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SPECIAL SUNDAY SERVICE WITH PASTOR (DR) MENSA OTABIL INTERNATIONAL CENTRAL GOSPEL CHURCH ACCRA GHANA)

TOPIC OVERCOMING MOUNTAINS DR. MENSA OTABIL

TOPIC: LIVING IN EXPECTANCY – PART 2 (SHOULD, COULD, WOULD)

DATE: 28TH MAY 2023

BIBLE TEXT: JEREMIAH 18:5-10

Let us rise up together as we make our “DECLARATION OF GATHERING” in this “YEAR OF GATHERING”.

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Are you ready? Say with me:

I Proclaim Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. The Lord is the Shepherd of my Soul, my Shelter by Day, my Light by Night.

In His Name, we Plough our fields, by His Spirit we gather the Harvest, in His Light we seek and find.

In this Year of Gathering, the Lord of the Harvest has commanded: Launch Out into the Deep. At His Words, we cast our Nets, we gather in Souls and Substance for God’s Kingdom.

The Lord is our Reward; in this Season I received God’s Portion set aside for me: Full Measure, Pressed down, Shaking together and running over.

Nothing is Lost and Nothing is wasted in Jesus Name – Amen!

Today I am continuing the Series we started Last Week (21st May 2023): Living in Expectancy. This is the Part 2. LIVING IN EXPECTANCY (SHOULD, COULD, WOULD).

What does God want for our lives? What is God’s Purpose for my Life? Am I living in the Purpose of God? What has happened to me, should it have happened? Could it have been better? And so on…

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I am going to try to address some of these concerns today in my Message.

I am sure you would wonder what kind of Sermon Title is: Should, Could, Would? You will get to understand that later.

But before I get into the Substance of the Message, I want to make two (2) Important Statements, because they affect what I am going to say today.

When we talk about the Will of God, there are Two (2) things I want to your Notice as they relate to what I want to Preach on.

1. The Sovereign Will of God:

This is what God has decreed and what God does. There are things that God would decree to happen and Nothing would Change it.

I. There is going to be a Judgement Day, Nothing is going to Change it – That’s the Sovereign Will of God.

II. There is coming the End of this Age and we can’t Pray against it – That’s the Sovereign Will of God.

III. The Salvation, the Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ was the Sovereign Will of God.

When we say that something is the Sovereign Will of God, it means that God oversees it, ordains it and implements it; irrespective of what we do.

Nothing we do, say, Pray, act, affects the Sovereign Will of God.

… That’s what He does, because He is Sovereign! – He is King, He is Lord over everything.

2. The Permissible Will of God:

This is what God allows to be done – This is normally conditional.

You can Pray about it; you can intercede and things would Change, because it is not the Sovereign Will of God.

What I am going to teach today relates to the Permissive Will of God not the Sovereign Will of God because we can’t do much about that. But we can do something about the Permissive Will of God – What God allows to happen to us.

There are things God allows, even though it is not His intention that things should happen, yet He will allow it. But we can do something about that.

So I am going to focus more on the Second Part – The Permissive Will of God. And my Teaching today is going to be based on a Popular Scripture in Jeremiah 18:6-10 (NKJV):

5 Then the Word of the Lord came to me, saying:

6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this Potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the Clay is in the Potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!

7 The instant I speak concerning a Nation and concerning a Kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it,

8 If that Nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.

9 And the instant I speak concerning a Nation and concerning a Kingdom, to build and to Plant it,

10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the Good with which I said I would benefit it.

God is talking about Nations here, but the Principle affects individuals as well.

 

Also Read; potters-house-e-church-choir

1. SHOULD:

This is the first thing we want to look at.

When we say “Should” it means that it is something that is expected to happen.

There are things that are expected to happen: I want you to pay attention to Jeremiah 18:7, it says, “… The instant I speak concerning a Nation.”

In other words God says some things about People, about Nations. And that Message that God has for a Nation, he speaks in an instant. He speaks at a Point in time.

God speaking to us in an instant is based on where we are at a time, it at a Point in time – Where we are at a Point in time in Life.

Now, if you look at the Passage (Jeremiah 18:5-10) closely, Jeremiah goes to the Potter’s House, he sees a Potter and he is working with clay. At a Point the clay is in the Potter’s hand, and something beautiful is coming out.

At another Point the clay is still in the Potter’s hand but it is destroyed.

At both times it is in the Potter’s hand – One moment it is doing well, the other moment it is not doing well.

