Summary: The final sermon of a 3 week series reminding the people God is for us. part 1 - God is for you. part 2 - God is in Control. part 3 - God is in Control
God Has A Plan
August 7, 2016
Today we're wrapping up our series from Psalm 118, focusing on Getting Centered on God. We’ve been focusing on what it means to get centered in God during hard times. I'm talking about having peace, strength and confidence in your life, no matter what’s going on around you.
Whenever you meet a person who is centered -- who lives with a calm assurance that they’re secure in the hands of God -- we may think, "That person must have an easy life. Look how happy he is. Look how relaxed she is. They don't have a care in the world." Nothing could be further from the truth. No one, by their own perception, has an easy life. They see all the challenges and obstacles we can't see.
Being a centered person isn’t determined by how many or how few problems you have, it's determined by your relationship with God. If you’re right where God wants you to be, then you have a great opportunity to experience this centeredness ~ peace in the midst of turmoil, hope in the midst of uncertainty, confidence in the midst of a setback. This kind of security is available to God's people. It's what Jesus proclaimed when He said, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
In the first week we talked about how we need to believe God Is For You. The Psalmist said ~ 6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? – Psalm 118:6 Or, as Paul said in the book of Romans, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" – Romans 8:31
God is for you. That means that you can call on Him in times of distress. You can count on God when you can't count on anyone else. In fact, He is so for you, that even when you're wrong, even when you're in sin, even when you've made a mess of things with your own foolish, He will not give up on you. When you're in the middle of a mess --- you need to believe what the Bible tells us about the grace, power and the goodness of God, God is for you! He loves you and likes you!
Last week we looked at the fact that God is in control. Your situation may be totally chaotic, but God is in control. This is the day the Lord has made . . . He made it, He owns it, He knows how to handle everything that comes your way. Now, if you really believe God is control, then you can celebrate this day and everyday -- because it’s a day He has made to do great things in your life.
You may say, "I've got too many problems to experience great things!" One of the great things God wants to do is get you started on the way out of your messy situation, so that tomorrow looks better than today. Because of this, we can ask for everything we need: "God send prosperity. Send abundance. Send your blessings. Send your help!"
As we continue to seek to become centered in God, we see that — God has a plan.
In verse 22, we see the Psalmist make a statement which Jesus later said in Matthew 21:42. This verse applies to Jesus, but it isn't exclusively about Jesus -- it's about God's way of doing things in human history.
The Psalmist wrote ~ The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. — Psalm 118:22
These words apply to Jesus because when He came into the world He was rejected by the religious leaders, He was condemned by the political leaders, and He was put to death on a cross. His enemies thought it was over, that He was completely out of the picture and they would never have to deal with Jesus or His followers again.
But they were wrong, because the man they nailed to a cross did not disappear like they thought He would. He was as dead as He could be when they put Him in the tomb on Friday, but on the third day, on Sunday morning, the Spirit of God entered that grave and breathed into Him and His heart started beating and blood started flowing and his lungs filled with air and - - - - Jesus was alive again.
That's not all there is to it, because now His ragtag band of believers, who had all deserted Him, were suddenly feeling bold and began to preach His message and imitate His lifestyle. This new movement, started in His name - - - is the church. It’s His church and it’s built on Him. Jesus is the foundation. He is the cornerstone. He, who had been rejected, ridiculed, beaten, mocked, and condemned to die; HE became the cornerstone.