Situations and people can control us if we let them. We know these certain truths: we are foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified. Nothing can separate us from Him. (Romans 8:28-31)
Speaker(s): Pastor Steve Scibelli, Pastor Emmanuel Conan
Sermon # 11290
6:30 PM on 7/2/2017
P. Conan (Ivory Coast)
I thank P. Schaller and P. Scibelli for this opportunity. Greetings to my wife. I told her I would be sharing tonight. I’m very thankful for this great ministry. I can’t list everything I have received but God is good. I’m really happy to be part of this ministry. And to be representing this ministry in my country. I would like to thank my good friend, P. Bamouni. I call him my godfather. He’s my advisor in the ministry. He guides me. We are friends.
I would like to speak about Elijah and the widow, 1 Ki 17:7-24. It’s a wonderful story….When we do obey the Word of God and for us it brings happiness, peace and joy. The story of the widow continues to bless the people of God.
It confirms the word of Jesus who said there is more joy in giving than receiving in Acts 20:35. The context here is a famine and Elijah prophesied there would be three years of famine. This present time the story happens. The famine has already began and it was getting harder and harder. When Elijah was fed by the ravens, he was drinking from the brook and didn’t have any provision left. God leads him to Zarephath to meet that widow that was supposed to take care of him. He goes and meets her and asks her for a drink. She gives him a drink. Then he asks her for bread. She is hesitant and he makes a promise. He makes a promise so she obeys. She believes the word of Elijah and does it. We see the promise happens. The food never lacked the widow for her son and for Elijah until the end of the famine. At the end the son dies. And she comes to Elijah to explain to him what the matter is. Elijah prays to God and God wakes the child up and brings the child back to the mother. The faith of the woman becomes stronger. If you sum this up, and we see this woman has been rewarded for her hospitality. She received a lot more than what she was able to give. This is what God does when we obey his Word. Especially when the Bible says we need to abound in good works in being generous and giving things away.
1 Tim 6:17-18. Sometimes we might think we have done too much for God. This is when we start to be conscious of our problems more than God. We start to think in the flesh and think I did too much for God or gave too much for God. If we want to be honest, we receive from God and still receiving from God a way lot more than what we actually give. God loves to surprise his children just like he surprised this widow. Just one glass of water. A small lunch. And there is food for years. The life is kept. The health of the boy comes back. One little gesture. Let’s not hesitate. When we have an opportunity to give. When we see that opportunity. God meets us there and he will surprise us.
I love this verse from Paul, Php 4:19. I want to end with this verse. My God will meet all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. It’s a beautiful promise.
Rom 8:28-31, I was thinking on the way down how many people I’ve read and interpret the Greek language through the years and many try to come up with great effort to define the word love or AGAPE. How do you define the word AGAPE? It’s just Jesus Christ. The name of Christ, the person of Christ defines what it is. His nature, character, word, work, and ability. This has been a tremendous topic. It’s a message and a life that will change people. For years in Africa, I always believed for myself to teach about God’s love for long periods of time… We have passing thoughts but need to have a mindset where I’m thinking in God’s love. As he is speaking to the church in Rome, what shall we say to these things?
What are the things? Five things.
1) You have been foreknown by God. God knew about me and you billions of years ago in his mind. He knew about us in love. It’s all in the context of God’s love. What are you going to say to that? Halleluiah, praise the Lord. I’ve been foreknown by God. Nothing is a surprise to God. I’ve been foreknown in the mind of love.
2) We’ve been predestinated to be conformed to his image, being predestined to be conformed. You and I are going to be changed. It might take until we go home to be with the Lord but we are going to be conformed to his image, his son, his child. What do you say to that? Amen, halleluiah. It’s going to happen in spite of me.
3) He called me. That means he called me to himself. Not just to do something. We let those things get in the way. We look at it as a professional job. I have been called to him, to know God.
4) You’ve been justified. He’s finished the work. You’ve been made R. What are you going to say to that? Halleluiah.
5) I’ve been glorified. Right now. Say it to yourself. What do you say to that? Halleluiah. Foreknown, predestined, called, justified and glorified. What shall we say to these things? We find ourselves in places saying things about certain things and it means nothing. Then he says some things. Paul through the inspiration of the Spirit he says some things that I want to say. If God be for me, who can be against me? God is never against me. He might be against some of the things I do, but is never against me and you. God can never be against me. A person can go off in this direction and God is never against Jonah. He’s never against Thomas the doubter, the church of Ephesus who leaves him. He may be against what we do, if it’s outside his will or sin or evil, but he’s never against me. God is for me. What shall we say to these five things we mentioned? God is for me. When I think of those five truths, those pillars of God’s love. I say if God is for me, who can be against me? You may have people come against you in life. What are we going to say to these things? We can say a lot of things about things going on but I’d rather say something about those five things. I’d rather respond to that or the news or my osn in failure, the atmospheric projections of the devil, and respond to your opinion about me. Someone said I’d love to go to Africa but I don’t like you. I don’t like myself so join the club! I don’t like my flesh either. So many have so much to say about so many things but they don’t matter. I was walking around Delaware wondering how my legs were going to hold out much longer. It was a little bit hot yesterday. I felt like a prune! What is the next statement he makes? He who spared not his only Son shall he not freely with him give us all things? God will never hold back on you. Not only is God for me, his love never holds back. “I don’t think I’m getting what I’m supposed to get.” Really? “I wish people would recognize me.” God recognizes you. He gave his only Son. Will he not freely give you all things? What are you going to say to those five things? Amen, halleluiah, God never holds back. Spared not his only Son – gave him up and over to the hands of wicked men. What’s the next thing? The five things? Foreknown, predestined, called, justified and glorified. What else are we going to say? He will never accuse or condemn me. vs. 8:33-34. We do it to ourselves pretty good. Ever beat yourselves up? We can be the worst enemy to ourselves. Evaluation time, condemnation time. God doesn’t have that clock. He will never accuse you. Who shall lay any charge to God’s elect? Will God ever condemn one person? It makes me want to go out and walk with God and receive his love. What shall we say to these things? Doctor says this, co-worker, Gallup poll, etc. Someone says, how’s it going old man? I said the oldest person is the next one to go. The enemy could use it to say you’re getting up there in age. God never accuses me or condemns me. I could do it to myself but it’s not God. What are we going to say to these things? What’s the next thing he says? Who shall separate me from the love of God? What shall separate us from the love of God? Nothing can separate me from God’s love. There can never be a cut off with God. Things happen in relationships and we cut the person off. God never does that. He doesn’t cut Lot off, Samson off, idolatrous Israel off.
