Our Most Important RelationshipMay 5, 2013First Baptist ChurchJackson, Mississippi, USAMAY MEMORY VERSE:Matthew 22:37-3937 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all yourmind.” 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it:“Love your neighbor as yourself.”Matthew 22:37-39Saturday, May 18thVacation Bible School Blitz in the Belhaven and Northeast Jackson areas. We willmeet in Fellowship Hall East at 9:00 a.m. for assignments. We will be finished by 11:00a.m. There will be a party at Parham Bridges Park on Ridgewood Road from 11:00a.m.2:00 p.m. Hotdogs, fun jumps and making new friends. A great way toencourage members to get involved as we prepare for the greatest evangelisticeffort during the year!Contact Paula Webb, the Children’s Ministry Assistant, for instructions on the sign upsheet for Vacation Bible School Refreshments to provide refreshments the week ofJune 3-7.Don’t you hate it when someone or something comes along and bursts your bubble?The truth is:It’s not about us!It is all about God and His glory!Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 Inall your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB
Acknowledge Him – the King of Glory!Psalm 24:7-10 KJV7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the Kingof glory shall come in.8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the Kingof glory shall come in.10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.Psalm 24:7-10 KJVAll right, since God is the King of Glory, then what exactly is glory?Isaiah 6:1-3 NASB1 In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty andexalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2 Seraphim stood aboveHim, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he coveredhis feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called out to another and said,“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,The whole earth is full of His glory.”Isaiah 6:1-3 NASB
What is the glory of God?The glory of God is the beauty of His Spirit - the beauty that emanates from Hischaracter and radiates from all that He is.Hebrews 1:3a NIV3a The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being …Hebrews 1:3a NIVThe glory of God, which is manifested in all His attributes together, never passes away.It is eternal!Isaiah 43:7 says that God created us for His glory.
Isaiah 43:6-7 NASB6 “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’Bring My sons from afarAnd My daughters from the ends of the earth,7 Everyone who is called by My name,And whom I have created for My glory,Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.”Isaiah 43:6-7 NASBAll right, if we were created for His glory, then how do we glorify God?1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31 NIVIt can be said that man “glorifies” God because through man, God’s glory can beseen in things such as love, music, heroism and so forth—things belonging to God thatwe are carrying “in jars of clay” (2 Cor 4:7).We are the vessels which “contain” His glory.2 Corinthians 4:7 NASB7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of thepower will be of God and not from us;2 Corinthians 4:7 NASBAll the things we are able to do and to be find their source in Him.God interacts with nature in much the same way that He does with us.
Nature exhibits His glory.His glory is revealed to man’s mind through the material world in many ways, andoften in different ways to different people.One person may love the beauty of the sea……while another person may be thrilled by the sight of the mountains.But that which is behind them both (God’s glory) speaks to both people andconnects them to God.In this way, God is able to reveal Himself to all men, no matter their race, heritage orlocation.As Psalm 19:1 says,“The heavens are telling of the glory of Godand their expanse is declaring the workof His hands;”
Psalm 73:24 calls heaven itself “glory.”Psalm 73:24-25 NASB24 With Your counsel You will guide me,And afterward receive me to glory (Heaven).25 Whom have I in Heaven but You?And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.Psalm 73:24-25 NASBIt used to be common to hear Christians talk of death as being “received unto glory,”or “going on to glory” which is a phrase borrowed from Psalm 73.When the Christian dies, he will be taken into God’s presence, and in His presence willbe naturally surrounded by God’s glory.We will be taken to the place where God’s beauty literally resides—the beauty of HisSpirit will be there, because He will be there.Again, the beauty of His Spirit (or the essence of Who He Is) is His “glory.” In thatplace, His glory will not need to come through man or nature, rather it will be seenclearly, just as 1 Cor 13:12 says, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face toface; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fullyknown.”In the human/earthly sense, glory is a beauty or vibrancy that rests in or upon thematerial of the earth (Psalm 37:20, Psalm 49:17), and in that sense, it fades.Psalm 37:20 NASB20 But the wicked will perish;And the enemies of the Lord will be like the glory of the pastures,They vanish—like smoke they vanish away.Psalm 37:20 NASBBut the reason it fades is that material things do not last. They die and wither, but theglory that is in them belongs to God, and returns to Him when death or decay takesthe material.
