THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 8-18-02
LESSON TITLE: UNDESERVED BLESSINGS FROM GOD: "OUR DAILY NEEDS"
Good morning! Thank you for joining us today for God's Living Word. I hope everyone had a great week, and I hope your weekend was a profitable one also.
Now, here we are on another glorious Lord's Day morning. What a wonderful opportunity we have again today to join together in the worship of our Redeemer. I hope you are ready to begin this new week with a day of service and offering to your God.
As always, it is our commitment through this program to proclaim the simple truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - which is confirmed for us in the Bible. I hope you all have your Bible's handy and I hope you are ready to worship God together as we sing praises to His name and study from His wondrous word. Now let's begin by talking to our Father in prayer!
I wanted to take just a moment this morning to let you know that we are having a special "Day of Caring," this Saturday, August 24th, at the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ building. We will be helping those in our community with many of their spiritual and physical needs. All visitors will be assisted with religious materials, clothing, shoes, and food. It is our desire to reach out and help those in our area to let them know we care and that we are here to give back to those who have need. We hope to see you there if you need some assistance. The time for this event is from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. We hope to see you there.
At this time, we want to sing our first song of the morning. Won't you all join in with the congregation at this time as we praise God together with the hymn, " He Leadeth Me."
(SONG # 1)
The great commission is a continuous theme which rings out from the words of our God, through the inspired writers. However, even Jesus Himself talked of our duty to see that the whole world has the opportunity to know Christ and to obey His Will. In fact, you might remember our Lord's Words in Mark 16:15-16, were He said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." You see the whole world needs to hear about our Jesus - every creature, every soul!
In the Bible, I think that the apostle Paul gives us one of the best examples concerning this mission to teach the world, when he said to the Roman church, "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things,'" Romans 10:13-15.
The question is, will you accept the challenge to work given by our Lord? Will you determine to accomplish His will at any cost, unto His glory? If you want beautiful feet before Jesus, walk worthy according to your calling!
In connection with this, today we have a very special guest speaker who has been with us before. My father, Jerry Sullins. As many of you know he is a missionary in Zambia Africa where he has directed a school of preaching for around 15 years. Many good men have been trained and countless numbers of souls have obeyed the gospel through his efforts.
Some of you may also be aware that brother Sullins will soon be moving to this area to help in establishing a full time school of preaching here in Springfield. It will be called the Bible Institute of Missouri and will be under the oversight of the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ. Many of you have received a little information about this in this past, but we hope to send more specific details out about this great work within the next month. Please keep all of these things in your prayers that they may be prosperous and to the glory of God.
Now, in connection to our lesson of the morning. Today we will continue our study on those, "Undeserved Blessings From God." Our specific topic of the day will deal with, "Our Daily Needs." So please continue with us this morning and after our next song together, my father will return with this lesson from God's Word. It's now time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, "Heavenly Sunlight."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Jerry Sullins
It's a real pleasure to be with you this morning and to have this opportunity to examine God's Word on a very important subject. We're talking about God's blessings. Throughout this series, God has blessed us and we've been shown that God has blessed us in so many ways, but I want to talk specifically this morning about how God blesses us with even our daily needs. In order to prepare our thoughts for that, let us first of all consider what James said in James 1 and verse 17 that "every good and every perfect gift cometh down from the Father of light, in whom is no variableness, neither shadow or turning." Certainly as we consider the blessings that we as human beings receive in this life, it is an inherent belief among all peoples of the earth that someone somehow has provided all of the things that we have in this life. It is only those who no longer believe in God that think they themselves are responsible for what they have in this life.
