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Revival #4

With Wings as Eagles

(Isaiah 40:31) I appreciate all the hospitality and fellowship. Like I said last night, I just feel like I'm home and so I'm going to act like I'm home if that's alright. I want to encourage you tonight. We have been talking about the challenge that's before you and it's a great challenge. And I hope that in what has been said so far that I am not trying to minimize or trivialize what you are about to get into because it is a big job, bigger than you would ever imagine. It is the biggest step, I would imagine, this church has ever taken in it's history. So it's not an easy thing, but as we just heard sung, it's impossible for us but aren't you glad it's not impossible with God. Anything He says to do, we can handle. He said get out in the deep water. We are supposed to live in the deep water, not just visit there every now and then, that's where we are supposed to live. So I want to encourage you tonight. I'm going to share with you my favorite passage of scripture. I may have used this before. I was here back in '94, '95, something like that; who cares. I may have even used this text and talked about this then, I don't know. But, like I said, you won't remember what I preached next week. You will forget all about this week, so I'm not worried about eight or nine years ago. I can be honest with you. But this is my favorite passage. It's one that I've had to go back to, and I'll be honest, during this building process I've had to go back to it several times. I brought a couple of pictures of our auditorium if anybody would like to see them. The only thing missing in that picture is the stained glass window behind the baptistery that we talked about the other night. But I sat down with the guy who designed our windows and said, 'Here's what I would like.' And I wanted a big eagle. If you go into my office, there are eagles everywhere. Once the church members know you collect eagles, there's just no stopping it. But I've got eagles everywhere. But in this window there is a huge eagle there flying above, and at the bottom of that window is this verse of scripture in Isaiah chapter 40. (Isaiah 40:31) : I think this is one of the most beautiful verses that you are going to find anywhere in scripture. It says that 'They that wait upon the Lord'; you could probably just underline that and stop there and we could talk a long time, couldn't we. Waiting on the Lord is one of the hardest things a child of God has to do, especially when you are involved and participating, and you are anxious. You can come over here and stand and look at this model and there are just things that cause you to jump right off. There is a balance your pastor mentioned about, going through those open doors. That's not the hard part. The hard part is waiting for the doors to open, that's the hard part. (Isaiah 40:30) . The great thing about this is that it's not just a really pretty passage of scripture, it's not just beautiful words that the Lord has strung together for us; it's a promise. That makes it all the more powerful, doesn't it? It's a promise of God that when we wait upon the Lord, things are going to happen. He said, 'Listen, all you have to do is this. All you have to do is wait a little bit and here's what's going to happen if you do.' That's where I want to encourage you tonight. Of all the symbolism in the Bible, I think this is one of the most powerful. God likens the child of God to lots of stuff in the Bible, and I love the study of types and symbols. I've always been attracted to that because it paints pictures for you. If you are dumb like I am, you know, you need to look at the coloring book. Forget the words. Just show me the pictures. I'm glad God knew and He did that for me, and in His word He drew a lot of pictures for me. So I can look at this and get an idea of what God was talking about. In the Bible the eagle is mentioned more than any other bird you are going to find. Over 32 times the Bible talks about the Eagle. It's a powerful image. When you see an eagle it just does something for you and to you. It's just a symbol of greatness and majesty. Benjamin Franklin, bless his heart, you know what he wanted to do? Sadly, he probably would have been closer at times. He wanted the turkey to be our national symbol. I don't know what he was thinking other than you can eat the turkey. But I'm glad common sense won out there and somehow that eagle became our symbol of greatness and majesty and power. Wouldn't you hate to hear 'Hail to The Chief' and the president walk in with this big old turkey? In our past administration that would have probably been very fitting. I don't know what kind of country I'm in right now. I want to talk to you about the eagle. You learn some of the greatest lessons about God from the encyclopedia because God is the encyclopedia. God's nature. You know, science didn't create anything. God did all that. You can look at nature and God says all through the Bible, especially in the Proverbs and the Psalms; you can read those and you can find that God says, 'Hey, I know what's going on in nature, I'm the one who put it there. I'm the one who makes it work.' Scientists just since the 1950's discovered that the Bible was right on the rotation of the stars. They argued that for centuries. God said, 'You all are messed up.' Finally, some brave soul stood up and said, 'You know what, I think we blew it. The Bible is right.' And so when you see nature, you see God. Don't skip over that kind of stuff because it is important.

The Bible talks about things from Genesis through Revelations. God put those things in there for a reason because in those things we see God. Now I'm not an animist or a deist or anything else, but I know who my Creator is, and I know He has a purpose in these things, and when I read stuff like this it makes me want to understand why God said that you, as a child of God, can be like an eagle. Well, if that's the case I want to know why and eagle is like he is. So let me just share some facts with you. Maybe you have heard this before; that's OK. It always blesses my heart. The first thing, you know, who is the king of the jungle? Not George. In the animal kingdom, who is the king of the jungle? The lion. Brother Empey likes lions and tigers. Who is the king of the air? The eagle. As the lion is on the ground, the eagle is in the air. That's just common sense. The eagle is a member of the falcon family, and yet he is greater in his family than any of his relatives. He is the most powerful bird in his species. He is proud, stately, distinguished, and beautiful. When I read that I think about what God said in (Genesis 1:27) . You know what that tells me? When I get to heaven and I look at God sitting on the thrown, He is going to look just like me, don't you think? You are going to look up there and say, 'Is that Tom Bragdon sitting up (continued...)

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