In this week's message, Pastor Dennis highlights the many ways we can experience the hand of God. It is a hand that restores and rebuilds, a hand that corrects, a hand always ready to make provision for His people.
Complete sermon notes below
The Hand of God
'The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord , And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.'
As a parent, our kids start learning to walk and we’re right there. We don’t want them to fall, so we hold our hand out to them. They are going to fall, though, and we pick them up when they do fall. God operates the same way - He is always willing to give us a hand, His mighty hand.
God is with us when we are having good days, days on the mountain top. He is also there in the spiritually low places - there is no place so low, so deep that God cannot reach us. The life of David is a good example of this; David spent a lot of time in deep spiritual places. He made a lot of mistakes, but God was always able to lift him out of the pit. When you hit your lowest place, that may be an act of God to demonstrate to us our need for Him.
God formed us from the dust, from the clay, and He has never stopped forming us. When we are saved, we are a clay project in process… God continues forming and shaping us all through our lives. Where your are broken and weak and lopsided, God can continue to mold and shape you - He doesn't’ leave anything the way He found it.
“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is the great God, And the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice:”
Psalms 95:1-7 NKJV
“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.”
Isaiah 59:1-2 NKJV
We know that sin separates us from God, so that’s not new information. But read on…
““The Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” Says the LORD. “As for Me,” says the LORD, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the LORD, “from this time and forevermore.””
Isaiah 59:20-21 NKJV
God says that we’re lost, but we are not outside of His reach. He would send down His own hand to be pierced with nails to pull us out of sin and death. God also reached His hand down to make a covenant with us. A handshake seals a deal - God has made a deal with us, an ironclad covenant that, if we take His hand, He will give us life for today and eternal life in the future.
Jesus’ nail-scarred hand is a constant reminder of our covenant, and of our salvation. Thomas needed to see that hand to believe it - we will not get to see it in this life in person, but we know it exists and is there to seal the deal of our covenant with God.
“The voice of rejoicing and salvation Is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly. The right hand of the LORD is exalted; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly. I shall not die, but live, And declare the works of the LORD. The LORD has chastened me severely, But He has not given me over to death.”
Psalms 118:15-18 NKJV
The hand of God also corrects us. The hand of correction is not doing something to us, it’s doing something for us. Whatever way God extends His hand to us, it is always done in love. The hand that raised the crippled man also overturned the money-changers table.
In this life, God’s hand is extended to lift us up out of sin. After this life, that same hand will cast us away if we do not accept His help. Wouldn’t it be offensive if you extended your hand to someone and they didn’t reach out to shake it? How much more should God be disappointed if we don’t accept the hand He has reached out toward us?
'Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.'