Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Miracle of Provision – Part 1

2 Kings 17:9-18 The Israelites secretly did things against the Lord their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns. They set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the Lord had driven out before them had done. They did wicked things that aroused the Lord’s anger. They worshiped idols, though the Lord had said, “You shall not do this.” The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.” But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.” They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger. So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence.

Last Sunday, Pastor Kyle continued in his sermon serious on “Miracles”. The fallen world in the time of Kings seems to be the same as the fallen world today. Who really is God of this world? Yet, Creator Father God continues to work throughout history – Jehovah Jireh; God our Provider. This side of eternity, there will be times that we feel like we are being persecuted  and punished for doing “right”, but knowing that we have nowhere else to turn but “up”, we need to see God’s hand in all of our moments, remembering the provisioning promises from the Lord to those who put God’s kingdom first.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Kyle gave us four things to remember about how the miracle of God’s provision works. (1) God provides as we put His kingdom first in your life. Before putting into our own kingdom, put into God’s kingdom, even in hard times. Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Know that you are blessed already; take care of God’s needs before taking care of self and others. Blessing = more than enough to go around ... not rich! God’s provision: “Give us this day our daily bread” does not mean bigger and better standards of living. It’s not about magnificent houses, luxury cars, marvelous toys, fine clothes and glorious shoes, extravagant watches or superb jewelry ... that’s the idol “greed”. In the wise words of philosopher Zachry Alexander Brown: “It’s funny how it's the little things in life that mean the most. Not where you live, what you drive or the price tag on your clothes. There's no dollar sign on a piece of mind; this I've come to know.” Provision is not prosperity. We can’t take it when we go, so focus on where you are going and what you do along the road to get there.

Proverbs 30:8-9 “Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”

Let’s stop here for the day and pick up right here on the next post.

In Christ, Brian

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