God is good. He’s revealed Himself to us. There is no variation with Him. God does not become unraveled. In the little things, we learn of Him. A bit of prayer, a bit of obedience, makes a difference. (James 1:17-18; Isaiah 28.5-13; John 4:23-25)

Speaker: Bailey Norman, Steve DeVries
Sermon 12725
Date: 2024-05-26
Time: Sun 6:30pm

P. Steve Devries –

All right. Thank you, P. Schaller. It’s a great privilege to be here with you and it’s always so precious.
Just a couple passages of Scripture and we’ll have a quick prayer. Isaiah 28 and John 4. Isaiah 28
and John 4. Can we find it. I just want to say beautiful weekend. Just really loved being here for
the graduation and fellowship with you all.

Okay. So, Isaiah 28. Let’s just start in vs. 5 and we’ll read down to vs. 13.
Vs. 5. This is in Isaiah. God is not very pleased with Israel during this time. He’s writing some
hard words, but actually also in the midst of writing hard words, he’s also declaring some very,
very precious truths for us. These were written for us. For our learning and for our patience and
for our comfort in Romans 15:5.

Isaiah 28:5-7. How did they err? Through intoxicating drink. Vs. 7. Verse 8 is shocking. Vs. 9. That’s
a good question. Vs. 9-13. In John 4, this is Jesus speaking with the woman at the well in vs. 23-
24. Let’s just read the next verse, too. Vs. 25. Let’s pray. (Prayer). Amen.

So, yeah isn’t that a shocking picture? Anybody ever seen that in person? The table filled with
vomit. If you go to the right school and universities on certain weekends, you can see this. But
he’s speaking to his people here. And this morning, P. Schaller gave us a message of warning
about sexual immorality. And this verse, – actually, I was just focusing on a particular portion
here, but actually this is another area where the devil takes out so many believers. Real
disciples get taken out with alcohol.

And as we also read this morning in 1 Corinthians 6, Paul said these things are allowable. Like I’m not
under the law anymore but they’re not expedient. They’re not helpful. They are not. These
things will actually destroy my life. My message tonight is on this focus of the little things. The
little things. And there’s kind of two parts to the message.

First, the little things. The value of the Word of God that’s revealed here. Yes, we come to Bible
college. We learn precept upon precept. Foundations are laid in our hearts. Line upon line we
learn, study the Word of God. We learn to meditate day and night because we desire to be true
worshippers. I desire, Lord. I desire it that if possible, I would be one that you’re looking for. If
it’s possible. Then, line upon line. Here a little, there a little.

What is the value of the Word of God in a little place? A little Word? A little meditation. A little
word spoken. A little encouragement. I little promise from God. A little bit of faith mixed with
that word. A mustard seed mixed with the promise of God. How valuable, how precious, how
beautiful. The Father is seeking for such as this.

I just want to encourage our graduates, our Bible college students and okay. Also all of us. I
mentioned this morning. When God speaks, he speaks of great and grand, magnificent things.

The whole earth will be filled with his glory. His desire is for all the nations to come to him and
to be saved and God speaks in these great, magnificent huge realities of the spiritual world and
his kingdom.

I mentioned this morning, oftentimes – remember when I graduated Bible college and I kind of
had that in my heart. Okay, God. Let’s go. Let’s go and win the world to Christ. And there’s like a
cute naivete to that. Yeah. Okay. But where does God meet me? It’s in the little things. It’s
where I mix faith with God’s Word in the little things. Little decisions. I think they’re little but
actually they’re so important.

This last week, there’s – every Friday I do a Bible study on line and we’re going through the
book of Romans. In chapter 12, this amazing passage of Romans 12:1, present yourselves a living
sacrifice. In vs. 2, “do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of
your mind that you may be able to prove what is the good and the perfect will of God.”
But then, he goes on and I believe the verses following now he’s teaching us how to have a
renewed mind. In the following verses in chapter 12, chapter 13, chapter 14, chapter 15,
chapter 16, he is giving us little words. Little instruction for my mind to be renewed. And the
first thing he says in vs. 3. Not to think of myself too greatly. Actually, I want to think of who I
really am. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, right?

