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(The manuscript is below.)
How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of the herald,
who proclaims peace,
who brings news of good things,
who proclaims salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
I hope my feet are beautiful to you this morning, not because of the footwear I am wearing, but because of the message I am bringing.
At the end of their captivity - at the time for their redemption - Israel needed to look up to the mountains and see the beautiful feet of the faithful herald of God, dressed lavishly and driven swiftly by good news - good news of peace - good news of good things to come - good news of salvation - good news from their good and mighty God.
I want to climb up on the mountains of all the problems and challenges we face today - the mountains of ungodly immorality; Godless, man-centered religion and spirituality; political and economic upheaval and uncertainty; seemingly unending turmoil; seemingly senseless tragedy; body-and-soul-draining busy-ness and sinfulness - I want to climb up on these mountains, plant both feet firmly against their rockslides of discouragement and despair, and beautifully bring you that same good news the people of God needed to hear all those thousands of years ago! This good news is just as fresh and powerful for us as it was for them!
On these mountains full of chaos and unrest, I proclaim to you peace!
I proclaim to you peace that Jesus has given to us, and not as the world gives, so that our hearts should not be troubled or fearful, having peace with God through Him (John 14:27; Romans 5:1).
I proclaim to you peace that spans the globe, reaching those who are far away and those who are near (Ephesians 2:17).
I proclaim to you …The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, [and] will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7 ESV), if you don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6).
On these mountains full of ugly and wicked things, I bring you news of good things!
I bring you news of What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived - the things God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV).
I bring you news of all the good things God has richly provided us with to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17), having blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens (Ephesians 1:3), not withholding anything good from us as we walk with Him (Psalm 84:11).
On these mountains full of the condemned and the dead, I proclaim to you salvation!
I proclaim to you salvation that is a present reality, not merely a past event, as we are now saved and always being saved by the Gospel we have received and taken our stand on, as long as we have believed for that purpose and not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:1-2).
God’s Gospel is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. Now the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame”, for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:9-13).
I proclaim to you salvation that is not a passing hype, but a promised hope, since Jesus, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him (Hebrews 9:28).
11 …knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires. (Romans 13:11–14)
Over all of these looming mountains of temptation and tribulation, I say to you, your God reigns!
With the eyes of faith, you must look up over the mountains and see your sovereign God.
10 See, the Lord God comes with strength, and His power establishes His rule.
You have peace in your God as He reigns!
Hasn’t Jesus told us, “…in me you may have peace. In the world you have affliction, but have courage! I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33 LEB)
You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them [the false prophets and the world], because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
You have good things from your God as He reigns!
His reward is with Him, and His gifts accompany Him. (Isaiah 40:10)
We know that, for those who love God, God causes all things to work together for good - for those who are called according to His purpose. For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified. What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who can truly be against us? He did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him generously give us all things? (Romans 8:28–32 Author’s Rendering)
You have salvation by your God as He reigns!
11 He protects His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them in the fold of His garment. He gently leads those that are nursing. (Isaiah 40:11)
3 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead 4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. 5 You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials 7 so that the genuineness of your faith —more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire —may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3–9)
As you look out at the world with its many mountains of problems, which we can never conquer on our own, ask yourself this:
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand?
Who has gathered the dust of the earth in a measure
or weighed the mountains in a balance
and the hills in the scales?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,
or who gave Him His counsel?
14 Who did He consult with?
Who gave Him understanding
and taught Him the paths of justice?
Who taught Him knowledge
and showed Him the way of understanding?
15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are considered as a speck of dust in the scales;
He lifts up the islands like fine dust.
16 Lebanon is not enough for fuel,
or its animals enough for a burnt offering.
17 All the nations are as nothing before Him;
they are considered by Him
as nothingness and emptiness.
18 Who will you compare God with?
What likeness will you compare Him to?
21 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you
from the beginning?
Have you not considered
the foundations of the earth?
22 God is enthroned above the circle of the earth;
its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like thin cloth
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He reduces princes to nothing
and makes judges of the earth irrational.
24 They are barely planted, barely sown,
their stem hardly takes root in the ground
when He blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind carries them away like stubble.
25 “Who will you compare Me to,
or who is My equal?” asks the Holy One.
26 Look up and see:
who created these?
He brings out the starry host by number;
He calls all of them by name.
Because of His great power and strength,
not one of them is missing.
27 Jacob, why do you say,
and Israel, why do you assert:
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my claim is ignored by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Yahweh is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the whole earth.
He never grows faint or weary;
there is no limit to His understanding.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and strengthens the powerless.
30 Youths may faint and grow weary,
and young men stumble and fall,
31 but those who trust in the Lord
will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary;
they will walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:12–17, 18, 21-31)
Come and rest in the peace God offers you in our victorious Lord today. Come and receive the good things He gives so that no one can take them away. Come and repent, rejoice, and wait for the salvation He guarantees to all that take refuge in Him. Come and know our God Who reigns!
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