The Sacredness of God
A man last week. We started this new series The Glory of God as we are embarking on a new year as 2019 stretches out before us the question becomes. What kind of year is it going to be? Who are we going to be in this year? And I proposed a New Year's resolution for us as a community with simply this that in 2019. We would love Jesus more. That's my goal. I hope that you would Embrace that as your goal this year when we're standing in 2020. I want to look back and see the man that I am today and and the man that I am then the more in love with Jesus. I want to consider him more. I want him to capture more of my imagination. I wanted to own more of my heart. I want my attitudes and my actions to look more like Kim. I want to love Jesus more. There's so much more of Jesus. For us to experience than what we already have. I don't care if you're brand-new to Jesus or you've been walking with Jesus for 60-70 years. There's more of Jesus. I saw this the series is an attempt for us to focus in on the person of God the character of God so that our hearts might be drawn towards him really that the foundational text of of this series is found in 2nd Corinthians 3:18. It says we all with unveiled faces beholding the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from one degree of Glory. to another not. That's the hope of this series that as we begin to see God more clearly that we would love him more dearly that God would capture us. The God would create within us a holy hunger and a dissatisfaction with the status quo. Vets that end in countering God in his Sovereign goodness God in his his holistic Glory we would be changed. That's what this verse promises that when you encounter the glory of God. You can be changed.
I was thinking about that.
Begin to wonder why why is it? But that verse that promise. Isn't a reality for all of us all the time. What why is it that we were not being transformed from glory to glory? Why is it that so many people come into a relationship with Jesus with a lot of excitement but over time it begins to dim. We we slip into a state of complacency. We put our spiritual lives on cruise control. What what is it that that keeps us? Encountering the glory of God in this way. I was meditating and reflecting and thinking about that this week one of one of the things that profoundly struck me about why this isn't happening. And forgive me for the Simplicity of this it's because we're not looking for it.
What we're not looking for it. And it struck me that what what is it that I want to see about God. You don't want to see the love of God. I want to see the Forgiveness of God. I want to see the patience of God. I'm not sure. I always want to see the glory of God. There's a very real sense that that we take God who is one and we divide him up and we just focus on the parts in the aspects of God that we find a Tractive that we need that we want in a parts that we don't think we need or the parts that make us uncomfortable. We tend to push those aside. So we're not looking at all of God for not seeking the whole glory of God. We're trying to use God's like some spiritual vending machine. I need your help right now. I need your forgiveness. I blew it again. Got my kids a mess. My job's a mess of the world's a mess. That would you help out for not seeking God for God.
Want to be changed we go to dr. Phil and Oprah are some self-help book. Maybe some megachurch Pastor that's going to give us seven steps to a supernatural spiritual life. Don't look to God for God sake.
The promise is that when we see the glory got the fullness of God's the totality of God's that we will be transformed.
That's a challenge for us as a culture. variety of reasons I think primarily our concept of God. Aw, Tozer said the most important thing about you is what comes into your mind when you think about God. We are a culture that has reduced. and minimalized and created a God that we're comfortable with. My favorite theologians said in Genesis God made Man In His Image. We've tried to turn around and return the favor. We're constantly trying to get to make God like us a God that were comfortable with a guy that lines up with our agenda. We
don't want to God that is a brute necessity a god that is bigger than us a god that is righteous and holy a god that is Judge as well as Savior and father. So we we pick and choose and what we what we end up with. I'll what we end up with. This is not the glory of the Lord. more like this
I called his bobblehead me cuz I think it looks more like me than Jesus.
I had this at a white elephant gift and and Pastor Denny stole it from me.
This this I love this. This is this is what we do to God. We trivialize them to the point that we make little toys out of him. We were so comfortable with the warm-and-fuzzy Jesus who can only want us to be happy and healthy and have everything go our way that When things don't go our way, we throw spiritual pity parties like no one's business.
