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Saturday, August 2, 2008

His Plan is to Bless Us: Part 2 - The Blessing of God

Scriptures: 3 John 1:2, Romans 8:1-11, Phil 4:9, Isaiah 40:29,
Psalm 103, Eph 3:20, Gen 22:1-15, 2 kings 4:1-7, James 1:17,
Psalm 1:1-3

This is Part 2 of Sun, July 27th. The guest speaker was Pastor Dave Hepburn from Whitewood.

Pastor Dave drew our attention to 3 John 1:2 which says, ‘Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.’

Prospering of the soul. The blessing of the Lord makes rich. Pastor Dave said he prays that each one of our souls prospers. He said God wants us to be prosperous Christians in our walk with Him. He said he wanted God to bless each one of us so that we had a bumper crop of the soul. That our souls flourish. That if we submit ourselves to the word of God, that we have an abundant harvest of the joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, kindness, goodness, self-control. Above all that each of you prospers in your soul because when the King of Kings comes and calls us unto Himself, there’s going to be a judgment for those who are believers and it won’t depend on what our bank balance is but what we’ve done for the Lord and what has remained. What we have in our soul.

Pastor Dave said Romans 8:1-11 is about the spirit and the flesh. V6 says, ‘The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.’ So, to be earthly minded is death, to be fleshly minded is death and to be carnally minded is death.

But, to be spiritually minded is life in peace. Which sounds better to you? Pastor Dave said he thinks the second one sounds better. He said v9 says, ‘You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.’ The spirit dwells in us and wants to overfill us with blessings.

Pastor Dave said Paul wrote in Ephesians that we need to keep being filled with the spirit. He asked if we’ve had to fill up our cars with gas lately. We need gas to go. He said the same is with our spirits. Our spirits start to run low. We need to be recharged with the spirit of God. The Holy Spirit gives us power.

He asked what kind of riches are we talking about when we say the blessing of the Lord makes rich? Money? Possessions? Toys? Things that bring happiness? This morning we’re talking about how God shall supply all your needs. It doesn’t say my God shall supply all my greeds. No, Phil 4:19 says, ‘And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.’

One can be rich in finances yet be poor in life. Pastor Dave said he knows a man who’s getting up in years. He lost his wife a few years ago and is now in the hospital and wishes he could die. He has lots of money and yet, there’s something missing. He has a void. He doesn’t have Christ. Pastor Dave said he’s here this morning to tell us God can fill any void we have in our lives. That is not to say that in our prosperity money cannot be a byproduct but money should not be the goal. That’s not what we’re looking for. We need to submit ourselves to God and His riches gives us more than we can even expect.

He said Isaiah 40:29 says, ‘He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who wait upon the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’ Pastor Dave asked what does, ‘wait upon the Lord’ mean? He said it’s not like the kid in front on a microwave waiting for his food and telling his dad it’s taking too long. Pastor Dave said this isn’t microwave Christianity. He said sometimes His timing is like we want. He said sometimes he’s glad the Lord answers prayer differently than he asks. He said sometimes we pray for things and we don’t get them and then we look back and say, ‘Thank you, Lord, I was out of your will.’

Psalm 103 gives some encouragement about the blessings of God. Don’t forget all His blessings. This morning we need to take this out and look at all the blessings in our lives. Sometimes we think we don’t know where God’s blessing is but lets take a moment and think this out, about where He’s blessing us. We can thank God that we’re not in a war-torn area, or suffering famine, or suffering poverty. V10-12 says, ‘he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Pastor Dave said to think about that for a second – the east never meets the west. He said God’s mercy is greater than the distance from Vancouver to St. John’s. His mercy is greater than the universe. And He can move our sin and our transgressions from us as far as you can imagine That ‘s a blessing. That Jesus Christ went to the cross for our sins so that we don’t have to go before God and give an account of our transgressions. That doesn’t give us license to sin. It gives us peace to know that because of what God has done we’re justified through Jesus Christ.

Pastor Dave reminded us that with God, nothing is impossible. We need to believe we serve a God who still can do what he says He can do. The enemy is doing it, and our God can do more than the enemy can even imagine. We need to bring glory to our God, our Maker and our Redeemer. He said we hear of great and mighty things happening to some parts of the world but those things can also happen here. He said we don’t need to go to Africa or South America to be healed or see the dead raised. God wants to do a work here in Glenavon. He wants to do a work here in this church. God wants to do great things in all your surrounding areas.

Pastor Dave said his brother wore a cast for a broken leg. When the cast was removed, his brother was limping. One leg was 1” shorter than the other because he’d grown in the 10 weeks the cast was on. He said they prayed in church and actually saw the leg grow before their eyes. Not only does his brother not limp today but he can’t even remember which leg had the cast.

Pastor Dave said Eph 3:20 says, ‘Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.’ Our God can do exceedingly abundantly above everything we can ask or even think. He said he didn’t think any of us would even think that God would send His Son to die on the cross on earth. When God looked through heaven and earth for that perfect sacrifice, He only found one and that was Himself. So He, Himself came as a man to earth to walk among us. He who knew no sin became sin for me that I might become the righteousness of God in Him.

He said Jesus walked this earth for 33 yrs and never sinned once. He knew no sin and yet He took our sin upon Him. Pastor Dave said we can’t even fathom it. It was love that compelled Him to do it for us. He said there was the Holiness of God on one side and man on the other and the two met at the cross. He paid our penalty in full. We serve a God who is more than enough.

He said to think about Abraham and Isaac going up to the mountain in Gen 22:1-15. Isaac told Abraham they didn’t bring a sacrifice but Abraham said, ‘The Lord will provide.’ Pastor Dave said he doesn’t even think Abraham knew what he was talking about. And at the top of the mountain, God provided a ram in the thicket. And that ram in the thicket foreshadowed Jesus on the cross. V16-18 says, ‘and said, "16I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring [b] all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."

For a story about God being more than enough, look In 2 kings 4:1-7. This lady owed the creditor but she had nothing but a little oil. When the creditor came, he was going to take her 2 sons and sell them into slavery to recoup his losses. The lady was a widow of a prophet. Elisha told her to get all the pots she could find and pour the oil into them. They filled as many pots as they could find. Then Elisha told her to sell the oil to pay off the creditor. And she and her sons lived on what was left.

Pastor Dave said God’s not worried about our greed but He knows our need. That’s why we can cast all our cares upon Him, because He cares about us. And He wants to meet our need.

Finally this morning, with His blessing, He doesn’t add sorrow. James 1:17 says, ‘Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.’ If it was true when James wrote it, it’s true today.

Pastor Dave said Psalm 1:1-3 is about the blessings of the Lord to those who walk in the law of the Lord and how they’ll prosper in whatever they do.

Pastor Dave said he’s not here to say we’re not going to go through trials or hardship. They’re reasons the trials come and that’s so we can grow. When the trial comes, it’s there to develop us as we persevere through it so that we become greater men and women and children of God. He said he’s here to encourage us that the Lord knows the plans He has for us. His plans are to bless us. The Lord is here to minister to you.

Pastor Dave said he wanted to bless us in the name of the Lord that His blessing would rest upon us in a greater way today than it has in the past and that He will do greater things through us because we believe in Him.

If you would like to speak to Pastor Dave, please email me and I'll pass your msg along.

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