Summary: Two TRUTHS about God’s Agenda which should make our own agenda a resident of the scrap heap
Bible Teaching Ministry of
CEDAR LODGE BAPTIST CHURCH
a fellowship of faith, family and friendships
August 1, 2004
6When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons,
which the Father hath put in his own power. 8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:6-8 (KJV)
During the forty days following the resurrection, Jesus talked with, and taught His disciples many things. You can sense a growing anticipation in them. Jesus had warned them to wait until power came from on high. They were anxiously awaiting the promised kingdom. And so, when they again meet with Jesus, they can’t help asking the agenda question, "Now, Lord?"
I really can’t blame them. The Jews had been captive so many times in their history (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and Rome). Like the woman and her husband who came before the divorce-court judge after 60 years of marriage....He asked them, "Why do you want a divorce after 60 years?" "Judge," she said, "Enough is enough!"
Well, the disciples had also had enough of the back seat. "Now it’s my turn" was to be the battle cry. They were expecting Jesus to gather an army and conquer the current oppressors of the Jews (the Roman government), to march back into Jerusalem and bring back a time of Jewish sovereignty.
To a degree, we want the same thing. One of the reasons people turn to church when life starts to go sour is so that it can be "fixed".
Our agenda is no different than the disciples. We want God to heal the sickness, turn around our marriage or kids, and find us a good job, or keep the business from going belly-up. One of the reasons that preachers of prosperity are so popular is that it fits exactly with what people want to hear. "Listen; just tell me its going to be OK. Let me know that if I start praying God will fix it."
The trouble with that is that, just like the disciples found out, we also will see that Jesus is not our "Aladdin’s Lamp," to be rubbed with a few magic words, and we get what we want.
In fact, it is just the opposite. The closer you get to God in prayer, the more you start to hear HIS voice, telling you what HIS agenda is, and what part YOU are expected to play.
Notice two TRUTHS about God’s agenda....
You can’t do God’s business
if you’re only interested in your own.
6When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7And he said unto them,
It is not for you to know the times or the seasons,
which the Father hath put in his own power.
It is a natural human tendency to want our questions answered. But the fact remains that Jesus did not come to earth, die on a cross, and rise from the dead to satisfy our curiosity. He came to reveal God, and be a sacrifice in our place, and lead us into a right relationship with the Father.
A person may be likely to say, "I don’t understand that." Join the club! It is the mystery of the ages that a God of infinite glory and majesty should die for all mankind. But that’s what He did, and it makes little difference what your agenda is here this morning. God says that your agenda must be HIS agenda. He loved you enough to die for you...YOUR response is to listen to him, find out what HE would have you to do in this life, and then go about it!
William Kelly was a pastor who helped a young man prepare to go to Bible College in Dublin. Because of his excellent support of the young man in his studies, the professors at the college took notice of Kelly, and invited him to come teach at the college. When Kelly showed no interest at this prestigious invitation, the faculty questioned him, "Don’t you want this opportunity to make a name for yourself in the world?" Kelly replied, "That depends on which world you are talking about, gentlemen."
Are you interested in God’s kingdom? We pray "Thy kingdom come." The Maccabees, the Zealots, the Zionists and the nation of Israel today have all been movements in history, aimed at restoring the kingdom of God. Unfortunately, the movements are expressions of the agenda of men. The agenda of God doesn’t need movements; it only presents a Master...one Jesus of Nazareth.