Sermons

Summary: God is very active in the moment to moment lives of those Who know Him in ways in which we are rarely conscious.

An Active God

(Romans 8:26-28)

1. God’s providence and planet earth.

Our Earth, for instance, is perfectly designed for life. It’s the "just right" size for the atmosphere we need. Its size and corresponding gravity hold a thin, but not too thin, layer of gases to protect us and allow us to breathe. When astronaut John Glenn returned to space, one of the things that struck him was how thin and fragile our atmosphere is (only 50 miles above the Earth). If our planet were smaller it couldn’t support an atmosphere, like on Mercury. If it were larger, like Jupiter, the atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, which is poison for us.{2} Earth is the only planet we know of that contains an atmosphere that can support human, animal, and plant life.

The Earth is also placed at a "just right" distance from the sun and the other planets in our solar system. If we were closer to the sun, we’d burn up. If we were farther away, we’d freeze. Because Earth’s orbit is nearly circular, this slightly elliptical shape means that we enjoy a quite narrow range of temperatures, which is important to life. The speed of Earth’s rotation on its axis, completing one turn every 24 hours, means that the sun warms the planet evenly. Compare our world to the moon, where there are incredible temperature variations because it lacks sufficient atmosphere or water to retain or deflect the sun’s energy.

Speaking of the moon, it’s important that there is only one moon, not two or three or none, and it’s the "just right" size and distance from us. The moon’s gravity impacts the movement of ocean currents, keeping the water from becoming stagnant.{3}

Water itself is an important part of a "just right" world. Plants, animals and human beings are mostly made of water, and we need it to live. One of the things that makes Earth unique is the abundance of water in a liquid state.

Water has surface tension. This means that water can move upward, against gravity, to bring liquid nutrients to the tops of the tallest plants.

Everything else in the world freezes from the bottom up, but water freezes from the top down. Everything else contracts when it freezes, but water expands. This means that in winter, ponds and rivers and lakes can freeze at the surface, but allow fish and other marine creatures to live down below.

The fact that we live on a "just right" planet in a "just right" universe is evidence that it all was created by a loving God.

(from http://www.origins.org/articles/bohlin_evidenceforgod.html)

2. God has created an ideal planet for life to flourish, and it does. Yet how often do we really appreciate that? We just take it for granted.

3. We take almost everything God has done or does for granted. But we need to wake up and realize that God is actively involved in our lives daily and constantly!

MAIN IDEA: God is very active in the moment to moment lives of those Who know Him in ways in which we are rarely conscious.

I. The Holy Spirit Groans With and For Us in Prayer (26-27)

1. He understands and helps us with our weakness (26a)

(1) “in the same way” = as hope sustains, so the Spirit sustains us

(2) John Stott points out that God’s creation (verse 22) and God’s children (verse 23) groan inwardly; Is God like a machine without feelings? No, God the Holy Spirit also groans in sympathy and empathy for His creation and His children…

(3) this has nothing to do with the gift of tongues or a prayer language; the Greek word alaljtos means, “wordless”; not a strange language, but no verbal language

(4) It is perplexing to understand that God can allow horrible experiences in life and yet be truly empathetic with us….but such is the case…

· Hebrews 4: 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. 16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

· He EMPATHIZES and SYMPATHIZES with us

· Did you ever feel like no one understands? Some ONE always does. God is always ready to share our sorrows, and feels with us…

2. One of our weaknesses is that we do not know what to pray for…

(1) we don’t know which end is up because we do not know how God is accomplishing His purposes

Example: Gospel singer blessed with a great voice. Becomes famous. Contracts, CD’s….leaves husband and kids to pursue career….was her voice a blessing or a curse?

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