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Lent 04 - Blocks 1 - Dull Desire for God

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Reading: Isaiah 55:1-13
Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Isaiah 55:1 (NIV)

I.   The Thirsty are invited

     A.  We easily become spiritually Sluggish

           1.  Spiritual entropy is real

                 a.  Entropy=things tend to fall apart.

                 b.  Our spiritual life gets ho-hum quickly

                 c.  Unless we regularly maintain it

           2.  The glory fades

                 a.  Like the glory under Moses’ veil

                 b.  Because God wants us to keep coming back

           3.  We quickly turn away from God’s glory

                 a.  God’s glory is too much for us

                 b.  Our hearts are tilted toward other things

     B.  We run after spiritual Junk Food

           1.  All sugar and no nutrition

                 a.  Just niceties, pleasantries & smiles

                 b.  Just to make us feel good, never offend

                 c.  Christianity is merely soul therapy

           2.  Endless controversies / hair splitting rituals

                 a.  Love theology but not God!

                 b.  Cartographers who never go anywhere!

                 c.  Rather be right than righteous

                 d.  Christianity is merely a catalog of truth

           3.  We’d rather spend on a quick thrill

                 a.  Whether emotional or intellectual

                 b.  Fit it into our established schedule

                 c.  Who has time to “wait on the Lord?”

     C.  Nurture a holy Discontent

           1.  Discontent isn’t always bad!

                 a.  Discontent is the mid-wife of change

                 b.  Dissatisfaction drives us to be better

                 c.  Stoically bearing unnecessary burdens?

           2.  Our dull desire needs sharpening

                 a.  Get rid of all that dulls our thirst for God

                 b.  Focus our desire on Him (nothing else)

                 c.  Expect our thirst to be quenched

           3.  If we want to come we need to be thirsty

                 a.  “Is this all there is?” I want/need more!

                 b.  Thirst: we can’t live long without water!

                 c.  If we aren’t thirsty we won’t come?

II.  God has the Best in store for us

     A.  We Cannot buy it!

           1.  Though we’ve been spending on 2nd best

                 a.  All we can buy/earn is worthless

                 b.  Nothing we can do to earn this water!

           2.  Buy without money=show/give our emptiness

                 a.  “Nothing in my hands I bring . . .”

                 b.  The pearl of great price is priceless

                 c.  We can only go with empty pockets

           3.  The blessings of God can’t be bought

                 a.  Not with our worth or our efforts

                 b.  Not even with our desperation

                 c.  We can only receive God’s blessings

     B.  God provides a Feast for us!

           1.  Not just 3 hots and a cot!

                 a.  Not just enough to keep death away

                 b.  Enough for us to taste abundant life!

                 c.  He gives more than we need!

           2.  Eat what is good (bwt) also: pleasant

                 a.  What God has is only what’s best for us

                 b.  What God has supplies our needs

                 c.  It even tastes good!

           3.  The richest of fare

                 a.  Spiritual food that we can delight in

                 b.  Perfectly grilled, juicy, tender steak

                 c.  God’s mouth-watering soul food!

     C.  God makes us Beautifully attractive (v.5)

           1.  He makes a cov’t with us thru Jesus

                 a.  Cov’t=relationship based on promises

                 b.  This cov’t based on promise to love!

           2.  God endows us with splendor (=beauty!)

                 a.  Lit. God splendorizes us

                 b.  The splendor is David’s son (Jesus!)

                 c.  The splendor is God Himself is with us!

           3.  So that the nations will come to us

                 a.  Why do they come? Because of God Himself

                 b.  Because He’s among us & rubs off on us!

                 c.  They’ll run to us because they need Him too!

III. The time to come is Now (v.6)

     A.  Seek while He can be Found

           1.  To whom is Isaiah speaking?

                 a.  To the thirsty–those thirsty for the Lord

                 b.  Is he speaking to you today?

                 c.  Saved, not yet saved, mature, babes . . .

           2.  Implies times we can more easily find God

                 a.  He seems hidden from us at times

                 b.  Desert times that make us thirstier!

                 c.  When we can find Him, GO FOR IT!

           3.  Jer 29:11-13
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

     B.  Call on Him while He is Close

           1.  Implies times when God seems closer

                 a.  We know this too

                 b.  When He’s close CALL OUT TO HIM

                 c.  Don’t assume He’ll always seem close!

           2.  Call: [what?] For help, for Him

                 a.  What do thirsty people call out?

                 b.  John 7:37-38
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

     C.  He gives more than we could Imagine (vv.8,ff.)

           1.  We can’t imagine God’s ways

                 a.  How high is that again?

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

   so great is his love for those who fear him; Psalm 103:11

                 b.  So we have to leave our ways (v.7)

           2.  God’s promise is joy and peace!

                 a.  These words won’t come back empty!

                 b.  God’s goal=our joy & peace!

           3.  Even creation will join the parade!

                 a.  Mountains & hills will sing

                 b.  Trees will clap their hands (?!)

The Bottom Line:

We go to God, who Alone can Satisfy all our Longings.

.

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