Let me begin this morning by honoring our moms. I honor my mother for giving me life. I honor her for helping me through life. I honor her for her for all the love she has freely given me and for the many sacrifices she has made on my behalf. I also honor my mom because she is a woman of God. The Bible says, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)
Moms are pretty amazing when you think about it. Here is one job description I read about mothers.
Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an, often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24-hour shifts.
Duties will also include: Cheerleader, Coach, Personal Chef, Housekeeper, Taxi Driver, Personal Shopper, Tutor, Nurse, Keeper of Secrets, Hair Stylist, Story Teller, Mediator, Shepherd, and last but not least – Helping Us Learn About Christ
In honor of our moms who have given us life, I want to talk today about using the life we have been given. David prayed,
Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Here’s my life God. Take it. Examine it. Make it what you want it to be. Or, as I like to put it: “Here’s the TITLE DEED to my life.”
Some of you have heard me tell the story of how several years ago, the Lord began to deal with me about giving Him the TITLE DEED to my life. We were on vacation and attending church one Sunday night. I can’t tell you what all the pastor said in his message, but I can tell you the text and how the Holy Spirit used it in my life. His text was the verse from Isaiah 40 where it says, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) Somewhere, in that sermon that night, I felt the Holy Spirit speaking directly to me. He asked me a very penetrating question. “When are you going to trust Me with your life?”I quickly responded, “I do trust You. Can’t you see that I’m a pastor?”
But then He said, “You don’t really trust Me. You are still trying to hold on to a certain amount of the control yourself. The reason you don’t trust me is because you don’t believe that you can trust Me. You don’t really believe that I am good and that I want the best for you. You think that if you give Me full control, I am somehow going to fail you. You’re not only worried about the fact that I might ask you to do something you don’t want to do. Even more so, you’re worried that I might do what you want Me to do. You don’t believe that My plan for you is the best.”
I wrestled with that thought throughout the rest of the sermon and for the most of the night. The next morning, I got up and took a blank sheet of paper and wrote out what I have called the TITLE DEED to my life. It’s been many years since I did that and I don’t remember everything I wrote, but I do remember this. I remember telling God that I had already given Him the sin in my life and now it was time for me to give Him my success. I told Him that from that day forward, I was going to do my best to let Him have full control over me and it was up to Him what happened to me and how He might use me.
I admit it, there have been many times when I have tried to take that TITLE DEED back. Recently I was struggling with something and so I got the envelope out of my desk and put it in my prayer journal. Often, as I begin to pray, I lay it beside me in order to remind me of what I decided to do many years ago.
Who holds the TITLE DEED to your life? Who calls the shots? Who makes the decisions concerning how you live your life? Who says how you will invest your time, your talents, and your treasures? It should be God and I’ll tell you why.
I. IT IS GOD WHO GIVES US LIFE
The first thing I want to call to our attention this morning is that it is God who gives us life.
A. God Gives Us Life
Psalm 139:13For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
Life comes from God. The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that at the end of life –“the dust returns to the earth as it once was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7)When someone dies, their body is buried in the ground and eventually returns back to dust because that’s how God originally made us.
The body returns to the dust from which it came, but the soul, the spirit, literally the breath of life, returns back to God who gave it. Job said, “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4) Live comes from God and therefore life belongs to God.
This is why abortion is so wrong.
1. Tragedy of Abortion
Those who try to support abortion are so inconsistent in their beliefs. On the one hand, they try to say that the unborn child is not really a person, but rather a part of the woman’s body and therefore the woman should have the right to choose whether that baby will live or die. And yet, if someone murders that woman who is carrying that unborn child, that individual is convicted, not of just one murder, but two. How can it be two murders if there are not two people?
2. The Sanctity of Life
We believe in what is often referred to as the sanctity of life. The word sanctity means ‘sacred.’ We believe that life is sacred because it belongs to God. Abortion is not only a sin against that unborn child inside the mother’s womb, it’s also a sin against God who desires to give this child life.
3. We are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Psalm 139:14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.
Literally David is saying, “I am in awe of you God for how you made me. It is a wonder. It is marvelous. It is beyond my comprehension.”
Psalm 139:15 My frame (substance / skeletal structure) was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, (privacy of a mother’s womb) and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
Cloning has been in the news a lot over the last decade or so. We know that scientists can clone animals and many wonder if someday man will try to clone men.
But God doesn’t clone. God doesn’t make a world full of people who are all exactly alike. Each and every time God gives life, He creates a unique individual.
Did you know that within hours after a baby’s conception, cells begin to divide and create the various parts of the baby’s body? And did you know that each of these cells carries that child’s own unique DNA?
When David said “I am wonderfully made”, he meant that he was distinct and separate from every other individual God has made. There is only one me. There is only one you. God made us to be who He wanted us to be. We’re all a special unique creation by God.
David says that God has ‘skillfully wrought’ us together. This phrase means that God weaves us together, much like a weaver takes threads of many colors and carefully weaves a tapestry.
Life is precious. It comes from God and it belongs to God. All of this brings us to some very important questions: Why did God make us? Why does God give us life? Or, in other words, “Why do I exist? What is the reason God has given me life?”
II. IT IS GOD WHO PLANS OUR LIFE
God not only creates our life; He plans out our life. Consider what else David said.
Psalm 139:16Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book, they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
Notice again that David said, “…And in Your book, they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”Does God actually have a book that contains all the details of our lives?
A. God Has a Special Plan and Purpose for Each of Us
David tells us that God has a special plan and purpose for every life He creates. This plan was not written the moment we were born. It was not written two days or even two weeks before we were born. It was written before God created the world.
God said to the nation of Israel, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3) The word ‘everlasting’ not only means that God will love us forever in the future, but that He has also always loved us in the past.
