August 21st 2016: Matthew Maxwell-Carr (afternoon)

14087366_1740074836265878_270299574_oDuring our Sunday afternoon meeting Matthew Maxwell-Carr asked us to consider a fresh understanding of God’s sovereignty. We can be quick to say God is in control of everything. However, being a sovereign implies being a ruler. God is the supreme ruler and only monarch of the universe.

‘Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, ‘Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.’ 1 Chronicles 29:10-12

God is the supreme and only monarch of heaven and earth. Everything is under His authority. He lifts some up, He sets others down. Anyone in a position of authority should rule in God’s heart, everything belongs to God by right. In the New Testament He is called the King of Kings and Lord or Lords. There is only one King of Kings, one Lord of Lords, one God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Being the supreme ruler, God is sovereign over everything that happens in this kingdom. He rules over all that happens. It is amazing how many people do not understand this. God created everything so He rules over everything. He is involved in everything.

‘He watereth the hills from His chambers, the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth.’ Psalm 104:13-14. We see it is God who brings forth the food for us.

Psalm 104: 27 reads ’These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season. Thou givest them they gather; thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.’ All the animals of the world wait, it is God who provides for them, the Lord opens His hand and even those in the deepest depths of the sea have food. In verse 29 we are told all are thoroughly dependent on Him.

 Genesis 45 shows when Joseph reveals himself to his brothers who had sold him into slavery. We see Joseph’s love for his brothers. Verse 5 shows how Joseph attributes going into Egypt not to his brothers, but to God. ‘Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.’ And in verse 8, ‘So now it was not you that sent me thither, but God.’ This can be further illustrated in Genesis 50:18-20. God is in control of all aspects of our life. We must adopt a God-centred attitude to life. This is what Joseph did.

We read in Exodus 4 that Moses had been called by God to save the Israelites. Moses makes every excuse possible (verses 10-11). However, God is not having any of it! He’s the one who is in control and involved in everything.

2 Samuel 16 shows how God commanded David to be cursed. We don’t understand false accusations, but God allows it.

God is in control of everything, in every detail. Jesus ended up on the Cross because it was prophesied, ‘They pierced my hands and my feet.’ (Psalm 22:16). God created the greatest evil in humanity and turned it into good.

Ephesians 1:11 ‘In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.’ Paul’s theology is God uses everything in the universe so it conforms to the counsel of His own will.

Romans 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.’ We have a confident knowledge!

Matthew 10:29-31 ‘Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ Here Jesus picks something we see as worthless, insignificant – a sparrow. Yet not one sparrow moves outside of our Father. God is so involved in the life of every bird in this world but He cares for us so much more. Don’t be afraid, we are far more valuable. God is ultimately involved in even the most insignificant details in this world.

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