A Sovereign God


I had the greatest of intentions when I began this little series to post three articles from Second Timothy. Well since this is part three, I will continue to write and see where we end up. Today, hear the word of the Lord, as He speaks through the Apostle Paul to Timothy.

…who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 2 Timothy 1:9-11

I think it’s important to see the Sovereignty of God in this section of text, because outside of the calling, purpose, grace and salvation of a Holy God nobody would ever be saved. Given the discussion we had last time I think this is easily missed. It’s easily missed, because just like the mission, it’s an often times unpopular message. But if we don’t understand the goodness and mercy of God that controls all things, then we are to misunderstand the majority of what Scripture teaches us. So much of what I want to say can be summed up by the Prophet Ezekiel. So let’s see what God tells us through His Prophet.

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD,” says the Lord GOD, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. – Ezekiel 36:22-27

Why does God, do what He does? Isn’t it simple? He does it for His name’s sake. That is it. My work is over. You’ve been informed. Now, that wasn’t all that hard was it, or was it?

Question number one from many reformed catechisms is the same thing.

  1. 1. What is the chief end of man?
  2. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.

Whew, again, that’s pretty simple to understand, but the bottom line, for most people is that’s really difficult if not impossible to swallow. Here is the problem. I will make a pretty bold statement here, in that it’s not only the problem, it’s the reason all heresies and false teachings arise. It all goes back to the garden and the attempted coup by Adam and his desire to kick God off His throne and become “god” himself. I’m sure by now you are hanging on a thread, well… what is it?

Man replaces God honoring worship with man honoring desires. Man-centered theology replaces God-centered theology. Man wants to rule, and he wants to subject God under his feet.  But guess what? God will have none of it, and although man believes sometimes and most of the times that he is the center of the universe, God has declared that’s not so.

Psalm 2:1 – Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?

Psalm 2:4-5 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath. And distress them in His deep displeasure.

Brothers and sisters, friends and anyone else that might look upon these words, I hope you will consider today that the God of the universe, the King of all creation, the Holy One, sits on His throne and He is in charge. Not a thing escapes His attention, not a sparrow falls to the ground outside His sovereign will. Not a single human being is saved without His enabling. He calls and the elect respond. Those saved are not any more intelligent or any more capable than the worst of all the sinners outside of God’s decrees. He does His good pleasure, because He’s God.

Well, there is so much more to say, and I don’t have the time and space I desire, but we can see the gospel has been established by Christ Himself through His revelation. He came to this earth and He did what no man could accomplish. He fulfilled the law of God that sinful man might be saved; He proved this by conquering death and rising from the grave. He is worthy, and we have the written word that Paul has given us, to know the truth and the validity of the message.

As we go out today and consider God’s plan, as one that sows seed, we must sow good seed; the seed of the pure gospel. When we boldly and unashamedly proclaim the gospel, God saves. He uses the foolishness of the message to save some, for His glory. What a marvelous message, what an amazing privilege we have.


Do you despise Him?


The Christian life is no different from most lives in that Believers experience the ups and downs that are typical.  We get sick, we have conflict with our wives or children and we are certainly not free from seemingly random things that occur.  I say seemingly because Scripture tells us nothing is by chance and God has all things under His sovereign control.

I believe this and do not subscribe to health, wealth and prosperity doctrines that are so prevalent today.  The one thing I understand is that God has purpose in everything He does.  For the Believer this has eternal consequences because the way we respond in trials and tribulations is a very significant part of our testimony.

James 1:17-18 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

The old adage “it’s hard to see the forest for the trees” is applicable to the teaching of James, it’s stated very plainly, yet most often in the moment of trials we don’t want to see what God is doing in our lives because we are in pain at that moment.

We don’t consider it a gift when someone we love is sick or we wonder why God would allow this to happen…  What if you are subject to rebuke or church discipline?  Do you really consider God is treating you as a son or daughter?

If life or our circumstance is not as “we think it should be” the natural tendency is to be upset and angry.  Maybe we won’t say we are angry at God, but the fact is we are exhibiting nothing but discontent.

And discontent is sin!  (1 Timothy 6:6-9, Philippians 4:6, Matthew 6:25-34)

The opportunity to glorify God in a time or season of trial is a gift from God.  Believer, do you believe this?  I know we will agree to this when life is going well.  But do you really believe it when you are facing a trial?

James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

Let us examine ourselves today.  Do you count it all joy?  Why not, if not?  I hope this is very succinct because I don’t see this as a complicated subject, yet how many that name the name of Christ despise His goodness?

James 1:4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 


When Believers and I include myself in this conversation, do not consider trials pure joy we despise the good gift that God has given us.  We have our own idea of an outcome and have no desire to allow God, through patience, to work His perfect work in our lives.

Call it what you want, discontent, frustration, anger, circumstance…  Or call it what it is; distrust in God’s goodness.

I’m thankful for the trial that has recently come into my life, with our daughter Anna.  It has given me an incredible opportunity to learn patience and leadership as I guide my family and my wife through a tough time.  I’m being grown up, so that I can minister to others.  I can’t lead without having been there myself and although in the grand scheme of life’s trials, this is small in comparison.  Each good and perfect gift prepares us for bigger things.

Romans 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 

Let’s consider the purpose of a trial, for some it may lead to repentance, for some condemnation.

How will you respond?  This might show your condition before God.