Saturday, December 31, 2011

Yours to Live and Plan? The New Year

Life passes by so swiftly. The Scripture relates:
"The days of our years are threescore years and
ten; and if by reason of strength they be
fourscore years, yet is their strength labour
and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly
away." [KJV] Psalm 90:10

It is a common human trait, to be in control; or, at least, think we are in control. We love to make plans and to act upon them. And, to a certain extent, that is not a bad thing. Not to plan and act upon those plans would be irresponsible as we could become lazy couch potatoes. Not to make plans and act upon them could result in a very disorderly world. We humans live by time. We act upon time. We set our lives in order by time. We are, essentially ruled by time. Without schedules, our lives would be in disarray.

However, to take for granted that we are in control and that our plans are always commendable; and, that those plans should not be altered; – that, type of thinking, is neither advisable, nor, wise -- at least, from a divine perspective.

The Scriptures make it clear that it is the Triune God who created us, and, not the other way, around [Psalm 100:3 ; Colossians 1:13-20] We live in His world – not, ours. Sometimes, we would like to think that this world is ours. But, in reality, we are only passing through. Psalm 103:15 ; Psalm 90:1f

A non common human trait:

Are you one of many who make it a yearly habit to
come up with New Year's resolutions? What is the
basis for your wishes? Are you motivated by
cultural perceptions, or are you motivated by
lasting and spiritual values? Is your goal to be
comfy as the foolish rich man in Christ's parable:
Gospel of Luke 12:19-20?

It is a non common human trait to acknowledge that we are not in control. It is not common to acknowledge the Triune God in our everyday affairs. But that is what we are to do.

The Scriptures state:

"Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." [KJV] Proverbs 27:1

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”  [KJV] James 4:13-17

It is not wrong or unscriptural to plan. It is not improper to take control of our lives and run them by schedules and the clock. What is improper, wrong and even sinful, is to do all that without acknowledging the Lord of all.

Why is it wise to always acknowledge the Triune God in all our plans and endeavors?

First of all,
it is wise to acknowledge the Triune God in all our plans and endeavors, because that godly practice continually reminds us that we are not ultimately in control and that we need to humbly realize the Triune God’s divine sovereignty and provision in our lives. [See the concise explanation of the 1st article of the Apostle's Creed]

Secondly, we live in a fallen world. We can be going about our business (as, scheduled) and, be doing everything right [so, we think] – and then (without fault or error on our behalf) have calamity come upon us. We live in an imperfect world. Though we may follow all the rules – all it takes is for someone to screw up – someone to cross the center line on the highway; crash into us – and, we are laid up – with all our (well-intentioned) plans put on hold.

You, who do not (genuinely) know the Triune God – You, are, at most risk

The Scripture says that a person is to acknowledge the Triune God in all his ways and that He [God] would “make straight [his] your paths.” [Proverbs 3:5-6] But you who neither acknowledge the Triune God, nor believe His Savior Christ – you are absolutely incapable of acknowledging or obeying God. You, are bereft of His direction, comfort and support. The Scripture states that you are a dead [man] person walking. Your tracks are frozen in your sin. [Ephesians 2:1-10 ; Eccl. 7:20 ; Mark 7:21-23] Your present and eternal fate could be like the one man in the parable which Christ told:

The Parable of the Rich Fool -- Luke 12:15-21:

The Scripture says:  "What shall it profit a man
if he gain the whole world and lose his own
soul."  Gospel of Mark 8:36
......And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’

“So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” ..... Luke 12:15-21

What will you do – you, who recognize your precarious position – and that your soul is priceless?

If you have reached the point where you recognize yourself a sinner, worthy of the Triune God’s just and equitable sentence and eternal punishment, there is hope for you. If you finally realize that your soul is (eternally) priceless, you are on the right track. But in spite of all your awareness, you are still helpless. You can fool yourself and try all you may to repeat a 4 or 5 part "spiritual formula" and then call yourself a Christian, [supposedly] "saved" by Christ. But that would be hypocritical because you’ve then circumvented the grace of God by going to a step by step formula to save your wretched soul. Only Christ can save a soul. And, the Scripture tells us that a soul is delivered from present sin and eternal damnation, [hell] strictly by God’s grace, through faith. Ephesians 2:8-9

Then, how will you gain the faith to believe? How will you trust your Creator God to accept the reality that you are a sinner whose sins Christ lived, suffered and died for?

The Scriptures themselves tell us that “faith” comes by “hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” [Romans 10:17] The good and gracious Lord has done all he could to purchase your soul for His eternal keeping. And, He has given His world the Divine revelation of the Holy Scriptures, ".....which, are able to make you wise to salvation, through faith, which is in Christ Jesus…...” 2 Timothy 3:15-17

May you, who cannot save yourselves from your sin, be like the Ethiopian eunuch. [Acts 8:26-40] Read the Scriptures and humble yourselves to have them explained. May you come to the point where you can believe like him and love the same Christ, who lived, suffered and died for your sins, - and, who, made eternal provision for your fallen and sinful soul, by suffering the torments of hell on your behalf. Isaiah 53:1-12 ; Matthew 27:46

May God grant grace to you to pay heed to the "instrument means" he has provided for you to work faith in Him! Romans 1:16 ; Romans 10:17 ; 1 Peter 1:23 ; Acts 8: 26-39 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:14 ; James 1:18


Above Message and Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:

Related Scriptures To the Above Message:

Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures: 

Psalm 73:1f -- The righteous contrasted with the unrighteous soul -- the slippery fate of the wicked

Isaiah 55:1-2 -- The Triune God's call to the thirsting soul

New Testament Christian Scriptures: 

Luke 16:19-31 -- Christ's parable about another rich fool

Acts 8:26-40 -- The conversion of an Ethiopian eunuch

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- An in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.

Please note: Topical Messages, by subject

Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3

1 -- What is meant by “Believing” and / or, being, “Saved?”
2 -- How the saving (believing) process of the Christian Faith takes place
3 -- What are the tell-tale signs that a person has been “Saved” [is a Christian

Note: The above sermon message (with minor editing) was previously posted online by Nathan Bickel

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