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feast: God Has Faith in You

Now and When

Given 10-Oct-98; Sermon #FT98-08; 40 minutes

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John Reid, in contrasting God's faithfulness and dependability with man's, paints a very dismal picture of man's current lack of dependability and his inability to direct his steps rightly. Is it possible for God to redirect this perverse heart of man to constructive and righteous uses? Incredible as it may seem, God does have complete faith in us to make it into His family. Of all of earth's creatures, we are the only ones made in God's image. The entire spirit world of angelic hosts was created to minister to us. The entire universe was created that we might have a setting in which to be raised.God designed us to receive His Holy Spirit enabling us to receive His mind. It is comforting to us that our patriarchs and the prophets had serious doubts, but God overrode all their fears accomplishing His purpose. We can have the same confidence in our tests and trials.Our responsibility is to cooperate and respond to God's shaping.

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Brethren, for each of us having faith and trust in God is of the utmost importance. It is paramount to our salvation. There is no doubt about it. Turn over to Ephesians 2:8, please. [I want to give you] just a couple of short scriptures here in the beginning.

For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

Psalm 84:12:

O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusts in You!

The word for "trust" here is "batach." It means "to confide in so as to be secure without fear." It comes from the root word "basa" which means "to flee for refuge" and "to take shelter in." Others are "to put faith in," hence "to stay or rest on," and "to wait on or for with confidence."

We know that God is faithful to perform all His promises. We can read about that in I Kings 8:56 where Solomon said everything that God promised, He fulfilled. He was faithful right to the last thing.

We all know that God is faithful to perform all He promises, all the promises He has made to us. He is merciful. He is forgiving. He is always on hand to help His people. He is holy, just, eternal, loving, kind, gentle, forgiving, and deeply concerned for us. He is perfect in all His ways.

But what about man? What do we see in ourselves when we contrast ourselves with God? Man is just the opposite. He is vile, evil, fallible. The wickedness of man is so great that every imagination of his thoughts, of his heart, are on evil continually. Man refuses to learn from God and is in defiance of what God says. He leans on his own understanding. This does not paint too good a picture of man.

Man is full of vanity, lust and greed. The best of us are like a cactus with big, long thorns. The condition of mankind is summed up for us in Romans 3 (if you will turn over there please), starting in verse 10. It's not too nice to hear these things about ourselves. Romans 3:10-18:

As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none that understands; There is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way; They are altogether become unprofitable; There is none that does good, no, not one. [sounds terrible] Their throat is an open sepulchre; With their tongues they have used deceit; The poison of asps in under their lips; Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known. [Why? Because] There is no fear of God before their eyes."

John has been speaking on fear. Mankind does not fear God. Thus he goes his own way. Even God looks at man in an unusual way here. Isaiah 41:10-14:

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against you Shall be ashamed and confounded; They shall be as nothing, And they that strive with you shall perish. You shall seek them and not find them—Even them that contend with you; they that war against you shall be as nothing, And as a thing of naught. For I, the Lord, will hold your right hand, Saying unto you, 'Fear not, I will help you.' [Then He says] Fear not, you worm Jacob,

He refers to Jacob as a worm. Finally (in this section) in I Peter 4:17-18, we have looked at this once, but just to see this here again:

For the time has come that judgment must begin at the house of God, and if at first it begins with us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

If the righteous scarcely be saved . . . We're told in I Corinthians, as we discussed earlier in the Feast, that we are the base things. We are told in Jeremiah 17:9 that our heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it? I think that in our vanity we sometimes would like to defend mankind. We like to say, Well he isn't really all that bad. Yet upon looking at current history we see that man has a huge capacity for viciousness, hatred, cruelty, barbarity, atrocity, savagery, perversion, and inhumanity to his fellow man.

You still might say, Well he isn't all that bad. We can look at the savagery of the last few wars where millions of men, women, and children were killed in bombings. Some soldiers, having lost control, quit killing soldiers and wiped out villages and killed civilian populations. I was talking with John when we had the thing about Normandy recently and I said 9,000 people were killed or wounded on the first day of Normandy. He said there was one battle in the Civil War where 11,000 people (one battle, one-third of the population of Jefferson City) were killed or wounded.

