Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 30 Nov 2014
(Wedding of Anita and Pierre)
Anita’s great grandfather, Mr Engelbrecht, was the man that led uncle Erlo to Jesus. He was a very intelligent man, having studied in Germany for seven years, before coming to South Africa. However during his ministry he realised something was missing and he thought by preaching and working he would get what he was looking for. Eventually he was at his end and physically sick. He heard of an evangelist in Pretoria whom many spoke evil of and he decided to go and see him. But as he spoke to him of Greek and Hebrew, he realised that the evangelist knew much less than himself. He was disappointed and thought that the man won’t be able to help him. The evangelist also realised that he was getting nowhere with this theologian and he decided that they should pray. As they were on their knees, suddenly Mr Engelbrecht realised what was missing in his life, the Gospel was in his head and not in his heart, and he opened his heart to Jesus and was transformed.
The doctor had told him to rest and not to preach for a couple of months, but the following Sunday he was in the pulpit again, and the whole congregation realised that something had happened in their pastor’s life and that his life had been transformed.
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
This was the word God gave to Israel when they were in a very difficult situation. They were in exile in Babylon. At the time Jeremiah gave this word there were also other false prophets saying that it would go bad with them in exile. But they were false prophets.
Jeremiah told them to be obedient and God would be with them and give them a hope and a future in the foreign godless country. So they went into exile and found it to be a godless nation. But God rose up mighty men of God like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. And they shook that nation through their lives and testimony and God’s Word spread through that nation through their testimony. Not that they didn’t meet up with difficulties, but as they remained faithful to God He delivered them and through it glorified God.
We read in our text that God has thoughts about us. Why? We are so insignificant, yet He thinks about you and me all the time because we are precious to Him.
He says, ‘can a nursing mother forget her child? But even if she could yet will I not forget you. You are engraved upon the palms of My hands!’ (Is 49:15-16). You are engraved upon His hands, His side and His feet. He worked hard to save you and me, but He did it. You were bought with a great price.
Never forget that and you will have a bright future. That’s why it’s written that all things work together for the good of those that love Him (Rom 8:28).
There’s nothing in this world so wonderful and marvelous as this we have looked at. You needn’t fear anything, or be anxious. We can enjoy life to the full.
One man with God is in the majority. Even if the whole world be against you, you will overcome. And He will cover you with His wings (Ps 91:4). Let God be more precious to you than anything else. Never turn your back on Him. That will be foolish and unwise.