Monday: One Passion
Small talk intro…something about the day…
Yesterday we learned or were reminded of a very simple yet foundational truth. about our ONE GOD-and I want you guys to fill in the blank. “the WHOLE Bible agrees: Our God is the _______ _____. And our God is an ________ ______. Great job!
God is revealed to us in the Bible and from reading it we can know who He is. Throughout all of Scripture, just like I explained to you yesterday, there is continuity. A thread woven throughout every book about God’s number one passion. Before we talk about that–lets talk about stereotypes.
You guys know what stereotypes are, right? It’s like the generalization of a group of people, and you assume there are all like that. Now, in America—we stereotype Germans, just like Germans stereotype Americans. So if someone were to ask what a German is like…guess what we would say…(hear from audience)
That’s good-haha, yes we would say some good things like Germans are very efficient and hardworking, but we also say they are “stoic, harsh, blunt” etc. I didn’t know you guys had a sense of humor until I came here-you always seem SO SERIOUS in movies and in history books!
Americans have lots of stereotypes too, I know-some good and some bad! What are some stereotypes that you guys have about Americans…. It’s okay…really….(hear from audience) They are obese, dramatic, rich, friendly and loud ;).
Now, I try fall into all of those categories, but I definitely fall into one of them…I am VERY DRAMATIC. You guys can tell, in the way I talk I am very expressive and I get pretty easily excited about things! Another, (Better) way of saying this is that I am a pretty passionate person. Like I get really, really excited about a lot of different things. I am passionate about JOURNALING (explain) about running (explain) about the USA (explain). I bet you have a few things that you are really passionate about too!
Our God-the ONE true God…he is VERY passionate. He is passionate about the local church, and about social justices, and about sexuality. He is passionate about widows and orphans, he is passionate about forgiveness and he is passionate about creation. How do we narrow it down to the ONE thing he is MOST passionate about?
You must understand a few things about God before you understand his # 1 passion. We believe that God is holy and righteous. Holiness does not just mean that he is “morally good” though that is true-Go is morally perfectly. Holiness means that He is “utterly unique” and totally separate than anything that ever was or ever will be. Holiness means that he is the creative force behind absolutely EVERYTHING and He is INFINITELY valuable!
I want you to remember tonight that God is a not a “little being”. He isn’t pocket sized that you can understand Him perfectly and do everything He can do. God’s holiness means that He is the most amazing, glorious, worthy being that existed before time and has no end.
When God’s holiness (meaning his infinite value) is displayed and seen by man: that is God being GLORIFIED. That’s the definition of God’s glory: when the radiance, the AWESOMENESS of his holiness is seen.
We are going to look at two passages in the book of Isaiah tonight that talk about this very subject-so I want to give you some context. The prophet Isaiah wrote this Historical and prophetic book approximately 700 B.C. He points out the rebellious sins of both the North and South kingdoms of Judah and Israel, and declares both condemnation for their actions against God, encouragement to turn back to their faithful God. He also proclaims great hope of the coming Messiah. In fact, this book contains some of the most incredible prophecies of any book. There are very detailed, specific prophecies about the coming Messiah-that Jesus fulfills perfectly later in the New Testament.
So if you have your Bibles with you, please turn to Isaiah chapter 6. We are going to read verses 1 through 8. The first 6 chapters talk all about the people’s wicked rebellion against God, and all of that leads up to God calling Isaiah to speak for Him. Let’s read.
This is the Word of the Lord.
Did you catch what the seraphim said? Holy, holy, holy…the whole earth is full of his ____-you’d expect them to say “holiness”, but that’s what I was telling you…when God’s HOLINESS is on DISPLAY, as it is throughout the whole earth-he is GLORIFIED. That’s what glory is: God’s holiness on display.
