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December 28, 2021 7:05 am
Are you looking back on the year that included wanted to surprise why did God allow you to suffer because it's everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose. What is he doing what look because God knows his people and he knew us in advance and he chose us to become like is some natural to question God, why would he allow us to suffer, what we never know where these daily programs find you. Perhaps the unwanted surprises 2021. Cause you to wonder if God knows even here today on Insight for living. Chuck Swindoll presents a brand-new message prepared with the new year and mine's goal is to help us see God's providence in every aspect of our lives. Good moments and even the not so good Chuck titled today's message I treasure you must not saying I surrender. It is another thing entirely to do that we want to do that.
That is our deepest desires spiritually but we have with them was an old nature that fights everything about that. I pray that you will here with us today. Father, a willingness a deep desire to let that happen. It cannot be done without your spirit at work within us to energize us to motivate us to lead us into the direction of life. Surrendering rather than resisting, maybe do so and find delight in the surrender of Lord to hear from you today so that in fact we do not miss this treasure you have for us for many years I had treasure, but it's never meant to be hidden.
It's meant to be claimed. May we understand as best we can. What it is about. May we accept it, embrace it and as the year unfolds. May we live it out so that by the conclusion of the year. We look back and say we are more like Christ than we have ever been in our lives for that is your goal for us, not minister to us in the deep way.
We pray as we continue our worship made the things of this earth fade as the things of Christ emerge as they are highlighted in this passage we are examining today and living out in the unfolding of the year.
We prayed this through Christ our Savior and Lord. Everyone's listening to Insight for living to search the Scriptures with Chuck Swindoll. Be sure to download his searching the Scripture study by going to Insight world.org/studies Chuck titled his message. I treasure you must not. So as we begin the year we say to him, take charge. Remind me every day.
Lord and the passing of every day that you're in control. Your plan is unfolding. We know God, because it us.
Maybe another pause at that point and I want us to do that now God calls for the project is God's. It's not all the year before us is all about God. We have the opportunity to live it, but we are living out what God would have for us. A good analogy would be were like clay on the potter's wheel and God is the potter. I my Bible turned back to Jeremiah 18, I invite you to go back with me.
Take a look at these words where the Lord invited Jeremiah the prophet to make a trip to the potter's house, Jeremiah 18 the Lord gave another message to Jeremiah he said go down to the potter's shop and I will speak to you there.
So I did as he told me and I found the potter working at his wheel, but the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped so. He crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. Then the Lord God gave me this message, O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand.
If I may broaden the application to go beyond the nation Israel and apply it to us personally.
I'll draw on the words of Eugene Peterson as he writes of this scene, in his book run with the horses not quote Jeremiah's imagination went to work as he stood before this potter with his lump of clay and his wheel. Jeremiah had seen potter's at work all his life. But today he saw something else. He saw God at work, but a way that's what you do when you stay aware of the treasure you just don't see what's happening. You see God at work and what's happening here still seal up the potter at the wheel. You see God at work on the clay you see God at work in your life in your circumstances and that disappointment or that surprise reading on persons created in the image of God or people of God necessary but not only necessary. Each one is also beautiful, beautiful, not only beautiful, but each one is necessary. Each human being is in there is an inseparable union of necessity and freedom. There is no human being who is not useful with a part to play in what God is doing. Listen to this and there is no human being who is not unique with special lines and colors and forms distinct from anyone else. All this came clear to Jeremiah in the potter's house.
The brute fact of the day. The brute fact of the clay lungfish and inert shape for a purpose by the hands of the potter and then as it took shape the realization of the uniquely designed individuality and wide ranging usefulness it would acquire as a finished pot painted baked and glazed.
