Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

02/04/2018 A.M.

 

Learning To Live With

A Sense of His Presence Power And Providence

Hebrews 13.5-6  & 20-21

 

This morning... We continue our series on My Dream For The Bella Vista Church Family.

I want us to become a people who are daily... Daily aware of God’s Grace...

• His Presence...

• Power...

• And providential working in our lives...

I want us to have a sense of His presence.

 

I’m not the only one to have this Dream... It was The Dream of the Hebrews’ Writer as he concludes his encouragement of the Hebrew Christians of the First Century.

 

You see...

• They were tired...

• They were being persecuted...

• It seemed that life was against them...

• Many of them were growing older...

• And the promise of Jesus’ Second Coming had not happened as they expected...

• They were... Perhaps like some of us... were asking... Is the Christian life worth it?

 

Many were giving up... Reasoning that perhaps Christianity was an empty promise...And that the Old Testament Law held more for them than the Grace found in Jesus Christ.

 

Hear his dream... As we put verses 5 & 6 together with verses 20 & 21... Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

 

First... We note that God Promises His Presence in our Life.

The words of this promise are spread throughout Scripture…

 

They first appear in Genesis 28…Where Jacob has this dream at Bethel… And God renews the promise he made to Father Abraham… I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go… I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.

 

The next time these words are heard is in Deuteronomy 31… Moses is speaking to Joshua in the presence of all Israel… Be strong and courageous... The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you… He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid… Do not be discouraged.

 

Then in Joshua chapter one…Joshua gives Israel the Terms… The conditions of this promise of God’s perpetual presence… Be strong… Be courageous… Do not turn to the left or the right… Do not let the Book of the Law depart from your mouth… Meditate upon it day and night… Be careful to do everything written in it. For the Lord your God will be with your wherever you go.

 

Before Goliath... David reasoned...  The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.

 

Then he wrote Psalm 118… The Lord is with me… I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me… He is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.

 

Gotta ask this morning... Who... What is... Our Bear... Our Lion... Our Goliath?... Is not our God able to deliver us?

 

Isaiah prophesied about the Babylonian Captivity… He comforts the people with these words from God… Do not fear… For I am with you… Do not be dismayed… For I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you…I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

 

I want you to note something here… God doesn’t promise to remove the captivity… But he does promise to walk with them through it.

 

Then in Matthew 28…Jesus promises… All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations… Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit… Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always.

 

Then from John 14... I will not leave you orphans... Anyone... Anyone who loves me... Will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

“Never will I leave you;

never will I forsake you.”

So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper;

I will not be afraid.

What can man do to me?”

 

Church... I hope you believe this morning that God is present in your life... That He is in you... With you... For you... And Scripture reasons in rhetoric... If God is for us... Who can be against us.

 

But the dream doesn’t stop here...

The Hebrews’ Writer has a prayer about God’s power and providence...

Listen... May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Church... Know this... this morning... This writer is not praying for something that’s impossible... He is praying that God will not only give them a sense of His presence... But that he will powerfully work in their life... Equipping them with everything good for doing His will... Working what is pleasing to Him.

 

God’s promise to this Hebrew church and to us is twofold…

• I’ll be with you… Never forsake you.

• I’ll be... your helper… YOur enabler... Your EQUIPPER.

The word in the Greek for equip was familiar to the people who received this letter.

• Physicians knew it because it meant… To set a broken bone.

• Fishermen knew it meant… To mend a broken net.

• To sailors it meant… To outfit a ship preparing for a voyage…

• To soldiers it meant… To equip and be ready battle.

 

You see church… God is working in us…

• Equipping… Mending…

• Repairing… Readying…

Us for every good work He brings before us.

 

Do we believe this?... That God is... Powerfully... Providentially...Working in our lives daily....Do we really?... I hope we do!

 

Consider some examples of…

His... power… Presence…Providence… At Work…

Genesis chapter 22.... Abraham has just been asked to offer his one and only son as a test of his faith in God... Isaac speaks... Father...The fire and wood are here… But where is the lamb? Abraham answered… God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering. And the two of them went on together... So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide.

We know the rest of the story…

 

Church… Where did this ram come from that was caught in the thicket?... And how come that ram to be just at this place as Abraham raised the knife?

 

The Book of Esther is a study in the power, Presence and Providence of God.

The Jewish nation is about to be exterminated in Persia.

One woman has the opportunity to intervene... Listen as Mordecai pleads with Esther... Who knows but that you have come to this royal position for such a time as this?

 

I gotta tell you this morning... Each of us are here for a purpose...Each of us are here for a purpose... And what’s happening in our life has a God planned result... And He is equipping us to see it through.

 

Indeed... Each of us must know that... LIKE ESTHER...

• We have been brought to this day...

• This place in our lives...

• To this Village...

• To this church…

• To this set of circumstances...

For a reason... A Purpose.

NO!!... I don’t know what that reason or purpose is... It’s not important that we know.