We can go back to the Catholic Inquisition. There are things I don't even want to discuss. They did terrible things to "convert" Christians. Aren't you glad that God's conversion isn't that way? We have to acknowledge what it says in Jeremiah 10, if you would turn over there please. We will take one last look here. We have a lot of evidence that shows that man is not what he should be. We can start in verse 19-21 of Jeremiah 10.

Woe is me for my hurt! My wound is grievous. But I said, Truly this is a grief and I must bear it. My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken; my children are gone forth of me, and they are not; there is none to stretch forth my tent anymore and to set up my curtains. For the pastors are become brutish and have not sought the Lord, for they shall not prosper. And all of their flocks shall be scattered.

Verse 22,

Behold, the noise of report is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate,

Verse 23,

Oh Lord, I know how the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walks to direct his steps. [And that's a true statement.]

I think you can see from the history of all these years that that is absolutely true. Man does not know how to take care of himself, to walk in the right way.

We are living in the time of the end when we, as God's people, will see the culmination of sin and the effect of it on the face of the earth. We will see what 6,000 years of man's ruling brings to this earth, and it is going to be a disaster. We will see all of man's fallibility evidenced by what is taking place around us.

We may think this question though we may not say it out loud: Even though God has made His plan plain to us, is there a possibility that He has chosen the wrong vehicle for His plan? Has God made a mistake? Can man be turned around? Did Satan upset God's plan when he deceived Adam and Eve? Does man's terrible record over the centuries prove whatever God planned has failed?

History points out that the outstanding achievement of mankind seems to be that he has a faculty of being the perfect machine for destruction of morals, destruction of environment, and destruction of his fellow man. Did God make a mistake when He called us? Has God made a mistake by even placing man on the face of the earth? That's a question I think that may come to us sometimes when things are so difficult.

Brethren, difficult as it is to believe, it is our Father's pleasure to bring many son's to glory. Because of His plan He has called us, and in doing so He is going to see that there is no temptation that will be too great for us (I Corinthians 10:13), that we will be able to make it.

He plans to make us more than conquerors. He plans for us to be co-heirs with Jesus Christ, as we have read several times in Romans 8:16 and 17. Not only that but we will ultimately be worshipped. It's hard to believe that we will go from the state that we are in to the state that we are going to be ultimately worshipped. Turn over to Revelation 3:9, please. Here Jesus Christ is speaking. He said,

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie, behold I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.

We can see the terrible record of mankind and here God says, I wouldn't have any lost. I'm going to call you and I'm going to make you so great and so wonderful that others will come, those of the synagogue of Satan, and worship at your feet.

This is God's plan for man, with mankind and all of his problems. Brethren, God's plan will stand despite what we see as a condition of man. His plan will work. He Himself proclaims that He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. God's will will be done. We can have confidence in this.

God hasn't set forth a plan that will fail. He hasn't created us to be helpless and hopeless when we are called. Jesus Christ has perfect faith in His Father's plan for us. They together have perfect faith in man to respond to their plan. I don't know if you get this or not, but God has complete faith in us to make it. I don't think we ever think that God has faith in us but He does. With His plan, with His power helping us, when He calls us He has faith in us to become what He has destined for us to become.

God doesn't need faith in the same way that we have to have faith in him. God doesn't need to be saved from anything. He is self-regenerating. He is eternal. He is powerful, and yet His plan is to provide a family for Himself. If you and I don't respond in the proper way then He is going to be alone with Jesus Christ. You see, He has every confidence in His plan to produce a family of you and of me.

Let's turn over to Romans 11:26 and 27.

And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, There shall come out of Zion a Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

God has a plan that's going to work. II Peter 3:9:

The Eternal is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance [all of the ungodly men, all of the habits that they have picked up, all of the disaster that they have produced.]

In I Timothy 2:1-4,

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority that we may live quiet and peaceful lives in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who will have all men saved to come unto the knowledge of faith.

This is God's plan for all of mankind. The world frankly may view God, and I'm sure that much of the world does, as a harsh God who can't wait to see you make a mistake and to just grind you into the ground. This is, in many cases, the religion that some of us have come out of. He can't wait to trap you, to pin you down, and to condemn you. But their picture isn't true.

