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R245 Special Ways In Which God Works

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
January 11, 2022 8:00 am

R245 Special Ways In Which God Works

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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January 11, 2022 8:00 am

The Daily Encouraging Word with Dr. Don Wilton

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Special ways in which God works. That's today's topic from Dr. Don Wilton on this edition of The Encouraging Word. We'll head straight to John chapter 6 with Dr. Wilton, but he wants you to know we're here to pray with you 24 hours a day at 866-899-WORD. Jot the number down, 866-899-9673.

We'd love to connect with you. And now, Dr. Don Wilton. Please take a copy of your Bibles and turn with me to John's Gospel in chapter 6. John's Gospel in chapter 6. If for some reason you don't have a copy of your own Bible this morning, you may wish to make use of the pew Bibles that are in front of you and turn with us and follow in this great, great passage of Scripture that we're going to be studying this morning from God's Word.

John's Gospel chapter 6. Let me talk to you for just a moment about our subject. It's a wonderful subject. I have been looking forward to preaching on this subject because I believe it speaks so eloquently and so clearly to a very, very special group of people here at First Baptist Church. Our subject is some special ways in which God moves and God works.

Let me just run that by again. Some special ways in which God moves and works. Before we read this passage, I'm sure that it would come as no surprise to you if I was to tell you that there are many people during the week who come to me and who come to the rest of the staff and who no doubt come to you and who talk to you in essence about the need for God to do something in their lives.

We find this as we go to the hospitals. I know that there are many wonderful people today who are in hospital who are worshiping with us. Even this past week, I had some people say to me, pastor, would you pray that God would do something special in my life? You know, sometimes I wish that we could perhaps just dispense with a message that I'm about to preach. And if we could spend the rest of this hour inviting anyone who would so choose to stand and to just share with us some of the special ways in which God has worked in your life, I'll guarantee you there would be an absolute sea of individuals in our congregation.

I know so many of those testimonies already myself. God moves in wonderful ways. In fact, one of my favorite verses of scripture goes like this, with God, all things are possible. There is nothing that is out of the reach of God. There is nothing that is too great for God to handle. There is no problem that God cannot solve. There is no mountain that God cannot climb over. There is no disease that God cannot cure.

There is no marriage that God cannot heal. There is no lost soul that God cannot save. He is the God of the impossible. Well, right here in John chapter six, we're going to read one of the most well-known and perhaps often read of all of the miracles of our Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, you may not know this, but did you know that the feeding of the 5,000 is the only miracle in God's word that is written and recorded in all four of the gospels, in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. You're going to find this wonderful account of this incredible miracle of God. Let's read it together and I want you to know that I might stop once or twice as I read through this passage because there is so much here. It is an incredible account of some of the special ways in which God works.

Sometime after this, now there's a good place for me to stop because we're going to discover something here that's incredibly fabulous. In chapter five, Jesus had had a most difficult time with some of the religious leaders. He had healed the man at the pool of Bethesda and had received an incredibly angry reaction from so-called religious people. Jesus spent the rest of chapter five talking about the reason why he did what he did. And yet we're going to discover that right here in the beginning of chapter six, that despite the opposition that Jesus encountered, we're going to notice, number one, that he continued to work and to love people with no strings attached. And number two, we're going to discover that there were literally thousands of people who came to hear Jesus Christ preach, even though the religious zealots of the day had discounted everything he did.

And so we're going to find out what he did. The masses of people came because they knew Jesus Christ had the answer to every need and every situation in the world. Sometime after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee, that is the Sea of Tiberius. And a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountain side and he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Feast was near.

Later on in John, I'm going to be getting into more details about the significance of the Jewish Passover Feast. Now when Jesus looked up and he saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, where shall we buy bread for these people to eat? Now my friends, when Jesus asked that question of Philip, Jesus was not placing a perplexion upon his own inability to understand what was needed for that particular circumstance. Jesus asked that question of Philip in order to test his faith. And in fact, the next verse tells us in verse six, he asked this only to test him for he already had in mind what he was going to do. I wonder if there's someone here today, don't raise your hands or anything.

I wonder if there's someone today who is facing a very serious perplexing and difficult circumstance or situation. Let me read that verse to you again. Jesus asked this only to test him for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Isn't that tremendous?

Isn't it incredible to know that before you even have surgery, that God already knows what God is going to do, that he's in complete control. Look what the Bible says, Philip answered him, eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each one here to have even a bite. Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother spoke up, here is a boy Lord, with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go? Lord, it's ridiculous for me to even tell you this because I know this could never feed this incredible crowd. Jesus said, have the people sit down.

Isn't that an incredible statement? Have the people sit down. There was plenty of grass in that place and the men sat down, the number of whom was about 5,000. I couldn't help thinking of our church when I read that. Jesus took the loaves and gave thanks and he distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. Verse 12, when they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, go and gather the pieces that are left and let nothing be wasted.

