Title: Stabilizing Truths
Theme: The Goodness of God
“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by sin” (2 Peter 1:2-3)
Faith procures all the necessary supports and comforts of the abundant life
The Apostle Peter, moved by the Holy Spirit wrote this passage of Scripture to those whom God has given a supernatural faith, thus enabling them to live lives that express genuine faith. It must be understood that true saving faith that affects the way mankind lives is a precious grace from God.
This faith comes from God to those who have truly surrendered their hearts and lives over to God’s will for them. This faith procures all the necessary supports and comforts of the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ. (John 10:10)
I would propose to you that there are “Stabilizing Truths” for God’s obedient children. The stabilizing truths found in today’s message are for those who have a place of servanthood among the Body of Christ.
Just what are some Biblical stabilizing truths that a child of God could grasp today?
“Surely God is good… to those who are pure in heart.”
The first foundational truth the Holy Spirit of God wants to place deep in your mind and heart is that, “Surely God is good… to those who are pure in heart.” (Psalm 73:1) This means that the obedient can trust in a God who is always good and there are five key areas in the Christian life through which the children of God can taste the goodness of God.
Lord will meet genuine needs
One, the Lord will meet genuine needs. The Bible says, “God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) This is a powerful promise of God to all His children who will trust in God’s sovereignty in their lives. This passage of Scripture informs us just how much God knows what we need and that He will meet those needs in a way that will cause Christ to be exalted in and through our lives.
The word for “need” (chreia) as it is used in Philippians 4:19 has the application of God meeting every need and want (The Complete Word Study Dictionary; Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon; Barnes notes) that will enable the child of God to grow in Christ and do service unto Him, his fellow man and to the body of Christ. The Lord will provide all the necessities of life.
If it’s education He will make the way, Christian or secular, as long as it is preparing that child of God for what the Lord has ordained him to do. If it is strength He will give it. Whatever you need in business, work, health care, family, housing, transportation and pleasures of life that will cause you to draw close to Christ, God will provide for it.
It is important to remember to keep both the Apostle Peter’s and the Apostle Paul’s writings within the context of their teachings. Peter referred to himself as a servant (2 Peter 1:1) and Paul was writing to the Philippians for being so faithful to help meet his needs. (Philippians 4:16)
The promise of having all needs and spiritually healthy wants met is for those who are servants to Christ and servants to those of whom they come in contact with. It is for those who have sacrificially met the needs of those who are doing the work of the Lord Jesus. (The Expositors Bible Commentary; Matthew Henry Commentary)
“God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19) is so real to me. I know this truth. The Bible tells me to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone… [for] the reason for the hope [I] have…” (1 Peter 3:15)
I wasted my opportunity to get a good education in high school and refused to go to college. After coming to Christ in repentance He made the way for me to get 83 credits hours with the Assemblies of God out Springfield, MO. debt free. When we as a church family faced battling brain cancer in my wife, Bonnie, we all saw the Lord make the way for her to go to Mayo Clinic and to University of Colorado Hospital which are two of the top ten hospitals in the U.S.A. that specialize in treating her type of cancer. With no real health insurance, through a Christian organization, Christians from all over the United States and through family members we have no hospital bills.
The Lord monthly provides for all our family needs at home and in this church. When our drive way at home and the drive way here at the church got in really bad shape, the Lord made a way for them to get fixed. At the church He made the way for us to do our curbing, sidewalks and parking lot extension, all debt free. We are seeing the Lord give us new vision for church improvements and continued outreach for Jesus in ways no other church gets to do here in Norton while all the time God proving Himself is Jehovah-Jireh, “The Lord will Provide.” (Genesis 22:14)
Through twenty years of walking with Christ I have seen the Lord provide for many a faithful child of God in their business, work place, health crises, family needs, housing and transportation and yes even in the simple pleasures of life.
While training for the ministry Bonnie and I saw the Lord make a way for us to get to NACI “94, training for ministers and wives. We did not need to go to that training put on by the Billy Graham Association, yet we wanted to be a part of what God was doing there. The Lord made a way for us to go and even enjoy some natural and historical sights along the way down and back from Louisville, Kentucky. A few years ago back Bonnie and I really wanted to do something special for our wedding anniversary. We did not need to go somewhere as we had learned the joy of just being together and going for a walk on our anniversaries. Yet in our greatest trial in life, the Lord made away for us to go to New York City, worship in Times Square Church and meet with men of God, preachers who hold the same convictions that we do.
