Grace for Greater ~ Based on sermon by Pastor Kevin Dudley

October 16, 2014

Isaiah 54:1-10 “Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the LORD. “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband– the LORD Almighty is his name– the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit– a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God. “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer. “To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

He’s got the whole world in His hands. How many times did we sing these words growing up but we forget when it concerns our lives. Your pain, your job, your family, your finances do not have the last word for how your story is going to play out. We get into seasons of confusion and get locked into burdens. Don’t let the lies and distractions have a louder voice than God. God promises for greater in our lives. We must live greater and live into our greater.

In this scripture, Isaiah speaks of the barren woman who is not able to have a baby. He is speaking of the believers that never birthed the greater that God has for them. He is speaking of those who are waiting on God to manifest something in their life for them to see that the promise of God is real. He is speaking of the people who never responded to what God has said, what God has promised. We need to respond to the grace of God and not allow the noise of the distractions make us lose focus any longer.

The grace of God will Always Stretch You. Think of this as your preparation to enlarge your life. We must give God space to occupy and anticipate expansion. Give God material with a little flexibility he can work with. Make room for God-sized dreams; as every God move will stretch you.

As God stretches us, we must Clear out the clutter to make room for God. That means removing all corrupted contents so that when space is available we don’t fill it with more junk. Take those bad 4-letter words out your mouth so you can get out of the poverty mentality. God has no room for can’t, won’t, quit and fear. Clear out all of those things that are taking you nowhere so that you can get ready for what God has for you.

When God desires to move in our lives it Challenges us to heal from our hang ups. We can no longer be locked in our pain, shame and guilt of our past. Get over it. Ok, you messed up yesterday, but that was yesterday. Verse 4 says “You will forget the shame of your youth.” That does not mean it is wiped from your memory, it means that the time and energy that was spent on it already is sufficient to pay for what is done and it is time to heal from it. God is trying to claim your life back so what is your problem that you keep holding on. It is time to heal.

As God is moving in your life He will Establish You. God assumes responsibility for everything that happens in your life. What God plants cannot be taken up but it will take root and establish you in His Promise. God is waiting for us to be stretched, to clear out the clutter, to heal from our hang ups and to allow Him to establish us. How will you respond to God’s grace in your life?

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