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Archive for the ‘sovereignty of God’ Category

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This morning I had the privilege of hearing Pastor Rick Elzinga preach on John 19:16-30. Here is a summary of his sermon in one sentence: The death of Jesus, as John describes it, proclaims Jesus as king, shows that what happened was part of God’s plan, that Jesus perfectly obeyed His Father, and that He fulfilled the task given to Him by His Father.

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Got a minute?

Genesis 1:1 is the first verse in the Bible and it may be the most important. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” If you believe that God created everything – visible and invisible – out of nothing and by the power of His word alone, then the rest of the miracles, and for that matter the non-miraculous, recorded in the Bible shouldn’t be hard to accept. If you can’t accept Genesis 1:1, the rest of the Bible doesn’t make much sense. The Bible starts with God in its very first verse. It shows that He is the sovereign, wise, powerful, and majestic Creator – for His glory and our good!

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This morning, I had the privilege of hearing Pastor Rick Elzinga of Southwest Hills Baptist Church preach on John 16:1-15 (“Preparing for the Coming Opposition – Part 2”). Here is a summary of his sermon in one sentence: During the opposition that is sure to come, the Lord Jesus keeps us from stumbling through truth (His Word) and by the work of His Holy Spirit.

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The lyrics to William Cowper’s great hymn were needed words this morning. They were a good reminder for me.

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

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Chains-for-Christ

This morning I had the privilege of preaching on Philippians 1:12-14. What follows is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: The gospel advances because of suffering – non-believers hear the gospel and believers are encouraged and strengthened.

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I had the privilege this morning of preaching on Acts 16:6-40 as I begin a new series in the book of Philippians. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: In the beginning of the church in Philippi, the sovereignty of God is pervasive and undeniable.

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As I read Psalm 31 yesterday in my read-through-the Bible-in-a-year program, verse 15 jumped out at me. In the midst of his psalm, David writes, “My times are in Your hands.” 

As I meditated on that phrase, the following thoughts came to my mind.

“My times are in Your hands” teaches us, as does the rest of the psalm, God’s sovereign care and control of the lives of His people. It can be seen even more clearly when each word is considered in turn.

My times are in Your hands. God’s care and control are personal and individual, not just for “first class” Christians or special Christians or especially holy believers. “My” includes me and all of God’s other children individually, too.

My times are in Your hands. God’s care and control are inclusive. Everything I am and have are in God’s hands. It isn’t simply physical time, though that’s included. The Lord determines the day of my birth, my death, and everything in between.

My times are in Your hands. God’s care and control are present – not past (not “were”) or future (not “will be”) or potential (“might be”); it’s actual. His control and care are current and constant.

My times are in Your hands. God’s care and control is active. My times are in His hands, not outside of them. To be “in” is to possess something and have it under control.

My times are in Your hands. God’s care and control are His possession – something He does and doesn’t share with anyone. I’m in God’s hands, not my own (which is a very good thing, for which I’m incredible thankful!).

My times are in Your handsHands are representative of what God id doing – His work on our behalf in this case. Nothing slips through God’s hands – nothing in our life or the lives of God’s people.

Because our times are in God’s hands, He does with us whatever He chooses. Knowing that should be a soft pillow, and not a hard rock, on which to lay our heads.

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