IT HAPPENED TO ME 9
[A message by PASTOR IDOWU ILUYOMADE at Digging for Gold Service on Tuesday, June 27, 2017]
JOHN 3:1 - “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.”
PSALM 91:7 – “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; BUT IT SHALL NOT COME NIGH THEE.”
John 5:2-3 records a miracle that happened in Bethesda. Near the pool laid a great multitude of impotent folks, blind, halt, and withered waiting for divine intervention. There were quite a number of people there waiting for a touch and in verse 5 when Jesus came on the scene, He saw only one of them. Jesus knew that the man had been in that situation for 38 years and He focused on him. He singled him out and healed him because he was a candidate for divine intervention.
You may ask: why was he the only one that was healed? Isn’t Jesus the Saviour of the whole world? Didn’t the Bible say in John 3:16 that “for God so loved the world”? Why would He single out one man out of a multitude of sick people? Isn’t His mandate in Luke 4:18 still valid? “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,” yet He healed only one.
The Bible says in Luke 4:25-27 that “But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land. But unto none of them was Elijah sent, save unto Zarephath, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elijah the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.” In spite of the fact that there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, he was sent to help only the widow of Zarephath. Likewise, there were many lepers in Israel and Prophet Elisha was sent to heal none of them except Naaman who wasn’t even an Israelite.
109 people were on board the Sosoliso Airlines Flight 1145 that crashed in December 2005, but only two people were saved – one of which is Kechi Okwuchi, the current singing sensation on America Got Talent. 107 people died and only 2 were saved, why did God spare only 2 lives.
2016 Statistics shows that 108 people die every minute and 2 people die per second in the world. In life, we see a lot of calamities that kill people, while some people narrowly escape. Even before they were born, the Bible recorded in Romans 9:10-13 that God loved Jacob, but Esau He hated. Why?
Accounts of 911 Near MISSES
9/11 was a global catastrophe that destroyed a lot of lives and properties, yet some were spared, not because they knew what was going to happen, but because God saved them from the power of death. Below are some accounts that shows how God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.
- A flight attendant mistakenly entered a wrong code to schedule her for a flight on September 11th 2001. She managed to trade flights with other attendants except for flight 175 on September 11th. On the night before September 11th, she tried again but her system froze, and by the time it processed her request, it was already one minute past the deadline for such changes. She was very upset. on her way to work the following morning – September 11th, she met a colleague who was in high spirits because he got a slot on the same flight she could not get. The error she made, the system freezing, and the one minute lateness were all God’s orchestration to make sure she was not on that flight. These cannot be coincidences or sheer luck!!!
- Somebody had a blister that morning and went to buy a plaster, and that is how he missed the crash.
- Somebody received a call that made her wait longer and she missed her flight.
- Somebody went on a break from work and stepped out of the building and was saved. It was reported that it was not in her character to go on break.
- Somebody tried to take an express train to work but he found out it was too crowded, although he was running late, he took a local train and 5 minutes lateness saved his life.
Why? Why? Why?
Some people may think these near misses are mere luck or coincidences, but on the contrary, we believe that it is because God is merciful and gracious. Our God is sovereign and does as He pleases: He can kill and make alive, He can pull down and lift up, and no one can question Him by asking “what doeth Thou?” After all, we are saved by grace, and grace means unmerited favour.
“IT SHALL NOT COME NEAR THEE”
As God made a difference concerning the children of Israel in Egypt, God will make a difference concerning us in Jesus name. In spite of all the calamities that were around, God made a division between His own children and the unbeliever (Exodus 8:22-23). Whatever evil that remains in this year will not come near you in Jesus name. God will make a difference and the angel of destruction will pass over you in Jesus name. When God takes care of you, He take care of you 24/7. When the children of Israel were going through the wilderness in Numbers 9:15-16, there was a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to protect and lead them through the wilderness. Psalm 91 is a comprehensive insurance that covers you and leads you.
Indeed, these are the evil times. When the children of Israel smeared the blood of lambs on the lintels of their houses, (Exodus 12:3) and when trouble came it passed over them. God can place that mark on you today so that wherever you go, when evil or calamity is coming, it will pass over you in Jesus name. Ezekiel 9:4-6 says “And the LORD said unto him, go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” Also, Revelation 7:2-3 says “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea. Saying, hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.”
Truly, what these scriptures suggests to us is that Psalm 91:7 is real. The fact that things are happening all around you doesn’t mean it will come near you. If you are under the cover of the Almighty God, if the favour of God is upon you, if the grace and mercy of God is upon your life, God can deliver you. It doesn’t matter what is happening in Nigeria; God will single you out to protect and prosper you in Jesus name.
Why do bad things happen to good people? How can you explain the Apostles being martyred? How can you explain losing a righteous loved one? There are many unexplained reasons for God’s actions, indeed, lots of questions will be answered when we see Him face to face in heaven. However, scriptures throw light on some troubling questions as to unravelling the mysteries of God.
To save a righteous from the evil to come
Isaiah 57:1-2 says “The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.” Sometimes, we can’t explain or understand why some people die and we begin to question God, but He has a reason. For example, God sent Prophet Isaiah to Hezekiah in Isaiah 38:1 and told him to set his house in order because according to God’s timetable, his time was up and he needed to leave the earth. Hezekiah turned his face away from the Prophet and wept. He told God he was not ready and asked for God’s mercy. God did not struggle with him and added 15 more years to his life. In those 15 years, he sinned against God and God told him that his kingdom would be carried away to Babylon. He also had a child called Manasseh who did evil acts before the Lord and caused the Lord to say in 2nd Kings 21:11-16 that Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols: Therefore, thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle. And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down. And I will forsake the remnant of mine inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies; Because they have done that which was evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day. Moreover, Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.
God’s ways are past finding out
When Abraham and Sarah were trusting God for a child, people must have branded them as barren. They could have suggested that their barrenness was as a result of sin, but at the end of it all, they gave birth to one of the patriarchs, Isaac whose name means Laughter. People that had been laughing at them had to come and rejoice with her, and the name of God was glorified. In the same manner Elizabeth and Zachariah were barren for many years, yet they were righteous serving in the house of the LORD. They gave up everything but had nothing to show for it. At the end of it all when their story was written, God gave them John the Baptist who was a forerunner of our LORD and Master, Jesus Christ. Jesus said concerning him in Matthew 11:11 that he was the greatest of men born of woman in his time. Hannah was taunted by Peninah, her husband’s other wife. She was called names and told that God had forsaken her because of her barrenness, but at the end of the day, God gave her Prophet Samuel and 5 other children.
This is the conclusion of the matter, GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME. You may not understand God ways or what you are going through right now, but at the end of the day, if you are still on the narrow path of righteousness, there will be celebrations.
As children of God, we have this hope that everything will always work for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). However, if you are not yet born again this scripture does not apply to you, you need to become a child of God before everything will work for your good no matter what you are going through. So, if you are willing to repent and surrender your life to Jesus Christ, then pray this prayer right now: LORD Jesus, I come to You right now, I know I am a sinner, please forgive me of my sins. With my mouth, I confess that Jesus, from right now, be the LORD of my life. I am coming back to You today, please accept me, receive me, and forgive me. Change my heart to a heart that obeys You, fill me with Your Holy Spirit. With my new heart, I believe that it is because of me You came to this world; You died for my sins, You took away my sins, take away my problems also. Write my name in the Book of Life, give me a fresh start in Jesus Mighty Name.
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