Isaiah 40:8 NASB8 The grass withers, the flower fades,But the word of our God stands forever.Isaiah 40:8 NASBJames 1:9-11 NASB9 The brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; 10 and the richman is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away.11 For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls offand the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of hispursuits will fade away.James 1:9-11 NASBJames 1:10 calls on a rich man to “glory in his humiliation,” indicating a glory thatdoes not mean riches or power or material beauty.This glory can crown man or fill the earth.It is seen within man and in the earth, but it is not of them; it is of God.The glory of man is the beauty of man’s spirit, which is fallible and eventually passesaway, and is therefore humiliating—as the verse tells us.The verse says,“The rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will passaway.”What does this mean?The verse is admonishing the rich man to realize that his wealth and power andbeauty come from God, and to be humbled by the realization that it is God Whomakes him what he is, and gives him all he has. And the knowledge that he will passaway like the grass is what will bring him to the realization that God is the One fromWhom glory comes.God’s glory is the source, the wellspring from which all smaller glories run.
Since God is the One from Whom glory comes, He will not let stand the assertion thatglory comes from man or from the idols of man or from nature.In Isaiah 42:8, we see an example of God’s jealousy over His glory.Isaiah 42:8 NASB8 “I am the Lord, that is My name;I will not give My glory to another,Nor My praise to graven images.”Isaiah 42:8 NASBThis jealousy for His own glory is what Paul is talking about in Romans 1:21-25 when hespeaks of the ways people worship the creature rather than the Creator.In other words, they looked at the object through which God’s glory was coming,and, instead of giving God the credit for it, they worshiped that animal or tree or manas if the beauty it possessed originated from within itself.This is the very heart of idolatry and is a very common occurrence.Everyone who has ever lived has committed this error at one time or another.We have all “exchanged” the glory of God in favor of the “glory of man.”This is the mistake many people continue to make: trusting in earthly things, earthlyrelationships, their own powers or talents or beauty, or the goodness they see inothers.But when these things fade and failas they will inevitably do(being only temporary carriers of the greater glory),these people despair.
What we all need to realize is that God’s glory is constant, and as we journey throughlife we will see it manifest here and there, in this person or that forest, or in a story oflove or heroism, fiction or non-fiction, or our own personal lives.But it all goes back to God in the end.And the only way to God is through His Son, Jesus Christ.We will find the very source of all beauty in Him, in Heaven, if we are in Christ.Nothing will be lost to us.All those things that faded in life we will find again in Him.www.GotQuestions.orgDOXOLOGYWords: Thomas Ken, 1674.Music: Old 100th, Genevan Psalter, 1551, attributed to Louis BourgeoisPraise God, from Whom all blessings flow;Praise Him, all creatures here below;Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Cat and Dog Theology!Why are so many Christians bored and leading defeated lives?They view the Bible from apeople-centered view of the Scriptures.Instead of seeing their Christian life being all about Godand His glory, they see it as being all about themselves.Most people don’t get excited about the Christian life untilGenesis 3, then they have something to live for…saving the lost world (lost people)!Genesis 3:5 NASBThe serpent said to Eve:5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and youwill be like God, knowing good and evil.”Genesis 3:5 NASBThey have non-verbally communicated to themselves and God that the Bible is allabout people.But the lost people are saved to worship God!Let’s make two bold statements:1) God is the main character of the Bible and lives to radiate His glory.2) The average believer says the Bible is all about God, but lives as if humanity isthe most important thing.Humanity often replaces God on the throne.Let’s look at two examples.First example:What did God get out of Jesus’ death?Most Christians want to say “He got us” but that is jumping straight back into apeople-centered perspective!He also received glory, honor, praise, adoration and obedience.Many Christians overlook that result.
