Sunday service, Dr Albu van Eeden, 15 Jul 2018
2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
When we see the destruction that our lives have caused, we start to realise how much we owe God. But God wipes away every tear. It is really only once this world has passed away, and after the sun that’s so regular have disappeared forever, that we will truly see and realise how much we have owed God.
Have you woken up to the anger of God on your sinful life and the evil you have done? Or are you still asleep – asleep in your own self-righteousness? It is a sleep that makes you blind to the anger and wrath of God on your life. If you still think of all the bad things other people have done to you, and you see yourself as a victim, then you are still fast asleep. Then you will not realise the anger and judgement of God on your life. Wake up. Don’t sit with your hatred and grudges, because then you are totally blind to how much you owe God. He created you, gave you breath, gave you a body, and brain that can think. Are you using it for hatred and evil? Finally He gave His life to save your soul!
Let’s look at examples from God’s Word. When God created Adam and Eve, they had no idea what God’s intention was with them. They woke up in this beautiful garden, in Paradise, not knowing why they were there or what God’s purpose was for creating them. We read about wonderful things God gave them and future plans He had for them. We read of the tree of life God wanted them to enjoy, which we read of again in Revelations. They chose to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which God told them not to eat of. And before they could eat from the tree of life, God chased them out of the garden. How many people had not fallen into sin because they ate from fruit before it was God’s time, for example the fruit of fame and money and youthful lusts. By eating fruit before it is God’s time will cast you into hell forever.
When they ate from the fruit, being disobedient, they had no idea what it was going to cost God. They only knew they had done something wrong and was suffering outside of Paradise. But they had no idea of what it was going to cost God, the life of His Son, Jesus Christ. When they were disobedient, they did not know, but God knew, what it was going to cost Him. They were just aware of their own suffering outside the garden, toiling in the ground, contending with thorns. They had no idea what they owed God, in the same way as people today have no idea what they owe God.
So too when Abraham took Isaac to sacrifice him, Isaac had no idea what was going to happen. He was just accompanying his father. He did not know that what was busy happening was what was going to happen to Christ in the future. Isaac also had no idea what it was costing his father. He had no idea of the faith that it required of Abraham his father. And he also had no idea what blessings would follow. Up to today God is called the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, because of Abraham’s obedience.
Children, you have no idea what it is costing your parents to bring you up in God’s way. You have no idea how your mother sits with a broken heart because of your life. You are judging them with your own views, but fail to realise how much pain your life is causing them.
When Israel moved out of Egypt through the desert, they had no idea the amount of patience God had with them. Listen to how they complained and distrusted God. First there wasn’t enough water and then not enough food. Eventually they rebelled and wanted to return to Egypt. They didn’t realise how they were humiliating God by not trusting Him.
Lastly let’s look at the widow of Zarephath, who was collecting sticks for her and her son’s last meal. When Elijah the prophet asked her about it, she told him. But he instructed her to make him a small bread first, as we read in 1Kings 17:13-14 “Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.”
Where does it start? When we realise how much we owe God. Remember the hymn “Amazing Grace”, written by John Newton. Have you been there, where you realise how much you owe God?