The Greatness of God #5
Follow up to Week 3 Preview of Week 4
Tell a small group around you …
1) Which illustration of Sovereignty was most helpful to you (p67) Ocean liner or Chess Master? Why?
<The ocean liner is heading to it’s destination and nothing within it can cause it to deviate based on their decisions unless they have control of the vessel, since we do not … >
<The chess master, based on knowledge and experience knows where the choices his opponent makes will take them and can act according to that knowledge before the piece if moved to be prepared for the preferred outcome>
2) If God is Sovereign and in control? Am I just a puppet? p66-67
<Dt 29:29 “the hidden things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our children forever”
3) How can a loving God allow suffering?
<a) some things are the result of choices b) some things are the result of a fallen world c) some things are part of greater good like the pain of surgery that brings healing … imagine what that is like for a child who cannot comprehend the greater good. Not a pampering love but a perfecting live. It is often a permissive love in the midst of being a purposeful love. It is a patient love and a providential love that is in charge and we will not always understand the whys>
4) what are 3 principles to exhibit in light of his sovereignty pp72-73?
<a) I will be obedient when told b) I will be righteous in temptation c) I will be submissive in testing
First week’s Memory verse –
Psalm 48:1 – “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, in the City of our God, his holy Mountain”
Second week’s Memory Verse –
Isaiah 6:3 – “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.”
Last week’s Memory Verse –
Deuteronomy 10:17 – “The Lord your God is the God of gods, and the Lord of lords the great, the mighty, and the awesome God”
This week’s Memory Verse –
Romans 8:28 – “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose”
This coming week’s Memory Verse –
Isaiah 55:11 – “So will my word be which goes forth from my mouth; It will not return to me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
Do you know today that the Lord sends his word to you?
Do you know that when you read his word he sends it into your heart, mind, soul, and spirit
Do you know that when I preach or lead you in a Bible Study that the Lord SENDS his word to you
Do you know that when you sit under a God surrendered teacher of the word of God, that God is sending his word to you?
He is and it will accomplish when he sent it.
For the one who surrenders it accomplishes perfection
For the one who rejects it, God knew that they would and it becomes a conviction up on them but both ways it accomplishes what he sent it to accomplish
There are those that tell us to speak the Word of God or the Word of Faith and we can have whatever we want or desire because … and they will quote this verse … “my word does not come back void, or empty”
But the problem is we tend to want to be selective about these verses.
We tend to want to make these verses about US
If I speak God’s Word it will produce what I WANT
But that is NOT what these verses proclaim.
It says that his word will return to HIM. Rain that falls have a byproduct for the land and the people it falls on, but where does it return, to the Heavens in a Cycle. The rain falls, it evaporates, rebuilds and falls again.
god says my word will not return to ME empty. It says it will accomplish HIS desires. It will succeed in the things HE sent it to do
My parents used to have a garden. I used to have to plant the seeds. I liked the corn we grew, I liked the potatoes and the green beans. I like the cucumbers but only when they were bread and butter pickles. I did not like the okra. I did not like the squash. But you know what. When my Dad told me to plant those okra seeds, it didn’t matter that I was doing the planting. It didn’t matter how much I prayed for those seeds to become ice cream cones and snickers bars, okra and squash was going to come UP! Because that’s the seeds my Dad gave me and that was the nature of the seeds and that was what was going to come up. Greater than my Dad was the God who made those seeds and he knew exactly which seed was going to produce a plant and how much it would produce and how much the seeds of that one would produce to the end of the lifecycle of that plant. He even knew that when we visited that house 20 years later and talked to the boys who lived there and found out they were still digging up potatoes in the abandoned garden 20 years later because God knows the byproduct of his work and it always does what he says it will do
It is NOT about us
It is about our GREAT GOD
So the question should be Great God, What is the Purpose of the Your Word that is going forth?
