#4 The “Names of God” Series
(The Lord Will Provide & the Lord Will See!)
TEXT: Gen. 22:1-18; Matthew 6:25-34; Luke 18:1-8
INTRO: One of the joys of being a father is the pleasure I get out of providing for my family.
It is a joy to see my children healthy and happy – clothed, eating good food; these things I try and provide without their even asking.
It is also fun to provide something they ask for, to see them happy makes me happy, sometimes though I must keep something from them until their priorities are correct or until they are mature enough to handle what they are asking for, i.e. candy before supper, a gun cannot be given to a 5 year old, etc.
ILLUS: A benevolent person gave Mr. Rowland Hill a hundred pounds to dispense to a poor minister a bit at a time, thinking it was too much too send him all at once. Mr. Hill forwarded five pounds in a letter, with only these words within the envelope, "More to follow." In a few days' time, the good man received another letter; this second messenger contained another five pounds, with the same motto, "And more to follow." A day or two after came a third and a fourth, and still the same promise, "And more to follow." Till the whole sum had been received, the astonished minister was made familiar with the cheering words, "And more to follow."
Every blessing that comes from God is sent with the same message, "And more to follow." "I forgive you your sins, but there's more to follow." "I justify you in the righteousness of Christ, but there's more to follow." "I adopt you into my family, but there's more to follow." "I educated you for heaven, but there's more to follow." "I give you grace upon grace, but there's more to follow." "I have helped you even to old age, but there's still more to follow." "I will uphold you in the hour of death, and as you are passing into the world of spirits, my mercy shall still continue with you, and when you land in the world to come there shall still be more to follow." -- Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990)
PROP. SENT: The scriptures teach us that God delights in being our provider; He is a good father who delights in His children and their happiness.
I. PROMISE TO PROVIDE Gen. 22:1-18; Matt. 6:25-27
A. Salvation Provided Gen. 22:8,14
1. This is the ultimate provision and the greatest gift!
a. Saves us in this life.
b. Saves us in the life to come.
2. Without this provision the material things have little meaning or joy! "What does it profit a man if he gains the world but loses his soul?"
3. God has not asked us to save ourselves, He will save us.
ILLUS: Years ago, in the pioneer days of aviation, a pilot was making a flight around the world. After he had been gone for some two hours from his last landing field, he heard a noise in his plane, which he recognized as the gnawing of a rat. He realized that while his plane had been on the ground a rat had gotten in. For all he knew the rat could be gnawing through a vital cable or control of the plane. It was a very serious situation. He was both concerned and anxious. At first he did not know what to do. It was two hours back to the landing field from which he had taken off and more than two hours to the next field ahead. Then he remembered that the rat is a rodent. It is not made for the heights; it is made to live on the ground and under the ground. Therefore the pilot began to climb. He went up a thousand feet, and then another thousand and another until he was more than twenty thousand feet up. The gnawing ceased. The rat was dead. He could not survive in the atmosphere of those heights. More than two hours later the pilot brought the plane safely to the next landing field and found the dead rat.
Brothers and sisters in Christ,
worry is a rodent. It cannot live
in the secret place of the Most High.
It cannot breathe in the atmosphere made vital by prayer and familiarity
with the Scripture. Worry dies when
we ascend to the Lord through prayer and His Word. --
a. We have to climb up to Him to find freedom, we cannot save ourselves.
b. God provided the lamb.
c. God desires to save us from sin, the world, and from ourselves!
B. Staples Promised Matt. 6:25-27
1. God is concerned about our basic needs:
a. Food and drink
2. God will provide these things.
a. If the lesser things of creation are taken care of, will not God take care of the greatest of creation -- man!
ILLUS: If God attends the funeral of a sparrow, do you think he does not care for me? -- Croft M. Pentz, The Complete Book of Zingers (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1990).
b. To not worry however doesn't mean that we should not work or do anything; God's word tells us that the man who does not work shall not eat! 2 Thess. 3:1O “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."
(1. In fact, if we don't work or aren't willing to do our part God may not provide these necessities!