God shapes us for his eternal purposes and he begins right here reminding me begins this year. Right now as you hear these things in the pot was spoiled. Peterson continues the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand. Jeremiah knew all about that he knew about spoiled vessels men and women with impurities and blemishes that resist the shaping hand of the creator. He rub shoulders daily with people who were not useful imperfections made their lives leak holding neither wine nor water of failure of proportion made their lives wobble or tip unstable and undependable. Jeremiah continued to observe what would the potter do now kick the wheel and go off an assault throw the clay at the cat go to the market and purchase another brand. Neither he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do God needs and presses and pulls and pushes the creative work starts over again patiently, skillfully, God doesn't give up. God doesn't throw away what is spoiled under a different image God shapes the vessel George Herbert saw this and said the same thing. Storms or the triumph of his art you remember that when you take this warning as the storms of this year unfold as they give us today. We don't know what they will be. They may come in the political setting. They may come in a social setting. They may, in a very personal one related to our health, our family, someone in our family someone we love deeply, but God is at work in all of that. Remember, were dealing with an unconditional promise.
We know that God causes never ready for the big word right here in the verse he causes everything to work together. The plan is total not partial. This is the part that's difficult to get our heads around.
Some things we have no problem saying God was in that start to finish, but this is everything not as observe. It doesn't say everything is good because I everything that happens is a good thing it says it works to gather for good. See his plan is purposes that I mentioned earlier are often convoluted and deep, or what would together reshaping thing one point put it, not too voluminous, silent, and the shuttle ceased to fly. Would God unroll the campus and explain the reasons why the dark threads are is needful in the Weaver skillful hands as the threads of gold and scarlet in the pattern he gives plan. He has planned everything working together as he has planned for you grasp that as the year on roles you will not miss filtration butterfly can all make a statement that you haven't heard me say that often your life will be completely different. By the end of the year.
If you live this year. Embracing this treasure.
It's amazing what it will do to you. The reason is right here in the passage he causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose. Why does he do it. Look look because God knows his people and he knew us in advance and he chose us to become like is some that's the pattern he has in mind as John RW Stott put it in the simplest possible terms, God's eternal purposes for his people is that we should become like Jesus, you become more like Jesus that you have ever been before.
If you heed this warning and if you claim this treasure and live it out begins in the mind moves to the heart and becomes a part of the driving force of your life. I pause here and lift from this Roman's letter and go back to Genesis for a story to remind you of the classic example of it of this wonderful treasure. I'm going back to a 17-year-old teenager mentioned in Genesis 37 is named Joseph a favored son of his father Jacob. He loved him because he was a son of his father's old age and the other brothers never so many of them, all of them were envious of the special treatment the Jacob gave Joseph fully resented Joseph Mel. Joseph didn't handle everything. Well, he's a 17-year-old what 17-year-old Abraham was everything well anyway then or now, and that they resented him they didn't like the favoritism shown they stop with resentment. They turned that to hatred, and when they were alone with him away from the father. The abused him. They abandoned him as a matter of fact, get this, they sold him to a caravan on its way to Egypt. They didn't know those made in the caravan few pieces of silver and thinks older brother. They faked his death by taking his garment and showing the father later. The blood on it that was the blood of an animal, but the father thought it was the blood of Joseph thinking Joseph is dead. They left the father believing that lie so their allies involved in this back to Joseph.
He is taken to Egypt. He's placed on a sleep block and he's bought as a common slave and a lamb. He's never been in before doesn't know the culture has to learn the language and is bought by a man named Potter for who brings them into his home and makes him one of his house servants. Joseph's integrity emerges in Potter for notices. It and here's Joseph, still in his late teens or maybe by now early 20s emerging as a reliable workmen in the home of Potter for Potter first wife notices Joseph.
You remember the story when you get to Genesis 39, she eyes him and begins to seduce him and he never wants false glory. He turns against her. He in fact runs from her when she grabs him tears a part of the garment and later she screams rape he's not guilty of a of of any of this but as a result, he is unfairly thrown into prison on got a list the side of my notes here. He was resented hated, abused, abandoned, he was enslaved. He was accused unfairly and Potter for the husband threw him into an Egyptian dungeon and left even deserve that. I will wait your thinking what terrible terrible set of circumstances, but you never find Joseph better you never find he him blaming anyone, certainly not God while he's in prison he meets a couple of man who had dreams and Joseph interprets the dreams and it leads to their being released.
