Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Great is Thy Faithfulness (3)

1.     God Is Faithful In His Goodness (24-26)
The word “good” has the idea of “pleasant, agreeable and excellent.”  It refers to the character of God.  This word reminds us that God is ever engaged in that which is best in the lives of His children – working all things, for their good (Rom. 8:28). But how is He good to us?

v In Him we find true Satisfaction 
God is described as the “portion.”  This word means “share or booty.”  It refers to “the spoils of war.”  Jeremiah is saying, “In the battle of life, God is my reward, my share, and my portion.”  When the Lord is viewed in this light, He will be all that a person needs to be satisfied in their soul, Psa. 103:5; Psa. 107:9. God may not give you and me the things we desire in life; but He will always give us that which is best, and He will give us that which will satisfy the soul, Rom. 8:28. Shall you not find your full satisfaction and delight in Him? The Lord is my strength and my portion forever!
v In Him we find real Sustenance 
God will never fail those who place their trust in Him, Isa. 49:23; Rom. 10:11.  Not a single Word of any of His precious promises will ever fail to be honoured by Him, Matt. 5:18; Psa. 119:89-90; Isa. 40:8.  If you come to Him for salvation, He will not send you away lost, John 6:37 or empty handed.  If you trust Him for salvation, He will never send you away into Hell, John 10:28.  If you look to Him for the needs in your life, you will never be disappointed, Luke 12:32.  He will sustain you through this life and into eternity. For this reason we should learn patience from Him. A life of faith is a life of waiting on the Lord to do His will and accomplish His holy purposes. This is why we have the word ‘wait’ twice – v. 25, 26. We wait for Him ‘quietly’. The motivation of this waiting is hope in Him.  He is good to everyone who waits for Him – will you? He gives them hope for this life and of the one to come.
v In Him we have eternal Salvation 
In this context Jeremiah is saying, “Those who wait upon the Lord will see Him bring them out of their troubles and trials.  He will not fail His children, but, in His time, He will deliver them from all their valleys.”  We need to remember today that God is able to deliver both saint and sinner from trouble. Yet the greatest trouble that you are to be sure you have been saved, is from your sins, from eternal peril, from the misery and consequence of death, from the wrath to come. Thankfully in Christ there is eternal salvation for all who find refuge in Him by faith. If you are in Christ there is everlasting life.
§  My fellow saints, I would like to remind you that God knows where you are today.  He knows what you are going through, Job 23:10.  He will not forsake you, but He will faithfully keep you and bring you out and home, in His time.
§  My dear friend who has not known God’s saving grace, it may look like you are doomed, with no hope.  I would just like to tell you that God can save your soul by His amazing grace, if you will but look to Christ by faith.  If you will stop trusting yourself, your religion and your own goodness; and if you will come to God confessing your sins and calling on Jesus for salvation, God will save your soul, Rom. 10:9, 13; Rev. 22:17.

§  Great is the faith that can stand amid the wreckage of life and declare the praises of God.  Jeremiah was that kind of a believer.  Are you? I hope that you can say, like Jeremiah did, “Great is Thy faithfulness.” Do you need to experience that faithfulness today? It is find in Christ alone, by faith in Christ alone, for the Glory of God. Amen!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Great is Thy Faithfulness! (2)

Lamentations 3:22-23.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 

The Bible gives overwhelming evidence of the unchanging faithfulness of our great God. The word “Faithfulness” in verse 23, means “firmness, fidelity, steadiness, steadfastness.” In this word underscores God’s immutability or unchangeableness is clearly painted. This word pictures God as One upon whom we can depend. We can be sure that as we face the storms, trials and valleys of life, God will ever prove Himself to be steadfast and faithful to you and me. To put it very simply, you can count on the Lord! The Bible is all about the faithfulness of God, and the rampart unfaithfulness of men.
I would like to take this passage and point out three precious words in these verses that tell us why Jeremiah was able to proclaim: Great Is Thy Faithfulness.  Notice what these words teach us about the great, unfailing faithfulness of the God of the believer.

