There's only one person that knows what's going on in your life. And friend, it's not you.
It's him. He knows what he's doing. And you can trust your own wisdom when you don't know what's coming and you don't know what's going to happen even next week. Or you can trust on the wisdom of God.
And know that not only he knows, he understands and he's orchestrating it all for your spiritual good and for his purposes. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is the senior pastor of the bridge near Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Let's join Pastor David in the service as he continues in the book of Romans chapter 8. Romans chapter 8, verse 28. What a verse. I tell you what, if chapter 8 is the biggie in Romans, this is the pinnacle, if you will. This is a verse that, if people only know five verses in the Bible, this is probably one of them. Romans chapter 8, verse 28 says, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose.
What an incredible verse. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose. Notice how it starts. And we know. It doesn't say and we hope.
It doesn't say and we think. It says we know. We know. Know it. Know this verse. Know what it is saying.
Don't think, hope, no. Know it. Know it.
Know what? All things work together for good. Now, a lot of us stop there. All things work together for good.
The verse doesn't stop there. You have to look at the whole complete thought. Let's break this down into three things.
Work to good for what? For those that love God, to the called, and three, according to his purpose. So all things work together for good to those who love God, the called, according to his purpose. Those are the qualifiers, if you will, these three things.
So how do we look at these three things and what do they have to do with our life? Well, first of all, those that love God. God's easy to love, isn't he?
I mean, think about it. I've never met a being like God. He is just incredibly lovable. He keeps my heart beating. He gives me my breath. He kept me alive through the night.
He gave his son to die for my sins and I could be forgiven. He is lovable. It's easy to love God, isn't it? I mean, once you realize, once you read this book and you realize what God has done, it's easy to love God because God, what? First loved us.
What's our inclination? When somebody loves us, it's to respond with love. Jesus said, hey, if you do that, that's not a big deal. But when somebody responds to you with bitterness or hatred or cynicism and you love them, then that's a big deal. So we could just sit here and say, well, I love God.
Well, there's a qualifier given. 1 John chapter 4 says this. If someone says I love God and hates his brother, he's a liar. For he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he's not seen? And this commandment we have from him that he who loves God must love his brother also. So according to the Bible, when we say we love God and we hate somebody else, we're not loving God. And Jesus doesn't, he doesn't just say, well, love those that are nice to you.
He's got to throw a real wrench in the works and say love people that don't like you, that hate you, that persecute you, talk evil of you. And people outside your family, too, love each other, love one another. And if you're not loving one another, you're not loving God.
Now, now here's the thing. According to this verse, all things work together for good to those who love God. And one of the ways you love God is to love other people.
So, friend, it's not a quantum leap in logic. Let me lead you to this one, that if you are not loving other people, if you're not expressing your love for God by loving other people, you are thwarting God's purpose in your life. Don't do that. Love God, love people. Number two, the called. The called. Well, there's a lot of, and we're going to get into this predestination thing a little bit probably next week, but the called. Who are the called? How can you tell if you've been called or not? They're the ones that answer.
That's the easiest way. Who are the called? The ones that answer. See, we get into this, well, who's called? He's called, she's called, maybe they're not called, maybe they're uncalled, maybe they're discalled, I don't know.
No, no, no, no. You can tell who's called by who answers. It's that easy. Spurgeon said, you know, it'd be great if the called had like this yellow stripe down their back, and then he could just go around looking for it, and if they got a yellow stripe, then he'd share the gospel with them.
It's not that easy, is it? The called are those who answer. 1 Corinthians tells us this. But we preach Christ crucified to the Jews' dissembling block, to the Greeks' foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. So those who are called, those who have answered. So if you're here and you've asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins, you've answered the call, so we know you heard the call, so we know that you are the called. Does that make sense? We've got this knack, theologically, for overcomplicating things. The called are those who answered.
This third one, according to my purpose and my personal preference. You know what it says? Verse 28.
And we know that all things work together for good, those who love God, those who are the called according to my purpose and my personal preference. Is that what you hear from the verse? Is that not what it says? His purpose? Oh, mark that out.
That's what it says. It says His purpose. Whose purpose? His purpose.
Man, this is where we kind of struggle, isn't it, gang? That beautiful verse, Revelation 21 and 4, says, And God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes. We can know two things from that little part. Number one, that one day God will wipe the tears away from our eyes and there'll be no more crying, and also that between now and then we'll have tears.
