Good morning, everyone. Welcome to “Try Jesus!” If this is your first time joining us, it’s great to have you with us. I would like to thank all the new members for joining “Try Jesus.” Also welcome those in Illinois, Iowa, North Carolina, California, and Alabama.
What a tremendous week for the body of Christ. For those who can see the goodness of God, everything is moving right along according to his glorious plan. His redemptive plan is still in full effect.
If you know someone who is not aware of this plan that involves having a purpose and goal, then point them to the only man that can change their dreadful days into delightful experiences. God is ready to do something spectacular.
Let’s pray, “Heavenly Father, we thank you this morning for gathering us together. Lord, we are ready to be your workmen in the harvest today. Prepare our hearts and minds to receive the truth from your word.
Not just any word Lord, but the word that is quick and powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword. You are worthy of all our praise. You are the God who never fails to keep his promises.
You are the God who lifts up those who are weighed down. You are the God who provides for your children. Our desire is to praise you as long as we live. Inhabit our praises as we gather together today. It’s in your name I pray, amen.”
Have you ever had one of the days where everything that wasn’t supposed to go wrong, did? I grew up in a family where if everything was peaceful and tranquil, my mother might yell upstairs and ask us, “What’s going on up there, it’s to quite!”
As parents, there are times when your house is like rush hour in a large city. This can also be true with couples who have no children. There can also be a rush hour in your house if you’re single.
I was used to the words of my mother always saying, “Hold on, I’ll be there in a minute!” How often do you hear those words in your house? I thought my mom was a pretty tough woman. She would go through a whole day of “holding on.”
Many times she needed that “Calgon, take me away moment.” These days, it seems many are losing their grip to hold on. Has holding on to your finances been more difficult? Has holding on to your child’s education been difficult?
Has holding on to your business been difficult? Has holding on to your marriage been difficult? Has holding on to your freedoms been difficult? Has holding on to your safe neighborhood been difficult?
Does it seem like some things in society are coming apart at the seams? Some of you might counter and say, “Hey Pastor Todd, everything is ok in my neck of the woods.” I would say, great! But my follow up question might be, “Who are you sharing this with?”
When something is falling apart you want too sure it up. That is, you want to have something supporting that area that is weak. When there was something wrong in my parents’ house, those strong words, “Hold on!” meant help was on the way.
Have you ever used super glue as a stop gap until you can get something fixed in a more professional manner? That super glue has a strong grip, but is it a permanent fix? Somethings need to have a “Blessed assurance.”
Allow me to bring this assurance closer to home. If you have a swing set in your backyard and your child is learning how to swing for the first time, you would want to make sure everything is ok with the swing set, right?
But let’s say after telling your child to hold on tight as you teach him/her to kick their legs to gain momentum, you notice and hear a sound on the swing. You notice one of the chain links has a cut in it.
Would you tell your child to “hold on” while you went in the house to grab some superglue, or how about a band-aid to wrap around the link? Pretty absurd, right? Would not sound wisdom suggest you remove your child off the swing until it is professionally repaired?
But in our society today, everyone is grabbing onto unproven remedies they think will better society. And when society latches on to the unproven, things start to get broken very quickly. “Don’t think so?” All you have to do is stop, look, and listen.
Remember when Y2K was supposed to happen? Many people started doing some outlandish things to try and find relief in their fears. The same thing happened with the pandemic.
Have you ever asked for help in fixing something by someone you thought might be able to help you, but after they got their hands on it, things only got worse? This is what’s happening in our homes, schools, and our nation.
Where has all the common sense gone? Today, people are grasping for straws in every societal problem that’s out there. When society starts to lose its grip, it’s time to go back to the only sure grip since man was put on this earth, God.
This country needs God to survive. You need God in your schools to survive. You need God in law to survive the crimes. You need God in marriage to keep the nuclear family bonded, strong, and in his grip.
