Summary: When God sent His only Son into the Word, He did so right on time! God will work right on time in your life as well if you will let Him.
Timing is Everything!
Dr. Clay Hallmark
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Marion, Arkansas
I love the Christmas season, don’t you? I get excited just seeing how excited my kids are this time of the year. I love preaching at Christmas time. There are just so many things to preach at Christmas: Shepherds, WiseMen, Mary & Joseph, The Inn, The Angels, or the prophectic passages of the OT. Choosing what to preach at Christmas is like having to choose between Banana pudding and chocolate cake. It is all good!
Galatians 3:26-4:7 may seem like an unusual passage of scripture for Christmas. In Galatians 3 and 4, the Apostle Paul is writing to the church at Galatia to remind them of the purpose for their Christian faith. The key to this passage will be found in 4:4-5 because in those 2 verses Paul is quick to point out to the Galatian Christians that it is because of that 1st Christmas that we can be saved and become Children of God. This morning Paul helps the Galatians and us see how we can have a personal relationship with the creator of all the universe!
I think we can learn some lessons about how God works in our world and in our lives. Notice the following 3 lessons about the Lord. . .
I. THE LORD WAS RIGHT ON TIME (4:4 a)
Now let me ask you a question . . . How many of you like to be on time? I do too! If there is one thing I cannot stand, it is to be late. At our house we have a running joke because my wife is always 15 minutes late to everything. We say at our house there is Central Standard Time and “my wife” Standard Time.
Here Paul shows us how the Lord was right on time! What did Paul mean when he said, “When the time had fully come” or as the KJV says, “When the fullness of time was come”? Paul meant, “When the time was perfectly right, God sent His one and only Son.”
As American people, we are (by nature) a very impatient people. Because we live in a society of instant news, weather, and current events, we want things right when we want them. We bring this attitude to the things of God. We want our prayers answers right now. We want God to work on our behalf right now. When difficulties persist or we do not see God moving, we become impatient because God’s timing is not our timing!
Paul reminds us how Christmas teaches us that God is never too soon or never too late. The Lord is always right on time!
1. Joseph sold into slavery by brothers, imprisoned, but at just the right time, God made him prime minister of Egypt and he saved his people from famine.
2. Moses had gone from being the grandson of the Pharoah to the land of Midian tending his father-n-law’s sheep. When the time was right God called him to lead his people. It was during that time when he had no real direction or purpose in life that God showed up right on time and called him.
3. RED SEA experience- Moses did not panic, rather he trusted in God who ware right on time.
4. The 3 Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace. God showed up right on time.
The Lord’s timing is still perfect today! Notice 3 truths:
A) The Lord was right on Time at His First Coming
How long it must have seemed to the people waiting for a coming Messiah. In the garden of Eden, a deliverer was promised.
The prophecies of the great prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Micah all talked about the coming Messiah. Yet, when we come to Matthew 1 and the N.T., the people had heard nothing from God for over 400 years! For 4 centuries there had been not prophets, preachers, or proclamation. I’m sure the people began to think God had forgotten His promise to them.
Then, when the people had almost lost hope. When they were least expecting God to move, there was action! The angel came to Mary, The angel came to Joseph, a host of angels came to the shepherds, and God placed a star in the heavens to lead the Wise Men to Jesus.
Think about it for a moment . . . the whole event (taxing, crowded inn, the birth, the stable, the shepherds, the angels) all was apart of God perfect plan and perfect timing! The Lord was right on time at His first coming. Paul also says,
B) The Lord will be right on Time at His Final Coming (4:4 b)->
Our Lord promised us that He will come again to receive us unto Himself. Jesus said in John 14:3, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again ...” Over in Acts 1:11, we can read that Jesus ascended back into heaven. The Lord sent 2 angels who appeared to the disciples who said these words, “Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.”