Well, has God actually given you anything? Let's consider this fact that God has given us even our very lives. As God has stated or the writer Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 12, I believe it is found in verse 7, that "the dust returns to the earth and the spirit returns to God who gave it." God is the one who has given us our very lives. Remember, or maybe you haven't read it before, but if you want to hear an exciting story, turn to Acts chapter 17 and read how the apostle Paul when he entered into the city of Athens he was preaching to a people who believed in over 30,000 different gods. In this light, he said this, that as they were worshipping even the unknown god, he said, "This unknown god, I'm declaring to you as the true and the living God," and he said, "In this God, we live and move and have our being." I'm confident of this one thing that even the Athenians, no matter whom they believed was their god, believed that someone was responsible for the things that they received.
Well, as we look at life itself, we see that God has provided the natural realm of all things for all people basically because as it is stated in Matthew chapter 5, verse 45, that" God made the sun to rise on good and evil and the rain to fall on the just and on the unjust." So those things that are available to us in this life, that is food, clothing, and all material things are of course available to us who have the strength that God has actually given us. And those things are available to those who either do God's Will or do not do God's Will.
But there is a promise that some people fail to understand and that is the promise that God has given to all those who obey Him and as we notice the spiritual blessings that are available to us, we know that they can only be found in God. Ephesians chapter 1, verse 3 points out that "all spiritual blessings and heavenly places are found in Jesus Christ." That's the only place they can be found. So those blessings are only available to those who are in Christ Jesus.
As we note in the scripture, God's blessings have only always been available, that is His spiritual blessings, have only always been available to those who seek to do His Will.
As we examine the Old Testament, even beginning in Genesis chapter 6, that is found in verse 18 concerning the story of Noah. I'm sure that even many of the little children who may be listening this morning know the story of Noah and his ark. Well, there was a covenant made by God to Noah concerning this story. Now let's look at Genesis chapter 6, verse 18. "God said, 'But I will establish my covenant with you and you shall go into the ark. You , your sons, your wife, and your son's wives with you.'" Now that covenant was fulfilled as we see in Genesis chapter 9, verse 1. It says, "So God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.'" Well, we know that God blessed Noah greatly and blessed his sons greatly and assisted them with all the blessings in life that they needed to be fruitful and to multiply and to replenish the earth.
Another story that many people know of, especially three of the major religions on this earth are founded upon this man and his faith, and that is Abraham, who is commonly called "The father of faith." In Genesis chapter 12, verses 1 through 3, the Lord said to Abram, " Get out of your country from family and from your father's house to a land I will show you. I will make you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curses you, and in you all families of the earth will be blessed." Now Abraham's blessings were contingent upon his being obedient to God, the God of Abraham, his God. He was willing to make the sacrifice and to go to a country and actually started out on his journey from Ur of Chaldea and he didn't even know where he was going, but he followed the promise of God and he had respect to the promise of God, and he was blessed and through his seed all nations of the earth are blessed. That is, through his lineage, Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea. He died upon the cross and shed His blood and all of this is because of Abraham keeping his promise. At least, that's the part of the reason why we have the opportunity for salvation today. But Abraham was faithful to God's command and covenant and he will receive the promises of God.
One other comment before we get into the New Testament is concerning the children of Israel. The children of Israel when they were let out of Egypt and when they received the Ten Commandments, the commitment was called upon them to make was this and that was simply that "You must do what I command you and if you do what I command you, I will bless you. I will go with you. I will be your conqueror. In Me, you will receive blessings. But if you do not keep My commandments then I will curse you." So basically we see what is contingent upon us is that we follow God's commands and if we follow God's commands, we will receive His blessings. God's promises today are to those who do His Will.
Now maybe you might be saying within yourself, "Well, now you've already said that God is going to bless people with those things in life that they need, and so what is the difference? We're blessed with the things that we have of God whether we do God's Will or not." Well, you've forgotten about the spiritual blessings. And also if we partake of the spiritual blessings, God has made a promise to us that all of those things that we need in this life will be provided.
