This message was preached by Abdullah Jamal at Word of Grace Church on January 15th, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here
For continuing to do what God has called you to do, you need faith and strategy. God spoke to Joshua and promised to give him the place where he put his feet. But he did not sit idle. He sent spies out to check out what Jericho looks like.
Prayer is also very important in being strategic in what God has called us to do. Can I encourage you to make the prayer-time before the meeting very important? You will be amazed at how God speaks! People will get healed. Prayer is the engine room of the church.
It’s a new year, 2017- we have all made some plans to do this or that. Some of us have big plans. Where do these plans feature in Gods big plan and picture? Paul was concerned with God’s big picture and proclaiming it. In Acts 20:27 he makes it clear saying “For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God”. He believed that is people understood this people will understand Gods plan for the world.
In chapter 20, when Paul was entering Ephesus, he asks if they received the Holy Spirit. They received the Holy Spirit, prophesied, spoke in tongues, etc. He spoke about God being in the midst of his people. Paul was with them for three years. That big picture changed the course of the life of Timothy, Titus etc. Paul was travelling to Jerusalem. He calls the elders of the church of Ephesus. He is reviewing what he had done with them. He said he did not hesitate to preach the while counsel of the Word of God.
Life is not about our little world. It's about the big picture. We often think of God only on relation to our needs, our forgiveness etc. It's not like that. There is a vast plan and God chooses you. It’s not about becoming more religious or self improvement. We are not called to live a life of defeatism. It's about Gods eternal glory. In the trials God is working out a plan.
1. All God’s promises are fulfilled in Jesus: When Jesus comes back he will judge sin and evil and he will bring righteousness and peace. What does it mean to understand the whole counsel of God? The promise on Adam the seed will defeat Satan. In Abram the nations will be blessed. In David he will always have someone on throne. All these promises are fulfilled in Jesus. These promises don't stop there. We are new creations and we inherit these promises.
2. The Promise of the Temple: We need to understand that there is a promise of a temple. It's a place where God dwells with his people and to receive their worship. PJ Smyth explains this. From space where he hovered over the whole earth, to the garden.... and finally to us- God met with man in Jesus. Now he lives in us. What a privilege! We did not ask for this. God chose to do it for us. This is reason enough to worship. He lives in is individually and in us as a Church.
3. The promise of the kingdom: Jesus said that the kingdom of God is near. In the garden of Eden, the man and woman were given authority to rule over the earth. After the fall, Satan was called the king of the air. When Jesus healed and drove out demons it meant that the kingdom of God was there. That is not the end of the narrative but just tasters that are revealed to us.
4. The Promise of Salvation: the story of how God will save and redeem his people. there is a need of sacrifice to atone for sin. All the nations were going to be blessed due to Abraham’s sacrifice. In Isaiah 53:10- “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.” Victory was anticipated through this. He will see his offspring. That’s the victory we see in Jesus.
The very next chapter in Isaiah invites the nation to come into the good of the everlasting covenant. Jesus served his proud and ambitious disciples right before becoming the lamb of God. he finished for what he has come, he conquered death and rose again. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ. We can now approach him in the confidence in the blood of Christ, the name of Jesus.
We cannot do this on our own. We need the spirit of God to understand the big picture and figure out our part in it. We are called to be the vehicles for his kingdom. We are called to be heralds of Jesus Christ. And to do that we need the Holy Spirit.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.