December 16

This past Sunday our sermon covered the 400-year period between the Old and New Testaments. While this time period is “silent” in regard to inspired Scripture being given, it is anything but quiet. Many important events take place during these centuries, and as we saw Sunday they had a great impact on the preparation of the world for the coming of the Savior.
If you were unable to be here this past Sunday morning this might be a good one to listen to online at our web site. Or you may rather request a CD from Jo or me and one will be made for you. Since this had much of that “historical” kind of stuff—lots of names, dates, places—you may want to review a copy even if you were here Sunday. And if you want a written copy or Word document of my notes just let me know.
The message of course was based on this passage: “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5)
What is true of the timing of the birth of Jesus is true in our own lives as well. God’s timing is perfect as it relates to His leading, guiding and directing us and the opportunities and even the difficulties that we experience.
That is not to say that our Lord doesn’t catch us off guard sometimes. God’s timing and plan certainly surprises us at times. Just ask an older, childless couple in the first century by the name of Zechariah and Elizabeth. Or talk to a young woman named Mary, and her fiance.
And just because the time is right as far as God is concerned, it doesn’t necessarily free us from suffering. In the sermon today we try to come to terms with one of the most horrible scenes in Scripture—the death of innocent baby boys in the city of Bethlehem. Just because “the time had fully come” for Christ to be born and raised does not mean God stopped lunatics like Herod from doing their horrible, sinful work.
What is true, however, is that God works in all of these things to accomplish His will, to bring His creation closer to a relationship with their Creator. We don’t always know how we fit into that process. But we do know that He is always working, and that while some events and opportunities might catch us off guard, they never surprise the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
Our responsibility is to be aware of the Holy Spirit’s leading. That could be an indication of God’s timing. And it’s not always easy. Prayer, Bible study, experience, wise counsel, can help. What is called for is a sense of trust on our part. Trust in the One who knows. Trust in the One who acts. Even when those actions surprise us a bit, even when we don’t understand them, it’s still “perfect timing.”

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

Leave a Reply