Sermons

Summary: Providence, victory, overcoming

MORE THAN CONQUERORS

Romans 8: 28-39 (p 800) February 24, 2013

INTRODUCTION:

Some of our men are doing a Max Lucado Bible study called “Fearless”, it’s led by one of our elders David Kiser. I laugh sometimes at how God brings some things together…When we did our “Radical” study one of our elders, Doug Lucas had read the book by David Platt and was sharing it with our Mission’s team. I’d already read it some months before and had started to plan a series when Doug asked if I could present some of the principles to our church…I said, “I think I can do a little better than than…How about a year long challenge?”

So, after I read “Fearless” I earmarked this story for “the More than Conquerors”, Romans 8 message…”It’s about Max’s brother Dee…Max describes Dee as someone who made friends like a baker makes bread…He permitted no stranger to remain one for long…but in his mid-teen years Dee made one acquaintance he should have avoided –a bootlegger who sold alcohol to endanger drinkers. And for the next 4 decades it would enslave Dee Lucado…He would drink away his health, relationships, jobs, money…all but the last two years of his life…At the age of 54 Dee discovered a resource of will power he’d never had…He emptied his bottles, enjoyed a season of sobriety…stabilized his marriage, reached out to his children and exchanged the local liquor store for the local A.A…But the 4 decades of hard living and 3 packs of cigarettes a day turned his “heart” into ground meat…Here’s how Max describes it in the book “Fearless”.

On a January night during the week I began writing this book, he told Donna, his wife, that he couldn’t breathe well. He already had a doctor’s appointment for a related concern, so he decided to try to sleep. Little success. He awoke at 4:00 a.m. with chest pains severe enough to warrant a call to the emergency room. The rescue team loaded Dee on the gurney and told Donna to meet them at the hospital. My brother waved weakly and smiled bravely and told Donna not to worry, but by the time she and one of Dee’s sons reached the hospital, he was gone.

The Attending physician told them the news and invited them to step into the room where Dee’s body lay. Holding each other, they walked through the doors and saw his final message. His hand was resting on the top of his thigh with the two center fingers folded in and the thumb extended, the universal sign-language symbol for “I love you.”

I’ve tried to envision the final moments of my brother’s earthly life: racing down a Texas highway in an ambulance through an inky night, paramedics buzzing around him, his heart weakening within him. Struggling for each breath, at some point he realized only a few remained. But rather than panic, he quarried some courage.

Perhaps you could use some. An ambulance isn’t the only ride that demands valor. You may not be down to your final heart-beat, but you may be down to your last paycheck, solution, or thimble of faith. Each sunrise seems to bring fresh reasons for fear.

In Romans 8 Paul talks about our new life…A life not dictated by rules, but enveloped in the Holy Spirit…He changes our thinking, He changes our thinking, He changes our actions, He is the witness of our adoption ceremony…from within our soul He shouts….”I’ve got a new Dad”…I’m an Heir to a future inheritance”… even during the times of suffering I’m reminded of this hope…This Holy spirit which lives in me even groans for my “New” fathers will to be accomplished in my weakness… He intercedes for me…

And then we come to Romans 8:28…If John 3:16 is the best known and most memorized verse in the New Testament…Romans 8:28 will give any other number 2 a run for its money….Now you know some context for this amazing verse…you see

I GOD HAS ALWAYS HAD A PLAN

Listen to these verses… Romans 8: 28-30 (p801)

Nothing usually goes together very well, or gets built properly unless there is a blueprint…A Plan…These 3 verses present God’s overall plan for mankind as well as any three verses in scripture!

It starts with God at work in the lives of those who love Him…you know, the ones He’s called…and have answered His call…

You see God isn’t building a building…He’s building a people…a nation…

The church Big “C” not little “c”…how are the parts of this building project identified…”those who are led by the Holy Spirit are children of God.” (v14)

It’s His Spirit that brings Holiness to our lives…We can only be Righteous” because the Righteous “One” now lives in us…The Jewish people, and Paul was one…believed that the “Law given to Moses” and their heritage through Abraham guaranteed them a special, eternal place in God’s plan…

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