When God says “The instant I speak concerning a Nation…” He is saying, based on where you are at that time I can speak about you.

I can make a Declaration, I can say something about you in an instant – At the Point in time.

WHAT GOD SAYS TO US AT A POINT IN TIME.

Jeremiah 18:7, 9:The instant I speak concerning a Nation and concerning a Kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, And the instant I speak concerning a Nation and concerning a Kingdom, to build and to Plant it.

Sometimes God says things about a nation that are Good – “You will be built, you will be Greater, you will excel, you will do well.”

But it’s based on an instant; it’s based on where you are at that Particular Point in time.

Another time He says there is an Instruction coming – Things are not going to go well for you. It’s based on where you are at a time.

What does that mean?

It means that there are Points in our lives where we are in a certain State, and the State we are in Predicts our Future.

For Example, if you find somebody who is drinking a lot of Alcohol – They get up in the Morning they drink, drink and drink; Afternoon drink, drink, and drink; Evening, drink, drink and drink.

If you tell them, “you are going to have liver disease” you are not cursing them; you are Predicting their Future based on where they are now;

If you drink so much Alcohol without relent, you are Predicting a certain disease upon
yourself;

If you are always in your office and you don’t get on with anybody in your office, it is Predictable that you will lose your job.

Now, that is not a curse: that is a a Prediction based on your current behaviour because you are quarrelsome.

If you don’t save any money and every money that comes into your hands you just squander; you have no Investment, you have no Savings, you don’t think about tomorrow. You will be Poor!

So, at that instant God can say, Poverty is waiting for you. And when He says, “Poverty is awaiting you: It doesn’t mean I have designed for you to be Poor.”

He is saying, based on the instant you are and what you are doing, this is how things are going to end for you.

There are times God speaks to us and it’s based on where we are, based on what we are doing or what we are not doing.

Sometimes it can be Good things – God would say Blessings are coming your way, based on the right Actions you are taking. And then He can say, disaster is coming your way, based on the Actions you are taking.

So God is speaking to Israel. And if you look at Jeremiah, the moment God called him, he (Jeremiah) starts speaking to, “you are going into Captivity – Disaster is coming!”

Now, if you listen to Jeremiah, you’ll think nothing can be done about the State of Israel; that they are going to be in trouble.

So God says to Jeremiah: let me show you another side of this – Go to the Potter’s House.

He (God) showed Jeremiah a Potter who is working on clay and moulding something – At one moment it’s going well; another moment it’s going badly and then another moment it goes well.

And God says, this is how my Will is: At an instant I could speak concerning you, but what I say is not the finality of it – It is how things should be if you continue where you are.

If you come from a very Broken home, it is likely your Marriage will be Broken because you had a bad Background.

And if you come from a very, very drug, bad Alcoholic family, it is likely you will be a drunkard.

It doesn’t mean you would be but where you are can indicate where you are going to be.

… That is “Should!”

2. COULD

Now, this is the heart of the whole Message – “Should” is Powerful; but “Could’ is more Powerful.

“Could” is what can Possibly happen.

This is the heart of the Message God is giving to Jeremiah.

And why is “Could” important?

“Could” is a mixed of Possibility – I am going this way, Predictably I am going to end that way.

For example, I take a bus, it’s going to Kumasi (in Ghana). Predictably I should be in Kumasi. But somewhere in the line, there can be a “Could” where I changed direction and instead of going to Kumasi I go somewhere else.

Somebody say: I can make it!

Although Predictably, I am supposed to go this way, I can change direction – Could!

And that is Premise on Jeremiah 2:17. This is something God spoke through Jeremiah to Israel and it is very important – It says:

Have you not brought this on yourself, In that you have forsaken the Lord your God When He led you in the way?

God is saying, the reason why you are going into Captivity; the reason why Jeremiah is saying, “Captivity, Captivity, Captivity, Babylon will be conquered” is not because God wants Babylon to conquer you. But He says, you have brought it upon yourself.

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How did you bring it upon yourself? Because you walked in the Path that leading to Captivity.

There is a lot of things God would say about you today that you have brought on yourself – God didn’t bring it on you.

You know, one of the things about our Ghanaian (African) Culture is, when you tell People of the Possible outcome of their Choices, they think it is a curse.

They say, “don’t curse me, don’t speak bad Luck to me.” – It is not speaking bad Luck!

