Intro: A Hindu trader in India once asked a missionary, "What
do you put on your face to make it shine?" With surprise the man of God
answered, "I don't put anything on it!" His questioner began to lose
patience and said emphatically, "Yes, you do! All of you who believe in
Jesus seem to have it. I've seen it in the towns of Agra and Surat, and even
in the city of Bombay." Suddenly the Christian understood, and his face
glowed even more as he said, "Now I know what you mean, and I will tell
you the secret. It's not something we put on from the outside but something
that comes from within. It's the reflection of the light of God in our hearts."
Far too many Christians lack the "shine" of joy on
their faces. So many of us seem to believe that to be truly spiritual, one must
wear a sad expression and be gloomy. For some reason, we equate frowns with
spirituality. Many seem to allow lifes troubles, other peoples insensitivity
and personal misunderstanding hinder their joy. It seems that some have forgotten
what God has done in their life. This evening, as the Lord gives liberty, I
would like to preach from these verses on "How To Enjoy Your Salvation."
Now, these verses have a primary interpretation to the nation
of Israel. Here God is promising to sustain them, deliver them from captivity
and ultimately gather them together in His millennial Kingdom. Even though these
verses were written for them, there is still tremendous application here for
you and me. In these verses, we encounter reminders and promises that are designed
to teach us How To Enjoy Our Salvation. Lets take a few minutes this evening
to see what these things are.
You can enjoy your salvation because you have:
I. v. 1, 3-4 A PAST
A. Most of us would just as soon forget our pasts. None of them are anything
to brag about! However, it is the very past that we wish we could forget that
makes the present so wonderful. (Ill. The Context God reminds Israel
of what He has done for them, Ill. vrs. 3-4!)
B. Notice 3 things God has done for every believer in his past.
1. Redemption Ill. The great price the Lord paid to
save our souls Rev. 1:5; 1 Pet. 1:18-19.) Ill. We are save because
2,000 years before we were even born, the Lord Jesus willingly died to save
our souls. And, when we came to Him by faith, He was willing to receive
us just as we were and through pure grace forgive us and save us.
2. Renewal When God says He called them by their name,
that implies and intimate knowledge of who they were and are. When they
became His, He changed their name because He had changed their character.
(Ill. Jacob - Trickster to Israel Prince with God) (Abram
High Father to Abraham Father of a Multitude) When we came to Jesus
in our past, He did the same thing for us. (Ill. What we were called
lost, children of the devil, sinners, the wicked, the children of wrath,
the damned.) (Ill. What we came to be called Saints, Children of
God, The Redeemed, Saved, Citizens of Heaven, etc.) When we think of what
we were and what Jesus has made us, it ought to cause us to enjoy our salvation!
3. Reception God reminds the Israelites that He has
taken possession of them and they are His alone. (Ill. When we came to Jesus,
we were received just as we were, John 6:37! At the very moment of salvation,
Jesus took possession of our lives and now, we belong to Him 1 Cor.
6:20) (By the way, nothing can ever change that status 2 Tim. 2:13)
C. When we take a moment and look back at where He brought us from, it should
have the power to encourage us and give us great in our salvation. (Ill. This
may be why Isaiah reminds us to look to the pit from which we were dug
Isa. 51:1.) (Ill. Eph. 2:11-13)
II. v. 2 A PROVIDER
A. In this verse, God reminds the Israelites that He has met their need since
day one and that He has pledged Himself to continue to do just that. (Ill.
These circumstances reference famous events in the history of the nation when
God intervened and provided their need.)
1. Pass through the waters The Red Sea Ex. 14
2. Pass through the river The crossing of the Jordan Deut.
3. Walk through the fire Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego Daniel
B. What does this mean for us? Just that God has not changed! What He did
for Israel, He can be counted on to do for you and me! After all, He is no
respecter of persons Eph. 6:9.
