Sermons

Summary: TO SAY THAT GOD IS SOVEREIGN DOES NOT LIMIT OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM TO "DO'S AND DON'TS". IT ALLOWS US THE ASSURANCE THAT OUR AWESOME GOD, WANTS THE BEST FOR US AND IF WE ALLOW HIM TO BE SOVEREIGN WE WILL BE BLESSED AS A RESULT

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SAY GOD IS SOVEREIGN?

JOB 42:1-6

THIS IS THE TIME OF THE YEAR THAT I LIKE TO WATCH CHRISTMAS MOVIES. NEW OR OLD IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER. I TAPE MANY FROM THE W CHANNEL, AND I HAVE A SIGNIFICANT COLLECTION OF THE GREAT CHRISTMAS MOVIES MADE DOWN THROUGH THE YEARS.

ONE THING IS FOR CERTAIN, ESPECIALLY WITH THE MADE FOR TELEVISION CHRISTMAS MOVIES, AND THAT IS I KNOW HOW THEY ARE GOING TO END FIVE MINUTES INTO THE MOVIE. WE WATCH THE REST OF IT TO SEE HOW THE ENDING PLAYS OUT.

THE PAST TWO OR THREE YEARS CHRISTMAS MOVIES ALWAYS END WITH THE CHARACTERS FALLING IN LOVE, AND GAINING THEIR HEARTS DESIRE. THE TOWNS ALWAYS SEEM TO HAVE CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS FOR THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY, AND NATURAL DISASTERS LIKE SNOW STORMS, NEVER SEEM TO DAMPEN THEIR ENTHUIASM.

IT DOES MY HEART GOOD TO SEE THESE MOVIES. I KNOW ITS ONLY A STORY, BUT IT’S A STORY ABOUT THE WAY I WANTED TO SEE THE WORLD, IN A POSITIVE LIGHT THROUGH ROSE COLORED GLASSES.

THERE ARE SOME CHRISTIANS, WHO SEE THE WORLD THROUGH ROSE-COLORED GLASSES, THINKING THAT BECAUSE THEY HAVE ACCEPTED CHRIST AS SAVIOR, THAT NOTHING BAD IS EVER GOING TO HAPPEN TO THEM. THEY WILL LIVE THROUGH THIS WORLD WITHOUT A CARE AND THEN GO HOME TO GLORY.

THE BIBLE IS CLEAR THAT THIS IS NOT A CORRECT PATH TO FOLLOW.

JOHN 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

WHAT WE MUST NOW CONSIDER IS THE ROLE THAT A SOVEREIGN GOD PLAYS IN OUR LIVES, ESPECIALLY IN TIMES OF DIFFICULTY WHEN WE TREMBLE BEFORE THE AWESOMENESS OF GOD.

JOB WAS PLACED IN A POSITION WHERE HE STOOD TREMBLING BEFORE GOD ALMIGHTY. IN CHAPTER 41 GOD QUESTIONED JOB RELENTLESSLY, AND IN DOING SO, DISPLAYED HIS ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY IN JOBS LIFE. THROUGH A SERIES OF QUESTIONS GOD SHOWED JOB HOW IMPOSSIBLE IT IS FOR A FINITE MIND TO COMPREHEND AN INFINITE GOD.

IN HIS RESPONSE JOB REALIZES THAT HE MUST REPENT FOR EVEN QUESTIONING GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY IN THIS WORLD.

JOB 42:5-6:

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.

JOB’S LIFE WAS TURNED UPSIDE DOWN IN ORDER FOR HIM TO REALIZE THIS DESPERATE LESSON OF SOVEREIGNTY. THE QUESTION MUST THEN BE ASKED, CAN WE SEE THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES AND TRUST THAT HIS PLAN IS FOR OUR BEST GOOD, GREATER THAN ONE WE COULD PLAN?

