The theme of my message this morning is based on a truth that can never be changed. A truth that when people see it and catch this glimpse of God it will do something for them that nothing else can do. The bible speaks of some very, very important places that we can enjoy. David said, "I have found a place where I can lay down and go to rest. Because I can count on God that He will do the right thing. I don't have to worry, He knows so much better than I do. So why should I and God worry about the same thing. When He knows what to do and I don't. I will lay me down in peace and sleep."
Over in 2 Tim. 1:7-12, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind. Be not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, but be therefore a partaker of afflictions in the gospel according to the power of God." What kind of a statement was Paul making there, asking people to be a partaker of afflictions? He must not have discovered all of God's provisions, in making a statement like that. No, on the contrary, he could make a statement like that because he had made the discovery; he had seen God as He is. "According to the power of God who has saved us and called us to a holy calling not according to our own works but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ before the world began, but has now been made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ. Who has abolished death, who has brought life and immortality to light, through the gospel, where I am appointed a preacher and an apostle, and a teacher to the Gentiles. For 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 to Him for that day. Hold fast the form of sound words which thou hast received and heard of me, in faith and in love which is in Christ Jesus, that good thing which was committed unto thee. Keep by the Holy Ghost which dwells in us."
I would like you to notice verse 12. Paul reached a point, "Well so what, I know Him. I have caught a glimpse of Him." When Jesus was praying to His Father, He said, "To know You, this is eternal life, to know Me and to know You the One who has sent me." Paul also made a statement in Romans, "Whether I wake or whether I sleep, whether I live or whether I die, I am the Lord's. And I know that He will do the right thing."
Last week we introduced the subject of the beautiful portrait of God. We looked at His love. And today we're looking at His unfailing ability to always do the right thing, the fact that you can count on Him. This is all wrapped up in a word God made called righteousness. The real meaning of righteousness is rightness, justice, and the knowledge and the ability to always do what is right. And when you talk about the righteousness of God you're talking about the fact that somebody knows what to do and you're strong enough to do it. Praise God. The ability to always do the right thing.
Here in the fourth chapter in verse 9 through 16, he said there was a place where we could stop and rest and quit worrying because you can count on God. And until you can see this facet of God, that He will always do the right thing, then you can't stop and rest, because you don't know whether He's going to do it or not. But when you can see it and when you can have that confidence, you can say there's a rest that remains for the people of God. Let us labor therefore to enter His rest, and he that has entered into this rest has ceased from his own works as God did from His. "Let us labor to enter this rest lest anyone fall in unbelief. For the Word of God is powerful and quick, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of joints and marrow, and the dividing of soul and spirit. Nor is there any creature that is not manifested and naked in His sight."
He sees even the smallest creatures, the insects, every creature that God created looks to Him for His care, His help. Since God is this careful, and He knows our need, and He has the ability to do that which is right without fail, we can have some rest. "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed into the heavenlies, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a High Priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but in all points was tempted as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, to find help in time of need."
God will do the right thing, you can find that grace, you can find that help when you need that help, you can trust Him, You can count on it. Moses cried out, "God let me see You as You are." God proclaimed Himself to Moses, and said Moses there's a place by Me where you can rest, where you can have a glimpse of Me, and see Me as I really am. And in that place by Him, you'll hear that declaration, the Lord God, the Lord God, Merciful and Gracious, full of goodness and loving kindness, God who is more interested in the needs of not only His people but in the needs of all of His creation. Job started asking God a lot of questions and he started wondering if God was doing the right thing, and he started complaining against God, "do you really think You're doing the right thing God?" And he couldn't rest, and it was horrible. "Look at the ungodly their having everything God, and the righteous and I'm having everything bad. But God talked to him, and finally Job decided to listen, and all at once God said, "Here let me show you a place where all of these things aren't going to disturb you. There is a path that the vulture's eye has not seen, or the lion's squelps have not trod there on. There is a place in the midst of trouble and problems where you can fold your arms and say, "so what, I am the Lord's?" The vulture's eye has lost its power, and the vulture's beak has lost its power to pick at you because you are the Lord's. Because it's a secret path you see right in the middle of a lot of trouble, there's a river that flows. I like that song, "beneath the troubles and cares of this life, there's a hidden river that flows on." This is speaking about His peace. Oh, Hallelujah.
The righteousness of God shows you God in a light that you could never see Him in any other way. We so often think of God only as the salvation of His people, and the preparation of a place beyond for them. We think of Him in judgment of sin, but the righteousness of God shows God as the One who goes into the realm of everyday living, everyday needs, into the area of all of His creation; as I said the insects, the animals. And I know God loves dogs. He takes good care of them.
