Together for God's Sovereignty
Below are pre-sermon manuscript notes...
Together for God’s Sovereignty
Daniel 4:34-35 | March 5, 2023
What do you do when you’re struggling?
- When nothing makes sense
- When nothing is working out
- When work feels stressful
- When school feels overwhelming
- When your spouse is being unloving
- When your kids are being uncontrollable
- When your parents are being unsupportive
- When your friends are being uncooperative
- When your health is being unhealthy
In all of those kinds of moments…
- Where do you turn?
- Where do you find comfort?
- What do you believe in?
Those aren’t small questions.
In fact, by the very nature of those questions the answer must be something more than just family or friends or food or fitness or finances – more than just a better society or better stocks or better science.
Because the best of those people and the best of those things cannot always be with us all the time.
And even if they could, they cannot truly get inside our hearts and minds and souls and create the kind of spiritual, mental, and emotional comfort, confidence, and calm that we desperately need the most.
In other words, when it comes to the deepest struggles of life it takes more than a village.
So, what does it take?
We continue our series “Together for Good” where we are focusing on the values of a healthy local church.
And the reason we are doing that is because Jesus said he would build his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
So, that makes being engaged with a healthy local church extremely valuable.
In a world full of bad, we are striving to be together for good – together for the good news of the gospel.
And it’s within the gospel life of the church where we can be strategically encouraged with what it takes – what it takes to find perspective and direction when we’re struggling with purpose and destiny.
We’re going to be looking in the Bible at the book of Daniel, chapter 4.
Today’s message is “Together for God’s Sovereignty”.
That’s what it takes to find the perspective we need for the hardest struggles of life – a holy, healthy, humble, happy embracing of the sovereignty of God.
What does that mean?
Let’s find out – listen to Daniel 4, beginning with verse 34…
34 For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
This is a declaration about the one, true God.
And who’s making the declaration?
Who’s talking here?
Well, that’s an interesting story.
In 605 BC, Nebuchadnezzar became King of Babylon.
18 years later he destroyed Jerusalem and took prisoners – one of those prisoners was the author of this book of the Bible – a young man named Daniel.
Now about 5 years after Daniel was captured, King Nebuchadnezzar was walking on the roof of his grand palace talking to himself and said this…
“Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence
by the might of my power and for the honor of my majesty?”
And the Bible records that immediately a voice from heaven said, “Your sovereignty has been removed from you.”
All of his power and all of his control immediately gone.
And the voice went on to say that he would be driven away from his grand palace and all of humanity and would live like a wild animal in a state of insanity.
And that’s exactly what immediately happened.
The mighty king went from his grand palace to living in the wilderness eating grass like a cow – his regal hair became like the matted feathers of an eagle and his fingernails and toenails were like the claws of a hawk.
And he lived like that for what we think was 7 years.
He thought he was mighty and sovereign, but God showed him there is only One who is truly sovereign.
And just as immediately has he was cast out; he suddenly gained his senses again.
And what was the first thing he did?
He looked up and praised God and said this…
34 For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
There was no confusion now.
He knew who he was, and he knew who God was.
The dominion of Yahweh, the Lord of Hosts, the one, true God is the only dominion that is everlasting.
There is no king and no queen and no dictator and no country and no nation that is everlasting.
Only the Kingdom of God is everlasting and only his Son, Jesus will reign forever and ever.
That’s not just a history lesson.
It’s a real-life lesson.
Someone once said if we don’t learn that lesson, we will perish, but if we learn it, we are in for the greatest joys in the universe.
So, one of the reasons that we as a church want to be together for the sovereignty of God is because there is great, unending, everlasting joy when we have a holy, healthy, humble, happy embracing of the sovereignty of God.
But what does it mean that God is sovereign?
Listen to what King Nebuchadnezzar says next…
34 and His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
In other words, there has never been a king or queen or president or dictator or country or nation that was ultimately sovereign.
In every generation God has been God – alone.
