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Trust God-Lent 2B

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Trusting God
Trusting God
Introduction God is a mystery God walks me through stuff. One step at a time. He leads me here. He leads me there. but He’s never up front with me about farther down the line. He never says, “Jim, in ten years this is what I want you do.” No. “No… it’s more like ‘Go here. I’ll tell where to next… next:. Seminary open house: “Why are you here, Jim” - “I don’t know. I just know I’m supposed to be here.” There are so my times that we have no clue of what God is up to. Paul says : Who can know the LORD's thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? Everything we know about God is only as much as he is willing to reveal. As believers we know that we are on a journey to something more glorious. But day to day… we can’t predict our future. We don’t have a clue what’s in store for us tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year….. We never really know completely where he will lead us in this world. We never know exactly how he will provide for us. And that can be confusing and discouraging and scary and sometimes even disheartening.
Introduction God is a mystery God walks me through stuff. One step at a time. He leads me here. He leads me there. but He’s never up front with me about farther down the line. He never says, “Jim, in ten years this is what I want you do.” No. “No… it’s more like ‘Go here. I’ll tell where to next… next:. God is mystery. There are so my times that we have no clue what He is up to. Who can know the thoughts and mind of God? Everything we know about him is only as much as he is willing to reveal. I don’t think God is up front with any of us down the line. As believers we know what our ultimate destination is. We know that we are on a journey to something more glorious. But day to day… we can’t predict our future. God’s plans are bigger than ours. And we never really know completely where he will lead us in this material world. We never know exactly how he will provide for us. We never know what the next day will bring. And that can be confusing and discouraging. And sometimes everything we do can seem so tenuous,
3 Encouraging Passages I would like to share with you this morning THREE passages that have been on my heart this past year. they come to my mind over and over again - and I find them encouraging. So I would like to share them with, in the hopes that they will be encouraging for you.
Introduction God is a mystery God is mystery. There are so my times that we have no clue what He is up to. Who can know the thoughts and mind of God? Everything we know about him is only as much as he is willing to reveal. But God’s plans are bigger than ours. And we never really know completely where he will lead us in this material world. We never know exactly how he will provide for us. We never know what the next day will bring.
3 Encouraging Passages I would like to share with you this morning THREE short passages that have been on my heart this past year. The Lord has brought them to my attention over an over again, as a way of encouragement. So I would like to share them this morning, in the hopes that they will be encouraging for you.
3 Encouraging Passages I would like to share with you this morning THREE short passages that have been on my heart this past year. The Lord has brought them to my attention over an over again, as a way of encouragement. So I would like to share them this morning, in the hopes that they will be encouraging for you.
The first is from , SERMON ON THE MOUNT: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” This means so much more than simply looking for something and finding it. Rather, it encourages me to keep my sights on what is most important: the Kingdom that Jesus has, is, and will establish. It reminds me that the things that I should treasure in my heart are not the things that I can physically see or touch. Rather, my mind must be fixed on eternal things…. heavenly things…. things that are only fully known to God Jesus is teaching that there is more to life than the material world. More than the things we have. More than the money we have. More than the friends we have. The command here is full of promise. Jesus leads into this sentence saying that the Father knows our needs. He then follows with “so don’t be anxious about tomorrow.” Think about that for a moment, because what I think Jesus is saying here, is that he knows our needs… Even if we don’t know what we need Even if we think we know what we need Even before we HAVE need ANYTHING We can depend on God to take care of us, as long as we remain keyed in on seeking HIS Kingdom, and not our own… … seeking to understand Him more, to share in His heart’s desire, and participate in His Kingdom mission. To persistently seek the closeness of God in our relationship with Jesus. This is the main cause of the Church: The kingdom of God. And when Jesus says in Matt. Mark, and Luke: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree… HE MEANS the CHURCH. The Church is the seed of the Kingdom of God on earth. Jesus says here: Seek the kingdom of God, we need worry of nothing else! Renewing our love for Jesus; rekindling our fire for God; quenching our thirst on the Gospel,-helps us keep our eyes fixed to the Kingdom of God. When we do this, everything else will fall into place as the Father desires. What comfort to know that we can trust that God will work things for the good of his people; when we continually seek and serve the Kingdom of God. seek the kingdom and don’t worry the Father knows what you need, even before you need it. And the Father knows what will happen even before it happens.
