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Monday, August 1, 2016

A Drop in the Ocean: God is Faithful (part 4)

Our knowledge of God is like a drop in the ocean.

As human beings we are not made to live in the stress and regret of the past.  As human beings we are not made to live in the worry  and anxiety of the future.  We were made to live in the present and in the presence of God's faithfulness.

Sometimes we just need to reset our lives, to stop, relax, and focus on the here and now.  The ocean and it's rhythms can do that: the waves in and out, the tide up and down, the sun rise and the sunset.

Life will let you down.  It sucks sometimes.  But God will NEVER let you down.

Jeremiah the prophet, said the follow as he was stepping one the rubble of his home torn down the the dean bodies of his friends and family:

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
‭‭Lamentations‬ ‭3:21-23‬ ‭

First, Jeremiah DIRECTS his thoughts.  He has CONTROL OVER his emotions.

Years later, the song writer being influenced by Jeremiah's words, wrote:

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever. who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭136:1-6‬ ‭

Jeremiah was blessed because he knew, by the grace of God, that he was alive.

We don't like to hear this.  We think God owes us something.  The ONLY thing God owes us is eternal punishment.  We are not entitled to anything - not even ONE MORE BREATH!

1.  God is faithful to Himself.

God never changes.  He lives up to His own standards.  He is perfectly consistent.  He lives up to His character.

“if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭2:13‬ ‭

God is faithful.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 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 hope in 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.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:28-31‬ ‭

2.  God is faithful to sinners, the lost and broken.

“in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:7-10‬

“When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭7:36-50‬

There is nothing you have done, or could ever do, that would shock Jesus.  He is faithful to sinners - the the lost and broken.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:9

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:21‬ ‭

God is faithful.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:13‬ ‭

God is faithful.

3. God is faithful to those who struggle.

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭

God loves you just the way you are, but He is loves you too much to leave you that way.  What God starts, He finishes.  He will refine you until you are completed.  This process can be painful - it can can be a struggle.  But rest assured, God will finish the job.

God is faithful.  He is all we need.  Not cars or houses or retirement accounts or jobs or power or friends or family or even health.  He is all we need.  God is faithful!

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