But see, something happens. I was going through a tough time years ago and was writing a song and put the line in there. But my tears will turn to diamonds in His nail-scarred hand, meaning there's a purpose for every tear I cry.
The book of Revelation seems to point out that God even saves our tears. There's an interesting story in Genesis of two men, Jacob and Joseph. And Jacob had these sons, and some of you know the story, and some of the sons, they took Joseph and they were mad at him, and so they beat him up, they threw him in a pit, they sold him into slavery. Joseph had a very difficult life. He was sold into slavery, he rose up into Potiphar's house, which was an Egyptian leader, then he was unjustly accused of a crime, of rape, and then thrown into prison.
Kind of forgotten about in prison, did some really good things for some people, but then got out of prison, and then through a series of events of him interpreting Pharaoh's dreams, he became the second most powerful person in Egypt. If I had to say, I'd say Joseph lived a harder life than Jacob did, but they both went through difficult things. I think that's safe to say that they both went through difficult things.
But the way they looked at these things was totally different, and here's what I mean by that. Genesis 42, 36, and Jacob their father said to them, you have bereaved me, Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin, all these things are against me. Now, Jacob said this as they were coming to him, and they wanted to take Benjamin back to Joseph, Joseph's second powerful ruler in the world, wanted to help them through a famine. Was that going to be good for him? Absolutely. Was his perception that what was going on was good?
Absolutely not. In the middle of this, he's not saying, well, I'm just going to trust God. No, he says, all these things are against me. He finds out later that we're working for him. But Joseph, after all this time, his brothers who had beaten him and thrown him into a pit and sold him into slavery stood before him, and he had this moment when he could have looked at him and said, execute him.
But that's not what he did. He wept over his brothers, and then he said an incredible thing. Genesis chapter 50, verse 20. He says, but as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day to save many people alive. Are you a Jacob, or are you a Joseph? Good things are going to happen if you know Jesus.
What's going to happen in between now and then? Are you going to look at things and go, all these things are against me? Are you going to look at them and say, well, but God meant it for good?
I don't understand it, but God meant it for good. Join David McGee for an inspirational live stream event on July 4th. Take part in this exciting event by becoming a host home and partner with Cross the Bridge to invite friends and family members to hear the truth about our country and our ultimate freedom in Jesus Christ. To become a host home or for more details, visit LordGiveUsAmerica.com. Again, that website is LordGiveUsAmerica.com.
Visit that site today and join with us to change America one soul at a time. You know what, friend? Marriage can be difficult, and yet it can be such a blessing. Now, if you've been praying or asking God for help, here it is.
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It will accomplish that which it was sent forth to do. And you're just a step away from a growing, healthy marriage, and we're here to help. So call right now, 877-458-5508.
Or you can visit us online at CrossTheBridge.com. You'll be glad you got it. Now let's return to our study. God nowhere in here says you're going to understand everything. Nowhere in here does He say try to understand everything. And quite frankly, sometimes when we try to understand everything, it frustrates us spiritually. Sometimes when I sit down with somebody and go, Pastor, I need you to tell me why, and I try to stop them right there. And say, you know what?
I don't know if I'm going to be able to tell you why. Because there's some things in life I don't know the answer to. But I know the one that has the answer. And instead of leaning on my understanding, I'll lean on Him. Proverbs 3, 5, and 6 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. See, right there, we're told don't lean on your understanding. Why? Well, because it's kind of like leaning on a sharp stick. If you lean on it a little bit, you're okay.
But if you start to lean on it a lot, you're going to get hurt. Because there is going to be something in life that you don't understand. And if you're leaning to your own understanding, you're in for a hard time. If you lean on God, you can always lean on the fact that He does understand. See, there's going to be things in this life that you're not counting on, that are coming that you don't know about.
But you can know that God's never caught by surprise. And when you get in these situations where you don't know what's going on or why it's happening, fall back on what you do know. I've had to do that in life. I go through a hard time or struggle.
I'm like, I don't understand what's going on or why this is going on. But you know what? I know God is a loving God. I know God is a merciful God. I know God has good plans for me. And I know according to this verse that all these things are going to work together for good.
I don't understand it, but I'm going to trust Him. And in those times, your faith is built and becomes stronger. Life lesson, when you love God, He will use all things good and bad for ultimate good and His ultimate purpose.
When you love God, He will use all things good and bad for our ultimate good and His ultimate purpose. This verse is a soft pillow for a tired heart. When you're in a difficult time, lean on this verse. When you don't know what's going on, lean on the one that does know what's going on.
