My baby girl Kayla Brown (still call both her and Kelli Brown that) is 19 today – wow!!! Cendy Brown and I are getting older and reaping benefits of grace from the Lord and being taught who He is by Kayla’s life. By all earthly reasons Kayla should not have been born alive, but she was (and two months early at that!) Then she was supposed to die at 5 but she didn’t and then she was supposed to die at 8 and she didn’t.
The Lord showed us through this entire process that He is sovereign over all “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,” (Ephesians 1:11, ESV) AND “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” (Psalm 115:3, ESV) AND “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2, ESV) AND “all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”” (Daniel 4:35, ESV)
Not only this (sovereign over all in general) but He taught us specifics such as:
1. He is the giver and taker of life. “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.” (Deuteronomy 32:39, ESV) and “The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.” (1 Samuel 2:6, ESV).
2. Because of all her illness and disabilities we have learned that these are the Lord’s doing and they are there for her (and our) good and His glory “Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” (Exodus 4:11, ESV)
3. That through the process of illness and almost death the Lord revealed His plan to save Kayla as He showed mercy and compassion to her, “For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” (Romans 9:15–16, ESV) and “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Romans 8:29–30, ESV) and “…and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.” (Acts 13:48, ESV) and “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,” (Ephesians 1:4–5, ESV)
4. That through doctors and hospitals and many tears He taught us that He is sovereign over every one of our daily plans and thus our very lives because He formed them (custom made them) for us “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:16–17, ESV) AND “A man’s steps are from the LORD; how then can man understand his way?” (Proverbs 20:24, ESV) AND “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21, ESV)
5. That He is sovereign even over all the evil things that have taken place in Kayla and our families lives “Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?” (Amos 3:6, ESV) AND “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7, ESV) AND “And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” (Job 1:21–22, ESV) “But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” (Job 2:10, ESV) AND “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…” (Genesis 50:20, ESV)
6. The Lord is sovereign over her future “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6, ESV) AND “And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Romans 8:30, ESV)
7. That today, on her 19th birthday He is sovereignly at work in her life working everything together for her good “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, ESV) AND “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” (Romans 8:31–35, ESV)
Through all of this I am grateful to the Lord for His mercy and grace. Only through Him, have we been able to endure with steadfastness. James tells us “Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” (James 5:11, ESV) We can say with James that the Lord truly is compassionate and merciful.
Happy Birthday Kayla!!! I praise God for allowing me to be your daddy, I praise Him for you and your life and its message – may the Lord allow it be told everywhere. ~ Soli Deo Gloria ~ Love always, Daddy
Today Kayla and our family want you to know the same God who created you and who is sovereign over all things and works all things according to the counsel of His will (Eph 1:11). To do this the Bible says you must believe the Gospel which means the “good news of Jesus” There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the Gospel, but today much of what you hear is not the Gospel. The true Gospel is not ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the Gospel.
The Gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness – or lack of it – or the righteousness of another. The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.
God cannot just wave a wand of forgiveness and everybody is ok. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the Gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith – and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him – and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.
A prison guard once asked “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And he was told “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”” (Acts 16:30–31, ESV)
The Bible says “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (Romans 10:9–10, ESV)
But this requires someone telling you this good news which I have done today: “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:14–17, ESV)
Know that God is sovereign and it is no coincidence that you have read this entire message, call upon His name today and trust what the Bible says – that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”” (Romans 10:13, ESV)