The first is from , SERMON ON THE MOUNT: where Jesus says “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” This means so much more than simply looking for something and finding it. Rather, it encourages me to keep my sights on what is most important: the Kingdom that Jesus has, is, and will establish. It reminds me that the things that I should treasure in my heart are not the things that we can physically see or touch. Rather, my mind must be fixed on eternal things…. heavenly things. Jesus is teaching that there is more to life than the material world. More than the things we have. More than money. More than numbers. The command here is full of promise. Jesus leads into this sentence saying that the Father knows our needs. He then follows with “so don’t be anxious about tomorrow.” Think about that for a moment, because what I think Jesus is saying here, is that he knows our needs Even if we don’t know what we need Even if we think we know what we need Even before we need ANYTHING GOD KNOWS WHAT YOU NEED. We can depend on God to take care of us, as long as we remain keyed in on seeking more of Him… … seeking to understand Him more, to share in His heart’s desire, and in His Kingdom mission. To persistently seek the closeness of God in our relationship with Jesus. This is the main thought of the Christian: The kingdom of God. Look to a kingdom life! Guided by the one and only King. Jesus says here: Seek the kingdom of Jesus, and we need worry of nothing else! Renewing our love for Jesus; rekindling our fire for God; quenching our thirst on the Gospel, helps us keep our eyes fixed to the Kingdom of God. Keeping fixed on the Kingdom, will result in lives on earth that reflect the Kingdom. When we do this, everything else will fall into place as the Father desires. What comfort to know that we can trust God with everything; with our lives, our families, and our stewardship; as long as we continually desire to seek and serve the Kingdom of God. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” seek the kingdom and don’t worry … the Father knows what you need, even before we need it. And the Father knows what will happen even before it happens.
The first is from , SERMON ON THE MOUNT: where Jesus says “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” This means so much more than simply looking for something and finding it. Rather, it encourages me to keep my sights on what is most important: the Kingdom that Jesus has, is, and will establish. It reminds me that the things that I should treasure in my heart are not the things that we can physically see or touch. Rather, my mind must be fixed on eternal things…. heavenly things. Jesus is teaching that there is more to life than the material world. More than the things we have. More than money. More than numbers. The command here is full of promise. Jesus leads into this sentence saying that the Father knows our needs. He then follows with “so don’t be anxious about tomorrow.” Think about that for a moment, because what I think Jesus is saying here, is that he knows our needs Even if we don’t know what we need Even if we think we know what we need Even before we need ANYTHING GOD KNOWS WHAT YOU NEED. We can depend on God to take care of us, as long as we remain keyed in on seeking more of Him… … seeking to understand Him more, to share in His heart’s desire, and in His Kingdom mission. To persistently seek the closeness of God in our relationship with Jesus. This is the main thought of the Christian: The kingdom of God. Look to a kingdom life! Guided by the one and only King. Jesus says here: Seek the kingdom of Jesus, and we need worry of nothing else! Renewing our love for Jesus; rekindling our fire for God; quenching our thirst on the Gospel, helps us keep our eyes fixed to the Kingdom of God. Keeping fixed on the Kingdom, will result in lives on earth that reflect the Kingdom. When we do this, everything else will fall into place as the Father desires. What comfort to know that we can trust God with everything; with our lives, our families, and our stewardship; as long as we continually desire to seek and serve the Kingdom of God. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” seek the kingdom and don’t worry … the Father knows what you need, even before we need it. And the Father knows what will happen even before it happens.
