The Gracious One who Restores and Outpours (Joel 2:18-32) by Bro. Joshua Discipulo

Now I’m sure a lot of us are familiar with the story of Job. How in one day he quite literally lost everything that he had. Not by any fault that he committed, it was a test from the Lord. It was a trial that God allowed to happen in his life. But of course his story did not end there. After that, God restored everything that he lost and in fact God did not just restore Job to a level of wealth that he had before, but it says in Scripture that God gave him twice what he had before and that his latter days were more blessed than his former days. Now the reason I opened with the story of Job is in our passage for this afternoon taken from Joel, God is promising a similar thing. There is a judgment that He meted out against His people, Israel because they committed adultery against Him. They were not faithful to their covenant with Him. But the story does not end there. God promises that if they repent, He will be the one to take away all of their reproach. He will be the one to bring back everything that they’ve lost and even better, He will give them something that they’ve never seen before. So please open with me your Bibles to Joel 2: 18-32. As we learn more about our series on return to the Lord your God with our message entitled The Gracious One Who Restores And Outpours. Again, we’ll be reading from Joel 2 18-32 and I’ll be reading from the English Standard Version. Hear now the words of our true and living God.

Then the Lord became jealous for his land and had pity on his people. The Lord answered and said to his people, “Behold, I am sending to you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied; and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations. “I will remove the northerner far from you, and drive him into a parched and desolate land his vanguard into the eastern sea, and his rear guard into the western sea; the stench and foul smell of him will rise, for he has done great things. “Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things! Fear not, you beasts of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green; the tree bears its fruit; the fig tree and vine give their full yield. “Be glad, O children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given the early rain for your vindication; he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before. “The threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame. “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. “And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

May the Lord add blessing to the reading of His word. Now we are currently in a short series on the Book of Joel. It’s one of 12 books that in our English bibles are classified as the minor prophets. Now of course we know they’re called minor prophets not because their message is of less, vital importance, but simply because of the brevity of their ministry. So maiksi lang po yung kanilang work as prophets as opposed to probably someone like Jeremiah or Isaiah, okay. And if there’s a thematic thread that runs through the minor prophets, it’s the day of the Lord, okay. So it’s in the study of the minor prophets that an apocalyptic and eschatological understanding or an end days understanding of the day of the Lord began to take shape. And they came to see it as a great and terrible day of the Lord because there is an element of salvation and hope. God will bring about a restoration for His people. But there’s also this element of judgment that nations will be called before the holy and just God and they will give an account for everything that they have done. And not much is known about Joel but what He can say is that His father was someone who demonstrated spiritual faithfulness or fidelity in a time of spiritual apostasy. How can we say that? Because God saw fit to call Joel as His prophet or His oracle, warning the people to turn from their trajectory and instead go back and return to the Lord, right. And in the past weeks, since we’ve started the series, we saw that the word of the Lord came to Joel and that God sent His judgment against the southern kingdom of Judah in language that is described as locusts, meaning that like the aforementioned insects, there was a devastation and destruction that was brought about by an invasion from the north that Yahweh Himself sent. And the degree of destruction was so severe and utter that it affected the agriculture of the land to the point of causing a drought and famine and also disrupting even the temple sacrifices. A part of the temple sacrifices was wine, grain and oil, but because they had no access to those things because of scarcity, nahinto even the temple sacrifices. Na-disrupt even temple sacrifices and in light of the judgment, Joel called the people to repent by lamenting. And you can see that God is concerned with far more than the outward sign of their repentance like wearing sackcloth, fasting or praying because God instructed them to rend their hearts. God instructed them to turn and return to Him with all their heart. God wasn’t merely concerned with the outward appearance that they had, that they were in mourning, that they were wearing sackcloth, that they were crying their eyes out, that they were fasting, God wanted an inward reality to be matched by what they’re professing outwardly. They were instructed to rend their hearts for their hearts to be broken for their sins and there’s a reminder of God’s graciousness and mercy to those who sincerely repent. Which brings us to our passage for this afternoon.

