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Tithe to Tell the Story (Isaiah 6:1-13)Dr Daryl Miller, November 6, 2016
Part of the The Need of the Giver to Give series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
SUNDAY MORNING, NOVEMBER 6
Title: Tithe to Tell the Story
Text: “I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me” (Isa. 6:8).
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 6
Our Lord taught that it is more blessed to give than to receive. He challenged his disciples to be givers with the observation that the rewards for a life of giving were great (Luke 6:38). The suggested theme for the morning messages is “The Need of the Giver to Give.” We need to be tithers more than God needs our tithes.
To many people, “religion” is the study of a book?—?the greatest of all books?—?the Bible. To others, it is routine church attendance. To still others it is religious busyness. But real New Testament Christianity is more than any of these?—?it is the establishment and maintenance of a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, which issues in fulfilling God’s will for one’s life.
All the great men of the Bible were conscious of such a relationship with God. Enoch walked with God. Abraham was called the friend of God. Moses met with God on numerous occasions. Elijah was caught up by God in a chariot of fire. Jeremiah was personally called by God. And Isaiah was strangely moved by a tremendous worship experience with God.
I. Isaiah had a deepening personal experience with God.
While worshiping in the temple, Isaiah had a vivid consciousness of the presence, power, and holiness of God (Isa. 6:1?–?3). It happened in the year King Uzziah died. Many Christians are of the ordinary garden variety until they come face-to-face with God in a deep worship experience that changes the course of their lives. Such was the case with Moses (at the burning bush; Ex. 3:1?–?10) and with Jacob (Gen. 28:10?–?17).
Only when Christians live under the lordship of Jesus Christ can a continuing motivation of Christian service be sustained. If Christian people see a lost world with all its needs, they will do nothing about it if their hearts are cold. They will be like the priest and Levite in Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan and pass by them (Luke 10:30?–?34).
Our task is to begin by leading people to have a face-to-face confrontation with Jesus Christ. A story is told of a little delivery boy carrying a basket of eggs. He tripped on the curbstone, dropped the basket, and smashed the eggs. People gathered around as people do. One said, “What a pity.” Another said, “He is crying; let’s comfort him.” Then one man stepped out of the crowd, put his hand in his pocket, and said, “I care half a crown.” Turning to the man next to him, he said, “How much do you care?” The man replied, “I care a shilling.” In a little time, they translated feeling into action. Only a personal encounter with the risen Lord will permanently motivate people into action.
II. Isaiah had a sense of belonging to God as his instrument of grace (6:5?–?7).
As Isaiah experienced God, he was convicted of sin?—?his own as well as the sin of Israel. Isaiah 1:1?–?6 describes what Isaiah felt in his heart about the sin of Israel. One of the main functions of worship is to get us to see ourselves as we really are so that we might cry with the psalmist, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23?–?24).
When Isaiah confessed his sin, a seraph took golden tongs and picked up a glowing coal and touched it to Isaiah’s mouth. Now with a cleansed heart, he wanted to do something to get his sinful people right with God. He wanted to be used.
First Peter 2:21?–?24 points out that the stewardship of Jesus was to fulfill the purpose of God in his life no matter what it cost him?—?and it cost him the cross. The Bible also reminds us that as Jesus’ followers, we are to follow in his steps. Matthew 16:24 gives us the direction we should go. This concept of stewardship involves all that we are as well as all we possess. This is what God expects of us (2 Cor. 5:18?–?20; 1 Peter 4:10).
Isaiah saw himself as God’s instrument. Do you?
III. Isaiah had a vision of God’s strategy for redemption and committed himself to it (6:8?–?9).
God revealed to Isaiah that he wanted Isaiah to serve him in bringing the people back to him. And Isaiah volunteered to serve even though he knew the task would be difficult and that he would have limited success. However, God revealed to Isaiah that he would fulfill God’s purpose.
God has a strategy for worldwide proclamation of the gospel, including a plan for financing the work?—?the tithe plus the offerings of God’s people.
This is God’s plan, and it includes your life and your resources. We are told that it took thirty thousand people and $400 million dollars to put the first man in orbit. There are millions of Christians, and God has given us the resources to win people to him. Let us lay our resources at the feet of our Master and give the whole gospel to the whole world?—?now!
Remember the word God spoke to Isaiah, “Go and tell this people.” Let us “Tithe to Tell the Story.”
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1In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 5Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. 6Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. 8Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. 9And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. 11Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, 12And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. 13But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof. (KJV)