New Thing: With Your Enemies (Isaiah 45)

 

THE SERMON

 
 

Pray: Babylon was Israel’s conquering enemy. In the Western World, the church has seductive enemies. You personally have enemies. To think otherwise is naive. What does Jesus want us to do with enemies? In a phrase, “love and pray” (Matthew 5:44). Can you do that this week?

Speak: God is a communicator. He does not speak in secret. He speaks the truth and declares what is right (Isaiah 45:19). You are made in his image. Part of what that means is the capacity to speak. To whom do you need to speak this week of God’s sovereignty and exclusivity?

Love: Sometimes people that don’t know God or worship God do loving things. Cyrus is a classic example. Isaiah tells us that Cyrus did not really know God (45:4-5). But he did some very loving things toward the Jews, e.g. allowing them to go home and help with the rebuilding of the temple. Make a list of non-Christian people who have treated you in a caring way. How can their example stir you to love others?

Grow: Are you growing in selflessness each day? What God does through his enemies or friends is to act on behalf of the whole world. Critique your week and see how God is growing you to do what you do for the “nations.” God’s mercies are never to be used to turn us inward.