Sermon: God Is Preparing Us For the Kingdom
Preparing Us Through Trials and Tribulations
Given 01-Jun-13; 43 minutes
Let me ask you all a question. Do you remember when all of God's people attended one church, the Worldwide Church of God?
God called me when I was young. He called me when I was 23 years old. For many years after my calling church the whole church culture was exciting and it was really a lot of fun. Now people had trials then too just like they do now, but for the most part, those trials had to do with keeping the Sabbath, the holy days, with the Feast of Tabernacles. Some of us lost jobs over the Sabbath or the Feast of Tabernacles, but times were good financially in America and in a lot of cases we got better paying jobs. We also had trials with our families and our relatives over Christmas, Easter, and Halloween. And every now and then someone would come down with a disease and then we would all pray about that. So there were trials within God's church from day one. But for the most part, church was exciting and it was a lot of fun.
How many of you men were in Spokesman's Club? I attended Spokesman's Club for about 20 years. Spokesman's Club was really a lot of fun. I really enjoyed listening to all the different, sometimes crazy speeches the different men would give. Table topics were also interesting. Sometimes you would agree with what was said, sometimes you would not. And for about three years I coached the pre-teens in a hardball league in Southern California and there was a number of churches that played in that league. We had all the gear—headgear, T-shirts, and names on our T-shirt—we had everything we needed. One year the team I coached, the Santa Ana team, came in first place. So we had a big pool party in my backyard and a big celebration. You know, these were really fun times in God's church.
I also coached girls volleyball because I have two daughters and again, a lot of fun. When we attended the Fort Collins church in Colorado, I coached the track team and I remember one morning (this is sort of a funny story), we headed off for Denver, me and the team, there were fifteen kids on the team. We left at eight in the morning and the track meet was over about one o'clock and none of us had eaten anything since breakfast. So we were all starving. Now I had girls and boys with me and about four or five of the boys were big boys—they were bubbas—and we decided we would stop for fish and fries and coleslaw at Skipper's. Now, this was before I knew about hydrogenated oil, canola oil, high fructose corn syrup, and how bad fried food was for you.
But at this time we stopped at Skipper's and it was all you can eat. They had a deal for $5. So I bought sixteen all you could eat meals. Well, we almost put Skipper's out of business. One of the boys ate fifteen baskets full of full of fish and fries and coleslaw, and a couple the other boys ate fourteen baskets, and the skinniest girl there, she ate three baskets. We consumed a lot of fish that day and the manager came over to me on the last order and he asked me politely if we were finished yet. He said, you guys are really killing me. He said, we are losing a lot of money on this group. Well, we thanked him and we wobbled back to the van and we headed home.
I have a lot of memories of all the fun that we had with brethren for a lot of years. The church had potlucks, dances, it had softball, volleyball, basketball. It had all kinds of things going on. We even rafted the river here in Oregon. We used to do that every year. The church had bake-off contests. We had the Northwest Weekend here in Portland. I could go on and on with all the things that we did and all the fun that we had and everything seemed good in the church. Times were enjoyable and they were a lot of fun. Almost every Friday or Saturday night, we either had brethren over for dinner or we were invited to someone else's house for dinner. We spent a lot of time with other church of God members. It was a very enjoyable time in the church of God.
To top it all off, we all thought we were all on the same page when it came to God's laws and God's doctrines. We thought we were all headed the same way. We also had everything to do with prophecy figured out, did we not? We had it all figured out. We knew who the Beast was, we knew who the false prophet was. We knew where the place of safety was and we knew we were going there on a DC 10. We knew the Catholic Church was Babylon and we even knew who the Two Witnesses were. Things were really good in God's church, we thought.
And then what happened? We were attacked from within the church doctrinally by our very leaders and then the church was scattered. There are all kinds of groups of God's people now that come in all flavors with different twists and different beliefs on different doctrines. We as God's people had become Laodicean and lax in our attitudes when it came to God, God's law, and God's way of life. We became very good at justifying everything we did—and God scattered us. Since the scattering of God's people, the testing and trials have started in earnest for us. For all of us brethren—young, medium, and old.