His everlasting dominion and the kingdom that he is building has always been and will always be.
That’s why we read dead people.
The men and women who followed Jesus long before us have great and important things to say about the dominion of our God and his kingdom.
And that matters because throughout life we are tempted to believe that whatever is happening with whoever the current President is at the time will always be true from generation to generation – but it will not!
That’s why we read the works of Corrie Ten Boom or Dietrich Bonhoeffer and others who endured the evil of the Nazi Regime and one of the most vile rulers who ever lived on earth and we are reminded through their unwavering confidence in Jesus Christ that no matter what we may like or not like about those currently in power there is no ruler of any nation – past, present or future – whose dominion is everlasting from generation to generation – none!
King Nebuchadnezzar discovered that – listen to what he says next…
35 All the inhabitants of the earth are of no account,
35 but He does according to His will among the army of heaven
35 and among the inhabitants of earth;
In heaven and on earth and Middle-earth and Narnia and Genovia and the Multiverse and any other kingdom that exists or any that you can imagine – Yahweh, the Lord of Hosts, the one, true God has, has always had, and will always have dominion.
The Lord reigns and he is robed in majesty – forever!
Again, that sounds really good, but what does it mean?
How does all of that make God sovereign?
King Nebuchadnezzar lays it down in one phrase…
35 and no one can fend off His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?”
No one – not me, not you, not your parents, not the President, not the atheist, not the agnostic – no one.
No one can fend off the hand of God.
Now CAN you say to God…
- “What have you done?”
- “What are you doing?”
- “Why did you let this happen?”
- “Why didn’t you intervene?”
Sure, you may have an overwhelming moment when you cry things like that out to God.
But notice again what King Nebuchadnezzar said…
“No one can fend off his hand.”
- You can question God, but you can’t coerce him.
- You can question God, but you can’t change him.
And at least on the surface, if we are honest, we are tempted to think…
- “Well, I don’t like that.”
- “God sounds mean and unloving.”
- “If he was a good God, he’d let me fend off his hand.”
- “If he was a good God, he’d be open to my way.”
- “If he was a good God, he’d be open to change.”
- “If he was a strong God, he could change things.”
- “If he was a loving God, he could make things right.”
Remember, though, the king thought that way – he thought that his way was the right way and the only way – but he had to go insane before he came to his senses.
Sounds like the story Jesus told about a prodigal son.
He thought his way and his plans were better than his father’s, so he said, “I’m just going to go on and take the money and run.”
And he did and he blew it all and he found himself actually sitting in slop hoping to get some leftovers from some pigs.
And in that moment, Jesus said he came to his senses – he realized how good and loving his father truly was.
Most men quarrel with…[God's sovereignty]. But mark, the thing that you complain of in God is the very thing that you love in yourselves. Every man likes to feel that he has a right to do with his own as he pleases. We all like to be little sovereigns.
No doctrine…has more excited the hatred of mankind than the truth of the absolute sovereignty of God...
[But]…There is no attribute of God more comforting to his children than the doctrine of divine sovereignty...If God lights the candle, none can blow it out.
Why would that be encouraging to a Christian?
Because no one and nothing can stop our God.
That is both terrifying and terrific!
- Terrifying in that it shows us how small we are
- Terrific in that it shows us how big our God is
The Lord reigns and he is robed in majesty – forever!
Again, as we said earlier if we reject that and fight against that we will perish.
But if we learn it and love we are in for the greatest joys in the universe.
To know that nothing happens in God's world apart from God's will may frighten the godless,
but it stabilizes the saints.
Someone may still be thinking…
- “I’m still uncomfortable with this.”
- “It makes it sounds like we are robots with no will.”
- “Like everything is determined with no freedom.”
King David said this…
Taste and see that the Lord is good…
That sounds like a good taste test for us to take.
Let’s taste and see and test and see – let’s take the sovereignty of God out for a serious test drive.
Instead of running first and most to “God, what are you doing?” – let’s run first and most to “The Lord reigns!”
