Friday, May 27, 2011

The Glory of God

Thought these were some good words for us this morning about the "glory of God" from Kevin DeYoung:

And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory…” (v. 7)

Starting next week, we’ll look at fourteen specific examples of how we can glorify God in all of life. But first we need to ask more generally, what do “glory” and “glorify” mean? Kabod is the Hebrew word for glory; it literally means “weight.” The glory of God is the weight of all that God is, the fullness of his understanding, virtue, and happiness, as Jonathan Edwards put it.

We glorify God when we throw a spotlight on how great God is. To glorify God is to make much of him–as a mother makes much of her daughter when she fusses and frets over her. To glorify God is to magnify the greatness of his character–not as a microscope magnifies by making small objects look large, but as a telescope magnifies by giving us a glimpse of things that are unimaginably big. To glorify God is to honor his worth–just as I honor my wife by taking her out on an anniversary date when I could be watching the Chicago Bears, demonstrating that she is more valuable and desirable than football.

God’s perfect love, power, wisdom, sovereignty, and grace make him glorious. Pointing others to the majesty of God and being satisfied with the worth and weight of this majesty make us God-glorifiers.

"Knowing God"

One of the books which is a modern classic was written by JI Packer entitled Knowing God. It was first published in 1973 with a 20th anniversary edition re-published in 1993.
In chapter 2, Packer begins to show the difference between knowing about God and knowing God recognizing that there is a substantial difference.
Then, he turns his attention to providing for the reader four evidences of “knowing God” as opposed to “knowing about God”. These evidences he draws from the book of Daniel.

1.    Those who know God have great energy for God.

Daniel 11:32 says, “the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action”.

2.    Those who know God have great thoughts of God.

“Suffice it to say that there is, perhaps, no more vivid or sustained presentation of the many-sided reality of God’s sovereignty in the whole Bible” (p. 29)

3.    Those who know God show great boldness for God.

“Daniel and his friends were men who stuck their necks out. This was not foolhardiness. They knew what they were doing. They had counted the cost. They had measured the risk. They were well aware what the outcome of their actions would be unless God miraculously intervened, as in fact he did.”

4.    Those who know God have great contentment in God.

Daniel 3:15-18 says, “Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?" 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."

“It doesn’t matter! It makes no difference! Live or die, they are content.” (JI Packer)

Do we know God, I mean really know Him?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

9 Pastoral Prayers

The following is a list of nine pastoral prayers from The Village Church in Texas. Recently, they were expounded upon by their Lead Pastor, Matt Chandler:

While travelling the country as a speaker, experiencing the challenges of itinerate ministry, Matt Chandler asked himself: "If I ever get the chance to invest in one group of people, what would I want them to learn in life?" In November 2002, Matt was called by God to become the lead pastor of The Village. In his sermons, Matt expands upon the nine answers he wrote in his journal. His prayers for us, as a congregation, are:
  1. That we would see that the greatest problem in the universe is not mere moral failure – but a failure to honor God (Romans 1:21)
  2. That we would understand that discipline will never bring about love – but love always brings about discipline (Galatians 3:5)
  3. That we would realize that children of God are not under wrath – but mercy (Romans 9:23)
  4. That we would find that the fullness of all things – including life and joy – is in Christ (John 10:10)
  5. That we would experience a holy discontentment with where our lives are – and espouse the hope of what our lives can be (Romans 8:20)
  6. That we would recognize that God has purposefully placed us here – at this time, in this place – for His glory (Acts 17:26)
  7. That we would develop a taste for truth – even difficult ones (Psalm 119:11)
  8. That we would embrace Biblical Christianity – not American evangelicalism (2 Timothy 3:5)
  9. That we would believe in the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit – and desire them earnestly (1 Corinthians 14:39)