(2. Work is part of the way God provides for us!
(3. Even the 4th commandment had two parts to it: “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God.” Ex. 20:9b-10a God created man with two explicit natures: working and worshipping.
(a. Man the Worker
(b. Man the Worshipper
II. PROVISION & PRIORITIES Matt. 6:28-34
A. Secure People Matt. 6:28-32
1. Stop worrying! i.e.“undue fretting!”
2. Do however plan for the future!
a. Plants plan for the future by producing flowers that will yield seed or produce bulbs, but they do it without fretting over the future, which is the point!
b. Birds plan for the future, they build nests and feed their young, but they do it without fretting!
3. Worrying destroys – planning develops.
ILLUS: There is a difference between worry and concern. A worried person sees the problem; the concerned person solves the problem. -- Croft M. Pentz, The Complete Book of Zingers (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1990).
a. Worry consumes good energy and accomplishes nothing! Matt. “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
b. Planning however is productive and utilizes energy.
c. God is not opposed to good planning, just against useless fretting over the future!
d. The world frets. Matt. “For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.”
(3. Fear and tension
(4. Insecurity results
B. Second Place! Matt. 6:33
1. God's provisions will be granted if our priorities are correct!
a. Remember the candy doesn't come before supper!
b. Our frustrations many times over our needs may be the result of not having put God first place in our lives!
c. God comes first!
d. This was idea in Old Testament behind God getting the first fruits!
2. When God is first, then God puts us first as well!
a. All these other things that we need are provided.
b. God gives to givers! (He may even take joy in giving beyond our needs when He sees that nothing in our heart takes His being first place!)
ILLUS: God is more anxious to bestow his blessings on us than we are to receive them. -- Augustine. Leadership, Vol. 15, no. 4.
III. PROVIDING BY PETITION Luke 18:1-8
A. Some Persistence Luke 18:1-5
1. Jewish concept was that praying more than 3 times a day made God weary ... thus you shouldn't ask more than 3 times a day, they based this idea on Daniel having prayed 3 times a day.
a. Jesus here was only using their concept as a case in point on persistence, not supporting their misguided concept.
b. He was trying to say to them that their concept may cause them to miss some of God's blessing, that persistence may bring an answer. (Not that God is an unjust master.)
2. God sometimes wants us to persist in prayer!
a. Never give up until you get an answer from God!
b. Praying develops spiritual muscles!
c. God may have reasons for having us persist in prayer before answering.
(1. Maybe to develop a burden.
(2. Maybe to test our sincerity.
(3. Maybe to help us appreciate the answer more.
(4. Makes us serious about the need.
(5. Maybe the time is not right for the answer.
(6. Maybe to teach us responsible and balanced living too!
ILLUS: I'm constantly amazed by the number of people who can't seem to control their own schedules. Over the years, I've had many executives come to me and say with pride, 'Boy, last year I worked so hard that I didn't take any vacation.'
It's actually nothing to be proud of. I always feel like responding, "You dummy. You mean to tell me that you can take responsibility for an $80 million project, and you can't plan two weeks out of the year to go off with your family and have some fun?" -- Lee Iacocca. Leadership, Vol. 17, no. 4.
B. Savior's Plans Luke 18:6,7
1. Chosen ones.
2. Persistence demonstrates our concern.
3. God answers in His time reference, not ours.
ILLUS: When we worry, we believe more in our problems than in God's promises. -- Croft M. Pentz, The Complete Book of Zingers (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1990).
a. His perspective is eternal.
b. Ours too often is temporal.
C. Strength & Patience Luke 18:8
1. Makes us strong.
2. Develops faith!
3. Gives us an appreciation for His answers and who He is; develops patience!
ILLUS: We have forgotten the gracious Hand which has preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. -- Abraham Lincoln -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 401.
4. And when patience has had its work, it makes us mature, lacking nothing.
CONCLUSION: We need not worry about our needs in this life if we have put God first; He is a faithful Father who provides for His children! He is still Jehovah-Jireh!