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Call to worship

Reading of Scripture
Prayer
2 Songs
Announcements: Tonight fellowship here at the Church.
Fellowship
One Song
Sermon

Introduction

This morning as we begin, I want to step away from Galatians this morning for something that’s been weighing heavy on my heart for several months.
I have been trying to figure out when the best time would be to approach this topic with us as a Church body and today I honestly think that it is the right time.
Now before we really get started let me begin with the preface that no pastor ever should in his preaching.
Know that this sermon isn’t the result from one conversation in particular.
Instead its to answer a common theme I keep seeing running throughout the congregation and I think that it is time to address the issue.
Well I’m sure with that I’ve got many of you wondering what it is I have in mind this morning so lets not keep you waiting...
Read and Pray.
This morning I want to ask you a question;
Do we believe in a God who has Providence for us in our lives?
Come on now, that’s not rhetorical.
I do plan on answering it but only after you offer up an answer.
How about I define the term Providence for you.
Websters Dictionary defines Providence as the following:
The foresight and care which God manifests for His creatures.
The foresight and care which God manifests for His creatures.
So in that very definition, we find the word foresight.
Let’s define what that word means, Once again this comes from Websters.
Seeing ahead, knowing in advance; planning our present tense action on the basis of the future tense knowledge.
So the idea of God having a providencial care for His people must entail something of the following attributes.
If God is truly Providential; then we would know and be able to see that God, with a divine knowledge of all things, past, present and future, has planned for us to be in this very spot this morning.
The Lord in His infinite wisdom took the knowledge He had concerning all of this spectrum of time that we think about and knowing all things that would come to pass has planned out present tense situation on the basis of future tense knowledge.
Now how many of you would agree with that?
How many of us would agree that the Lord of all the earth looked upon you as an individual and planned the very moment and place that you are in today?
My guess is that if you would have raised your hand at the very first question, you’re now probably a little more skeptical about saying that this is what you believe.
And why is that?
I would argue it from this perspective;
Chance are pretty high that we don’t think of the Lord’s providence in this way.
Instead what we like to say is that we believe that the Lord is Providential in our lives but at the end of the day, we don’t live like it.
We might dive into something such as a new job or business venture and then a few years down the road we’re wondering if we’ve made the right choices.
We give up what knew to be wonderful careers with retirements that would allow us to live in very good ways after retirement.
Shortly after giving those things up we wonder if that was truly the right move for us to make.
We move our family to a Church that we believe to be faithfully teaching the Word of God and for many years God blessed our lives because of that time.
And yet at this very moment you’re wondering if this is really what God has called you to.
Thinking day in and day out that if only I would have done this differently then maybe...
If the time could only be rewound then things today could be so much different.
While I am always the first one to admit that hindsight is 20/20, foresight for us is often time 5/20.
We look in the past and man we can see things so clearly and so perfectly by looking back.
If I would have just done this or done that than today I could have only...
Here’s an example for you.
7 years ago I had a chance to invest in Bitcoin and because of the tightness of finances I chose not to invest.
Yet the kicker is that it wouldn’t have taken much.
Had I just bought $5 of Bitcoin 7 years ago, today it would be worth 15.6 million dollars.
I had the chance to buy it and chose not to even spend 5 dollars on it.
Are you hearing me, this is how perfect hindsight is.
I could have been a millionaire by simply spending $5 a little over 7 years ago.
Do I wish I would have bought it, well sure who wouldn’t.
But don’t you think God had His providential reasons for not guiding me into buying something like that?
Lets grab a Biblical example of something very similar.
When’s the last time you’ve read the book of Job?
Seems pretty easy for us when we grab the book of Job to read it and not be concerned for Job doesn’t it?
I mean after all, when we read the story, we get to read it with hindsight vision.
We know the outcome of the story so for us, there’s really nothing suspenseful.
Even if it’s the first time we’ve ever read Job, all we’d need to do is turn to the last couple chapters and we could very easily read how the story ends.
Yet for Job, this man had no clue how the story was going to end.
He could look at each day as they came and trust in God but he wasn’t able to see and to know the end of the story.
Think of men like Joseph.
This man had a little taste of what the Lord had in store through a dream didn’t he?
He was in the field with his brothers binding sheaves when his sheaf rose above all of his brothers and stood upright.
And then all the sheaves gathered around Joseph’s sheaf and they bowed before his.
If that wasn’t enough confirmation to this young man, Joseph then dreamed another dream where the sun, moon and eleven stars were bowing before him.
Joseph was given a unique knowledge about his life and the plans that God has for him.
A unique knowledge n not normally given to us today.
And yet within a short time, the whole bottom dropped out from under the plan that God had for him.
His brothers were angry with him.
Angry enough in fact that it would have been very easy for them to kill Joseph had it not been for the help of one brother coming to Joseph’s rescue.
He then spent many years working his way into a place of a high ranking official in Potifers house only to get the rug pulled from under him.
