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November 28, 2016 11:03 am
What over the last few weeks we thinking of this little series next steps in following Jesus. And in this, the last of that series. We come to the important subject of knowing God's will. As followers of Jesus Christ.
We believe that our loving heavenly father has a plan for our lives. And unlike our plans God's will for our lives is perfect. I David Saiz and Psalm 18 verse 30. As for God's way is perfect and in a world of confusion of deception of ambiguity is reassuring.
Isn't it, that as we follow Jesus as we seek to follow Jesus. He will lead us in God's will for our lives, our own desires. Our own impulses will lead us into all kinds of difficulties in life. But God's plan for our life is perfect. David in Psalm 23 says he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his namesake, God will always lead you in the right path. We left ourselves will make a mess of our lives that we will sometimes make very very foolish and even sinful decisions.
But God has promised the good Shepherd of Psalm 23 our Lord Jesus Christ will lead us in paths of righteousness.
Parents often tell me that the little son or the little daughter itself will most little boys and little girls I know are self-willed and most big boys and big girls I know are even more self-willed. That is we want to live life on their own terms. We want to set out on agenda we want to make your own plans. We don't want people telling us what to do with our lives, but ourselves will will lead us into disaster and according to Scripture, ultimate destruction, the heartbeat of the follower of Jesus Christ and that reminded us of this in the remarks that she made the heartbeat of the authentic follower of Jesus. As Paul said on the day he was converted on the road to Damascus Lord, what will you have me to do. I trust you prayed the prayer Lord, what will you have me to do the apostle John writes in John in first John 217 and the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. What a promise, the one who does the will of God abides forever. I know you want to do the will of God.
I read this week but could virus wrote God has a plan for your life. You don't need to step outside of the will of God, defined so let's consider where God's will for you to begin. Start with me to first Timothy chapter 2 Paul's letter the rights to letters to Timothy were looking at first Timothy chapter 2 and were going to read from verse three we going to discover first of all that God's will for you is that you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.
This is where God's will for us begins, that each one of us knows Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. First Peter two verse three Paul writes this is good and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires is the will of God who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth is that going to come about. Verse 54 there is one God and that is one mediator between God and man.
The man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time, God's will for you. God's will for me is that you are saved, that you know Jesus Christ as your Savior that your sins are forgiven that you receive the free gift of eternal life. This is the gospel that God loves you and the sentence on Jesus Christ as we celebrate at Christmas, but we sometimes forget the reason why he sends his son. He sends his son to be our Savior, not to condemn us, but that through him through the person and redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Each one of us should be saved and so the message is this, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
Stop trying to run your own life and confess your sins, turn from your sin and embrace Christ. Put your trust in Jesus Christ believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
This is why Jesus came, God's will for you is that you are saved is not wonderful to know but God's love comes down to you and to me today God wants to adopt you into his family. The eternal family of God and that Paul is saying here that this salvation is only finding Jesus Christ. He's the only mediator between God and is God who is holy and we who are on the holy and Jesus Christ comes to die on the cross he pays the price Tobias back to free us from the self-will to free us from the chains of sin and of self-will. Peter says that Jesus Christ is the one who brings us to God that is left to ourselves. We will never find our way to God but God intervenes, he comes into time and space in Jesus Christ to be our Savior. Few years ago I was in New Mexico and walking along this deep deep canyon and I thought how inadequate I ever get to the other side. Some of you have seen that canyon in New Mexico and how wonderful to come to a bridge and to go from one side of a deep deep golf to go from one side to the other. Sin comes into our life.
The self-will that we see even the little children that self-will grows and grows.
And so we sin we mess up our lives.
We do things we know that the wrong there good things would love to do and yet we find ourselves not doing them at this is a great gulf between God and us and by ourselves we can get to the other side we can get to heaven by ourselves and so Jesus Christ comes he is a great bridge maker. He is the bridge number. He said I am the way the truth and the life.
No one comes to the father apart from me that is the only way of salvation is through trusting Jesus Christ.
The God seeks a personal relationship with you and this provided a means by which you can be saved. Therefore I say to you, trust Jesus Christ. This is God's will for you. Don't miss this if you miss this you missed everything in life and you will be eternally lost.