DR. LARRY CRABB WRITES:

“CHRISTIANS WHOSE LIVES ARE REPLETE WITH BLESSINGS TYPICALLY DON’T BOTHER EVEN TO THINK ABOUT DIFFICULTIES. THEY THEREFORE RISK BECOMING LUKEWARM CHRISTIANS, CHILDREN OF GOD WHO NEVER DISCOVER THE UNSOUGHT GOOD THAT THEIR FATHER MOST LONGS TO DO IN THEIR LIVES, THE BEST GOOD THAT CAN ONLY BE DONE IN THE HARD TIMES THEY LIVE TO AVOID.”

WE MUST THEREFORE, IN THIS LAST MESSAGE OF THIS SERIES DARE TO QUESTION WHAT THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IS. TODAY’S CHURCH NEEDS TO BE WARNED AGAINST “CHEAP SOVEREIGNTY” - WHICH IS TRUSTING THE SOVEREIGN GOD OF LOVE TO GRANT US WHATEVER GOOD WE THINK WE NEED TO EXPERIENCE JOY IN FOLLOWING JESUS.

TO BELIEVE IN THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IS TO BELIEVE THAT IN ALL OF THE BLESSINGS AND TRIALS WE EXPERIENCE THAT GOD IS DOING SOMETHING THAT FROM HIS PERSPCTIVE IS INEXPRESSIBLY GOOD. TO CALL GOD SOVEREIGN MEANS THAT HIS PURPOSE WILL BE REALIZED. TO CLAIM THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN OUR LIVES IS TO ABANDON OURSELVES TO GOD, TO TREMBLE OVER PRESENT OR PAST DIFFICULTIES THAT GOD HAS PROMISED NEITHER TO FIX OR TO PREVENT, AND TO TRUST THAT A STORY WORTH CELEBRATING IS ALWAYS UNFOLDING.

I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED CHRISTMAS. WHEN I WAS IN MY TWENTIES I WOULD STAY UP BY MYSELF, TURN THE CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTS ON, AND REALIZE HOW FORTUNATE I WAS. I STILL HAD MY PARENTS, IN FACT DEATH HAD NOT VISITED OUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY IN A SIGNIFICANT WAY FOR ME. I WOULD JUST TAKE IN THE JOY OF BEING WITH MY FAMILY, AND HOW WE SPENT CHRISTMAS. IT WAS A SPECIAL TIME OF CLOSENESS FOR ME.

IN 1986 MY PARENTS DIED OF CANCER, DAD IN SEPTEMBER AND MOM IN DECEMBER, IN FACT SHE DIED ON DECEMBER 23RD. IT WS A DIFFICULT YEAR TO BECOME AN ORPHAN. WE PUT UP A TREE FOR THE CHILDREN, BUT THAT YEAR I TOOK NO JOY OR PEACE IN THE LIGHTS OF CHRISTMAS. I NEEDED SOMETHING MORE THAN THAT.

GOD WOULD GIVE ME THAT SOMETHING MORE THE NEXT YEAR. I PUT UP THE CHRISTMAS TREE AGAIN, STAYED WITH MY SISTER THOUGH FOR CHRISTMAS EVE AS THERE WAS A SNOW STORM. WHEN I WENT HOME CHRISTMAS DAY, I SAT IN THE LIVING ROOM AND TURNED ON THE TREE LIGHTS. AN OVERWELAMING SENSE OF LOSS HAD TEARS ROLLING DOWN MY FACE. THEN I SAW THEIR WEDDING PICTURE AND I REMEMBERED THAT IT WAS THE LAST GIFT MY MOTHER GAVE TO US. I LOOKED AT SOME OF THE TREE ORNAMENTS AND REMEMBERED WHEN WE GOT THEM. I REMEMBERED DAD DRILLING HOLES IN THE TRUNK AND PUTTING BRANCHES IN TO MAKE THE TREE JUST RIGHT. IT STARTED FEELING SO GOOD. THAT NIGHT THEY WERE SO FAR AWAY FROM ME IN DEATH, BUT I FELT THAT THEY WERE SO CLOSE I COULD ALMOST TOUCH THEM.

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