Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,
- This week invite a friend or neighbor to join us for worship – offer to give them a ride. Maybe they will say no thanks, but they will know we are concerned for their heart.
- We will have a fellowship lunch following worship this week. Please bring a dish to share. We will provide drinks.
- Also, plan to join us for our Christmas Eve service on Thursday, Dec 24th at 6:00 PM at Birkes.
- Finally, this week’s devotion is a reflection from Isaiah 55 on the gospel invitation.
From the Pastor’s Desk
“Come to the Waters”
Isaiah 55:1, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy, and eat!”
Our world is filled with those running this way and that way – running at break-neck speed – to find satisfaction. “A better job, a new house, a new spouse, a new club membership, a new car, children to the best schools … this will bring me satisfaction! This will give me meaning! This will give my life purpose!” Or so the modern saying goes. But this attitude is not modern at all. This mentality of seeking meaning apart from the Lord has been with us since the garden – since Adam and Eve rejected God’s word in favor of Satan’s word. The prophet Isaiah poses the probing question to those looking for meaning in all the wrong places: “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?” (Is 55:2). But surrounding this probing question from Isaiah 55 is one of the most glorious gospel invitations in the Bible. There are several points to note from Isaiah’s invitation in 55:1-6.
First, Isaiah’s invitation is an urgent invitation. The repeated refrain, ‘Come,’ underscores the importance and urgency of Isaiah’s appeal. This is no second-place issue. This is not an issue that can wait for later. No, the time is now. Today is the day of salvation (2 Cor 6:2). Do not linger – come now! Eternity is at stake! Eternal life or eternal death! “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near” (v. 6).
Second, Isaiah’s invitation is an invitation to true satisfaction. It is an invitation for the thirsty to drink and for the hungry to eat. It is an invitation to partake of the true bread and of that which alone truly satisfies (John 6:35). In contrast to the false and seductive siren calls of the world, the gospel call is a call to a life of joy and peace and forgiveness. Like Egypt of old, the world offers only the passing pleasures of sin (Heb 11:25), that which is not bread and that which does not satisfy. But the call of the gospel is the call to be filled with the living water and the good and rich food of the gospel (v. 2b).
Third, Isaiah’s invitation is an invitation to Christ. In vv. 3-5, the reference seems to shift to the coming Messiah, the coming son of David. The Messiah will be a witness to the peoples, a leader and a commander for the peoples (v. 4). The New Testament picks up this language and applies it to the gospel going forth to the Gentiles (Eph 2:11-22). Those who come to Christ and are raised from death to life – they are engrafted into the body of Christ – they now partake of God’s covenant blessings in His Son (Eph 1:3). And the great wonder of this gospel call is its freeness, its graciousness. We come to Christ with empty hands. All we bring to him is our sin. What a contrast … spending money and laboring for that which does not satisfy … or running to and partaking in the gospel of life freely. As Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is lght” (Matt 11:28-30). May we run to him dear brothers and sisters!