And I was just remembering a story. What is the value of a little prayer? What’s the value of a
little prayer? I remember reading stories of Martin Luther maybe and he’d get up 3:30 in the
morning and pray for 3 hours before he began his day, and I was like oh, God. Wow. Could I do
that? No. No. What is the value of getting up in the morning and praying for five minutes?
Opening my Bible and reading a verse. It’s so precious and so valuable. It sets my heart.

P. Schaller mentioned a couple of times, P. Gary Groenewold and I, we grew up together and
we wound up going to the mission field in China together. And we were there one semester in
Shanghai. But you know what? His mom – sorry. His mom and my mom got together and
prayed. Little thing. Small. Little thing. But, you know, so precious. They prayed for us. Moms
and dads.

Maybe you got trouble in your family. People you’re concerned about. The value of your
prayer. The value of your prayer. Do it. Do it. Five minutes. Grab it. Grab a promise of God. Pray
it for the people that you care for and you love. Maybe they’re prodigal. They’ve gone away.
Pray for them. Maybe they are beginning to believe God and they’re going on faith. Pray for
them. Seems like little but it’s not in the eternal purpose of God. It’s not. It’s not invaluable.
The second part of the message then and there’s many things like God speaks so often of the
little things and the value of them. The last thing is this. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

A little alcohol. A little promiscuity. A little lust. A little bit of pornography. A little space for the
devil will ruin my life. It will ruin my life. And you know what, God’s grace is abundant and so
ready to be poured out to give us victory in any of those things. A little confession. A little 1 John.
1:9. Just like I don’t have to live in regret. Bringing it to the cross and the victory is there. Right.
Don’t play with evil. Don’t play with sin.

And I say this also to the graduates, right? Temptation is coming. Warfare is coming. Prepare
your hearts, right? Prepare your hearts. When Paul, we read about Paul’s life and he turned the
world upside down. I might beat my chest a little bit. I want to do that. But you know what?
Jesus changed his name from Saul to Paul. What does Paul mean? Paul means small. Little. He
wasn’t great. He lived by faith. Oh, afterwards God did great things and we read that, but if
we’d known Paul, he was a man of little things and taking very precious and great value. Amen.

P. Schaller –

that was excellent, wasn’t it? Let’s process that for a few minutes and just kind of
think about it for a few minutes. Little things. It was great. Whom will I teach doctrine? How will
that happen? The tables are filled with vomit and people are under strong drink. How can they
change?

“Wherewith shall a young man change his way? Right? how could it happen, but “by taking
heed to your word.” Big decision. Little decisions that might end up to be big ones with big
effects. That was good. Wasn’t that a good message? That was great. Let’s just take a minute
and process that either by being quiet or just a word to your neighbor and just kind of park
there for a minute or two.

P. Bailey Norman –

It’s good to see everyone. It’s great to be here. I could say what P. Steve –
there it is – what P. Steve just said. It’s so encouraging to be here and to see people and Denise.
Denise is here. We ran into each other in the airport. I was flying home from Florida to Boston
and she was going from Baltimore to Kentucky. We met at the airport. I was just walking. We
were getting Chick-fil-A and I turned around and I’m like, Denise! I’ve known you like my whole
life. What are you doing at the airport?

She’s like I’m flying somewhere. I’m like, oh. That’s cool. That’s what we do here! It was so
encouraging because then we sat in the terminal and she encouraged me. She was curious
about my kids and it was so sweet. And then we left. And then, you know, we had to get on the
plane. It was so nice.

So, that’s what it’s like coming here to the church and being here for the weekend and being
part of the graduation. A great honor. But also, just to see you. So many people mentioning
you’re praying for us and you’re thinking of us. And it means everything. It means everything.
So, keep it going. Keep it going. Just keep it. Like that. You have no idea how much your prayers
for us make a difference. I don’t either but I appreciate it, right? It means a lot.