Now I call your attention to maybe some verses that you've read before. This is found in Matthew chapter 6 beginning with verse 25. I want to note first of all that Jesus here is talking to a multitude. This multitude is gathered on a mountainside and Jesus has His disciples there and He's teaching them some very important truths, eternal truths. Now, here is one of those eternal truths. Let's start at verse 24 where Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot server God and mammon." In other words, if you do not serve the God of heaven, then these things that are going to be following are not promised to you. They are just not promised to you. You'll see what we're saying in just a few moments from now. Basically what He's saying here is that unless we follow the God of heaven, the things of this life will not be our blessing from Him. For instance, we may get anxious or we may be worried about where the next day's food is going to come from. I live in a place where people worry about that and are anxious about that all of the time because basically 70% of all Zambians go to bed hungry every night. It's just a fact. People work all day long maybe to just eat one small portion of food. Surely they are anxious about it. They are worried about it. About health care, it is almost non-existent. People worry about getting sick because if they get sick, they are possibly going to die. The average age in Zambia is 36 years of age. Can you believe that? Well, it's the truth. That's just the way that it is. But in Christians and Christians found it to be true in Zambia, these things are provided for them if they follow and put their confidence in God. Now what did Jesus say? "Therefore, I say to you, do not worry about your life or what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body and what you will put on. Is not life more than food and body more than clothing?" Look at the birds of the air for they neither sow nor reap, nor gather into barns, but don't they eat? That's not what the Bible says but that's what I'm saying. "Are you not of more value than the birds of the heaven. Why are you worrying about this?" Jesus is saying, in verse 27. "You can't add one cubit to your stature. You cannot increase your stature. God is the one who has made you," is what Jesus is saying, "so why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field and how they grow. Neither do they spin. Yet, I say unto you that even Solomon in all of his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If God so clothes the grass of the field which today is and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, oh ye of little faith? Therefore, do not worry saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' for after these things the gentiles seek for your heavenly Father knows that you need all of these things."
Now here is the answer to it. The answer is found in verse 33. "But seek first the kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." Seek it. That means desire and pursue it. Seek it first. That means put it before anything in this life. "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." That means to do His Will and all of these things of this life will be provided for you. The food that you eat. The clothing that you may need to wear. The shelter that you may need to be sheltered with. All of these things will be provided for you. Jesus is simply saying, "Do not worry about these things because God will provide. He'll provide not only the spiritual blessings that are all founded in Christ as we say again in Ephesians chapter 1, verse 3. But He will provide all of those needs that we have in this daily life.
In 1 Peter chapter 5, verses 6 and 7, Peter said this. "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Living God or under the Mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time, casting all of your care upon Him for He cares for you." Don't you care for your children? Well, who made you, friend? The God of heaven made you. Who sacrificed His son upon the cross for your sins? The God of heaven sacrificed His son upon the cross for your sins. He cared enough for you to give His son to die upon the cross, therefore surely He cares enough for you to provide for you the things of this life. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. Let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God that passeth all understanding shall guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus our Lord," Philippians chapter 4, verses 6 and 7.
And then finally we close with these comments. John said in 1 John chapter 5, verses 14 and 15, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His Will..." What is God going to do? Well, He is going to provide those needs. He's going to hear us and if we know that He hears us, if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. Now the key to this my friends and brothers and sisters in Christ, is that we ask according to His Will and ask if we are in Christ and striving to do His Will. Then and only then is when God will take care of us and provide for all of our needs. So as Jesus has told us, "let us not be anxious for anything." If we're in Christ, if we're doing His Will, if we're seeking to please Him, if we're active in the kingdom, if we're seeking first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness, then all of these things of this life will be provided for us. As Christians, we can be assured of this and we can know that God will provide. He loves us. He cares for us. He will constantly and continually take care of all of our needs.
(SONG # 3 - "I Need Thee Every Hour")
What a wondrous time we have had together in participating in the things of God. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
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May we all have the faith to know that God truly will provide all that we have need of. At the same time may we not forget our part - to live faithfully and to do according to His Will!