God has a great desire, and I hope that we all realize this, for us to make it, and because of this He is willing to help us at every turn that we might come to the point of birth in His family. This is something that we have to understand and it is good from time to time to review all that God has done for us, all that God has put into this plan of His that we might be saved. Now I have four points here [regarding] this.

1. Of all the creatures on the earth we are the only one that is made in God's image.

Here we have mankind. He is combative. He is vain. He causes problems and is weak. And God has made mankind in His image. That's pretty spectacular.

The second point, I don't know if I have ever noticed this before, but

2. The entire spirit world of angelic hosts were created by God for one purpose—that's to minister to us.

Let's take a look at this over in Hebrews 1:13-14.

But to which of the angels said He at any time, Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

He doesn't say who might be heirs, or who could be heirs. He says shall be heirs. God is very positive in this . . . heirs of salvation. So all of the ministering spirits (I don't know how many millions) were created that His creation, us, might make it. That was so encouraging to me.

3. The entire universe was created that we might have a setting to be raised in . . the stars and the heavens and the earth.

Many times in the past I have said the earth was hung and spun for us that we might have a place to live, that we might have a beautiful planet to live on with all the good things that were created for you and for me and for all of mankind. Also in Romans 8:17, again, we're going to be heirs with Jesus Christ and we're going to enjoy all He enjoys. God has that planned for us.

4. God designed us to be able to receive His Holy Spirit by which He can impart His very mind to us.

God has planned very far in advance, brethren, that we will make it. When we look at the history of mankind we say, nobody's home there. Yet God has planned way ahead that when the time comes His Spirit can be imparted to us and we can become just like Him, not taking on the nature of man, but taking on the nature of the very living, great God.

To top it all off, God is the perfect Father. I have said that for years and I think that's just spectacular. God knows how to perfectly raise His children. You heard some of that with Jack's sermon this morning and some of the other messages. God knows how to raise us. We make mistakes. We have wrong motives sometimes. We don't judge situations correctly. We don't love perfectly. But in all these things God does them perfectly and He will impart this information to us that we will be able to do them perfectly as well, when God changes our minds.

When God calls us and He first brings us into the church, we get much practical physical instruction. I think sometimes we think that's what it's all about. But then just as we raise our children and as they get older, we give them more responsibility. God does the same with us. He gives us more rope. He expects us to use the principles and the teachings we've had that we might start to act on those and to make decisions.

As I said the other night, we are going to make some mistakes, but that's all right. God wants us to grow and learn by applying His principles in our lives. Just like we, as parents, might give our children an allowance and say, Here's your clothing allowance. Go down to the store. And they come home with some exotic pair of trousers, and there went the entire hundred dollars. But they learned a lesson because they probably got tired of wearing them all year long.

Good parents will always work to teach their children and test them—to test them, to try them, to see if they are responsible so that they can fall sometimes and learn from their errors. Then they stand up and go forward again with more knowledge.

Well, God does the same thing because He loves us. We are almost to [the book of] Peter. Let's turn over to I Peter 4:12. (This is some of what Jack was talking about as well. Jack said, My sermon won't bother your sermon. He took one of my major subjects and it's a disaster already this morning.)

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as some strange thing happening to you. [Dad, why did this happen? Why did I have this wreck? Son, you weren't driving carefully, that's why you had the wreck. Or, Why am I out of money? You didn't budget.] But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's suffering; and that when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy.

You are going to be tested. You are going to be tried because it's going to produce good things in you and that's how it is. God tests, He corrects, and He gives jobs to those that He loves, and He has faith in them to complete what He sets for them to do. I think you will find this interesting. We are going to be looking at some men and women in the Bible just like you that God had faith in to complete the job He gave them.

