Exhortation for November 7, 2010 at Grace Church
(Sermon Today – Joy Because of a Sovereign God – Ecc 3:1-15)
Are you catching on yet? Have you put up the white flag of surrender seeking for terms of peace with the biblical reality that trips us up on a daily basis? I am talking about the truth that God is absolutely sovereign and, well…we are not. God’s sovereignty means that He is in control; absolutely in control. You thought you were the final determining factor on what you wore today…think again. He is the Great Shakespeare of our play called life (under the sun). We are the Hamlets, Romeo and Juliets who have little…well, there I did it again…no determining factor on how the play will go. This is not to say that we don’t make choices, experience consequences for our choices, and are held responsible for them—the Great Author made it that way when he spoke us into existence (by the way, we exist right now because He keeps speaking us into existence – isn’t that a humbling and mind-twisting thought?). There is a lot of mystery here, but the Bible is very clear on this – God is sovereign. Sometimes we think we have things planned out smoothly…but a smooth road will only be a reality if God declares it and if He doesn't, potholes are the least of our problems.
This means that as you come to this place on the Lord’s Day this morning you come to approach the one who holds your life (and every second of it) in His hands. You come to Him as dependant creatures to a God who amazingly has made a covenant with you. Shakespeare never did this with Hamlet. He does not control our lives because he gets a sadistic kick out of seeing us squirm and groan…He does so because He is God. He is a God who is Love and Wisdom and He is intent on pouring out maximum (We can’t fathom His maximum) joy on His creatures. He is love and the fact that we are here this morning is a sign of His love. We are here because He made it that way. We are here and He intends to serve us…the actors in His Drama. He plans to pour out His grace and love to this piece of artwork that He is sculpting; the poem that He is writing--called the Church. How will He do this? He does this weekly by declaring to us that our sins are forgiven because of Christ; by accepting our gifts and offerings, our prayers and our praise; by feeding us with His Word through means of reading, sermon, songs and communion. This is not a morning of shallow or meaningless ritual, this is one of God’s means of shaping us into the people He intends to shape us. And in shaping us He is shaping a new humanity in the likeness of Christ the new Adam. So let us repent of our unworthy expectations and our haughty unbelief and rejoice in His forgiveness and commitment to us.