“In that day people will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. They will not look to the altars, the work of their hands, and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles and the incense altars their fingers have made.”
Today’s devotional has been created by Rev. Mark Roberts and can be found at: https://depree.org/god-is-there-for-you/.
Isaiah 17 looks ahead to the judgment of Damascus, including the northern kingdom of Israel. Because of Israel’s unfaithfulness, “the glory of Jacob will fade” (17:4). The land will be devastated and only a few people will remain (17:5-6). Finally, after experiencing so much suffering, the people of God will no longer “look to their altars, the work of their hands” (17:8). They will not turn their eyes to “gods” made of human hands. Instead, “In that day people will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel” (17:7).
Have you ever experienced something like this? You’ve made choices in your life that seemed to advance your own cause. You’ve trusted in what you have done, in your plans, in your cleverness, in your own hard work. For a while, all seems well, but then the results of your actions begin to crash upon you like waves during a storm. As you are battered, you realize the folly of your ways. Then, and only then, do you turn your eyes to God, looking for help from the only one who can save you. Is this story at all familiar to you?
It is to me. Though I have never intentionally worshipped handmade gods, I have trusted in my own wisdom or abilities. I have turned my eyes away from the Lord, putting my confidence in that which I can contrive. Yes, it is good for me to use the gifts and talents God has given me. But my ultimate trust should be in the Lord, not in his gifts, and surely not in myself. When I acknowledge God’s sovereignty over all things, including me, then I am ready to use what God has entrusted to me with faithfulness and humility.
How amazing that God continues to pursue us even when we turn our eyes away from him! Out of need or even in desperation, we look and God is there for us. When we call out, God hears. When we cry out for mercy, God reveals himself to us as a God who is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4). God is, in the language of Isaiah, God our “Savior” (Isaiah 17:10). The more we experience God’s goodness to us, the more we will remember to look to God for vision, wisdom, strength, and help.
Reflect: Have you ever played out this story in your own life? When?
What finally led you to look to your Creator, rather than yourself or some other “savior”?
What happened when you turned to the Lord for help?
Annual Church Picnic
Our church picnic will be held on the church lawn on Sunday, September 11th, following service. To pull off this event, we need your help! We’re looking for:
People who can help with set-up
Someone who can lend grills/and or pop-up tents
If you want to volunteer in one of these ways, you can sign up by clicking on this link:
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0C44AEAC2BA1FCC43-volunteer, or you can put your name down on our volunteer sign-up sheet at the back of the sanctuary.
Resuming Music Ministries
The Choir and Bell Choir will resume rehearsals on Tuesday, September 6th. Rehearsals will be on Tuesday in the choir room, with Bell Choir at 4:30-5:30 and Choir at 5:45-7:00. Feeling unsure about joining? Feel free to sit in on a rehearsal any time before deciding. All are welcome – no experience required!
Sunday School Starting Back Up
Our church is restarting our in-person Sunday School program on September 11th. If you are planning you having your child attend Sunday School in the coming year, please email Gretchen at email@example.com or Kim Schulz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for New Worship Leaders
We are looking for two new worship leaders for the coming year. If you’re interested in or cautiously open to leading worship alongside Pastor Chris, please reach out to him or our Lay Leader, Bruce LaPenta.
Looking for Ushers
In the near future, we are aiming to resume passing around the offering plate during service. However, we need additional ushers to make this work. If you’re interested or open to ushering, please notify Pastor Chris.
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