Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"God is For US! Any questions?”

S-1065 7/27/08 10SAP/3A (O) #10; (S) #528; vs. L.S. #437; #313; #311; (C) #52

Texts: Deuteronomy 7:6-9; Romans 8:28-39; Matthew 13:44-52

Theme: “God is For US! Any questions?” Romans 8:31-32


Question: “How Big is Your God?”

Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The text for our meditation is from the book of Romans. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:31-32).


Saints in Christ, week in and week out we gather in God’s house. Week after week we hear the Gospel message that Jesus, God’s only Son descended from heaven, was born of a virgin, took on flesh and blood, lived a perfect life for us on earth for 33 years, suffered the punishment of hell on the cross of Calvary, died to pay the penalty for our sins and rose from the Grave to guarantee our eternity. Even though we know all of these blessed truths, there are those times in our lives we don’t believe them or take them to heart.

Even as Christians who know God’s love and have seen it plainly through the eyes of faith, yet we don’t take it to heart. Sometimes we act like we are gods. We act as if we know better than God what should happen to us. Sometimes we question the authority of God, His Word and the situation that comes our way. We question His love, care and compassion towards us. We question how big our God is. At times we even swap places with Him because we think we could do a better job running the world’s affairs and ours.

But today, like a roaring wave coming to the shore; like a volcano descending on the valley below; like a thunder booming in the heavens, like lightening flashes across the sky Paul speaks to our darkened and dead heart a message that we need to hear again and again: “If God be FOR US! Who can be against us?”

If you know the truth that God loves you. If you know the truth that God sent His Son to earth. If you know the truth that Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice with His life. If you know the truth that He destroyed your enemy, then why do you act as if God is not in control of your life, the world and everything in it? Why oh, why do we act as if our God is not big enough to work in all situations for our good?

By the power of the Holy Spirit, Paul wants us to keep our eyes focused on the Author and Perfecter of our faith—Jesus Christ. For in Him and through Him we know that our God—the caring, loving, compassionate God has done everything to secure our future and guarantee our eternity.

In the Words of the text before us, Paul prods, prompt and pushes us to ask the most important question in the world. Oh, there are many questions that we often ask. Questions that deal with our daily lives—socially, economically, physically, and spiritually. Some of the questions really don’t matter that much and others are of utmost importance. Some of the questions are challenging and others are life-changing. What you will wear today or what you will eat today is not that big of a deal. But what college you will attend, who you will marry, and what kind of job you will get really matters.

However, none of these questions are as important as the question that is posed by our author: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” The question is not simply “who can be against us?” You and I can answer that question. Who is against you? Disease, divorce, death, inflation, draught, calamities, tornadoes, hurricanes, flood, cancer and the like. We can easily name our enemies and our foes. But that’s not the question. The question is “If God is for us, who can be against us?” More importantly and directly, the thrust of the text is “SINCE God is for us.”

What Paul wants you to understand is this: SINCE God is for us, it really doesn’t matter who is against us. All our enemies can mount their forces against us, they could swarm on us like locusts, they could bring their hatred and anger against us. But they are no match to our God. Please say these four words with me. “GOD IS FOR US!” Maybe we should practice saying these words every time we wake up from our slumber. This is the point of this text—God is with us. There is nothing to fear—neither fire, no foe; because we are God’s treasured possession.

Search the Scripture and you will get the clear picture—God is for us. When the Israelites stood by the Red Sea and the Egyptians were approaching from behind, they were terrified. The sea before and the army from behind and they are right dap in the middle and they thought death and destruction was coming. But hear how Moses shares the outcome: “And Moses said to the people ‘Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.’” (Ex. 14:13-14). In the book of 2nd Kings we read the story of King Aram who with a huge army surrounded the land of Israel to attack it. Elisha’s servant saw this and he was terrified. “Then Elisha said: ‘Don’t be afraid,’… ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:16-17).

Likewise, Paul wants you to hear the TRUTH that will remove your fears and foes from your hearts and head. God is on YOUR side. Nothing can separate you for Him. In Isaiah, we read these words: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are ever before Me” (Is.49:15-16). PAUSE.

Perhaps, you remember the commercial that came on TV few years back about the Krazy glue. When that commercial first hit the market, a catchy commercial helped sell it. It showed a 200-some-pound construction worker suspended high above the ground in his helmet to an iron beam on a construction site.

Krazy glue is still going strong. But far stronger is the glue of which Paul speaks. It’s God love for me. His love is so powerful that nothing can ever rip me loose from it. Nothing in life can do it, regardless how bad. Nothing the future can bring, regardless how bleak. Not even death, regardless how foreboding, can separate me from God’s love. That love binds me safely to Him for all eternity.

I dare not close my eyes or ears and not see how Paul describes God’s powerful love. It’s “in Christ Jesus”. When I look at Jesus on the cross, I see God’s love in person. How He must love me to do this for me! When I hear Jesus on that cross cry out in anguish, “My God, why have You forsaken Me?” I get a deeper insight into God’s love. It even caused Him to turn His holy back on a Son loaded with my sins so that I might stand forever at His side. When I celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, I am assured that God’s steadfast love will raise me. When I look at my faith to believe all this, I again see His love, which has worked such trust in my heart.

Saints and fellow followers of Jesus, Romans chapter Eight is a most beautiful Chapter. A chapter that begins with these words: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1) and ends with the great crescendo that there is nothing in this world that will EVER be able to separate us from the love of God.

Because God is for us, we can rise above every adversity, not merely cope, but conquer. Because nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from God, because of His Son’s death and resurrections, we possess ALL things with Him. And we know this for sure. GOD IS FOR US. Any questions? Amen.

Now the peace of God…

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