RESET: Honor God
RESET: Honor God * Exodus 20:1-3; Romans 1
“And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:1-3 ESV
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Romans 1:19-21 ESV
We are in a time of resetting. We are resetting many things in our life:
How we work, how we socialize, how we go to church, how we do school, and family, and many other areas. The spiritual reset happening in our day is pretty amazing, though. People are tuning in to church services in unprecedented numbers. It’s happened here. A mathematician in (Jeanette Bentsen) Copenhagen noted a marked increase on internet search engines on the subject of “prayer.” Ninety-three countries showed skyrocketing numbers of people turning to the internet to try to understand prayer! There is a spiritual hunger… a spiritual reset… happening in our world right now.
We live in a difficult day to talk about religious subjects, especially when THE subject is…God. It hasn’t always been so, but confusion and chaos and even anger seem to swirl around any conversations about Him.
Some of us remember it not always being so controversial. There was a day when it was the most natural thing in the world to go to a neighbor and invite them to attend your church with you. It was just… neighborly, even normal etiquette to do this.
If sharing our faith in that time was like a football game, this would be like taking a ball already at the five-yard line into the end zone for a touchdown. Easy really. Even the Jaguars… no I won’t go there.
Then, around the seventies, churches and anything organized began to be suspect. People were abandoning religious systems by droves. In that time, talking to someone about God or your faith was more like carrying the ball from the fifty-yard line. Not impossible, but much harder.
But now in a culture where postmodernism rules and everything solid has become liquid…talking to someone about religious realities is like starting with the ball all the way outside of the stadium. Today many people have to be persuaded that God exists. They aren’t even on the field!
To get to a RESET in life means we must return to a Biblically faithful understanding of Who God is. I don’t think I’m overstating when I say that EVERY problem we are facing today; politically, racially, and personally, comes from our rejection of the truth that there is “one God,” or our belief that there is no God or there are actually many “gods”
So, I challenge you today to think about this important topic with me for about twenty minutes. It may be the most significant twenty minutes of someone’s life who is listening today. I no longer assume everyone agrees on what we’re talking about when we say “God.” They don’t. I will even challenge some of you who claim to be Christian to examine what you think about when you say “God.”
A.W Tozer said, “What you think about when you think about God is the most important thing about you.” Your thoughts of God determine your behavior, your morality, and even your mental and emotional health.
The Bible reveals God to us. In particular, it reveals these three things:
1). God exists. There is a God. He made the heavens, and the earth, and all things visible and invisible. All of creation screams out his glory: “The heavens declare the glory of God….” “I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before Me.” God exists alone. That does not mean God is lonely. It means God does not need anything else to exist.
God exists. He is real. He speaks. He creates. To deny Gods existence is to deny the most fundamental truth of your existence. You cannot live as a flourishing, contented, fulfilled human being if you deny the very One Who gave you breath and life and purpose. We are incurably religious people. Every one of us. It is in our DNA to worship…something. And today you…every one of you…worship something or someone.
Conspiracy theories are not a new thing. Heard of Area 51? Heard of Jimmy Hoffa being buried under Giants Stadium? We kind of laugh these off, but the past six months have birthed so many more conspiracy theories around Covid 19 and the upcoming election.
We believe conspiracy theories about God. Sometimes the God you have rejected is a god you should reject, since your image of Him is built on lies. Adam and Eve believed a conspiracy theory about God, and it led the entirety of humanity into sin and alienation from Him and each other.
You see, they believed a lie that some of you also believe. That, if there’s a God, He doesn’t want you to have joy in life. He sits in Heaven, makes you miserable, and then laughs at you. In other words, we sometimes believe God is NOT good… we believe a lie.
The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward men. He is tenderhearted and of quick sympathy, and His unfailing attitude toward all moral beings is open, frank, and friendly. By His nature He is inclined to bestow blessedness and He takes holy pleasure in the happiness of His people. (AW Tozer)
Adam and Eve believed the lie. While God had opened every venue of food and enjoyment possible in the Garden of Eden, He stopped them from eating the fruit of one tree. Their belief was God was holding out on them. He didn’t want them to be fully happy. He wasn’t truly good. The tempter lied and told them, “If you eat of this tree, you’ll be like God.”
