Big Plans

God never fails and He’s never late and He’s never mistaken. He’s always right, always true, always on time, always with your best interests in mind.
Scripture: Ephesians 1:5, 1 Peter 1:23, Galatians 4, 1 Peter 1:23, Psalm 103

Transcript

Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing Alright today? Well, sure, I wait to hear how you answer, because I know some of you do. (Laughs) You’ve told me so. Bless your heart. And that’s Alright with me. I’m glad to have an audience that’s alive and responsive. I’ve spoken in many people’s sleep and I assure you that it’s wonderful to have people who are responsive. So you can talk back anytime you wish. This is your friend, Bob Cook. We’re looking at Ephesians chapter 1 and we just got to verse five, where Paul said that God has made plans for us and his plans involve our being adopted into His family. We belong to the family of God. And so he said, “You’re no more strangers and foreigners but of the household of God. Built upon the foundations of the apostles and prophets Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.” You see, it’s one thing to be a servant. It’s another thing to be a son, an heir, as long as he is a child, different thing from a servant though He’ll be Lord of all, he’s under tutors and governors, until the time appointed. “But when the fullness of the time has come, God sent forth his son made of a woman, made under the law to redeem them that were under the law that we”, that’s you and I, who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that we “might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His son into your hearts crying, ’Abba father’.” The word abba, is our word Papa, Papa God. There’s something in your heart that cries out to God when you’re a real Christian, “Thou art therefore no more servant but a son, and if a son then an heir of God through Christ,” I was reading to you from Galatians chapter 4 there. Predestined to the adoption of children, God has put you into His family, made you His child and given you an inheritance, an inheritance, Peter says, “An inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God through faith and through salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.” He said, “You were redeemed not with corruptible things as silver and gold, from your vain manner of life received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” And so, you were born again, verse 23 of 1 Peter 1, “And we are adopted as children,” it says, “to himself.” When you think of an adoption you think of the legalities of it, you think of the fact that a child is placed in a home involving a mother and father and perhaps other children. But this phrase reminds us that the plans of God center in his great heart of love. He wanted you John, Mary, Hazel, Sue, Dick, Tom, whoever, he wanted you for himself. The adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself according to the good pleasure of His will. “What I really want,” God says, “is to have him as my own.” You see, the essence of sin is that it estranges you from God. “The Lord’s hand is not heavy that it cannot save, neither is it short that it cannot save, neither is his ear heavy that it cannot hear, but your inequities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you that He will not hear,” I’m quoting from Isaiah’s prophecy. Sin estranges people from God, sin separates. I remember Jack Schuler’s sermon on Samson. He preached it in Des Moines many years ago. I was there and he preached that sermon on sin, sin binds, and sin grinds and sin blinds. He gave that story of Samson and Delilah, he preached on that. Well, it does. It estranges you from God. Estranges you from God. And so what the great heart of God longs for is what he created you for, that you might really be His very own, to be His own. That’s what He’s after. Our Lord Jesus prayed, He said “I pray for those whom thou hast given me,” then He included you and me also, He said, “Not for them only, but for all of them also who shall believe on me through their word.” To belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, that is what God planned before he ever threw the stars out into space. Now, what’s the result of that? Verse 6, “To the praise of the glory of his grace wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved one, in whom we have redemption through his blood the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace.” Verse 6, “The glory of his grace,” verse 7, “the riches of his grace.” Now, what’s part of God’s plan? First, that you belong to Him in His heart, in His family, our love relationship with a heavenly father, sin had estranged you, now you belong to Him. That’s verse 5. What else in His plans? To the praise of the glory of His grace. He wants to show you off so that He can show that by His grace He took somebody who only deserved judgment and hell, and made you acceptable to a holy God because of the beloved one, the Lord Jesus Christ. “This is my beloved son,” said the voice, “in whom I’m well pleased,” made us accepted in the beloved, a reference surely to Lord Jesus Christ. So what is this plan? He planned to adopt you into his family for His own heart, to himself. Then second, he planned to make you a source of praise to Him, the glory of His grace and the vehicle of it is that he made you acceptable to a holy God because of the