Love God – the Circle’s End. Though all things are to work together for our good is a promise, so many believers who attempt to walk in the kingdom, seem to be in an endless circle of defeat. Does it seem all things work together for good in your life? Or, do you keep going through the same stuff, the endless circle, every year or every week? Does the circle ever end?
Love God – the Circle’s End part 1
By Pastor Delbert Young
Love God the Circle’s End part 1
Scriptures: Romans 8:28, Genesis 37:18-28
ROM 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
The apostle Paul tells us that we know all things work together for good. It’s not that some things work together for good. It’s not that only the spiritual or religious things work together for good. The promise is that all things work together for good. It’s our weaknesses as well as our strengths. It’s our defeats as well as our victories. It’s our mess ups as well as our up ups. Though promised, so many believers who attempt to walk in the kingdom seem to be in an endless circle of defeat. Does it seem all things work together for good in your life? Or, do you keep going through the same issues, the endless circle, every year or every week? Does it ever turn good?
Paul also assures us how this is a promise. Paul is saying that we have a promise that whatever we experience and go through will work for good. That’s a strange thought. How can my mess ups be used by God for good?
TWO PREREQUISITES– There are two prerequisites to this promise at which we need to look.
All things work together for good to them that love God
The Greek word translated love in Romans 8:28 is agapao (Strong’s #25) and means to love dearly. When we love someone dearly, there are three constants always present. Let’s call these the A, B, C’s of love. A is that we want to talk to that person or communicate with that person. B is that we want to do things for that person, or serve that person. C is that we want to be with that person or in their presence. If we are in their presence, we will talk to them and do things for them. We can’t help it. It’s also this way when we love God.
We can use these as a litmus test. Check yourself and see if you love God. If the bad things you go through do not turn good, you may need to heighten your level of intimacy with the Lord.
Communicate– If we love God, we will want to communicate with him. We want to talk to people that we love. Remember when we first fell in love with our spouses? Every day we called. We spent hours just talking. We revealed our hearts to each other. It is that way with the Lord God. If we love him, we will desire to talk to him in prayer. We have muddled the meaning of prayer. We make prayer into a time where we attempt to change God’s mind. Prayer is intended to be a time of conversation and love. When God loves us, he will do things for us before we ask. We will find ourselves caught up in the conversation and sometimes lose track of time. We will talk about everything with him.
Serve– When we love someone, we will desire to do things for that person. If we love God, we will want to do things for him. When we love someone, we will attempt to do what makes them happy. It really doesn’t matter if we actually want to do it or not. We do it to please them. When we love the Lord, we will do what he asks us to do. It is serving him, but when we love the person, we do not look at what we do as serving. It is doing it because it makes them happy. What are we doing for the Lord?
Presence– If we love God, we will want to be in his presence. We can’t help it. Remember how it was when you fell in love with your spouse? You would invent ways to be with him or her. We could not wait until the next time you got to see them. Your emotions were all excited and you were in love. That is how it was then. After a few years, that changed. You still want to be with them, but it’s no longer emotional. It’s comfortable. It’s home, or should be home.
It should be this way if we love the Lord. At first it’s emotional. We are excited about coming to church and learning about God and about church. That doesn’t last long. Church should become home. We will desire to be in meetings where the praise and worship bring his presence. We will desire his presence through his body. We will search his presence through his word. We will find ways, even invent ways, to be with him.
How are we doing on our test? Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 with 10 as the highest. Do we want to be in his presence? Do we want to talk and spend time with him? Are we doing something for him that makes him happy? If you did not score very well, this could be why some bad things have not worked for the good?
All things work together for good to them . . . who are the called according to his purpose
The second prerequisite for all things to work for good is we must be called according to his purpose. What does that mean? It means that we are called into the kingdom for his purpose, not ours. It simply means that when we are called, it is not only to go to heaven when we die. There is a purpose for the calling of God. There is something we are to do. When we love someone, we are very interested in their plans and purpose. We want them to be successful and fulfilled. Our doing his purpose helps fulfill his plan. I like the way the Living Bible says it.
(TLB) ROM 8:28 And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God andare fitting into his plans.