Let’s read on…now turn in Isaiah to chapter 48 verses 9 through 11. So chapters 1-39 talk about how evil the nations have become, and how they truly deserve a severe punishment. Then chapters 40-55, which we are right in the middle of now, talk about the restoration that the Lord is going to bring. He is going to rescue them from exile in Babylon, and he is going to bring to them a Messiah. Let’s read WHY he is going to do that…Isaiah 48: 9-11…
This is the Word of the Lord.
Did you catch that friends? For his name’s sake. For his praise. For his glory. THAT is the number one passion of God according to the Bible. His glory!
It is ALL OVER SCRIPTURE. Woven through ever book and story-God wants us to think, feel, and act in such a manner that makes him look as INCREDIBLE as he truly is! We want people to look at our lives and say, “Wow. God is GLORIOUS!”
Now you might be thinking, “That doesn’t seem quite right… God is most passionate about Himself as being seen as great? Isn’t that a little self-centered. Well it would be if WE thought that way about ourselves. But God is GOD, remember? He is HOLY. He is infinitely VALUABLE. He is INCREDIBLE. So him wanting people to see that truth as truth, is not selfish-but perfectly God like.
God’s NUMBER ONE passionate is about Him being seen and understood as amazing and magnificent as He really is. He is GOD. He wants all of mankind to recognize how glorious and gracious and ENOURMOUS He is. He wants us to love him and praise him and worship him. And that is the most wonderful, most kind #1 passion he can have, because since He is perfectly, joyfully passionate about that –we can be too. You might think, “I thought God’s number one passion is for me?” Well actually-His glory being his #1 passion does not OPPOSE God’s love and passion for MANKIND…it is the FOUNDATION OF IT.
Think about it! It’s BRILLIANT! God’s concern for His glory is what led him to sending our Savior, Jesus Christ-whom we will talk more about tomorrow. It’s God’s passion for his glory that leads him to SHOWER love and grace and mercy on undeserving sinners like you and me!
Don’t just believe me because I say it, I challenge you look for it in Scripture. Take note every time you see “for His Name’s Sake” of “for His Glory” and realize that HIS GLORY is also YOUR GOOD. Because it’s HIS GLORY that brings you SALVATION. It is HIS GLORY that brings you JOY and PEACE and SATISFACTION in Christ.
God’s number one passion is for his wonderfulness to be seen. This is a great kindness. He is passionate about YOU seeing and understanding Him for who he truly is. And when that happens you will be truly, joyfully, satisfied. Our take away sentence yesterday was: “The whole Bible agrees, our God is the ONLY GOD and our God is an AWESOME GOD. Good! And as we think about God’s passion for his glory- we realize that we should be JUST LIKE him and have that SAME PASSION. So our take away sentence today is this: “Whatever our other passions, Our ONE PASSION should be the same as God’s: and that is for his glory.” Our passion should be the same as Gods!
That’s right. I want you to see God’s glory, and his passion for his glory, and be moved to serve Him like Isaiah was.
As we wrap up tonight, I want you to think about some of the things you are passionate about. The book of Genesis says that you are made in the image of God, and so just like He has MANY passions-but one MAIN passion, so you too also probably have MANY passions-but should have ONE MAIN passion.
You may be passionate about soccer, or education, or people, or animals and that is wonderful! God wants you to be passionate about all the amazing things he put on this earth. He MADE you to be passionate about that thing. But he wants your NUMBER ONE PASSION to be for his glory.
If you have your journals with you, I want you to take them out and find space to write about the passions that God has given you. What are you most excited about in life? Those are passions and giftings that God placed inside of you, and He put them there for a reason. And the reason is that He wants to use those passions to fulfill his number one passion: HIS GLORY. And when you glorify God with your passions, that is when you will be most fulfilled in life. Passions, hobbies, and interests are their own will NEVER fulfill you. BUT if you GLORIFY God with your passions-GOD will fulfill you! That’s the way he made us!
So the worship team is going to come up and play a little background music while you journal or pray about God’s passion and your passion and how they can become one!