 

What is important is that we... LIKE ESTHER... Allow His Power…His Providence... To work in our lives… Equipping us…Remolding… Reshaping us… Using us… To accomplish His will… Are we willing... Are WE!!

 

Church... We are not who we are and what we ar by accident... God is at work in the lives of His people.

 

Perhaps the most meaningful verse on providence… God working in our life… Is found in Psalm 37… Verses 23 & 24… Listen as I read from the New Living Translation… The Lord directs the steps of the godly… He delights in every detail of their lives… Though we stumble, we will not fall, for the Lord upholds us with his hand… Read Again!

 

Listen for God’s... POWER... PRESENCE... PROVIDENCE... In this familiar reading from the lips of Jesus… Do not worry about your life…What you will eat or drink… Or about your body… What you will wear. Is not life more important than food… And the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air… They do not sow or reap or store away in barns… And yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field… Which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire… Will he not much more clothe you… O you of little faith? So do not worry… Saying… What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? For the pagans... Those who do not believe in God... Seek after all these things… And your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness… And all these things will be given to you as well.

 

Paul gives his thoughts from Mars Hill… For it is in HIM... IN GOD… That we live... move... and have our being.

 

Listen to these other Scriptures... Affirming God is at work in our lives daily...

 

Ephesians 3.20... Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine… According to his power that is at work… Where?... within us.

 

1Peter 1.5-7... Through faith you are shielded… How?... By God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

 

Philippians 2.13 & 4.13... For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose... I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

 

2 Corinthians 9.8… God is able to make all grace abound to you… So that in all things…at all times… Having all that you need… You’ll abound in every good work.

 

Why is it that we can see God exercising His sovereign nature in the Old and New Testaments... As we witness His power at work in these narratives… And as we read these affirming verses?... But we can’t see him working in our lives today?

 

Where in Scripture do we find that God has withdrawn from intervening and providentially working in the life of His church?... THIS CHURCH?... YOU AND ME individually?

 

You see...  This is the view of God that the Hebrews’ Writer wants us to have… That He is present in our life... And that He is working on our behalf.

 

Let me ask you this morning… What is your view of God… What’s mine?

• Do we really have a sense of His perpetual presence?

• Do we really see God as our enabling helper?

Do we claim these promises daily?

 

Well… How should we see God?…

What are some spiritually healthy

views of God that will help us?

 

First...Let me suggest that we see God as a friend…

Solomon says in Proverbs 18.24… There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

 

Indeed…God is a friend that never fails us… He’s PERPETUALLY present.

My God and I go in the fields together…

We walk and talk as good friends should and do…

We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter…

My God and I walk through the meadow's hue.

This earth will pass and with it common trifles…

But God and I will go un-endingly.

 

Secondly... Like David... It’s healthy to see God as our… Guide… Counselor... Comforter... Provider... protector.

The Lord is my shepherd!

Think of it!!... The sovereign God… Creator of the universe… Is our shepherd.

We’re sheep in God’s pasture… AWESOME!!

 

Indeed!!...If God is our shepherd what is there to want?

Think about it… What could we possibly want this morning that God cannot supply?

I hope we see God as Our Father.

 

It was Jesus… Who taught us to think of God as our father.

Glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.

• Pray like this...Our Father who art in heaven.

• He tells us… Our Father in heaven knows our needs.

Ask... Seek... Knock... Which of you… If his son asks for bread… Will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you… Being evil… Know how to give good gifts to your children… How much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask?

 

God Is Our Savior.

Indeed…Our God is a Savior God!!

John tells us how this is possible… In the beginning was the Word… And the Word was with God… And the Word was God… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory… The glory of the One and Only… The Only Begotten… Who came from the Father… Full of grace and truth.

 

Church… Here’s the lesson IN A nutshell…


My dream is that we see God as...

• our Savior…

• our Father…

• Our shepherd…

• Our friend.

And that we know He is perpetually present... And is PROVIDENTIALLY WORKING... in our lives today and every day.

 

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him… Those who have been called according to his purpose. What shall we say in response to this? If God is for us… Who can be against us? For I am convinced that neither death nor life… Neither angels nor demons... Neither the present nor the future… Nor any power... Neither height nor depth… Nor anything else in all creation… Will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Question this morning!... Is God your… Friend…Shepherd… Father… And Savior? Are you His Child… Enjoying the blessing to be found in the Fathers presence?

 

Paul tells us how to make this possible… We are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus… For as many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ… Have been clothed with Christ.

 

If you have not been born again in NewTestament baptism… We give you that opportunity this morning.

 

If you’re a child of God… The challenge this morning is to go home knowing that… God will never leave us… Never forsake us… And He will PERPETUALLY enable us… So don’t be afraid!

 

Come live in a sense of His… Grace... presence... and Providence… Made possible through Jesus… What will you do with Him as we stand and sing this invitation song?