God Works for The Good

We are back in Pascagoula for a few days. Maggy had a doctor’s appointment early Monday morning. We have someone looking at the house this afternoon. Pray that they love it!

Yesterday at Forsythe went so well. Everyone was overly encouraging following the message. I knew it was the right time for me to re-enter the pulpit because I was not anxious about it. With God’s help I brought a message from my favorite chapter of the Bible, Romans 8. I hope to be able to post audio of that message sometime later in the week when we return to Monroe.

We are to have lunch at Nicole’s house today. Looking forward to that.

I posted over 100 pictures of John Robert on my picture page. Most of these are from camp and from church events from the past several years. The link is HERE.

Below are some brief notes from my sermon at Forsythe this past Sunday.

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GOD WORKS FOR THE GOOD – Romans 8:28ff

“We Know” – tough words…but true. When life yanked the rug out from under you, your confidence in what you know or do not know is shaken. But here are words of certainty. We know God works for the Good of those who love Him. God works according to His purpose. Two ways God has been at work in your life…

1. GOD IS WORKING TO SAVE US (29-30). He is working to conform to the image of His son. Big themes here describing God’s work in our lives: Predestines – calls – justifies – glorifies. Big picture is that God is moving us toward an eternity with Him in glory. This is God’s work, something we could never accomplish on our own merit.

2. GOD IS WORKING TO KEEP US (31-39). God has gone to great lengths to save us and He works to keep us. He did not spare His own son – a great sacrifice for a largely ungrateful human race. God has paid a great price in order to bring us to glory. God rules above all who will condemn. No matter who judges us, condemns us, tries to destroy our faith, God is stronger and more powerful. God hears His son and Spirit on our behalf. We are not left to our own devices … He is walking with us. He is stronger than all that threatens us (35-39). Since God has saved us, is there anything that can remove us from the safety of His hand? Nothing.

3. GOD IS WORKING FOR OUR GOOD. Four thoughts…

*This is not a promise of paradise here. We are not promised a life without tragedy, crisis, hardship, and suffering. Not even Jesus had paradise here. He was nailed to a cross and killed. Those who promise that God wants us to be rich and have enormous resources on earth if we are faithful are preaching a gospel Jesus could have never taught.

*This is a promise of PRESENCE. Even the valley of the shadow of death, God is with us. Bad things happen in this world … sometimes unexplainably bad. But God has never left our side as we live for Him. He is working to bring about things we cannot imagine. Our journey is to trust Him along the way … not just when things seem really good…but when things turn really bad.

*This is a promise of PERSEVERANCE. Though I am not a believer in the “once saved always saved” doctrine of perseverance, I am also not a believer in the thought that we are easily lost when we sin. Yes, we can walk away from God. But I’m not sure God walks away from us. God created us. He understands we are fickle and weak, we doubt at times, we wonder … but He never leaves. God didn’t save us and keep us on a thread…but on a strong rope with a life preserver attached.

*This is a promise of PASSION. God is not following the instructions in His book dispassionately, he WROTE the book. He is actively working to bring about His will. He is answering prayers. He does not always do what we wish. Like Job we wonder what God is doing … and we wonder why God is NOT doing some things. But in the end we believe in God … not because he gave us what we wanted … but because only He can give us what we need. And because we understand that in our humanity our vision is severely limited as to Divine wisdom.

In this section of scripture we read “We Know” – these are things we know. There’s a lot we do not know … cannot answer. Our faith is in God, though, and not our ability to explain.

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Thanks for reading,

John

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