The second passage that has been on my heart is . Moses has died, without ever seeing the Promised Land and the torch was passed to Joshua. who is call called o lead God’s people to the place God was giving them. The road ahead for Joshua was not an easy one. It would be full of challenges - battles won and lost. I don’t purport to be anything but Reverend Jim, but I do identify with God’s call on Joshua, as should we all. I believe we too are headed wherever God is leading us. And it will also come with wins and losses. But what what empowers and encourages me - is God’s inspiration to Joshua, which is repeated four times in this in the chapter . God is commissioning Jacob, and he is also preparing his heart for what lies ahead: and he says: “Be strong and courageous.” Be strong and courageous, for God will see you to the promise. v.6 Be strong and courageous, and you can live in obedience to God’s commands, by meditating on it, because these are the guiding principles of your life that will make your way prosperous and bring success. v.7 Be strong and courageous and do not be afraid. v8. There will be victory, so be strong and courageous. But God is not simply encouraging Joshua; he is also ASSURING Joshua. Why be strong and courageous? Because, God says, “I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you” so… be strong, be courageous. And He ties the encourage in with the guarantee. He puts them together in “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go: How empowering it is indeed when the Master Planner encourages us today also to be strong and courageous. To garner strength from Jesus. To know what real courage looks like in the example of the Son of God. To know that in this very minute, as we seek the Kingdom of God, God is already with us. and when we are strong and bold, God will do mighty things through us.
The second passage that has been on my heart is . Moses has died, without ever seeing the Promised Land and the torch was passed to Joshua. God called on Joshua to lead the people to the place God was giving them. The road ahead of them was not an easy one. It would be full of challenges - battles won and lost. I don’t purport to be anything but Reverend Jim, but I do identify with God’s call on Joshua, as should we all. I believe we too are headed wherever God is leading us. And it will also come with wins and losses. But what strikes me most about - what empowers and encourages me - is God’s inspiration to Joshua, which He repeats three times in the chapter (and the people encourage Joshua with the same words at the end of the chapter). God is preparing Joshua’s heart for the challenges ahead, and he says: “Be strong and courageous.” Be strong and courageous, for God will see you to the promise. v.6 Be strong and courageous, and you can live in obedience to God’s commands, by meditating on it, because these are the guiding principles of your life that will make your way prosperous and bring success. v.7 Be strong and courageous and do not be afraid. v8. There will be victory, so be strong and courageous. But God is not simply encouraging Joshua; he is also ASSURING Joshua. Before his encouragement God says in v.5: “I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you” so… be strong, be courageous. And He ties the encourage in with the guarantee. He puts them together in v. 9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go: How empowering it is indeed when the Master Planner encourages us today also to be strong and courageous. To garner strength from Jesus. To know what real courage looks like in the example of the Son of God. God will do mighty things through us, if we remain strong and courageous. To know that in this very minute, as we seek the Kingdom of God, God is already with us.
The second passage that has been on my heart is . Moses has died, without ever seeing the Promised Land and the torch was passed to Joshua. God called on Joshua to lead the people to the place God was giving them. The road ahead of them was not an easy one. It would be full of challenges - battles won and lost. I don’t purport to be anything but Reverend Jim, but I do identify with God’s call on Joshua, as should we all. I believe we too are headed wherever God is leading us. And it will also come with wins and losses. But what strikes me most about - what empowers and encourages me - is God’s inspiration to Joshua, which He repeats three times in the chapter (and the people encourage Joshua with the same words at the end of the chapter). God is preparing Joshua’s heart for the challenges ahead, and he says: “Be strong and courageous.” Be strong and courageous, for God will see you to the promise. v.6 Be strong and courageous, and you can live in obedience to God’s commands, by meditating on it, because these are the guiding principles of your life that will make your way prosperous and bring success. v.7 Be strong and courageous and do not be afraid. v8. There will be victory, so be strong and courageous. But God is not simply encouraging Joshua; he is also ASSURING Joshua. Before his encouragement God says in v.5: “I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you” so… be strong, be courageous. And He ties the encourage in with the guarantee. He puts them together in v. 9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go: How empowering it is indeed when the Master Planner encourages us today also to be strong and courageous. To garner strength from Jesus. To know what real courage looks like in the example of the Son of God. God will do mighty things through us, if we remain strong and courageous. To know that in this very minute, as we seek the Kingdom of God, God is already with us.