You need God in our prisons so if a criminal is incarcerated, he may come out better than when he went in because the gospel is in the prison. But because common sense is flying away faster than birds flying south for the winter, criminals keep adding to their rap sheet.
When Job experienced all his pitfalls in life, he never lost sight of God, who had his grip on his life (Job 1:12). The book of Job shows a good man suffering for no apparent fault of his own.
[Like Job, faith in God is justified even when a situation looks hopeless. Faith based on rewards or prosperity is hollow and unstable. To be unshakable, faith must be built on the confidence that God’s ultimate purpose will come to pass.]
Notice how these pitfalls came to Jobs attention like a load of falling dominoes one after the other (Job 1:13-19). But what was Jobs’ response in trying to fix everything? He didn’t go out and build a zoo prison to keep criminals from stealing them.
He didn’t build a house made of marble so it could be strong enough to withstand any wind. No. What did Job do? Here’s what he did, 20} “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
21} And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. 22} In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. (Job 1:20-22 KJV).
In all of this calamity, Job still had faith in God. Yes, he was overwhelmed with grief. Yes, he loved his family, but all this pain still led him to his knees to fall down and worship.
The Hebrew word worshipped (shâchâh) means to prostrate one’s self. To lay flat.
To stoop or crouch down. To humbly beseech. To make obeisance and show reverence. Job decided to cling to God during those turbulent times.
This is just the opposite to the landowner Jesus spoke about in his parable. It also reminds me of the futile attempts our leaders make at fixing societal problems. (Luke 12:16-21; 14:26-35). Yes, the first parable is about accumulating wealth.
But there is correlation between Job and the wealthy landowner. One put his trust in God, the other put his trust in self and stuff. Job knew he came into this world empty-handed.
Many people who do have stuff in life are immediately not affected when leaders choose draconian deadly ways to fix our societal problems. I’m always amazed to hear people say our nation shouldn’t have a border.
Everywhere I look something has a wall around it. Even the people who oppose a wall may have a wall around their house. The Vatican has a wall. The White house has fences and walls.
People have locks and security on their front and back doors. Some use hedges to act as privacy and some sense of security. Did you know the new Jerusalem in heaven has walls all around it? (Revelation 21:2,10-26).
Also here’s what the last verse says in (Revelation 21:27). “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
It says not everyone will be allowed into the new Jerusalem, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. That means in order to get into this place, you must be born-again. (John 3:3).
That means you must be a citizen of heaven (Spiritually reborn). No one can just walk into heaven. Jesus said those who would desire to enter without being a citizen of heaven are like thieves and robbers. (John 10:1, 9-10).
But how do these scriptures apply to today’s title message? Well, let’s continue to look in the word of God to see who’s holding things together. We can start right at the source.
In the book of Colosse, Paul was commissioned by the Lord to go to the Gentiles and show them the light (Acts 26:17-18). Authentic Christians in 2023 have been rescued out of darkness (sin) into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9).
Please take a moment to pray and ask God to open the eyes of your heart through the Holy Spirit to the following passage (Colossians 1:12-27). Please read aloud every verse.
In reality, the whole first chapter is a blessing to know who is holding our lives and this nation and world together. Praise God! I’m ready to stop preaching and start rejoicing. How about, “He’s got the whole world, in his hands.”
Here’s the wonderful truth and promises God has made available to those who place their lives in his hands. (Colossians 1:12-14). Christians have Jesus as their anchor while the nation and other non-believers sink in depravity. Proverbs 10:25; Hebrews 6:18-20).
[These two unchangeable things are God’s promise
and his oath. God embodies all truth; therefore, he cannot lie, and we can be secure in his promises. Our hope of heaven stands secure and immovable, anchored in God.]
Paul answered the various tenets of the Colossian heresy that threatened the church. There are many laws being passed today that weaken communities. Many people reject the idea that Jesus holds everything together.
They would rather destroy the nation through human wisdom, traditions, and philosophies. But Paul emphasizes that true believers have been transferred from darkness to light, from slavery to freedom, from guilt to forgiveness, and from the power of Satan to the power of God.