How many of God's people today feel like everything in life is coming up roses? How many of you feel like that? That life is easy, it is fun? How many of you think that they have the world by the tail? I think just the opposite is going on with all of us. Young, medium, or old, all of us. I think we are all being tested and tried by God right now as never before. I think God is preparing all of us for the Kingdom of God because God knows time is becoming short for all of us.
What kind of trials are you enduring? Are they financial? How about unemployment? Are you enduring that? Are you under-employed? Maybe your house is in foreclosure, maybe you had to go bankrupt, maybe you are in the middle of a divorce. Maybe you are having lots of problems with your mate. Are any of you going through any of these things? Maybe you are going through severe health problems. Maybe your problems and trials stem from your kids and some of the dumb things they do that create huge trials for us as parents.
Maybe you are having relationship trials with the very people you go to church with. Maybe you are having trials over differences of opinions regarding doctrine with other brethren within the very church you go to. Maybe some of you young people are having trials with other young people because they do not include you in the group or activities. Maybe some of you young people want to get married and start a family and there is no one within God's church that fits the bill for you and you are trying to do what is right. You are trying to find a mate with the same beliefs and calling you have but you cannot find anybody and you do not want to be unequally yoked and you do not want to have all the problems that marrying outside of the church can bring. Maybe you have problems at your job, trials with your boss over the holy days or the Sabbath.
You know, there is all kinds of things that are going in our lives, brethren. But you know what? It does not matter what your trial is, it really just does not matter. The reason it does not matter is because God loves you. Now we are going to get back to this, remember that God loves you. He is preparing you for the Kingdom of God. Once we become spirit beings, all the trials we have suffered through will not even come to memory anymore.
Remember, trials are gifts from God, but we do not look at it like that, do we? Mr. Ritenbaugh went over this a few months ago. The gifts we are used to are gifts. You know, they are boxes of candy, you take me golfing or you take me out fishing and you pay for my way, you take me and my family out to dinner. Those are the things that we relate to as gifts, but we do not relate trials to gifts. But that does not make our trials any easier, does it, knowing that they are gifts from God.
Trials are not fun, brethren. They are not meant to be fun. That is why they are called trials. Let us turn to I Peter 4.
I Peter 4:12 (AMP) Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you.
He is telling you these things are going to happen, brethren, do not think them strange. Do not get upset. These things are going to happen. He says then in verse 13,
I Peter 4:13 (AMP) But insofar as you are sharing Christ's sufferings, rejoice, so that when His glory [full of radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may also rejoice with triumph [exultantly].
Are you going to keep God's laws and statutes, no matter what? No matter what anybody else is doing or saying? That is the question.
Philippians 2:12 (AMP) Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only in my presence, but much more because I am absent [The rest of this verse is what I really want to emphasize.], work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of consciousness, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).
Philippians 2:14 (AMP) Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves].
And I am going to add this: without justifying every wrong thing we do. Because you know what? We can make a good excuse for what we do out of anything. That is easy to do. Brethren, we have to keep God's laws no matter what. We all know the trials are going to come. That is a given.
Some of you will probably disagree with me on my next statement and that is okay because this is my opinion. I think we are now living in the end of the age, at the end time.
Now I want you to think about what the end of the nation of Israel was. You know, they were defeated and totally taken into captivity and they were deported at the hands of the Assyrians. But the end time started for them at a specific time or day. And I think that time or day was when God told Amos to go and prophecy to Israel and to King Jeroboam II. At this time, Israel was very prosperous and they were fairly strong militarily. Everything looked good for the country. From the starting date of God's warning that came through Amos to Israel, there was a time period of over forty years. There was forty years before they went into captivity.
Again, at a specific time, the end also started for the nation of Judah, with God telling Jeremiah, at least in my mind, to go and warn them of what was coming. Jeremiah preached again for forty years through the reign of five kings, starting with a righteous king, Josiah, who is probably the most righteous king Judah ever had, with the exception of King David. When Jeremiah's warning started, Judah was doing very well financially and militarily. But forty years later, the Babylonians came and defeated them and killed over one million Jews.
I said I think we are living in the end time, not only for Israel but for all of Satan's world. But I do not know when the end started for this present Babylonian system. Do you, brethren? Did it start with the harbinger and 9-11? Is that when it started or did it start with the inauguration of President Obama? Maybe it started with Mr. Armstrong's death. I do not know. Maybe it started with the scattering of God's church and His people.
You see, we do not know the exact time. But I do know that the greater churches of God and God's people are all experiencing more trials than ever before. Why? Why so many trials for all of us? Why? Because we are living in the end time and God is working with us—young, medium, old as never before. It is evident.
How are we responding? See, it does not matter if, let us say, someone is constantly breaking the Sabbath and then we perceive in our minds that they are being blessed and at the same time we are having one trial after another. And yet we look at them, we say, how does this work? They are being blessed. So then what happens? We start to get disheartened and maybe even getting an attitude with God.
Brethren, it really does not matter. The prize is the Kingdom of God. It is not how rich we are in this physical life or how comfortable we are or how happy we are or how satisfied we are. None of that matters.
Now, I know some of you younger people are having trials dating and finding a mate within the greater churches of God because we are scattered all over the place and there is really not much to choose from. I get it. I understand that. I really do understand that because I went to a high school that had 1,500 kids. That was the student body and about 750 of those were girls. But you know what? Out of all of those girls, I really only had interest in three or four and you young people do not have that many to have interest in. And it does not mean that all of those girls would have dated me. Probably, most of them would not have, but it did not matter because I did not have interest in them. So I understand how hard it is for you young people.
But you know what? Even if you never found a mate, even if you never got married because you tried to do it God's way by dating within God's church, and you gain the Kingdom of God, would it not all be worth it? Would it not?
Some of us have been sick for many years and have had tremendous pain for long periods of time. But you know what, once you and I become spirit beings, everything that we have endured in this physical life will not matter anymore.
I am not saying that all the trials we go through are easy or fun. I am not saying that at all because they are not. Our trials, no matter what they are, are tough and extremely hard to deal with. But you know what? God is always with us. You know how I know that? Let me tell you what happened to Debbie and me on Passover.
It was Passover Day and I was getting ready for Passover service. I was loading my car with the all the things that we needed—the buckets to wash your feet in and some extra towels and things—and Noah was helping me, I was still deleavening my home. I had some last minute things to do and I kept asking Debbie all day, about every couple hours I would say, "Are you going to be able to make Passover services?"
She had been in pain for almost two months, maybe over two months by this time. And she even was crying herself to sleep regularly every night. She was in tremendous pain and she kept telling me, "I'm in so much pain, I can hardly stand it." She said, "No, I'm not going to be able to make it." Well, finally I was getting dressed and getting ready to leave and she said, "Hey, guess what? I'm feeling a lot better." She said the pain is leaving and I think I am going to be able to make it to Passover services. So I said, "Well, let's call Michelle and Nick and have them take you."
I left and went to Passover services and Debbie and Michelle came and you know what? Debbie had no pain at all. All the way through the services (Scott Brown had got her a bed from the hotel to lay on), but she did not even need to lay down. She was able to sit up take Passover services and go home. I thought to myself as I was cleaning up and driving home, "Wow, this trial is probably over. God healed her." But by the time I got home she was in just as much pain as she been before. But God had allowed her to keep Passover services and you know what He was telling us? He was telling all of us, because I know He works with all of you too, that He is with us. He gives us these signs. We just have to be smart enough to see them. See, God loves us. That is what the trials are all about. It is about preparing us for eternity in the Kingdom of God.
Now, let us get a look at King David's life because his whole life was one trial after another.
I Samuel 13:14 "But now your kingdom shall not continue. [This is the prophet Samuel speaking to Saul.] The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept that which the Lord commanded you."
David was a man after God's own heart yet he went through one trial after another, even though he had the attitude that he wanted to do what was right in God's eyes. David's life in his office as King of Israel was not a smooth ride. It was filled with danger, setbacks, risks, and near escape. Yet God's faithfulness to David, and that is a two-way street brethren, and David's faithfulness to God, brought him safely through all his trials.
David's life started out pretty good, did it not, in a way a lot of people dream about. At about 16 years of age, David did what no other Israelite had the guts to do. He faced and killed the giant Goliath. Now think of the miracle there. Here is a young kid with no armor, no shield, no sword, and he goes out to fight a giant, a soldier skilled in war, a great big guy. And he has a pocket full of rocks and a slingshot. He swings the rock at Goliath, hits him between the eyes, knocks him off his feet, goes over, takes his sword, and whacks off this big ape's head, right? It was a miracle, brethren.
