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February 10,2009

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The Comfort of God

Isaiah 40:1-11

Introduction

My 3-year-old son, Ian, enjoys the Bible story about Samuel hearing God's voice at night. One evening after reading the story to Ian, I asked him if God had ever spoken to him.

To my surprise, he answered, "Yes."

"What did God say to you?" I asked.

Ian thought and then said in his deepest voice, "Ian! Go to bed!"

That explained why Ian settles down more quickly when I'm outside his room and tell him to go to bed.

-- Deborah Hough,

God Comforts us with

I. A voice of pardon (1-2)

A. A Tender Voice in the midst of trials

B. A Tender voice to a disobedient people

C. A Tender voice of restoration

II A voice of prophecy (3-5)

A. Calling in the wilderness

B. Calling us to follow Him

There is a picture her of God leading His people through the wilderness, and Him opening the way for them.

We literally are called out of the wilderness, and god has made a way for us through His death burial and resurrection.

III A voice of Promise (6-8)

A. We are as the passing grass

In 1 Corinthians 10:13, the apostle is talking about temptation. "No temptation has seized you except what is common." ...

Satan says, "It's just you. You've been a Christian how long and you still struggle with that?"

Against that voice comes the voice of God: "Listen, child, you're experiencing what millions of Christians through the centuries and across the world have struggled with. They have found some measure of victory, and you can too. It's not just you."

-- Bryan Chapell, "The Great Escape," Preaching Today, Tape 181.

Topic: Strength

Subtopic: In Weakness

Index: 3805

Date: 7/1998.1929

Title: We Can Do All Things

Guideposts (9/95) published the story of Jim Stovall, who became totally blind at age 29. While he still had partial vision, he volunteered at a school for the blind. He was assigned to help a four-year-old boy, blind and severely handicapped. Stovall spent considerable time trying to convince the boy he could tie his own shoes or climb stairs in spite of his limitations.

"No, I can't!" the boy insisted.

"Yes, you can," Stovall replied.

"No, I can't!" The verbal battle went on.

Meanwhile, Stovall fought his own limitations. Because of his deteriorating vision, he decided he had to quit his college courses. On his way to withdraw from college, he decided to resign his volunteer position as well.

"It's just too tough," he explained. "I can't do it."

"Yes, you can!" said a little voice beside him. It was the four-year-old who refused to tie his shoes.

"No, I can't!" said Stovall with conviction.

"Yes, you can!"

Stovall realized if he didn't continue, the child would give up too. So Stovall stayed in school and graduated three-and-a-half years later. The same week he graduated, his little friend tied his shoes and climbed a flight of stairs.

Philippians tell us we "can do all things through Christ who gives us strength."

-- David Chotka in Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching (Baker), from the editors of Leadership.

B. His word is forever

IV A Voice of Peace (9-11)

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