THF SUNDAY SERVICE
23RD JANUARY, 2022
TOPIC: LOOKING UNTO JESUS FOR GRACE AND MERCY
TEXT: Numbers 21: 4 – 9
PREACHER: Pastor (Prof.) Bisi Olawuyi
This is our year of Grace and Mercy and I know many of us, in fact, all of us have received the grace and mercy of God in no small measure. Today is the 23rd day of January in the year, 2022 and I know the mighty hand of God that has brought us this far will take us far and beyond in Jesus Name. We have been looking at the topic, “Looking unto Jesus for Grace and Mercy” and today, we will consider the benefits that comes with looking up to Jesus.
Micah 7:7-8: “Therefore, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.” I pray for you as you look unto Jesus, you will not be ashamed.
Below are some of the benefits of looking unto Jesus.
1. You will not be ashamed (Psalms 25:3): When you position yourself to look unto God, you will not be ashamed. The common saying says, “he who pulls others down to rise will eventually meet those people waiting for him when he is coming down”. Those who look unto Jesus will never be ashamed. Micah says, “Don’t make fun of me, if I have a little slip, even if I fall, the Lord will lift me up.” It is my confidence to declare to you today that anyone who has fallen in any way, in one reason or the other, whatever it is, the Lord is lifting you up this morning and you will not be ashamed, in Jesus Name. Amen. All those who have laughed at you will come to laugh with you; you will not be ashamed!
Remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They were thrown into the fiery furnace, but they said, “We are not careful O king to answer you in this matter”, they know, they are confident and are sure that their hope is not in themselves. They do not boast in their power, but their boast was in the Lord. They said they are not careful to answer the King in this matter, they know that the God they serve, the God they look unto will deliver them, but even if He chooses not to, they will not look down. God’s ways are not our ways, his thoughts are our thoughts, he might decide to make the three Hebrews go through the fire without delivering them, that is why the Yoruba calls him “Kabiyesi”, that is, nobody can question Him.
The three Hebrews thus made it known that they have no power of their own, but God is able to deliver them, and if he chooses not to, they will not look down but look up and eventually, the God of Heaven and Earth delivered Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Even though they were inside the fire, the fourth man whose appearance was like the Son of God, as testified by the King, showed up with them. He was with them and so, they were not ashamed. By the time the King discovered what was happening, he asked them to bring the three Hebrews out and it was discovered that nothing like smoke smelled on them. Those who threw them inside the fire got burnt yet those who were right inside the fire were not ashamed because the fourth man was right there with them. Whatever issues of life you are experiencing this morning, whether it is academics or some other thing, the Lord will show up for you. A student is here, your heart has been heavy but the Lord God will show up for you; you have been thinking that you would not be in goodstanding and would be sent out of the school, however this exam you will write will bring the best for you.
2. You will Live (Numbers 21:9): When you look up to Jesus, you are sure to live. Whosoever looks unto Jesus will live, that is the simple instruction. Don’t look at the situation around you, look at Jesus. When Peter was walking on the water, as long as he gazed upon Jesus he was able to walk, but immediately he started to look at the boisterous winds, he began to sink. When you are focused and not looking at the boisterous winds of life, you will live, you will not perish.
John 3:14-16 – If you believe in Him, you will live, you will have eternal life. You will not only live here on earth, but you will live eternally, your destiny will not be truncated. Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, Jesus is lifted up to us today, so far you look unto Him, you will live. Daniel in Babylon was a faithful man who sought after God and God prospered him in every way. However, his enemies were jealous of him and planned everything to make sure he does not live. Be happy at other people’s success, when others are doing well, rejoice with them because your own day of joy will also come, don’t be jealous. Our Daddy in the Lord always says the sky is wide enough for every bird to fly. Sometimes, you see millions of birds flying towards one direction and none of them will fall to the ground because they do not hit each other. These people were jealous of the grace of God on Daniel and the exploits Daniel was doing. They dug a pit for Daniel but they eventually fell into it. Every pit the enemy has dug for you, the enemy will fall into it in Jesus Name.
They dug the pit for Daniel knowing that Daniel was an upright man and nothing will make him compromise. They know he was the kind of man that if you asked him to change figures in his office, he will not do it because he will stand his ground. They then made a law to prevent anybody from praying unto other persons apart from the King; some of us nowadays might have rationalize it, however, Daniel said No. Daniel even opened his windows and he was there as usual, praying. They went to call on the King, and the king felt really bad because he liked Daniel. The King had to act nonetheless, and Daniel was thrown into the Lion’s den. The king, an unbeliever, even was quick to tell Daniel that the God he serves will deliver him. While in the den, God shut the mouth of the lions for the whole night. The king could hardly sleep, he went to the den early in the morning and asked Daniel if his God had saved him. I pray for you, you will not serve God in vain. Daniel answered the King and said, “My God had shut the mouth of the lions”. Every lion roaring against you, wanting to destroy you and your family, the lord will shut their mouths in Jesus Name.
As the Lord delivered Daniel, you will be delivered and all your enemies that have planted those lions there for you will be punished in Jesus Name. The King commanded that Daniel be taken out from the den and all the conspirators be thrown into the den. It is so painful that not just the conspirators, but all their families were thrown into the den. Any man who does evil will also bring evil upon his family. The bible recorded that when they were thrown into the den, even before they landed, the lions began devouring them. Stay clear, your association matters a lot if you want to live; I feel so bad for the children and the wives.
3. You will Triumph; you will laugh last (Ps. 37:9): When you look unto God, you will triumph and laugh last. You will inherit the earth and those who are doing evil will be cut off like grass (Ps. 37:2). A 17 years old boy bought two cars, one for his father and another for his mother, the woman claimed she is reaping the fruit of her labour, however, the father rejected it asking the boy the kind of work that he does… Obviously, it is Yahoo Yahoo. The unfortunate thing about such and all other atrocities is that they are all short-lived. I heard of a man coming from Offa who was told to hit a car filled with many passengers with his own car and make sure a lot of people in the car died. He then disappeared but his car was burnt. Someone who knows the man said the man came back 6 months later to build a huge house. However, the Bible has told us to fret not when we look at evil doers. There is something called “Olorunsogo” (a quick way to wealth) and there is one called “Surelere” (patience and waiting upon God). He who laughs last, laughs best. Are you bothered when you see your friends having five children and you are wondering why yours is not like theirs? God is working things out for you also. I am sure that the Lord will show up for you since you have put your trust in Him.
4. You will not sink in the waters of life (Isaiah 43:2 NIV): When you look unto Jesus, no matter what happens, you will not sink in the waters of life. This is the case of Peter who was walking on water. When you look unto Jesus, there might be problems and evils, but you will not sink.
On Friday, there was a situation which made me feel so bad and I had to start encouraging the woman. She was once my student and had epilepsy which had disgraced her a lot of times in the midst of her friends. She got close to me and explained, I told her that God can heal her and she was taken for deliverance. I remember the deliverance was turbulent, but she was eventually delivered completely. On Friday, she came to my office and was narrating the waters of life around her. She said when her husband came to her, he told her that what he saw was a very old woman. They went to meet the parents-in-law, but the moment they saw her, they hated her. Even in her place of work, she was hated and this had continued like that. I told her God can deliver her and not to forget that it was God who delivered her before. When you keep your gaze on Jesus, there might be challenges, there might be issues, but God says he will deliver you. As you look up to Jesus this morning, you will be delivered completely and won’t sink in Jesus Name.
5. You will be eternally saved (Acts 7:55): In this Bible passage was the story of Stephen. Stephen was going through crisis but as he gazed unto heaven, he saw the glory of God and Jesus was standing at the right hand of God. He kept his gaze on Jesus and he was saved eternally. If you don’t keep your gaze on Jesus, people would start recommending other solutions for you which might make you lose your eternity. When you keep your eyes on Jesus, you are sure to be saved eternally. Despite Stephen’s challenges, the heaven was opened for him. There are people, children of God, who die, but when they saw the glory of Heaven, they choose not to come back even when people on earth were praying for their resurrection.
When your gaze is on Jesus, you will not be moved by worldly things; they will not matter to you. Let people be riding on horses and chariots, you are not bothered, you are not moved. Col. 3: 1 – 2 and Phil. 3:7: Set your mind on things above and not on thing on earth. Remember the story of Nicodemus also, when he found Christ and when he started looking unto Jesus, he chose to return all the things he had collected illegally. Sing: “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.”
If Jesus is all you have, then you have all you need. One with God is majority. If your eyes are constantly on Jesus, beloved, you will not be moved. You won’t be running here and there because of worldly things like clothes, cars, etc. Whatever will make you put your hands in dirty things; whatever will make you shift your gaze from Jesus are not worth it. If you are a child of God and you keep pursuing things that will not allow you attend church, attend prayer meetings, do spiritual things, observe your quiet time, you are going backwards and as you are backsliding, dangerous things will happen. It is much easier to walk forward than walk backwards. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God; look unto Jesus who alone can provide all those things you long for for you. If Jesus had been moved by worldly things, he would have ended his ministry right after the prayer and fasting. Satan came, but Jesus told him that he does not care, he does not have time for all of that.
6. You will radiate His glory. You will shine and be glad: When you look unto Jesus, you will radiate His glory, you will shine as light in darkness and then, you will be glad, you will be happy and joyful. The Bible says there is no peace for the wicked, but those who keep their gaze on Jesus will be happy. According to Psalms 34:5 GNT, beloved, you will never be disappointed. Jehovah will always show up for you as you look up to Him. When your eyes are stayed on Jesus, you will always radiate His glory, you will always shine and be glad. Even when there are issues, you will not be confused because your eyes are on Him. When your gaze is not on Jesus and situations come around you, you will not be focused, however, when your gaze is on Jesus, you believe that God who delivered Daniel will deliver you also and because of this, you are radiant of His glory, you are unperturbed and as such, you have peace. Jesus was inside the boat when storms arose; the disciples were troubled and asked him if he cared not if they perish, but He was sleeping, unperturbed.
6. You will receive Mercy (Psalms 123:1): The Lord will show you mercy when you keep your gaze on Him. We have a great example – Esther. If you are here and from a lowly foundation, Esther was also from a lowly estate; it is not over for you. Esther was an orphan but the grace of God showed up for her and she got somebody to adopt her – her uncle. Her uncle who adopted her also was a lowly person, they were all taken as captive but the mercy of God showed up for her. Out of all the people that were chosen to be queen, she was singled out. The mercy of God did not only single her out as the queen, she was also able to save her people from total destruction. The grace of God will single you out and you will stay on high pedestal in Jesus Name. Issues of life that have made you to bow down your head, you are lifted up from them this morning. Amen.
If you have not given your life to Christ, you cannot look up to Him. Find out where you are falling and surrender to Him.
Ask the Lord that as you look up to Him, you will not be ashamed and you will triumph over the issues of life.