Think of it. All of a sudden, this kid David, was now a national hero. The people were writing songs about him. One half the line, King Saul is slaying his thousands and David his tens of thousands. David had also been anointed king by Samuel. Everything looks good for David.
But the happy times were short-lived by David. King Saul then turns on David. First he throws the spear at David, which David narrowly dodges, and then he flees from King Saul's presence. The king tries to kill him. Then Saul sends David on the most dangerous military assignments and missions, hoping that David would be killed in action. But David frustrates him by completing each assignment successfully. All this did was fuel Saul's insane jealousy.
Then Saul ordered part of his army to hunt David down and kill him. But Saul's son, Jonathan, intervenes for David and he talks to his dad and he gets Saul to simmer down. So then David the second time plays the harp for Saul and again Salt throws a spear at him, which David narrowly dodges again. Then David wises up and he finally decides that he is not safe in the presence of King Saul and what does he do? He gets out of town.
Then David lives in exile. He wanders around and lives in caves and at this time many people started to ally themselves to him, maybe as many as 600 other families. Then what does Saul do? He puts a price on David's head, he puts a bounty on him. So then it was not safe in any of the settlements in the whole country. So what does David do? He moves to the desert.
Think of these trials, brethren. He moves far from civilization. During David's exile he had a couple of chances to kill King Saul, but he did not because David knew Saul was God's anointed, even though his men urged him on and they even wanted to kill Saul themselves. They told David, "Kill this guy already. He's trying to kill you. You've been anointed king. You've been anointed king by Samuel. So kill him." But he did not do that.
There is a big lesson in all of this for us. First of all, it does not matter what anybody else is doing or what they think. It only matters what God thinks. Saul was anointed king by God so only God could remove him, which God did at the hands of the Philistines. He allowed him to be killed in battle. David showed how much faith that he had in all of this. David knew he was to be king. David knew Saul had to die. He also knew Saul's family had to be removed for David to become king, but he did not know how or when this would all work out, any more than you and I know how prophecy is finally going to work out and at what time it will work out.
We all have huge trials to endure just like David did. It is the same thing. We are going through the same thing David did. David had huge faith and David trusted God to work things out. That is one of the reasons David was a man after God's own heart.
Then there was Nabal's folly, which I am not going to really go into in any great detail. But David and his men were living in the neighborhood of this rich guy, Nabal. David's men provided valuable service to Nabal, hunting predators that fed on his flocks and guarding against thieves. Nabal's men and his employees were well aware of the benefits David provided them. And we know the rest of the story. Nabal refused David food for his service.
Now, what I want is to consider is how big the trials were that David was going through at that very time in his life. Think about the stress David lived with at this time in his life. First, David was responsible for about 600 families and he had to provide for them. He had to feed them. Second, he was in constant danger of death, hunted by Saul, a powerful and irrational king. Third, he had to keep on the move so the army would not catch him. He could not settle down for long in any one place. Fourth, his strongest supporter, the prophet Samuel, had just died, and David, being a fugitive, could not even attend the funeral. That is a lot of stress.
Those are a lot of huge trials that he was enduring. A lot of us are also under a lot of stress.
Then things got so bad in Israel, David and his men were exiled into a foreign nation. At that time, the Philistines were ruled by five kings, one being Achish. He offered David the border town of Ziklag. David and his men offered to fight for the Philistines against Israel. We all know the story. David and his men marched off to war with the Philistines. But the four other Philistine kings did not trust David. So they sent him with his men back to Ziklag. When David returned to Ziklag, he found the city burned to the ground and all their wives and children missing. And then what happened? David's men were crushed. They cried and cried. Then they blamed the loss on David's poor judgment. Another huge trial. They even began to plan to execute him by stoning.
Think about all the trials David had endured.
Well, then Saul died in battle with the Philistines and David becomes king of Judah. You think things are going to turn around for him, but the other eleven tribes of Israel follow Saul's son Ishbosheth, their king. So Israel was divided for another seven years. During this time, there was ongoing war between Israel and Judah. Finally, David became king of all the tribes of Israel. Even David's kingship did not come easy. It took seven years of civil war. It was one trial after another.