The precious sinless blood of Jesus washes away our sins. Christians are redeemed through that blood (Colossians 1:14). The reason we know Jesus can hold our lives together, because of who he is and what he has done.
Verse 15-17 has some of the most powerful truths about Jesus and his divine nature. Jesus holds it all together because Jesus is not only equal with God (Philippians 2:6), he is God.
(John 10:30, 38; 12:45; 14:1-11); Jesus has always been the visible image of the invisible God, he is the exact representation of God. He not only reflects God, but he reveals God to us (John 1:18; 14:9).
Jesus has all supreme priority and authority over all creation. He came from heaven, not from the dust of the earth like Adam (1 Corinthians 15:47). He rules as Lord of all (Revelation 1:5; 17:14).
[Jesus is completely He is completely holy (Hebrews 7:26-28; 1 Peter 1:19; 2:22; 1 John 3:5), and he has authority to judge the world (Romans 2:16; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1).]
[Christians must believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (that Jesus is God). Without this core belief, our Christian faith becomes hollow, misdirected, and meaningless.]
We must oppose the belief that Jesus was merely a prophet, a good teacher, or one of many ways to a relationship with God. If you desire to have your life held in the most trusted hands-on earth, then today your life can have meaning and purpose attached to it.
Paul explained that all the thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities of both the spiritual and physical worlds were created by and are under the authority of Christ himself. Wow! What a powerful statement!
This includes all governments. Isaiah prophesied this some 700 years ago. (Isaiah 9:6-7). So, you see beloved, the nation has lost its grip on society through crime, lawlessness, corruption, educational decline, and moral decay.
So, have you ever asked someone “How are you doing today?” And their response was “I’m holding it together.” Or they might say, “I’m holding on.” But what are they holding on too? How many people do you know who’s lives are falling apart?
If so, you can simply tell them, God didn’t simply create you and leave you to fend for yourself. He’s intimately involved in your day-to-day life. Today you can choose to make Jesus Lord of your life.
With teens and young adults feeling fear from thinking the planet is being destroyed through climate, suicide among young people will continue to rise.
Young people lose hope and feel abandoned because they don’t have anyone greater to hold their lives together during chaotic times. They need the reassurance that God can uphold them with his strong hand.
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10 KJV).
Today, of you look at every indicator around the human condition, there is a precipitous decline away from God. Yes, we have a stewing pot of religion, but a living relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit is something different.
How many families, friends, and neighbors do you know that are living on unstable ground? How many of you have seen your communities implode around you due to lawlessness? God desires to undergird and help those who cry out to him.
With all the misery that is plaguing many cities, it’s time to refocus on the condition of the heart. That is where Jesus by the Holy Spirit is waiting to take up residence (Revelation 3:20). Jesus loves each hurting soul unconditionally.
My heart breaks from all the divisions that are separating individuals and sending them to their defensive camps. There is one color in all the human race that matters, and that is the precious red blood of the Savior of the world.
Jesus set the foundations of the world in place, and he holds everything together. Hebrews tells us that Jesus is sustaining all things by his powerful word (Hebrews 1:3).
Throughout the Bible God took hold of many hands and lives who needed him. Here are just a few. (David-Psalm 63:8; God towards Israel- Isaiah 42:6; 46:4; Ezra-7:28; Jesus to his followers- John 10:28-29; Asaph- Psalm 73:23).
David continued to know and trust God to keep, hold, and preserve his life. Psalm 139:7-10; Ezekiel- Despite his anger at Israel, Ezekiel had nothing to fear because God’s hold on him was strong (Ezekiel 3:14).
Disciples in Antioch- Acts 11:19-21; Lot- Genesis 19:16; Simon’s mother-in-law- Mark 1:30-34; Young girl- Mark 5:38-43; Peter- Matthew 14:25-31). Today, our nation could use the hands and prayer of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah used prayer and fasting after he heard the devastating news about Jerusalem. Nehemiah did not start pointing the finger to find fault like our leaders do today. He cried out to God and confessed his sin. (Nehemiah 1:4-11; 4:6).