Please turn back to Genesis 6. I have been doing a Bible Study lately on Noah. I don't know what Noah's profession was, but certainly when he came out of the ark he was a grower of grapes, and things like this. Prior to the ark he had no shipbuilding knowledge as far as I know. In verse 14 God selects Noah and He give Noah instructions and He says,

Make you an ark of gopher wood; rooms shall you make in the ark, and you shall pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which you shall make of it:

Verse 15,

The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, and the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height thirty cubits. A window shall you make in the ark, and in a cubit shall you finish it above; and the door of the ark shall you set in the side thereof; with the lower, and the second, and the third stories you shall make. And behold I, even I, do bring a flood of waters on the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under the heaven; and everything that is in the earth shall die. But with you I will establish My covenant; and you shall come into the ark, you and your wife, and your sons, and your sons' wives shall come with you.

Here God selected a man, Noah, who wasn't a shipbuilder. Noah was about 500 years old and, like I said, from the profession a shipbuilder he was not. Yet God trusted him to do what he was told. He had faith in Noah.

The dimensions of the ark on the 18 inch cubit would have been four hundred fifty feet in length, seventy-five feet wide, forty-five feet in height. If they used the larger cubit of 22 1/2 inches, the ark would have been six hundred feet in length, one hundred feet wide, and sixty feet high. Here is a man who had never built a boat.

As one comparison we use, the battleship Oregon was three hundred forty-eight feet in length. The Titanic was eight hundred twenty-five feet in length, ninety-three feet high, and weighed 46,000 tons. Using the smaller cubit with the square ends on the ark, it would almost be of the cube of the size of the Titanic. And this is the ship that Noah was asked to build. Yet, God had faith in Noah to accomplish what He asked of him and it was a tremendous job and it was an important job because He was going to save mankind from destruction.

The top population estimates at that time were somewhere around 11 billion people. What kind of ridicule did Noah suffer? What kind of laughter? What kind of catcalls? It was Noah and his sons and the wives, and I'm sure he hired some help, but they built the ark. Yet he honored God's trust in him and with God's help he finished the job. You see God had faith in Noah to do what he was called to do.

God had a job for Moses, another man that He selected, and He knew that he could do the job but Moses had some serious doubts. He said, No not me God. It was a tremendous job.

God was going to trust Moses with the freeing of His people and to execute the fulfillment of His promises to Abraham more than four hundred years before by the establishing of an entire nation with the giving of the codification of the law, the establishment of the priesthood (Moses had a lot of things to do), with the civil law and the religious law, with the power to perform some of the most outstanding miracles ever recorded (of course God performed them), and somehow with the ability to endure two or three million or four million or six million people with all their complaints and all of their problems.

So what was Moses reaction? Turn over to Exodus 3:7, please. God had faith in Moses.

And the Lord said, "I have surely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt, and I have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows, and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them out of that land to a good land and to a large land, with milk and honey."

Then over in verse 11, He had talked to Moses and now Moses is responding.

Moses said unto God, "Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?" God said, "Certainly I will be with you; and this shall be a token unto you, that I have sent you: when you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve the God upon this mountain."

And in chapter 4:1,

And Moses answered and said, "But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee."

And then in verse 10,

And Moses said unto the Lord, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue."

And then God finally got angry down in verse 14 after Moses said please send somebody else. God had faith in Moses, and despite what might appear to be a flawed start, God's faith in Moses to do the job was not misplaced. You see God again knew what He was doing. With God's help he became a mighty and courageous leader, a servant of the living God, and a man whom the Lord knew face to face. It was said of him that he was the most meek man on the face of the earth. God picked a man who could do the job and his trust in that man was not misplaced.

We have Abraham, the father of the faithful, and he had his doubts about God's promises. There was a time in his early life when he feared the Egyptians more than he did God and he told a lie that his wife was his half-sister. As time went on, this man that God chose to be the Father of the faithful showed great courage by saving his nephew, Lot, and grew continually closer to God.

Again he doubted God. If you will turn over to Genesis 17, we will take a look at some of that. God promised Abraham that he would have a child and Abraham doubted. Genesis 17, starting in verse 15-16:

And God said unto Abraham, "As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. I will bless her, and give you a son."

And in verse 17,

Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old?

To pick things up here a little bit and speed on, Abraham sired a child. This man whom God picked, who doubted Him somewhat, went on to even offer his son, Isaac, which means "laughter" because God reminded him of his lack of faith. This man, caused to be the father of the faithful, continually grew to where he could even offer his son before God. This man started out in a weak condition. God had faith in Abraham. His faith was justified and the choice that God made was correct.