Do we feel as if we are going through one trial after another? Do we have the faith David did? Do we have the attitude that it does not matter what anybody else is doing or saying? We are going to do what is right with God no matter what? Do we, brethren?
Then there was the incident of moving the Ark of the Covenant and the death of Uzzah. Now, David was scared. That scared him and he was upset about the death of Uzzah. But David got over his anger and his displeasure after learning that the Ark's new host was prospering. So David took this as a sign from God that God would bless him if he moved the Ark God's way. So the Ark was then moved to Jerusalem. This was another test for David. Well, how are you going to do it, David? Your way or My way?
Are we going to do things our way? Or are we going to do things God's way?
Then God would not allow David to build the Temple. This would put a lot of us in an attitude. How did David react after being rejected? Well, he put into storage large amounts of gold, silver, bronze, and iron. At the same time, he instructed the people to be faithful to God. He also told them about God's greatness and their great privilege of being God's people. What an attitude, brethren!
As we all go through our tests and trials, how is our attitude? Do we see what a great blessing and privilege we have being called and tested and tried as firstfruits? Do we really understand what we have part in?
Then there was David's great sin—the adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah. When Nathan the prophet brought David's sin to his attention, what did David do? What was David's attitude? Do you know what David said? All he said was, "I have sinned against the Lord." He did not make excuses or justify his actions. He did not pass the blame. In grief he simply admitted the truth. How good are we at justifying everything we do?
Let me tell you a little story about what happened in my house last Saturday after church. Debbie and I and Michelle were here and Michelle was on the computer. She wanted to show Debbie and I some things that Mr. Armstrong had said. Noah and Sofia were playing in the living room. Well, I looked down the hall and I could see Sophia was eating something. So I called the kids in there and I said, "What are you eating? You got into the chocolate, didn't you?" Well, they had the big eyes and of course they had been into the chocolate. So I said, "Whose idea was it?" Sophia said it was Noah. Noah got in the drawer and he got the chocolate. Noah said right away, "Sophia made me do it, Papa." So I said Noah, "Your three year old sister (Noah is seven) made you do it, right? What did she do? She get you in a headlock, did she threaten to punch you in the face until you got the chocolate? Is that what she did, Noah?" He said, "No." And he realized how stupid he really sounded and how ridiculous it was to say my sister made me do it.
What did the first man do? He did the same thing. He said to God, and he sounded ridiculous, "The woman, the stinking woman made me do it, God." We do that all the time, brethren. We have to have the attitude and faith David had. Nothing matters except gaining the Kingdom of God. If we try to do things right, and if we have the attitude David had, then God will forgive our sins just like He forgave David.
But remember, sin does not come without penalty. The moment David confessed his sins, God forgave him. Even so, the sins had their consequences. The baby of David and Bathsheba had died, to David's great regret. And David's home was full of violence from then on. David's son, Amnon, raped his half sister Tamar. The account of this is in II Samuel 13:1-21. How horrendous of a trial would this be to have rape in your own home? In your own family? David's trials never seemed to end.
Then Tamar's brother Absalom, another of David's sons, wanted to kill Amnon because of what he did to Tamar. But a prince could not just walk up to another prince with his weapon in his hand and kill him. The royal family was well guarded. So Absalom did his time, waiting for his opportunity. And after two years, he made his move. He killed his brother at a party he had thrown. Now Absalom was a murderer, deserving capital punishment. To escape death, he left the country and lived in exile. He lived in Egypt. Another horrific trial for David. This is all recorded in II Samuel 13:22, and it goes all the way through to 14:24.
What happened then? David brings his son Absalom back from exile in Egypt. But almost as soon as Absalom returns home to Jerusalem, what does he do? He begins conspiring to overthrow his father, King David, and to take the throne. After four years, Absalom decides the moment has come to strike. Absalom travels from Jerusalem to Hebron where he sets up his headquarters and begins his conspiracy in earnest. He assembles an army. He appeals to important people to join him and then he begins his march on the capital, Jerusalem, in order to make himself king.