So they gathered them and filled 12 baskets with the pieces and the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, surely the presence of the Lord is in this place. Surely God is still upon his throne. Surely this is the one, this is the Messiah. Surely this is the God of the impossible. Surely he is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Surely they said in the aftermath of this incredible outpouring of the grace of God upon his people, surely this is the prophet who has come into the world, Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him King by force, withdrew again into the mountain by himself. May the Lord write his word upon our hearts today. Some special ways in which God works among his people.

There's a great deal that I could say about miracles at this juncture. There are three major purposes for God performing miracles. Number one, to demonstrate his power. Number two, to demonstrate his mercy. And number three, to demonstrate his grace.

That's another message at some other time. But you see, God was doing all three as Jesus Christ did something here that was absolutely impossible. But my beloved friends this morning, I want us to have a look at something here that I believe Jesus Christ would have us to understand in our own wonderful fellowship of encouragement here at First Baptist of Spartanburg, South Carolina. I want to share with you, my friends, six special ways in which God moves and works as we find it recorded in this incredible miracle account of Jesus. Number one, number one, there are special times when God does special things.

I want to run that by again, listen carefully. If we understand what happened here on this mountainside, we've got to come to the conclusion. And right throughout scripture, you can go back to Genesis chapter one. You can follow the wandering Israelites.

You can look at the tower of Babel. You can look at all the prophets. You can get into Matthew and Mark and go to Paul's journeys.

You can get into the apostles doctrine. And you're going to discover, my friend, that there are special times when God does special things. Verse one and verse five, tell us that. Sometime after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore.

In verse five, the Bible says there was no doubt, beg your pardon, in verse four, it was the time of the Jewish Passover. Oh, I could stand here today and talk to you ad infinitum about the number of special times that God has done special things in my life. Probably the most special time of all was my own personal salvation.

When I came to know the Lord Jesus Christ. In the earlier service this morning, we had four people who came forward on their public profession of faith. There are others who are going to come today and who are going to say, God moved in a special time. I want you to know that's just another example of a special time when God does special things. Every time we come into God's house, I believe that God is ready to do something special because this is a special time. We could talk about crusades and revivals.

We could talk about sick beds. We could talk about we could talk about home circumstances and work situations, but I'm convinced my friends that there are some special times in life that God not only wants to, but he does and he cares enough to do some very special things for people. Is it your time this morning?

Is it your time this morning? The Bible says my friend that God will not be mocked. One of the greatest tragedies in life today is that God moves by the power of his Spirit in a special time. And there are many people who stand there and who sit on the mountainside and they see what God does. And before they have finally decided to say yes to Jesus Christ, that special time has passed them by. Number two, I want to suggest to you from God's word today that there are some very special places where God moves in some very special ways.

There's not only a special time that God, when God does special things, but there are some special places where God moves in special ways. Did you notice here in this chapter, in chapter six and verse three, the Bible says, then Jesus went up on the mountainside. I tell you, when I left home this morning, it was such a beautiful day. I wanted to say, Lord, the rest of today is canceled due to lack of interest. Let's just have church on the mountainside.

Wouldn't that have been great? Huh? I'm telling you, just imagine a beautiful day like today, get out there and smell the wood and the fresh air, be on a mountainside. Listen, folks, the Bible says that God has special places where he moves in special ways. You're listening to Dr. Don Wilton, our teacher here on The Encouraging Word. He'll be back in just a moment, but he wants me to remind you, we're here for you, providing resources and connecting 24 hours a week 24 hours a day, both on the phone at 866-899-9673 and online at www.tewonline.org. Still not too late to grab one of those wonderful, beautiful, leather-bound Heaven, Life and the Resurrection daily devotionals, or Dr. Wilton's son, Greg Wilton's fresh new book, all the details at www.tewonline.org. Now back to today's great teaching with Dr. Don.

I could tell you about so many of them, about the mountainsides of my life and about your life, about the retreats. I wish that every member of our church could be in our Tuesday staff meetings. 830, we have calendar meeting. Nine o'clock, all the staff of our church, every person who serves this church in whatever capacity comes together and we seek God's face and we read prayer requests that come in from all over the countryside in response to the multi-faceted ministries of this church and we lead in prayer and we seek God's face. I want you to know there have been so many times that I have seen an unbelievable, unprecedented outpouring of God in a special place called a staff room. I think of our own church. You know, I so much look forward to coming to church. This is the house of the living God.

I think of all those who have gone before us. I listened to the choir sing this morning and just open up your hearts as you sang praise to the name of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place. There's a something special about being in the place of God. But I want you to note in the third place that there are some special crowds who gather expecting something special from the Lord. We're talking, my friends, about some of the special ways in which God moves as we draw our nourishment from the feeding of the five thousand. And I want you to note in the third place that there are some special crowds who gather expecting something special from the Lord.

