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The Sovereignty of God

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
March 24, 2022 8:00 am

The Sovereignty of God

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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March 24, 2022 8:00 am

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Learn the keys to spiritual endurance. Overcome spiritual burnout and train up the next generation to stand firm on biblical truth with Dr. Yousef's new book, Never Give Up. Dr. Michael Yousef unpacks Paul's rich words of encouragement found in 2 Timothy. Words that will help you endure, flourish and thrive in the midst of doubt, danger and despair. In this encouraging book, Dr. Yousef unveils four unique aspects of what it means to never give up biblical truth. A timely message as Christians around the world face mounting pressure to compromise their faith and abandon their biblical values. Order your copy today for your gift of any amount and receive two bonus resources exclusively from Leading the Way. Be empowered to live for Christ and learn how to leave a lasting legacy of faith for the next generation. Order your copy of Dr. Yousef's newest book, Never Give Up, by giving a gift of any amount. Contact us today.

Order a copy of Never Give Up today. It is a word greatly needed to be heard today. Just visit ltw.org or you can call and talk to a ministry representative, 866-626-4356. Everyone has a unique and personal image of the way they perceive God.

Some see Him as loving and grandfatherly, others judgmental and distant. Well, today on Leading the Way, Dr. Yousef shows you how God reveals Himself through His word so that you can get a realistic image of God in your life. This is a series called God Talk. And as you're able, open with us to Ephesians chapter 1.

That's where you'll find the key verse for today's message from Dr. Michael Yousef. As you know, I'm interested in history and I'm fascinated by how throughout history people have in some way or another tried to use God to their advantage. Some who tried to speak for God and some even claimed to be God. Back during World War II, most of you don't remember this, nor do I for that matter.

I'm not going to pretend that I'm that old. But most of you know from history there was this Yalta Summit where Churchill and Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin were there. And allegedly Joseph Stalin made a statement saying that we, the communists, are destined to rule the world. God Himself told me so. Upon which Roosevelt looked at him and he said, Joe, I said no such thing.

You see, anyone can claim to speak for God on behalf of God or even claim to be God. I even like the little boy who was absolutely sure that he knows exactly where God lives. So the Sunday School teacher asked, where does God live? And his hand immediately shot up in the air and the teacher said, where? He said, he lives in our bathroom. And the teacher said, well tell me about it.

He said, well every morning I hear my dad pounding on the door of the bathroom saying, good Lord, are you still there? Let me ask you this. If you want to know somebody, how would you know about them? Would you hear what others say about them and then make up your mind?

That would be a horrible mistake. The only way you know somebody is what that person says about himself or herself. That's the only way. That's the only accurate perception of another person is what they say about themselves, not what somebody else said about them. The only way you know a person is what that person says about himself or herself.

The only way any of you know something about another person is through what they claim, what they say. And this rule applies to God. In fact, I think this rule specifically applies to God, particularly applies to God. It is not what I say about God. It is not what you say about God. It's not what a big shot theologian says about God. But what does God say about himself?

That's really what matters. And that is why I'm going to start this new series of messages entitled God Talk or What Does God Say About Himself? Now God told us lots of things about himself and revealed himself and we know from the Scripture what the theologians have come to term, to name as the attributes of God. Theologians have a real knack of taking simple concepts and give it big names. The attributes of God.

We say, what is that? Well, it's His wisdom, His mercy, His grace, His justice, His love, His wrath, His goodness, His faithfulness, and on and on. These are the attributes of God. But there is one thing that God says about Himself that controls all of these other attributes. His wisdom, His mercy, His grace, His love, His justice, His faithfulness, His truthfulness, all of these things are controlled by one thing that God says about Himself. Without that one thing, all of these other attributes of God cannot stand.

Do you know what it is? We call it the sovereignty of God. It is His absolute authority, His absolute rule over His creation. And that absolute authority, absolute rule is like the axle around which all the other attributes of God revolve. I know some of you are thinking, I can read your mind, some of you are saying, why is His sovereign control the key to understanding all the other attributes? And I think that is a good question. I'm glad you asked it.

I want to answer. I think everybody here would agree that God is love, right? Even the unbelievers, those who don't know God personally through Jesus Christ, would agree God is love.

That's one thing. The liberals, the conservatives, everybody agrees God is love. Well, if God is not absolute, if God is not sovereign, then any outward circumstances can thwart His love, right? If He is not absolute sovereign, then His love would be conditional.

But the Scripture from cover to cover tells us that God's love is unconditional. Some parents make the mistake and say to their children, if you do this, I'll love you. If you do that, I'll love you. Terrible mistake. Don't do it.

Don't do it. God does not love us conditionally. There is nothing you can do that makes God love you more. There is nothing you can do that makes God love you less.