And here we see a shift happen there is a decisive turn in the Lord’s action and this is seen in the verse because even as everyone is enjoined to cry out to God, we see God taking initiative in restoring and repairing what has been destroyed. We see God actively and decisively moving about to bring the repentance and reversal that He wants them to experience, even as He is the one who brought about their discipline and chastisement. Now, take note there’s nothing in the passage that we read to indicate that the people have already responded in repentance. In between verses 17 and 18 of Joel 2 there’s nothing there saying God saw the repentance that He was looking for from His people and that’s why He moved to act. Rather, what we see is that even in the midst of all these things happening, God’s heart was for His people. God Himself will speak to His people the words that would bring comfort to their present suffering. He promises them a reversal a restoration of all they lost and even more God promises them an even greater blessing, an outpouring of His own Spirit and it certainly is guaranteed because God is the gracious one who promised it.

And so our message for this afternoon is this: God Graciously Restores Repentant Sinners And Even More Outpour His Spirit To Seal Their Salvation. God graciously restores repentant sinners and even more graciously outpours His Spirit to seal their salvation. Ang Diyos na Mapagbigay-loob sa Mga Nagsisisi Sa Kanilang Mga Kasalanan At Higit Pa Roon, Ibinubuhos Niya Ang Kaniyang Espiritu Santo Upang Selyuhan Ang Kanilang Kaligtasan Upang Tatakan Upang Siguruhin Ang Kanilang Kaligtasan. And we’ll be looking at this in two points. The first one being Restoration Assured. God Himself declares that He will restore His people and take away their reproach and their shame. But not only that, He promises them something even better. The outpouring of His Spirit which brings us to our second point, Renewal Accomplished. That is generous and lavish outpouring of His Spirit marks the inauguration of a new covenant with His beloved people.

So let us begin. The Lord promised restoration to His people if they repent of their sin. In verse 18, we are told that the Lord became jealous for His land and had pity on His people. The fact that God became jealous should serve as a comfort to His people. Why? Because we usually think of jealousy and its connotation as something bad, something negative. But while envy which is a similar term to jealousy is a purely negative characteristic, jealousy has a positive aspect, okay. To be envious is to covet something that you do not have. You look at other people, you see what they have, you see how God is blessing them or how they are able to enjoy things that you’re not able to enjoy and then you start to covet that in your heart; that’s envy. And it’s wrong and it’s sinful. But jealousy is different, okay. Jealousy is a protective attitude. What do I mean by that? It’s wanting something that is rightfully yours to remain yours. In the same way na kung may nakikita kang kausap ng asawa mo, pwede kang magselos. Bakit? Kasi asawa mo yon eh. May karapatan ka sa kanya. Hindi ka lang nagfee- feeling or hindi mo lang inaangkin yung taong wala ka namang right sa kanya, right. To be jealous is to be protective of something that is rightfully yours.

Hence, the desire not to see anything or anyone else take from you what is yours. Yun yung meron ang Diyos para sa Kaniyang mga anak, para sa Kaniyang minamahal. When God chooses covenant people, He set them as His bride and so He has rights; He wants to protect His bride. He wants to take care of His bride. If God’s jealousy is aroused when we stray from Him or when we turn our affections and our attentions to someone else, rather than Him, it means that He considers us as His own. Matakot ka if nagloloko ka na sa buhay mo pero walang chastisement si Lord sa iyo. Ibig sabihin, hindi ka Niya kinikilalang Kaniya.

