Revealing a Heart Transformation


Message Title: Revealing a heart transformation
Theme: Revealing Revelations
Main Text: Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12);
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:13-20
RCL Scripture: Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12); Psalm 112:1-9 (10);1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16); Matthew 5:13-20
Focus:  God’s people are called out on their manipulation tactics. 
Function: To embrace our role as God’s people because God is good, not because we gain a reward.
Other Notes:

Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:13-20 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again? It’s good for nothing except to be thrown away and trampled under people’s feet. 14 You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven.  17 “Don’t even begin to think that I have come to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I haven’t come to do away with them but to fulfill them. 18 I say to you very seriously that as long as heaven and earth exist, neither the smallest letter nor even the smallest stroke of a pen will be erased from the Law until everything there becomes a reality. 19 Therefore, whoever ignores one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do the same will be called the lowest in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever keeps these commands and teaches people to keep them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 I say to you that unless your righteousness is greater than the righteousness of the legal experts and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.


  1. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: Out of the different generational names, how did each generation get their name?
    1. The Greatest Generation (GI Generation): Born 1901–1927. (WWI)
    1. The Silent Generation: Born 1928–1945. (post war, seen & not heard, etc)
      1. Seen & not heard? ? bc they didn’t test the status quo and “worked within the system”
    1. Baby Boom Generation: Born 1946–1964. (obvi)
    1. Generation X: Born 1965–1980. (unable to be defined)
    1. Millennial Generation: Born 1981–1996. (coming of age at the time of the millennial change)
    1. Generation Z: Born 1997–2010. “Zoomers”
    1. Gen Alpha: 2010-2024 – not named yet
  2. If you were able to change the label of your generation, do you have an idea in mind?

TRANSITIONS:  I wonder what label Stevie’s generation will earn. In our passage today, God is speaking to the people claiming the label of Israel. They are clinging to their title but not embracing the significance of the name.

Main Text: Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12) Shout loudly; don’t hold back; raise your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their crime, to the house of Jacob their sins.They seek me day after day, desiring knowledge of my ways like a nation that acted righteously, that didn’t abandon their God. They ask me for righteous judgments, wanting to be close to God. “Why do we fast and you don’t see; why afflict ourselves and you don’t notice?” Yet on your fast day you do whatever you want, and oppress all your workers. You quarrel and brawl, and then you fast; you hit each other violently with your fists. You shouldn’t fast as you are doing today if you want to make your voice heard on high. Is this the kind of fast I choose, a day of self-affliction, of bending one’s head like a reed and of lying down in mourning clothing and ashes? Is this what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? Isn’t this the fast I choose: releasing wicked restraints, untying the ropes of a yoke, setting free the mistreated, and breaking every yoke? Isn’t it sharing your bread with the hungry and bringing the homeless poor into your house, covering the naked when you see them, and not hiding from your own family? Then your light will break out like the dawn, and you will be healed quickly. Your own righteousness will walk before you, and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and God will say, “I’m here.”


  1. Book:
    1. Author: Trito-Isaiah; lots of time has passed since Isaiah the prophet lived
    1. Dating: they’ve returned from exile and are starting to rebuild their lives
  2. The Servant & All Servants: A few weeks ago we learned that God is sending a singular servant named Israel who will restore all Israel and be a light to the nations. Christians call this singular servant Jesus.
    1. In chapters 56-66 Isaiah uses servant in the plural to refer to God’s people following God’s design. These servants will inherit the New Creation
    1. Motivation
    1. It appears Israel still hasn’t learned anything from exile; they still don’t know how to please God – they to the religious stuff but they don’t GET anything from God. (selfishly motivated & treating God like a vending machine)
      1. “I thought it was insert fast, receive God’s blessing”
      1. God isn’t a vending machine where we insert religious actions or speak religious jargon and receive favor from God.
  3. Their cluelessness reminds me of the audience in last week’s message from Micah 6:8
    1. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: What 3 things did God want instead of sacrifices in Micah 6:8?
      1. Not sacrifices – – Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with God
        1. No rituals or going through the motions BUT transformation
    1. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: What are we to do instead of fasting: vs 6-7
      1. Liberation and hospitality


  1. Connection to Gospel passage
    1. God’s people are…
      1. Salt of the earth – Flavor enhancer (MSG!)
      1. Light – aids sight
      1. City on a hill – (like a light house?)
    1. Jesus has come to fulfill the law, not demolish it.
      1. We are no longer judged by the law but we’re still called to live by the law
      1. Jesus simplifies the law in to: Love God, Love Others
      1. Golden rule
  2. We are called to live differently not for reward but because the design God has is the best design.
    1. God’s design forms bonds, develops communities, builds trust and lets love flourish

APPLICATION: To embrace our role as God’s people because God is good, not because we gain a reward.

  1. BACK TO INTRO: Depending on your generation you may have different feelings about attending church and what the service is supposed to be like and how we are supposed to behave.
  2. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: Define reverent/ what does it mean to act reverently?
    1. Kids in church – sit still and be quiet?
    1. …. Well, I’m going to challenge that. Starting now, we’ll have ribbons & egg shakers for kids to use during worship each week.
    1. You’ll also notice little fun signs about kids in worship around for you to read, giggle, and consider.
      1. Unlike your elders, we will identify this next generation as co-heirs of this church. It is currently their church too. They get to claim it now, they get to impact its ministry now. We acknowledge the need to share.
  3. Planning our calendar-
    1. We aren’t going to fill it with things just to fill it. “ Because it’s what we’ve always done.”
    1. Each event will serve a purpose or it doesn’t need to take up our time.
      1. We aren’t doing things to earn rewards, we’re doing things to honor God and serve our community.

CONCLUSION: Claim your name. Be God’s child. Serve others.

Not about me but about Christ (communion)

Our motivation – receive reward? Compelled to follow God?



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