God is Faithful (8/17/14)

Posted by on Aug 18, 2014 in Sermons | 0 comments

Pastor Jim’s sermon on August 17 continued the series on the Attributes of God.  In recent weeks we have looked at God’s Awesomeness and  God’s Holiness.  This week we look at God’s Faithfulness.

Rev Bolton First Day Pulipt _IMG_2389

 

Click on the “Play” button below to start listening to the sermon (from the 11:00 service).

 

Scroll down to follow along.

 

The scripture was from Lamentations 3:21-25.  Click the arrow to open up the passage:

Lamentations 3:16-27

16 He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust. 17 I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. 18 So I say, “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord.”

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. 20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. 21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,to the one who seeks him; 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. 27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.

NIV

Who can you completely trust? Is there anyone we can depend on?  Is there anyone who will have your back no matter what?

Lamentations…

Jerusalem had just been attacked, plundered, and destroyed (586 BC).  Most of its citizens were marched off into exile.  It was Jerusalem’s “9/11″… only worse.  The prophet Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations while watching the smoldering embers of  what was left of the city.

The “book” is actually a collection of five Eulogies.  Each of these five is constructed as an acrostic poem, with each verse beginning with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.  There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet and 66 verses in chapter 3, so the verses can be grouped into triplets which form a common theme.

The word Lament comes from a Hebrew word meaning, “How?”, “Alas!”, or “O.”  A Prayer of lament is not afraid to cry out to God expressing our fear and worry.

But there IS Hope!

In verses 17-18 Jeremiah expresses his feelings that peace and hope have been stripped away.  Through his human eyes, the is no hope, peace, or prosperity.  No Wawas.  No Taco Bell.  No gas stations.  Nothing.  No future; everything is gone.  Like the Israelites standing before Goliath in fear,  there is no hope of defeating this huge enemy.

Calamity will happen in life.  But we have a choice on how to respond.

In verse 21 he says that he dares to hope… when he shifts his perspective to God.  Despite the turmoil, Jeremiah makes the conscious decision to ignore his eyes and feelings and instead trust in God.  In God there IS hope.  Young David put his hope in God.  He refused to use Saul’s armor and in effect to depend on man’s strength in this battle.  He broke away from the Israelite pity party and stepped into a different comfort zone.  In God, there is always hope,  but we must intentionally seek God and “dare to trust Him” in order to experience this hope.

 

 1:  We are an Adopted Child…

God’s faithfulness to us is tied to the fact that He has “adopted” us has His children.  Because of the sacrifice of Jesus we are “joint heirs of Christ” (Galatians 4:7).  Because we are members of God’s family, God will remain with us.  Even if we keep wandering away,God will wait for us to return to Him (remember the father in the parable of the prodigal son, Luke 15:22).

God is always there; He can’t help but be faithful!  When Moses was at the burning bush debating with God about the “impossible” job of getting Pharoah to free the Hebrew slaves, he asked God, “What if they ask me who sent me?   What name do I give them?”  And God replied, “I AM that I AM.” (Exodus 3:13-14).  The literal translation of this word means “I will be there.”  In other words, God is the “great I AM.” Wherever you are, He’s already there.  God will always be with His children; no conditions.

And God doesn’t change.  The promises made to Moses go for us too.

  • Job 23:13 –  No one can change God’s mind.
  • Malachi 3:6 – “I, the Lord, do not change.”
  • James 1:17 – The Father of Lights doesn’t change.

“God is in time, On time,  Everytime.”

 

2:  The Final Word Belongs to God…

When Jesus hung on the cross, His final words were “It is finished!”   Nothing is done until God says it’s done.  There’s always more to the story and always more hope if we look to God.

Nothing happens unless it goes through the filtered hand of God.

God is always in control of things.  Even when the waves whip around our little boats, Jesus is there and things are always under God’s control (see Luke 8:23-25).

If we truly believe that God is faithful, then we should be faithful to Him…

  • Did you read your Bible this week?
  • Did you invite anyone to church today?
  • Did you share your faith with anyone this week?

Our unfaithfulness brings about a disconnect.  Like a trusting handshake, God offers us His hand.  Will we shake His hand and make a commitment?

 

3:  God is Faithful to His People…

One of Elvis’ big hits was “Stuck on You.”  In the song, Elvis’ love couldn’t get away from him.  Wherever she tried to hide, Elvis would be there.  Through good times and bad, he’d remain “stuck on you.”

Elvis may have been called “king,” but God is the true “King.”  And just like velcro which seems to hang onto anything it comes in contact with, God is “Stuck on Us.”

Because of God’s steadfast love, we are never cut off from him.   He just won’t go away.  So what is it that we can face that he won’t be there for us?

Before installing a cross in the early 1990’s, our old church building at the corner of Holly and Broadway had a weather vane on top of its steeple.

Charles Spurgeon once saw a barn with a weather vane on its roof.  Topping the weather vane was the message “God is Love.”  He felt that this seemed to be an inappropriate place for this message.  Weather vanes change with the wind, but God never changes.  God’s love is constant.

But his traveling companion had a different interpretation.  He said that the weather vane was an accurate symbol of God’s love because the vane worked regardless of where the wind was blowing.  Regardless of the situation, God loves you so much that He is with us.  Regardless of where the winds of life are blowing us, God is faithful.

In good times and in bad, God is still with us.  Morning by Morning New Mercies I See...

=============

Jump into “Daddy’s” Arms.  You can trust in Him no matter how thick the smoke is, or how high the waves are, or how big the giant may seem.

God loves us so much that He  won’t allow anything into our lives without Him being right there with us.  God is faithful.

Are we faithful to Him?

 

Quiz Time!

Just for the fun of it, try out these True/False questions.   Don’t Worry- there’s no gradebook!

When you’re done, click the “Review” button to see the right answers.  If you missed any questions, re-read the scripture and try it again.  If you’re stuck (or disagree with the answer!), feel free to post a comment.

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *