The Allstate Insurance Company has a captivating slogan. In their advertisements they claim, "You're in good hands with Allstate." This statement attracts people, for there is within every human being the need and desire for security. People want their houses, cars, and especially their lives to be protected .
Jesus made a security claim for believers: "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:28). The Lord gave a graphic picture of security. He pictured the believer as resting in the hands of the heavenly Father. Think of the amazing security one has by being in the Father's hands. Yet Jesus did not speak these words for security's sake alone. The words of our Lord suggest other truths. A person is "in the hands of God" for more reasons than just security. Let us notice the implications of being in God's hands.
II. GOD MAKES A PERSON
A. There was a time when one was not in God's hands.
1. Those who refuse to submit to the Good Shepherd stand outside the fold of safety.
a. Human beings want to take over their own lives and live as they please, rather than as God wants them to live,
b. Every person on earth has gone astray like a rebellious sheep. Human beings have looked to the mirage of greener pastures and strayed like sheep only to find that they are alienated from God, abandoned to the wrong cause, and have abused every gift God gave.
B. When a person responds in faith to Jesus Christ, God begins a great work within him or her.
1. "I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture" (v. 9 RSV). Two words in the verse help to describe God's work in a believer,
a. First, there is the word saved. It means a rescue operation.
b. Second, there is the expression "find pasture." This describes God's daily care. Not only is there a rescue operation, but there is nourishment and growth.
2. Paul said, "For I am confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil. 1:6 ASV). When a person trusts the Lord, God begins a good work. The Lord will continue this work until the day of Jesus Christ.
III. GOD USES A PERSON
A. God does not put a person in His hands just to save; He intends to use that person.
1. Human beings do not enter into a relationship with God to sit and wait for the Judgment Day. No, God desires that the saved work in His service.
a. Out of Elisha's ministry there comes an illustration of service. Elisha told a young man to put out his hand and "take ... up" the lost axe head. It was not just to be rescued from a watery grave; it was to be restored to useful service again.
B. We may be weak instruments, but in God's hands we may be used to do much.
1. God has the amazing power of choosing ordinary human beings and using them in His service. "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty" (1 Cor. 1:27).
2. A golf club in my hands may mean a high score. But that same golf club in the hands of a professional golfer may mean a low score. The difference is in the one who uses the club. When we put our lives into the hands of God, He uses us for His service.
IV. GOD KEEPS A PERSON
A. The security of the believer depends upon the nature and character of God.
1. After we open our lives to God in faith, our security depends upon God. It does not depend on our power to hold on to God. Rather, it depends upon God's power to hold on to us. "For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day" (2 Tim. 1:12).
B. The security of the believer does nol mean a license to sin.
1. If one uses the concept of the security of the believer to practice sinful ways, then one does not really comprehend the idea of being in God's hand.
a. In God's hand a person gradually experiences change. The Lord changes a person, and his or her life moves away from practicing sin.
2. Charles Haddon Spurgeon was asked, "Do you believe in the perseverance of the saints?" He replied, "No, but I believe in the perseverance of the Savior."
A. Are you willing to put yourself in God's hand?
1. A party of inexperienced mountain climbers were facing a yawning crevasse which had to be crossed if they would reach the top. Their guide went over nimbly. Reaching back he asked each member of the climbing party to give him his hand. One man came repeatedly to the edge, and each time he retreated. Finally, the guide reached for the man's hand once more and said, "For thirty years I've been helping men and women across that gap, and I' ve never let one go yet."
2. Will you reach out to the Lord? He has not let one go yet!
Grace of God ──J. Wilbur Chapman often told of the testimony given by a certain man in one of his meetings:
"I got off at the Pennsylvania depot as a tramp, and for a year I begged on the streets for a living. One day I touched a man on the shoulder and said, "Hey, mister, can you give me a dime?" As soon as I saw his face I was shocked to see that it was my own father. I said, "Father, Father, do you know me?" Throwing his arms around me and with tears in his eyes, he said, "Oh my son, at last I've found you! I've found you. You want a dime? Everything I have is yours." Think of it. I was a tramp. I stood begging my own father for ten cents, when for 18 years he had been looking for me to give me all that he had."
What a wonderful illustration of the way God longs to treat us, if we will only let Him.