But God's will is not only that, you know Jesus Christ as your Savior is well is that you surrender to his Lordship who is he he is the Lord Jesus Christ becomes as the Savior.
It is true, but this one who comes to save is not just a man. He is the Lord is God incarnate, so the gospel is believe in the Lord Jesus Christ's many of you are following Jesus Christ is a John and God's grace have trusted Christ and I know what it is to trust Christ as my Savior. Praise God for that. But are you living a life of surrender to the Lord Jesus. Listen to Paul as he writes in Romans is first 11 chapters. These majestic chapters, he presents man's condemnation. He deals with the sinners justification. He deals with the same sanctification, and then he says this in chapter 12 verses one and two is a direct appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect business wonderful that Jesus Christ not only saves me, but he has a plan for my life. Otherwise, on the moment.
We were saved. It would take us to heaven, but he leaves us on our longer here.
We don't know. But as long as we are here I am to do his will.
This is what God's will for me is that my life is not lived in self-indulgence that I don't plan my own life that is not based on my own desires or prejudices are agenda but rather my life is so rendered to Jesus Christ.
Here is a young woman, Pat Collins 40 years ago who hears that call. Are you willing to do God's will and she is a young woman says yes Lord, I'm willing God's presents are with his beautiful plan for her life, which is going to overflow and blessing to thousands and thousands of children with Jay Wilbur Chapman was in London get an opportunity to make general booth general booth.
The finder of the Salvation Army booth at that time was past 80 years of age, the old general spoke of his trials and conflicts in victories. Wilbur Chapman then asked the Gen. if he would disclose his secret for success. Chapman says he hesitated for a second and I saw the tears come into his eyes and steel down his cheeks and then he said I will tell you a secret. God has had all that was of me that of the men with greater brains than I men with greater opportunities from the day I got the poor of London on my heart and the vision of what Jesus Christ could do with the poor of London. I made up my mind that God would have all of William booth there was and if there's anything in the Salvation Army today. It is because God has all the adoration of my heart all the power of my will and all the influence of my life.
Wilbur Chapman said he went away from that meeting with general booth knowing that the greatness of immense power is the measure of his seven you say well I thought you were going to talk about my specific will for my life. This is it surrendering to Christ mask as you sit here most of us say we are followers of Jesus are you available to the Lord.
Maybe a young boy elevates you may be an elderly woman of 90. I don't know but for all of us. Are you available to the Lord to be used as he chooses. For the rest of your life so much of the Christian faith. Today I fear is reduced to using God for our own purposes, but God's will for you is to be so rendered to Jesus Christ your life consecrated to Christ, but do you really believe that God's will for your life is better than your own. We just have to ask the question to get the answer of course we say God is wiser God is good. We thought of that on Tuesday evening as we sang the God is good God is a good God is faithful God would be saying, of course, has plan for our life is better than our own. Therefore, why don't you surrender your life to God's why you trying to do your own thing. Why are you still holding on to that self-will that that rebellion that that ego you say. Well I believe God has a plan for my life and is a good plan if you can find it time to jet Jeremiah chapter 29 when I speak with people. This is one of their favorite verses.
But sometimes I think we may not understand the context because before you claim the wonderful promise of Jeremiah 29 verse 11.
I think you need to understand the context Jeremiah chapter 29 verse 11.
If you're embarrassed because you can't find it.
Go home and lend the books of the Bible, but for the moment does listen Jeremiah 29 verse 11. Listen to this for I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil to give you a future and the hope, then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart I will be fond of you, declares the Lord what the context of Jeremiah chapter 29 Israel are in captivity and in captivity because of their sinfulness. The Babylonians have taken them into captivity for 70 years.
But here is the word of God.
If you seek me with all of your heart. If you humble yourself before me if you come and pray to me, I got these plans, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil to give you a future and a hope some of you are sitting here and you say well I been following Jesus for some time now and as I look back I realize that my stop and rather than doing the will of God have largely been doing my own. I entered this improper relationship. I went into this business deal of my stop and you wonder, how can it be retrieved.
Here is the answer. If you seek God with all of your heart.