Because God disciplined those whom He loves. God will not care to discipline us if He does not love us. God will not even care to know about us if He does not consider us as His. Naalala niyo? Di ba sinabi sa Scripture na may mga taong haharap kay Kristo on the day of judgment and sasabihin nila: “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name? Sasabihin Niya sa kanila: “Be gone for me, I do not know you.” Now, this does not of course impact God’s omniscience. God knows everything, but when we talk about being known by God, we talk about the fact that there is a special knowing that God reserves to those whom He loves. To be known by God is to be loved by God and to be loved by Him is to be disciplined and chasten by Him for our own good so that we may return to the Lord and not straight farther into destruction. It’s redemptive. Yung jealousy ni Lord, mapagmahal. Yung jealousy ni Lord, pure and holy. Not only that; we are told God had pity that we are told God had pity on His people. Alam niyo po ang word na ‘pity’ na ito, it’s the same attitude that move the daughter of pharaoh to adopt Moses. Yun po yung ganung pity. Nung nakita po niya yung basket na inaanod dun sa river tapos nung nilapitan, uy may baby a loob, kawawa naman. Alam niya kanino yung baby na ‘to. Baby ito ng mga Hebrews. May death sentence ito, dapat patayin ito. And yet she responded in pity. Kinupkop niya. Yun yung pity na describe dito sa Scriptures. That is the love that God has for His people. God in responding to His people’s distress, when they repent shows His grace is even more encompassing than His judgment is. Tandaan ho natin: the one who brought the judgment on the southern kingdom was God Himself. Yung tawag Niya sa locust from the north, my great army. Siya nagpadala dun. And yet even as He did that, naghahari pa rin yung grasya at yung awa Niya kai mahal talaga Niya yung mga tao. At pinadala Niya yung judgment na yun not to destroy them but so that they would return to Him. So that they might come back to Him, come back to His embrace, come back to His arms and His protection. These are the ways that the Lord will restore the land that was devastated, we are told in the passage. God will send them grain, wine and oil. It represents their agricultural produce and it says that it will not only be enough, but it will be more than enough that they will be satisfied. Naalala niyo po yung recorded miracle ni Christ of feeding the 5000? Sabi dun di ba? Everyone ate until they were satisfied. Same words. God will send them wine, grain and oil and they will have plenty and they can eat as much as they want, they can eat as much as their fill and they will be satisfied. And then sa kuwento nung mga pinakain, miraculously there were baskets full of leftovers. Ganun din po dito. God will remove the invading army that He sent and God Himself will judge that invading army for their treatment of the nation during their invasion. Here we see the sovereignty of God in using the evil acts of nations to mete out His justice to His people. But at the same time, sa tamang panahon, yung mga tao naman na umusig sa Kaniyang mga minamahal, He will also judge them for their own wickedness.

Joel one says the beasts grown and the sheep suffer. In our passage that we read, they are now told fear not. Isipin niyo, kahit na yung mga hayop , instinctual yung mga reactions nito sa mga nangyayari ho sa kanila, right. Yung mga hayop, animals are not the same as humans. They do not reason through things that happen. They just react instinctually and yet here they are told fear not. Banish your fears! You don’t have to be afraid anymore. Food will be available to you. You will also eat a total reversal to what happened to them described in Joel one.

God will also send abundant rain something that their dry and arid environment sorely needs for agriculture to flourish. May mention here of former and latter reigns. Yung former rains, it happens at the end of the year and then the latter rain happens at the beginning of the year. And yung dalawang rain na iyon, that is part of their agricultural cycle necessary for plants to flourish. And they were very much dependent on that because they didn’t have the technology yet to be able to ensure that they were able to water their crops year round. And what happens when God does this? When He sends the rain to them? As a result, their barns, granaries, vineyards will be full to overflowing. God also promised that He will restore the years that they lost on account of the results of the devastation they experience which tells us that God graciously restores even more than what our own sin and rebellion can bring about. Let us think about this for a moment… when we reap the fruit of our own sin and rebellion, God is not under any obligation to compensate us for it. Tama o mali? After all in the consequences of sinful acts that we ourselves have committed is just and fair.

There’s a spiritual principle attached to it. Sowing and reaping whatever a man sows, that also he shall reap. And yung actions of the Jewish people here, they brought it on themselves because they were not faithful to the Lord their God.

And yet what do we find here God is saying? The years that you’ve lost because of this devastation, kahit iyon, isasauli Ko sa inyo. How gracious is that? Isipin din ninyo, hindi rin po sila si Job. Di ho ba? We open our story with the story of Job.

Job was righteous and all these things happen to him. Nawala lahat. Itong mga taong ito deserve nila yun. Deserve natin yun! Bakit? Makasalanan tayong lahat eh. Mahal natin yung kasalanan natin. Galit tayo sa Diyos. Ayaw nating pakialaman Niya tayo. That’s natural man. It would be right and proper for God to allow us to experience the troubles that our own sins would bring about. And yet even in this, God shows Himself gracious in promising the compensation for the lost years. Grabe yung Panginoon ano? Years that we work hard for ourselves. It boggles the mind. But that is the reason why brothers and sisters the proper response in light of all these things is for us to mortify sin and to come and bask in the presence of Christ our gracious Saviour. Kung ang Diyos nagligtas sa ‘yo mula sa kasalanan mo, then I challenge you continuously mortify your sin and then run to the presence of Christ and enjoy Him as He deserves. God is so gracious that even in the act of salvation He did not leave anything to chance but He ensured that His plans and purposes will come to pass according to His sovereign will. Nabasa ho natin yung Acts di ba? Sabi ni Peter: you crucified Christ! But he also said this was a predetermined plan and purpose of God. Even in the autonomous sinful acts of man, God is sovereign. The fact that we are listening to this message at this very hour and this day is a grace that only God can give.

