Ever feel like you need a flashing neon sign from God? I think we all have at one time or another. Most of the time, God doesn’t really work like that, but today we get a treat. Today, we’re going to talk life. And we’ll keep it simple.
Please, open your Bibles to Isaiah 11 and read just one verse, Isaiah 11:12 –
He will raise a signal for the nations
and will assemble the banished of Israel,
and gather the dispersed of Judah
from the four corners of the earth.
If we needed that flashing neon sign from God, here it is. God raises a signal and holds it high for all people to see, crying out with arms outstretched –
“Come to me. Let me gather.”
We look for giant billboards and signs for what to do and where to go from God, but the signal is no mystery. The signal is very simply Christ Jesus saying “Come.”
God makes this clear throughout the Scriptures over and over again, but Isaiah 11 is like a giant beacon, shining light into the darkness of the unknown. Back up and read Isaiah 11:1-2 –
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
Don’t these verses just make you want to worship Him? This is no mistake, my friend. Jesus is the signal, raised high for us to gather around, but how will the world know?
What if God uses our worship as the bull horn of salvation for the people? And the billboard of encouragement and discernment for one another?
What is worship? His Word going out, His promises proclaimed, and His people responding. The Word surely does the work, but what do people see when they look around them and see worship?
They see Life in Worship and worship as the way we live our life.
Sweet, sweet worship. What a gift! Worship may be at times just between you and God, but mostly, it was meant to be communal. It was meant to be you and God, and God’s people. It speaks to one another and it speaks to those on the outside looking in.
We don’t worship for a show. We aren’t performers or puppeteers putting on a nice pretty picture for the world around us, but when the people of God gather, Life flows. Forgiveness flows. Confession happens. Mercy is given. Truth is spoken. Love is bestowed. Grace rains down. Encouragement builds.
God gathers His people. Only by His grace do we get out of bed on Sunday morning or Thursday night or whenever else, to worship alongside family, friends, and strangers. Only by His grace do we remember to pick up the family devotion book off the table and share His Peace with one another. Only by His grace will we be brought together in the heavens to sing with all the saints and angels “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabbaoth! Heaven and earth is full of Your Glory. Hosanna in the Highest!”
Jesus is always concerned with reaching the nations around us, the people around us. He reaches out and sweeps in the people with His ever-loving arms every time He comes to us.
Listen to what will happen. The Signal that is Christ Jesus will come again and the worship that results will be like nothing the world has ever seen. Indeed, every nation will see and hear –
…so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10)
Highly exalted, worthy of worship, every knee, every tongue.
Worship is Life and it speaks Life to a hurting world.
Worship with your life, friends. Worship for the Life He has given you and let Life flow to others by the act of your worship. And watch Him gather!
Lord, we worship You. We adore You. You alone are faithful, Lord. You alone are worthy. Let our worship be in honesty and in Truth. Let it be only for You. May you use each of us as your signals, as “little Christs” proclaiming Your Honor to all the earth. In Jesus we pray, Father, through Your everlasting Spirit. Amen!
What are your favorite parts of worship? Consider phrases or hymns, songs or proclamations, or elements that are not spoken, things you see, touch, or the people around you?
What is special at the place and in the people you worship with weekly? What makes your church and church family unique?
Bonus: Look at Isaiah 11:1-12 in full. What promises do you find? What will gathering look like in the end?