Don't dabble the Christian life seek cards come humbly before God psalmist is saying. When you seek God with all of your heart he will be fond of you and Israel has to understand that they've done wrong and that they have a spirit of repentance and God had given his faithful promises to them away back to father Abraham and God never ever goes back on his promises. But in order to enter in to the experience on the blessing of the promises God wants us to be humble and to seek him with all of our heart plans for wholeness and not for evil to give you a future and a hope.
How wonderful to repentant, humble people, here is the promise when I see God when I come humbly to him, he will lead me, and God's plan for my life is always a wonderful future and a hope that is when you surrender to God's will, he will lead you.
He will be your guide. Everything around you may be in darkness and confusion, but keep your eyes on Jesus.
This is what it means to be a disciple. I'm following Jesus and you will know the wonder of his guy. You will walk in a path pleasing to him. I put on the slide. Some verses from Isaiah that I've been studying I'm not going to read them all to you, but you can write them down wonderful scriptures by the Old Testament prophet about God guiding him just as a shepherd guides the sheep listen to one of them.
Psalm 14 verse 11, he will tend his flock like a shepherd. He will gather the alarms in his arms to see the tenderness to see the intimate relationship between the shepherd and the sheep he will carry them in his bosom and gently lead those that are with you wonderful shepherd.
We have cellular concurrent sometimes he may have to discipline us. That is true, it is true the shepherd has the raw down the staff, but my good Shepherd.
David says he leads me in paths of righteousness. He leads me by the Stillwater. He leads me by the green pastures.
He surprises me with his grace even in the face of my animation prepares a table for me. So, day by day to allow the Lord graciously to guide me doing God's will was with Elliott my with the Lord great missionary. She's tells a story.
I wish when she was in the photos of Ecuador didn't like to go across the logs across the river. As she thought she would always slip to search wasn't very good on logs and she tended to look darn on at the water even though she knew she shouldn't. So what happened, she said to have them guided and she said that she was going across the logs, the touch of the guides hands was all she needed, and with a touch of the hand to stop worrying about something should look at the logs and then look at the water. She just looked at the guy who was just holding her a little bit by her hand when she came to the other side. She realized that if she had fallen. The guide would not of been able to hold her because he was just almost just touching her hand but that was enough, not wonderful to think when you and I go through these tough times. We have a guide not only touches us by the hand, but who holds us. Isaiah says is 4110 that he upholds us with his righteous right hand, and Jude couldn't say not wonderful benediction unto him who is able to keep us from what following the guy not only guides us but our guide holds us step by step we follow him do know that we had the experience of the good Shepherd dragging you in life and upholding you. This is God's will for you secondly want to say this but God's will is that you do what you're doing at present, to the glory of God. I think we made the subject of knowing God's will.
In a sense to mysterious, but God's will to listen to me is that you do what you're doing at present, to the glory of God, look at first Corinthians 10 verse 31 the very short vast with a key verse for us all.
First Corinthians 10 verse 31 with Paul is saying, what to do.
Everything, everything, to the glory of God.
So whether you eat or drink while just on that over Thanksgiving, Emily. So whether you eat or drink, or what ever you do, do all to the glory of God. Everything we do, including the routine things of life. The basic things of life, the trivial things of life are to be none, to the glory of God. This is the great principle and following Jesus.
Jesus himself said in John eight verse 50. Yet I do not seek my own glory. Here is the Lord of glory. God incarnate. When he is on our he is not seeking his own glory seeking the glory of his father and when the comforter when the healer of our heart comes the Holy Spirit. What does he do. He doesn't speak of himself. He always shines the lights on the Lord Jesus Christ and so as we live a life I'm to do everything to the glory of God have told the story before when I was practicing law in my senior partner gave me a will to do and it was a difficult will and ice struggled with a wretched thing trying to get it right legally right and together in a nice form of English, and I realized I wasn't doing it very well and I was so frustrated and so I finally went to him and I presented to them. Knowing this was not my best work and that he looked at it and he asked me why it was for strata and I just just can't do this properly when he sat me down and he taught me a lesson I never forgot. He said John remember this when you're drafting a will, you're doing it to the glory of God. I said to her I thought we did get paid by clients. Yes, that's helpful as well. We do want to make a profit, but he said no, you're doing it to the glory of God. You mean making a will routine well I'm doing this to the glory of God. Yes, that transforms all of life doesn't that your home doing the dishes. You're a teller at the bank.