Let’s take a cue from King Nebuchedezzar who came to his senses and when he did, he…
- He looked up at the sovereign God
- He locked into the sovereignty of God
- He lauded/praised the power of God’s sovereignty
We may not be able to do the math of what God is doing – in fact, sometimes we will really struggle with his will – but we can still look up.
- When we are confused, we can still look up.
- While we are frustrated, we can still look up.
- When we are devastated, we can still look up.
And here’s the beauty of looking up at the one, true sovereign God – we will actually find the comfort, confidence, strength and freedom we are longing for the most.
No person is more free than the believer who surrenders to the sovereign will of God.
What kind of freedom are we talking about?
Because God is sovereign, we don’t need to second-guess everything we do.
I don’t know about you, but I’m in a time in my life when I could really use a heaping helping of that kind of freedom.
But the freedom we can have in the sovereignty of God is even deeper than that.
You know why the sovereignty of God can be trusted?
You know why we are NOT robots in some kind of mechanical world of determined, fatalistic, religious narcissism?
Keri Seavey is a wife and mom who lives out west in Washington state – nine years ago, she wrote about a season in her life that she described as the dark night of her soul – a dark cloud that just would not lift.
How did she break free?
The sovereignty of God in and through Jesus – this is how she described it…
At great cost to himself, Jesus volunteered to empty himself of heavenly glory…Out of love for us he died the death we deserved.
Likewise, the Father didn’t spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. He endured the ache of turning away from the Son he’d eternally loved so he’d never have to turn away from us.
When we feel like God is distant, indifferent, or uncaring toward us in our suffering,
the cross stands as compelling evidence that he’s not.
The powerful hands that uphold all things are the hands that were pierced for us.
Freshly seeing God as God – the suffering, sovereign One – is freeing me from fear to trust again.
Freedom – in the sovereignty of God.
On March 13, 1955, at 3:00 in the afternoon a gathering was held to officially constitute Holland Avenue Baptist Church – and what was the first thing they did at that gathering?
They sang a song.
A song called, “I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord.”
The only kingdom with everlasting dominion.
The only kingdom that endures from generation to generation.
As we celebrate the 68th anniversary of God’s church at Holland Avenue, let’s continue to be kingdom people.
And one of best ways we can do that is by continuing to be together for good.
And one of the absolute best ways we can be together for good – one of the best ways to find perspective and direction when we’re struggling with purpose and destiny – is to have a holy, healthy, humble, happy embracing of the sovereignty of God – to be together for the sovereignty of God.
The Lord reigns – that’s what it takes.
So what do you do when you're struggling? What do you do when you're struggling when nothing makes sense? When nothing seems to be working out, right? When work is stressful, when school is overwhelming, when your spouse is unloving, when your kids are uncontrollable, when your parents are unsupportive, when your health is unhealthy and all the different moments of struggle in life, where do you turn? What do you believe in? What do you hang on to? Those aren't small questions. In fact, the very nature of those questions leads us to the reality that the answer has to be more than family. It's got to be more than friends. It's gotta be more than food or finances and, and fitness. It's got to be more than just a better society. It's got to be more than just better stocks or better science. Why? Because the best of those people and the best of those things cannot be with us all the time everywhere, no matter what. And even if they could be with us in that way, they, they still can't get inside of our hearts and our minds and our souls to give us the mental spiritual and emotional comfort, confidence, and calm that we are longing for the most. In other words, when it comes to the deepest struggles of life, it takes more than a village. So what does it take? What does it take when it comes to the deepest struggles of life? Well, we continue our series together For Good, where we are looking at what it means to be a part of a healthy local church. And why does that matter? Why does it matter that we're part of a healthy local church? Well, Jesus said that he would build his church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. So being engaged with a healthy local church is extremely valuable. It's not a small thing. It has great value in a world full of bad. We are striving to be together for good, for the good of the gospel. And it's in gospel life that we find what we need the most, especially