God's love is unchanging. The same thing about His justice. If He were not sovereign, and is not sovereignly in control of all things, His justice could easily be frustrated by Satan. His justice could easily be frustrated by wicked people. And total injustice would rule supreme. And what a terrible disaster that would be. And that is why it is of vital importance that everyone who knows Jesus Christ, who has a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, understand, comprehend, get under His belt, that absolutely stake their life on the sovereignty of God.

Why? Because a thorough understanding of the concept of the sovereignty of God will give meaning. It will give life.

It will give substance to all the other attributes of God. And that's why I'm beginning this new series with the sovereignty of God. You know, there's one verse that I've learned early on in my Christian life. I memorized it, and I pray to God that by the end of this message, you will memorize it too. And I'm going to give you my translation of it. It's Ephesians 1 and 11. It's actually the second half of the verse. And it says together, God accomplishes all things according to the counsel of His will.

What does that mean? It means that God's knowledge, God's authority, God's power, God's rule, God's dominion are extended to the smallest thing in the universe. And that's why Jesus said, not a sparrow falls to the ground without His permission. This morning when you brushed your hair, God said, number 2,555,000 come on out.

And if you look at your hair brush, there it was. The very hair that God called out, did not fall out without His permission. It means that God's power, God's authority is above and beyond and beneath and all around. Even all of the confusion that are surrounding us, His plan stands supreme. John Nelson Dobbie back in the 1800s once said, God's ways are behind the scenes, but God moves all the scenes which He is behind.

I love that. Even the little girl expressed her belief in the sovereignty of God so wonderfully when she said, oh God, please take care of daddy, please take care of mommy, please take care of grandpa and grandma, and oh God, please take care of yourself because if anything happens to you, we will be in a whole lot of mess. She understood the sovereignty of God.

But I know probably some of you are saying right now, where is he going with this? Is Michael doesn't believe in free will? What about free will? You mean to tell me that we don't have free will? Oh, I didn't say a thing of a sort. Of course we do.

Of course we do. The Bible makes it very clear. But your free will has no power to thwart the plan of God. Those who choose to reject God's offer of forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus Christ bring upon themselves dark eternity. Those who choose to live without God will have what they want. Now listen to me, please. God respects our choices, but this is too part of His plan.

Why? Because God accomplishes all things according to the counsel of His own will. There's one thing that you must know about the Creator of the universe, if you haven't already.

There's one thing you must understand, that He is sovereign ruler and King, all of His creation. I want to tell you two false conclusions that most people adopt on this question of the sovereignty of God. Number one, they deny the reality of God's supreme rule over all things. Or if they don't, they have to conclude that God's not perfectly good.

One of the two. And they both are false. Because when they look at what's going on in the world and the suffering and so forth, they say, well you have to accept one or the other. Either God is not in perfect control or God is not perfect. False, false, false. There are easy conclusions to make.

Listen, I am sympathetic. I'm only telling this because it's the truth, but I do understand that somebody without the Holy Spirit dwelling in them can come easily to one of those two conclusions. Because it is the Spirit of God that opens our eyes and tells us and teaches us and shows us the truth.

But they're both false conclusions. Do you know why? Because God accomplishes all things according to the counsel of His own will. Now I want to deal with this so that to have it crystallized in your mind. Because this is, as I said, of vital importance. To understand the concept of the sovereignty of God, it will make you walk on air. When I came to that understanding, that biblical understanding, my life has never been the same.

And I thank God for it. So I want to deal with this by asking you to ask yourselves two questions, okay? Is it okay to be baffled when you see God doing things that you don't understand? Is it okay? Yes, God bless you.

That's a quick answer. Because as creatures, we don't know the reason for everything that God does. Listen to me, God is not accountable to us. Even though we have this foggy notion of we think God is accountable to us. We have no right to demand God explain to us everything He does. Listen to what He said to us through Isaiah 55, 8 and 9.

He said, my thoughts are not your thoughts, and as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my thoughts than yours. But it is a problem. It really is a problem. And I probably understand it more than most of you, not all of you, but most of you who were born in this country. Because we live in a democracy, we tend to look upon God as a congressman or a senator or even the president. Hear me right, democracy is wonderful.

I risked my life to live in democracy. Don't ever misunderstand me, that's not what I'm saying. But you must understand that that is not the way you should view God. Listen to what Moses said in Deuteronomy 29, 29.

It's very easy to remember. Deuteronomy 29, 29. The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which He revealed to us belong to us, that we may obey His laws. There are several things that the sovereign God revealed to us, and He wanted us to know about Himself. But not everything, not everything, otherwise we'll be in heaven.

And that brings me to the second question that I want you to ask yourself. Again, self, does the sovereignty of God mean that we know nothing about God? Or we know very little about God?