I want to talk this morning. about the sacredness of God Holiness of God the other nurse of God's the vastness of God. I want to call myself and and call you this morning to expand your horizon when you think about God. Do not try to turn him into a guy that you're comfortable with or the guy that you think he should be put to come to him as he is and let him reveal himself to you to treat him with reverence and respect. To give God the honor that he and he alone. is do sacredness of God
Thing that we think about very often, but you know, it's it's all throughout the scriptures. I was thinking about when Jesus taught his disciples to pray. We're all familiar with the Lord's Prayer. The middle The Sermon on the Mount we have it in Matthew chapter 6. Jesus said when you pray pray like this our father Who are in the heavens? Hallowed be thy name it's amazing that sometimes the more familiar we are with the scripture the last we actually know what it means. How many of you know what Halo it means amazing we pray that we said I could go. Let's do the Lord's Prayer together right now. Probably everybody in this room or the vast majority of us could say it from memories, but do we know what it mean? And if we don't know what it means, how can we really be praying it and say all argue if we want to sit down and exegete the text and we're not this morning out of the time. It's the it's the heart of the prayer if you don't understand what Tyler would be thy name means none of the rest of the prayer makes any sense.
She says Our Father who art in heaven Hallowed be your name. It's not a description. He's not saying you're holy or you're good or your big or anything like that. It's saying may your Darkness?
Be respected. New York position at the center of the universe be honored in my heart and my life may you be set apart in my mind and in my heart above all else that's that's the heart of the prayer that Jesus says if you want to pray you got to come to God and you got to acknowledge your God and I'm not Got to understand the terms and conditions of credit that understand the relationship that's being involved. You're not going before God whimsically, you're not going before another person not even an important person you're going before the author and Creator and sustainer of life.
So when you go to him you set him apart.
Father who art in heaven Hallowed be your name is I started to think about that. I started just think about this this thread that runs throughout the entire scriptures. This is how God has talked to his people throughout the entirety of redemption about who he is and how it relate to him. I started thinking about the ten commandments. God gives his people when when they're formed into a nation after they're taken out of Egypt. He gives them the Ten Commandments. That's this moral code this this way of life.
And again the very first Commandments he gives them. God spoke these words saying on the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt out of the house of slavery. You shall have no Gods before me.
I'm first. Sex. I'm the most important. I am the center you don't put anything in front of me. What's the challenge for us today? Is that we go. Well, I don't I don't have any other gods. I don't I don't got any balser. I don't got a Buddha statue. I don't got any of this stuff in my in my world. I don't have other gods before him. So I guess I'm okay with it's not that easy to get off the hook.
Because anything in your life. That you give the honor and respect that only God deserves is a God you're putting before him if you put your reputation before God if you put your identity before God if you put your your profession before God if you put your sexuality before God if you put your preferences before got if you put your family before God you're violating the first of the great Commandments.
You shall have no other gods before me. That's very clear that he is unique.
He demands are our hearts. Israel I want you to have no one in front of me and I love it when when the people are about to go into the promised land Moses gathers them together. He repeats of Ten Commandments. Then it gives them what's known as the shimatsu the prayer that that Jews would pray twice a day morning and evening. Listen to what it is. It says listen to Toronto me six hear o Israel. The Lord Our God. The Lord is one you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your might and these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children. You should talk to them when you sit in your house when you walk by the way when you lie down and when you rise you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes you shall write them on the doorposts of your house. and on your Gates the people of God were to be God Centric God Center that's hard for us cuz we where is Mann Center to culture as you're going to find in history? We want it to be all about us. Even when we start talking about God and the gospel we try to to morph and shape the gospel to be something that's going to meet our needs.
The command of the Lord the call of the Lord the invitation of our God. It's always been to recognize that he is at the center of it all. Make me number one. Don't put any Gods before me. I want you to I want to be in your conversation. I want to be in your houses. I want to be with your kids. I want to be in your family. I want to be in your workplace. I put me on your body. I want to be a part of everything. You got to see me in all of life.
this this this vision of a god that is other that is exalted. That is Holy. It is sacred.
So foreign to a culture that actually makes
parts of the story of the scriptures very uncomfortable. And almost unexplainable to us. I want to walk you through a few of those this morning. I don't know if you remember the story of Isaiah. Parable name 2nd Samuel 6 play Samuel 6 David gathered all the chosen men of Israel 30,000 and David arose and went with all the people who are with them from valjoux. To bring up from there the Ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who sits enthroned of the cherubim. David is finally going to go get the ark and bring it to Jerusalem.