perspective and direction. When we are struggling with purpose and destiny. Today, we're going to be looking in the Bible at the book of Daniel chapter four. The sermon title today is together for God's sovereignty. That's what it takes. That, that's it when it comes to the perspective and the direction we need, when we find ourselves in the deepest struggles of life, what we need most is a holy, healthy, humble, happy, embracing of the sovereignty of God. What does that mean? Let's see, if we can find out Daniel Chapter four, beginning with verse 34, it says this for his Dominion is an everlasting Dominion. That's a declaration about the one true God. And who's making the declaration? Who, who's the one talking here? Well, that's an interesting story. In 605, Nebuchadnezzar became the king of Babylon and about 18 years after he became King, he destroyed Jerusalem and he took prisoners. And one of the prisoners that he took is the author of the book that we're looking at Daniels, a young man named Daniel and he took him prisoner. And about five years after Daniel was taken prisoner, King Nebuchadnezzar was on the roof of his grand palace and he was hanging out, talking to himself, looking out over his kingdom. And this is what he said, is this not Babylon, the great which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the honor of my Majesty. And the Bible says that immediately a voice from heaven came and said this. Your sovereignty has been removed in a moment, all of his power, all of his control, all of his kingdom gone removed. And the voice went on to say this and not only are you going to lose your power? But you're going to be driven away from your palace, you're going to be driven out in the wilderness, you're going to live like a wild animal and you're going to live an insane life. Like you're going to be filled with insanity. And that's exactly what happened. The king was driven away from his grand palace. He was driven out into the wilderness, out in the wilderness. He was eating grass like he was a cow. His hair was no longer regal and flowing. It was, it was like the matted feathers of an eagle and his fingernails and his toenails. They grew so long that he looked like he had the claws of a hawk. And we believe according to the scriptures that this lasted for about seven years, just this, this insane life, this insanity, mental and even physical. He thought he was the mighty sovereign one of the world. But God let him know there's only one sovereign one, there's only one who is truly sovereign forever and ever. And in the providence of God, just as quickly as he was driven out, he suddenly came to his senses, he suddenly woke up from this insane nightmare that was actually a reality. And what was the very first thing that the king did? The very first thing he did was look up and he made a declaration. And what was the declaration? Verse 34 for his Dominion is an everlasting Dominion King Nebuchadnezzar. He he woke up and he looked up and he acknowledged who God was. There was no confusion. He knew who he was and he knew who God was. He knew that Yahweh, the Lord of hosts. The one true God was the only one that had ever lasting Dominion. There was no confusion he discovered in a, in a moment and over the course of seven years that, that he did not have Dominion, that he was not sovereign. That there is no king and no queen and no president, no dictator and no nation and no country that has everlasting Dominion. Only God, only the kingdom of God and only his son Jesus who will reign forever and ever and ever. Now, that's not just a history lesson. That's a real life lesson. And someone said, if we can learn that lesson, it's a good thing. But if we don't learn that lesson will perish meaning if we can embrace and understand that only the one true God has Dominion forever and ever and ever, we won't perish. In fact, the opposite will happen. If we can learn that lesson, we will be ushered into the greatest joys in the universe. And that's why we as a church, we want to be together for the good of the sovereignty of God. We want to be a group of people who have a holy, healthy, humble, happy, embracing of God's sovereignty because it will change who we are inside and outside the life of this church. Embracing the sovereignty of God. Sounds like a great thing. But I mean, what does it mean? Listen to what King Nebuchadnezzar says next verse 34 and his kingdom endures from generation to generation. In other words, there's never been a king, there's never been a queen. There's never been a president, there's never been a dictator. There's never been a nation, there's never been a country who had sovereignty from generation to generation to generation. It hasn't happened in every single generation. God was always God and he was God alone, his Dominion, his kingdom. His sovereignty is the only thing that has existed overall. His everlasting Dominion has always been and it will always be. And that's why we read dead people. That's why we don't just