God’s Sovereignty

God’s Sovereignty

Sermon Notes

Key Thought: One gift of Christmas is God’s sovereign reign over His creation. The Christmas story reminds us of how our Heavenly Father show’s his powerful but loving hand over the world and throughout history. And actually, the Christmas story has an important starting point back in Genesis with the story of Abraham. Here God makes some unbelievable promises to Abraham that, when initially spoken, made no sense to him or his family. Yet, through His power, God was able to fulfill these seemingly unfulfillable promises. And centuries later, we see a critical development in God’s plan with a simple Jewish teenager named Mary. This large narrative illustrates what can happen when our free will comes together to work with God’s sovereignty. This story reminds us that the impossible can happen when the faithful belief in a powerful God.

God is in control.

But, can I trust God, even when I don’t understand all that God is doing?

And how do we know God’s plan?

We look at his promises.

  1. God’s sovereignty is proved by his ability to keep his promises (Gen 12:1-5)
    • Abraham (city dweller, raised by idol worshiping parents, started a major move at age 75)
    • God did not mention how he was going to do his work
    • Abraham believed the impossible by faith. God did the impossible by his sovereignty
    • In the end God keeps his promises (Remember- Abraham lived around 1900 B.C.)
      • Who hear has heard of the: Lausitz Culture, Gava Culture, Torrean Civilization?
      • How many of you have heard of the Jewish nation?
      • How many of you have heard of Abraham?

2. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s sovereign rule. (Luke 1:26-33)

God is working on a plan to rescue and restore the world we have broken.

But notice from the personal perspective of Mary:

  • Mary was “greatly troubled” (Luke 1:29) 
    • (διαταράσσω- diatarássō, agitated, alarmed, perplexed, to throw into confusion)
  • Mary “wondered” (Luke 1:29) 
    • (διαλογίζομαι- dialogízomai, reflect, ponder, or to search for answers, can also mean to deliberate, or argue)
  • Mary displayed “fear” (Luke 1:30) 
    • (φοβέω- phobéō, to put to flight by terrifying (to scare away) to put to flight, to flee, to fear, be afraid, to be struck with fear, to be seized with alarm)
  • Mary had questions – “How can this be?” (Luke 1:34).

Being in the exact center of God’s will does not remove all questions, doubts, or moments of unclarity.

God’s sovereignty expressed does not always mean my questions are answered.

You can have honest questions about God is doing and still have an honest relationship with God.

Application:

Identify the following:

  • What troubles you?
  • What do you wonder about?
  • What are you afraid of?
  • What are your big questions?

You can trust God’s authority even when you don’t understand his ways.

  • Mary ultimately chose to trust in God’s authority and kindness. (Luke 1:46-47)
    • τω θεω τω σωτηρι μου” (The God and the Savior of me)
Main Verses: (Gen 12, Luke 1)

Discussion Questions

TALK IT OUT:

  1. Pastor Rusty reminds us that one of the gifts of Christmas is God’s sovereign reign over His creation. Take a few minutes to reflect on how our Heavenly Father demonstrated His powerful loving reach through Jesus’ birth that first Christmas.
  2. In Genesis 12:2 God promised to make Abraham’s family a great nation. At that time God’s promise seemed unbelievable. Centuries later God would fulfill that promise through a simple Jewish teen named Mary. How have you seen do the seemingly impossible through either you or another believer you know?
  3. Both Abraham and Mary trusted God even though they did not fully understand how He was working in their lives. What can they teach us about trusting God when we don’t understand what He is doing?
  4. Pastor Rusty says, “Abraham believed the impossible by faith. God did the impossible by his sovereignty.” What is the practical significance of these two realities?
  5. Pastor Rusty asks, “How do we know God’s plan?” He suggests, “We look at this promises.” How do these principles play out in the stories of Abraham and Mary?
  6. As you reflect on how God used Mary to bring His Son into the world, consider how what happened to Mary demonstrates the powerful personal nature of God.
  7. Pastor Rusty notes the personal perspective of Mary when she was 1) “greatly troubled” (Luke 1:29), 2) “wondered” (Luke 1:29), 3) displayed “fear” (Luke 1:30), 4) had questions, “How can this be?” (Luke 1:34). What does this statement mean to you, “God’s sovereignty does not always mean my questions are answered?
  8. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s sovereign rule. (Luke 1:26-33) Pastor Rusty makes the point that, “God is working a plan to rescue and restore the world we have broken.” How does Jesus’ birth and death rescue and restore our world?

LIVE IT OUT:

  • Take a few moments to jot down answers to the following questions:
    • What troubles you?
    • What do you wonder about?
    • What are you afraid of?
    • How does all this work?
  • Reflect on each of your answers above and consider how you can trust God’s authority and kindness when you don’t understand His ways?
  • Ask God to help you trust Him even when you don’t fully understand His ways.