So, we ask ourselves, what am I doing that will help fulfill the plan of God? The number of answers to this is only limited by the number of people asked. Each of us has a different purpose to fulfill. Each of us helps do a little for his plan. The benefit is that when bad stuff happens, he will work it for our good.
How are we doing on our test? Rate yourself on that one. Are you helping to fulfill his plan? If not, then that could be why some bad things have remained bad and not turned into good.
I want to give one Biblical example of how this operates. We could site many. We could talk about Joseph in prison being falsely accused and innocent. We could talk about David. His Bathsheba incident was not good, but God turned it into Solomon. We could talk about Sampson. His losing his strength and eyes were bad, but he destroyed more Philistines in that condition than he did before. We could talk about Paul and Silas in prison in Philipi. Being beaten was bad, but God turned it into the salvation of the entire area. We could talk about Jesus. The cross was bad, but God turned that into the kingship of Jesus and our salvation.
We could talk about many examples, but the person I want to talk about is Abraham. There is no question about Abraham loving the Lord. Abraham was constantly building altars and worshiping God. His entire life was consumed in the purposes and plan of God. Every time a bad situation would happen with Abraham, God would turn it into good. Remember when Abraham came into the promised land? There was a famine in the land (Gen 12:10). Abraham decided to go to Egypt. That was not a good move and got worse. On the way, Abraham said to Sarah his wife, “Tell the Egyptians that you are my sister so they will not kill me to take you.” Sure enough, Sarah said she was Abraham’s sister and sure enough, Pharaoh took Sarah for his harem. The Lord was not happy with this and plagued Pharaoh’s house with plagues (Gen 12:17). When Pharaoh figured out what had happened, he gave Sarah back to Abraham and sent Abraham away a very rich man. This same situation happened again later in Abraham’s life with Abimelech (Gen 20). Again, Abraham came away with riches. This is a constant thread in the life of Abraham. Abraham and Lot had a conflict. Abraham said to Lot to take whatever land and direction he wanted and Abraham would take what remained (Gen 13:7-13). Lot took the best land toward Sodom. We know what happened to Lot. Abraham got all the land (Gen 13:14).
There was one situation for which Abraham is famous. We are told the story in Genesis chapter sixteen. Sarah could not conceive a child for Abraham. Her solution was for Abraham to lie with Sarah’s maid named Hagar. Abraham did this and Hagar conceived and gave birth to a child name Ishmael. Hagar and Ishmael caused all sorts of grief for Sarah and Sarah caused grief for Hagar and Abraham. The Bible says that Abraham cared about Ishmael (Gen 17:18). Nonetheless, Sarah forced Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away (Gen 21:14).
This was a bad thing in Abraham’s life. It broke his heart. We are never clearly told of how that worked for the good. However, if Abraham loved God and walked in his purpose then it must have worked together for good. The story does not end there. Abraham had another son, a son of the promise by Sarah. This son’s name was Isaac. Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob. Jacob had twelve sons. One of Jacob’s sons was named Joseph. We all remember the story about Joseph. He was his father’s favorite. Jacob gave the robe of many colors to Joseph. Joseph’s half brothers hated Joseph and decided to do away with Joseph. We remember the story. The ten half brothers threw Joseph into a pit. They were going to kill Joseph, but instead sold him.
GEN 37:18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
GEN 37:19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
GEN 37:20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
GEN 37:21 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.
GEN 37:22 And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.
GEN 37:23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
GEN 37:24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
GEN 37:25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
GEN 37:26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
GEN 37:27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
GEN 37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
They would have killed Joseph, or left him in the pit to die, had the Ishmeelites not come. The Ishmeelites were the decedents of Ishmael, Abraham’s son. Here it was four generations later and some 180 years later God turns that bad of Abraham into good for Joseph. We know the story. The Ishmeelites took Joseph to Egypt. Eventually Joseph became second only to Pharaoh and was able to preserve the seed of Abraham. Had the Ishmeelites not come bye, the famine would have wiped out the people of God and the plan of God. All things do work together for good for those that love God and called according to his purpose.
I am here to tell you today that if you love God and are fulfilling his plan, God will take each and every bad situation and turn it into a blessing for you, or he will preserve your children through it. Even our Ishmaels will become a blessing!
My parents and grandparents mess ups are not working bad in my life if I love God and am walking in his plan. They are working good for me!
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