Isaiah 40 is one of the better-known texts in the book of Isaiah. It is well-known because it is well-loved. It is loved because it strikes a familiar chord with so many of us weary pilgrims who travel this journey in life. At times all of us have been weary. Our experiences can be exhausting. We can become discouraged, especially now during this trying time of uncertainty and unrest. Our God does not grow tired or weary! In fact, Isaiah says, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Are you weak today? We might grow tired and weary “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” It’s not maybe or they might – it’s they will renew their strength. The strength that is received from the Lord will be such that they feel able to soar on wings like eagles – to run and not grow weary – to walk and not be faint. Don’t you want that kind of strength today?
Soaring Like Eagles
August 16, 2020 • Dennis Whitcher • Aaron Barker leads worship from YMAM Hawaii
A Covenant of Peace
Ezekiel 37.24-28 • August 9, 2020 • Bill Williamson
We have been looking at Ezekiel 37 the past few weeks. We saw how God can and will breathe life into our valley of dry bones. We saw how God is inviting us to join the Upper Story while we live and walk in our Lower Story. Today we will see that even in the Lower Story the peace of God is with us. God made a Covenant of Peace with the Israelites, promising them that it would be an everlasting peace. The fulfillment of that Covenant is found in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. So, as we conclude our study of Ezekiel 37, let us not just know about the Peace of God, but to truly experience the peace that passes all understanding. As we continue to wait for the return of Christ, as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, in our Lower Story, and even during this ongoing pandemic, may we not allow the things of earth rob us of that everlasting peace.
The Upper Story
Ezekiel 37.15-23 - Communion Sunday • August 2, 2020 • Bill Williamson
Communion Sunday - please have some bread & juice on hand for the end of the service. As we continue to look at Ezekiel 37.15-23, we will see that there is always more to the story. In fact, there are two sides to every story. When we look at what is going on in our world, what is called the "Lower Story", there is always something going on in the spiritual world, the "Upper Story". The "Lower Story" is our story, the here and now. The "Upper Story" is God's story, what He is doing as He continues to accomplish His eternal plan. As you listen to the Word of God, as you engage in worship, we are experiencing both stories coming together. As you pray, you are inviting the "Upper Story" into the "Lower Story" - "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." As you look at your own personal story, the "Lower Story", as you see what is going on in the here and now, personally and globally, keep your heart, soul and mind focused on the "Upper Story", and pay attention to what God is up to.
Ezekiel 37.1-14 • July 26, 2020 • Bill Williamson
As we take a pause from our study of Nehemiah, we will be looking at Ezekiel 37. Take time to read the entire chapter. Pray for God to use this vision of Ezekiel to breathe life into your heart, soul, mind and body. Pray for God to begin showing us the winds of change that are happening, even now, as He brings about a change in the atmosphere. At creation the Spirit of God hovered over the earth. The Spirit of God continues to not only hover over the earth, but is involved in everything. The Holy Spirit breathes new life into those who have received the new and abundant life of Christ. Today, may the Holy Spirit continue to bring about the winds of change that is necessary for all of us to taste and see the goodness of God. May the winds of change bring about a shift in the atmosphere as we go and make disciples of all nations. May we give life to those we encounter as we continue to grow in what it means to Love God and Love Others, Love our Neighbors, and even Love our Neighbors.