Teaching Sermons For Pastors and Laymen

 God’s Care for You

          The Bible contains the record of many great men, and because this morning’s message is about how God cares for us, how He watches over us, I would like to look first at one of those great men, who had God’s constant care; his name is Jacob.  If you are familiar with his story, then you are aware that He was a great man of God, and that he had twelve sons, who became the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel.  But as a young man, he was not so great; he was a scoundrel, a swindler, a con artist.  He was not the kind of person that I would call friend or would want as a neighbor.  Jacob had a brother, whose name was Esau.  In Genesis, we can locate the account of the conflict between Jacob and Esau; two brothers as different as night and day.  Esau was a rugged man, an outdoorsman and a hunter, and he was his father’s favorite.  Jacob was a mama’s boy, who hung around the house and managed the family farm.  The two brothers never got along.  You might recall how Jacob obtained the family inheritance, from Esau.  How Esau returned from a hunting trip so hungry, that he was willing to give the inheritance to Jacob, in exchange for a meal.  And later on, he deceived his father, Isaac, who was blind, into giving him the traditional family blessing, which by all rights also belonged to Esau.  That was the last straw for Esau, who now wanted to kill Jacob.  So Jacob, when his mother told him that he was in danger, ran away from home, and set off for his uncle Laban’s house, where he hoped that he would be safe.  That first night, he stopped at a place called Bethel.  He had a long journey ahead of him; he had to travel alone, down an unfamiliar road, and into an unknown country.  He could not perceive of all the adversity, that lay ahead for him, as he would toil in his uncle’s service, but God foresaw all those hardships, and that night He appeared to Jacob in a dream, where he heard God say, “And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” (Genesis 28:15)  Later on, Jacob would learn that wherever we are, we are safe, if we have God’s favorable presence with us.  Jacob was at this time going as an exile to a land that was faraway, but God promised to bring him back home.  All of his friends appear to have deserted him, but God assured him, “I will never leave thee.”  God kept His promise to Jacob, and 21 years later, he returned home; his father was still alive, he was at peace with his brother, and he was wealthy, due to God blessing everything that he put his hand to.  God never left Jacob alone, and He has promised that He will not leave us alone either, for we read in Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)  Those who God loves, He never leaves.

Psalm 121:4, speaks of God’s care for Israel, but we can also take hold of this verse, for it says that God never is negligent about His watchfulness over His people; “Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalms 121:4)  God never slumbers or sleeps.  He is called in this verse, the “Keeper of Israel.”  It is wonderful to know that no unconsciousness ever steals over Him; neither deep slumber, nor light sleep.  Israel fell asleep, and you and I fall asleep, but God never does.  Jacob was all alone, and pursued by Esau, who wanted to kill him, but the Lord was with him, so he was as safe as a king in his castle.  He cares for us today, like a rich man guards his treasure.  The gist of this verse is this: because God never slumbers, even in the smallest amount, we don’t need to be afraid of any harm coming to us, while He is asleep.  Men and women sleep, a guard on duty may fall asleep, a ship’s pilot may slumber at the helm, even a mother may fall asleep by the side of a sick child; but God is never exhausted, never weary, and He is never inattentive.  He never closes His eyes on the needs of His people, or on the needs of the world.

A number of years ago, Captain D. (I don’t know his last name.), commanded a ship, sailing from Liverpool, England to New York, and on one particular voyage he had all his family with him on board the ship.  One night, when they were quietly asleep, there arose a sudden squall of wind, which came sweeping over the waters, until it struck the vessel, and instantly threw her on her side, tumbling and crashing everything that was moveable, and awakening the passengers to a realization that they were in imminent danger.  Everyone on board was alarmed, and on edge, and some leaped from their births, and began to dress, so that they would be ready for the worst.  Captain D. had his little girl on board, just eight years old, who of course, woke up with the rest.  “What’s the matter?” said the frightened child.  They told her that a squall had struck the ship.  “Is father on deck?” she said.  “Yes: father’s on deck.”  The little girl laid herself on her pillow once more, without a fear, and in a few moments, was sleeping sweetly, in spite of winds and waves.  There is a little four line poem that goes:

Fear not the windy tempests wild,
Thy bark they shall not wreck,
Lie down and sleep, O helpless child!
Thy Father’s on the deck.

You need not fear, because your Heavenly Father is at all times on deck; He is forever watching over you.  God, who is guardian of the church in general, is also engaged in the safeguarding of every individual believer.  He that Keepeth Israel, also keeps you and me.  The shepherd that takes care of the flock is the shepherd of every sheep, and He will make sure that not one of even the littlest will perish.

The Apostle Paul wrote this concerning his faith in God’s ability to care for us, “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)  It is amazing to me that he was able to say this, since at the point in time that he wrote this letter to Timothy, he was in prison, and while in prison, he experienced humiliation, criticism, suffering, and mistreatment.  The Jews detested him, because he was a preacher of the Gospel and above all because he was preaching to the Gentiles.  The unbelieving Gentiles were stirred up against him, because he had introduced a new religion among them that went against their idolatry and traditions.  Paul had to endure many sufferings, yet he could say, “Nevertheless I am not ashamed”.  He was not ashamed of the Gospel, or that he suffered because of it.  Instead, he continued to preach boldly; none of these things moved him.  He had no reason to be ashamed, because his cause was good; he was not being mistreated because he was a murderer or thief, but for the preaching of the Gospel.  He was so far from being ashamed of his sufferings, that he took pleasure in them.  Nor was he ashamed of Christ, whose Gospel he preached.  He was not ashamed of his faith, or of the hope that he had in Jesus Christ.

There is a reason why he could rejoice in suffering, and that was because he could say, “for I know whom I have believed.”  An unknown Christ cannot be the object of faith, but a personal knowledge of Christ is necessary to faith in Him.  Knowledge and faith go together.  Those who truly know Christ believe in Him, and the more they know of Him, the more strongly they believe in Him.  Those that believe in Him, and put their trust in Him, come to know Him as their Savior and that He is an able, willing, suitable, and complete Savior.  It is humbling to learn of Him, for as John the Baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)  The notion is that we acknowledge the great thing that Christ has done for us, and how undeserving we are of God’s grace.  I am glad today, that even a feeble faith can embrace a strong Savior.  He is not only able to save us, but He is able to keep us saved for eternity, because as Paul said, “And I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”

What are those things that we trust to Christ?  I will give you three of them, this morning:
1. We trust Him for the salvation of our souls.
  It says in John, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)  There is no other road that can be taken that leads to salvation.  Jesus said that it is a narrow road, and that there are few who travel it.  We trust in Christ for our salvation, and nothing else.  We can’t depend upon our own goodness, for to God, our righteousness is like “filthy rags”.  We can’t trust in church membership, because to Christ there is only one church, and it is invisible.  The Bible calls it His Bride, and its congregation is the born again children of God, who have trusted in Him.  We can’t trust in baptism or communion, or any other ordinance of the church to save us, because those things are for the people of God, those who are already trusting in Christ.  We can’t depend upon the prayers of a loving mother or father, or of a spouse.  There is only one name under heaven, whereby men are saved, and that is the lovely name of Jesus.
2. We trust Christ to keep us saved.  Jesus said, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” (John 10:28-29).  No one, not even Satan, can touch our souls.  We are safe in the hands of God.  Christ is the Good Shepherd.  We can trust that if He starts out with 100 sheep, He will bring all 100 home.  I am thankful, that I am not trusting in my own goodness to keep me a child of God, because I sin many times every day.  I am trusting in My Shepherd, who when I wander off, will leave the 90 & 9, and come and get me, and bring me back to the fold.
3. We trust Christ to preserve the heavenly kingdom, for that is the place that we will go to one day, to be with Our Lord.  Jesus said this about that place, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” (John 14:1-4) 

We know, that what we entrust to Him, that it is in safe hands; that He is a great trustee of those things.  On the other hand, God has entrusted us with something very precious; He has made us stewards of our souls.  Man or woman, you have a soul committed to you, and there will come a day when that soul will be inquired after.  What have you done with it?  Who did you offer it to?  God of Satan?  How was it employed, in the service of Satan, or in the service of Christ?  There is a day approaching, and it will be a very solemn and awful day, when we must give an account of our stewardship; give an account of our souls.  To illustrate this, Christ told a parable about an unjust steward.  It begins, “And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.” (Luke 16:1)  This is the story of a rich man and his unjust steward.  A steward is a man who has charge of another man’s goods.  Abraham had a steward, you remember, who had charge of all his possessions.  It was Abraham’s steward who went on a trip to Haran to find a bride for Abraham’s son Isaac.  David had stewards, who had charge over all the king’s possessions, including his children.  Paul tells us, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:2)

The steward in this parable would correspond to the president of a corporation.  He had charge of the rich man’s goods.  He was guilty of malfeasance and misappropriation of funds.  The unjust steward wasted the goods of his master.  The day of reckoning came to this man and he had to give an account, for Jesus said in the parable, “And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.” (Luke 16:2) 

We will also have to give an account of what we have done with our souls.  If you have committed your soul to Christ, you can be certain He is able to keep it, and that He will give you comfort, and bring you into His presence, and into your heavenly home.

Let us praise our Heavenly Father and give Him thanks for saving us, for keeping us saved, and for our future eternal heavenly home.  Rest in Him today, knowing that He will never leave you alone, and that you are safe in his hands.  His presence is at all times with you, because His Holy Spirit is in your heart.  Let’s end our service this morning with our prayer of gratitude for Him saving us, and for keeping us saved, for loving us, for caring for us and for our eternal home in heaven that He has promised us.

If you are not certain this morning that you are going to heaven, when you depart this life, and would like to be certain, I can show you in God’s word how you can know that you are saved and you can also experience God’s love and care.

 

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