If our churches that are sleeping at the wheel will see the destruction like Nehemiah did and fast and pray, God will certainly hold the people together and bring an outpouring of cleansing in the land (2 Chronicles 7:12-14).
The church of born-again believers facing opposition actually gives them opportunities to reflect the nature of the Messiah. They can return love for hate, blessing for curses, and goodness for evil. It enables them to learn what it means to rule in the midst of enemies.
Before we close for the day, here are five benefits God gives all believers through Christ:
1) He has enabled us to share in his inheritance (2 Corinthians 5:21).
2) He has rescued us from Satan’s kingdom of darkness and made us his children. (Colossians 2:15).
3) He has brought us into his
3) He has brought us into his eternal Kingdom (Ephesians 1:5-6).
4) He has purchased our freedom from sin and judgment with his blood (Hebrews 9:12).
5) He has forgiven all our sins (Ephesians 1:7). These benefits are giving to keep us secure in the love of God.
Three songs came to me during my preparation for today’s sermon. 🎵 Blessed assurance Jesus is mine. He’s got the whole world in his hands. Hold to his hand, God’s unchanging hand. 🎵
I pray these lyrics would cause you to seek God’s providence for your lives. His hands are more than big enough to care for you and your entire family. You just have to trust him.
🗣📢 Last words: To someone truly seeking who comes to God in belief, God gives an unconditional promise of acceptance. When you ask God with openness, honesty, and sincerity to save you from your sins, he will do it.
He will then move heaven and earth to care for you. You will be that person in the famous picture of there being only two sets of footprints in the sands. You can give all your burdens to him.
It might seem like your world is coming apart, but don’t be afraid to put yourself in his hands. Our confidence is rooted in God’s hold on us, not our grip on God. When we give our lives to him, he will take us and never let us go.
Not only is he capable of putting your life back in order, but he can be trusted to keep it together. When you feel broken and bruised or burned out in your life, God won’t step on you or toss you aside as useless but instead will gently pick you up.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? From birth to death, God has us continually in his grip. But far more, we have hope in the Resurrection. God provides our security and our eternal life, so we must cling to him. (Romans 8:35, 38-39).
God’s invisible and intangible hand can be on you today. Allow your heart to surrender to his leading, guiding, encouraging, protecting, strengthening you and giving you courage to stand in the midst of a crooked generation.
🛐 Here’s a prayer you can pray to find yourself in God’s capable hands. “Heavenly Father, thank you for today’s message. There has been so much toil and chaos in my life and under my roof.
I need your hands Lord to come untangle my messed-up life. My stomach feels like it’s always tied up in knots. I need you to please take control of my life. I need your strength to love my family.
I need your strength to say no when I’m tempted to surrender to harmful things, or when selfishness clings to my clothes and won’t let go. I need your strength to say yes, when I’m weak and discouraged.
Jesus, please be my rock today. Help me to stand when others fall to the world’s holidays that pull many away from the truth. I run to you today, believing that you will lift up my heavy arms.
Refuel me for the tasks you’ve given me, and that your joy will completely consume the weakness of my life and make me strong again. I don’t want to stay grounded, crippled by limitations and failed attempts.
I’m tired of feeble efforts. Lord, I want to mount up with wings like an eagle and not just fly. I want to soar. Lord, fill me with your supernatural power to overcome each obstacle in my path.
With my eyes on you, Lord, with you walking beside me, working through me, upholding me, I can make it. Thank you, Lord! In Jesus’ name, amen.”
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🙏 Please remember to pray for the people in Israel. They are God’s people because of his covenant promises to them. (Genesis 12:1-3; Numbers 6:22-27; 24:8-9).
Pastor Todd Boxley
Worship Center Ministry