God’s Provisions Are Bigger Than My Needs

needsPhilippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Our text verse starts with a conjunction, “but.”  Most of the time when we read this verse or quote this verse, we just skip over that connective word, “but.” We just begin with the word “my.” But we must not skip that word. The word “but” connects this promise to the context that surrounds it.  This is important for us to understand. In it’s proper context, this verse is not written to the world in general. It is not given to everyone, not even all believers. It is not written to the selfish, but to the sacrificial, those involved in meeting the needs of others. It is written to those that get behind a cause and back it all the way, to those that have a purpose bigger than themselves!

We know that God’s Provisions are Bigger Than Our Needs and He will provide because He is OUR God and because we are obedient to Him. Don’t miss this. This is not a blanket promise. Paul is saying, “Because you met my needs, God will meet your needs.” This morning we considered (1) The Source of Our Provisions – “My God,” (2) The Surety of Our Provisions – “Shall Supply,” (3) The Scope of Our Provisions – “All Your Need,” and (4) The Standard of Our Provisions – “According To His Riches in Glory in Christ Jesus.” You may listen to this message by following this link or visit our sermons page.

God’s Grace is Bigger Than My Sin

grace2Ephesians 2:1-10 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

John Stott says about this passage, “Paul first plumbs the depths of pessimism about man, and then rises to the heights of optimism about God. It is this combination of pessimism and optimism, of despair and faith, which constitutes the refreshing realism of the Bible. For what Paul does in this passage is to paint a vivid contrast between what man is by nature and what he can become by grace.”

This past Sunday morning we had a great service celebrating Memorial Day. During the preaching time we returned to our series, “God is Big, Really Big!” with a message entitled, “God’s Grace is Bigger Than My Sin.” (1) Our Condition – It is Worse than You Think, (2) God’s Character – He is More Wonderful than We Deserve, (3) Salvation’s Conclusion – Genuine Salvation Results in Genuine Works. You can listen to this message by following this link or visit our sermons page.

There was a motorcycle officer who was going through a Los Angeles suburb on his way to work.  As he neared an intersection, a red pickup truck went past him without even slowing down for the stop sign.  The officer turned on his flashing lights and radioed the station that he was in pursuit of this truck. As his unit pulled up behind the truck the officer was thinking, “This guy is just probably late for work”, but unknown to the officer the driver of that pickup had just robbed a grocery store.  Sitting on the seat beside that driver was the paper bag with the money and the gun he had used to pull off this robbery.  As the officer pulled up beside him this man put his hand on the gun. The truck pulled to the side of the roadway and stopped.  The officer parked his motorcycle, walked over to the driver’s side of the pickup and he said, “Good morning sir, may I see your license?”  Those were the last words he said.  The driver stuck his arm out of that truck and fired the gun.  The barrel of the gun was only two inches away from that officer and the bullet hit the officer in the center of his chest and he was knocked to the ground seven feet away. For a few moments all was quiet, then to the shocked amazement of the gunman, the officer slowly stood to his feet.  The driver couldn’t believe it.  He even said out loud, “You must be Clark Kent!”  Still in shock, the policeman slowly began to brush the dirt from his uniform. After two or three seconds the officer came to his senses, pulled his service revolver and fired two rounds into the side of the truck.  The first round went through the window destroying the windshield.  The second round went through the side of the door and ripped into the driver’s left leg.  The terrified robber screamed, “Don’t shoot any more” and threw the gun out along with the bag of money. That officer’s life had been spared because he was wearing a bullet proof vest; a vest that was only 3/8 of an inch thick made of dozens of layers of an extremely tough fabric called “kevlar”.

Now fast forward.  A few months later, another officer, Ray Hicks and his partner went to serve a search warrant on a well known drug dealer in the city of Inglewood, California.  As his partner knocked on the door, Hicks yelled out, “Police!” and started to knock down the door.  Four slugs were fired through that door and one hit Ray Hicks.  The impact was almost exactly where the motorcycle officer had been hit only a few weeks before – squarely in the center of the chest. The last words of Ray Hicks were “I am hit” as he sank to the floor.  The coroner later reported that the policeman probably lived less than a minute, because the bullet had ruptured an artery that fed blood to the brain. Police officer, Ray Hicks was 27 years old.  He left a wife, three children and the bullet proof vest in the trunk of his car parked thirty feet from where he died.