That's what the Bible tells us in verse two and verse five. And a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed upon the sick. In verse five, when Jesus looked up and he saw a great crowd coming toward him, he was moved with compassion on his heart. The crowd that gathered before him moved Jesus to the very depth of his very nature. And when he was moved to the very depth of his very nature, there was kicked into gear the very Son of God, the Most High, the only one, the exalted one. And he began to respond with that compassion and commitment that can only come from the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, I'm going to say to you, my friends, that when God works in special ways, there are always special crowds who come together and who expect something special from Almighty God. Can I say this to you this morning as your pastor? Every time I come into this beautiful sanctuary, my friends, I believe that God is going to do something special. You know why? Because it's not dependent on this preacher.

It is not dependent on you. It is dependent upon the presence and the power of the Spirit of the living God. Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place. And every time we come and as I look out across this vast congregation, and as we think of all our precious friends who are watching by way of television, all across the place in different places, all over the United States today, I believe, friends, that the Bible teaches us that when special crowds gather, expecting something special from Almighty God, that God does something in their midst. Oh, I thank God for our church. Rarely in my ministry have I ever encountered a group of people who gather together as a crowd expecting something special from Almighty God. What a tremendous thing to be able to say, Oh God, make it possible that in Spartanburg, South Carolina, that every single Sunday morning that our people can wake up and say, I'm actually looking forward to going to church today.

Isn't that great? And isn't it something that special crowds when they gather in the presence of God can expect something special from the Lord Jesus Christ. God is moving here this morning.

I have no doubt about that. He moved in our 830 service. We had people who responded having given their hearts to Jesus Christ coming into the fellowship of God's house.

We've had people respond in our Sunday schools and singles department and in our youth ministries and in our missions programs. God is on the march and he's on the move. And all we've got to do is ask him for permission to come aboard. And God will grant that.

Why? Because my beloved friends, you are a special crowd indeed, but I want you to note in the fourth place that there are special people. There are special people who give in very special ways. If we try and determine from this passage of scripture, that God is the God of the impossible and that there are some special ways in which God will move.

We must come to the conclusion that God points special people who give special things in special ways that God uses to his glory. Just think about it. Here they are sitting out in the middle of the mountainside and have absolutely nothing to eat. That's like being in a football stadium with nothing to eat. Can you imagine?

I'm telling you, even the football game would become irrelevant. Folks, you want to have a good challenge? You drive in my car with my family and make an announcement.

Where shall we go to eat today? It's almost like confusion. I mean, it's this place and that place, and we could go there. And how about that?

And when eventually you get there, then one's got to have it up this way and down that way. No pickles with pickles, no cheese, up to definitely no broccoli. Let's not have this.

Onions, it's out of the question. You want to try and order a pizza in my family? Any of you can do that.

I'd like to meet you. You order a pizza in my family? I tell you what folks, you know why?

Because we all like different pizzas. But you know something? The Bible said that these people who gathered on the mountainside looking for something special from God, they didn't even have a McDonald's available. They didn't have a water fountain. They didn't have a glass of iced tea. They didn't have diet coke and root beer. They didn't have everything that opened and shut. The Bible says they had nothing. And yet in the midst of nothing, there was somebody special who gave something special in order that God could move in a special way. Oh, I could talk about so many people in this congregation.

Simon Peter's brother spoke up and said, here is a boy, Lord. And all he's got is just five small barley loaves and two miserable little fish. But I know, Lord, I'm the apostle, that this is ridiculous. And I'm sorry to have wasted your time because this wouldn't even satisfy my pet gorilla wherever it is.

This here is not even just a taste. Lord, I want to apologize to you. And Jesus said, tell the people to sit down. Tell the people to sit down. I wonder if we were to look into this congregation today and we were to get all the busyness and put it in a bag. I wonder what size bag of busyness we would have. I wonder what is going on in each of our minds as we seek to run here and there and everywhere. This morning at the end of the service, I forgot to pray for the missionaries going to Venezuela.

Do I look surprised? We've got hundreds upon thousands of things occupying our minds and God is moving upon our congregation. And the word of God says, even when just an itty bitty little bit of insignificant nothingness is given in a special way by a special person in the presence of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, if we want to see God move, sit down. Such a powerful message from Dr. Don Wilton preaching from the Bible. And now, as he shares from his heart, I pray you'd open your heart to what he wants to share next. Are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ? Why don't you pray this prayer with me right now? Dear God, I know that I'm a sinner and I know that Jesus died for me on the cross. Today, I repent of my sin and by faith, I receive you into my heart in Jesus name. My friend, I welcome you today into the family of God.

This is exciting news. If you've given your life to Jesus Christ moments ago, perhaps praying with Dr. Wilton, or maybe you want to ask some questions, we're here for you. 866-899. Where is the phone number?

That's 866-899-9673, or online at www.tewonline.org. That's www.tewonline.org, where you'll discover great resources like this book with Dr. Don Wilton about Dr. Billy Graham. My book, Saturdays with Billy, is about an extraordinary relationship with a precious man who impacted lives across the world.

You don't want to miss this opportunity to be inspired by his life too. Perhaps you want to share today's message with a friend. Don't forget, you can find all of these messages on our website, www.tewonline.org. To hear again or share with a friend, that's www.tewonline.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-29 11:57:08 / 2023-06-29 12:06:21 / 9

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