Ezek 16 I saw you polluted in your own blood. I passed by you and I said live. Live. It was a time of love. This is the state of Israel and God says I want you to live. What shall we say to these things? We are more than conquerors through him that loves us. We are victorious. What are we going to say to the things God has already said? We are victorious. We don’t walk around as defeated believers. We are never defeated. I know no defeat. Jesus is my captain and I know no defeat. Never defeated. The enemy is always projecting things at us. Look at you, Hosea. You married Gomer who was a prostitute and she went and committed adultery. God says love her again. I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love. I will love them freely. I will love them in grace.
Hos 14:4. I will love them in the grace of God. What are we going to say to Abraham walking away from God, to Jacob who was a trickster, deceiver, and supplanter? What do you do with a person who is deceitful? Love her again. Love them again. Your response is from God not them. God responds when no one else does. I’d rather have God’s response. If God responds, I’m fine with everything. I preached a message one time and everyone left. The only person who remained was my wife and kids. A lot of people left their meals and I went around and picked up a lot of food like P. Adam Speedy. I preached on spiritual food and they left their physical food! What happens when a trial comes? Trials speak. They have devices of demons and the flesh. What are you going to say to the next trial? God is for me and who can be against me. He’ll never hold back on me, never accuse me, or condemn me, never be separated from me.
Daniel 6 and 10 what are we going to say to these things? The confession of the believer comes from the mind. The mind is controlled by the thinking of God. They are going to happen. I hate to bring you bad news. These things are going to happen. What are we going to say when someone we invested in walks away and doesn’t like us anymore. Raise people up and they say I don’t want what you got. When you get a notice from the doctor or someone says your job is finished. There is no more work. No more opportunity for employment here. What are we going to say? God is for me and who can be against me. He will never hold back anything from me because he loves me. He’ll never condemn me, accuse me, leave me and I’m more than a conqueror through him that loves me. What am I going to say to the things that will take place in my life and yours? Paul said some have to burn incense to Caesar or die. No to J.C. or go to prison. Maybe we face other things. All kinds of projections come toward us. What are we going to say to these things? God loves our response to him. He’s for me and never holds back. Never condemns or accuses me. Never separated from him. More than a conqueror. What do I say to these things? Paul had the answer. What was Joseph’s answer to being sold to slavery by his own brothers? Your own brother sells you. What did they do with the money? Judas, who you love, and he washes your feet and sells you out. Denied a VISA or you wanted to go on the mission field and it won’t work out. What do you say when someone brings up your past? What shall we say to these things? There will be situations that happen and we have opportunity to respond in our decision making. A lot of things going on in the church of Rome, and what would Jesus say when he faced the cross, opposition, persecution, was scourged, blasphemed, and mocked? He’s saying what we would say. I’m in the mind of my Father and he loves me. No condemnation, no accusation. That’s what I’m going to say to these things. He responded in such a way because of the love of God. It’s a love that never fails. Not one time never no ever. That’s how it reads. Love never fails. Never fails in any situation, in any relationship, trial, failure, sin. Love not one time no never fails. It never ceases. That is incredible for us to fellowship with. What do we say to the heat outside? What are we going to say?
I remember a story I heard a man tell. The government came and said your church is in the way of a brand new road and they bulldozed the whole church. They came back and said sorry we made a mistake. What do you say to those things? What do you say when someone takes the property, is spoken about and it’s a lie. I’m going to say what God would have us say in response. God is for me. He’ll never accuse or condemn me. Never hold back on me. Never leave me alone and I’ll never be defeated. Will I live in agreement to what God says or fellowship with all those things and say something different. I want to say what God says. I will receive from him and respond to the situations so they don’t control me. People get controlled by situations, trials and other people. What are we going to say to these things?
We will respond by receiving God’s love as the Holy Spirit sheds it abroad in our hearts. What shall we say to these things? Those are amazing truths. I’m not so concerned about things going on. “You are acting hyper-spiritual.” It doesn’t matter to me. I know these truths about God. One day this will all go and we will be in heaven. We will be up there with no pain, no difficulties, no trials, no oppositions, and no problems between Christians. We will be in heaven saying amen. What shall we say to these things?
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