THF SUNDAY SERMONS
17TH JULY, 2022
SERMON TITLE: How to Enjoy Peace in the Midst of the Storm II
SERMON TEXT: Luke 15:12 – 19
PREACHER: Reverend Ebenezer Olawuyi
We are going to be building on what we started last week. Don’t forget that peace is not just the absence of war or trouble but the presence of God in the midst of the trouble. Peace is the presence of God in the midst of war or the challenges of life. Hallelujah! We also talked about three levels of peace: Peace with God, Peace of God (in you), Peace with Men. We said that the first determines the rest (the law of the First), that is, if you don’t have peace with God, you cannot have peace of God neither can you have peace with men. You cannot give what you don’t have. You must have peace in you for you to be able to give peace. We went ahead to look at 5 things you can do that can engender the peace and rest you earnestly desire: Learn to trust God, Learn to cast your cares on Him, Submit to His Word, Remain faithful, Be contented.
I am going to add two more things this morning. Related to the fifth point I just mentioned is Planning.
Planning: If you don’t learn to plan, you will lose your peace. Purpose is established by proper planning. Proverbs 24:3 – 4 (TLB) says, “Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.” There are three factors here: planning, common sense and facts. Where there is no counsel, purpose is defeated but where there is multitude of counsel, purpose is established. If you have a purpose – “This is where I want to go, this is who I want to be”, without a plan, I can guarantee you, that purpose will be defeated. Every great enterprise is built by wise planning.
Planning means putting together what you want to do per time; you don’t just assume. If you don’t plan your time, you will squander your time. You will wake up in the morning and before you know it, the day is over. You invest your time, you don’t spend your time. Great leaders and businessmen invest time and not spend it. That is why the scripture says, “Redeeming the time for the days are evil.” The same 24 hours you have is the one some others have and are making treasures out of it, whereas some people are still turning on their bed by 7am even with the alarm on. The Bible says, “Like a door turns on its hinges, so is a lazy man.” If you don’t plan your time, you will waste it. If you don’t plan the use of your money, you will waste it. If I give you 1 million naira and you don’t have a plan, you will waste it and then wonder how you spent it after it has finished. If you don’t have a plan, you waste money. If you don’t have a plan, you will waste your life, you will grow old and wonder what you did with your life. You are a day older than yesterday; before you know it this year will come to an end. You can’t remain like this forever, the teenager will become an adult and the adult an old man. If you don’t learn to plan, you will waste your life like Methuselah who was so old and nothing could be said about him.
Why do you see big organizations unable to pay salaries? Because they don’t have plans. They spend any money, capital merged with profit. By the grace of God, HillCity Schools is over 11 years old, we have never owed salary. It’s not because I am praying alone, no! ‘Every enterprise is built by wise planning’. The only day we paid salary on the 2nd of the month is because in those days, there wasn’t automated transfer, you had to take the schedule to the bank for it to be processed and we didn’t know that the Friday was a public holiday and had to shift it to the next week. Why do you see organizations with millions of naira running into debt? Because they can’t plan. Listen, if you don’t plan, you will lose your peace. Why do you see someone working for about 30 – 35 years and six months after 35 years of service, it’s like there is no money again. What happened? No plan. How can someone work for 35 years for someone and six months after your retirement, you don’t have anything to eat, you don’t have even a house to put your head. No plan, no rest.
As a student, if you don’t plan… that’s why you see students breaking down a day to the exam because when they were supposed to plan to read for the exam, they weren’t, they were playing around. So, a few days before the exam, they drink coffees and do all sort of things to stay awake and eventually break down because they couldn’t plan. Anything you do in life without planning… If you are going on a long journey, you are supposed to be planning a week before so that you won’t get to the Airport and suddenly remember that you forgot your passport at home. If you want to enjoy rest and peace, you’ve got to learn to plan. Plan your time, plan your money and plan for your life so that you will not waste them.
Look at the prodigal son, he got to his father, “Give me my inheritance”. His father gave it to him and he squandered it is because he had no plan. There are some people, if you give them money, they squander it because they have no plan. In our main scripture at the beginning of the month, Gen. 2:2 – 3, the Bible says God created and on the seventh day, He rested from all His works. Why will God rest if He did not plan? God is a master strategic planner, that’s why He demands that we should plan. He said, “Who is that man that wants to build a tower and does not first count its cost, let him start and people start to mock him.” He doesn’t start a project and stop halfway because he doesn’t have resources. He has all resources. We don’t have all the resources, that’s why we’ve got to plan because life is in phases. The scripture says, He rested. Why? Because He planned well. In the beginning, the first thing he created was light. Then, the sky. Then, the sea, the land, the plants, the trees. The fourth thing: the firmament, the sun, moon and stars. The fifth was the fishes, animals of the sea and the birds of the air. The sixth things he created were animals and man. Can you imagine? If God had created man the first day, what would have happened? What would man eat? God is a master planner. He put everything in place before he brought in the antelopes, goats, etc. because they have to eat grass. He created the sea before he brought in the fishes that would swim in it. Can you imagine if he had created the fishes with no water for them to swim in?
