God has an specific, individual calling for each of us. He has planted you for a purpose. He has placed Millington Baptist Church on this corner for a mission. The question is, will we answer the call to God’s mission? To do that, we have to trust him. I’m going to note three based on what we just discussed and I want you to ask yourself each question.
- First, where are you seen God’s PROTECTION? Both personally and as a church. What trials has God brought you through? MBC has been here since 1851. That is a long time. God has protected his church for many years. He is He is still using us. And even if the cultural forces come, he wants us to be faithful to the call. The same thing is true in your personal life.
- Second, how have you experienced God’s PROVISION? There are have been seasons of financial drought both personally and as a church. And yet, God always manages to provide. What he calls us to he will provide the resources, whether that is financial, leadership, encouragement.
- Third, where can you trust him for PRESERVATION? Some of us right now may be getting ready to throw in the towel. The suffering is too great. We have been going through a very hard season. Do you trust that God is preserving you for a purpose?
The reason we don’t build God’s kingdom, often, is because we don’t believe God will protect, provide or preserve. We look back at our own abilities. But God wants us to lift our eyes up to him and realize that he is bigger than any trial or opposition. The way we overcome opposition is by fixing our eyes on the slaughtered Lamb of God who defeated sin, and hell, and Satan, and death on the cross. He is worthy of worship and trust.
After the temple is completed. Zerubbabel and his people have a worship service. They celebrate the Passover. They remembered who God is, and how he had saved them those many years ago.
So they slaughtered the Passover lamb for all the returned exiles.
(Ezra 6:20, ESV)
They slaughtered the Passover lamb for the returned exiles. It is here that this story points to something greater. The story of Ezra and Nehemiah is about God, by his grace, saving and restoring an exiled people. It is the story of the Exodus, God saves his people in exile. And don’t miss this, it is also the Christian story. Every one of us in this room, we were once an exile. We were once far from God. But then he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to be the true and better Passover Lamb.
If you don’t know Jesus Christ, you are in exile. But the good news of the Gospel is you can come home and be adopted into the family of God, because of the blood of the Lamb. On the cross, Jesus paid our penalty, absorbed the wrath of God against sin, and secured our salvation. We didn’t deserve it, but he did it by his mercy. He is the fulfillment of all the prophecies, and one day he will come back and the dwelling place of God will be with his people, the true temple will be here! In Revelation 5, John tells us everyone will be singing the same song:
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”
(Revelation 5:12, ESV)
And all we can do is sing with joy, like God’s people did in Ezra 6.
The true Passover lamb was slain for you! Will your life sing with joy? Because of Jesus you are PROTECTED from wrath. Because of Jesus, all the riches of heaven has been PROVIDED to you. And if you know Jesus, he will PRESERVE you to the end. Now, live with joy, as you rise up and build his kingdom in the city where is has both planted and called you. Will you do that? I pray that you will.