Proper 13 (2023)

Season after Pentecost  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  25:46
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The Christian Trust God to Provide
The hardest times to trust in God are the times we need to trust him most. It's easy to trust God when your job is great; your health is fine; your relationships are strong. It's easy to trust God when the sun is shining in your life. But what happens when your life is suddenly overshadowed by dark days?
“When Jesus heard what had happened..." The sentence that introduces the Gospel for today establishes the context for the appointed readings. What had happened was the death of His cousin and friend, John the Baptizer. The faithful preacher of repentance had run afoul of local government and had been imprisoned. Then, the man whom Jesus said was the greatest man ever born had his head cut off at the whim of a dancing teenage girl. His head was carried on a platter as a party trick.
“When Jesus heard what had happened...." What was going through his heart and the hearts of his disciples? Some of them had been disciples of John before following Jesus. All of them knew the respect Jesus had for this man. Can you imagine the questions they asked in their minds if not with their mouths? “If Jesus is God, then why would he let John be murdered? If John is murdered like that, was he really God's prophet? If he's not God's prophet, is Jesus not who he says he is?” So Jesus withdrew and took his disciples away to a solitary place.
They needed time with their teacher. They needed to pray to their Father. They needed to understand that in this deep tragedy, God would yet be glorified. They needed to understand that even in the hardest of times, God would provide for his people.
Do we Christians appreciate Christ Jesus as we should? Do we fail to come to Him expecting Him to do great things? Or, do we live our everyday life in the full knowledge that God will care for our every need, just as He cares for the needs of the birds of the air?
The last several weeks we have been examining Jesus’ answer to, “What is a Christian.” This week, week number six, is probably the one area where 21st Century Christians struggle the most — “The Christian Trusts God to Provide!”
The Christian trust God to provide because we are chosen, predestined, adopted as sons of God!
Therefore, when a situation arises we can be confident that God will provide, because He knows our need and will provide for our needs.

He Knows Your Needs

Matthew 6:8 “Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”
As in the case of today’s gospel reading — “When Jesus heard what had happened...” — this moves Him to have compassion. This being the case, why do we need to pray?
We pray because He tells us to pray: 1 Thess 5:17 “pray without ceasing,” This means we should always be praying, and for a whole laundry list of things: Health, Finances, Children, Spouse, Food, Shelter, etc.
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
James 4:2–4 (EHV) You do not have because you do not ask. You ask, and yet do not receive, because you ask wrongly, so that you may spend it on what gives you pleasure. . . . So whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
You see, the devil does not want us to ask, or pray for anything. This is so, because he knows that God will respond. Instead, the devil tempts us to look to other solutions to our needs.
Surgery? — Illustration: Peaches and her heart.

He Provides for Your Needs

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