What they failed to see was they were already like God! He created them “in His image.” Eating from the tree would them less, and God knew that. So, He said, “Don’t.”
We believe lies about God, too. “God wanted me to suffer, so He took… what… from you? Your health? Your job? Your spouse? Your money? God just wants to punish me for some little thing I did wrong.” These conspiracy theories make us push God away or even deny His existence.
2). God can be known. He wants to reveal Himself to us. The first clear revelation of what He expects for our lives to fully flourish before Him was the Ten Commandments. We think these were rules to stop our pleasure. He gave them to us that we may know life and not death.
Through the centuries God has revealed Himself through Scripture, and through prophets, and through miracles. He revealed Himself through creation, but we have worshiped the creation more than the Creator. “What can be known of God is plain to them,” Romans 1 tells us. There is no possibility for any person who has ever opened their eyes and had rational thoughts to ignore God as He is revealed through creation.
God speaks. God is always speaking if you know how to listen. But His ultimate communication was not through a prophet, and not through a miracle, not through creation and not through a smoking mountain and not even through a book. God revealed Himself in His Son.
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:1-3 ESV)
Jesus was given as the perfect and complete revelation of God. He showed us God in flesh, so we could see clearly Who He was, what He was like, and how He loves us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Jesus came to reveal God’s glory. There’s a name for people who stare at the sun too long without sunglasses. They’re called blind. The glory of a star that is the least brilliant star in our solar system can blind you after only a few moments of staring at it without some kind of protective filter.
But in Jesus Christ, John’s Gospel tells us, we “beheld (stared long at it; comprehended it) His (God’s) glory….” Jesus was the Divine filter, the protective lens that God gave us so we could see Him, and touch Him, and know Him and even understand Him. (“That which we have seen….”) And it is only through Jesus that we can do that. No other way, no other means of salvation.
Another lie we believe about God is that He reveals Himself to us in all other religions. “You call God Buddha, you call Him Allah, you call him Vishnu or some other exotic name… it doesn’t matter. We’re all talking about the same God, and we’re all going to the same place when it’s all over. Right?” Wrong. That’s a conspiracy theory.
The way of salvation is open to all, but there is only ONE WAY to find it, and that’s through the revelation of Jesus Christ. He is God’s final Word. “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. (1 Timothy 2:5-6 ESV)
3). We are to honor God. Are you honoring God with your life? With your worship? Do you truly worship God so you can know Him and love Him?Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Does that sound like your pursuit of God? Do you worship Him with all your “mind, heart, soul, and strength?” Or is worship half-hearted for you or worse, even ignored? We honor God when we trust Him as our God. When we depend on Him. When we lean on Him for our strength and in our trials. Do you worship Him? Do you trust Him?
Do you obey Him? “If you love Me, you will do the things that I say.” Do you do the things that He says, or do you pretty much live your life on your own terms, and do whatever your flesh and whatever the world tells you? Do your friends have more influence on you than God’s Word?
For some here today, or listening online or on the radio, you start by “resetting” what you believe about God. Let’s start here: Do you believe that God exists? Do you believe He made you? Do you believe that one day you will stand before Him and give account for your life? “Those who come to Him must believe that He is (He exists!) and that He rewards those who come to Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place, and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business, for those who do not know God. Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul. (Packer)Today you can push the reset button. You can take a step back and say, “Maybe I’ve gotten this all wrong. Maybe you’re one of those folks not even in the stadium today. Is it time for you to step onto the field, and begin moving toward the goal line? If so, today is the day to take that step by faith.
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Let us introduce you to the God Who Exists…and the God you need to honor by giving Him your life, and your allegiance, and your all. Don’t believe the lie that says, “You’re too far gone for God. You’re too messed up. You’ve used up all your chances.”