Second Reformed Church

Sunday, May 20, 2018

"Without the Spirit" Sermon: Isaiah 6:8-13

“Without the Spirit”
[Isaiah 6:8-13]
May 20, 2018, Second Reformed Church
            Last week, we looked at the first part of Isaiah’s call to the ministry:  Isaiah sees the Lord high and lifted up in the Temple.  He sees the authority and the holiness of God, and Isaiah is undone, he is devastated by the guilt of his sin and that of the people in view of God’s holiness.  And if you have never felt like you could do nothing other than disintegrate before God, reconsider the holiness of God and the heinousness of your sin against Him.
            Then God, in His mercy, sends one of the seraphim, who brings a coal to the lips of Isaiah and says his sin and its guilt are forgiven – through the suffering life of Jesus – God the Son Incarnate – His death and resurrection – Isaiah – and anyone who believes the Gospel – the historical truth of Jesus – Isaiah is purified and saved from the Wrath of God.
            We continue this morning with Isaiah before the throne of God – in a state of amazed thanks for God delivering him from his sin.
            And we see, first, God looks for a messenger.
“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am! Send me.’”
God asks what is surely a rhetorical question – God knows the answer – He has just saved Isaiah, and God asks, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”
Who understands that until one is confronted with the unplumbable depths of their sin, they can never be saved?  Who understands that the holiness of God must be brought before a person so he will understand that he is totally depraved?  Who understands that until the bad news of eternal torture is understood as the just sentence for sin against God, they cannot want to be saved?
In some sense, we must truly understand that sin has corrupted every part of our being, that we are inclined towards sin – and of ourselves don’t want God, we don’t want salvation – until that is firmly planted in our minds and hearts, the Gospel – the Good News of salvation through the Incarnate God cannot make sense – and it will not make sense.  If you think you are fine, if you think you are not that bad, if you think that your good will outweigh your evil, you will never believe savingly in Jesus.
But, here we have Isaiah, who felt as though he was coming apart cell by cell, and God knows that Isaiah is the man.  God knows Isaiah is the messenger to send “for us.”  And yes, that is a correct translation – we have a tiny glimpse into the fact that God is the Triune God in this question.
So, Isaiah, full of thanksgiving and zeal says, “Send me!  Here I am!”
And God sends him – God prepares him for his ministry.
Second, God tells Isaiah to preach repentance.
“And he said, ‘Go, and say to this people: “‘”Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’” Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.’”
God tells Isaiah to preach to the people, but know that they won’t understand.  Preach to the people, but know that they won’t perceive.  Preach to the people, but their hearts will grow dull.  Preach to the people, but their ears will grow heavy.  Preach to the people, but they will not see.
Have you ever talked with someone, and they didn’t want to hear or understand what you are saying?  So, they start talking back to you or even just say, “no, no, no,” and finally put their fingers in their ears and say, “la, la, la, la, la.”
God tells Isaiah to preach to Judah until they put their fingers in their ears and say, “la, la, la, la, la, la, I can’t hear you,” because in so doing, they will seal their fate and justify God’s discipline.
Calvin writes that it is as though God tells Isaiah, “You will indeed teach without any good effect; but do not regret your teaching, for I enjoin it upon you; and do not refrain from teaching, because it yields no advantage; only obey me, and leave to my disposal all the consequences of your labours.  I give you all this information in good time, that the event may not terrify you, as if it had been strange and unexpected” (Commentary on Isaiah, vol. 1. 214).
Does this sound like a call to the ministry you would want?  “Preach the Gospel for the next sixty to eighty years and, basically, not one will repent, no one will believe, and things will generally get worse.”
We don’t know how the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be met when it comes from our lips, do we?  But we are all called to tell everyone – if we love our neighbors as ourselves, we will tell that that God is angry with them and their sins and burning with an eternal wrath that can only be quenched by His Son.  Some people are clergy – like me – but all of us are called to tell others Who Jesus is and what He did.
Hear what Jesus says about preaching the Gospel:
“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.  And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A sower went out to sow.  And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.’”
“Then the disciples came and said to him, ‘Why do you speak to them in parables?’ And he answered them, ‘To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “’You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.’”  For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.”
“’But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.’
“’Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.’”
Jesus says that He usually taught in parables to make sure that the people would not understand what He is saying.
Notice a few things about this parable:  in it the sower of the seed does so faithfully.  It is not a matter of the sower being unfaithful that the people do not understand and believe or that he is faithful and they do hear and believe.  People do not understand when the soil that the seed falls on is not good soil, and they do believe when the seed falls on good soil.
So let us ask ourselves, is Isaiah a faithful preacher – a faithful sower of seeds?