Once when I returned home from serving the Lord at one of our EMF Conventions, Bonnie saw that I wanted more that I received at convention that year. She prayed and our leadership responded to the Holy Spirit’s moving. I got to attend a pastors conference hosted by Pastor David Wilkerson and his son Gary, men who have the same style of ministry and calling that I have. It wasn’t a need, it was a want that when answered built my faith in God, glorified Christ in my life and enabled me to experience the illumination of the Holy Spirit, assuring me of God’s love for me.
I testify to the truth, “God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19) Jesus tells obedient Christians that if we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, we will never need to worry about having food to eat, water to drink and clothes to wear. (Matthew 6:33)
He will always forgive repentant sins
We have a God who knows and sees our genuine needs, He provides for those needs. Two; He will always forgive repentant sins. The Holy Spirit moved upon the Apostle John to write, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives. (1 John 1:8-10)
There is a misunderstanding among Christians and non-Christians. There are Christians who believe that they are not acceptable to sin, that the sin nature is gone. Thus they become reckless in what they watch and who they let influence their lives. This is why gossip, the defiling of persons, hatred of the brethren, and jealousy and boasting become sanctioned as non-sins in the Body of Christ. This is why preachers and church leaders find themselves being overcome by pornography. They feel they can watch anything and it won’t affect them negatively or break the heart of Christ.
Non-Christians have an idea that in the church everybody is suppose to be perfect thus using their imperfections as an excuse to neglect church attendance and stay away from the things of God.
Christians are going to slip into sin through thought, word or deed, thus the saying is true, “Christians are sinners saved by grace.” The great news is when Christians fall into the sin, the Holy Spirit of Christ who lives inside them will convict them of sin. Upon their repentance and confession God forgives them and Jesus is able to purify them. If they allow Him, through the cleansing power of the written Word and through the Holy Spirit He can keep Christians from being overcome by a life of habitual sin.
A Christian can get His hand slammed in the door and slip into a misuse of God’s name. Through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit and agreement with God’s Word that it is sin, the child of God will be forgiven in Jesus name. He will also be protected from living a life that is full of taking the Lord’s name in vain.
True story, I knew of a man who before he received Jesus as Savior and Lord had a foul mouth and constantly used the Lord’s name in vain. It was an expected fruit from his life. He became a Christian and was immediately transformed. A couple of months later he was involved in an incident that caused him to slip into a misuse of God’s name and birth forth a great number of four letter words.
The Holy Spirit convicted him of it and he immediately asked the Lord to forgive him. He prayed, “Lord take this from me” and the Holy Spirit moved upon him so gently assuring him of God’s forgiveness. He is a man now who lives in such a way that all who know him would be extremely surprised if they ever heard him say a cuss word. The expected fruit from his life changed from that of defilement to righteous speech.
No matter what besetting sin may come up in a Christian’s life, the Lord will always forgive a heart of repentance. As the child of God fully surrenders his sinful desires over to the Lord, He will cleanse them of it.
King David was a man after God’s own heart, yet he would slip into sin, sins that broke the heart of God and brought chastisements upon himself and the nation he ruled over. Psalm 51 was written by King David after his sin with Bathsheba was revealed. His heart of repentance allowed him to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, thus enabling him to write out the words that God so wants Christians to hear as they willfully choose to live for Him.
Listen to the words of a heart that comes to know God’s forgiveness, “Against you… have I sinned and done evil in your sight… Surely you desire truth in the inner parts… (Psalm 51:4,6) A person with a repentant heart knows when he sins against God.
The Holy Spirit reveals to us in David’s writings that we cannot buy God off for he writes, “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it… The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God you will not despise. (Psalm 51:16-17)
Psalm 51 also shows us God willingness to forgive and purify a heart of wickedness, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin… Cleanse me… and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:1-2,7)
The plea of a heart that wants to be right with God says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
The Lord will forgive such a heart and He will say of all Christians who live a live of repentance and who trust in His forgiveness, “I have found this child of God as being one after My own heart, he will do everything I want him to do.” (Acts 13:22)
He always has something good for the child of God’s life
God is always good to forgive the repentant. Three; He always has something good for the child of God’s life. Romans 8:28-29 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son…”
God uses all things – good and bad; bright and dark; sweet and bitter; easy and hard; happy and sad; prosperity and poverty; health and sickness; calm and storm; comfort and suffering; life and death. In all these circumstances of life God is working to conform the children of God in the image of Jesus Christ.
Nearly one third of the Book of Genesis deals with the life of a man by the name of Joseph who was the son of Jacob and Rachel. He was God’s called man for the purpose of providing for and prospering the Jewish nation during a time of great famine.