So takes 30 thousand of his finest Warriors that crowds come with him. They go to where the ark is cuz they carried the Ark of God on a new cart. And brought it out of the house of a Benedict that's a problem already because God was very specific about how the Ark of the Covenant was to be transported and it wasn't on a cart. Their polls there were people there was this was a sacred item. This is God Ark.
Not so this is how I want you to treat this is how I want you to transport it. This is how I want you to get done. David looks at it and goes man. That's a long way. We don't want to walk all that way. We got a new car. Let's put it on the car. I just make sense. I'm helping God out. You should be so grateful.
That's how we thinking that.
Running out of the house of the Benedum which was on the hill in Azusa and a high. Oh, not Ohio that are the sons of a minute ab we're driving the new car with the Ark of God. Ohio went before the ark. David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord with songs and liars and harps and tambourines and castanets and symbols. There's a good old-fashioned Pentecostal get it on servant.
When it came to the threshing floor of nikonusa put out his hand to the Ark of God and took a hold of it for the oxen stumbled. Ox and stumble the cart tilts The Arc begins to slide off hooza.
Can help you out God.
And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Musa and God struck him down there because of his error and he died there beside the ark.
I don't know about you, but I remember the first time I read that story. I got a little nervous.
I got a little angry at this is unfair. See because we think that our intentions should make everything. Alright. We think our intentions should Define reality. God had been very clear. No one should touch it last they died when he touched it he died and that's not fair.
the uncomfortable the God would be true to his word for uncomfortable.
The God is righteous. Holy. We're uncomfortable because hashtag I am Musa.
Always trying to help you out out. So that I can do things my way.
I want my intentions to be enough. Because my intentions are easier than obedience.
God reveals if this moment I am not something to be trivialize don't play with me. I am serious. You need to take me serious. I am giving you specific instructions.
How about when Saul lost his kingship? An interesting one to me so chosen to be king cuz he was tall and good-looking.
Salt started out fairly well. King
and that yeah.
He lost his kingship. A very interesting story. It's found in 2nd or 1st Samuel 13. So I was going to lead the nation into a battle. That's what he supposed to do. That's what the King was there for but he doesn't want to go into the battle. Remember the story doesn't like going to the battle without offering the sacrifice. It's all about God's presence. He wants God's blessing. They don't want to go out and engage in this battle is God's not going to be with them. Saul is not supposed to offer the sacrifice at the prophet's job. The prophet of the time was Samuel Saul reaches out Samuel. I need you to come I need you to offer sacrifices so we can have God's blessing as we going to Samuel says I'll be there in 7 days. It's always only army they wait. One day to day. They wait 7 Days 7 days. No sign of Samuel there looking out anybody heard.
Don't get nervous. He wants to take the need to get out and ballet needs the bus similar to what the stall do.
for the sacrifices solvers the sacrifices in and I love the way the story works the moment. He's done with the sacrifices who shows up. ml things like weed what you do? Here he come you weren't here. If you were late. We need a God's blessing and I was just trying to honor God.
How can I be a bad thing? I'm just trying to honor God.
Samuel says that's all you've done foolishly. You've not done kept the command of the Lord your God with which he commanded you if you had the Lord will establish your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart in the Lord has commanded him to be Prince over his people because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you
You know, I've said this a hundred times here. I hope I can say it a thousand more times. the right thing I'm in the wrong way. Becomes the wrong thing.
With God if it's not enough to just have intention. God sees it all.
So how you doing a good thing? spiritual thing a religious thing
a God thing when you do a God thing. in a way that God has told you not to how should we be surprised that God is not pleased.
Before you start saying yourself Wallace's nice Jeremy, but it's all Old Testament stuff. Y'all were with me for the 3,000 years. We preached through the book of Acts.
You might remember Acts chapter 5 is a long time ago, right? Acts chapter 5 the church has just been born in Jerusalem. It's exploding and growth are enjoying the favor. The people everyday people are coming and being safe there gathering together in homes in the temple. They're breaking bread. They're praying the apostles teaching and it is going amazing, but there's needs there's some poor people there's some there's some significant needs and so people begin to bring and gifts and lay them at the feet of the Apostle and then they distribute it to those who are neat. In fact, some people begin to sell property Barnabas at son of encouragement. He goes and sells property rings that lays at the apostles feet. Is that other couple ananias and Sapphira they got they got some property like they thought they bring the money later at the apostles feet and is comes first. Here's the money that I got yours all the money that I got from selling the property. Peter goes really that's all the money not because Peter needed all the money. That wasn't the point. The point isn't about how much he was giving her how much she was withholding. It was that he was not telling the truth. T150 wanted to take and eat it too is that you wanted to sell the property and keep some of it for himself, but tell everybody that he gave it all to everybody to go off their generous. They're awesome.