Is Jesus a faithful preacher – a faithful sower of seeds?
In Genesis, as God curses our first parents, we are told that the whole Creation is cursed along with us.  All of the soil is “bad” soil, and it will be difficult to work it and bring a crop to fruition.  So, how is “bad” soil made “good”?
How does the wicked heart of stone of a human ever receive the Good News of Jesus Christ?
Do we remember what Jesus says to Nichodemus?  “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:7-8, ESV).
In other words, without the work of God the Holy Spirit, no one will ever believe the Gospel.  Unless God the Holy Spirit intercedes and changes the bad soil to good soil, unless He changes the heart of stone to a heart of flesh, unless He opens their ears and eyes, they will neither hear nor see.
In other words, being a faithful preacher of the Gospel does not mean anyone will ever believe.
In other words, we are called to faithfulness, we are called to obedience, we are called to trust, we are not called to save anyone.  You can I cannot convert anyone.  You and I cannot cause a person to believe.  The greatest evangelist or preacher is merely faithful, the results of that faithfulness is God’s – whether many or few people heed the call to repentance and believe is up to God, not us.
This is important for us to understand for a number of reasons:
First, if we tell people about Jesus day after day and see no results, we can become discouraged and want to give up.  So, understand, we are called to faithfully, always proclaim the Gospel, but what happens after that is God’s work, not ours.
Second, we may never see results with any given person or even in our lifetime, but, if we are faithful in proclaiming the Gospel, God will use that faithfulness to accomplish His plan on earth.
Paul writes, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building” (I Corinthians 3:6-9, ESV).
Third, it should free us up from any sort of works righteousness based on our telling others about Jesus, or guilt about those who do no convert when we call them to.  We are called to faithfully tell others.  “God gives the growth.”
Jesus prays, “While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled” (John 17:12, ESV).
You and I are responsible to be faithful; we are not responsible to save anyone.  Jesus has already secured the salvation of everyone who will ever believe and not one will be lost – that is Jesus’ word!
Not long ago, a pastor was asking me about our church and my ministry, and he said to me, “Do you want to know why you are a failure as a minister?”
I can imagine him coming before Isaiah, “I’ve noticed you are not making converts, you don’t have a big following, you don’t have any money, people even hate you – do you want me to explain why you are a failure as a minister?”
Isaiah was faithful to God’s call on his life.  Isaiah faithfully lived out his call to ministry.  What God did with that is God’s business.
Isaiah understood that as God gave him his very heavy call to the ministry, still Isaiah loved his people.
Third, Isaiah asks, “How long?”
“Then I said, ‘How long, O Lord?’ And he said: ‘Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste, and the LORD removes people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled.’”
“How long will I preach the Gospel to such a barren response?”
“Until the cities are uninhabited – a wasteland.  Until the homes are uninhabited – a wasteland.  Until the land is desolate.  Until the people are taken off into captivity.  And the Babylonians will come back multiple times taking more people into captivity, burning the land, until there are so few people left in Judah, it will be like a stump amidst the scorched earth.”
Isaiah is to preach until Babylon has finished slaughtering the people and taking them into captivity; Isaiah is to preach until God has disciplined Judah to the extent in which He intends.
How much to you love your family and friends and neighbors?  It is worth it to you to tell them the Gospel?  Even if their response is the response of Judah?  Will you lovingly tell them again and again, even as they put their fingers in their ears and say, “la, la, la, la, la”?
Will you faithfully tell people that they need Jesus to save them – to cleanse them – to free them from their slavery to sin – and then trust God to send God the Holy Spirit as He wills?
Because there is hope:
Fourth, there is always a remnant.
“The holy seed is its stump.”
Have you ever cut down a tree or a big bush at the stump, only to find new growth coming up out of the stump?  I have.
God tells Isaiah that despite the true picture of doom and gloom that God is painting about the response to the ministry of Isaiah – and, after all, it is really about the response to the message of the Gospel – as Isaiah looks across the scotched land and sees one lone stump in the land – that stump with send up new shoots – God will always keep His promise – there is always a remnant.  There will always be a few who believe – who return.  Until Jesus returns, there will always be a few who truly believe in Jesus for salvation.
There is always hope, brothers and sisters – there is always hope in Jesus.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, when we hear the call given to Isaiah to preach for decades, largely be rejected, and to see the nation slaughtered and taken into captivity, it is easy to become depressed and miss the point that salvation is God’s work, while we are called to be faithful.  O Lord, raise us up and fill us with the Holy Spirit that we would be faithful and “tell the old, old story” that each one on this planet would hear that Jesus Alone is the Way to salvation.  And keep us trusting in You, knowing that You will always keep Your promises, that You will save to the fullest, and there is hope – always and forever there is hope, because You are the Sovereign God.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Reformed Wisdom

