River Church NOLA
April 25 Love Reigns over your Future
- Open Up The Heavens
- Scandal Of Grace
- I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever
- Worshiping You
- Today is the final day of our sermon series Love Reigns. We have been challenging ourselves to allow the love of God to reign in every area of our lives. The first week, we celebrated the life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter. We celebrate because the resurrection is the proof that Jesus is the true King of the world who has authority over all things. When we obey Jesus, we experience the life he has for us. The second week, we looked at how God’s love reigns over our past. Though our mistakes and sins can be a heavy burden on us, we embrace the love of God that forgives us our past and offers us a fresh start. Last week we discovered that God’s love gives us promise for our present. We can make choices that create healthier patterns in our lives and renew our minds to live in obedience to God.This final week of our series I want to speak about allowing the love of God to reign over our future.Magic 8 Ball (Pic)You used them for all sorts of questions… shake it up and ask if Darlene will like you… if you will pass your test…This little toy illustrates how we are fixated on knowing the future.We have all wondered about our future and what is in store for us. Sometimes we wonder about it because we are in a painful situation. Other times it may be because we are excited about what the prospects hold for us. Either way, our curiosity about the future can sometimes slide into an unhealthy obsession with what is to come that is commonly called worry.Take your notes and write down one worry you have about your future. Hold onto that and we will come back to that.Worry is an all-consuming use of our time, energy and attention on things that we cannot control. We worry about our finances, we worry about our family, we worry about our job, we worry about getting sick, we worry about everything. The problem is that our worrying does not improve our situation at all. The only true way to cure this sickness of worry is to trust in the love of God and let is rule in our lives.25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?One thing this passage shows us is that worrying is HUMAN NATURE. Write this down...1. God sees you right where you are.Jesus tells us not to worry about our life. Don’t worry about your daily needs. Don’t worry about your daily wants. The reason he gives is because our lives are made up of more than just our physical desires. God offers proof for his ability to provide for us. He points to the birds of the air. These tiny winged animals are not anxious about their needs for tomorrow, but God still provides their needs for today.If God takes care of the sparrows of the world, surely he can take care of you.Jesus reminds us of our incredible worth. He sees us. We are loved by God and therefore he will provide for us today. Our future is in good hands when our future is under God’s control. We must allow ourselves to trade what we don’t know about the future for what we do know about the love of God for us. Worry is not worth it because it does not add any hours to your life, if anything, it takes hours away.It reminds me of the line in the Lord’s Prayer that is prayed in churches all around the world each and every week. We pray, “Give us this day our daily bread”. Give us what we need today God. Not too much so that we might forget about trusting you for our future. Not too little that we are tempted to take matters into our own hands. Just enough for today. It is how we learn to trust God, even when we do not know what is around the corner. Trusting God for the future instills deep hope that He is there before we ever get there.Many people love to listen to Talk Radio. I have been a talk radio junkie for a while. I wear out WWL. But you know what I began to notice? The more I listened, the more I was angry or worried about the politics and the pandemic… etc.I had to remind myself… God has this. He sees us right where we are. He loves us and has great plans for us.11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.God has a preferred future that he wants you to live into. We experience it when we begin to let go of trying to control everything and we start to submit to him and follow his lead. Worrying about the future does not have any positive effects. It only causes us to become paralyzed by fear.The question is how do you know when opportunities in the future are God’s plan? There are three simple questions you can ask yourself to help you determine God’s leading in your life.Three Questions that help determine God’s Will for you1. Does the opportunity align with scripture?Does the opportunity violate any scripture principles? Does it move you from a direction you have already been given in God’s Word? If so, there is a good chance that this is NOT part of God’s plan for your life.2. Will this opportunity make me more like Jesus?If you take part in the activity or make this decision, will it make you more Christ-Like? If it will help shape you and mold you into the person God desires for you to be, then there is a good chance this could be a part of God’s plan for your future.3. Will this opportunity benefit others?Will this decision result in the blessing of other people around you? God is always looking to use willing people to help serve others in need. This may be a good indication that this thing may be a part of God’s plan for your life.To discover God’s plan for your future is to live into the purpose for which you were born. This is the future that we want to experience.“The two most important days of your life are the day when you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark TwainYour future is tied to your purpose and God’s plan.2. Seek God First and everything else will fall into place.Jesus give us a way to ensure that our future falls in line with his will for our lives. It is about priority. Some of us have our priorities focused on the wrong things because we are nervous about the future.28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.Verse 33 says that we should seek first the Kingdom of God. This should be our priority. Living to see the Kingdom of God come to earth should be the defining aspect of our lives. Rather, many of us are more focused on increasing our popularity and status on social media, finally getting that house on the lake or finding true love. These things are not bad within themselves, but they can cause us to veer off track as our life progresses. Jesus says if we seek God first that everything else will have a way of falling in place.When we seek God first, when we come across a new relationship, they are most likely the kind of person that God would want for us. When we seek God first, we live life with humility and that becomes what we are known for. When we seek God first, our wants and desires look more like the things God would want for us.Jars - big rocks and little rocksIf we put the God first, everything else will work out.So, don’t worry about your future. It is in God’s hands. Besides, Jesus says, today has enough things to be concerned about anyway without worrying about things that don’t exist yet. Most of the things that we spend our time worrying about never come to pass anyway and yet so much of our energy is spent on it.3. Use your time wiselyWe all only have so many days in our lives. Our future must be stewarded well. The author of Psalm 90 had this concept in mind when he wrote verse 12.12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.The author is writing a prayer. He is asking for awareness so that he uses the days of his life in a manner that honors God and honors people.Ill of how we spend time… Study by US News and World ReportSix months sitting at stoplights Eight months opening junk mail One year looking for misplaced objects 2 years unsuccessfully returning phone calls 4 years doing housework 5 years waiting in line 6 years eating… if you go to River Church…?As you live your life it is important to ask yourself if the places that your time, energy, attention and affection are going to the most important places they could possibly go.The only thing that will matter one hundred years from now will be people’s relationship with God. If this is the cause, then we need to use our future to ensure that as many people come to experience and trust God as possible. As the psalmist said, living wisely means realizing that we only have so many days in our lives and we must use them wisely.Now take your notes and look at where you wrote out your worry. Take a minute to write a prayer about how you want to spend your time ans how you want God to turn your worry into worship.Salvation PrayerPray for the illustration
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