Sovereign Realty

August 7, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Posted in Jeremiah | 2 Comments
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In Jeremiah Chapter 32 Jeremiah is in prison, and the Babylonians are winning the battle for Jerusalem outside, but God was preparing him to perform another illustrated action sermon.

And Jeremiah said, The word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is thine to buy it.

Jeremiah 32:6-7

Jeremiah’s cousin Hanameel (not to be confused with his other cousins, Malt-O-Meal or chamomile) offered to sell him a field – a piece of property – in his hometown, Anathoth. This would not be a wise financial investment from an earthly perspective.

So Hanameel mine uncle’s son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD. And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle’s son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.

Jeremiah 32:8-9

Jeremiah bought this property – formally, legally, and publicly – so that everyone would know what he as doing. It’s not hard to imagine Hanameel as a shifty used car salesman, waiting until Jeremiah is just out of sight, then wildly high-fiving his friends and celebrating over how he swindled his cousin into the worst deal ever. However, Jeremiah was able to do what the people who mocked his prophecies were not able to do. He was able to look for God’s hand at work and even talk to God about his fears and confusion.

Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the LORD, saying, Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name, Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:

Jeremiah 32:16-19

As Christians, we don’t live on explanations. We live on the promises of God – or at least we should. Do we really believe that nothing is too difficult for Him? Or do we hedge our bets? Getting ridiculed by the world for obeying God is a great blessing. It may be a delayed blessing, but it will ultimately be a sweet blessing of vindication.

Big Words of the Christian Life: Omnipotence (Part 2)

April 9, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Posted in big words of the Christian life | 2 Comments
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Previously, I showed that God’s power is limitless and logical. Now we will see that:

3. God’s power is laudable.

It is right and good to praise God for His power. God’s demonstration of His own attributes is always for the greatest good of His people. As He demonstrates His power, we find the assurance that our God can overcome any enemy and provide absolute protection for us. We were created to praise Him and find our ultimate joy in knowing Him.

Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.

Psalm 21:13

The presence of His power is a key element and motivation in corporate worship, and it is easily observable in His universal creation. Such power fills those who are thinking correctly with sublime joy as they contemplate it and know that they are loved by the wielder of this magnificent power.

Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

Psalm 150:1-2

4. God’s power is looming.

God’s power is a great comfort to His own children, but it also serves as a great threat looming over the heads of the defiant.

But the LORD, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice.

II Kings 17:36

God is not prone to uncontrollable fits of rage whereby He unleashes His fury without regard to His own will. No, a significant aspect of His power is the power to CONTROL that very power. However, once His power is directed by His wrath toward one of His creatures, any reasonable person would tremble in abject terror.

Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.

Psalm 90:11

We are accustomed to the feeling of fear in this lifetime. However, there is a limit to the power of human beings that places a limit, too, on their ability to terrify us. No such limit exists in God. When we balance the fear of human beings or earthly institutions that might threaten to punish us for obeying God, it really should be no contest as to Whom we should really fear.

And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Luke 12:4-5

Perhaps the greatest power we hold in our finite human minds and hearts is the power of self-deception, so we should be constantly exposing our feelings and thoughts to the superior power of the Word of God.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

 

God’s Decretive Will

May 20, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Posted in Where There's a Way There's a Will | 13 Comments
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There are two main ways to think about the will of God. One is to think about His will in general. What is He doing? What is He accomplishing with His existence? The other, more common way, is to think, “What is His will for my life?” I would like to offer some ways in which we can think about God’s will systematically.

The first of these falls under the heading: God’s Decretive Will (His will of decree), meaning what He has decreed or commanded to come to pass. Or, to put it another way, what He has ordered, or spoken into existence. This is sometimes called His absolute sovereign will. This is how we think about God’s will in the sense that it can not be resisted. For example:

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Genesis 1:3

God’s decretive will can not be resisted, much less overcome. Other examples of this kind of exercise of God’s will would be: the speaking into existence of all of creation; the manna falling from Heaven; and the unredeemed and Satan being cast into the lake of fire at the final judgment; just to name a few.

God’s decretive will often acts through the means of human agency, and sometimes completely overrules human choices. In Acts Chapter 4 Peter and John healed a lame man, and ended up being brought before the council. The authorities could not deny the divine healing, nor even the truth of their message, but they threatened them to stop preaching, to which they responded that they could not. They had to obey God even if the government said it was illegal. Then they went back and reported to the other disciples what God had done, and here is what they said:

And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:

Acts 4:24

God did the acts ascribed to Him in Verse 24 by His decretive will.

Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?

Acts 4:25

The people who instigated and demanded Jesus’s execution were furious at Him for claiming to be God.

The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.

Acts 4:26

The people in charge summoned all their authority and effort. The Jewish leaders and Roman authorities worked together for one evil, united purpose.

For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Acts 4:27-28

But, despite their total assumption of the control they wielded, they ended up doing exactly what God wanted done.

God’s Plan for Hurricane Preparedness

March 26, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Posted in Selected Psalms | 7 Comments
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When we make it through what is known as “hurricane season” each year in South Louisiana without any big storms threatening us, we feel blessed. However, those of us who are faithful Christians know that, even when the Gulf of Mexico is exceedingly calm, we are never far from a “storm” of circumstances in our lives. Are there any family or relationship problems currently brewing on your spiritual radar screen?

hurrican tracking chart

Are ominous waves and high tides starting to boil up near the shores of your finances? Is there a stiff breeze of mental or physical illness beginning to blow as you face the future?

Take heart! God is in control of the climate and the weather, both in the outside environment, and on the inside of your life. If we will delight in His law, and make it the focus of our regular meditations (Psalm 1:2), we will not be like those who are constantly shivering and terrified as they huddle around their generators, extra batteries, bottled water, and hurricane tracking charts every year between July and November. Those who place their trust in anything other than God have reason to fear.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Psalm 1:4

But those of us who are like trees watered by God’s Word, with roots going down deep into the firm foundation of Jesus Christ, and who have been firmly planted in a group of caring believers in a local church assembly, shall stand and prosper, even when the storms come.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Psalm 1:3


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