Sunday School Material 1-9-11: Turn to me and be Saved
(Isaiah 45:18-24a; 1/9/11)
Introduction: A key idea in today's Sunday School material is that God has blessed plans for those who line up with His will for their lives. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to make sure we are lined up with God's will for our lives.
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Read Isaiah 45:18-19
I. Formation of the World. God speaks in this section of the Sunday School material. He notes that He is the creator who has a purpose. He speaks those things that are right.
- God's creation and purpose. Notice in vs. 18 of the Sunday School material that God is the creator. Furthermore, God created the world and people.
God created His people to inhabit and have dominion over the Earth, as stewards of God. Neither the Earth nor humanity came from a big bang or a random mutation. God designed us with purpose in mind.
Let's live according to God's created purpose for our lives. That is, let's live like wise stewards of the rest of God's creation.
Included in wise stewardship are things like praising God as the owner, thanking God for letting us be stewards, taking care of the Earth, and being profitable with our resources, so we can be godly blessings to others.
- God all by Himself. Notice in vss. 18-19 of the Sunday School material that God is righteous.
As uncomfortable as it may be in our times of being "politically correct," God cannot be right and every other religion be right, when they are saying different things.
God cannot be right about Jesus being the only way to salvation and other religious be right about their ways of being right with God also. Let's focus on being godly more than being politically correct.
On one hand, we don’t have to go out of our way to insult and offend. But on the other hand, when we hit a fork in the road, we should not hesitate to stay with the righteousness of our God.
The truest test of these matters is not our arguing with Jehovah Witnesses and Muslims, but it is in our obeying God's commands to love Him and others, as we love ourselves.
Read Isaiah 45:20-21
II. Futility of Idolatry. God calls for an assembly in this section of the Sunday School material. He wants His people to come together and draw near to Him. He notes that idols are worthless. He is the only God and savior.
- Assembling together and drawing near to God. Notice in vs. 20 of the Sunday School material the ideas of assembling together and approaching God.
To assemble together calls for a certain amount of unity and coordinated effort among people. To draw near to God means that we are moving past whatever else is before us to be where God is calling us to be.
Let's work on assembling with God's people and drawing near to God. We cannot love God and not love His people.
And it will be very difficult to love His people without the love of God living in us. Assembling together and approaching God are often tied together.
- Worthless idols. Notice in vss. 20-21 the ideas of idols being worthless and God being our just savior. God is God all by Himself, and beside Him there is none other.
The things of this world are sinking sand. Not only are wooden and metal objects that are supposed to be idols worthless sinking sand, but even our money, relationships, and selves are sinking sand. But thank God, God is our solid rock.
He is just in that He satisfies the requirements of justice, by paying the price for our sins. And He is our savior. More than physical salvation from oppression, as in the text, we, who have accepted Jesus as savior by faith, are saved from the penalty of our sins.
Let's live like we understand that God is our savior, not the worthless idols of this world. This kind of living should be noted for obeying God, instead of obeying the voices and calls of this world.
For example, when money is our God, we will do whatever it takes to have it. But when God is our God, we will obey His will to work and be wise stewards; however, we will not do that which is wicked for the sake of more creature comforts – a luxury car, a bigger house, or more jewelry.
Read Isaiah 45:22-24a
III. Future Redemption. God calls His people to look to Him as the savior in this section of the Sunday School material.
There is none but God. God has sworn by Himself that every knee shall bow and every tongue swear. The Lord is the place of righteousness and strength.
- The only source of salvation. Notice in vss. 22-24a of the Sunday School material the call to look to God for salvation.
Furthermore, notice that everyone will submit to God's rulership at some point, but when such is forced, we forfeit the blessings. As has been said earlier, God is the source of our salvation, not the things of this world.
God is the source of righteousness and strength. Without Him, we would have nothing. Let's make sure that we are saved and striving to live obedient lives. God is God. The only question is will we live accordingly.
When we are forced to our knees in submission to God, we forfeit the blessings of coming to Him in faith. Therefore, the need for evangelism and edification should be obvious, if we want our loved ones to experience the blessings of God.
- Keeping our word. Notice in vs. 23 of the Sunday School material the idea of God keeping His word. There are too many people whose word means nothing.
It is difficult to assemble with and love those who at least don't keep their word and who may well be lying. Think about how little effort is given to keeping church covenants.
Think about how little effort is given by some in keeping their wedding vows. Let's work on being people of our word like our God is a God of His word.
We should note that as hard as we try, we are subject to run into things that keep us from keeping our word. In these times, we should let those who were counting on us know what happened and try to do better next time. Sometimes it is better to promise low and perform high.
Conclusion: Let's work on making sure that we are lined up with God's will for our lives. God has much for those who obey His will.
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