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God's Time Is Perfect

pastor michael

 

 

 

 

By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London 

 

 

 

Foundation Scripture: Luke 2:1-7; 25-32; 36-38

Sunday 25th December 2016

 

 

Today, I bring a timely word from God to you, on this Christmas Day titled: ‘God’s Time Is Perfect’.

 

Here is the foundation scripture for this message from Luke 2:1-7: “And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn’.

 

Our foundation scripture today, begins with a decree from the emperor Caesar Augustus, declaring a census for the then Roman world, which compelled Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem to be registered, just about the time when Jesus was to be born. Unbeknown to Mary and Joseph, each step they took towards Bethlehem was leading them towards a prophetic destiny. This is also my prayer for you that every step you take will lead you towards your prophetic destiny in Jesus name!

 

The time of Jesus’ birth was perfect. The economic and governmental state of affairs at that time was unprecedented – there were no on-going wars and various roads including 5 major ones in and through the commercial capital had just been completed, making it easier to move around in spreading the Good News of Jesus.  Culturally, the Quinine language, a common language made it easier to spread the Good News; besides the hunger for God’s word was at its peak during that time (Another account of Jesus’ birth is found in Matthew 1:18-25).

 

Luke 2:25-32; 36-38 reveals the story of Simeon who was awaiting the birth of the Messiah: ‘At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four.  She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem’ (NLT).

 

The scripture passages reveal that the Simeon and Anna waited on God for the manifestation of Jesus in the temple. Likewise, as we wait patiently for God, it is important that we wait in accordance with His timing for our lives. We must realise that every promise of God is primarily an opportunity to appreciate God’s ability on display. We often get worried about God’s promises when we have taken centre-stage and begun focusing on our abilities. Ultimately, all the glory must be returned to Him, who deserves it all.

 

God is always thinking about the big picture of His promises in our corporate lives. We are simply vessels He is channelling His blessings through in order to fulfill His purposes on the earth.  As God is a speaking God, every promise He gives His children once verified against His word in the bible will eventually become a reality as long as He has spoken those words to our hearts.

 

Galatians 4:4-5 provides us with a scriptural basis for the birth of Christ, which reads: ‘But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children’. Simon, Anna and the Israelites waited for the arrival of the promised Messiah, as prophesied by Micah in Micah 5:2 and Isaiah in Isaiah 7:14, 700 and 400 years respectively before its fulfillment. Ultimately, God ensured that His promise became a reality. I declare that the promise of God over you will not fail, nor fall to the ground in Jesus name! Jesus arrived at the fullness of time – the exact time that God had already determined beforehand. The Message renders Galatians 4:4-5 thus: But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law’.

 

In the same way that God preordained and predestined the arrival of Jesus Christ, each of our lives has been predetermined by Him as well. He has specific times and seasons for the fulfilment of His purposes in our lives. These promises will be accomplished in God’s own time. There is nothing in our lives that He is unaware of or that He has not figured out. Nothing about our lives takes Him by surprise. Each of us is a prophecy in God’s mind on its way to fruition.

 

Since you are not where God wants you to be yet, you cannot conclude that your life is a mess. Besides predicting the outcome of our lives, God also has the wherewithal to bring His prophecies to pass. So then, we must hold on to Him, without giving up. Drawing a conclusion that the future will not come to pass is too premature. God will bring His word to pass at His own time.

 

One of the key lessons that we can draw from the Christmas story is the waiting period between the announcement of God’s intention and its fulfilment. Simon and Anna waited for the fulfilment of God’s promise of Jesus arrival – since God’s appointed time was pending up until that moment. Once Jesus was born, it heralded the truth that the waiting period for God’s word will never last forever. I declare that you will live to see the expiration date of your waiting period in Jesus name!

 

Ecclesiastes 3:11 reads: ‘God gave us the ability to think about his world, but we can never completely understand everything he does. And yet, he does everything at just the right time’ (Easy to Read Version). Habakkuk 2:3 reads: ‘At the time I have decided, my words will come true. You can trust what I say about the future. It may take a long time, but keep on waiting - it will happen! (CEV).

 

Let me share with you what you can do during your waiting period – Here are some lessons from the life of Simeon:

 

He waited eagerly: He waited expectantly without losing hope. Hebrews 6:13-15 reads: ‘God made a promise to Abraham. And as there is no one greater than God, he used himself when he swore to Abraham, saying,I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” Abraham waited patiently for this to happen, and he received what God promised’. Can I encourage you to wait patiently for God in the present circumstances you may be facing even if that situation seems very difficult and seems to be out of your control? Hold on to God’s word! 

 

He was guided by the Holy Spirit: Luke 2:26-28 revealed that the Holy Spirit guided Him: ‘The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there’(NLT). Let the Holy Spirit guide you and lead you. Align and be led by the Holy Spirit.

 

He saw what was promised: Luke 2:30-31 reads: ‘I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel! (NLT). I declare that you will indeed see the fulfilment of the promises of God upon your lives in Jesus name! (Amen).

 

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As we continue the on-going series ‘Experiencing the Power of Multiplication’ today, here is a brief summary of the message: ‘Empowering the Next Generation’ from a fortnight ago. We agreed that God is generational in His thinking and deals with us from that standpoint. All God gives to us is meant to be passed on to upcoming generation. Our lives are a channel, a means by which God reaches out to our young ones.

God’s word, the bible is full of accounts of people who lived, thinking of the young and the unborn. Abraham in Genesis 17 aptly fits this description, with God reminding him of this truth. Bearing this in mind, Abraham was able to prepare adequately for Isaac’s future as we discovered from these seven points, namely: (1) He dedication Isaac to God, by circumcision (2) He celebrated Isaac (3) The bond woman and her child were sent away (4) He taught Isaac to obey God (5) He set the stage for Isaac’s future (6) He empowered Isaac (7) He sent away the children of His concubines.

Today as we examine this message, titled ‘Make Your Life Count for a Divine Purpose’, it is the crux of this series. Let me start by reminding us that it is vital that life flows from us to the next generation, and I intend to encourage us in this message to embrace a purpose beyond our personal life’s goals and aspirations. Within the timeframe that we have been given by God, it is important that we use it wisely and intentionally, serving His purpose on earth.

I have often wondered if coming to church, and engaging in the various forms of spiritual exercises – giving, praying, studying the scriptures and so forth, and having our needs met are an end in themselves? All these are good but they are simply a means to an end – and not an end in themselves. We’ve been created for a purpose bigger than the meeting of our needs. We experience healing, empowerment, and blessings for a purpose beyond us. Hence, life ought not to end with us. Ephesians 1:1 reads, ‘This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus’. Being chosen is not an end, but the choices made after the calling of God is more important. Unfortunately, the present day church has made the means, an end and disregarded the real end. Our personal victories, blessings and successes are meant to encourage us towards that end.

The essence of our faith is wrapped up in the first statement made by God to mankind in Genesis, and the last words of Jesus to his disciples before His ascension. Here they are, Genesis 1:28 reads thus: Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  Matthew 28:18-19 reads: ‘And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’. Here is the reason why God has created us to live on earth; to make disciples of all nations. Our desires for comfort and pleasures are delightful, but they must not impede us from fulfilling God’s mandate for our lives.