A series of 7 sermons
This is the first in a series of seven sermons exploring the outstanding reality that God is ever present with His people.
Where are we and who are we as Christians in the world today?
This first sermon looks at Israel with the wilderness behind them and the Promised Land before them, a rabble of ex slaves who because God had set His love upon them and was present among them, were the most privileged people in the entire world.
“The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”” (Exodus 33:14-17, NIV)
We as Christians today are the most privileged people on earth.. not because of wealth or power or status; but purely because God in grave and mercy has chosen to be with us, declaring us by adoption in Christ to be His children. What sets us apart from all people in the world is the presence of God with us. Today we remain the most privileged people on earth!
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:1-2, NIV)
Readings reproduced on this page:
The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996, 1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan
2 Thessalonians 1:3–12 (NIV84)
3We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.
4Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
5All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.
6God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you
7and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.
8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
9They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power
10on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
11With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.
12We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Deuteronomy 4:7–14 (NIV84)
7What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?
8And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?
9Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
10Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.”
11You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fire to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness.
12Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice.
13He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets.
14And the Lord directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and laws you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.