Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sermon Outline: Near to the Heart of God

Why Relationship is Central to God’s Heart
 Q&A after. Pls. jot down your questions.
 Key Words: Relationship, Heart.
 Jeremiah 9: 23, 24 – “But let him who glories glory in this,
      That he understands and knows Me”
 The Bible is not intended by God to be a book on God’s plan of Salvation. It is a book about God’s design of/for a RELATIONSHIP between God and man. 
  • The key word is RELATIONSHIP and not SALVATION.  80-20 rule holds.
  • The chief end of man is NOT to glorify God. Great Commandment.
  • God looks at our heart.
    • This is where most Christians completely miss out on the fullness of joy promised by Christ. Most Christians are Sovereignty-fixated. At CrossCulture, we want to be Love-fixated or Relationship-fixated. I AM A JEALOUS GOD! CAN GOD CURSE????
    • Many so-called mysteries are easily uncovered when we approach the Bible from this perspective. Security of salvation. Foreknowledge. Omniscience. Why do righteous people suffer (GCAC)? The only mysteries are those that God has not revealed. How would we look like in heaven? Not, What would our bodies be like in heaven?
    • We relate to Him as Father and Shepherd when we meet with Him privately.
      • We read the Bible to know more about the heart of God. Not really to get more Bible knowledge. IMAGINE
      • We pray because we want to declare to God what is in our heart. God does not enjoy ceremonial chanting and incantations. He abhors it!!! . IMAGINE
    • We relate to Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords and God when we worship. We WORSHIP God to declare our praise and adoration, not ceremonial pomp and formalities. Relationship is not ceremonial. What is real worship?  (John 4:24 – “… in spirit and in truth”).  Not amulets like Santo Nino displays which are even idolatrous.
    • We live in the light of His presence because of relationship
    • We don’t follow the commandments to keep our nose clean. (Jenny’s case) We follow them because we want to please our Heavenly Father and desire to make His face shine upon us and give us peace.
    • We desire to be holy because that pleases God. Matt 5:48 – “Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
 Genesis 1:26, 27 – “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…”
 God has taken a lot of RISK for the sake of LOVE.
  • God took the first big risk when He created man in His Own image. Man would have attributes of independence and free-will
  • God took the next big risk when He decided to love. Man can chose to reject His love.
  • God took the final big risk when Christ became man. The God-Man would finally face temptation, tribulation, death and separation from God.
  THE RISK: Free-will responses CANNOT be controlled by God.
 1 Cor. 13: 13 - And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
 Relational words. Compare with wealth, health, power, wisdom, etc.
  • Cannot be forced. God cannot force them to happen, otherwise, they are fake.
  • God cannot force genuine relationships. Otherwise, they are no longer genuine
  • God looks at the heart.  It is man’s heart that fascinates God. He created attributes in man that He Himself cannot control without redefining terms.
 Application:
  • What new thing did God teach you today? Q&A
    • Symbolic gestures instead of sincerity. Fix bed.
    • Praying cross-legged
    • Obedience = Love vs. Matt 21:28 Parable of the Two Sons
    • Sin distorted the image of God in man
    • Too much TV; over-indulgence
    • Tithe: relational partnership
 WRAP-UP
 Relationship, Heart
 Daily walk, we have to be conscious that we are IN relationship with God.
Hence we have to be conscious of His presence. Think of your Monday, your Tuesday, your….etc
 All that we do are not ceremonial nor symbolic but real, relational.
 The greatest motivation in life is LOVE, because that is God’s greatest motivation.

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