December 29, 2013
- It is hard to be patient.
- We are now at the end of 2013, this is the last service.
- We are finishing the year at much the same level of attendance as where we started!
- But we want more.
- Our desire is to see this town come to Jesus, en masse!
- I am impatient about this, and am looking for growth to come.
- And it will come, in God's time.
- “Commenting on our need for [patience], M.H. Lount has said, "God's best gifts come slowly. We could not use them if they did not. Many a man, called of God to...a work in which he is pouring out his life, is convinced that the Lord means to bring his efforts to a successful conclusion.
- “Nevertheless, even such a confident worker grows discouraged at times and worries because results do not come as rapidly as he would desire.
- “But growth and strength in waiting are results often greater than the end so impatiently longed for. Paul had time to realize this as he lay in prison. Moses must have asked, 'Why?' many times during the delays in Midian and in the wilderness. Jesus Himself experienced the discipline of delay in His silent years before His great public ministry began."
- “God wants us to see results as we work for Him, but His first concern is our growth. That's why He often withholds success until we have learned patience. The Lord teaches us this needed lesson through the blessed discipline of delay”. - from Our Daily Bread
- The fruit that is worked by delay, and patience, is anticipation!
- Today we are going to talk about anticipation
ANTICIPATION FOR JESUS
- While we were working hard getting everything ready for Christmas, our children were anticipating getting up Christmas morning and seeing what was under the tree!
- There is an excitement in anticipation!
- Jesus too, experienced this anticipation!
- There was a short period of time during 4 BC when it all seemed to be happening!
- The Word became flesh (Jn 1:14) and was born of a Nazarene virgin, in Bethlehem.
- The Son of God at the Father's right hand, became a tiny human baby boy. He was both human and divine, had chromosomes from Mary, and from God!
- At the time of his birth, the shepherds are told that a Savior , the Messiah, has been born, that God's plan is “peace to men on whom his favor rests”. Luke 2:14
- Aged Simeon, 8 days later prophesies “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed”. Luke 2:34
- How was this all to come about? When would it happen?
- There was to be a delay
- Jesus knew who his Father was – Luke 2:49
- He was aware of his destiny, the blessing He would bring to suffering people, and that his ultimate purpose was to suffer and die so that man could have a fresh start
- Jesus as he was growing up, was aware of all this.
- He must have been eagerly looking forward to the day when he could start to fulfill his destiny
- Even though that would mean going through the experience of death.
- In heaven, I am sure that the Father and the angels were excited to see The Plan coming together, the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle falling into place
- Healing, freedom and salvation available to all!
DELAY BEFORE RESCUE
- Paul talks about the whole creation groaning, waiting for God to rescue it from Satan's domination – Rom 8:22-23
- We too, eagerly anticipate and look forward to being rid of our broken down physical bodies and instead be healed and receive our spiritual body, which will no longer be limited as it is today
- But we may wonder, why is it that I have not yet received the healing I have been praying for?
- Why is it so tough at school to experience our school friends acting out and tempting us to go along with the ways of the world? I know better and yet the temptation to join with them is so strong
- Why is our church not growing by leaps and bounds, as hundreds of people come to Jesus?
- Why is the Body of Christ seemingly impotent against the onslaught of godlessness from the society around it?
- There are more than one factor in answering each of these questions
- However, the big answer is that God is in charge, he knows the times and the seasons, and he will take care of things at the right time
- He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion, until the day of Christ Jesus – Phil 1:6
ANTICIPATION FOR GOD'S INTERVENTION
- Whatever our situation, we are God's children – 1 Jn 3:1-3
- God is not a man that he should lie – Num 23:19
- God will perform his promises
- Just as the promises about Jesus came good, on the day Jesus was born, and later when he started his ministry 30 years later, God's promises to us will be fulfilled too
- God promises healing, he says he is the God who heals (Ex 15:26, Psa 103:2-5, James 5:14-16, 1 Pet 2:24)
- God promises to take care of us (Matt 6:8,33, Phil 4:19, Heb 4:16)
- When we believe in the promise, we know it will come
- It will happen in God's time, as he sees appropriate.
- But it will come.
- We eagerly anticipate the day God intervenes in our life
- It may be today, it may be tomorrow. But he has not forgotten us, nor his promises
- As his children, we can have total anticipation for what he wants to do in our life
- Because what he does, is good.