunity for despair but to seek to be faithful to God despite the majority of people who ignore God and see Him as irrelevant. Rather than being a discouraging time to live in this can be very fruitful because our witness as Christians stands out. The passage is directly addressed to Isaiah (8:11-22) but this message to him is intended for God’s people. God’s first warning is to guard against following the way of other people. Christians are to be countercultural and to not fear what other people fear. We can do this because as we have already learnt in 6:1 our God is truly on the throne. There are many things which generate fear in people today. People are afraid of the future and they are afraid of wars and even of their lifestyles deteriorating. We begin to fear what other people fear when they become our reference point and our focus moves away from the Lord. Isaiah is reminded in v13 that God is the holy one and it is he who should consume our attention and receive our best energy and effort. We are encouraged that for those who trust the Lord. He is a sanctuary and that people will find strength and peace v14. But for those who either actively reject the Lord or passively ignore Him He is a stumbling stone for people. We know that when people ignore the Lord they don’t have the skills to manage life without Him because He is the way, the truth and the light John 14:6. We stumble when we disconnect from the one who knows what life is all about. In v16-17 we are encouraged to retain and adhere to God’s Word. This is our strength. Following God will require patience and trust because we know that vindication comes at God’s appointed time and for Christians that is when Jesus returns. Isaiah also warns against consulting mediums and spiritists v18-22. Those who consult these alternative powers are seeking a spirituality apart from God and it is likened to being in darkness and gloom. Only the Lord and His Word offer true light for the world John 8:12. In Acts 9:1-18 @ the 5pm service we are greatly encouraged that Saul is converted through the power of Jesus and His Word and the darkness in His eyes is removed and he can see again. Tonight at our 5pm service, Adam Kent is being baptised and spiritually his eyes are opened and he is enjoying the light of Christ.
God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara