Thursday, September 20, 2012

Touching Base! Part 181


(You can find a recording of this sermon here.)

This Touching Base is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching is discussed outside of the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build healthy community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.

Today is the last part of our three-part series on City, Nation and World! The reason we have done this series is so that people both understand the vision and engage with it. We want to be very clear that it is impossible to burn passionately for every part of the vision, but it is very possible to be passionate about aspects of the vision and support the entire vision. If we try to be passionate about every part, involved in every part, we may find we burn out. So prayerfully seek God on what He would have you do, and how He might have you go, get involved, give and pray.

On Sunday we looked at God’s heart for the world. Be Incredible In The World! Now that may be easier said than done. There are many Christ followers whose focus is very much on themselves. We could call these people cats. When you pet a cat they think, “You pet me, feed me, shelter me, I must be god!” They are in to “meowology” and anything else that would prop their needs up as being central to everyone else’s agenda. However, thank God there are dogs. In fact it may not sound complimentary but there are many Christians who are like dogs. You pet a dog and they think, “You pet me, feed me, shelter me, you must be god!” These kinds of Christ followers are not the center of the universe but God is, and so they are very much interested in what God is passionate about. Well, guess what? He is passionate about the world.

Now before we move on think about cat theology and dog theology. What are the differences? How would a cat church look different than a dog church? If a cat was looking for a new church what might they be looking for? If a dog was looking for a new church what might they be looking for?

Ok, let’s move on. Dogs want to know the heart of God, and as they investigate they discover that God has a heart for the nations. Check out the texts.

Genesis 12:1-3 - Where does the blessing flow? Cats can get stuck on the part that says God wants to bless us. They can sometimes forget that we are blessed to be a blessing.

Exodus 19:6 - Note that Israel had two priesthoods. The Levites were the priests to the nation of Israel, yet Israel were a kingdom of priests to who? Check out Isaiah 49:6 and Malachi 1:11. Got any ideas? How does this influence or shape your understanding of God choosing Israel to be His treasured possession? See also Ex. 19:5.

You will note as you read the Old Testament that it predicts the coming of Jesus, and in the New Testament, Jesus is presented. What do the words of Simeon tell us about this priest? See Luke 2:28,29. Answer: He is an international priest, a priest to all the nations. Note Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:19,20.

Dogs note with delight (cats like to ignore this) that the Scriptures reveal that it is all about the glory of God, not man. He is the ultimate satisfaction, but more importantly, He satisfies what justice demands for our sin, a Saviour! Read the following verses on the glory of God.: 1Chronicles 16:24, Psalm 67:1,2, 2 Kings 19:17-19, Isaiah 61:11, Revelation 5:9-10

After reading these verses reflect on these questions:
Do you think the consumerism in the church flies in the face of the glory of God? - Meowology
Do you think if we made it less about ourselves and more about God’s glory the church would be stronger?
I wonder if, in the current challenges we are facing, we might move a little closer to resolving them if it was more about the glory of God, not the glory of me?

God desires for us to Be Incredible In The World, because He has a heart for the nations. From Genesis to Revelation, we see God’s international heart.

How can you, your small group be involved in global issues with a focus on spiritual and physical needs?

Would you consider getting involved in the Honduras focus this year at Bethel? Check out the brochure that was in the bulletins on Sunday.

Next time you watch or listen to the news, pray for the global issues that are constantly being piped into our air space. Pray that God would be glorified!

Welcome to the dog pound!


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