We won't turn to Acts 9 because of time but we know that Paul was called to be afflicted of many things. God had faith in Paul to complete all that God had in store for him and to suffer many things. If you want to read about Paul's trials, I think they are in II Corinthians 11. Paul had trials almost like nobody ever had, and yet Paul never wavered once. You see he lived up to the calling he was given and he lived up to the faith that God had placed in him to finish the job. God places great faith in those whom He calls.

We have the example of Jeremiah who was a young man and he said, I am too young to speak. I can't do it. Yet God called him and He had faith in him to accomplish what He sent him to do. Jeremiah became one of the greatest prophets in the Bible. He lived up to the calling and the faith that God had in him.

We have God's calling of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego to represent Him in governing nations and to be used to demonstrate the great power of God to save and also to identify their God, the Great God, as the Great God to all the nations. God had faith in these men. These men weren't anything wonderful until God worked with them and yet these men stood up to a tremendous trial of the lions' den and the fiery furnace.

I could not help thinking when they came out of the lions' den and the fiery furnace, what went through their minds after that? Here to realize that the Great God had saved them and used them in that way. I often thought what the court thought when they walked out of the lions' den. Everybody must have looked at them and said, Don't get near them. God is with them. When they went back to their personal dwelling places, what did they say to God? God had faith in them to stand and to make it.

Then we have Esther who was called to save her people—a young girl, a beautiful girl who had no intent on being queen, and yet she was called. She had to go in to the king and if he did not hold the scepter out to her, her life was forfeit. She fasted, and had the nation fast for her, and then she went out and stood before the king and he held the scepter out to her. God had faith in Esther to do the right thing. Certainly He was guiding her, but He had faith in her not to quit. And she didn't.

Then you had Ruth and Deborah and Anna the prophetess and all the wonderful women of the Bible that trusted God and God trusted them and had faith in them. God had faith that each one would live their life correctly and courageously before Him.

Probably the greatest example (and this is the one that Jack took and I still love him but . . . . ) was the example of Job. Job, as Jack brought out, was apparently unnoticed by Satan. Perhaps Satan did not want to notice Job because Job was so righteous. He was probably the opposite of what Satan wanted to see.

Here we see God placing great faith in Job to come through the trial that he was about to go through and it's almost as if God was taunting Satan. Hey, have you seen My servant Job? Huh? I don't want to look at him. Have you seen him? He is perfect.

I could not help thinking about Job. Back in Job 29 are some of the things that Job was reflecting on when he was in trial. He remembered that he delivered the poor, all the poor that cried, and the fatherless that had none to help him. He blessed the person who was ready to perish and he made the widows' heart sing for joy and he was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. He was a father to the poor. He investigated how he could help others and he protected the weak and did all he could to stop the wicked.

In chapter 31 he goes on to say that he never looked at a maid in the wrong way, that he never ignored the complaints from his servants, he never withheld from the poor. He stated he didn't eat if the fatherless had no food. Job was a wonderful man and he never trusted in gold and he never gloated when his enemies failed. This is the man that God was pointing out to Satan. He said, Have you noticed my servant Job? He is perfect.

You have heard of the two trials that Jack mentioned here, that Satan tested him and tried him, and I couldn't help but think of the third trial. There was Job's wife who said to curse God and die. This was his trusted help meet here.

But then Job's three friends came as Jack described here. Eliphaz the mystic (and I have it here that he was very religious and in his dreams at night he said, Can mortal man be righteous before God? And the answer is, yes you can, but not to this man.

Then came Bildad the Shuhite. He was a traditionalist and his stock answer was, all misfortune that comes is a result of sin.

Then you have Zophar the hard-liner . . . you get what you deserve. They couldn't understand this was a test from God to perfect Job. Perhaps Job did have some self-righteousness. He was certainly trying to please God and to obey Him. What they didn't understand, and there's a lesson for us, is that God will test the righteous man to better him and to help him, just as Jack brought out, that He will test the righteous man and He will cause him to grow.

Also he taught Job that He was the Potter and that Job was the clay, and Job understood so much more after the trial. The point is that God had again picked the right man for the job. Job didn't let him down because of God's working with him and God had faith in him.