You're a nurse in the hospital you're a student, whatever were doing. This is what Paul is saying, whatever you do you do to the glory of God, so God's will for me today as I do everything to the glory of God. Tomorrow morning as you go toward whatever that is whatever you find you're doing your to do it, to the glory of God is able and I'd like to know more. I like God to reveal more of his will to me and God sometimes graciously does that, but more usually, what does he do as a guide. He got you step-by-step day by day, moment by moment, you are to be faithful where you are is God's will for your God has placed you your to be faithful to him today doing his will.
Psalm 3723 the steps of a man are established by the Lord step by step. Paul says in Colossians 323 whatever you do work hard to lay as for the Lord and not for men. Is it my bosses unreasonable.
That may be true but your to work hard to relate this is God's will for your your to work heartily as for the Lord, not just for men. Our daily work is not something just to be endured. Not something to do. Just so you get some money order so you can have a good time on the weekend or plan your retirement. Absolutely not. This is an act of worship the Lord. This is God's will for you. This is God's will for me that we are to work heartily, enthusiastically and faithfully, Paul says Philippians 214. We are to do all things without grumbling or questioning when that revolution or society would not revolutionize our church. When I revolutionize our homes to do things without grumbling or questioning you say why. Philippians 213 for it is God who works in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. That is that whatever we're doing is to have God in mind/you display Jesus in your work situation. This is God's will for you. You and your complainer. You really put out that you didn't get that promotion you're known as someone who doesn't work very hard, God's will for you is that you work heartily and faithfully and even individual circumstances, particularly in difficult circumstances.
Do it for the glory of God over the years. I don't know how many young men and young women that have come to me for advice and are often concerned about the future. I understand that what color should I attend what career should I follow and of course who should I marry by the way, don't match make you take that responsibility.
But the concerned about who they marry me say this, if your students and you desire to do the will of God.
I'm thrilled because the vast amount of people don't even ask God. So I want to commend you that you as a student is a young adult. Perhaps an older person you truly sincerely want to do God's will and thrilled to hear it coming to tell your students what's God's will for you is you ready for study, heart is all yes God's will for students is that you study for the glory of God. Don't be lazy. Shouldn't don't waste your time. Don't be a party animal, but work hard and faithfully for the glory of God. Don't cheat and plagiarize one copy someone's paper. Don't complain about the teacher of the professor but do your studies on this late enthusiastically and faithfully to the glory of God. This is God's will for you, your students is what you to know. Furthermore, in our sleazy sleazy world to what God's will for yours. It is first Thessalonians 4 verse three and this is the will of God. Your sanctification and holiness that you abstain from sexual immorality is very fine. Sometimes people are thinking all night because going to leave me is to be a missionary or into this career in that career and who should I marry in your life is a mess you've compromised.
So Paul says very very directly to the church at Thessalonica and to the church at Calvary church Charlotte this is God's will for you that you live a holy life that you abstain from sexual immorality.
Living a life to the glory of God living a holy life living a pure life is much, much more important than what college you go to or what career you follow this. I guarantee you work faithfully as you work enthusiastically to the glory of God as you and God's grace seek to lead a holy life. I assure you that your great guy and our Lord Jesus Christ is aware well able to guide you. These well well able to open the doors of opportunity for your and to make his will clear for you that we often make the will of God.
A tremendous mystery. But Paul says those who have the spirit of God are led by the spirit and as you portray the fruit of the spirit as you live a clean life to the glory of God as you make a difference as you keep your eyes every day on Jesus Christ as you surrender your will to Christ as you seek to be guided by the Holy Spirit, God is well able to guide civil I'd like to know the blueprint for my life.
I know, but it's better that you don't when I was younger I thought that would be wonderful as well. I'm glad God didn't reveal everything to me but step-by-step month by month God will guide you. Sadly, plan ahead, but make sure your plans are subject to the will of God. This is very very important. You see, God leads us and guides us when were living for his glory in the routine tasks of life, here is Gideon.