Let's do something. Keep your finger there at Romans 8, and let's go back to John chapter 11. I want to just hit a couple of verses of this story. Lazarus was a friend of Jesus, we're told, John chapter 11. And we're just going to scoot through a couple of verses here. Lazarus was a friend of Jesus, Martha, Mary, his sisters, friends of Jesus.
And there's kind of a story going on here. And I want to point something out here when we get through it, but let's just read a few verses in here. This is not a verse-by-verse commentary on John.
I'm just going to hit these highlights real quick. John chapter 11, verse 6, so when he, capital H, taught him by Jesus, when he heard that he was sick, he stayed two more days in the place where he was. That's bizarre. Jesus heard Lazarus was sick, and he stayed where he was. Verse 7, then after this, he said to his disciples, let us go to Judea again. The disciples said to him, Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone you, and you're going there again. They're reminding Jesus, like he forgot they wanted to stone him there or something. Jesus, don't you remember? You've got faulty memories.
You're talking about me. They're wanting to stone you there. Hop down to verse 12. And then his disciples said, well, Lord, if he sleeps, he'll get well. However, verse 13, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that he was speaking about taking a rest and sleep. I think it's fairly safe to say the disciples were clueless at this point. Jesus knows Lazarus has died.
They think he's sick, and they think he's sleeping. Jesus wants to go back, and they're saying, no, no, no, we're not going back. These are the disciples. This is the A-team gang, and they don't know what's going on. They don't know what Jesus is doing. Let's read on.
Let's go down to 21. Now Martha said to Jesus, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. That's quite the greeting. As Jesus shows up, this is what she says. Lord, if you'd have been here, he wouldn't have died. Who's she blaming? She's blaming God. She's blaming Jesus.
She has no idea. Look at verse 32. Then when Mary... There's two sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha, you already saw her greeting. Then when Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying to him, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. Very similar to Martha's greeting, isn't it? Thinking they had a little meeting about this, that it was all Jesus' fault.
What was going on? Let's go back to Romans 8. Pastor David, why would we go to John 8? Because I wanted to point out to you, there was the disciples. There was Mary, there was Martha, and there was Jesus. And nobody knew what was going on that day except one of them.
And that was Jesus. Martha didn't know. Mary didn't know.
The disciples didn't know. Jesus did know. He knew exactly what he was doing, how he was going to do it, when he was going to do it. He knew Lazarus was going to walk out of that tomb and rock everybody's world. He knew what he was doing. But my point is, nobody else knew. Friend, we walk through this life and we think we know what God's doing.
We think we've got the, not only the one year, but the two year and the five year plan. There's only one person that knows what's going on in your life. And friend, it's not you.
It's him. He knows what he's doing. And you can trust your own wisdom when you don't know what's coming and you don't know what's going to happen even next week. Or you can trust on the wisdom of God. And know that not only he knows, he understands, and he's orchestrating it all for your spiritual good and for his purposes. 1 Corinthians 2, 9 says, But as it is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him. God's got something good for you if you know him as your savior. Ephesians 3, 20, Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us.
So God will take all these things and use them for my good. Notice this verse does not say that it's all good. You heard that saying, it's all good.
People say that, I'm like, no it's not. I'm going through this, it's all good. No, it's not all good. I mean, it might all be good for like a couple minutes sometimes, but it's not all good. I mean, this life is a mix of good and bad and light and darkness and hope and despair. It doesn't say that it is all good.
It says it will work together for good. It's working to produce something that is good, although you will go through these moments that aren't good. Think about this, friend. God was able to take an overcrowded inn that had no room for a woman about to deliver a baby. He was able to take a cave-like barn and use these things as a symbol of hope for the world. He took these things that were dark and selfish and made an emblem. Not only that, friend.
God took an instrument of death and execution, the cross, and made it a symbol of hope and mercy and forgiveness. Just imagine what He can do in your life. He can take these things, and somehow all these tears can turn to diamonds in His nail-scarred hand. Some of you have been struggling. Some of you have felt like you were lacking control in your life. And the reason you felt like that, friend, is simply because you are. You're not in control. He's in control. And you can fight that for the rest of your life and be a very frustrated individual or a very disillusioned Christian.
