Derek begins this new study by looking at who God is. Behind the entire universe there is a person, a Creator, who is also a Father. If we can embrace this, we will have a totally new perspective on ourselves, our lives, and everything that goes on around us. All things, including you, have their source and fulfillment in God.
It’s good to be with you again at the beginning of a new week, sharing with you Keys to Successful Living which God has placed in my hand through many years of personal experience and Christian ministry.
The title of my talks this week is, “Secure in God’s Choice.” If you will follow me in the path by which I shall be leading you through these talks, it will bring you to a place of total security in God.
But first, let me say “Thank you” to those of you who have been writing to me. Before I finish this talk we will be giving you a mailing address to which you may write. It means a great deal to me to hear how this radio ministry of mine has been helping you and blessing you. So please take time to write, even if it’s only a brief, personal note.
Now, back to our theme, “Secure in God’s Choice.”
I am inviting you to join me on a wonderful journey which starts in eternity, leads us through the various phases of time, and on again into eternity. Our destination, as I have said, is a place of total security in God. We will begin our journey at the first verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (NAS)
For all of recorded history, virtually, man has speculated what is behind the universe, what keeps it in being. Philosophers have used the phrase “the first cause” and other special phrases have been used. What is the answer? Countless different answers have been offered. Is it chance? Is it a “big bang” as some physicists now suggest? Is it a mindless physical process which just goes on and nobody knows why, nobody knows how it started, nobody knows how it will end, it’s just something that is there, totally impossible to understand or to explain?
Well, the Bible’s answer is very clear and precise. The Bible states that behind the universe there is a personal Creator who is also a Father. There are three important concepts there. Behind the universe is a person. He’s the Creator and He’s also a Father. That third concept is extremely important. You see, your view of the origin of the universe will determine your whole perspective on it and on your life and on yourself. Are you just a chance happening, unexplainable, with no real purpose? Are you just the victim of inexorable physical forces which you cannot control, which control you? What is the reason for your being here?
If you believe the Bible record, then you have a reason, then you have a purpose. And that will change your whole outlook on life. It is as if behind everything there is a Creator who is a person, to whom you can relate as a person. Not only is He a person, but He is also a Father. That will change everything in your life if you can really grasp that truth.
I have a friend who is a minister who told me this experience once. He had been ministering in some very large American city in the inner city area. The meeting was over, it was about dusk, it was a cold, windy evening and he was alone on the sidewalk there in that very gray, drab, cheerless, unappealing situation. And the wind was whistling around him and he seemed to be entirely alone and he felt so lonely, so discouraged, so depressed. And then a thought came to him and he just began to whisper one word over and over again. “Father... Father... Father... Father.” And he did that for several minutes and he told me later that when he had said the word “Father,” nothing else but that one word, “Father,” for several minutes in that bleak, cheerless, lonely situation, his whole attitude had changed.
That’s what can happen to you if it has not already happened when you realize that behind this universe there is a Father who created you, loves you, has a purpose for you. You see, God Himself is without beginning or ending. Psalm 90:2, the psalmist says to God:
“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (NIV)
Notice, he does not say, “you were God.” He does not say, “you will be God.” He says, “you are God.” God lives in an eternal present, He has no beginning, He has no ending, He exists forever and all that has come into being, He is the source of it.
God is both beginning and ending. In Revelation 1:8 we read these words:
“I am the Alpha and the Omega...”
Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, omega is the last letter. God says, “I am where it all began, and I am where it is all going to end up. I am Alpha and Omega.” Like if you said in the English alphabet, “I am A and I am Z.”
“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” (NAS)
He is, He was, He is to come, past, present and future all meet in eternal being of God and He is the Almighty. The same is said again in Revelation 22:13:
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (NAS)
You can never get outside of God. He was before you, He will be for the rest of time and on into eternity.
Then we need to see that God accepts responsibility for everything He has begun. God never begins something that he is not going to see through to the end. He never leaves any of His purposes of His projects half finished. He never has to stop in the middle and say, “Well, I really don’t know what I was going to do with this,” nor does He have to say, “I can’t accomplish what I set out to do.” Those words are not found in God’s vocabulary. In Hebrews 12:2 we are told by the writer to look toward Jesus because He is “the author and the perfecter of our faith.” Our faith begins with Him and our faith culminates in Him. He has not begun something in our lives which He is unable or unwilling to complete. Just as we trust Him for the beginning, so we can trust Him for the completion.
Paul has the same assurance which he expresses to the Christians in Philippi, in Philippians 1:6. He says:
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you [that’s God]... He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (NAS)
God has begun it, God will see it through. When He is finished it will be perfect. There will be no way that it could be improved upon. That’s confidence, you understand, when we have that picture of God, we have confidence. We no longer feel like a snowflake, just drifting. I have told people many times, “You’re not an accident waiting for somewhere to happen. God has begun a work in your life and He’s going to complete that work. You don’t need to be anxious, you just need to trust Him.”
Then this wonderful God, the Creator, the Father, He Himself is our salvation. It’s most important to see that. Salvation is in God Himself. Nothing less than God could be our salvation. The prophet Isaiah says this in chapter 12, verse 2:
“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.” (NAS)
I am sorry for people who find salvation in a church or in the law or in a doctrine or in a denomination. How flimsy those things are. How incapable they are of providing the salvation that we need. But when we see our salvation is in God Himself, then we can say, as Isaiah said, “I will trust and not be afraid...” That gives us confidence. It removes fear and anxiety.
Our problem today in the Christian church is that we are prone to be extremely self centered and earth centered and really there is no peace, there is no security, there is no confidence for those whose lives and thoughts and purposes are all centered in themselves.
There was a period in the history of astronomy, the days of a man called Copernicus, associated with his name, when a man believed that the universe was earth centered, that the earth was the center of the universe. And then along came Galileo, and he almost paid for it with his life, and he declared that the earth is not the center of the universe, the sun is the center.
And that’s the kind of change we need in our thinking. We are so earth centered. We need to see that we are not the center. Jesus Christ the Son of Righteousness is the center and we revolve around Him. When we discover that it takes away this sense of insecurity and instability. As long as we are simply relying on our own efforts and our own ability and the best we can do, we will never be secure. Remember, God is our salvation.
Our time is up for today. I will be back with you again tomorrow at this same time. Tomorrow I will be focusing on God’s total control of the whole universe.