C. There is not an area of life in which God wont work to fulfil His
promises to you. As you face the storms, walk through the valleys, endure
the dark nights of life, remember that He is the same God now as He was then
and He will never fail you! He will, however, meet every need you have for
His own glory Phil. 4:19.
D. There are several reason why we can count on God to supply us.
1. He is Able Eph. 3:20 (Ill. His great exploits in
a. In clothing Israel in the wilderness Deut. 29:5
b. In feeding Israel Manna in the wilderness Ex. 16 (Ill. There
daily provision was approximately 240 box car loads of Manna per day!
c. In feeding the widow of Zarepath and Elijah for 3 ½ years 1
d. In feeding the 5,000 John 6
e. In doing the same kind of things more times that we can even begin
2. He is Willing Luke 12:32 God wants to meet
your need more what you want Him to! (Ill. His great promise Matt.
3. He is Faithful To His Word 2 Cor. 1:20; Heb. 6:18;
4. He Is Always Near (Ill. v. 2; 5) Matt. 28:20; Heb.
E. Whatever the need, God stands ready, willing and able to take care of
that situation. We should be able to enjoy our salvation and we can when we
learn to leave the worrying to Him Phil. 4:6-7!
III. v. 5-7 A PROMISE
A. In these verses, God reminds His people that they have a bright future.
He promises to gather them together and bring them back to their promised
land. In the millennium, this will become a reality. Israel will again rest
in peace and he chosen people of God will occupy all that is theirs. What
a day that will be for them.
B. While these verses speak primarily to Israel, again, there is application
for you and me. We too live under the hope of His promises.
1. There will be a Gathering 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thes.
4:13-18; John 14:1-3. One day, Jesus will return in the clouds and receive
His people unto Himself. (Ill. That crowd in Texas! Mistaken since no man
knows the hour Mt. 24:36.) One day, a day known only in the omniscience
of Almighty God, Jesus is going to come again and all His people will be
leaving this world to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. (Ill. In light
of His coming, what are we to do?
a. Be Ready Matt. 24:44
b. Be Looking Luke 12:37; 2 Tim. 4:8
c. Be Pure 1 John 3:3
d. Be Telling Mark. 16:15
2. There Will Be Glory Verse 7 reminds us that Gods
purpose in the creation of man and again in his redemption is to bring glory
to Himself. However, on of the greatest ways that God will ever bring glory
to Himself is by bringing us to glory!
a. We Are Heaven Bound John 14:3; Rev. 21:4; 1 Cor.
b. We Are To Be Glorified 1 John 3:1-2; 1 Cor. 15:53.
(Ill. Heaven is a city said to be transparent in its appearance
Rev. 21:11, 18-23. Imagine that city with all those multi-colored stones
and materials with the glory of the Father and the Son shining through
it. Then, add to that the same brilliance bursting forth from the glorified
bodies of the redeemed! Truly, God will glorify Himself in us!)
c. We Shall See Him And Be With Him Forever Ill.
The Atmosphere of that city. Our world is a world of trials, depressions
and anxieties. Heaven, however, will be a place of endless praise and
ceaseless worship of a worthy God. (Ill. Rev. 4:2-11) (Ill. What will
Heaven be like? Notice the 24 elders Rev. 5:8, 14; 7:11; 11:16;
19:4. Heaven will be about the praise and worship of the King!
C. Are you ready for this promise to become a reality? I hope so, because
it will not be long now.
Conc: Lets think back over what we have heard this evening.
1. God saved us in the past.
2. God provides for us in the present.
3. God has a beautiful plan for us in the future.
With these thoughts in mind, dont you think we have the
right to enjoy our salvation? I certainly do! When I look behind me, around
me and ahead of me, I see many reasons for joy in the Christian life. So, tonight,
lets get on with the business of enjoying this wonderful thing called
salvation that God has so graciously given to us. Are you enjoying your salvation
Sermon By Alan Carr
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