Then we can Experience God’s Best
Mountain Top in Isaiah this week
READ Isaiah 55:1-13
There are four things that James MacDonald will point out to you this week in this passage and I’ve used those four to guide our outline today
Satisfaction that is Permanent
Forgiveness that is Immeasurable
Abundance that is Otherworldly … and
God-Confidence based on deep rooted Truth
Don’t worry we will get each one …
1. Satisfaction that is Permanent 1-3
You ever drink a soda to find that you are still thirsty even though your stomach is sloshing around?
You ever eat certain foods and find that ½ hour later you are still hungry because of the preservatives in them?
The satisfaction of the world system is like that
Get ahead, want to go further ahead
Have your best game, want to have a better game
Get a raise want a bigger raise
Get a new car, want a nicer car
Alexander the Great is said to have conquered the known world and then he sat down and cried because there was no more conquering to be had
Satisfaction, doesn’t sound like it to me.
Not so with God. He has what will fill the longing in our hearts
A. Come --
1. He calls us to come because he knows we are still empty and he knows he can fill our longing
2.IN John 7:37 – on the LAST DAY of a week long feast, Jesus stands up to people who have been gorging themselves on food and drink just lying around eating and drinking … Jesus stands and says “if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink 38 whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him”
Jesus is saying, I can give you the permanent solution to what you are still missing
3. Who is he calling to?
d. dissatisfied – you are buying what isn’t bread, you are working for what doesn’t satisfy …
4. But Jesus says I will fill you with the RICHEST FARE …
B. And it is FREEEEEEE!
1. I’ve got what you need. I will quench your thirst, I will fill your hunger, I will satisfy your longing, and it won’t cost you ANYTHING …
2. Psalm 107:8-9 Give thanks to the Lord fo his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things
BUY from him Freely
C. There is a Covenant …
1. this is NOT just a contract because contracts can come with dissatisfaction. Have you ever signed a contract for something but weren’t pleased with the results? We bought this photography thing once. We got suckered in and we signed a contract to pay several hundred dollars and in exchange we would film development, unlimited supply of film, free enlargements, a beautiful new fancy camera, and all these wonderful things. The problem was that 1) we never sent in our film, we didn’t live up to OUR end of the bargain. It was too much trouble. Then a friend of our borrowed our camera and it was STOLEN so then we didn’t have a camera. So we have a beautiful well designed contract but NO SATISFACTION … why because WE didn’t live up to our end of the contract
2. but in Christ we have a COVENANT … a covenant is ONE SIDED … The PROMISOR … promises to provide for the PROMISEE and the outcome is solely based on the PROMISE of the PROMISOR …
3. David is the Measure and the witness … v3 “I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David” – We got what David God
a. A Protected Relationship – look how David was protected by God throughout his time in God’s plan
b. a Provided Relationship – God anointed him that meant he would be King, and then he removed the obstacles, Goliath, the Philistines, Saul, his own Generals at times, God made provision throughout David’s life
c. Promised Relationship – he had a future based on God’s Promises NOT his performances. Even when David failed God forgave and restored because the relationship was based on God’s Promise not David’s Performance … That is why David Loved him so, not for Fear but in Faith and Gratitude.
