Summary: Four things to remember about God during this coronavirus plague
“Four Things to Remember”
April 26, 2020
“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.
For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body”
When a pastor retires it seems like one of those things that are a long time coming – and then happens too quickly. But the time is here and this is my last official sermon as a pastor. I expect I will preach many times in the future but it will be as a guest speaker and not as your pastor.
It’s been a long time coming. The pastorate is a heavy burden. Carrying the weight of each member’s burdens is heavy and truly impossible without the Lord’s help. Maintaining the physical plant, handling the financial load, dealing with all the red tape that goes along with it is burdensome, to say the least. My physical situation has limited me so much that it has limited my effectiveness as a pastor – so I have concluded it is time to turn the reins over to a younger and stronger man. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I actually told the Lord last year something like this. “Lord, I don’t know when to quit. I am yours and I will continue on as long as you give me strength. I can’t do much - but I can be faithful. I will continue on until I know it is your will.”
And I put out a fleece. God answered it in a most spectacular manner and I knew it was time – as I clearly knew He called me to preach it 1971 and gave me the grace to pastor since 1975 – I knew He was relieving me of the call to pastor- NOT the call to serve, I might add. I will do that ‘til the day I die.
So – knowing this is my last official sermon, I asked God to lead me in what to share – and here’s what we came up with. There are five things I want to remind you of about God; five things I have experienced and am certain about God. I guess I ought to say that I agree with the guy who said, “I know two things for sure. There is a God – and I am not Him!” I know there is a God and I assume you do, too. I am not going to argue for His existence. I take it for granted that you believe, too. So here’s five things I have discovered about God.
First of all, 1. God is love. You’re probably thinking, “Pssss! We all know that!” We have all been taught that since we were little kids. In Sunday school we sang, “Jesus love me, this I know” and “Jesus loves the little children – all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, there are precious in His sight”. We memorized John 3:16.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us…!” 1 John 3:1
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them”
1 John 4:8, 16
The Bible is full of declarations that God is love. Many people read it, memorize it and even preach it – but until you experience it personally it is just empty words; empty theology. I can remember clearly the day that Jesus came to me and told me He loved me. From that moment on I knew I was loved. Sometimes I didn’t feel like it. I needed to read it in His Word again and again. But deep down I had experienced that epiphany moment when I experienced the love of God. And I know this for sure and want you to, too – God is love.