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This One Thing

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October 12, 2008

TITLE:                          THIS ONE THING

TEXT:                           Psalm 27:4; Matthew 22:34-40

INTRODUCTION:

It seems that we are always busy and rushing to accomplish things in this life.  It effects every area, our family, our friends, our relationship with God, everything.  When we consider what we are going to do or what we are going to give ourselves and our time to one of the foremost thought that will cross our mind in the decision making process is, “How will this benefit me.” Now don’t get me wrong, I think that it is important to be good stewards of our time, our money, and our abilities; there is plenty of warning in the Scripture about the sin of wasting any of these things.  But there is a precarious line that we must be careful not to cross of passing from stewards of our lives to slaves of it.  As stewards we recognize God is in control and we are managers, as slaves-God is no longer in control and our life is dictating who we are and what we do, and how we live.  In the movie, Fireproof, Caleb is challenged by his friend to “lead his heart.”  This is very important, we see the echo in Scripture-“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) Guard-preserve, protect, defend; in other words lead.  Failure to do so will result in entrapment in a destructive snare of the enemy.

PROPOSITION:

There is so much that we could talk about in regards to our lives and guarding our hearts because as the Proverb tells us, all the issues of life spring from it. Today I want to bring it into focus in a certain area.  With so many things pulling at us, it is very important to get focus.  (Show City Slickers).  In this clip, it is up to Billy Crystal to discover that “One Thing.”  I want you to know God has given us the answer.

INTERROGATIVE:

            What is it?

TRANSITIONAL:

Read Matthew 22:34-38.  That one thing is loving God! We will look at the second part, that other thing that is like the one thing-loving others-next week.  But today I want us to look at what loving God looks like.  First I think we need to really get a concept of God’s love for us.  John 3:16. (Show Most clip-read from Secret Place-pg 171)  God loves us so much, so sacrificially and all consuming and most of us are like the people on the train, completely unaware of the sacrifice of His love. My Psychology professor at Western Bible College defined love as “an emotion that is given unconditionally to a person.  Like is an “emotion given towards someone’s behavior” and lust is “an emotion received from a person, place or thing”, in other words desire.  We must get to that place of unconditional love toward God as He has towards us.  It will take a lifetime, and it is worth it.

I. What is our desire?

a)      Psalm 27:4 “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.”  The one thing David desired more than anything else was God’s presence. Paul had a one thing request too, Phil 3:13-14, And Mary, Luke 10:38-42.

b)      We can become so outward focused or inward focused, when we really need to be upward focused first.  God rewards those who seek Him, and the reward is Him.

II. What is God’s love language?

a)      Gary Chapman wrote the book, the Five Love Languages.  This book is required reading for anyone that I do pre-marital counseling with.  The premise of the book is that we all have unique ways in which we give and receive love and that there are five primary languages:  Words of Affirmation, Gifts, and Acts of Service, Physical Touch, and Quality Time.

b)      One day when I was in my Secret Place of prayer I asked God, “What makes you feel loved by me?” I was amazed at how quickly He deposited the answer into my spirit.

c)      We know that we are created in God’s image, so it would go without saying that the languages of love, giving and receiving, that are intrinsically in us come from and are in Him.  Let’s look at them.

§  God is loved when we shower Him with us.  When our lips praise Him (Words of Affirmation). He dwells there; He created beings to proclaim His wondrous attributes.  We hear the call, “Let everything that has breathe praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150:6)

§  God is loved when I give back the gifts He has deposited in me. 1 Cor 12:7 “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” (NLT). Matt 25; Eph 4:7-8 (Gifts)

§  When I do what I can for others (Act of Service) Matthew 25:”When you do these for the least of these, you have done it to Me.” God wants lovers who work rather than workers who love.

§  Goes with the last one, Jesus reached out and touched those who were untouchable with His love.  He desires us to be “Jesus with skin on”. (physical touch) But there is a future fulfillment here, Romans 12:9”Cling to what is good.” John 20:10-18; Secrets of Secret place-pg 192. 

§  God feels loved when I spend time with Him (quality time). And when the attitude of prayer and awareness of His presence is first and foremost on my mind.  This is not cultivated in the worship service, but in the secret place. He must be our priority. You can’t get intimacy on the run.  We can’t look at time with the Lord as a filling station where we get gassed up to go out and do the work for God. (Secrets pg 180). It has to be about loving Him first.

Love is active and powerful.  It has been said that love is the most powerful force on earth. The love toward God in us will do amazing things.  That is truly where transformation takes place.  That vertical relationship has to take place before we can ever get the horizontal one right. 

III. A word of caution

a)      God cares about all the cares of His creation.  He wants intimacy with us, closeness.

b)      Everything will fight against us being men and women of one thing; circumstances will go haywire; our to do lists will mushroom; the demands of our lives will mushroom.  Satan will use any device that works to keep us from being men and women of one thing because if we find this attainment we will become passionate firebrands for God, set ablaze with passion and we will be a dangerous weapon in the hand of God during these end times.  The greatest dimensions of kingdom power will be touched by those who are truly ignited and energized by their personal love relationship with the Lord Jesus. (pg 182)

c)      Many of us claim to know God, but does God know you?  Matt 7:12-23.  (read pg 176)

d)      How can we spare ourselves from this?  1 Cor 8:3”But the man who loves God is known by Him.”

What is the one thing you are most passionate about?  Have you found the secret of life?  What if everything were stripped from your life right now; your health, your wealth, work and ministry, and all that you hold dear. Are you secure in your love for Him? It is the greatest commandment.  Loving God with all that we are; being passionate about Him!  Discover this truth today. 

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