What’s the point?  A police officer can believe in a bullet proof vest all he wants to, but until he puts that bullet proof vest on and commits his life to it; it won’t do him any good. It is not enough just to believe that a man named, Jesus Christ, lived 2000 years ago or believe He was born of a virgin or believe He performed miracles or believe He died on the cross or even believe He was raised from the dead.  It is only when you, by faith and complete trust, surrender your live to Him that He becomes your Lord and your Savior and you then have a relationship with God.

God’s Courage is Bigger Than My Fears

courageThe year was 1974. I was in the 2nd grade, living in Seneca, SC. Our house was the second house to be built on Sourwood Dr., which was at that time a gravel road. The third house to be built, was being built at the time right next door to our house. One afternoon several of my friends and I were exploring the new construction. We liked to go over and play in the sand pile or wander through the newly constructed halls. The dry wall was up in the house. I’m not sure if had been mudded and taped yet, but about ten of us were wandering around the new construction. My friend Craig, who moved later that year, was trying to scare us. He was growling, “Grrrr!” “What was that?” One of the girls exclaimed. “Oh, its just Craig,” I replied all cool, you know. “Grrr!” Why was he doing that? We heard another loud growl, “Grrrrr!” And everyone ran right past me. I looked up and saw this wild man coming at me. My heart is racing right now just thinking about it. Everyone turned to run. I was at the back of the pack. It was like one of those horror movies where you are running in slow motion, and just like the movie the lead character trips and falls. “Grrrrrr!” The wild man was running behind us, and I, the lead character, had tripped over the sand pile. Everyone made it safely to my yard and looked back. The wild man turned on the front porch area and went back into the house. Later, we found out that it was the builder’s son who was drunk in a closet. You talk about being afraid… As I said, I can still feel the fear and that was 35 years ago.

Have you ever been afraid? Or maybe I should ask it this way, have you ever been slap scared to death? We returned to our sermon series “God is Big, Really Big!” on Sunday morning. The message was entitled, “God’s Courage is Bigger than My Fears.” You can listen to this message by following this link or visit our sermons page.

God’s Comfort is Bigger Than My Sorrow

Yesterday was  Mother’s Day, a day of celebration. We honored our mothers in our service yesterday morning. Every mother present was given a plant. Mother’s Day is always an exciting day at Tabernacle Baptist Church. For many though it is also a time of sadness. Many of  us were able to call our mothers and express our gratitude and love to them.  But for may people Mother’s Day is a day of sorrow. Many people wish they could call their mom, but mom has passed away. I know yesterday was a tough day for my mom, the first Mother’s Day without my dad.

We continued our series entitled “God is Big, Really Big!” with a message we called “God’s Comfort is Bigger Than My Sorrow.” We saw three simple thoughts that would bring us comfort in our sorrow. (1) Who – We Need to Remember Who God Is – His Person, (2) What – We Need to Remember What God Does For Us – His Provision, (3) Why – We Need to Remember What God Does Through  Us – His Purpose. We saw that God doesn’t comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters. You may listen to this message by following this link or visit our sermons page.

God’s Wisdom is Bigger Than My Confusion

We returned Sunday morning to our series, “God is Big, Really Big!” Our message was entitled, “God’s Wisdom is Bigger than My Confusion.” We were in Romans 11:33-36. Spurgeon  said of this text, “I will affirm that there is no man living who can preach from my text a sermon worthy of it; nay, that among all sacred orators and the eloquent pleaders for God, there never did live and never will live a man capable of reaching the height of the great argument contained in these few simple words”  That is encouraging isn’t it? He says right up front that there isn’t a preacher alive today or one who has ever lived that can do any kind of justice to this text. I considered just dismissing the congregation after that statement, but then reminded them that we would NEVER be able to truly fathom God. Maybe we didn’t make it into the deep end of theological pool, but at the very least we put our big toe in the water. We saw Paul’s tremendous theological treatise turning to praise. It is as if Paul has been giving all of these deep theological truths about salvation, he then takes a deep breath and breaks forth into a song of praise. His theology turned to doxology. That is our purpose, to know God, and to know God is to truly glorify God. You can listen to this message by following this link or visit our sermons page.