Second example:Most people don’t want others to go to hell because they’ll suffer so much (back to apeople centered perspective).In Psalm 30:9, David talks about the praise God wouldn’t get from the pit.Depending upon who is the main character of the Bible, you will have two differenttheologies.“Cat and Dog Theology”Two main characters have “birthed” two types of Christianity.These two differences are seen in the different attitudes between a dog and a cat.A dog says to its master: “You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, Youmust be God.”A cat says to its staff: “You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, I mustbe god.”
Dogs come when you call them. Cats say, “I’ll get back with you, maybe.”They both look and act “Christian” but there is a huge difference in their heartattitude.Getting To HeavenCats have a tendency to walk away from Hell. Their sole focus is on themselves.Dogs walk toward Heaven having fallen in love with God.Many Christians today are joyless simply because they are still focused on themselvesand are only running away from Hell, not moving toward Heaven.Obedience SchoolBoth Cats and Dogs want obedience in their lives.Dogs want to obey God.Cats want God to obey them.You usually see this in their prayer lives.PrayerDogs pray to establish God’s kingdom.Cats pray to establish their own kingdom.Quiet TimesBoth Cats and Dogs have quiet times.Dogs focus on God’s glory (they think, “How is God’s reputation being affected bymy life?”).
Cats focus on themselves (how can they better their lives…?)Blessings and ResponsibilitiesCats want all the blessings and none of the responsibilities.As a result, two major problems arise.An incomplete Gospel comes about, and they end up with mixed-up priorities.Incomplete GospelOver time, Cat Theology develops into an incomplete Gospel.Cats are saved from hell and it stops there.This is not incorrect, but it is incomplete.Dogs are saved from hell, FOR WORSHIP AND TO BRING GOD GLORY.In Our PrayersWe often pray: “Father, thank You for dying on the cross for our sins”. That is notincorrect, but it is incomplete.He died on the cross for our sins SO THAT we will worship Him and glorify Him.
In Our BlessingsCats focus on gathering all of God’s blessings with a bucket.And once they have them, they keep them.Dogs gather as many blessings as they can from God and pass them on to others.They know that the blessings are meant to go through them to others.Mixed-Up PrioritiesBlessings and GloryBoth Cats and Dogs want to be blessed by God.Dogs hunger more for God’s glory whereas Cats hunger more for the blessings.WorshipDogs worship God primarily for Who He is.Cats worship God primarily for what He can do for them.God wants us to seek His face – to get to know Him rather than to always be seekingHis hand – for what He can do for us.
2 Chronicles 7:14 NASB14 If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seekMy face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgivetheir sin and will heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:14 NASBWhy all these differences?Dogs study “Theology.”Cats study “MEology.”One way God chooses to reveal His glory is through blessing us!Satan’s StrategySatan doesn’t want Christians to focus on God’s glory.Satan’s strategy is to get humanity to focus in on something else so that their focus isoff of God’s glory.As a result, we begin to think that life is all about us.Because of this, we make a foundational shift in our theology.Our focus goes off of God glorifying Himself through blessing us – we focus on the giftrather than on the Giver.Our focus is on receiving the blessings from God, and we become primary; God’sglory becomes secondary.Cats Are Living For ThemselvesCats are basically living for themselves in a Christian context.They’ve rejected other “ways” of life and have chosen Christianity as the best way tolive for themselves.Life is still all about them.
WDGG?Dogs ask one key question as they go through life:What Does God Get?Cats exit a worship service saying, “I didn’t get a thing out of that!”Dogs ask, “What did God get?” WDGG?As a result, they realize that life is for God, it is not just for us.We are here : To enjoy God’s grace and to extend God’s glory.A Prayer Of Repentance“Father, forgive us for thinking life was about us and not You,for advancing our kingdom and not Yours,for seeking Your blessings more than You,for an incomplete Christianity,for mixed-up priorities,for living for ourselves in a Christian context,for not seeing Your glory all around us.We repent.Fill us again with your Holy Spirit that we might live to make You famous.”Amen