Have you repented of your sins and put your faith and trust in Christ alone? The answer is yes, then the question is what sins beset you right now? We know how gracious and merciful God is. We know how God can restore everything that we’ve lost before and even more, He gives us a Spirit. Do you think that sin is beyond Him? Are there any other sins that you are struggling with to surrender and mortify? Brothers and sisters, God is speaking to us this afternoon. Name that sin and kill it. Crucify it on the cross of calvary so as not to be burdened by it anymore. Remind yourself my identity is in Christ and my joy is also in Him. Train yourself to fight tooth and nail against temptation to identify the triggers, places, opportunities where we may find ourselves most vulnerable to fall into it. Read the word, sing songs, Psalms, hymns, edify, encourage and fellowship with brethren to surround yourselves with people who are similarly committed to glorify God in the way that they live. I-treasure ho natin yung freedom natin to be able to worship in the Lord’s Day. Hindi ho lahat ng believers, may freedom na gawin yung, pero tayo meron. Kung pakiramdam mo yung init at yung apoy ng pagmamahal mo sa Diyos unti-unti nang namamatay, then maybe you are a coal that is too far from the embers of the other coals. Sama ka uli sa nga brethren, unite yourself again with the covenant church. And then you will find yourself being reminded of the goodness, of the graciousness of the magnitude excellencies of our great God. Then you’ll be reminded that Christ is our all in all. He is our eternal portion, that Christ is more powerful than any temptation or sin that you can face, and that He will be faithful to always provide a way out so you may be able to stand up under it. Remind yourself that we will never be able to win the battle against temptations until and unless we are convinced and resolved that who Jesus is, and the spiritual blessings that He brings are far superior than any passing pleasure or feeling that will be able to derive from committing sin. And then we are told: rejoice in the Lord your God. For when you do, you will find that all the world offers will start to pale in comparison to the exceeding joy that Christ lavishes on us. Praise God for who He is, praise God for what He has done, and will continue to do.

Now, in giving reassurances to His covenant people, I want you to notice something else about God’s promises. In verse 19, God declares the people will no longer be a reproach among the nations. And in verse 26 and 27, the idea is repeated. Stated as God’s people will never again be put to shame. This promises that God will make sure that never again will harm or shame come to them because God will be in the midst of them. God will be in the midst of His people. Now we have to ask ourselves: how can this be? History tells us even after the exile from Babylon, yung nation of Israel, they were conquered by other kingdoms. In fact during the time of Christ they were under the Roman rule, but surely God does not fail in His promises so we have to ask ourselves how did God fulfill this promise and this brings us to our second point Renewal Accomplished.

The Lord promised an outpouring of His spirit for all His people. God’s promises do not stop with a mere restoration of the physical blessings followed by spiritual blessings, okay. That’s how a lot of people would read the passage of Joel and how they would view it. So one section deals with physical restoration, the other deals with spiritual restoration, okay. But if that’s how we’ll view things, we’ll only be scratching the surface, okay. Rather, the difference is that the first is a reversal of the old damage brought about by the invasion or the devastation. But the second, brings with it something even better. The second brings with it something even better and greater; it heralds the inauguration of a new way of God’s dealing with His people. Whereas in the old covenant the Holy Spirit was only given to select individuals like skilled artisans for the tabernacle, prophets priests, kings. In other words, the elites in the society and often for only a time and temporarily, this time the promise is hindi lang tingi yung ibibigay Ko. Ibubuhos Ko yung Espiritu Ko sa inyo. I will pour out my Spirit upon you.

In the new covenant that God will bring about the outpouring of God’s Spirit will be on all flesh. It will be on your sons and your daughters, old men and young men, male and female servants. In short, when the promised Spirit comes he will be given to all kinds of people— age, race, gender, social status, these things will not matter. These things will not be a deterrent to someone receiving the outpouring of the spirit. The amount is also worth noting. Whereas in the Old Testament, it’s as if the Spirit was given out in portions. Here, again, it’s a torrent; it’s a tidal wave if you must. It’s a tsunami of the Spirit. God’s Spirit will not be confined to the Jews who are part of the covenant by virtue of generation or birth. God will give His spirit lavishly and generously filling people to overflow.