The third and final passage that has been on my heart at this particular season is : is the famous chapter where God uses Moses to part the Red Sea. The Israelites have escaped slavery in Egypt and they are currently being chased by the Pharaoh. And the Egyptian army is bearing down on the Israelites, who at this point are trapped. There is nothing but the sea ahead of them and the Egyptians moving in behind them. The Israelites are afraid, and they begin to doubt. And their trust in God is waning. And they blame Moses, saying, “Did you bring us out here to die? It would have been better to be a slave in Egypt than to die here in the desert!” And in their despair the people complained to God and to Moses. Their situation seemed quite hopeless and any outcome seemed very bleak indeed: death by drowning, or death at the hands of the Egyptians. But even in their apparent peril, Moses tells the Israelites to trust God. He tries to assure them that God’s got this! But the words of the Lord in verse 15! God says to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.” Imagine that! Just walk toward the sea. Go forward! Head toward what might seem like a dangerous dead end. Just keep going forward! God has a plan. the Lord your God is with you
The final passage that has been a central source of strength and courage for me at this particular time is : “tell the people to go forward.” is the famous chapter where God uses Moses to part the Red Sea. The Israelites have escaped slavery in Egypt and they are currently being chased by the Pharaoh. And the Egyptian army is bearing down on the Israelites, who at this point are trapped. There is nothing but the sea ahead of them and the Egyptians moving in behind them. The Israelites are afraid, and they begin to doubt. And their trust in God is waning. And they blame Moses, saying, “Did you bring us out here to die? It would have been better to be a slave in Egypt than to die here in the desert!” And in their despair the people complained to God and to Moses. Their situation seemed quite hopeless and any outcome seemed very bleak indeed: death by drowning, or death at the hands of the Egyptians. But even still Moses tells the Israelites to trust God. He tries to assure them that God’s got this! “Be still. God’s at hand.” But the words of the Lord in verse 15 are what’s most relevant in this passage for us today. God says to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.” Imagine that! Just walk toward the sea. Go forward! Head toward what might seem like a dangerous dead end. Just keep going forward! God has a plan. And the Lord your God is with you
The final passage that has been a central source of strength and courage for me at this particular time is : “tell the people to go forward.” is the famous chapter where God uses Moses to part the Red Sea. The Israelites have escaped slavery in Egypt and they are currently being chased by the Pharaoh. And the Egyptian army is bearing down on the Israelites, who at this point are trapped. There is nothing but the sea ahead of them and the Egyptians moving in behind them. The Israelites are afraid, and they begin to doubt. And their trust in God is waning. And they blame Moses, saying, “Did you bring us out here to die? It would have been better to be a slave in Egypt than to die here in the desert!” And in their despair the people complained to God and to Moses. Their situation seemed quite hopeless and any outcome seemed very bleak indeed: death by drowning, or death at the hands of the Egyptians. But even still Moses tells the Israelites to trust God. He tries to assure them that God’s got this! “Be still. God’s at hand.” But the words of the Lord in verse 15 are what’s most relevant in this passage for us today. God says to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.” Imagine that! Just walk toward the sea. Go forward! Head toward what might seem like a dangerous dead end. Just keep going forward! God has a plan. And the Lord your God is with you
What does this tell us? The common theme in all these passages relates to this one message: Trust God. live life with a complete trust in God. Trust that he will give you what you need. Trust that He is here building your strength and courage. And trust that He will take you forward even when the next step seems perilous and hopeless. With our hearts longing deeply for more of the Spirit of God, and eyes trustingly fixed on seeking everything that reflects - and is - the Kingdom of God, battles can be won, and waters can part. Conclusion (What does it say again?) We don’t know everything that God is up to in our lives. But we can to three things that will encourage and empower us: SEEK the KINGDOM; Set your spiritual priorities: On what do you fix your eyes most? What is your minds eye staring at right now? Set your sights on the Kingdom of God The Sermon on the Mount is a good guide for that… love enemies, give to the needy, pray to the Father, don’t be conceited, don’t be all judgy on people… do to others as you would have them do to you BE STRONG AND BOLD: Remember that God is with you. Even at times when you have lost all hope. Even when it seems like the best thing we can do is give up. Remember that He is with you… He will give you strength and boldness to do what you have to do in and for the Kingdom. Remember that Jesus walks among His church. Remember, that the Holy Spirit dwells in your heart. He will give you the strength and power to do ministry in the church. He will give you the courage (and even the words) to speak to someone you’ve been dying to share the gospel with. KEEP MOVING FORWARD: Keep moving forward. The kingdom of God is forward looking. Don’t step back in fear. Don’t run away. Don’t give up! Because God is calling you forward even though it might look to you that there is a big sea that we cannot cross. even though everything else looks hopeless, God is behind the scenes and knows exactly what you need. So we look to the hope of what will be. Conclusion (What do we do about it?) Ands so we take steps in our lives. We move in the world as believers, not in fear, but in confidence and trust in God. No matter what you may be facing, indeed no matter what the outcome of our circumstance, you can be certain that God’s power is at work, even if we cannot see it. We can trust God.