believe whatever we saw in our reels last night from nine until one in the morning. Right? No, we, we read dead people because the Christians who lived long before any of us were born, they have great things to say about the kingdom of God, the Dominion of God. And that matters and it matters because all of us throughout our life, we are so tempted, we're so tempted to think that whoever happens to be in power at any given moment, that what they do and what they say last from generation to generation to generation. It does not, it does not only the Dominion of our God is from generation to generation. And that's why we read books by Corrie 10 boom. It's why we read books by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and others who endured the Nazi regime who endured living under the most vile or at least one of the most vile rulers that has ever been on earth. And we look at their unwavering confidence in Jesus Christ when the world really was going to hell, they were confident in Jesus, great unwavering confidence in Jesus. And we listen to their words and we find the confidence that we need so that no matter who is in power at any given time, no matter what we may like or not like about them, there is not a single person or group of people who have Dominion from generation to generation to generation only. Yeah, way, only the Lord of hosts, only the one true God friend that matters. And as Christians, it doesn't sound like we're living in that. It sounds like we live in fear of whatever is going on or in anger of whatever is going on. We listen to the words who have gone, those who have gone before us because they remind us that our God is God and there is no other King Nebuchadnezzar. He learned that he learned it loud and clear. Listen to what he goes on to say. Verse 35 all the inhabitants of the earth are of no account but God does according to his will among the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth, in heaven, on earth and middle Earth and Narnia and Gino via and the multiverse wherever you can think of some type of kingdom God and only God has always had Dominion period exclamation point. There is no other God besides our God, the Lord reigns and He is Robed in Majesty forever forever. Now again, someone said that, that sounds good. But what does it mean? I mean, those sound like like really good points. But how does all that make God sovereign King tells us? He lays it down in one phrase, verse 35 and no one can fend off his hand or say to Him, what have you done? No one, Not Me not you, not your parents, not your grandparents, not any elected official. Ever, not any pastor, ever. Not any atheists, no agnostic. No one anywhere past present or future can look at God and say, what have you done? I need to fend off your hand. Now, can we say to God, what have you done? Can we say God, God, what have you done? God? What are you doing? God? Why didn't you stop this? God? Why didn't you start this God? Why didn't you intervene? Sure. I mean, in our, our moments where we are completely overwhelmed or our struggle is beyond our imagination where the, where the darkness will not lift. Yeah, we might ask questions like that. But but don't forget what Nebuchadnezzar said. He said, no one can fend off the hand of God so you can ask God questions, but you can't coerce Him. You can ask God questions but but you can't change him. And if we're honest, even just like on the surface of our heart, we, we kind of want to say, I don't know. I don't like that, but that doesn't feel right. It makes God sound mean and unloving. I mean, he was a good God. He'd let me fend off his hand every now and then. Right. I mean, if he was a good God, he'd, he'd listen to my thoughts, my ideas, my opinions. If he, if he was a good God, he'd be open to change. I mean, if he was a strong God, he, he could change things at any time. And if he was a loving God, surely he would change things to make them. Right. At least our version of. Right. Well, King Nebuchadnezzar, he thought like that too and it drove him to insanity and it wasn't until he came to his senses that he realized, oh, wait a minute, God is God and there is no other and his Dominion and his kingdom, they're the only ones that are everlasting. You know, King's story sounds a lot like that story that Jesus told about the prodigal son. Remember the prodigal son? He was basically looking at his dad going. Look, I don't like your way of doing things. I don't like your plans. I don't like how you do life. I got my own ideas. I got my own ways of how I want things done. I got my own opinion. So, you know what, I'm just going to just go on and give me the money. I'm just going to take the money and run. That's, that's just what I'm going to do. And he did and he blew through all of his money and he found himself literally in the, in the slop on a farm waiting for the pigs to finish eating so he could get their scraps. He was so desperate and so destitute and when Jesus was telling the story, he said, it was at