Peter looks on her. This. This is all and he dropped over dead.
A couple of young guys come in they dragged him out and then in comes as wife beater sense for the fire as wife hate your husband was just here to give this money. Is this all the money that you guys got? Oh, yes. That's all the money. Peter goes to get the young man who just drag your husband's body out. They're coming back for you and she fell over death. And Luke in his amazing understated way says this great fear Came Upon the whole church and upon all those who heard these things.
Family, we need that. the fear of the Lord you look good thing. It's a necessary thing. Not not to be terrified, but to be in awe not to be scared of with the hold in reverence and high regard. God is not to be trifled with you got to be trivial as we don't play with God's T ain't playing around.
fear of God swept through the church all that the fear of God's sweet through our church. That would we would hold him high and lifted up. We would see him as amazing and Majestic and powerful and beautiful and we would be awestruck at who God is. And we would treat him.
the sacredness that he is due Let me give you one more text from Corinthians. Every time I get discouraged about EMC. I just go read Corinthians. Where were messed up man Corinth was messed up.
And that this is an appropriate text for us today because we're going to take the Lord's Supper here together in a few minutes. 1st Corinthians chapter 11 starting verse 17 Paul write this he says I'm in the following instructions. I do not commend you because when you come together, it is not for the better. But for the worst thing about what he's saying when you come together when you have your church Gathering You actually walk out worse than when you came in it be better if you just didn't meet.
Okay, Paul. What are you talking about in the first place? When you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. I hear that there's divisions among you lie. I believe it in part 4 there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. Sarcasm, by the way, I'd rather you guys didn't meet because when you come together, you did not clicky and factionalized. You're looking down on one another or treating each other differently and that was a violation of the gospel and a violation of the heart of God. Because the church's one there's one Lord one Spirit One Faith one. Hope one baptism. The church's one. There is neither male nor female sooner Greek slave nor free. The church is one in Christ. We all stand on level ground at the foot of the cross. This is when you come together with these factions these divisions this this amnesty you destroy the testimony of the Gospel of God you violate his sacredness.
Cuz when you come together, it's not the Lord's Supper that you eat. Not that they would do the Lord's Supper differently than how we do it going to give you a little cracker and some juice. They would have a meal. The original Baptist potluck everybody bring a little bit of something and they bring it would share me they call it the Luffy's they would celebrate the love that they found in Jesus. The church in Corinth is when you come together. It's not the Lord's Supper that you eat for an eating. Each one goes ahead with his own meal one goes hungry another gets drunk. Can you imagine how many of these little cups you got to drink?
What up, what a violation of the Lord's people off of 11th. The church comes together in unity and Harmony and love but they're not caring about each other one guys eating everything in the can. Judge him too harshly.
Sonic guys over in the corner getting drunk and then other people are walked out they got nothing.
Azar you not have houses to eat and drinking. You despise the Church of God and humiliate those who have nothing. What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.
I received from the Lord. That which I also delivered to you that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread. Broken when you give him thanks, he broke it and said this is my body, which is for you do this in remembrance? of me The same way also we took the cup after supper saying this cup is the New Covenant in my blood do this. As often as you drink it in remembrance of me.
There's often as you eat this bread and drink this cup. You proclaim the Lord's death until he come. The communion the Lord's table hear me. It's about Jesus. This is his table remembering Tim. Is it about us? Of course? It's about us, but it's altimate lie about him. When we make it about our self and we don't make it about him. We're letting the first commandment. We're violating the Shema. We're violating the Lord's Prayer. We are supposed to say Dada parts. When we take communion if we break bread we take the cups were proclaiming his death like it's happening all over again. Central Church in Corinth, you're making it all about you. It's all about Jesus.
Whoever therefore eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body in the blood of the Lord.
