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Sermons

God’s Sovereignty, the Coronavirus, and Our Fear

March 22, 2020 Speaker: Albert Turner

The first section below contains the message verses we looked at followed by a summary. The second section has takeaway thoughts and questions.

Message Verses and Summary


God ordains all things

Isaiah 45:5-7
 I am the Lord, and there is no other,
    besides me there is no God;
    I equip you, though you do not know me,
that people may know, from the rising of the sun
    and from the west, that there is none besides me;
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form light and create darkness;
    I make well-being and create calamity;
    I am the Lord, who does all these things.

Daniel 4:35
He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, “What have You done?”

Ephesians 1:11 
…according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.

Proverbs 16:33 
The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.

Matthew 10:29  
Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.

Psalm 139:16
…in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

He does this for His glory in the redemption of all who trust in Him

In response to man’s sin God has submitted the world to falleness so that people would turn from their sin and seek Him for rescue.

Romans 8:19-21
…creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

He never sins in His sovereignty, but He does use sinful “instruments”

God does not sin

James 1:13-14
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.

He uses the wills and desires and actions of even wicked people to achieve His ultimate good ends. Recall what Joseph said to his brothers:

Genesis 50:19-20
As for you, what you intended against me for evil, God intended for good, in order to accomplish a day like this— to preserve the lives of many people.

Recall His sovereignty in the Crucifixion

Acts 2:23
He was handed over by God’s set plan and foreknowledge, and you, by the hands of the lawless, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross.

His purposes are good and just

Romans 8:28-31
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.

Summary

What God is after is using all things to grow in you the heart of Jesus – a heart that is so glorious and good and pure and holy and loving and trusting of God, that it is worth taking you through all kinds of trials and hardships and suffering in order to separate your hope from this world and what it offers and plant it deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper into the soil of God and His faithfulness.

So he uses what He hates to accomplish what he loves. He uses unemployment and car accidents and unfaithful spouses and cancer and kids with heart problems and church splits and crooked politicians and – even our own sin – to teach us in all kinds of ways to depend on Him and to trust in Him and to teach us that He alone is eternally dependable and He alone is eternally satisfying.

Takeaway Thoughts and Questions


Don’t be afraid

But He placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now behold, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Revelation 1:17-18

What does it mean that Jesus is:

  • The first and the last (consider His eternal sovereignty we reflected on)
  • Alive forever – right now (i.e., With you / in you / interceding for you)
  • Holds the keys to death and Hades? (recall His words: "It is finished.") 
God cares for your every need

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?  Romans 8:31-32

Remember Paul is arguing from your greater needs to your lesser needs. Can you explain his point in your own words?

  • Where do you struggle to believe God for His help most right now?
  • Consider ways you have seen Him provide in difficult places before.  
Go to God with your fears

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16

  • How do you feel about going to God for help “in time of need”? 
  • Is it hard to feel worthy to go to Him? Is it hard to feel it’s necessary? 
  • How does this passage speak to all of that?
Strengthen each other

And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25

  • How do you feel you’re doing in reaching out to others? 
  • Are there folks in your family or church who you are not reaching out to very well that you think you could do better? Do you feel maxed out?
Pray

Spend some time with the Lord asking Him to help you trust Him with this season and to give you a heart (and ideas) to reach out to those who He wants to bless through you – or to sustain the amount of "reaching out" your presently doing.