Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - God Provides for Us

During the course of a weekend afternoon, I visit various local stores and businesses to take care of my errands and chores. With Thanksgiving coming up quickly, there are organizations that are taking donations to feed the less fortunate in the community. Many of the businesses are sponsoring food drives to provide meals for families who would not have a meal or much to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day. My family and I make it a point to help wherever and whenever we can. 

If there is one thing that I have learned, it is that God always provides for our basic essential needs. My wife and I have seen firsthand the blessings of the Lord. When we faced the unknown, He was there for us. Just like the Israelites, we knew that He would lead us to green pastures and to the Living Water that would restore our souls. But, there were times when we just didn’t see the blessings. Our minds became entangled in the realities of life. Our faith was challenged and it became more and more difficult to see the promised land of milk and honey.

We, like the children of old, felt that we wandered in the desert only to face more problems and heartaches. But, just when we were ready to give up, God provided us with exactly what we needed at the right time. The lesson was to always have faith in Him.

In Hebrews, the author, in chapter eleven, writes, “It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, even though God had told him, ‘Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.’ Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.

When you think about the words, you can see that it is only by faith that we are able to receive the blessing of God’s promises to us. Even when we feel that we are facing the worst thing in our lives, we should always remain faithful to the Lord, because we know that He will provide a way for us every single time.

In the story of Abraham’s sacrifice of his son, Isaac, Abraham remained faithful and did not question God’s command. He knew that God would do what He promised and would not go back on His word. His promises are eternal and unchanging. Abraham had no doubt in his mind or heart. He knew that God would keep His promise.

As many of you remember the story, Abraham did not sacrifice his son on the altar and that God provided a ram as a sacrifice. In Genesis 22, Abraham “called that place The LORD Will Provide. So to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.’” In Hebrew, it is one of the names of God, Jehovah-jireh. 

In order for us to truly receive what the Lord will provide to us, we must have faith in Him. We cannot just have a faith of convenience. Abraham knew from the very moment that God asked him to sacrifice his one and only son that God would provide. He remained faithful. 

When we face situations in our lives, are we strong enough to remain faithful and follow the Lord wherever He leads us? Once again, look at the life of Abraham. The Lord asked him to pull up stakes and go where He directed him. Speaking for myself, I know it would be so difficult to do so. I would question God repeatedly before taking the first step. In time, I remember the promise of the Lord. 

In the twenty-ninth chapter of Jeremiah, God tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you.

As a child of God, you should never doubt the promises of the Lord. He will not only provide you what you need but he will also provide you with what you need most. Look closely at the words of the author of Hebrews. He tells us that Abraham knew that God was able to bring Isaac back from the dead and, in a sense, did when He provided the ram as a sacrifice.

So, God not only provides us with our daily bread but He also provides us with the spiritual bread that gives us spiritual life. In short, God provides everything that we, as His children, need daily. There is nothing for us to worry about. The Lord will always provide.

But, it doesn’t end there. Just as God provides for us, we must, in turn, provide for those around us. We must give comfort just as God gives us comfort.

Paul writes in chapter one of his second letter to the Corinthians, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

Just as we receive blessings from God, we are to, in turn, bless those around us and provide for their needs. God is the source of all comfort. God has blessed us and those blessings will also bless others. As we receive, so shall we give.

During this holiday of Thanksgiving, I urge each of you to remember the lesson of the second kernel of corn and remind those around you that the Lord provides for everything and that is only by faith that we can receive. As recipients of His blessings, we, out of love, must provide for those who are in need of more than just food but who also need the true gift of life eternal with the Father. When we receive by faith and act in faith, we are able to stand firm in His grace. 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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