that moment that he came to his senses. And he said, what in the world am I doing? My father is good. My father is loving, my father is just and my father is right. He came to his senses and realized, oh, wait a minute, my father is everything I thought he wasn't everything I questioned was actually right. Charles Spurgeon said this most men and women quarrel with God's sovereignty. But mark the thing you complain of in God is the very thing that you love in yourselves. Every man likes to feel that he has a right to do with his own as he pleases. We all like to be little sovereigns. He goes home. There is no doctrine that has more excited the hatred of mankind than the truth of the absolute sovereignty of God. But he says, there is no attribute of God more comforting to his Children than the doctrine of divine sovereignty. If God lights the candle none can blow it out, Chew on that one. If God lights the candle, no king, no queen, no president, no dictator, no pastor, no nation, no country, no person will blow it out. Scott's candle. It will not be blown out. Now, why should that encourage a Christian? Well, it should encourage a Christian because it means that no one and nothing will ever stop our God. His Dominion is ever lasting. And that should do two things to us. It should terrify us and it should also cause us to think man God is terrific, terrifying and terrific, terrifying because it reminds us of how small all of us are in humanity. But it is also terrific because it reminds us of how great God is the Lord reigns and he is Robed in Majesty forever. If we can learn that lesson and not fight against it and not reject it, then we won't perish. In fact, the opposite will happen, we will begin to engage with the greatest joys in the universe. J I Packer said this to know that nothing happens in God's world apart from God's will, may frighten the Godless and I'll say this not only will it frighten people who don't believe in God, it makes them angry, okay. The Packer said this but it stabilizes the saints need some stability, you know, from politics or, or religion or health or the economy, whatever your pressure point is now need some relief. The divine sovereign will of God is the only thing that can consistently stabilize the heart of His saints. There's something about knowing that God is God that changes everything. Now, some people may still be thinking, I'm still kind of uncomfortable with this makes it sound like we're all a bunch of robots like everything is just this fatalistic determined thing and we have no freedom. King David said the some 34 verse eight taste and see that the Lord is good. That sounds like a good taste. Test for us to have right taste and see. Test and see that the Lord is good. Maybe that's what we need to do. We need to take the sovereignty of God for a serious test drive. And instead, in the moments when we're struggling and we feel like everything's falling apart instead of first and most saying God, what are you doing? Maybe let's let's just try what it means when we in that moment say the Lord reigns and he is Robed in Majesty forever. It's a good test and it's pretty much exactly what happened to King Nebuchadnezzar, right? He he woke up from his insanity and what did he do? He looked, he locked and he lauded, he, he looked up to the sovereign God, he locked in to the sovereignty of God and then he lauded. He, he praised the power of God's sovereignty. Praise God for the fact that He is sovereign. What would happen in our life. If we started following that pattern, look, we're never always going to understand everything that God is doing. In fact, I promise you and some of the hardest moments of life, what we're going to do is we're going to struggle, we're going to struggle. We're going to feel like man God, what are you doing here? But, but what would happen if even in our struggle, we still looked up, see when we're confused, we can still look up when we're frustrated. We can still look up when we're devastated. We can still look up, we can look up, we can lock into God's sovereignty and we can laud him, we can praise him and, and just watch what happens because here's the math, here's how the math works according to everything we see from Genesis to revelation. And, and even we can say in our own experience for those of us who've been following Jesus. What happens is this, this thing of warning confidence of, of wanting comfort, of wanting some hope of wanting some strength of wanting freedom. Those come to us exactly in the way that we long for them to come by looking up at God. It's the very sovereignty of God that begins to give us the freedom that we long for the most. Warren. Where's Bee said this, no person is more free than the believer who surrenders to the sovereign will of God. Can I just say that goes against everything we believe as Americans and Westerners and humans. The word surrender is not in our vocabulary, but it needs to be because if it's not, we'll perish. There is no person that's more free than the person that surrenders to the sovereign will of God. That's why we read Corrie 10. Boom. It's why we read Dietrich von Harvard's. It's why we listen to Christians whose lives have fallen apart and they still say the Lord reigns and they are set free. What kind of freedom? Christina Fox says this because God is sovereign. We don't need to second guess everything we do. Hello? Is it just me here? I mean, I don't know about you, but I'm in a season of life. I need that kind of freedom because I'm second guessing everything man. I, I thought when my kids were out of the house it got easier. No way. Oh, my goodness. It's harder than it's ever been. I feel so much responsibility about their lives right now. I'm like I should have said this. I'm a huge second guesser. But you know what? I don't need to be if I start dialing into the sovereignty of God because if God is sovereign, I don't have to second guess every decision I make. That doesn't mean that you can just go do whatever you want to do. No, we still need to be obedient to Jesus, but we don't have to be second guessers because we can trust the Lord. But you know, the freedom that we have in the sovereignty of God. It's more than just not second guessing. It's so much deeper, the freedom that we have because here's the thing, you know, why we're not robots, you know why this is not some, you know, mechanic, fatalistic, you know, kingdom and there's, there's nothing we can do about it. And there's, there's no freedom. You know why? None of that's true. I can tell you why. None of that's true in one word. And that words, Jesus, we're not robots because of Jesus. We're not in some, you know, wound up fatalistic clock because of Jesus. Kerry CV is a wife and mom. She lives out west in Washington State and about nine years ago, she was writing about a season of life where she said her soul was just dark. You know, that, that darkness of night type of thing when, when the clouds will not lift, it's just dark and it's heavy. And she even said, and I couldn't even put my finger on why. But she said I couldn't break free. So how did she break free? Well, she said she broke free through the sovereignty of God in Jesus Christ. This is what she said at great cost to himself. Jesus volunteered to empty himself of heavenly glory out of love for us. He died, the death we deserved. But then she talked about God, the father. Likewise, the father didn't spare his own son, but gave him up for us all. He endured the ache of turning away from the sun. He'd eternally loved. So he'd never have to turn away from us. Anybody had that moment this week, that moment when you, you felt like that somebody was turning away from you, that that moment when, when you felt like nobody was looking that, that nobody cared about you, that nobody loved you. She went on to say this when we feel like God is distant, indifferent or uncaring toward us and our suffering, the cross stands as compelling evidence that he's not. If you ever think it's a robot, you ever think that it's some wound up mechanical clock? Look to the cross of Jesus and you will see a personal God who personally has made a way for us to be saved and rescued and redeemed a way for us to be happy forever. Then Kerry said this freshly seeing God as God suffering, sovereign one is free me from fear to trust again, freedom in the sovereignty of God, freedom and that thing that we go. Whoa, wait a minute. He's really in charge. Yeah, he's really in charge of every single molecule. There are no maverick molecules in the universe and that creates freedom that we cannot even describe freedom. True, lasting, deep, loving longing, exciting, fantastic, terrific, freedom in and through the sovereignty of God on March 13th, 1955 at three o'clock in the afternoon a group of people gathered to officially constitute Holland Avenue Baptist Church. And you know, the first thing they did was at that constitution gathering, the very first thing they did was sing a song and you know what song they sang as this church was breathed into life. The name of the song was I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord, the Kingdom. That is everlasting from generation to generation to generation to generation, the only kingdom whose Dominion is forever and ever endeavor. As we celebrate the 68th anniversary of God's kindness to create this church for his glory. Let us keep being kingdom. People. Let us be in a world full of bad together for good. And one of the best ways that we can be together for good is to be together for the sovereignty of God. Then when we're losing perspective, when we're losing direction, there is nothing greater that we can turn to than the sovereignty of God to give us purpose and give us destiny to be together for the gospel in such a way that we have a holy, healthy, humble, happy, embracing of the sovereignty of God that we are together for God's sovereignty, dear Christian. And, and, and maybe those that don't know Christ at all. The Lord rains. That's what it takes.