We can look at Peter who was selected by God to be the chief apostle, who in the beginning talked too much to his hurt, and when he tried to walk on water he sank, and when he was with Christ he denied him three times. Yet it was Peter's shadow that when cast over the sick, the sick were healed. God knew what He was doing when He called Peter who was so fallible, yet Peter became great. God again picked the right man.

We can look at all the heroes in Hebrews 11 and those who were called to stay the course no matter what trial they faced. This doesn't mean they didn't have fear sometimes, that they weren't frightened, that they weren't in doubt, but over the long haul they made it because you see God's choosing of them was a correct choice. He had faith in those He called.

Brethren, we've seen that God trusts all He calls to make it, even against great odds. From the examples we've seen, those who have the faith that God trusts them to make it, do make it. God does not make mistakes.

Now you have been called by God and this is where this entire sermon is going. You have been called by God to make it and He has faith in each one of you, and in me, to make it, to not let down, to finish the course.

Now because of the tremendous track record God has concerning those He calls, we can all sit back now and put our feet up and just relax and just let God finish the calling. I don't think so, not hardly. We have the option of rejecting our calling to be sure. We have the option of deliberately disobeying God. We have the option of letting down to where God will have to put us in heavy trials to save us or finally reject it, or we have the option of choosing the lake of fire. God doesn't expect that of us.

These choices God doesn't take from us. You have the option to do this. But seeing we've been given the tremendous honor of being called as firstfruits and understanding that God in His great love for us will work to develop us in every aspect of our lives that we might fulfill the position that God has in store for us in His kingdom.

What should our response be to this great faith that God has placed in us? We always have a response to make and for some reason over the last months this has been on my mind. What should our response be to what God is doing in our lives? Our response should be (hope this doesn't sound too simple) to cooperate with God, to cooperate with the changes He wants us to make, to cooperate with the growth, the trying to grow as we should.

We should be setting our minds to overcome. We should be drawing a line in the sand as it pertains to sin. Sometimes we say, I feel so helpless in sin, it just seems to have control over me. Balderdash! Sure we slip and fall once and awhile, but draw the line in the sand and say, I will not do this again, and set your will to overcome and trust God to help you.

We should be doing all we can to learn about God and we're to reflect Him in our lives because when we do this, we find overcoming sin is much easier. It's when we don't put our back into the book and study we find that the sin that so easily besets us does.

That's what our response should be to the calling that God has given us. We have seen the success of those that God has had faith in and what they have accomplished. I guess the question is, what about you and me? Well, that was them and they were special. They were wonderful. They were marvelous people. No, they were just like you and just like me. They had their flaws and their faults and their fears and yet God did wonderful things with them

Do you have the faith that God trusts you? Do you believe that God could accomplish tremendous things through you? I have a hunch that we are going to find that God is going to accomplish much more through us than we ever thought He would.

Sometimes we do not like ourselves very much and we wonder how God could possibly want us, but God has done something exceedingly wonderful with us and He's commissioned something for us that I don't think we realize we have. Please turn over to John 1:12-13.

But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name, which were begotten, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

We are talking about those that are begotten by God here. The word "power" here means "permission, authority, right, liberty, power to do something as far as right, authority, or capability are concerned; it involves ability and strength." As it applies to this verse specifically it means that power is entrusted to us. It is commissioned for us. It is set apart for us. It is prepared for us. We have the authority, the right and the full power to become the sons of God. God has set this authority, this power aside for us to make it.

That, brethren, is how much faith God has in us. He has put it all together for us that we can't miss if we just trust Him.

Our job then, as we conclude, is to go forward with complete confidence, trusting fully that God is with us all the way in whatever circumstance, whatever trial, whatever condition we find ourselves. We must have faith that God is for us completely because He is. It is God's will that we be there. It is God's will that we are part of His family. He has a complete and tremendous desire for us, and He is working out His purpose in us and for us, that we might be a glory to Him and become sons and daughters sharing in everything He has.

Hebrews 13:20:

Now the God of peace [He's referring to God the Father here. This God that has faith in you to make it.], that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

JOR/jjm/



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