Dec 17: Christmas Sermon: The Miracle of the Method – Romans 11
Romans 11:33, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”
MESSAGE: Romans 11:33 Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out. Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do? Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice? Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes.
- Paul begins this praise to God focusing on the greatness of God and on how absolutely wonderful He is. His riches, wisdom and knowledge are beyond measure.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. God’s methods are different than our methods.”
We shouldn’t be Surprised at God’s Methods: He chose Abraham to leave his home and travel to the place of promise. He chose Joseph, Jacob’s next to youngest son, to become the Savior of his family. He chose Israel, the least significant nation, to be His special people. He chose David, the shepherd boy, to become the king of Israel. He chose Bethlehem, a small, insignificant spot on the landscape of Israel, to be the birthplace for His Son…Emmanuelle—God With Us!
- Do you see the pattern being revealed? Over and over and over again, God chose plain, ordinary people through whom He could do His “Extraordinary” work.
God’s Methods Include Us…To celebrate the occasion, angels announced the news of Christ’s birth but to whom do they go and share this wonderful and wondrous news? Shepherds! Not kings and queens, not even the religious or military leaders. Part of the miracle of Christmas is the miracle of the method God uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things!
Think about this miracle of the method: Following His resurrection from the dead, Jesus appeared first to a group of women, He didn’t show up at the Temple and boast before the Sanhedrin and the religious leaders, “I told you so!”
We would write the script so that Jesus rises from the dead and then returns to Jerusalem to prove that He was right. God’s plan was different. Following His resurrection, Jesus revealed Himself to His followers and gave them the responsibility to go and make disciples of all the world, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything He had commanded them. The salvation of the world rested in the hands of these few followers – Simple, Ordinary People!
Paul commented on this miracle of the method in Cor. 1:26–29: “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.”
God’s methods haven’t changed…He still uses ordinary people to accomplish His Extraordinary work! Our abilities are not as important as our “Attitude and Availability”.
God’s Methods Sanctify Us: We experience problems, pains, and pressures. We experience struggles and sickness. We experience temptations and failures. We take one step forward in our spiritual growth and follow it with two steps back. Victories and celebrations are accompanied by defeats and despair.
Gods Method includes as we go through circumstances we don’t understand we are not left to despair… You can trust that God is at work in your life for Your good.
- Believe His promise in Rom 8:28: “ And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
When the angel appeared to Mary to tell her she would be the mother of God’s Son, there was no way she could have predicted all that revelation would mean for her. Joseph had no idea what would be involved when he obediently responded to the angel’s message not to divorce Mary but to take her as his wife. Joseph and Mary endured shame, accusation, embarrassment, and ridicule. But they also experienced the miracle of seeing God become flesh right before their eyes. They Saw God!
God works in our lives to produce a beautiful tapestry. From our perspective here on earth we only see the back of the embroidery. But the front reveals a beautiful picture…But, Looking at the backside, we don’t understand why it looks so ugly, why it seems so confusing…It is impossible for us to understand all the different knots and colors and seemingly random directions our lives have taken.
But one day, You will finally be able to see the top side of this tapestry God has been weaving of You…And it Will Be Beautiful!!
- Then You will see how the seasons of pain brought some rich, vibrant colors to Your tapestry. You will see the fullness and richness of the design reflected in the seasons of joy and celebration. You will see the depth of character revealed through the times of testing and trusting. And You must continue to trust that He is at work and that He is working for Your good!
Continue to trust God, even though you don’t understand how He is at work in your life. Continue to follow Him and your life will be richly blessed!
The miracle of the method is that God uses ordinary people like you and me to accomplish extraordinary things for the sake of His kingdom.
The miracle of the method is that God is at work in Your life in ways that You do not understand.
Therefore, You must choose to believe that God is working in and through You for Your good and His glory. He is at work weaving a beautiful tapestry, of Your Life, that will one day be revealed for all to see.
POINT: God is Working in My Life to Produce a Beautiful Tapestry for Others to See!