God had given him the ability to have and interpret the meaning of dreams that predicted the future. (Genesis 37:10; 40:8,22; 41:13,16,) The Bible says that God was so with Joseph that he prospered while serving Potiphar. (Genesis 39:2) Even Potiphar could see that God was with Joseph enabling him to have success in everything he did. (Genesis 39:3) After Joseph gave Pharaoh the interpretation of his dream Pharaoh said, "Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you." (Genesis 41:39-40)
Before Joseph reached his God called position of being second in command the land, he faced many trials and hardships. His brothers hated him. They captured him, put him in a cistern, and they planned to kill him. Instead of killing him they sold him to Midianite merchants. While he was doing a great work for Potiphar he ended up in prison for two years on false charges. (Genesis 37; 41:1) And even when Joseph was in prison the Bible says, “The Lord was with him; He showed him kindness, and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.” (Genesis 39:22)
From the age of seventeen (Genesis 37:2) through the age of thirty (Genesis 41:46) Joseph saw ups and downs in his life. Even when he was clearly making a choice to please God and not sin against the Lord or man, he suffered the consequences that can come from standing against sin. (Genesis 39) Through those 13 years of up and downs, the Lord planned good things for Joseph which ended up bringing forth a salvation for the Jewish nation in a time of great famine. He achieved God’s call upon his life. Even after facing the attitudes of his enemies, all the sufferings and disappointments Joseph was able to discern;
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)
Everything that God allows Christians to go through is for the purpose of forming them into the image of Christ so that they reflect His character through all He calls them to do. He has called Christians to make disciples and they will face suffering, persecutions and yes, enjoy victories in their work just as Jesus, the apostle Paul and Joseph did. However, the comfort is that God plans good for Christians as they serve Him and others in the task of making disciples.
He always loves them personally
As Christians walk in obedience to their callings they can expect to enjoy God’s goodness. Four; He always loves them personally. The Bible says, “…neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
Ray Scott wrote, “God could never love you any more than He already does. And, God could never love you any less than He already does.” You can’t get any more of God’s love, because “God IS Love”. Christians think that God will love them more if they cuss less, drink less or sin less. They think that God will love them more if they pray more, study their Bible more, attend church more and live a better life. While these things might be an indicator of their love for God … they don’t impact or change God’s love for them one bit.”
Christians will never live a day in this life when God’s love is not available for them to enjoy. Even when they try to hide from the Lord because of sin like Adam and Eve did, God still loves them and will be calling to them through His Holy Spirit. Even if they would desert Him like His disciples did when He was arrested, He still loves them. Even if they would deny Him when asked about their relationship with Him, He would forgive them at the moment of their return unto Him. Even when they doubt like Thomas did, God will still love them.
Through thick and thin, good times and bad, God still loves His children. They are never out of his thoughts or His sight and He is ever ready to intercede for the children of God.
In those moments when you do not feel that you are in the protective hands of God, He still loves you. He loves you when you are sitting beside a friend or loved one that is being overcome by some dreaded disease. The Lord’s love is available to you when you are standing at the graveside after losing a loved one, when financial burdens come upon you or when a family is being torn apart because of willful sin. The Holy Spirit is ever ready to comfort supernaturally in ways that cannot be fully explained.
He will always give grace as it is needed
God is always ready to show love to His Children. Five; He will always give grace as it is needed. 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
Kept in its proper context this passage of Scripture is for those who give generously out of the gifts that God has given them. As these Christian give of their gifts, God makes sure that the child of God has all he needs to abound in very good work. “All Grace” gives the expression of provision for both spiritual and material prosperity that will enable Christians to constantly and generously dispense spiritual and material benefits in every work that God sends them on.
As we have made time to get the word of God out, make sure that good healthy teaching is made available in the church, and make sure that people who have genuine needs get those needs met in every way possible, the Lord continues to give abundantly what we need to grow more in ministry and in material blessings in the church. As we have enabled, enjoyed and sacrificially made the way for faithful servants of the Lord to exercise their gifts in this church in the last six months, we have seen others with spiritual gifts begin to be exercise their gifts in the church and we see more people getting involved in the church.
The principle of this passage of Scripture is that the more we use and give to the Lord of our God given talents, abilities and Holy Spirit gifts, the more bountiful of blessings we are going to see come into this family of God. His promise is yes and Amen.
It is a stabilizing truth that God is good all the time. He so wants all of His children to know and experience this truth through seeing Him meeting their genuine needs, resting in His forgiveness, enjoying the good things in this life He has for Christians, resting in His love for them, and abounding in His grace. Let us pray!