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September 9, 2022 7:00 am
You know, if I were to ask you what was the toughest experience the deepest water that you've ever been through in your life. I wonder what you say. Or maybe you'd say lawn. I'm actually going through it right now. What are you kidding. Well if you would ask me that question. My answer would be without a doubt that it's been the sickness the disability of my little girl Jill and all the heartache and the pain that's come along with that, Brendan. I've cried, we've despaired. We been exhausted and drained to levels that I can't even describe in words we struggled with grief and with guilt and we watched our hope so many times creep up only to have them slam down again and again and you know, many times over these last 15 years Brendan I have commented to one another that it's only by holding on to the living God himself that we been able to make it through and we've also commented how good it was. How grateful we are that we spent the years before Jill came into our life studying the Bible and learning who God is, so that we had all that information available to us to rely on when we really needed it so desperately.
AW toes are in this regard says and I quote what comes to our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. I believe toes or says that there is scarcely an error in doctrine or a failure in applying Christian ethics to live.
That cannot be traced back finally to imperfect thoughts about God. He concludes by saying if we would bring back spiritual power to our lives.
We must begin to think of God more nearly as he is." So, in light of that, this fall I'm starting a new series entitled the holy one of Israel. This is a series that's going to be all about who God is his nature.
This person's attributes and of course as we study each attribute of God were going to then make sure we connected and ask will. So what what difference does this make to your life in my life. The fact that God is, that way and so today were going to begin with, part one the each analogy of God. The fact that God is eternal. Genesis chapter 1 verse one says in the beginning of God, not in the beginning man or in the beginning protoplasm or in the beginning, hydrogen, and oxygen and nitrogen and carbon atoms in a little bit a lightning not in the beginning, the Big Bang, but the Bible declares in the beginning, when there were no living creatures anywhere when there was no earth for them to live on anyway when there were no stars, no galaxies, no moons, no planets, no matter of any kind, no atoms, no molecules, no protons, no neutrons, no electrons, no gluons no leptons no quarks no doubt that nothing the Bible says there was God. So what God is claiming about himself.
Here in Genesis 1 is that he and he alone is the eternally preexistent being in the universe without source without origin, without beginning, without ending everything else in the universe had some beginning and everything will have some ending but not God. God is eternal. To put it another way, God is the Springer from which everything else Sprenger but God himself sprung up from nothing. Did you get that I almost didn't get you checked out okay. Good God simply is any always has been any always will be.
Now as human beings we know that we will never be eternal like God is.
But every one of us craves a little touch of the eternal life that God carries with him in this regard. I think of Timothy Leary, the, you know that to turn onto Nin dropout guru of LSD back in the 60s when Timothy Leary died in 1996. He had his ashes shot by rocket into outer space, because as he said he wanted to last forever, and I have eternal life. Not a problem is that outerspace can't give people eternal life because in order to give eternal life away somebody something's gotta be eternal themselves to start with and outerspace is not eternal if the creative thing for Timothy Leary is nothing wrong with warning eternal life is just as poor man went to the wrong source looking for its brands. God doesn't want you here today to make the same mistake. Timothy Leary made you want eternal life. That's a good thing but there's only one place to get it and it's not from your good works and it's not from your religious performance and it's not from following some man-made theology.
Listen John 1027 Jesus said my sheep listen to my voice and they follow me watch now and I give them eternal life. You see, God is eternal therefore he is the being who can give eternal life away and he says in the Bible that he gives eternal life as a free gift to one group of people in one group only and that group is the people who have trusted Jesus Christ put their faith in him and who are relying what he did on the cross for them something to think about. If you want eternal life, my friends, be careful. You go to the right source looking for nonaffected God is eternal means even more than we set up to this point.
If God is eternal. Think about it for a moment think what this means about God's relationship to time and space in the Bible.
Psalm 90 verse two. The Bible says, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. What this means is if we look as far back in the past, as it's possible to look and then we turn and look as far forward in the future as it's possible for us to look this verse says the God is there at both points simultaneously. What's more, the verse says that God is everywhere in between. Simultaneously and God is that every one of these points as fully God simultaneously.
You see, time and space. Define temporal beings like us time and space confine temporal beings such as us, but friends God, since he's an eternal being. What this means is the time and space has no application to God. God made time and space, but God is not confined by either for God the past, the present and the future are all one big now I don't know about you but I have to tell you from me.