And then we’d like to invite everyone up. We’re having a missions conference in Marlboro, June
14-16. Come on up. And we just got new chairs in the chapel so maybe they’re nice and
comfortable. You can sleep there if you need. We had one hear someone slept in the Mother’s
room on the couch. But we’ve redone that recently, so I don’t know if they’ll allow that
anymore, but we have it up there in Marlboro and you’re welcome to come up and be a part of
it. It’s so much fun.

Okay. Here James 1. Somehow, I’m in Hebrew. 8. James 1:17-18, every good and perfect gift comes
from God. Isn’t that amazing? Is God good? Yeah, he is. We have that answer with conviction
because the world would like to convince us that he’s not good. Have you noticed that? When
the arguments or even in my own thinking when I start to consider and I start to doubt the
goodness of God, it can lead me down a path. That’s a little thought that could lead me to
something not healthy.

But we are settled on this point that God is good. He’s so good. And he is good in a way that we
don’t understand but he is so good. Like when goodness is understood this way, God is good.
He’s different than us. When we think about a good person or a good man, we’re not saying the
same thing as God being good.

The difference is like your dog. When your dog is there at the house and he’s at your feet at the
fire, you’re reading and he’s laying on your feet. You’re like that’s a good dog. That’s a good
dog. He knows what I need. It’s good. But if Coach Lynch comes to my house and I’m sitting
there by the fire and he lays on my feet, I would say this isn’t good Coach! Something’s wrong!
That’s not good!

It’s the same way with us and God. When we say that there is a good person, there is some
goodness, we are saying that kind of thing because God is good. And he alone is good, but he
has also blessed our lives by giving us a revelation of who he is. We are not the ones that have
told God that he is good. What we know about God is not what we have come up with and
what we have told him about himself.

But we know about God, we have known by revelation. And what he has been pleased to reveal
to us and in walking in life in Revelation, we find that God is so good. He’s so good. And we go
through our days with our trials and tribulations and our frustrations and things and we are
able to see the goodness of God. We get to the end of the day and we say God was so good
today. He was so good.

My wife hit a deer recently and it wasn’t good! She was fine. It was a second deer she’s hit with
the same car. We’ve been living in Massachusetts for eight years. I grew up as a deer hunter
and she has impacted more deer in the state of Massachusetts than I have with Kia.

That stuff happens, right? That happens and the thing is the hassle. The car is in the shop. The
insurance and all this stuff but ultimately we sit down at the end of the day and say God is
good. Here we are. God is good. That’s like a small thing. I know people are dealing with bigger
things than that.

But because of what God has revealed to us, we can sit there and say God is good. God is good.
I’m fighting for my marriage but God is good. My kids don’t want to talk to me but God is good.
And everything that I do have comes from him. And he’s so good.

And also, in him it says in the second part of the verse, there is no variation or shadow of
turning. How come there’s no variation with God? How come there is no intimation or hint that
he would be moving? You see a shadow go and it gives you the idea that something is flying.
You see a bird shadow and you say that gives me the idea that something is flying over me. It’s
moving.

But with God, there is no shadow of turning. There is no intimation or initiation in a different
way. He is who he is. We say that he is immutable. He doesn’t change. No variation. Isn’t that
great?

We live in a world with variation. Variables. In everything that we do, we have to anticipate a
variable. I worked for a long time with P. Mike Williams in carpentry and the one thing he
always taught is we’re going to try to be smarter than ourselves today. I said for you that’s
problem not a problem, but for me that’s like an obstacle. I don’t know.

We want to do something but the variable of us is in the way or the variable of someone else is
in the way. We speak about the promises of God in 2 Corinthians 1:20. It says all the promises of God
are in him and they are yes and they are amen to the glory of God. Thank God his promises
depend on him. Because with him, there’s no variation and there’s no idea that he would be
changing. We’ve all been – had to deal with a promise that didn’t come to fruition. It had to do
with somebody’s frailty or somebody’s dishonesty or somebody’s variation.