Is He so transcendent, so far away from us? Do you know what the answer is? No.

No. In fact, that is the uniqueness of the Christian faith, because we believe that the very creator of the universe became a man who is fully revealed in Jesus Christ to walk the streets of Jerusalem. God has given us all the information we need, all the revelation that we need in order to make rational decisions. So what does God want the world to know?

I want to give you those in two things. What God wants the world to know, everybody to know, and what does God want His children to know? What does God want the world to know?

Well, and I'm only telling you what He said in His Word. God wants the world to know that He loves to save professing sinners. God wants the world to know that He spent many centuries preparing the world for the coming of His Son.

God wanted us to know that right on schedule His Son came. God wants us to know that those who have received the gift of salvation should share it with others. God wants us to know that His Son, dying on the cross, satisfied His justice that says the soul that sin it shall die, and He paid the penalty of the sin of everyone who would come to Him. God wants the world to know that His Son was resurrected from the dead so that He can assure all of His children that they too will rise from the dead. God wants the world to know that His Son is now exalted on the throne of the universe, and from that throne He invites sinners to come to Himself.

And when they come to Him, He lovingly leads them throughout life, and ultimately He takes them home to glory with Him. That's what God wants the world to know. So what does the sovereign God want His children to know? What does the sovereign Lord, the God who is in control, what does He want His children to know? Here's what He wants His children to know, and it's exactly from what He said in His Word.

God wants all those who have responded to His overtures of love, forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. He wants them to know that because He is sovereign and in control, therefore all things He works together for good for those who love Him and according to His purpose. God wants His children to know that He wants His children to daily be transformed and conformed to the image of His Son Jesus. God wants His children to know that they should live this life without fear of the future because He controls the future. God wants His children to know that they must live this life without anxiety and without worry over the circumstances over which they have no control because He's in control of the circumstances. God wants His children to know that they should live this life trusting in His provision, taking Him at His Word, believing His promises, obeying His commands, that they should be diligent and hardworking for His kingdom, that He is the everlasting Father and therefore the everlasting arms are underneath, that God, the sovereign God is our security, that He the Creator of the world never gets tired and never grows weary, that He is sovereign Lord, He is in control. He's in control of your job, He's in control of your children, He's in control of your family, He's in control of your business, He's in control of the very breath that you're drawing right now. The sovereign God wants His children to know that no matter how impossible the dream, that no matter how difficult the task, that no matter how long it takes, that no matter how fierce is the opposition, that no matter how ferocious is the enemy, that no matter how bleak it may look, no matter how hopeless it may seem, those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, and they will walk and not be faint.

That's what He wants you to know. You see, the sovereignty of God should tell all of His children that His grace is sufficient, regardless of what happens. The sovereignty of God should tell all His children who daily walk with Him, who daily submit to His authority, who daily obey His Word, that a mighty fortress is our God. And finally, the sovereignty of God should tell His children that if God is for us, who can be against us? I pity them.

I pity them. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword?

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us, for I am sure that neither death nor life nor angels nor height nor depth nor anything in all of creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. That's what He wants you to know. Now if you go to seminary and they teach you a course on the sovereignty of God, they're not going to teach you this way. They're going to start by saying the sovereignty of God.

But really that's all you need to know. That's all I need to know about the sovereignty of God. And I want to tell you if you have never received the gift of eternal life, if you have never received forgiveness of your sins, if you have never come, confessed to Him that you're a sinner and cannot be saved without Jesus' death on the cross, you can do that today.

You can do that today. Come to the sovereign God, for all these promises can be yours when you come to Him. Thank you for joining Dr. Michael Youssef for his series called God Talk, right here on Leading the Way. Now maybe Dr. Youssef's words have challenged you to learn more about God, to explore how to have a healthy relationship with God. And our staff pastors would love to talk with you about that. You can just visit ltw.org slash Jesus to start that conversation. Again, ltw.org slash Jesus.

Now if you've been connected to Leading the Way for any length of time, you know that Dr. Youssef has an extensive writing resume. He's penned more than 50 books over the years, touching on topics that range from biblical characters, leadership, worship, and most recently, he's released a challenging book geared toward empowering Christians living in today's world called Never Give Up. This book offers a deep dive into the words that Paul penned to his friend and disciple Timothy.

He spoke candidly about God's promises, specifically for those living in times of discouragement and defeat. So order a copy of Never Give Up today. Just visit ltw.org. That's ltw.org, or give us a call, 866-626-4356. Thank you for joining us today. Time for me to say goodbye, but do plan to join Dr. Michael Youssef next time when he passionately proclaims uncompromising truth on Leading the Way.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-18 15:53:05 / 2023-05-18 16:01:24 / 8

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