But if you realize that He's in control, and you give Him control, and you give Him your life, you can live an incredible life of being blessed. Are there going to be things you don't understand? Yes. Are there going to be things that look bad when you first look at them? Yes. Yeah, no doubt about it. Are there going to be things that you didn't count on or see coming?
Yep. And you cannot know all, but you can know the One that knows all. You can be forgiven today, in the next couple minutes, by coming to Jesus. This symbol of death and execution, the cross, is where a divine transaction is offered to us. Jesus said He came to die to set us free, that we might be forgiven.
And when we receive Him as our Savior, we receive the reason He came, to give us this gift of forgiveness. That's what He wants to do for each and every person here today. And maybe you're in here and you've been really struggling in some situations, and you've been saying, God, what are you doing?
Why are you doing it? And this message is sent from heaven to you through this book. If that describes you, you need to quit fighting. You need to quit trying to understand. Because, friend, there are some things in life you will never understand until we get to the other side.
It's strange that in the struggle of life, the most important thing we can do is surrender. Surrender to Him who knows all, who loves us, and is working together for good. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?
You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking Him to help you to live for Him. Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned.
And I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name.
Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. So congratulations, friend.
You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you've prayed this prayer with Pastor David, receiving Jesus Christ for the first time, or rededicating your life to the Lord, please call and let us know. We want to send you our exclusive First Steps package for free.
This package will help you grow in your new life. Receive your First Steps package by calling 877-458-5508. That's 877-458-5508. Or visit us online at crossthebridge.com. When you call, let our Call Team representative know where you heard about our broadcast. Cross the Bridge with David McGee is a ministry dedicated to sharing the whole Bible with the whole world. If you've been blessed by Cross the Bridge, consider financially supporting this ministry. Your gift will be used to reach more people with the gospel of Jesus Christ, while also supplying resources to new believers. To give, simply call 877-458-5508. Or visit us online at crossthebridge.com and click on the donate button.
Once there, you can choose to give a one-time gift or become a Bridge Builder monthly supporter. Hi, this is Pastor David. You know, I'd like to email you every day and encourage you spiritually. You see, I write an Evotional that contains a scripture passage, some encouraging thoughts, a life lesson, and a directed prayer. And I want to send this to you every day to your email box. And also, we'll let you in on some specially discounted offers occasionally. So go to crossthebridge.com and sign up for our free Evotional.
You'll be so glad you did. The Apostle Paul laid the foundation for the New Testament Church. And yet, few of us in the Church today really understand the events and places that shaped this remarkable man. But now, Pastor and Bible teacher David Magee has created the footsteps of Paul tour through the heart of the ancient world. You'll be a part of a breathtaking three-day tour of the famous Greek Islands. Also, during the tour, David Magee will be opening the Bible to teach on Mars Hill, the very place in Athens Paul taught about the unknown God. We'll go up to the Acropolis and visit the Parthenon. Also, we'll visit Patmos, the place where John wrote the book of Revelation. We'll continue to Ephesus in Turkey, sharing the history, stories, and reality of these historic places that changed the future of the Church. Plus, be a part of an actual television production, as we film parts of the tour for our national TV program, Cross the Bridge. The Footsteps of Paul Tour with Pastor and Bible teacher David Magee.
Combine your vacation with an in-depth experience in the reality of God's Word. For more information, visit CrossTheBridge.com or call us at 877-458-5508. That's 877-458-5508. Contact us today, because space is limited and this tour will fill up fast. Friend, do you have a heart for the lost? I invite you to send us the first names of your lost loved ones, and we will have hundreds of people praying for them. Just go to CrossTheBridge.com and click on the prayer button, and you'll enter their name, and if you put your name and email address in there, I'll send you free resources to equip you to pray and teach you how to reach your lost loved ones.
Please, don't wait. This is so important. So please, again, go to CrossTheBridge.com and click on the prayer button and send us the first names of lost loved ones. We'll send you some free information, and together we can partner to deliver the good news of Jesus Christ to the whole world. The whole book for the whole world. One of the most important parts of growing in Christ is being in fellowship at a local church.
But what happens on those times you're sick or traveling? Simply log on to CrossTheBridge.com and click the live stream button, and you'll instantly be streaming from David McGee's home church, The Bridge. Catch every life lesson and scripture reference as you take part in hearing the Word of God from anywhere in the world. Pastor David McGee teaches live online Sunday mornings at 9 and 11.15. Watch this week at CrossTheBridge.com. Thanks for listening to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. Join us again next time and invite your family and friends to listen as together we cross the bridge.
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