So if you if you take communion in a way that violates. the message nothing to prove the representing of communion. You're actually eating and drinking judgement upon yourself.
What a person examine himself and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup for anyone who eats and drinks without Discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.
What's he saying here? He's not saying. Just have your private little cuddle with Jesus. This is anyone who can drink without Discerning the body. This is a relational reality if you're taking communion by yourself, you don't have to worry about this. I know why you taking communion by yourself. Because the point is we're all taking it together. It's the body. So if you what is Puff saying here if you come and you come to church and it's all about you. And you're grateful that Jesus died for you and you take the bread and you take the cup but in your heart, you despise the people sitting next to you in your heart you feel that you're better than they are in your heart. You don't know why God loves you're missing the whole point it be better if you didn't do it.
The point of this is not just pay Jesus love me and died for me. The point is Jesus loved us and died for us and fat Jesus love the world inside for the world. The point of this is that it's bigger than us and if you make it into just about you you blow the whole thing. So listen to what he says that is why many of you are weak and ill and some have died.
Many of you are weak and now and some have died. If we judge ourselves truly we would not. Be judged, but when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with.
That is holy and righteous. And sacred and he deserve to be treated with respect and honor. Our world our culture even in the church is all about our rights. Everything's about our rights these days. I have a right to this. I don't write this. And if we feel our rights get violated, what do we do? We cry out. That's not fair. That's not fair.
are given to us for a reason they're given to us for a reason to remind us that our rights are not the most important rights in the universe. What about God's right?
What about God's right when we really understand the gospel. The last thing we want is fairness.
Cuz I know what I deserve. I've met most of you I know what you deserve.
I don't want I want God to be fair that the beauty of the gospel God demonstrated his love for us in this while we were still sinners Christ died for us the gospel. The hope of the Gospel is the most unfair thing in the universe. Jesus took our sin upon himself and gave us his life. Shut up, and God is not fair. They got a bigger house than I do. You got a nicer job. He's got a six-pack. I got a tag. We have all this stuff. God is fair enough.
But I want to treat God fairly. That's the question. I want to ask a question. We should be asking God. What are you? write to you you
let me give you another verse to close. 1st Peter 3:15 Peter access said in your hearts honor Christ the lord a toy
Set him apart.
In your heart not just talking about emotions heart in the language of the day meant your mind your emotions your will it solid as the center of your being? in all of you Put Christ first. In all of you set him apart as lure.
He's the rightful ruler not just of our hearts, but all of creation. In your hearts honor Christ the lord as holy as set apart as unique as primary at Sovereign as sufficient that Supreme give Jesus the glory and the honor that he's due.
When we do that, it makes a difference. Is it in your hearts honor Christ? The Lord Is Holy always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you do it with gentleness and respect. This is the way of evangelism is supposed to happen. This is the way spiritual growth is supposed to happen organically when we set up apart Christ as Lord and Christ as holy in our hearts. It makes a difference in our life. It makes a difference in our lives to the point that people go what is wrong with you. What's up with that? Why do you do that? How can you do that? That's not a part. Jesus is Lord. Set him apart as holy Fitness. I need tricks and techniques and manipulations to have conversations with people about Jesus. If you set Jesus apart as Lord in your heart as holy as separate as sacred and you encounter him, you will live differently people ask you what's up with that?
Or I was so concerned. What's the problem with the church? Why is not growing fast enough wise of this? Why is it that we need a better bulletin? We need a better website. We need more drums less drums this that you know what we need. We need more God.
We need more God more reference moron or more respect or admiration more.
Forgot that is righteous and holy and patient and kind.
One last God is Dan comes on up that lead worship. You know these these stories in the scripture they serve as the exceptions that prove the rule. God doesn't do this all the time for that. We should say Amen. Cuz I've touched the ark. I've offered the sacrifices. I've exaggerated my contribution to the kingdom. I've done all the things that these guys did. These are the exceptions that prove the rule.
At the same time he's kind of gentle and patience is his kindness that leads us to repentance. The more I meditated on these text this week text that I've always made me uncomfortable texts that have always made me wonder this doesn't seem fair. The more I meditate on these scriptures the more I saw the beauty and kindness of God.
I need to see China. Church that leads us to repentance.