This is mind-boggling. I mean, the fact that God existed at the beginning of time my mind to get his arms around that and the fact that God's going to exist at the end of time. Well I can get my arms around that but friends the fact that God is at the beginning of time and that he is ask the end of time and that he is at every point in between, and that it every point in this continuum, he is fully God simultaneously. I'm sorry I can get my arms around that that is beyond the ability of my puny mind to take that in. And yet this is precisely what God declares to be true of himself.
He declares in the Bible that he is eternal now. That's as far as we want to go in the raw theology of this message, because we want to stop now and we want to ask our most important question and everybody knows what that is, so are we ready already. All right here we go.
123 Ceylon someone I write this a great theology. God bless you whatever, but what difference is any of this make tomorrow morning when I walked out of my house to go to work to get on the Metro to go to school. How does this affect my life and all that God is eternal.
Okay see if we can help with that.
I wonder if you can remember the last time you actually went to a parade I'm not talking about watching it on television at Thanksgiving.
I'm talking about actually going out and standing on the street corner and physically watching a real parade go by well for me.
It was 30 years ago in Hagerstown, Maryland, and the reason I haven't gone more often is because parades frustrate me. I spend the entire time looking down the street to where the parades coming from and trying to see what's the next float.
So what's the next band. What's the next car with a celebrity and it what's the parade look like around the corner. But of course I can't see around the corner so I just get frustrated not to like him. However, if I could go to a parade and be up in the Goodyear blimp sent in and see the whole thing at once. I would mind a parade so much that would be different. You say it loud what are you talking about well know, look, this does apply.
This does apply, because folks the reason I mention this is that his human beings who are living here in time and space. We are a lot like people standing on the street corner watching a parade we can only see a little ways up the street at a time. After that, the parade disappears around the corner and we can't see anymore what's in the parade. However, God lives outside of time and space God lives above time and space.
God is all up in the blimp you understand what I'm saying to you and he can see the whole parade from beginning to end of all at one time. Simultaneously, God sees the future the same way you and I as human beings see the past and what this means is that God is in a unique position to orchestrate the affairs of our life. He's in a position that you and I will never be into orchestrate the affairs of our life and his followers of Christ.
This is true has some enormous ramifications for the way we live every day. Psalm 139 verse 16 says all the days ordained for me were written in your book, God before one of them came to be. Now this was this verse was a great comfort to me back in July when I had a brush with death. As you know, it really help me to stick to meditate on the fact that God written all my days in his book before there was ever one of them and everything going on wasn't going to change by one nano second, the amount of days. God had already written in my book before I ever breathed on this earth my whole life. This verse says, was already planned out. Down to the very number of days I have on this earth before there was a one of them.
Social life and the fact that God is eternal. Listen now means that when God planned out all the days of our lives. He did so with an absolute and utter and infallible knowledge of every future event which means that in planning out our lives.
God never makes mistakes in planning out our lives. God never gets the prize in planning out our lives. God never miscalculate God never says whoops understand and you know there's more because God even gives us a promise in the Bible about how he's planned out our lives. Jeremiah 2911 for I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope. So here's the bottom line here is what I want you to take home with you today. As followers of Jesus Christ, the hard things that God allows to enter our lives, the things that in first glance look like they contradict this promise in Jeremiah 2911 friends. We need to remember as followers of Christ, and we need to approach these things as followers of Christ. In light of the truth that God is eternal. We need to approach these tough times. In light of understanding that God has orchestrated all the events of our lives.
The tough times as well as the easy times in light of his total and infallible knowledge of the future and that even though listen now even though you and I cannot see for the life of us how these tough things could possibly be part of any plan for good. Any plan to prosper us. The truth is that God from up in the blimp God can see how that's true.
Moreover, God has already seen how that's true. Moreover, God has already made sure that that's true and that's why he makes us the promise that he does you know when I think of this great truth.
I think of Esther, the great woman of God in the Old Testament Esther chapter 2 verse five, Heather was in Susa the capital city of Persia at the time a Jewish man named Mordechai who'd been carried into exile from Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar when he captured that city verse seven and Mordechai had a cousin named Hadas, whom he raised because she had neither father nor mother.