On Isaiah 6:13 --
"Typical of Isaiah, hope is the unexpected fringe attached to the garment of doom."  Motyer, The Prophecy of Isaiah, 79.

Reformed Wisdom

On Isaiah 6:11 --
"Here is the problem that must be faced by all true ministers of God.  And the deepest, the truest, the most sincere and earnest love for the people to whom we minister will be shown only when we declare to them in loving, yet firm, fashion, the whole counsel of God.  Anything less that a full proclamation of the truth is a manifestation of a spirit of self-interest, not of true love.  Genuine love to our people demands that we tell them the truth."  Young, The Book of Isaiah, vol. 1, 262.

Reformed Wisdom

On Isaiah 6:8 --
"Let us not fear to acknowledge that here is an adumbration of the doctrine of the Trinity which in the New Testament receives its fuller revelation." -- Young, The Book of Isaiah, vol. 1, 254.

Thursday Night Study

Did you forget we had study last night?  We talked about the reality of sin -- how it is a heart condition that merits us eternal suffering in Hell.  But Jesus came to pay the debt for our sin, and if we believe in His life, death, and resurrection -- as God the Son incarnate -- we will be forgiven -- made right with God.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

"Holiness and Atonement" Sermon: Isaiah 6:1-7

“Holiness and Atonement”
[Isaiah 6:1-7]
May 13, 2018, Second Reformed Church
            We said that the first five chapters of the book of Isaiah are a summary of what Isaiah preaches – “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah” (Isaiah 1:1, ESV).
            As we now turn to chapter six of Isaiah, we have Isaiah’s call to the ministry, which takes place “in the year that King Uzziah died” – 740 B.C.
            This is a time of upheaval, both in Judah and Israel, where King Pekahiah has also died in 740 B.C.  It is a time of searching for the right king – a time when some would remember that they rebelled and turned away from God being their only king.  It is a time of reflection and discernment – a time when power is up for grabs in both kingdoms.
            First, we have a vision of God’s holiness.
            “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’”
            Let’s notice the scene:
            Isaiah dates the year of his call to the ministry and he says he “saw.”  He does not tell us if this was a vision in his mind, or before him, whether he was in his home or in the Temple – these details are left out because they are not necessary to the history.  Isaiah saw.
            Isaiah sees the Lord God on His throne, high and lifted up, and the train of his robe fills the Temple.  Notice, Isaiah says nothing about what God looks like – because God is a Spirit – He is not visible to the human eye – and the Scripture clearly tells us that no one can look at God and live.
Isaiah sees a vision of the extent of the power and the authority of God as King and Judge – being high and lifted up emphasizes that, as does the immense length of the train of His robe.  God is above all power and authority and holds all power and authority over all of Creation. Isaiah sees the real King of Israel and Judah and all of Creation.
Above God stands the seraphim – a class of angel whose name means “burning ones” and whose purpose, as we shall see, is to praise God night and day.
The seraphim have three sets of wings – six in total.   With two wings they cover their faces.  Why?  We’re not told, but it could be because, they, as created creatures, could not look upon the unveiled glory of God – just like humans can’t.  With another pair of wings they fly.  And with the third set of wings, they cover their feet.  Why?  Again, we’re not told, but it could be a sign of humility before God; it could be that they didn’t want to reveal their feet to humans.  In any event, the seraphim are servants of God who are in His presence.
And their purpose is to praise God night and day.
As Isaiah looks, the seraphim cry out from one to another:  “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
And we will remember that in writing in Hebrew you don’t say “very” or “very, very,” for emphasis, you say the same word over and over – twice for emphasis, and three times for supreme emphasis.
