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Community Bible Chapel Podcast

 3/10/19 Time to Engage – The Heart of God

The Incredibles   link:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v196bt5kTU

-Now there is lots we could draw from this video

-Certainly Bob needs to stop being pre-occupied with doing hero work and be the hero his family needs.

-Our culture is much like this family – fighting, confused, blaming, and lost.

-The church is much like Bob – looking to be a hero, but not willing to serve.

-Someone once said –

“Everybody wants to save the Earth, but nobody wants to do the dishes.”

-We don’t need to be a hero – Jesus already did that.

-But we are called to engage with the people that are struggling and broken, facing an eternity in hell.

Today will be sort of introduction to a new series – Time to Engage.

-Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at some of the major questions people ask about life and struggle to find answers.

-We will focus on how the Gospel answers the questions of

          -Why does evil exist?

          -What is truth?

-But as we begin this series, I want to begin by taking a look at the Heart of God, because if we don’t understand His heart, we will never be effective in engaging people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

What is God’s Heart?

I Samuel 13:14 gives us an interesting phase.

-God’s prophet, Samuel is speaking to King Saul.

“But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”

-I have read about 40 articles and commentaries on why David was called “a man after God’s own heart”

-And everybody has their thoughts about why he was called that.

“He had integrity, he loved God, he was spiritual, his faith was authentic.”

-He was all those things, but I am still short in gaining an understanding of what God’s heart is.

-Paul’s commentary on this phrase in Acts 13:22 helps us gain an understanding.

“After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’”’

-Now, we know that David did a lot of things that God didn’t ask him to do, but as we compare those two verses . . . .

-Saul was rejected because he “did not keep the Lord’s commands” and David was accepted because “he will do everything I want him to do”.

-Again, David was far from perfect, but this phrase reflects the heart that loves God.

-His falling in sin just proves he was not the Messiah, and there were consequences for that.

-But, the basic character was motivated by his love for God.

-Jesus said that we live out of our hearts. Luke 6:45

-When we love God in the fullness of our hearts, we are moved by the same things that move Him.

-We do what He would do, of course with the limitations of being human.

-We will still sin, but overall, our character is developed by the character of God.

-Now, as we continue to consider the heart of God, we turn to the Scripture to define it.

-But the Scripture doesn’t tell us: “and the heart of God is _________”.

-So we have to do some investigation to determine his heart.

God’s Heart – Love for People

God’s General Love for all people

-God’s heart is revealed in John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

-We see the desire of God’s heart followed by action to deliver it.

-God loves people and sent His only Son to die for the sins of the whole world.

-God was willing to do whatever was necessary to get his message to those who were perishing.

-He could have hung out in heaven and judged us, instead He came to us.

-The greatest act of love – Jesus taking the sins of the world upon himself and giving himself to die on a cross to pay the price is the greatest love ever.

-He has done everything necessary for us to come to Him in faith.

-His work was complete and we see His heart in His loving actions.

-We see the same heart and action in II Peter 3:9

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

-Again, God’s heart is revealed in His patience with our sinful hearts.

-People are always asking me why God doesn’t just do away with evil (another week), but the short answer to that is this:

-If God was to do away with evil, which would mean that He judged every sin, we would all be done away with.

-Instead, God has exercised patience with us in the hope that we would come to repentance and faith in Jesus.

-God heart is a love for all people.

-God’s Special Love For Believers

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

-This speaks to the love that has been poured out from God and into us.

-The Holy Spirit is the One that facilitates that event.

-All of God’s love that you will ever get, has already been poured out into your heart the moment you trusted in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins.

-Now, that doesn’t mean that you won’t grow to appreciate God’s great love more and more every day as you live in relationship with Him, but the full extent of God’s love has already been given.

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”

-Paul quotes the creation account from Genesis 1 in God calling “let there be light”.

-He uses that as an analogy for God making his spiritual light shine in our hearts and bringing us to repentance of our sins (light exposes darkness and sin) and acceptance through faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

-So, if we are going to speak about God’s heart – it’s tied to His love for people.

-Generally – God has loved all people by dying for sin.

-Specially – God has loved believers by shining the light of His love into their  hearts, that we might know Him.

And those are not just isolated events.

God’s Heart in Action

-In Exodus, God sees the oppression of Israel and acts to free them.

-In Judges, God acts to free Israel time after time from oppression.

-In Hosea, God uses Hosea as a metaphor for his redeeming love of His wandering  people.