Psalm 145, this brings out the way God feels about all of His creation. And this isn't connected so much with the spiritual as it is with the natural things of creation. Verse 14, "the Lord upholds all that fall, and raises up all of those who are bowed down. The eyes of all wait upon Thee. And Thou gives them their meat in due season." God is doing the right thing; He is sustaining all of His creation. He's providing and sustaining all that He has created. There are so many people who only see God in a spiritual light. But this whole world and all of these planets and everything else would be in the biggest mess if God was only interested in the spiritual things. God is controlling the material things, and He is sustaining all of His creation. If He didn't He wouldn't be righteous, He wouldn't be doing the right thing. But you can count on Him; He'll do the right thing by you. This is what the Word tells us all the way through.
Jeremiah 9:23-4, Psalm 103, Hebrews 6:10, Romans 3:25-6, Psalm 98. I would like for you to get them down, and read them when you can. Psalm 98:2 says that "the Lord has made known His salvation, His righteousness He has openly showed." How? Well, by remembering His mercy, His grace, by showing you His salvation, by executing righteousness, by making it happen, by bringing it into action, by God doing the thing that He said He would do. Then He showed it by being merciful and gracious, and being slow to anger. He hath not dealt with us according to our sins. God would not be doing the right thing if He were dealing with you according to your sins. You know what He would be doing, He would be allowing evil to determine what He did and God doesn't let evil call the orders for Him. He's not regulating it by the sin, God hates sin. He hates sin more than anybody but nevertheless He is not going to let that sin rob you of His help. He'll keep prayer from getting through, but He won't keep help from getting through. If He would we would all be the sorriest bunch of people you ever saw in your life. God helped every one of us while we still had sin. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us, He helped us; He loved us while we were His enemies. He has not dealt with us according to our sin, nor rewarded us for our iniquities. He showed His righteousness again, as far as the east is from the west, so far as He hath removed our transgressions away.
He's telling the world that He will do the right thing by us. I am showing My righteousness like as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him. Then He said by making allowance, for the fact that you're made out of some pretty cheap material, for He knows our frame. The word man in Hebrew means dirt. So he's says Mr. and Mrs. Dirt created. He remembers our frame, just dirt. He said can't expect too much, but give them a little bit of what I'm giving them, and the potential is unlimited! Praise God. Well these are ways He's showing His righteousness.
He said the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting for them who fear Him. And His righteousness (the unfailing ability to always do the right thing again), His righteousness unto children's children. Then righteousness is seen in sustaining and providing. For some of you who are working hard for God and you get little thanks, His righteousness is seen by the fact that He will not be unrighteous by forgetting you. He will not forget, He will remember your labor and your work of love. Then His righteousness rises to the highest purpose when He proved to the world, the angels and the devil, that He was righteous in taking the fallen race and making provision for that race to come back into fellowship with Him. He still proved that He was not only righteous, but He had justice there by allowing the judgment and the penalty of sin to fall on His own sin by allowing His judgment to fall on His own sin. By providing a substitute, God proved to the world that He was righteous. He declared to the world that He was righteous by taking His own holiness and draping it over the top of sinful man, so that we again can be back into fellowship again. God did it! God was showing His righteousness again.
Then He gave the Holy Spirit, this is the mission of the Spirit. He said, "When the Spirit has come; He will prove to the world that I am righteous, that I have done the right thing and that I will do the right thing and that my righteousness is everlasting and that I will never quit doing the right thing." You may say how does this relate to God, and you feel that God is unfair and unjust. Like what about other races and other peoples and so on, could God be just in dealing with these people rightly? We don't know all that God knows, we don't understand, but we do know this, that God has developed and is developing strength. He has made Himself real, He's opened us a channel. He did not say He would take away the rivers of sorrow, but He did say "when you do pass through the rivers I will be with you. I will hold your hand." When you get into the fiery trial and the heat is turned up and you don't think you can stand it any longer, He said, "I will be with you." He didn't say the problems would be removed but He did say that I will be with you. In His righteousness, doesn't mean the problems will always overwhelm, but He did say to be aware that it does not detract from His righteousness. And the feelings that people have had with regard to God were given because they have been given a wrong view of God. They have seen God as a must-steer God who is making an effort to prove that He is the supreme ruler and has to work hard to prove it, and that His intention is to strike down humans, His program is planned. This view of God is an incomplete view of God. The view of God that you don't know, that He is not concerned about your welfare, that He is unfair, and that it just doesn't seem fair.