The seraphim cry out that God is “holy, holy, holy” – God’s holiness is the height of His divine perfection.  God is utterly other than His Creation.  He is distinct from it and He is not dependent on it.  And He is perfect and utterly sinless.
And the whole earth – every corner, every land, everywhere you can name anywhere – the whole earth is full of God’s glory – they whole earth reveals the attributes of God – not just in Israel and Judah, but throughout the whole earth.
Paul writes:  “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20, ESV).
Everyone everywhere knows God exists.  God’s glory is everywhere.  Everyone everywhere – by looking at the Creation – knows that God exists, that He is infinitely powerful, perfect, sinless, and completely other from His Creation.
And so, we have this picture which Isaiah sees of God – and that everyone everywhere knowns from looking at Creation – God exists, He is the ultimate power and authority and judge.  He is above and beyond and other than all of His Creation.  He is utterly sinless and perfect.  He is holy, holy, holy.
Do the people you know respect and honor the God Who is revealed in nature – Whom Isaiah sees?
Do we act appropriately knowing Who God is in this way – not to mention the additional knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ, the Only Savior?
Through Jesus we can come boldly before God, our Father, we must never forget that He is holy, holy, holy!
Second, we see the response to God’s holiness.
“And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!’”
And the very building of the Temple to its foundation responds to the holiness of God by shaking – as the author of Hebrews writes, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31, ESV) – and the Temple had not sinned!  Still, smoke filled the Temple, making it all the more fearsome a visage.
And Isaiah is stricken to his roots – he understands how great, how deep, how loathsome, how offensive, how damning a single sin is against the Holy God, and he cries out, cursing himself, “Woe is me!”  “I am judged!  I am condemned!”
“For I am lost” – we don’t get the impact of the Hebrew here – which means, “I have been made to cease, I am cut off, undone, doomed to die” (Young, vol. 1, 247), “I am unravelling, devastated as though made to cease!”
To understand sin is to understand the infinite distance between a sinner and the Holy God.  To come into the presence of the Holy God as a sinner – without the Savior – is to be unmade, taken apart.  Picture your cells falling apart – no longer cohering together, until you are a mass of -- and your soul being twisted in torment over the realization of its state.
“I am a man of unclean lips.”  Why does Isaiah identify his sin as being from his lips?
Jesus and His disciples were criticized by the Pharisees for not washing their hands before they ate lunch:
“And [Jesus] called the people to him and said to them, ‘Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.’ Then the disciples came and said to him, ‘Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?’ He answered, ‘Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.’ But Peter said to him, ‘Explain the parable to us.’ And he said, ‘Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone” (Matthew 15:10-20, ESV).
Isaiah says he is a man of unclean lips because he understands that what comes out of a person’s mouth reveals his heart.
Oh, and for those who love their neighbors, as Isaiah did – he sees that his neighbors are in the same state as he – they are also a people of unclean lips
Malachi raises the question of who is able to stand – and live – before the Holy God:  “But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?” (Malachi 3:2a, ESV).
David writes, “Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully” (Psalm 24: 3-4, ESV).
But who has clean hands?  Who has a pure heart?  Who does not speak what is false?  Who is never deceitful?
Isaiah understands that he and Judah – and all of us – in our own power – fail to be worthy to stand in the presence of the Holy God.  In fact, for us to do us based on our own merit would be to expose ourselves to the complete unravelling of body and soul!  Understand this is a metaphor.
Many modern preachers with big congregations say that preachers shouldn’t talk about sin – that people have enough hardship and trouble in their lives – that they are down on themselves enough – that people need to be encouraged and built up – to have their self-esteem raised.