If somebody takes a Kumasi bus and I say, “you would go to Kumasi.” The person says, you can’t tell me I will go to Kumasi. But you took the bus! It is not a curse, it is the instant I am speaking to you: based on your Choices and Actions.

God says to Israel, this is what I am telling you – You are going into Captivity. It is not because I Planned it in my Sovereign Will; but I will Permit it because you have brought it upon yourself.

Sometimes we say things like: “Whatever happens it is God.” – In essence, God knows everything.

But whatever happens is not God’s Sovereign Will – A lot of things happening in our lives, God doesn’t want them to happen. And He is going to bring you to a Point where you can Change it.

That’s why He took Jeremiah to the Potter’s House – The clay is marred but something can be done Productively out of this pot that is destroyed.

“Could” is based on Two (2) Things:

I. Change of Action – If you turn around.

II. And Change of Consequences.

God says, “I will relent.”

Changes of Action comes from seeing I am headed in the wrong direction and I am making wrong Choices. God says, if you Change your direction I will relent; the disaster is not going to happen.

But interestingly He says the same thing about People who are headed towards disaster and People who are headed towards Blessing.

God is saying, there are things you do that can Pre-dispose you to be blessed, happy, Joyful, enjoy Life, for your Expectations to become a Reality but if you just stop doing them, the Expected End would not happen.

So, you can start Marriage – Have a Good marriage because you spend time together, you Pray together, Study the Bible together, Communicate, forgive each other, tolerate each other. Your Marriage would work!

But if you make New friends who start telling you: Who are women? Don’t let a woman control you oooo. And you deviate from the right things you are doing;

Although Predictably, you were supposed to have a Good Marriage; you will end up in disaster. Because “Could” cut two (2) ways. It cut in the way of those who are headed towards disaster and those who are headed towards Goodness.

But if they Change their Actions, the Outcome would Change!

WHAT DOES GOD WANT FOR YOU?

Many times we ask, “What does God want from me?” The Question is: What do you want for yourself? Because He is telling Jeremiah, these guys have brought this upon themselves.

So, there are things I am bringing to myself and blaming God for? Most likely! Because the expected end of our lives is determined by us walking in God’s ways, doing God’s Will, obeying God.

One of the things we have developed in this Part of the world – I don’t know whether it’s an African thing or whatever it is; it is that we don’t see the correlation between Action and Reaction.

People feel that they can be lazy, and one day “who knows tomorrow?” Then at once they are Prosperous.

No! It’s an African motion. We are just lazy!

Or he goes to School, he doesn’t learn “but God is a God of Miracles, Signs and Wonders: I believe in Miracles.” And just like that there will be a Transformation!

There will be no Transformation; you will be Last and beyond Last if there’s anything like that because somehow, we don’t merge our activities to the Outcome of our lives.

This is what God is telling Jeremiah – if you want to live in Expectancy, what you expect is based on what you are doing. He says they brought it upon themselves.

Many of us, the Outcome of our lives, where we are now, we can Change it. Many of them! I know you think it’s the devil, the Witches and Wizards. I know your Mind. I am one of you (laugher)! But that thought is Problematic because it takes responsibility from you.

God could have told Jeremiah, “it is because their Ancestors have sinned, their fathers have sinned, I know it is a Generational curse. And this one is deep in the Spirit – nothing can Change it.”

But He says, go to the Potter’s House – I am going to teach you a Lesson there: The instant I speak concerning a Nation and concerning a Kingdom, to Pluck up, to Pull down, and to destroy it, if that Nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. (Jeremiah 18:7-8).

They didn’t Change Ancestors – Because I can’t Change my Ancestors. I can’t Change my father and mother. I don’t even know my Great Grandfather. My Grandfather never met him. If he was a thief, how do in know? He stole somebody’s goat in the Village, I don’t even know the Village.

Because my Great Grandfather stole somebody’s goat and he said “nobody in your Descendants will Prosper.” I am blamed and I am stocked?

No Sir! That’s is not Bible; that is African Traditional Religion.

If you read that Proverbs: The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? Ezekiel 18:2B

… It will not be so – Amen!

God is saying to Jeremiah, in the Potter’s House you are going to learn that the Expectations of our lives are based on our current situation.

So, we’ve looked at “Should”, we’ve looked at “Could”. We will look at the final one;

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3. WOULD

It is what actually happens! What is supposed to happen, what can happen, what actually happens.

That is where it ends – You end at “Would”.

