Sunday, March 24, 2024

Worldview: Learning to Think and Live Biblically by Greg Laurie: Chapter 2

Chapter 2: How to Love God 

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).


1 Corinthians 13: Greatest description of Love Paraphrases

Love:

-never gives up

-cares more for others than for self

-doesn’t want what it doesn’t have

-doesn’t strut

-doesn’t force itself on others

-isn’t always “me first”

-doesn’t fly off the handle

-doesn’t keep score of the sins of others

-doesn’t revel when others grovel

-takes pleasure in the flowering of truth

-puts up with anything

-trusts God always

-always looks for the best

-never looks back

-but keeps going to the end


Love:

-all begins with God

-He is the the wellspring

-He is the course

-He is the all genuine love

“We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).


We show our love for God in not what we say, but what we do:

“If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).


How do we think and live Biblically?

-start with the Ten Commandments

-because of them we have clear absolutes to live by

-we find the heart of God in the Ten Commandments

-we will worship and love Him in the right way


Ch. 1 Commandment 1 Reminder:

-worshiping the right God (You shall have no other gods before me)


Commandment 2: worship the right God in the right way

-You shall not make for yourself a carved image

-God is not against art or artistic expression

-God gave us creative abilities and desires to use them

-the Ark of the Covenant was ordained with exquisite images of cherubim, sculpted in gold, wings outstretched over the mercy seat

-the temple itself was ordained with carvings of lions and bulls and cherubim

-the Bible isn’t criticizing the making of figures and objects

-the Bible is warning us to not use objects as an aid to worship


“4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments” Exodus 20: 4-6).


Jesus stated, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).


-it is good to worship God in spirit

-there is a place for emotion in our worship


Turn away from any false image:

-you cannot make God into your image of Him

-allow Him to make you into His image


God is a Jealous God:

-when we think of the word “jealous” we equate it to pettiness and selfishness (vice)

-God means it to be a virtue 

-translation = jealous, but better interpretation is zealous

-He is zealous in His love for you

-He wants you to be zealous for Him

-God loves you and wants an exclusive relationship with you

-He wants your complete love


Exodus Narrative:

-Moses was on Mt. Sinai receiving the Ten Commandment

-At the bottom of the Mt. is Moses’ brother Aaron

-crowd grumbled to point of demanding an idol to worship

-Aaron caves:
“Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me” (Exodus 32: 2).

-the people loved the golden calf

-Israelites danced and carried around the false god

-Aaron announces that tomorrow is a feast for the Lord (vs. 5)

-crowd responds with they will worship the Lord through the golden calf

Twist in the plot:

-God tells Moses to get back down Mt. as the people are doing the thing you told them not to do

-Joshua asked if it was a war happening in the camp? (vs. 17)

-Moses responds no it sounds like a party

-Moses demands and explanation of this behavior from Aaron

-Aaron give a lame excuse:

“22 “Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil. 23 They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ 24 So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!” (Exodus 32: 22-24).

-Aaron and the Israelites tried to cover up what they were doing by trying to say the calf simply was a representation of God

-idols gives us a false concept of what God is really like


Point:

-people rationalize their behavior in bowing down before an idol

-people try to blend it with legitimate worship of the Lord 

-God is not interested in outward performances

-God wants us to change our hearts and behaviors

“If you love me keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

-if the image is false then through it God is also false

-it produces a character that is false

-man becomes what he worships 

-the ultimate goal should be that we become like Jesus


Commandment 3: Don’t Take the Lord’s Name in Vain

“You shall not take the name of the Lord you God in vain” (Exodus 20: 7).


-do not acknowledge God in a backhanded sort of way (almost dismissive)

-even agnostics and atheists understand there is power in that holy name

-The Name of Jesus if Power

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2: 9-11).


-people react when they hear the name “Jesus”

-our culture freely discusses so called spirituality and religion and get no reaction

-people can even talk about Christianity in general with no reaction

-but, see how people react when you speak about Him(Jesus) as the Living God and Savior

-people pay attention to the name of Jesus

“There is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which you must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

-God want us to use His name in reverence and honor to His name

-God want us to invoke that holy name in our hour of need

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10).

***Prophet Elijah knew the power of the name of the Lord as he faced off with the prophets of Baal

-they called on their god from morning until night to no avail

-Elijah called upon “the name of the true living God and fire fell from heaven“ (1 Kings 18).

***Moses said, “I proclaim the name of the Lord: Ascribe greatness to our God” (Deuteronomy 32:3).


Careless Habits:

-”I swear to God” it taking the Lord’s name in vain

-these are words of liars because if you consistently tell the truth then you don’t need to swear it is true

“Just say a simple ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37).

-You cry out “Oh, My God” or texting OMG

-God is not an exclamation mark

-do not use the Lord’s name for personal gain or used in a trivial way

**do not label things to try to convince people of your version of God

Ex. Christian flip flops with a scripture written on them is empty, idle, insincere, and frivolous

-flip flops will not win a soul for Christ 

-do not misuse the Lord’s name to sell your products

-insincere cliche uses like “Praise the Lord” or “Bless your heart” or “God Bless You” after every sentence

-use those phrases in an intentional way not in an empty or frivolous way


Hypocrisy in the church is worse than profanity in the street:

-DO NOT use the Lord’s name if you have no intention in keep his commandments

Jesus said, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord.’ and not do the things I say” (Luke 6:46).

**nothing worse than praising God in church on Sunday and living the rest of the week as if you do not know Him

-everyone falls short but it comes down to the intention of the heart 

-no one is perfect, but to be a hypocrite is to be an actor

-you pretend to be something or someone you are not

-playing a part is offensive to God

“22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7: 23-24).


Commandment 3: The Principle of Rest

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).


-Historically, the Sabbath is Saturday

-this is the only commandment not repeated in the New Testament

-Sabbath was instituted for the Jewish people

-it is true today, as God had finished creating all things in six days

-He set the seventh day as a day of rest

-Sabbath rest as a law in in the Ten Commandments

-Christians today live under the New Covenant

-Jesus was even accused of breaking the Sabbath because he healed a man on the Sabbath

“Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath” (Mark 2L27).


Sabbath Controversy is done:

-the Sabbath was made for man

-It is a reminder to take a day of rest

-today, Sunday is set apart to worship the Lord

-Apostle Paul stated:

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day” (Colossians 2:16).

-Jesus is the Lamb of God who fulfills those Old Testament types

-the Sabbath has been fulfilled in relationship with Christ

-we enter into the rest of His finished work, accomplished for us on the cross

-every day is holy to the Lord

-every day is a day to enter into His rest 

**Do Not let anyone tell you that you have to keep the Sabbath day to be a true follower of Jesus-it is a distortion of Scripture


Come Unto Me

-Sabbath requirement may be fulfilled but you still need a time of rest

-we need to step back from all activities, quiet your hearts and minds, and seek the Lord in all things

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

-take time to gather with believers to re energize in fellowship

-take time to worship the Lord

-take time to get into the Word

-Make sure you make time to get spiritually recharged 

-take time to reconnect with the Lord in a deeper way (use the Sabbath principle-not the day)

“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you rest. I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls” (Matthew 11:28).

***Christianity says it is done; other religions require you to do, do do!


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