And that’s great if the Holy God doesn’t exist.  But if He does, and He demands holiness from me, and if I go before God with all my good works and all my self-esteem, and God says, “You have sinned against me.”  The only thing I can do – of my own accord – is to writhe in torment and come apart before Him, because I have nothing to offer – I cannot pay the debt for my sin.  I have an unclean mouth – and so do you.
Our hope is the mercy of God in His gracious gift of Jesus Christ.
Third, we see God’s response to the believer’s sin.
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.’”
Isaiah recognizes his sin and the sin of the people and cries out in horror about it before the Holy God, and God, in His mercy, sends one of the seraphim to Isaiah. 
The seraphim takes the tongs at the altar and removes one of the burning coals and brings it to Isaiah, and he takes the burning coal and touches it to Isaiah’s mouth.  Have you ever been burned – by fire, a stove, anything like that?  Imagine a near-molten coal being placed on your mouth where we have such sensitive areas of flesh – it would have burned and swelled up and been excruciatingly painful.
And the seraphim says, “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
Isaiah is not saying that he paid the debt for his sin.  Isaiah is not saying that we should put burning coals in our mouths.  The coal is symbolic of something that is done that does take away the guilt for our sin and pays the debt to God for our sin – it makes atonement for us.
The author of Hebrews writes, “Therefore [Jesus] had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:17-18, ESV).
In The Heidelberg Catechism we read, “Q & A 37
“Q. What do you understand by the word “suffered” [in The Apostle’s Creed]?
“A. That during his whole life on earth, but especially at the end, Christ sustained in body and soul the wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race. This he did in order that, by his suffering as the only atoning sacrifice, he might deliver us, body and soul, from eternal condemnation, and gain for us God’s grace, righteousness, and eternal life.”
The coal that is placed on Isaiah’s lips symbolizes the life, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus – God the Son Incarnate – Who lived a perfect life under God’s Law – credited it to all we who believe – and suffered horrifically to pay the debt for our sins.
If you and I receive the Gospel – the work that Jesus did on earth – if we believe in Him in our hearts and confess Him with our mouths – our guilt is taken away, and our sins are atoned for.  The Holy God is our Father – still the Holy God – but our Father Who hears our prayers and provides us with everything we need for each day and has gifted us His Son that we would be forgiven and made right with God.
Peter writes, “As you come to [Jesus], a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (I Peter 2:4-5, ESV).
Isaiah saw the Holy God, and in seeing Him, he was devastated because of his sin and the sins of the people of Judah.  But God is faithful and promised the Way to be made right with God – the Way Who would experience horrific pain to reconcile us to God, and yet, we are told it was for the joy of bringing us in – His people – to the praise and the glory of God – that He was willing to suffer death on the cross.
Beloved, this world does not need to be coddled and told that they are all winners.  This world need to see a vision of the Holy God that they would be shaken to their cores, repent of their sins, and believe in Jesus, the Son of God and Savior, Who makes us right with God now and forever.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, we thank You for the vision that was received by Isaiah that He would know You as the Holy God and also know that there is salvation through the promised Savior.  As we meditate on Your Son’s suffering and the seriousness of our sin, may we not be afraid to tell our family and friends that God is Holy, and they need to be right with Him.  Strengthen us by God the Holy Spirit, and have Him move us to the people and places You would have us go, and may Your praises ever be on our lips.  For it is in Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.