This girl was also known as Esther. That was her Persian name was lovely. Inform and features. That's the Bible's way of saying she was dropped dead gorgeous got that art. I watch and Mordechai had taken her as his own daughter. When her father and her mother died not to know if you caught it but in those verses.
There is enormous pain that are in those verses. Here's this little girl. Her mom dies her dad dies she gets yanked out of all her familiar surroundings. She gets shipped off to a strange place to live with a bachelor uncle that she probably didn't even hardly know she had no brothers to go with her and keep her company and protector.
She had no sisters to go with her and console her and someone might read this and say plans for good and not for evil plans to prosper her not to harm our you can even say hi they go that way.
The minute I understand how someone could say that, but folks, the cakes only have baked the parade not over yet. Before we impugn God and accuse God of breaking his promise in Jeremiah 29.
Let's make sure we look at the end of the parade because by the end of the parade. Esther had become the queen of the Persian Empire and think about it now if Esther's parents had not died. She would never have come to live with Mordechai and if she hadn't come to live with Mordechai.
She would never been in Susa the capital city and if she hadn't been in Susa than the kings men when they came out looking for beautiful young women as a potential queen would never matter and if the good of the kings men are never matter she would never been the queen of Persia and if she'd never been the queen of Persia. Every Jew in the world would've been exterminated by Haman and the pastor of your church today would be name Smith gun sale Jones and far more importantly, there would've been no Virgin Mary to have the body of the Lord Jesus Christ so he could take it to the cross and sacrifice it for our sins. There would be no descendent of David to do that Satan knew what he was trying to do all the time.
The plan of salvation would've come to all because God couldn't of fulfilled his promise to the line of David. So my point is that even though the events God used to get Esther to the throne of Persia. Even though these things at first look senseless and at first they look illogical, and at first they look, maybe even cruel. The point is that God had Esther's parade under control.
The entire time didn't and the plan that God it worked out for her life was a plan for good. The plan he worked out was a plan to prosper her just like he promised it would be my Christian friend I'm here today to reassure you that God has your parade under control just as much as he had Esther's parade under control and even though you may be facing circumstances today that look to you like their senseless they look to you like it illogical that look to you like God's being cruel. Even though there may be circumstances in your life today where you feel that maybe God's abandoned you and maybe God's forgotten about you and for say can you I am here to tell you on equal revocable he, that that is not true that is not so from the problem is you only got streetcorner vision you you can see from the blimp. I only got streetcorner vision I can see the end of the parade, but I'm here to tell you that God can, which means that you and I are in no position to question the wisdom of the eternal God of the universe when it comes to how we plan our lives out and when it comes to how he plans to fulfill his promise in Jeremiah 2911 my friend, you were in no position to judge that at this point in your life and neither of my our job streetcorner dwellers is not to try to figure it all out because we can. Our job is to simply trust the eternal being up in the blimp who is given us his solemn promise that he has already woven together every event in our lives to prosper us and not to harm us to give us a future in a hole in it when we see Jesus if not before it all makes sense, and it will all be worth now. That's where the tonality of God intersects with your life tomorrow morning in my life. You know I don't go to weddings if I can help it. My wife goes on and go and is not that I'm trying to be snobby and is not that I'm trying to be rude friends. It's just that weddings really hurt too badly for me to want to go to its because I sit there and I watch the father of the bride walk his daughter down the aisle and he's got a big smile on his face and he gives her a kiss and he's all excited and anticipating what the Lord has ahead for her in her marriage and being a mom and and you see, I sit there as I watch them walk down the aisle and though the pain that I feel is devastating because I know that apart from a divine miracle. I will never walk my daughter down and I'll I know that apart from a divine miracle.
I'll never watch my little girl go out on a first date on never teacher to drive an automobile on never get to go visit her in the hospital after she's had a grandchild for Brenda and me and so you might say will on there you go. I mean how does all this fit in the Jeremiah 2911 hung. I mean explain to me how what you just said could possibly be part of a plan to prosper you and not to harm you, for good and not for evil. Explain that to me well I can't exactly please let me tell you what I believe is I believe some things I believe that my eternal God can answer those questions. I believe my eternal God has already answered those questions and that he is already orchestrated a plan for my life.
