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Behold the Greatness of God the Father

(11)

Sermon shared by Rick Crandall

January 2011
Summary: Over the next 3 weeks, we are going to magnify our focus on God, lifting Him up as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Today our focus is on the Father.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
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and afterwards we knelt for prayer. He prayed earnestly for the family, for our relatives and friends, for those he called the "missionaries of the cross" and those in the city who’d endured the blizzard without adequate shelter.
Then he prayed something like this: "Lord, Thou knowest we have no more coal to burn. If it can please Thee, send us some fuel. If not, Thy will be done - we thank Thee for warm clothes and bed covers, which will keep us comfortable, even without the fire. Also, Thou knowest we have no food except milk for Baby Thomas. If it can please Thee..."
For someone facing bitter cold and hunger, he was remarkably calm. Nothing deflected him from completing the family devotions - not even the clamor we now heard beyond the muffling wall of snow.
Finally someone pounded on the door. The visitor had cleared the snow off the windowpane, and we saw his face peering in.
"Your door’s iced up," he yelled. "I can’t open it."
The devotions over, Dad jumped up. He pulled; the man pushed. When the door suddenly gave, an avalanche of snow fell into the entrance hall. I didn’t recognize the man, and I don’t think Dad did either because he said politely, "Can I help you?"
The man explained he was a farmer who’d heard Dad preach in Allegan three years earlier.
"I awakened at four o’clock this morning," he said, "and I couldn’t get you out of my mind. The truck was stuck in the garage, so I harnessed the horses to the sleigh and came over."
"Well, please come in," my father said. On any other occasion, he’d have added, "And have some breakfast with us." But, of course, today there was no breakfast.
The man thanked him. And then - to our astonishment - he plucked a large box off the sleigh. More than sixty years later, I can see that box as clear as yesterday. It contained milk, eggs, butter, pork chops, grain, homemade bread and a host of other things. When the farmer had delivered the box, he went back out and got a cord of wood. Finally, after a very hearty breakfast, he insisted Dad take a ten-dollar bill.
Almost every day Dad reminded us that "God is the Provider." And my experience throughout adult life has confirmed it. "I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor their children begging bread." (Psalm 37:25) The Bible said it. But Dad and Mom showed me it was true. (2)

*God provided for the Haggai family in a tremendous way, but hasn’t He done the same thing for us? Of course He has! In fact, God has provided so well for us that we often take it for granted. I doubt if anyone in this room has ever been down to their last piece of coal. God “satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” He has promised to meet every need you will ever have. He fills us with food -- But the ultimate fullness is Him.

*The more we get to know Him, the more we will be satisfied in Him. We will be satisfied not just with the things He can do -- But who He is. So in vs. 7, the children of Israel knew God’s acts, but Moses was closer to God. Moses knew the Lord’s ways. He was satisfied in the Lord. This is the ultimate fullness that led the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk to say:

17. Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields,
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