Lord Jesus Christ and all that He did for you in the Calvary cross. Now, what is the basis of that acceptableness? Go on into verse 7, you’re acceptable because you’ve been redeemed. We have redemption. And there’s only way to get redemption and that is with the shedding of innocent blood. “You are redeemed,” said Peter, “with the blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” We have redemption. What makes us acceptable in Christ? We have redemption through His blood. Second we have the forgiveness of sins. You can’t go into God’s presence with all your dirty sins on you. You have to be cleansed and forgiven so you have the forgiveness of sins. Then, how much of it? According to the riches of His grace wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence. So what makes you acceptable in the beloved? Verse 7, you’ve been redeemed through the shed blood of Christ. You’ve been forgiven of all of your sins. And the measure of it is the riches of God’s grace; they’re inexhaustible. James 4:6, “He giveth more grace”. “God is able to make all grace abound towards you,” Paul says, “that you always having all sufficiency and all things may abound to every good work.” Riches of His grace. He abounded it towards us in wisdom and prudence. Now, that’s interesting to me. It doesn’t say anything about the love of God or the pity of God, or the mercy of God. In verse 8, it says, “Wisdom and prudence is the measure of God’s abounding grace.” Why? Because always in the background is not only God’s mercy and his love which are real and which last forever, His mercy is everlasting. And His truth endureth to all generations. See, not only that, but the fact that He has a divine plan, wisdom. He knows what he’s doing and He is working that plan out efficiently, prudence. God is working a divine plan that has been predetermined and He’s working it out efficiently. Now, that is helpful to us when we tend to complain. I get up against things every now and again, under pressure of one sort and another, and I just wonder is everything going the way it should? You know, you live awhile and you go through times when you’ve done your very best and still you’re under pressure. Have you been there? I guess so. And you wonder, “Well, God, what is this? Why are things going this way when I am your child and I’ve done my best and I’ve yielded to your will, the best I know how, now why is it going this way?” Have you been in that position? Well, I get there every now and again; I must confess. But what He’s saying is I know what I’m doing because I planned it before the foundation of the world and I’m doing it efficiently. This word prudence is our idea of efficient and doing the right thing at the right time, kind of a procedure. He says I’m doing my planning and my working efficiently. Now, you just let me work. God never fails and He’s never late and He’s never mistaken. Jesus never had to say, I beg your pardon, I was mistaken. Always right, always true, always on time, always with your best interests in mind. Now, if you’re broke or if you’re sick or if you’re hurting or if you’re being harassed or you’ve lost a job or you’re being transferred or your company is being sold and you don’t know what’s going to happen, or if the Army budget is being cut with a meat axe and you know that your job with thousands of others may be up for grabs, I don’t know what your circumstances may be today, dear one, but I do know that God is still on the thrown and He hasn’t forgotten about you. He knew your name before He ever threw the stars out in space. He made plans for you, my beloved friend, before He ever breathed life into the creation. See? And He is working with you today on the basis of that plan, wisdom; and He’s working on the basis of wonderful efficiency, prudence; He’s doing the right thing at the right time. Don’t fight Him, yield to Him and trust Him to see you through. There’s always something better. God having provided some better thing, it’s said. There’s always something better for you if you just trust your Lord and keep on obeying him. Will you do it? That’s something that we learned from these verses. Now it says we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. How much forgiveness is there? There’s as much forgiveness as there is grace in an infinite God. There isn’t any sin, any failure, any shortcoming that can’t be forgiven. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us for Alrighteousness. The psalmist says in Psalm 103, “Who healeth all thy diseases,” “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases.” He forgives them all. Am I talking to somebody today who is bitter or discouraged? Because there’s some area of your life that where your regrets and your troubles and your hurts just won’t quit. And it really is involved in this matter of being forgiven. Would you today just turn it over to your blessed Lord? He died for every shortcoming, every failure, every sin. He’s paid the price for them all and you need to trust His Word. Trust Him to tell you the truth. He said if we confess-- I’ll forgive. You try Him out today. It’s part of God’s plan for you, beloved, to be forgiven and free. Dear Father, today help us to live within the scope of Thy plan for us. Keep us in your love in Jesus name. Amen. Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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