A Satisfaction that is Permanent
2. A Forgiveness that is Immeasurable 1,3,5-9
Look for Just a minute at this State of Forgiveness available to us
A. Buy From Me …
1. there is a currency exchanged
2. there is a transaction … it is FREE but it Costs … it costs your life, your surrender, your turning
3. GIVE EAR … v3
4. Let the wicked forsake his ways … but it is not just TURNING FROM something like turning over a new leaf
5. Turn TO the Lord … it is also turning TO SOMEONE … and his name is Jesus
B. He Will Have Mercy
1. mercy – to release from the consequence or penalty, what we deserve
2. he will freely pardon …
1. Seek Him while he may be found – The writer of Hebrews in Chapter 3 and 4 talks about a time called “TODAY” … and that is the time of God’s Favor or the Time of God’s Calling … if God does not call you then you can’t come. YES you have a choice to make but you can’t make it if he doesn’t call you. It is part of the great mystery of God chosen and choosing … but don’t be wrapped up in that. We must worry about what we have to do … Leave the God stuff to God … SEEK HIM NOW
2. Call on him while he is near … If he is calling then he is near … if he is not near you won’t hear him call and you won’t call out to him … Oh the Bible says there will be a day when it isn’t TODAY and they will say “Lord Lord” and he will say “depart I didn’t knew you”
3. He gave the right to be called the children of God to all who received him John 1:12 says … you must accept by faith his Pardon of Grace
4. there’s an interesting story about a man in 1830 who was sentenced to hang for robbing a US Postal Train. His cohort was hung. Then President Andrew Jackson Pardoned him. That’s right gave him a FREEDOM Card a Pardon … and you know what … George Wilson REFUSED IT! He decided he didn’t want the pardon … The case went on for 3 years trying to determine if they could let him refuse the pardon …
And finally the Supreme Court Handed down this decision
IN their decision … this is part of what it said
That the court cannot give the prisoner the benefit of the pardon, unless he claims the benefit of it, and relies on it by plea or motion. The form in which he may ask it, is not material to this inquiry; but the claim must be made in some shape by him. It is a grant to him; it is his property; and he may accept it or not, as he pleases. … unless he pleads it, or in some way claims its benefit, thereby denoting his acceptance of the proffered grace, the court cannot notice it, nor allow it to prevent them from passing sentence. The whole current of authority establishes this principle.
It goes on to say
Is there anything peculiar in a pardon which ought to distinguish it in this respect from other facts? We know of no legal principle which will sustain such a distinction. A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which, delivery is essential, and delivery is not complete, without acceptance. It may then be rejected by the person to whom it is tendered; and if it be rejected, we have discovered no power in a court to force it on him.
Chief Justice Marshall wrote
"A pardon is a slip of paper," wrote Marshall, "the value of which is determined by the acceptance of the person to be pardoned. If it is refused, it is no pardon. George Wilson must be hanged.
He will not force his pardon on him but Why would we reject so great a Forgiveness
D. Beyond What We Have Ever Known
1. vv 8-9 … you know these verses but did you realize the context. Yes in general his ways are greater than ours and his thoughts that ours but PARTICULARLY in regards to Forgiveness … don’t worry about whether you are worthy because you are not but his ways are not like ours
2. Micah 7:18-19
Micah 7:18-19 (NIV)
18 Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. 19 You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
I need to hurry …
But Satisfaction … Forgiveness
3. Other Worldy Abundance
A. Endowed with Splendor
It says we are endowed with Splendor … what kind of Splendor we have? We clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ … We have been Justified and Given the Righteousness of Jesus so that when the Father looks at us he sees the Jesus in Us
B. Bud and Flourish …
The fruit of the word that goes out from him
Yielding seed and bread
Seed to pass along the abundance of his goodness to others
Bread to sustain you and fill you
Remember it’s other worldly abundance … HIS things flourish
Accomplish HIS Desires
Succeed in his purpose
No more time there
Finally Satisfaction, Forgiveness, Abundance lead to
4. God-Confidence rooted in the Truth
When you know satisfaction, forgiveness and Abundant provision, you are confident in all that God will do
You gain what MacDonald’s calls God-Confidence
God-Confidence overrides Despair
God-Confidence overrides Discouragement
God-Confidence overrides Disease – even when you have symptoms you aren’t controlled by them
God-Confidence overrides Death
God-Confidence overrides Defeat
Go out in Joy
Be Led in Peace
The Difficulties of the Climb and the struggles just sing “my God is Bigger than any mountain
The Trees don’t blow in the breeze they clap in praise
Provision comes in the desert as the thorn is replaced with pine trees and the potential injury is replaced with the fragrance of everlasting life
Why? So that God’s Glory God’s Reputation the Lord’s renown will be enlarged
And the Greatest confidence builder is understanding the difference between Temporary and the Everlasting
Weeping endures for the night but Joy comes in the morning
Come He is the Fountain you seek
A - All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God . . .