When God prepared His plan to create the world, He included us in that plan. You and I, at this very moment in history of the world, are a part of God’s perfect plan. Mordecai said to Esther, “…perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this…” (Esther 4:14) In other words, God has placed you right where you are for this very moment for this very purpose.
1. Does God Plan Our Suffering?
Some might ask at this point, “Does that mean that God plans for us to suffer?”Does God plan murder, or rape, or abuse? I don’t believe so and I’ll tell you why.
a. God is Not the Author of Confusion
Paul tells us that God is not the author of confusion. (see 1 Corinthians 14:33) God is not the creator of disorder. God is the creator of beauty and harmony and perfect unity.
The Bible says that the end of His week of creation, God looked upon all He had made and said, “Behold it is very good.” (Genesis 1:31)The word ‘good’ means: pleasant, excellent, and agreeable with His own divine nature. Heaven is a place of beauty and goodness. God does not create evil.
b. God Desires to Give Good Gifts
James also tells us that God desires to give good gifts. (see James 1:17) Sin is not the result of something God has done. Sin is the result of man’s rebellion against what God has done.
Actually, the word sin means to ‘miss the mark.’ What mark have we missed? We miss the mark of reflecting the heart and nature of God. The Bible says that ‘we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.’ (Romans 3:23) Notice – sin is not doing God’s will; sin is failing to do God’s will. Sin is failing to bring our Creator the glory of which He is worthy.
2. God’s Plan Includes Our Suffering
God does not plan for our suffering, but His plan does include our suffering. Why does God allow us to suffer?
The Bible says that God is able to make “all things work together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Again, I remind you that the Bible doesn’t say that all things are good. It says that God is able to take all things, both the good and the bad, and work them together for our good. No doubt some will ask, “What good could possibly come out of what I am suffering?”The next verse of scripture tells us what the good thing is that God is seeking to accomplish. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…” (Romans 8:29)The good God is seeking to accomplish in each of our lives is our becoming more and more like His Son Jesus.
3. God’s Plan Includes His Savior
Perhaps one of the deepest truths in all the Bible is that before God made the world, He knew that we would need a Savior. The Bible says that God chose His Son to be our Savior even before we had sinned. Why would God create a world that would need a Savior? Let me suggest a couple of reasons.
a. It is a Part of God’s Nature to be Gracious
First of all, it is a part of God’s nature to be gracious. What is grace? Grace is bestowing favor upon those who don’t deserve it. The Bible says –
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
We can’t earn favor with God. We can’t work our way to heaven. Salvation is a free gift given to us by God who is gracious.
b. It is a Part of God’s Plan to be Glorified for His Grace
Many struggle with the fact that salvation is a free gift from God and not something we have to earn. To them it just doesn’t make sense. Why would God freely forgive us?
The Bible tells us that God formed a plan whereby He may freely forgive us because this is what brings Him the most glory. Paul said,
“To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6)
We say that salvation is free, but actually it isn’t. Salvation has a big price. Yet, we are not the ones who pay the price. Jesus, the Son of God pays the price. Jesus paid the price for our forgiveness when He died on the cross in our place. Jesus was punished for our sins so that we might be forgiven.
This glorious salvation should make us stop and say, “This is too good to be true! This is unreal! What a magnificent God this must be to be willing to be so kind and gracious!”
4. God’s Plan Also Includes His Strength
God not only wants us to glorify Him for His gracious salvation, He also wants us to glorify Him for His gracious strength. The same God who desires to save us, also desires to give us strength on a daily basis.
Many have said that the Apostle Paul was the greatest Christian who ever lived. Yet, Paul’s greatness was not because of his intellect or even his religious zeal. It was because he depended completely on Christ to give him strength.
The Bible says that Paul was given a ‘thorn in the flesh.’ No one knows what that thorn was. Some think that it was something physical. Some think that it was something emotional. Some even think that maybe it was something spiritual. Whatever it was, it caused Paul to cry out to God for deliverance.
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.” (2 Corinthians 12:8)
In other words, “God, please take this pain out of my life so that everything will be okay.”But notice how God responded to Paul’s prayer.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Not, “You will be strong on your own without Me.” “But, you will be strong only when you are with Me. I will be the most glorified when you need Me the most.”
Notice to how Paul responded to this amazing revelation.
“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
“When I am weak in my own strength, that’s when I can become strong through the strength Christ will give me.”Praise God!
III. GOD DESERVES OUR LIFE
David realized that God had given him life and that God had a plan for his life. Therefore, David concluded that the only logical thing he could do was to let God have control over his life. Or, in other words, David gave God the TITLE DEED to his life.
Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
David prayed two very important things:
A. Remove from Me Anything That Might Not be a Part of Your Plan for Me
The first thing David prayed for was for God to remove anything from him that might not be a part of God’s perfect plan for his life. In other words, remove anything that might cause me to ‘miss the mark’ of your will for me.
Are you able to pray that this morning? Are you able to come to God with an open heart and ask Him to remove anything from your life that is not a part of His will?
B. Lead Me in the Way That You Want Me to Go
The second thing David prayed for was for God to lead him in the direction that God wanted him to go. In other words, cause me to fulfill your plan for my life.
It’s not always easy to pray that prayer. Sometimes we’re so focused on doing our own thing that it’s hard for us to accept anything else. Sometimes there are things in our lives that we don’t want to let go of. Sometimes there are things that we don’t want to change.
But if God is the one who made us and if He has a perfect plan for our lives, it only stands to reason that we should let Him have control over our lives. It also only stands to reason that we should seek His help and guidance. The Apostle Paul said,
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)
Do not let the world control you and tell you who you will be. Yield yourself completely to God so that He can transform your mind and cause you to see and to choose what is His good and perfect will.
God bless you my brethren.