May sinabi si. Christ about this, di ba? Those who believe in Me springs living water will overflow out of him. God’s spirit will be with his people that they will never again be put to shame. God’s spirit will be in the midst of His people gaya nung sinabi sa Joel and His spirit will bring rejoicing to the people and of course this happened during pentecost. Now we have to also understand along with God’s spiritual blessing is the concept of the day of the Lord. That great and terrible day that brings hope and judgment with it. The usage of sun and darkness, moon and blood, these are poetic languages. So Joel was written as a poem and so the usage of these things or poetic judge language rather to describe the judgment of God among the nations. With the coming of the Spirit is also the imminence of judgment. But notice again the greatness of our God, notice again the mercy and grace that He has. All is not lost because in that same passage, He declares everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved and that is good news. That is God’s promised renewal, that is God’s better way of safeguarding and taking care of His people. How? By granting them an abiding presence. And when did God fulfill this? He fulfill the promise of Spirit outpouring during Acts 2 and Pentecost. The Apostle Peter in the book of Acts in Chapter 2, stands up during Pentecost and declares unequivocally to the people of Jerusalem that God’s Spirit appearing to them as tongues of fire and rendering them the gift of declaring the mighty works of God in different languages was God bringing to pass the prophecy and Joel.

In Acts two we are told Peter standing with the 11 lifted up his voice and address them men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give ear to my words for these people are not drunk as you suppose.

Since it is only the third hour of the day, but this is what was uttered through the prophet, Joel. And then he quotes Joel in the last days it shall be God declares that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams, even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out My Spirit and they shall prophesy and I’ll show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below blood and fire, vapour of smoke, the sun shall be turned to darkness, the moon to blood; before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day and it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Now notice prophecies, dreams and visions are mentioned by Joel. We need to understand these were the means for God’s revelation prior to Christ. Before there was Christ, there were prophets, there were oracles and God gave them dreams visions and prophecies. That’s how He heralded His message to His people, that’s how He delivered His revelation to them. Now, we can think there are believers nowadays the outpouring of the Spirit will mean Christians like some form of little gods can declare and decree things to come to pass. Now we must be careful in interpreting scripture as scripture interprets itself. Peter mentioned dreams, visions, prophecies, but those were necessary even in their days because they were still establishing the church. Because it was still the beginning or the Genesis of the New Covenant of God with His people. There was no completed Canon of the Bible yet. There was no New Testament books yet. All there had were the witness of the apostles the one who lived and walked with Christ when He was there on Earth. And so there was still a place for these things to happen. But these things are not the same now that we have the Bible. And so we must be careful, again, I’ve mentioned there are people within Christendom who think because God’s Spirit has been outpoured to everyone, then we can decree things, that we can be demon- slayers breaking spiritual strongholds by the power of our words, commanding sickness, poverty, curses and what not to leave people behind; and that we would be declaring blessings and we would be birthing new destinies into people’s lives simply by speaking them into existence. Some people think the presence of the Spirit will lead to uncontrollable fits and seizures, falling to the floor, rolling on it, jumping around, laughing like a lunatic, speaking gibberish repetitive words, even worse than what babies say and the like, carrying venomous serpents dancing around. Are those manifestations of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit? Is that what God meant that people will have a greater understanding and appreciation and rejoice in Him? My answer is no.

What is the mark of one is filled with the Spirit? Contrary to pentecostal and charismatic claims about what the abiding presence of the Spirit entails the proof of the Spirit’s presence is holiness and Christlikeness. It’s the fruit of the spirit— love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control. The presence of these graces in the life of a person shows the Spirit is with them. Love for the word of God also accompanies the powerful work of the Spirit. Think about this: the very first thing that the disciples did when the Spirit fell upon them was not to heal the sick or to cast out demons. It was to declare the mighty works of God in different languages. They declared the excellencies of God in languages that they did not know before. That’s a work of the Spirit. The manifestation of the Spirit and the ministry of the word go hand in hand together.

It was the boldness to declare the gospel that was the mark of power that the Holy Spirit gave. To speak the truth of people’s sinfulness and if their need to repent and be saved by Jesus. Yun yung nangyari. The fact that Peter quoted Joel is a powerful testimony that the work of the Spirit was to bring people to a greater appreciation of the word of God, is to unveil the beauty and the mysteries that were hidden before to the people who did not have a proper understanding of the word of God.