What's he doing these flashing equates when God calls him or three weeks ago. Some of us were in Shiloh and Israel. What happened in Shiloh for the tabernacle is first pitched here as a young boy Samuel, who is assisting Eli with the routine tasks of the tabernacle and God speaks to him when he is serving in the tabernacle here is David teenager taking care of sheep. The youngest of his family looked down by his brothers taking care of sheep when God calls him to be the king of Israel.
Here is Matthew collecting taxes doing outreach routine job when Jesus is Matthew follow me here at Peter and James and John and Andrew mending nets and casting nets when Jesus comes in the routine of the life and says follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Here is John Monroe practicing law in Scotland. When God calls him John calling you into full-time pastoral ministry. So God guides and leads calling ordinary people doing ordinary things to accomplish is extraordinary. Eternal purposes with an example with Pat schoolteacher. There are thousands of schoolteachers. God calls are for a particular task when she's faithfully doing what God told her to do to.
Here's the point. Live a faithful life today live a holy life today, to the glory of God and God will feature Francis Ridley have ago said to do God's work is a great thing, but to do his will is greater. This is the next step in following Jesus, knowing and doing God's will, but a high privilege you member when Moses finally completed the construction of the tabernacle getting that the last chapters of the book of Exodus is given by God.
The detailed instructions. Another tabernacle is complete and when it was completed. Something wonderful, miraculous happened, the glory of God the Shekinah came down and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle was God going to guide these Israelites miraculous that glory of God, which fill the tabernacle was going to be revealed to them a pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.
And so, as they went through the wilderness. They followed these pillars a cloud by day by fire by night. What happens when the pillar stopped. They stopped the pillar of fire stopped, they stopped and they would look up and see that manifestation of the presence of God in the faithfulness of God and the glory of God.
When the cloud moved they moved when the cloud stopped. They stopped in the same way when you live for the glory of God the glory of God will be your guide. Perhaps in the job situation and you don't particularly is a woman going to do, stay where you are until the Lord clearly guides just to get out of a difficult circumstance. The Lord maybe teaching your large going to do something miraculous. He's put you in a situation stay there until the Lord provided is not sinful obviously stay there until the Lord guide you be guided by the principle of the glory of God reflecting God's glory by going to close have to ask you do you know God, you saved by the grace of God. This is where the will of God for you begins coming from your sin and asking price declines are God's desire is that each person here at Calvary church this morning is saved by the grace of God when it besides that some of you here miss the will of God and knew about Christ nor by the tenants know about Thanksgiving but don't know Christ and you will you trust them, and many of you are followers of Christ can ask you a fresh to surrender your life to him would you do that. Lord, what would you have me to do. I had him call, follow, that was all my gold grew dim.
My soul went after him, who would not follow if they hired him call is coming. It is wise come follow you, trusting the Lord with all of your heart program, three, five and six of guided me in life, whether we to do with the trust the Lord with all of our heart were not to lean on our own understanding with to acknowledge God in all of her ways and what will he do then he will direct your paths were promise only on your own understanding. Don't set your own agenda and live surrender at the Lord trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
In all of your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path. This plan that God has for you is a beautiful plant. Yes, it's a perfect plan money for you to panic. No need to be fearful.
God is well able to gauge her our Savior goes ahead of us, our Savior is beside us. Our Savior is above us and underneath us.
As David says. As for God's will is way is perfect.
This is the next step in following Jesus, knowing and doing his will, our father and their guards, we pause some here have not trusted Christ open their hearts open their eyes to see the beauty of Jesus loved us and gave himself for us to maybe flee to Christ. Many of us here father following Jesus probe of God of track self will sin self-centeredness of credit until lives and we put perhaps of life and automatic pilot. Thank you for this reminder that each day to live to your glory.
Help us strengthen us some here in the darkness need of reassurance that you're with them. Thank you that you hold us with your righteous right hand that you'll never let us go guide us as the perfect Shepherd lead us in the paths of righteousness for your namesake. As we once again say over Jesus all for Jesus, not my will but has been done and we ask it in his name