Now, he knew he had to capture Jerusalem, the capital, and he knew he had to kill his father, King David. So David and his loyal followers had to flee Jerusalem and they had to cross the Jordan River quickly. To make matters worse, what happened? David was met by a distant relative of dead King Saul named Shimei, who held a grudge against David because Saul had lost the throne to David. So we have David going through a huge trial here and this guy shouting insults at him and his men and throwing rocks at them. But we all know how this ends. It ends with Joab, King David's general, disobeying David and killing Absalom. This is recorded in II Samuel 14:28 all the way to 19:8.
We think we go through trials, brethren. How would we like to live David's life? A man after God's own heart. He was tried exceedingly!
Before David could retake the throne, he had to negotiate with the tribe of Judah and then with the rest of Israel. David's negotiations want well with Judah, but he insulted the rest of the tribe. One of the leaders of Israel in all the bickering, a man named Sheba declared himself king of Israel, exclusive of Judah. Sheba raised an army and civil war began once again. Then Sheba was killed and David was then restored to his throne.
Brethren, think of all the trials David endured. Yet David stayed faithful to God—no matter what.
At the end of David's life, he promised the throne to his son Solomon. But then what happened? Again, one of David's other sons rebelled. This son was Adonijah. He decided to make himself king and take the throne. He did not try to do this by himself though. He secured the aid of David's lifelong right hand man and general of the army, Joab. So now even loyal Joab rebels against King David. Can you imagine what this felt like? Your son and trusted general rebel against you? But immediately and publicly, David made Solomon king with full procession and formality. Solomon ascends the throne while David still lives, a very unusual arrangement but a very wise decision.
David was a man after God's own heart. David tried to do what was right with God, no matter what. David's whole life was one trial after another. Yet David was faithful to God. So what did David get for all of his trouble, brethren? What did he get? What did David's God-centered attitude get him? That is the question for all of us as we go through our trials. Let us turn to Jeremiah 30.
Jeremiah 30:9-10 But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up for them. 'Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob, says the Lord, nor be dismayed, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, and have rest and be quiet, and no one shall make him afraid.'
These verses are talking about the Millennium and Christ's second coming and David's place in the Kingdom and his job in the Kingdom, which are already sealed. That is what King David has received for all his trials and his faithfulness and his love for God and God's love. He has received the Kingdom already, brethren. And even his job is spelled out for him.
David tried to do what was right, no matter what, David did not justify his sins, he repented of his sins. He did not make excuses. Let us turn to I Peter 1.
I Peter 1:7 (TLB) These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. If your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the on the day of his [Christ's] return.
Brethren, we are all going to be tested and tried. That is a given. The question is, how will we react? Will we go God's way no matter what? Let us turn to Hebrews 12.
Hebrews 12:5-7 (AMP) And have you [completely] forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons? My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him. [He is telling us to stand fast.] For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves [Like I said, He loves us. He loves you.], and He punishes, even scourges every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline?
Brethren, we have got it made. The Kingdom is ours for the taking. All we have to do is to do what is right in God's eyes, no matter what. We need to repent and change what is wrong within us. God is with us as we go through our trials and testing. You know how I know this? Think of what God has done in the last six or seven weeks just in our little group.
First off, David Grabbe spoke on trials. Then Ted Bowling did the same thing. Last week, Ryan McClure also spoke on trials and so did Martin Collins. Then guess what? Kim Myers spoke on the same subject this week. Now, I know what you are probably thinking. Maybe I called David Grabbe and David told me the subject of his message. So I thought I would call Ted Bowling and get him to speak on the same subject. Then Ted would call Ryan and then Ryan would call Martin. And we all spoke on the same subject.
What I just said was nonsense, pure nonsense. None of the men that speak, for the most part, have any idea what the other guys are going to speak on. The reason that all of us spoke on the same subject is because God knows that we are all going through trials. He is with us. He is encouraging us through many different avenues, brethren, one of them being sermons and sermonettes.
God loves us. He is preparing us for the Kingdom. Can you see God working in our lives? I just saw God work in my wife's life during Passover with allowing her to keep the service, the most holy night of the year.
He is working in all our lives and showing us this by having five different men speak on the same subject in just a few short weeks. God loves us but He also knows He has to try and test us.
So be happy, brethren. Be glad that God loves you, that He is preparing you just like he did King David, for the Kingdom of God.