One of them is killed and the other one is back into his old job as the as the cook for the king and he forgets Joseph even though he promised to remember and so Joseph is now back on the list forgotten when he is 30 years old 1730. Nothing but bad news year after year, year after year, year after year, enough to make even a saint better. Joseph is a better through a set of circumstances. Many of you will remember Joseph is called into Pharaoh's had a had a dream of dreams. It and Joseph interprets the dreams and Pharaoh is so impressed with him. He says a man who can do this deserves to be second in command when you read Genesis you will find that Joseph is placed as the Prime Minister at age 30, second in command over all of Egypt. He's given the roles of royalty. He's given a chariot magnificent chariot that is his own man goes before them. Everywhere Joseph rides in the chariot bothered me bow down before the Prime Minister. This is second in command. This is because it Egyptian. We would call them Joseph now all this happens while the brothers are back in Canaan, and the famine has happened in their starving they need food there is grain in Egypt they know nothing of what's happened to their brother.
They couldn't care less out of sight out of mind, Joseph, is there looks up one day and in front of him.
Is he sitting in this very special seat of authority appears his brothers hot dog. Now is the moment no Joseph didn't miss the treasure. There's no moment there's no blame. There's no retaliation and revenge. This is don't be afraid of me for some of these words and my God that I can punish you you intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good is much more application Chuck Swindoll wants to draw from this fascinating story of Joseph Chuck titled his message a treasure. You must not miss this is insight for living and to learn more about this ministry.
Please visit us online at insight world.or before your checks. Closing comments today I want to remind you about the video conversation he prepared for you. Just recently, Chuck sat down for a personal discussion about the challenges of this year and in particular our study in the Gospel of Matthew will give you renewed strength and direction for what lies ahead, and we invite you to take a seat at the table with Chuck for this 30 minute conversation online you'll be inspired to hear Chuck's grace filled comments and especially to be reminded that God will be with you at your side through this year and beyond to see and hear Chuck's conversation. Look for the firstname.lastname@example.org/conversation I took from the first day. This program aired back in 1979. The recurring theme is one of grace you've often helped us understand that the gift of grace isn't an isolated event between us and God. That's only the vertical transfer of God's grace, you're absolutely right Dave is not enough to claim a vertical relationship with God. Yes, God's grace comes to us vertically. That is we receive his grace from above what grace doesn't stop with that vertical transaction grace is meant to be shared liberally across the board horizontally in all of our relationships and even with those we may never meet. Remember when Jesus told his disciples that night before he was crucified. I'm reading from John 14 verse 34 out of the message for Jesus said, let me give you a new command love one another in the same way I loved you.
You love one another. That's our mission here at insight for living ministries is our mission to send a fragrance of God's love and God's grace to our community, our country and even around the world, which includes your country and now is December 31 approaches please ask the Lord to guide you in standing with us by giving a very generous year in without exaggeration I can tell you that your support is urgently needed. Your gift can make all the different sorts together. Let's be lavish with our love by responding generously with our resource please get in touch with this right now.
Jesus said one more thing to his disciples that evening before his ultimate sacrifice. He added this statement. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciple when they see the love you have for each other as you give others will see the love you and I have for them. Let's do it together want to give her contact information. First, you could become a fragrance of God's grace by giving your email@example.com/that if you prefer, you can also call us listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 again 1-800-772-8888 nine Davis Mike inviting you to join us again tomorrow. Chuck Swindoll describes a treasure you must not miss. That's Wednesday on insight for living. The preceding message, a treasure, you must not miss Anderson recording were copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R.
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