But the promises of God, every single one of them is dependent on him. And he doesn’t
change. One of the points in this idea of the immutability of God or the unchangeableness of
God is that he is not developing. He is not becoming greater. He is not becoming – he is not on
a path to good but he is good. He is great and he is who he’s always been. And there is no
development in there. There was no get in on the ground floor with God.

When it came to Abraham, he didn’t say I’m an up and comer, but if you put your faith in me,
somebody it’s going to pay off. No, he says walk before me Abraham. I will do this thing. I will do the impossible in your life because I will do it, Genesis 15. The covenant he makes with himself. I
will do this thing. There is no variation.

Also, there is no place where he can be tripped up. Have you ever had a thread on your shirt
and you thought, you pull it and all of a sudden it’s still going? You’re unraveling. And what
happens, when something is unraveled is the weakness or what is behind it is exposed.
But in this word “immutability” it means there is a seamlessness in God. That he is seamless.
There isn’t anything that the devil or this world can get ahold of and tug on that and unravel
him. He is unchanging and he cannot be affected by this world. Instead, he comes and he
affects it. And he changes us and he delivers us and he heals us and he makes his promises. And
we say, Lord, if you’re making it, I can stand on it. I believe it.

There’s no change in him. This is everything for us in our faith. We are not walking based on something that we must
execute or walking based on some effort or growth chart or some plan. But instead, we are
walking before God saying you are good. Like Job said, “thou you slay me, I will trust you.” Have
you ever read that verse and thought I hope I never have to say that? But then, we walk with
God and his promises and it's not so much about what is happening. It is instead about who he
is and he reveals himself to us. Whatever we are going through, he’s got it. He can’t be
unraveled.

Romans 5, there’s this progression that concludes with, “hope does not make ashamed.” Hope
does not make ashamed. What does that mean? It’s this way that we have put our hope in God
and because it is in him, he will never embarrass us or it will never come unraveled in front of
us where he is not there. Like he said if you put your hope in me, you will not be ashamed
because I will not change and I will not embarrass you.

That’s why we can say in Romans 1:16 that I’m not ashamed of the Gospel. Because it is the power
of God unto salvation. It doesn’t depend on me. It doesn’t depend on you. It depends on him
and he’s not coming unraveled. Instead, he is holding all things together by the power of his
Word. He has called us to trust him and to walk with him.

We’re like David in Psalm 8. We say, who are we? And what are we that you would be mindful
of us? That you would reveal to us? And then he says, I’ll tell you. And it’s like the Song of
Solomon where he is going on and on and on and on and on about the beauty of the one that
he loves. He has a lot to say about us. Isn’t that great? He has a lot to say about you and it’s not
changing. He has a lot to say about you and he gives you expectation and hope in the end. It
won’t come unraveled. The rug won’t be pulled out from underneath you. You won’t be
embarrassed.

But instead, we will get through it all and one day we will stand before him. We will say you’re
better than I thought. Eye hasn’t seen, ear hasn’t heard, it hasn’t even entered into my heart
how good God is, but what he has revealed to us is oh man he is good. In this life, we see it.
So, just an encouragement in who God is. Don’t let another voice come in and tell you
something else about who God is. Wasn’t that song great from the choir? There was a lot of
pep in it. I loved it. Zip! Daniel. Daniel and the lion’s den. I love it. He was not allowing the world
he lived in to effect his understanding of who God was.

Instead, he says God is the one who is unchanging. Daniel lived 70 years in Babylon watching
kings come and go. Everything was changing. You wonder how many contract negotiations
Daniel had in 70 years, right? A lot of change. A lot of variables but God never changed and his
life is a testament to how we live in this world. God doesn’t change. He is good. We trust that.
He’s revealed it to us and we just walk by faith in it. Amen. Amen.

 

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