1.     God is Faithful in His Grace (v. 22)
The steadfast love - This word appears over 30 times in the Old Testament.  It is a very expressive word that conveys all the ideas of “love, grace, mercy, faithfulness, goodness and devotion.”  This word pictures God as the Divine lover of men.  It finds its New Testament equivalent in the idea of God’s love and grace. Notice a couple of quick thoughts about the amazing grace of God. Jeremiah remembered that it was the pure grace of God that brought Israel out of their slavery in Egypt.  It was also grace that had kept them a redeemed people in spite of their failures and wanderings.  There is a word for us in this thought today.
v  His Grace Saves Us 
Only grace could have reached us in our lost, doomed condition, Eph. 2:1-4.  We could not get to God, so God came to us!  He came in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ to die for our sins, Phil. 2:5-8.  He came in the Person of the Holy Spirit to draw us to God so that we might be saved, John 16:7-11; John 6:44. The Holy Spirit applies the accomplished work of Christ, by helping us to believe in Christ when the gospel is preached.
v  His Grace Secures Us
Grace not only sought us out when we were lost in sin; grace keeps us in our saved condition.  We are prone to failure.  We are prone to spiritual wandering.  If our salvation rested upon our ability to be faithful to the Lord, none of us would ever be saved.  Thankfully, salvation is the Lord’s idea and purpose.  We are saved by His grace and we are kept by that same grace, 1 Pet. 1:5; Psa. 37:23-24, 28; John 4:13-14. By grace we are what we are! (1Cor. 15:10)  Thank God for His unfailing, unchanging, faithful grace! Thank God that our salvation, will not age, will not expire, will not rot, will not be damaged…yes our salvation is eternally secured in Christ. Persecutions, sufferings, danger, sword, angels, demons are not able to remove us from the faithfulness of the Lord in His grace.
 When we realize that Jeremiah had not known the fullness of grace that appeared in Christ and yet wrote so clearly about the eternal and unchanging grace of God, then we know how privileged we are as new covenant believers. This is what Paul wrote in Titus 3:4-7, But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
This is the first and foremost demonstration of the faithfulness of God – in salvation. Our redemption, even though we were sinners is the best, the first and the foremost demonstration of the great failfulness of God. Great is His faithfulness.
2.     God Is Faithful In His Mercies (v. 23)
Mercies – This is a word that literally means “womb”.  It means “to be moved in the heart out of love for another.”  Picture the love of the mother for the baby who is absolutely dependent on her in the womb. This word is a picture of the grace of God actively moving in the life of the believer.  You see, as we pass through our storms and our valleys, we do no do so alone!  God observes our path and His grace gives us all we need for our journey.  Notice two thoughts here about the great gifts of God:
v  God’s Gifts
God did not promise an easier road, but He promised that His grace would be sufficient for the need - 2 Cor. 12:9. Think about Paul and his battle with that thorn in the flesh, yet God’s grace proved sufficient to him.
Remember that regardless of what life sends our way, we can be confident of the fact that the Lord will give us the necessary strength to face the trying times of life.  You’ll never face a situation as a believer that God will not give grace to help you make it through. Notice the promise given in Isa. 43:1-2.
ü  His Person - Heb. 13:8; Mal. 3:6.  These verses reveal the truth about the nature of God that makes Him ever reliable. That is simply the fact that He does not change!  God is the same today as He has been forever, and the same as He will be forever.  He was faithful in the beginning and He   will be faithful in the end.  He was steadfast in the lives of the Bible characters that placed their faith in Him and He will be steadfast in the life of every believer who will trust Him in these days.  God is a steadfast and trustworthy God!
ü  His Presence - Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20.  These verses, along with others reveal the great truth that God is always present with His children.  Even when He cannot be seen, He is there. When you cannot trace God in your life, I challenge you to come to the place where you can trust Him fully. So that even though you walk through the valley of shadow of death, you fear no evil for He is with you!
ü  His Ability - Eph. 3:20 - Focus on the word “able”!  If this verse is to be taken at face value, and I am certain that it is, then it becomes plain that our God is greater, by far, than any problem we have, or will ever face. God is an awesome God and His children need to be remembering that great truth. God will take care of you – He is able!
ü  His Provision – Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:25-33; Psalm 37:25 – There is no doubt that God is interested in meeting our needs. Please hear what the Lord said: Needs not Greed’s! God has promised to take care of His children, and He will! It may be that His idea of taking care   is different yours, but that is where faith in the trustworthiness of God comes in.  We must come to the place where we are willing to trust the Lord to take care of us in any way that He sees fit.  Notice the trust that Job had in the Lord - Job 13:15.  I am sure that Job would have chosen another alternative than losing his children, his health and his wealth, but he is willing to trust the Lord through times that cannot be understood and that make no sense.  What about you and me?  Do we really believe that the Lord is absolutely faithful?  Do we believe that He has our best interests at heart?  Are we confident of the fact that God will indeed provide for our needs?

v  God’s Mercies Are Fresh

Do you relish the freshness of the day in the morning? When you are upcountry, you know what I am talking about! As the new day is fresh so is the grace and mercy of God. We do not have to worry about there not being enough for us to make it through, for God’s grace in our lives is as fresh as the new day. He  has told us in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  
Just as every new day brings with it its own set of burdens and problems, so also each day brings in a new, unfailing, all-sufficient, supply of God’s marvellous, matchless, wonderful, amazing grace. You see, God’s faithfulness is seen in the fact that we woke up this morning, in our right minds and in reasonable health.  We woke up with air to breath, food to eat, people we love around us, etc. such is the mark of God’s great faithfulness.