I believe this my life Brenda's life Joel's life my boys lives that is imperfect harmony with Jeremiah 2911 is just as a street dweller.
I can't see it yet.
I believe that my parade is right on divine schedule and I believe that at the end of my parade when I step foot on the shores of heaven. I believe that when I'm able to see the whole panorama of my life. It wants like God's been able to see from up in the blimp.
I believe that I'm gonna nod my head in agreement and to the glory of God and to the majesty of God, I'm going to confess out loud.
Yes, Jesus everything you did was exactly what you promised me I'm to sing with Fanny Crosby in heaven. I hope I get to stand next door all the way all the way my Savior led me all the way he did get it wrong my dear Christian friend, why did your parents get divorced when you were child why did your dad abandon you when you were little boy or little girl, why did your husband or your wife dessert you, why did your boyfriend, your girlfriend, do you dirty like they did.
Why why is your business struggling.
Why don't you have a job or why do you hate the job you got. Why do you have the physical illness issues that you have ever, or why do some person you love have those issues. Why do you been hurt so badly by so many people when you know what I can answer those questions for you, but I can tell you this, I can tell you that you have an eternal God who assures you that he sees your whole parade from up in the blimp and who promises you that he has already woven every event in your life together to prosper you and not to harm you to give you a future and a hope for good and not for evil and what God asks of you, as a follower of Christ is not that you figure this whole thing out. You can't figure this thing out all God asks is that you trust. The trust is or will not, that's really hard. You know I mean when things are falling apart all around you in your I mean that's that's really hard sometimes.
Hey, tell me about it. I know it is hard but here's what I submit to you what AW toes are set at the beginning if we will make God's revealed character in the word of God, the linchpin of our worldview, not what Madison Avenue tells you that with time magazine tells you not what Oprah tells you, but the revealed character of the living God in the Bible, the linchpin of our worldview if we will make the revealed character of God in the Bible the lands of through which we see every event in life. I maintain that with that as our solid foundation and the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit. There is not a trial in life there is not a tragedy in life there is not a challenge in life that we can't rise up spiritually and trust God through. I believe that friends Jesus did not lie to you when he said he had a plan for you for good. He lied to you. Remember, he lied Abraham, when he told them that even lied Esther, he didn't lie to Moses he didn't lie to David. He didn't lie to the apostle Paul. He didn't lie to Daniel and he's not going to lie to you and so you know, in closing, let me say there really only two choices in life. If you're follower of Christ is to. I'm a simple guy, honest, nonintellectual, don't claim to be an intellectual, not a pseudo-intellectual warming intellectual like the simple guy I just like potatoes and me. I don't like all that stuff simple guy is a simple guy. I boiled life down as a follower of Christ only two choices that I have to make every moment of every day, and they are I'm either going to trust God on the Delco exit. Those are my choices. It's pretty simple and friends.
Those are your choices. Every moment of every day you can trust what God's told you, or even a deli. Well, I've seen God over 37 years. Do way too much to ever doubting. And so even as tough as it is sometimes, I always ask the Holy Spirit.
Lord, give me the grace I need to trust you because I know if I do, you can approve yourself faithful just like you've always done Fran challenge if you got some tough times going on right now you're in the midst of crisis and challenge trust God trust God and is the basis of that trust. You need not some self-help theology but the written revealed character of God in the Bible you make that the foundation of your life and you will be able with spirits help to trust. I hope you can next week were going to continue.
Part two were going to talk about the holiness of God. God is a holy being. What that really means for your life in my life and I hope you will be here.
Let's pray together.
Dear Lord Jesus, you know, we live in a world where we are bombarded with philosophies and perspectives in self-help theology and psychobabble in nonsense or Jesus help you shake off all that ridiculous stuff and help us make as the foundation of our life.
The revealed character of the eternal God, the revealed character that you give us in your written word help us make as our foundation. The promises of God that are based on that revealed character and that are solidified by that revealed character and on that basis, Lord Jesus, help us rise up every day, no matter how tough it may be in the power of the spirit help us trust you help us trust you Lord, because you are trust worthy, forgive us Lord for the times we doubt you were just human Lord is the great, the one of the apostle said, Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief. That's where we are. God help us change our lives because we were here and we study God's word today, we pray these things in Jesus name God's people said amen. Have a good day. God bless you. See you next week