You know, all of us have Experiences in Life about People we know; People we sat in class with – Maybe in Primary School, Secondary School or the University.

At a Point in time, if we say, “who is the most likely to Succeed? Pick three (3). There are some people who would always feature. I know in my Class who I will Pick.

And then they say, the one who is supposed to be a disaster, Pick three (3).

At every Point in time there are three (3) People who would say, as for this guy, he will never dare. It won’t happen – That is “Should.”

And then somewhere along the line, in the Person’s Life, “Could” happens – And the one whom we thought would do very well could end up becoming wrong. And the one that would have had a Disastrous Life could turn around Good.

When we meet them thirty (30) years later, the “Should” had not become”Would” because in the Middle, there is a “Could” – Something they did or did not; Changed the Outcome.

What is “Would?” What actually happens!

The Passage says the end is two (2);

I. You can end up in a Good Place; better nourished, doing well.

Sometimes People start and we know they are going to do well. And we see them Thirty (30) years later, and they do well – No Surprise!

You know, there are certain Classmates of yours, you hear of them in News, and you say, we knew it! Because they were Good and continued being Good.

And there are other Classmates of yours, you see them on Television and they become Great, you say, wonders shall never end!

It is not about Wonders, somewhere in their lives, if you would check, you’ll realised something happened and they Changed direction.

Probably they got Born Again, moved to God, got filled with the Holy Spirit, started attending a Bible Believing Church, heard Good Messages.

And all of a sudden they started turning things; and you look at them and you say, Wonders shall never end!

Yes, Good,! Wonderful. But it didn’t happen because they did something – They could do it.

… Somebody say: I can do it!

II..And then there are other People too; we all thought they would do well. And then you see them and you wonder, “the world is somehow oooo! This Fellow? Fear the world.”

It’s not about fear – “Could” happened. Something happened and they stopped doing what made us feel they would be Successful: they Probably got bitter, angry, got very destructive, took on bad habits, made bad friends, etc.

And all of a sudden, the Path we all thought they would end in, they didn’t end up there.

That is what Jeremiah is saying. He says, you can be in a Good Place or you can be in a Bad Place. But the determining factor is the middle one “Could”.

The instant I speak concerning a Nation and concerning a Kingdom, to Pluck up, to Pull down, and to destroy it, (Jeremiah 18:7)

Clear case was King Hezekiah – God sent Prophet Isaiah, “go tell Hezekiah, pack up your bag you are going to die!”.

That is “Should.”

But “Could” – Hezekiah turned his face and Prayed, “God, I am not going down this way”.

Before Isaiah got out, a New Instruction came, “Would” – He is going to live.

Somebody say: It is not fixed, it can be Changed!

Even if you saw a Dream or you heard a Prophecy, or somebody Prophesied to you – It is not fixed! It is still in the Permissive Will of God.

The things that are fixed -Judgement Day is fixed, Nothing we do can Change it.

But this thing in your Life is not fixed; there is something you can do about it, and you can Change it.

ALTAR CALL

And really, one of the most important Consequential Decisions a Person must make is to receive Jesus Christ into their lives: To be Born Again. That’s a Major Game Changer in Life!

It doesn’t mean it would Solve all your Problems, but it is a major Game Changer.

So, I just want us to bow our head for a moment, we want to Pray!

If you are here this morning, or reading now on the Label of DMC; and you are not Born Again – You’ve never given your Life to Jesus Christ or maybe you don’t know whether you are Born Again or not.

Some say, Pastor I don’t even know what it means to be Born Again – Then you need to be Born Again

So, if you Genuinely want Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, I want you to just lift up your Right hand where you are. That’s the Code; that is your Sign today, I am about to Change.

Let your hand be lifted up as a Sign that you want Eternal Life with Jesus Christ. God bless you!

PRAYER OF SALVATION

Let’s Pray this important Prayer together, as we give our lives to Jesus Christ. Say with me:

Heavenly Father, I come to You today just as I am. I am a Sinner, I cannot Change myself. But I Thank You Father, that Jesus Christ died for me; to wash away my sins and to Change my Life.

And today I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. I Thank You Father for the Gift of Salvation, which I now receive by Faith in Christ Jesus.

Thank You Lord for accepting me.

In Jesus’ Name – Amen and Amen!

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If you truly Prayed that Prayer to receive Jesus in your Heart, you can be sure the New Life has been imparted to you – Amen.

 

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