Taking these truths all together, the challenge for us brothers and sisters is this: Face Life With Courage And Conviction Knowing The Triune God Through His Spirit Is With Us. Sabi sa scripture di ba we were not given a spirit of timidity, but we were given a spirit of power, a spirit of love and equally important a spirit of self-control. Grabe ‘no? Paulit-ulit yung self-control. Because a lot of the spirit manifestations that we see in churches today lack self-control. So we must be reminded God is a Spirit of order, God is a Spirit of self-control. You want to know someone truly has the Spirit of Christ seared and sealed into their souls? It’s the presence of graces in their lives. Is Christ-likeness being exemplified day in and day out. When people are faced with loss and tragedy what do we offer them?

Sanay ho tayo dito sa Pilipinas ‘no.. by virtue of someone dying, we automatically grieve and comfort the ones left behind by telling them: ‘oh you know what, he’s now in a better place.’ Really? How can you be sure? Especially if you knew that that person died in their sins without having proclaimed faith in Christ. How can we tell people that? Do we just mouth words saying: ‘someday soon, you will reunite in the afterlife.’ How can you be sure about that? That you’ll also be going to the same place? Do we tell them don’t worry it’s okay, God is gracious. Sure God is gracious, God is merciful. But He’s also just and He was very clear in His word: there is a coming judgment! But He was also clear in the remedy for that judgment. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Do we cry with them for their loss? But do we comfort the living by saying that death may be an enemy but there is One who defeated death and His name is Jesus.

When the world pressures us to capitulate or embrace unbiblical worldviews in the guise of “Love Is Love” or “love and acceptance,” do we stand firm knowing that the Spirit of God is with us? Or do we capitulate? What do we offer in response? My friends because God’s Spirit is with us, let us not be afraid to speak the truth in love seasoned with salt at all times. Let us stand for biblical convictions loving not just with words but equally important with our actions and our deeds. Let us rejoice in the Lord always by being excited to unite with the body every Lord’s day because here, we feast all day on the word of God. And then if that is still not enough, God feeds us with a visible word so that we can be reminded even as we go out into the world, we are not going out as orphans. We are not going out as hungry, we are not going out as people who have suffered devastation. We go out satisfied by God.

If you’re listening to this message and you come to realise that God’s Spirit is not with you and even more alarming, you are not at peace with God, remember the words of Our Lord in His warning and His promise: everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Repent of your sin! Turn to Christ!

Call upon His Name as the only remedy to the sin problem of your heart and Christ will put His Spirit in you and He will satisfy you and He will restore to you what you have lost.

I’m reminded of the story of Charles Thomas Studd or better known as C.T. Studd. He was a British missionary and he served the Lord with Hudson Taylor in China but he also proclaimed the gospel in India and finally in Africa and that’s also where God called him home. C.T. Studd is perhaps most well-known because of his poem entitled Only One Life Will Soon Be Passed and I want us to be edified by these words of a brethren of ours who’s been with the Lord since the last century.

Two little lines I heard one day, Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill. living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Give me Father, a purpose deep, In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife, Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Oh let my love with fervour burn, And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone, Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say, “Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call, I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.

May all of us have the same attitude that because the overflowing love of God and His presence so consumes us, that our fervour will never die. But that we would be extravagant as well and generous in obedience to God. In ending, we have to understand that sealed with God’s spirit, we must rejoice in God’s faithfulness in fulfilling.. in fulfilling His promises and in our living hope, Jesus Christ and on His return. And may this imperishable hope set our hearts ablaze, making us eager to proclaim the gospel of God’s salvation to a sick and dying world.

Let us pray. Our gracious God and Heavenly Father, we thank You for your reminder for each one of us that Lord, no matter how great the devastation, that sin can bring to our lives, and our own s sinful acts, can bring to us Lord Your grace and Your mercy is even greater and if we but turn to You, You will be gracious to restore everything that we’ve lost and even more beautiful You give us Your Spirit generously not peace meal, not as in the olden days when it was only certain men. But now You have raised us up a nation of priests, to be Your heralds of good news to a dying world. I pray that as Your people, we would exemplify Your graces, humility, self-control, love and all the others. And that at every opportunity, will we will stand up firm in the knowledge that when we please You with the way that we live our lives, that when we stand on the truth of the Gospel ,we will never be put to shame because You are with us. We give back all the glory praise and honour. Continue to be with us for the remainder of this service in Jesus’ Name we pray, amen and amen.

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