-Jesus in Matt. 23:37 speaks of how He longed to gather His people under his protection.

-Scripture is pregnant with God saving His people from oppression as well as their own sinful choices.

-That is God’s heart – love for people that results in loving actions.

-God always does what is best for people in his demonstration of His love.

-So, if we are going to engage, we have to have the same heart for people that God does.

Now, as we consider all this and benefit from the loving heart of God, we would be foolish to think that it ends with us.

-That God was so enamored with me that all His thought is bent on making me happy or giving me the life I want.

-Sort of the Genie in a Bottle God!

-No, we are to love the broken, hungry, homeless, and hurting just like Jesus loves us.

-You might be thinking, PJ God can do that better all by himself.

-Maybe I should just take my salvation and go and live my life without messing any of it up for Him.

-That sounds good, but that is not how God designed it.

-Even from the beginning, God created Adam and placed him in Eden to tend it and care for it.

-It was a perfect garden that was the home of God.

-But God gave Adam directions to multiply and fill the whole earth and subdue it.

-That refers to all the world that was outside of Eden.

-Adam was commanded to make the rest of the world like the home of God.

-And it’s the same with God’s work of redeeming people.

-Yes, God could do that himself – and better, but He has called his image bearers – you and me – to love a hurting and broken world.

The Heart of God – The Gospel

-As we have seen, people are God’s heart and the process of reconciling people to Himself, the Gospel is the heart of God.

-We might question: PJ, what is the Gospel?

-I Cor. 15:1-5

“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.  By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures . . .”

-God’s heart for people is extended out to us through men and women speaking and living out the Gospel.

-The Gospel has 3 parts.

1. We are Sinners

-By the standard of God’s Word, we are sinners.

-We might think we are pretty good and God will grade on a curve and we will get in.

-But God’s standard is perfection – which means that you and I are imperfect and left out.

-The Gospel begins as we identify our biggest problem – our own sin that leaves us separated from God.

-This is not heaven – everybody knows that.

-Yet when you ask people why they will go to heaven, they answer

“I’m a good person

2. Jesus died for our sins and rose again

-God’s justice demanded a payment for our sins.

-We can pay it ourselves, but the cost is death and separation from God.

-Or God himself pays the price for our sin by dying in our place.

-Jesus did that for us, and then rose again in victory over sin and death.

-If Jesus remained dead, that would have meant that his death was not enough to pay for sin.

-Just like the Jews waited patiently for the Priest to come out of the Holy place in the Temple, the world waited for Jesus to come out of the grave.

-And we will be celebrating that in another month.

-His resurrection was proof that God had accepted His death as the final payment for our sin.

3. Belief in Jesus

-John 3:16 not only tells us of God’s love but also tells us the necessary response to the Gospel.

“whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

-Faith is the catalyst that brings the Gospel to bear upon our sin and delivers forgiveness for sin and eternal life in our Savior.

Pull the bus over – ABC
How do we develop God’s heart?

-If we don’t develop the heart of God for people, we will never engage people with the Gospel.

-God’s heart for people caused him to “consider others better than Himself” Gal. 2

-God’s heart for people caused him to love – do what is best for us at the greatest cost to Himself – He gave His life.

1. See yourself the way God does.

-I doubt that any of us has a true Biblical view of ourselves all the time.

-There are days I complain about life and the trials God brings my way because I think too highly of myself, and God, in his wisdom and  grace, lets me live the full extent of my really little kingdom to show how much I need Him.

-I wasn’t hitting rock bottom, but I was in a free-fall until Jesus reached in and snatched me up out of a bottomless pit.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

2. See others the way God does.

-When I see myself Biblically, I can see others Biblically.

-Jesus died for them just like He died for me.

-They need Jesus just like I need Jesus.

-Their brokenness may be keeping them from seeing and hearing.

-And we know what that is like, so we can be eyes and ears to help open theirs.

3. Growing more like Jesus

-If we want to develop God’s heart, we need to grow more like Jesus, who was really the only person ever, to truly have the heart of God.

-In what way/s is God been after you to grow.

-Share Christ with someone – Ryan.

-Give up something that is sinful, but you have either been tolerating it or just not able to shake it. Counseling

-A Godly habit that you should add to your daily or weekly routine.

-Join a life group, read Bible daily, serve in a ministry.

As we develop God’s heart, we will engage hurting people with the Gospel – you can’t not.

-We will look at that next from I Cor. 5

 

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