B - But the free gift of God is eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord
C - Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead and you will be saved
D - Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind
E - Except a man be born again he cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven
Drink from the Fountain
F - For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life
G - Give your heart to Christ or Go on in the way of slavery to this world
H - Hear me today, Habits do not have to bind you
I - It is for Freedom that you have been set free
J - Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father except by me
Are you thirsty?
K - Kindness leads us to Repentance
L - Look unto me and be saved
Life is found in no one but Jesus
Liberty is in those who have the Spirit of Christ
M - My children listen to me and do not turn away from what I say
Are you thirsty?
N - Nothing shall separate us from the love of God and Jesus said
No man comes to the me unless the Father draws him
Are you thirsty?
O - Only believe, only receive
Or bear the consequence of freedom rejected
P- Place your hand in the nail-scarred hands
Purify yourselves and you will be useful vessels prepared to every good work
Are you thirsty?
Q- Quickened by the Spirit, live in the Light
Quickly I come says the Lord
R - Receive the Lord you and all your family
Repent and be ye saved
S - Salvation is found in no other name than the Name Jesus
T - Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understandings, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path
Turn loose of the controls and find what will quench your thirst
There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
Are you thirsty?
U - Until our faith becomes sight
Utterly sold out
Unashamed of the Gospel
There is a well that springs within
V - Vacate the Land of the Enslaved
Vanquish the Flesh
There is Vivacious life in the Spirit
There is Victory in the Power of the cross
W - Wielding the sword of the Spirit
Walking about in Freedom
We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed but of those who believe and are saved
Are you thirsty
X - X-ray your Soul and find that God’s well is the only thing that satisfies
Y - You shall be like him when you see him as he is
You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth
You area light on a hill that should not, that must not be hidden
Z - The Zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this
Never be lacking in ZEAL, but keep your spiritual fervor
The Zenith of God's Creation process is a man, woman, boy or girl... sold out to Christ, embracing the cross, drinking deep of the water of life
There is a Fountain
Are you Thirsty?
Are you Thirsty for Peace?
Joh 14:27 "I leave you peace; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don't let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
THERE IS A FOUNTAIN
Are You Thirsty for Hope?
Ps 130:7 put your hope in the Lord because he is loving and able to save.
Ro 5:5 And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts.
THERE IS A FOUNTAIN
Are you thirsty for Healing?
Isa 53:5 By his wounds we are healed
THERE IS A FOUNTAIN
Are you thirsty for Forgiveness?
Isa 43:25 "I, I am the One who forgives all your sins, for my sake; I will not remember your sins.
THERE IS A FOUNTAIN
Are you thirsty for Acceptance?
Joh 15:16 You did not choose me; I chose you. And I gave you this work: to go and produce fruit, fruit that will last.
THERE IS A FOUNTAIN
Are you thirsty for Love?
Jer 31:3 "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
THERE IS A FOUNTAIN
Are you thirsty for Life?
Joh 10:10 A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I came to give life -- life in all its fullness.
THERE IS A FOUNTAIN
THERE IS A WELL THAT NEVER RUNS DRY-
Let’s Pray -
Thursday – Isa 55:11 - meditate on the Author and Perfecter of Faith– He 12:2
Friday –John 7:38 - meditate on the One who wipes out your transgressions Isa 43:25
Sat/Sun –Isaiah 55:7 – meditate on Him who loves us and released us from our sins Rev 1:5
Monday – 2 Tim 3:16-17 – meditate on The Word Jn 1:1 The Truth Jn 1:14
Tuesday – Ps 63:1 – meditate on Fountain of Living Waters – Jer 2:13