Sunday School Material 1-2-11: I Am Your Redeemer
(Isaiah 44:21-26; 1/2/2011)
Introduction: A key idea in today's Sunday School material is that God wants His people to return to Him and trust His restoration plans. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to draw closer to God and trust His blessed plans for our lives.
Read Isaiah 44:21-23
I. Israel's Redemption. In this Sunday School material God calls His people to return to Him. God has blotted out their transgressions. He has redeemed them. This situation calls for great praise. God has glorified Himself in His people.
- Remembering. Notice in vs. 21 of the Sunday School material the emphasis on remembering. Our emotions and behavior are highly influenced by what we think about.
If we think about how bad things are, we will feel bad and often do bad. But if we think about how blessed we are and the promised blessings that are on the way, we feel better and often do better.
Let's work on remembering that God is working things out for the good of His people. Idols have no part in our blessings. Nor does our own goodness have anything to do with our blessings. God is the source.
- Living like forgiven people. Notice in vss. 21-23 the ideas of God blotting out the transgressions of His servants. We see in the Sunday School material God glorifies Himself, brings glory or honor to Himself, by forgiving the sins of His people.
However, He does it with the expectation that they would return to Him, as His obedient and devoted servants.
First, as the Jews never repaid their debt to God, but they were forgiven, we too are forgiven by God. We have not lived well enough to pay for the sins in our lives.
Second, as the Jews were to take the forgiveness of God and return to God as obedient servants, God expects us to take His forgiveness and serve Him with obedience and gratitude.
Let's work on living like we appreciate the gracious forgiveness that we have received. This kind of living should be noted for obeying the word of God, which centers around our loving God and others as we love ourselves.
We ought to love God enough to tithe and worship with enthusiasm. We ought to love people enough to witness to the lost and weak as well as advocate for the oppressed. We should love ourselves enough to take care of our health and wealth.
- Rejoicing. Notice in vs. 23 of the Sunday School material the idea of rejoicing about the redemption of God's people.
When we compare how bad we have been and what God could have done to us to what God has actually done to us, we should join in the rejoicing about God's redemption.
There are too many who don't give enough thought to how much they have offended God and how God could have caused so much more pain in their lives.
Let's work on rejoicing like those who know the grace of God. It is such sin and shame to be as blessed as we are and yet sit through worship with such a dry and non-responsive spirit.
Read Isaiah 44:24-26
II. Israel's Restoration. God declares how great He is in this section of the Sunday School material. He is the creator. He frustrates those who compete with His wisdom.
He confirms the word and counsel of those whom He has sent. And He has plans to restore His people.
- God's identity. Notice in vss. 24-26 of the Sunday School material that God is pictured as being in a class all by Himself. He is the redeemer, the former, and the maker of all things.
He is the One who frustrates those who try to compete with Him – liars, diviners, and "wise men." And He is the One who confirms those whom He sends – servant and messengers. We are quick to say that we understand all of this.
However, our behavior shows more of what is in our hearts than our words. Knowing that God is all of the above and more should move us to a high level of obedience.
No one should be able to stop us from finding and performing our ministries as members of this body of Christ. No one should be able to stop us from loving one another as the greatest sign of being followers of Christ.
When we say we know but don't live like we know, we may be guilty of either lying or simply knowing in our heads but not in our hearts and hands. Let's work on living like we know who God really is.
- Promised restoration. Notice in vs. 26 that God will restore His people. We learned from this Sunday School material that no matter what others say, when God says that He is going to restore, we can count on it.
God often speaks through His servants and messengers, that is why we ought to pay them great attention. The best way to discern who are really servants and messengers of God is to compare what they are saying to what the Bible is saying.
At the core of what God is saying in His word is that He will restore His people, according to His own timing.
Let's keep our confidence in God's restoring of His people. For believers, we know that whatever restoring is not done on earth will be stored in eternity with the Lord.
Conclusions: Let's work on drawing closer to God and trusting His blessed plans for our lives. God has much for those who obey His will.
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