Word from Scotland
by Sandy Shaw
HERE I AM. Three simple words – “Here I am” – and they mean – I am available – I am available to listen – I am available and willing to hear what YOU are saying to me – and what YOU have to say to me.
When we utter these words we never know where they will lead to – or what will be the consequences – yes, even in 2022.
What do we do when we hear God’s voice – when we know that that is God speaking to me – doing something to get hold of my attention – getting hold of my life – and my talents and gifts?
What happens when I say to God, “Here I am”?
1 - I may make a sacrifice I never thought I could make . That might not be the best start to a message – maybe one should start with blessing – but this is blessing! Look again at Abraham - Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am ,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” Genesis 22 v. 1and 2.
God does not test us to grade us – but to grow us – and develop us.
Matthew 10 verse 39 – Whoever finds his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. This is the principle of the cross. I give up something to receive something so much better. GOD gives it back in ways we could never imagine - but it begins with sacrifice.
Jaco b gave up his schemes – Joseph gave up his dreams – Moses gives up the palaces of Pharaoh – David gives up that desire to build The Temple for God – Matthew gives up his tax collector’s job – Peter gives up his nets – Paul gives up his religion – Mary gives up her son. They all gave something – they all knew something about sacrifice – then, God gives something back.
Could we not miss out on the sacrifice part – No! We give up being in control and God gets the control – and God does something.
Romans 12verse 1 – I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God – which is your spiritual worship.
2 – “Here I am”- means I face a fear I thought I never ever could face.
JACOB - He wrestled with God – his name means a ‘schemer’ – but then, God gives him a new name – Israel.
And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, “Jacob! Jacob!” “Here I am,” he replied. “I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again.” Genesis 46 verses 2to 4.
This was the one place where he was never supposed to go!
What is the one thing I never would want to do? Where is the one place I never want to go to?
3 – “Here I am” - I see a miracle I thought I would never otherwise see .
Moses - When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Exodus 3verse 4
40 years in the Palace of Pharaoh – 40 years in the wilderness looking after sheep.
MOSES asks 4questions - Who Am I? Who are You? What about them? How about this? This problem – the weakness I have – the struggle?
Remember and consider the miracles Moses saw over the years.
4 - “Here I am” - I hear a message I never thought I would hear.
1Samuel 3verse 4 - Samuel - Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” When GOD speaks to you it might sound like someone else – or it might sound for someone else – rather than you.
God’s voice – God’s call - can mess up your plans – and hopes – and ambitions.
5 – “Here I am” - I go to a place I never thought I would go to.
Isaiah 6 verse 8 - Isaiah has this vision – he hears this voice - Then I heard the Lord’s voice, saying, “Whom can I send? Who will go for us?” So I said, “Here I am. Send me!”
We tend to say – “That is a good question – I am going to consider that question – I will give it sometime. I will get someone to consult with me about this.”
God does not do that – God does not need to consult – He needs obedient servants.
6 – “Here I am” - I trust a promise I never thought I could trust.
Luke 1 v35,37,38 – consider Mary.
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. For nothing is impossible with God .” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.”
This is the promise of a virgin birth – Mary is around 14or 15 years old – she is betrothed to Joseph. The words are slightly different from “Here I am” – but the sentiment is the same.
Some may consider they have been too sinful, and therefore unworthy – others may consider they have been a failure or made far too many mistakes or have far too many flaws.
“I am a failure – I have always been a failure – I will never be anything - and will never make anything of my life.”
That is no longer true when we say “Here I am” to God, when God calls.
7 - I serve a person I never thought I could serve .
Acts 9 verses 10,11 - Ananias There was a follower of Jesus in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to Ananias in a vision, “Ananias!”
Ananias answered, “Here I am, Lord.” The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to Straight Street. Find the house of Judas and ask for a man named Saul from the city of Tarsus.”
At that time, Ananias did not know the end of the story – we do. Ananias becomes involved right at the beginning of Saul’s Christian life. Ananias had to go and face Saul of Tarsus – and serve Saul of Tarsus. Saul was healed – and Saul was baptised - because Ananias went and served.
8 - I find a JOY I never thought I would find - JESUS.
Actually it is Jesus who finds us – people may say at the outset that they have found God, or that they have found Jesus – but within a short while they realise that it is Jesus who has come to find us – and call us. This is what the resurrection is all about – he is available to come into any church – into any life by the Holy Spirit.
Revelation 3verse 20 is all about Jesus wanting to get into the Church – to be allowed into His Church! “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you will eat with me.”
I am available – I am willing to listen – I and willing to serve – I am willing to trust – I am willing to go.
“Here I am” – willing to sacrifice – I have strength and courage to face fears.
“Here I am” - prepared to see miracles – and hear a message I never thought would hear – and go and do what I never thought I could go and do.
“Here am I” – ready to trust the promises of God – and perhaps serve someone I thought I would never serve – and enjoy that Joy which is in Jesus Christ, and all the other blessings of GOD.
January 2022 – “Here I am” – when God calls – when Jesus chooses – it is because there is a very real need – and He wants you to be part of His plan and purpose.
“Loving God – we do thank You that You are still a God who calls and chooses and speaks and provides. Help us to answer and reply carefully and responsibly and obediently, when You call. We give thanks and praise for those who have gone before us – and we pray for those who will follow and come after us – knowing that the Church of Jesus Christ will always have witnesses, servants and soldiers. Amen”
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Alexander 'Sandy' Shaw is pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship in Nairn, Scotland. Nairn is 17 miles east of Inverness - on the Moray Firth Coast - not far from the Loch Ness Monster!
Gifted as a Biblical teacher, Sandy is firmly committed to making sure that his teachings are firmly grounded in the Word.
Sandy has a weekly radio talk which can be heard via the Internet on Saturday at 11:40am, New Orleans time, at wsho.com.
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