The heart that cannot see Him as the righteous One, the One that will do the right thing by us cannot rest. They haven't discovered the path that the vulture's eye hasn't seen. They haven't yet discovered the place that there is by Him. They haven't discovered the rest there is for the people of God. Where we could fold our arms and rest in the Lord while the storms move around us. In the Living Bible the Apostle Paul talked about saying we are often perplexed because we don't know why things happen as the way things do but we're not going to give up and quit. Because God still is righteous, and will do the right thing by us. And somewhere we're going to be able to look back a little ways and see, while looking at some hard things and say, "the Lord did the right thing. Look what came of it, look what happened. God did the right thing. He revealed Himself. He strengthened me. He prepared me. He saved me from something worse, God did the right thing. And when you can know this you can rest in God. Hallelujah.
Young people, you can know that regarding the heathen out there who haven't heard, you can bank on this, that God will do the right thing with them. This is why in Psalm where He said He has showed His righteousness openly to the whole world, there are people being saved in all parts of the world that have never heard the gospel message. God is rolling up His sleeve. If somebody says, "God, I'm not going fit into the spot that you foreordained for me in carrying the gospel." God says, "I will do it Myself if you won't do it," with His own arm He wrought salvation to them. And I'm hearing of it all the time. And I think of Mike who God sent an angel in the form of a humpback man to him to tell him about the way of salvation. I think of reports in the Burma area where whole tribes of people have come to know God just exactly the way that we know Him, including the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Sounds like a dream. "Well what's the use of sending people out then," somebody said. I want you to know it's the greatest privilege you have ever had.
God says I have foreordained you to help Me. And you can have the privilege of your life in being a partner with Me, but if you're lazy and you refuse and miss the blessing God has for you, deliverance will rise from another source for I am not going to let the laziness of people spoil what I want to do. Read Isaiah 14:24-27. God says, "As I have thought so shall it come to pass, and so I have purposed so shall it stand. My hand is stretched out. This is the purpose that is purposed upon Me. The whole earth and this is the hand that is stretched out to all nations. For the Lord of Hosts has purposed and who shall disannul it?" Theologians? Some say that Jesus is not really divine. Those silly fellows are going to get laughed off the face of the earth.
Jesus is called the arm of The Lord. His arm is stretched out. I'm giving you a picture and a side of God that has little been seen. He is not only the God of spiritual renewal but He is the God of the universe. His righteousness is also seen in that He has allowed judgment to fall on sin because He can not stand sin. He made a decree and He has to keep that decree. The soul who sins shall die. But God showed His righteousness by sending a substitute to die in our place, Jesus. Why is it that men and women who hear this saying and reject, it's because they're saying, "no thanks God. I'm going to take my own punishment."
Judgment is going to fall on sin. Men don't have to die. This is the reason why the Spirit of the Lord cried out through the prophet, "Why would you die? Why would you die when you don't have to?" Life is yours, His hand is stretched out. Praise God. There is a rest for the people of God. Reach out your hand and put it in His. He says let's shake hands, I want you to have fellowship with Me. Don't allow circumstances or situations tell you God is not fair. And don't feel He's going to condemn you for it if you find yourself asking this. There's a place where the lies cease. Hallelujah.
We're going to have communion time this morning and I encourage you whether you're in fellowship or out of fellowship with God to take communion and as you hold that cup in your own hand it's a message from God's heart that God has done the right thing by you. And I want you to say, "God I'm putting my faith in that, in what You did." Because we are going to utterly fail if we put our faith in what we could do. God's plan is to bring you to Himself and to take you to a place that He's prepared. And He's more interested in getting you there then He is in a lot of the things that people present. He's more interested in people then He is procedure.
We're here in God's presence. I feel that God placed this message on my heart today, because some, who haven't known God or have, haven't seen this side of God. Jesus, though if for the present if need be we're in heaviness through manifold trial, we know that you are doing the right thing because we know the trial of our faith is working something very special for us a far greater weight of glory. This is the kind of God that you've searched for, longed for. But today you've heard this message and you realize that God Himself has spoken to you through this message. Thank You Father that the trials in our life our working for us a far greater weight of glory. This is the kind of God that you've searched for, longed for. At this moment may new life flow through them. By taking communion you are activating the greatest force in the universe.
(Song) "This is my body broken for you, take and eat it, each time you do, do it in remembrance of Me."