Planning helps you to know what to do first and what to do next. You place them according to priorities, so you don’t jump into what you are not supposed to jump into. God could rest because there was no reason why he should be troubled. When you plan and have the right people at the right place at the right time, you will be at rest. You can sleep. Some people look at me and say, “You are not getting fat, is it because of the workload here?” No, that’s not it. I can rest because I have capable people who are doing it. When we discuss the rebuilding, I tell them that they are the experts, I only want to hear from them. The architect tells me what to do, I don’t trouble myself, that’s his area. My size is not like this because I am not eating. I eat well. And it’s not because I am fasting all the time.
Plan! Plan! Plan! I was saying it, I think in the second service. All the projects we have done in this place, by the grace of God, we have not run into financial stress. Not because we have so much, but because we plan. Nobody has ever come to meet us and say you have not paid my money. We plan. We don’t go beyond our means because life is in phases. There was a time… the total income of the church per Sunday is not even up to 10,000 naira, how could we now think of carrying out a project of 20 million naira. How do we do that? Is it faith, no, that is foolishness. It will give you unnecessary stress. Life is in phases, you plan. You grow. Not that we have arrived, we have not arrived: “Eyes have not seen it, ears have not heard, it has not even gotten to the hearts of man what God has planned.” What I am saying is, you’ve got to plan so that you can have rest and nobody will come and knock at your door to say you are owing this.
Plan everything about your life. Prov. 15:22 (CEV) – It takes careful planning for things to go right… it takes careful planning. Counsel means having information on the direction to take. You need planning for that purpose to be established. Plan your life that, “By the grace of God, this is my plan and by the time I am 25 this is what I want to do, God help me. By the time I am 30, by the grace of God….” You don’t stop there. You put in things, apply common sense and get facts. Knowledge is power. You also need to learn. Go and find out about management, read about how to manage resources. You’ve got to learn and then apply. There are people who learn and don’t apply, you’ve got to apply the management principles you have learned. Some of the management principles I have learned at my place of work over the years are helping me today. Everyday you wake up, take a book and list the things you will do for that day. If you have money in your life, plan how you will spend it. If you want to have rest, plan everything, be a master planner like your father in heaven.
Look at what the prodigal son did in Luke 15:17, he came to himself and decided to go back to his father. He woke up and used his common sense. You’ve got to think, if you don’t use this brain, you can’t reign. Think, be a thinker. I tell people, by the grace of God, everywhere, everytime, I think. I don’t want to be a pastor who depends on income here and there. Friends, look at it. If you sit down somewhere without using this brain, God will hold you responsible for not using it. The man came to his senses and thought how would he remain that way. Think! Challenge your mental faculty! “How can I change my level without tampering with my integrity?” The prodigal son in the next verses strategized before he went back to his father: “I will arise and go to my father, I will say to him…” He planned everything before he left and when he got to his father, thank God.
You see, purpose is established where there is wise planning. Planning puts value into purpose. Purpose is defeated without planning. The power of fulfillment of purpose is planing. Planning is key. Plan your life. Young people, begin to plan. Use your brain. There are some things you don’t need to pray about, God has given you the brain, use it. You don’t need to fast and pray to God about how to break a coconut, you know you need to hit the coconut on a hard ground. Even if you don’t plan your praying, your praying will be useless. Plan your prayer, ask the Lord what you will pray for. If not, your prayer becomes a burden unto God. You need to plan your prayers. Plan your life so that you can have rest. Plan your family now, don’t have multitudes so that you can have rest. Put your house in order now so taht you can have rest. Instruct your children right. Plan the number of children you want to have. You should raise children you can give the best to, if not, you are guilty. He who is not able to provide for his family is worse than an infidel. You don’t employ the number of staffs you can’t pay their salaries. Employ only those you can cater for. Plan! “How many people can I cater for based on the income we have?” Don’t just pack all of them there and at the end of the day, you can’t pay their salaries. Don’t be like politicians who pack in a lot of people and after their campaign, begin to drop staff. You are wiser than them because you have the insight and knowledge of God inside of you. Whatever organisation you are, there must be a difference. Anywhere God gives you opportunity to be in charge, there must be a difference. Plan for your family, plan for your staff, plan for your life, plan your time, plan your money.
Let’s bow our heads as we pray.
Pray that the Lord will help you to apply this word to your life. Pray that God will help you not to live above your means. He who does not plan for his future does not have a future. Begin to invest in your children now for your future, give them the best now for your future. Pray for wisdom. By wise planning, enterprises are built, by understanding, it is established.
Say, “Lord I need your wisdom. I receive wisdom to plan my life. Plan for a healthy tomorrow. Plan for your health.” A healthy future, a healthy old age. Plan for it now. Pray for grace to be a strategic planner.
The Bible says, God has made Jesus wisdom for us. You need Jesus to have the wisdom from above. You need Jesus in your life. If you want to receive Jesus into your life as your Lord and Saviour, put your left hand on your chest and say, “Lord Jesus, I receive you as the wisdom of God into my life and accept you as my Lord and Saviour. Please, help me to plan my life well. In Jesus Name I prayed.”
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