Summary: God will surely lead us along in life. How does He do it? 1. He reveals His truth to us. 2. He gets us ready for trouble. 3. He moves us to relieve the troubled.
Follow the Lord's Leadership
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - March 30, 2014
*Some of you may remember the name George Young. He was a carpenter and little-known preacher in the 1800s. George spent his life humbly serving the Lord in small country towns. Times were often hard, but through all the ups and downs George's faithful wife never wavered in her loyalty to God and to her husband.
*After a long time, the family was able to move into their own small home, which George built himself. But later George went away somewhere to preach, and while he was away, some thugs who hated the Gospel set fire to the house.
*The Young's home was totally destroyed, but out of that experience George was inspired to write this song:
"In shady, green pastures, so rich and so sweet,
God leads His dear children along;
Where the water's cool flow bathes the weary one's feet,
God leads His dear children along.
Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long." (1)
*Christians: God most certainly will lead us along in life. How does He do it?
1. First: God reveals His truth to us.
*In vs. 27-28, the Bible shows us one of God's revelations to the first Christians:
27. And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch.
28. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.
*Through His Holy Spirit, God gave the church clear guidance about something that would seriously impact their lives. God can do this because He knows all things! He even knew the end of time from before the beginning of creation! As God says in Isaiah 46:9-10:
9. Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me,
10. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,'"
*Glory be to God! He is so much smarter and stronger than puny men.
*I like the story about the preacher who was making announcements at the end of a worship service. And he said, "The class on prophecy has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances." (2)
*We can't see the future, but God can! The good news is that in His infinite wisdom, He reveals things to us, not everything of course, but everything we need to know. God leads His dear children along.
*Michael Bourdeaux committed his life to helping Christians in the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe. Many years ago, he was studying Russian at Oxford. One day Michael's Russian teacher sent him a letter because he thought it would interest him. The letter told how ministers were being rounded up by the KGB and beaten. As Michael read the letter he felt he was hearing from the true church in Russia. It was signed "from Varavva and Pronina."
*In August of 1964, Michael went on a trip to Moscow. He visited the old church of St Peter and St Paul, which had been completely destroyed by the Communists. Nothing remained in the old square, where the beautiful church once stood, except a 12-foot-high fence around the rubble.
*When Michael got there, he saw two women walking through the rubble. When he looked at them, they walked away, and Michael decided to follow them. After a few hundred yards he caught up with them. "Who are you?" they asked. "I am a foreigner," Michael replied. "I have come to find out what is happening here in the Soviet Union"
*They took him to a house, where he told how he had received a letter from Ukraine by way of Paris. When they asked who it was from, Michael replied "Varavva and Pronina." There was silence, followed by uncontrolled sobbing. Then the woman who owned the house pointed to the two women and said, "This is Varavva, and this is Pronina."
*At the time, the population of the Soviet Union was over 140 million people. Those ladies wrote that letter from a city 800 miles away from Moscow. Michael had flown in from England six months after the letter had been written. And they would never have met if they had arrived at the ruins of the church 30 minutes sooner or later. But out of that meeting Michael Bourdeaux was led to his main mission in life. (3)
*God reveals things to people, and the greatest revelation of all is God Himself. Here is a most amazing thing: The Almighty God of the whole universe is willing to reveal Himself to us!