A Gracious Sovereignty

This morning I read Dudley Hall’s weekly email teaching and wanted to pass it along to you.  I have enjoyed reading and hearing Dudley over the years.  He’s a seasoned man of God and full of wisdom and insight.  I encourage you to follow the link at the end and sign up for his weekly e-newsletter.   DG

December 21, 2009

A Gracious Sovereignty

I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.

John 17:6(ESV)

By Dudley Hall    

Jesus acknowledged the Father as the source of everything. It was not strange to him that everything in the universe is under the authority of God the Father. The kingdom of God is not an isolated realm nestled among other kingdoms. It reigns supreme above all other pretenders of sovereignty. He recognized that the disciples who followed him were gifts from the Father. It wasn’t a case of his drumming up a following, and then introducing them to the Father. Before he began, the Father gave them.  By listening to the Father he could find them, teach them, and preserve them.  

     It presented no contradiction that from their perspective everything depended on their hearing and responding in faith.  Everyone the Father chose would hear the sound of the Word and respond.

     This confounds the finite minds of humans. We tend to argue with concepts that are too big for our mental categories. Predestination is an ugly word for many who have either been burned by misinterpretations or who refuse to accept the compatibility of human responsibility and divine sovereignty. It might help us if we, like Jesus, knew that sovereignty is in the hands of a Father: a Father who sent his only begotten Son for our salvation. If his intentions were ever in doubt, that should be settled forever by the gift of his Son.

     Jesus was confident in his prayer for those who already believed in him and for those who would believe later through the witness of the original disciples. If the Father had not been sovereign and able to rule over all aspects of life, Jesus’ confidence would have been shaken and our security would be at stake. He had made the Father’s name known to them and had kept them in his word. Now he is asking the Father to keep them from the evil in the earth since he is leaving the earth and returning to his original status.  This is not a plea for God the Father to do his best to keep them if possible. It is a confident prayer to the Father who is the source of everything.  

     We are in the hands of a sovereign Father. That should impart immense security to us. He is over all and moves all toward the goal of his glory.  That includes revealing how unbelievably (literally) loving he really is.  We are extremely grateful that the outcome of our lives (and creation) is not open to chance or dependent on man’s will.  This all started with a Father who created a son to begin a race that could enjoy God as much as God does. It continued with the revelation of the Son who would glorify the Father by making known an aspect of his character that would have remained hidden unless the original son had become alienated and needed a Savior.  What a story! We are so privileged to be in it. And we are so blessed to be in the hands of a Father who is totally in control while he gives us choices with real consequences. It makes you want to stop and worship, doesn’t it?

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Click here to go to Dudley Hall’s website: Successful Christian Living Ministries.

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