What does this tell us? The common theme in all these passages relates to this one message: Trust God. live life with a complete trust in God. Trust that he will give you what you need. Trust that He will build your strength and courage. And trust that He will take you forward even when the next step seems perilous and hopeless. With our hearts longing deeply for more of the Spirit of God, and eyes trustingly fixed on seeking everything that reflects - and is - the Kingdom of God, battles can be won, and waters can part. Conclusion (What does it say again?) SEEK GOD; Set your spiritual priorities: The Sermon on the Mount is a good guide for seeking the Kingdom of God… it is a good guide for defining your priorities in life. love enemies, give to the needy, pray to the Father, don’t be conceited, don’t be all judge on people… to do others as you would have them do to you Set your spiritual priorities by setting your sights on the Kingdom of God BE STRONG AND BOLD: PRAY FOR STRENGTH AND COURAGE. The Lord is with us… God will give you strength and boldness to do what you have to do in and for the Kingdom. KEEP MOVING FORWARD: Jesus says things will never go back to the way they used to be. No, a new heaven and a new earth are coming. The Kingdom of God is forward looking. The Kingdom looks not back on what was, but on the hope of what will be. So, Don’t step back in fear. Don’t run away. Don’t give up! Because God is calling you forward even though it might look to you that there is a big sea that we cannot cross. even though everything else looks hopeless God is behind the scenes and knows exactly what you need. Conclusion (What do we do about it?) Ands so we take steps in our lives. We move in the world as believers, not in fear, but in confidence and trust in God. No matter what you may be facing, indeed no matter what the outcome of what you do, you can be certain that God’s power is at work, even if we cannot see it. We can trust God. Let’s continue to seek more of the Kingdom qualities as taught and exhibited by Christ, to be bold in the strength and courage that the Holy Spirit gives us, and move forward trusting in the immeasurable love, power and promise of God the Father.
What does this tell us? The common theme in all these passages relates to this one message: Trust God. live life with a complete trust in God. Trust that he will give you what you need. Trust that He will build your strength and courage. And trust that He will take you forward even when the next step seems perilous and hopeless. With our hearts longing deeply for more of the Spirit of God, and eyes trustingly fixed on seeking everything that reflects - and is - the Kingdom of God, battles can be won, and waters can part. Conclusion (What does it say again?) SEEK GOD; Set your spiritual priorities: The Sermon on the Mount is a good guide for seeking the Kingdom of God… it is a good guide for defining your priorities in life. love enemies, give to the needy, pray to the Father, don’t be conceited, don’t be all judge on people… to do others as you would have them do to you Set your spiritual priorities by setting your sights on the Kingdom of God BE STRONG AND BOLD: PRAY FOR STRENGTH AND COURAGE. The Lord is with us… God will give you strength and boldness to do what you have to do in and for the Kingdom. KEEP MOVING FORWARD: Jesus says things will never go back to the way they used to be. No, a new heaven and a new earth are coming. The Kingdom of God is forward looking. The Kingdom looks not back on what was, but on the hope of what will be. So, Don’t step back in fear. Don’t run away. Don’t give up! Because God is calling you forward even though it might look to you that there is a big sea that we cannot cross. even though everything else looks hopeless God is behind the scenes and knows exactly what you need. Conclusion (What do we do about it?) Ands so we take steps in our lives. We move in the world as believers, not in fear, but in confidence and trust in God. No matter what you may be facing, indeed no matter what the outcome of what you do, you can be certain that God’s power is at work, even if we cannot see it. We can trust God. Let’s continue to seek more of the Kingdom qualities as taught and exhibited by Christ, to be bold in the strength and courage that the Holy Spirit gives us, and move forward trusting in the immeasurable love, power and promise of God the Father.
: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
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