We Can Be Assured of God's Presence (Hebrews 13:5-6)
1. We learn from 2 Peter 1:4 that God has given "exceeding great and precious promises" to His people. 2. One of these promises is revealed in Hebrews 13:5 -- the Lord will always be with His followers. 3. This morning we studied the conditions that relate to this promise -- by complying with these conditions "we can be assured of God's presence." 4. We can also gain this assurance by examining Bible characters. 5. In our lesson we are taking a look at 9 Bible characters who illustrate how "we can be assured of God's presence."
A. God promised to be with Isaac (Genesis 26:3). B. Even though God gave this promise, Isaac faced problems from the Philistines (vs.19-21). C. Lesson: The Lord's presence does not prevent other people from behaving improperly.
A. God promised to be with Jacob (Genesis 28:15). B. Jacob prospered, but he also experienced a number of difficulties. 1. Sometimes he suffered hardship because of the actions of other people. 2. Sometimes he suffered because of his own actions. C. Notice what Jacob said about the Lord's presence shortly before he died (Genesis 48:15-16).
A. Joseph suffered severe hardship because of the actions of his brothers. B. We might question whether the Lord was with Joseph, but He was. 1. The Lord was with Joseph when he was sold to Potiphar (Genesis 39:1-2). 2. The Lord was with Joseph when he was in prison (Genesis 39:20-21).
A. God promised to be with Moses (Exodus 3:11-12). B. Because God was with Moses he accomplished many great things. C. However, God's presence did not prevent Moses from striking the rock (Numbers 20:7-11). D. Lesson: The Lord's presence does not excuse disobedience.
V. JOSHUA (Joshua 1:5)
A. God selected Gideon to deliver Israel from the Midianites. B. An angel assured Gideon that the Lord was with him (Judges 6:12). C. Gideon questioned the angel about the Lord's presence (Judges 6:13). D. To properly understand and appreciate the Lord's presence we must reason properly. 1. According to Judges 6:1, who was responsible for Israel's oppression from Midian? 2. The Lord's presence does not mean that we will escape the consequences of our actions.
A. Samson shows how circumstances might develop that will cause the Lord to depart from His followers (Judges 16:20). B. However, the Lord did not leave Samson permanently (vs.22, 28-30).
A. Stephen's death is recorded in Acts 7:54-60. B. He did not deserve to be treated so harshly (Acts 6:8, 10, 15). C. Did the Lord leave Stephen? 1. The Lord stood up for him. 2. Stephen looked to the Lord for strength as he was killed. D. No doubt Stephen's faith influenced Saul.
IX. PAUL (2 Timothy 4:6, 16-18)
1. When God said that He will always be with His followers He gave an exceeding great and precious promise. 2. Let us follow the conditions that relate to the Lord's presence that we studied this morning. 3. Let us also examine Bible characters such as those we covered this evening so "we can be assured of God's presence."