Potifers wife tried to seduce Joseph and instead of giving in he fought back, only to be falsely accused of trying to seduce her.
He then finds himself in jail as the lowest of the lowest in Egypt.
Spending his time in misery without any hope of reprieve in sight.
Until one day, these other two men come in and by God’s grace Joseph is allowed to interpret the mens dreams and one of the men promise to tell the Pharoah about him.
Well as is often the case, this man failed to tell Pharoah which left Joseph sitting hopeless and alone in jail.
Until one day, his time had come.
The Lord saw fit to raise up Joseph and through a series of events he became the second most powerful man in all of Egypt.
Answering only to Pharoah.
Yet I can’t help but wonder.
How many days passed where all that Joseph could do was long for the hope and the security of his fathers house.
How many days did he cry himself to sleep in misery wondering if maybe he would have only not offended his brothers and maybe had done this or that differently.
How much different could things have been.
But here’s the reality, for me to say much of that is mere speculation.
The text doesn’t say any of that.
In fact it actually doesn’t say that he spent his time weeping and mourning his situation at all.
Instead what it does say is that in every situation, the Lord was with Joseph.
Isn’t that what the text says?
The Lord prospered the hand of Joseph.
Joseph spent his time moping around and weeping at the situation that he was in
The Lord watched over him with one thing in mind.
“You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
What Joseph’s brothers intended for evil, God meant for good and He used it in many great and mighty ways.
And here’s what I want you to understand about where you are in this life at the moment.
I don’t know the individual aspects of God’s intentions for your life but I know his ultimate goal for all of His people.
His ultimate goal is to bring you into redemption and walk you through this process of sanctification.
God is not surprised that you are where you are.
God is not looking at you as a follower of Christ saying, you know, I really wish so and so would have stayed here or done this.
We don’t know the end goal of the Lord for our lives.
If they only would have done this then today they would be (fill in the blank).
Listen to me for a moment.
Many of you are hurting because of where you are right now.
Many of you are angry because of the past.
Many of you still struggle with things that you see that were done wrong.
And in a way, that’s okay.
It’s okay to occasionally weep and mourn for the life that you wished you would have had.
But it’s not okay to dwell on that.
It’s not okay to live in such a way where your head and your heart is always stuck in yesterday.
And understand me, I am not trying to give an excuse or talk about the seriousness of many of those aspects.
But can I just tell you that God has a purpose in all of this.
He is not surprised over where you’re at right now.
So you spent 20 years in what you believe to be a spiritual captivity, maybe that is what it took.
Maybe that is what it took for God to get your attention and bring you to a place where you would finally cry out to Him as your Lord.
Maybe God used and is using the time that you spent here as a way of drawing you in closer to Himself.
Actually, let me rephrase that.
There’s no maybe about it.
In fact the text that we began with today was .
And that tiny little portion of Scripture which pales in comparison to all the rest of Scripture says something extremely profound and its this;
We KNOW that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.
Notice what Paul doesn’t say here.
He doesn’t say; “We think that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”
Paul doesn’t say, “We hope that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”
Instead he says that we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.
Know that this includes you and your life as well!
God was not surprised because you moved to Star City and attended the Church at Star City.
God was not surprised when the events that transpired actually happened.
He was not surprised when you gave up everything to be here and to follow Him.
Now I know that there are some here who may be thinking that this doesn’t apply to them.
Instead, I would argue that it was actually God the Father who was guiding you in that direction.
It was God who took and placed you into this position so that at the end of the day, His purpose would be fulfilled in you.
They were content with the way things were and that’s fine.
His purpose of drawing you unto Himself each and every day.
The time that you have spent here has not been wasted!!!
If God has redeemed you He has a plan for you and if you’re here right now I can promise you that it is for you to be at Kirkwood Baptist Church.
His plan for you 10 years ago was for you to be here and today that has not changed.
Now I don’t say any of this to discount our own responsibility by any means.
We are responsible.
Yet even at the end of the day, God takes and uses our sin for good.
He uses every aspect of our lives for His purpose.
Beloved, God has not called you here by accident.
He called you here by His providence.
The Lord knowing the future made plans for your life today.
Where you are today is not an accident or even a mistake.
Think about Joseph.
God took his brothers sins and turned Joseph into the second most powerful man in all of Egypt so that the lineage of Christ may be preserved, that is the people of Israel.
That was the ultimate plan that God had for Joseph’s life.
Beloved you are who you are and where you are today because God the Father has placed you here for a purpose.
Don’t be angry about that but instead, rejoice that this King, this Lord of all creation has sought you out and for this great many years has sustained you!
Has sustained you and brought you deeper into the knowledge of who He is in Christ Jesus.
That is something to not weep over but to instead, to know that He is working every situation for the good of those who love Him, those who are called according to His purpose.
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