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Carmel Baptist Church SUMMIT – Singles II Retreat October 26-28, 2007
“Living the good news”
Learning to Living
3. What is God saying to me this weekend? 4. What am I saying to God this weekend? 5. What verse(s) do I need to study and/or memorize? 6. What principle to apply right now to my life? 7. What truth to share with someone else in my life?
Isaiah 55:11 - so is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
The Knowledge of the Holy – A. W. Tozer
The Church has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking worshiping men. This she has done not deliberately, but little by little and without her knowledge; and her very unawareness only makes her situation all the more tragic. The low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us. A whole new philosophy of the Christian life has resulted from this one basic error in our religious thinking. With our loss of the sense of majesty has come the further loss of religious awe and consciousness of the divine Presence.
The Knowledge of the Holy – A. W. Tozer
We have lost our spirit of worship and our ability to withdraw inwardly to meet God in adoring silence. Modern Christianity is simply not producing the kind of Christian who can appreciate or experience the life in the Spirit. The words, “Be still and know that I am God,” mean next to nothing to the self-confident, bustling worshipper in the middle period of the twentieth century.
The Knowledge of the Holy – A. W. Tozer
What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. …We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that compose the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God, just as her most significant message is what she says about Him or leaves unsaid, for her silence is often more eloquent than her speech. She can never escape the self-disclosure of her witness concerning God.
Willow Creek Community Church Few would disagree that Willow Creek Community Church has been one of the most influential churches in America over the last thirty years. Willow, through its association, has promoted a vision of church that is big, programmatic, and comprehensive. This vision has been heavily influenced by the methods of secular business. James Twitchell, in his new book Shopping for God, reports that outside Bill Hybels’ office hangs a poster that says: “What is our business? Who is our customer? What does the customer consider value?” Directly or indirectly, this philosophy of ministry—church should be a big box with programs for people at every level of spiritual maturity to consume and engage—has impacted every evangelical church in the country.
Having put all of their eggs into the program-driven church basket you can understand their shock when the research revealed that “Increasing levels of participation in these sets of activities does NOT predict whether someone’s becoming more of a disciple of Christ. It does NOT predict whether they love God more or they love people more.” Speaking at the Leadership Summit, Hybels summarized the findings this way: Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn’t helping people that much. Other things that we didn’t put that much money into and didn’t put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for.
Having spent thirty years creating and promoting a multi-million dollar organization driven by programs and measuring participation, and convincing other church leaders to do the same, you can see why Hybels called this research “the wake up call” of his adult life.
Bill Hybels confesses: We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between service, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.
In other words, spiritual growth doesn’t happen best by becoming dependent on elaborate church programs but through the age old spiritual practices of prayer, bible reading, and relationships. And, ironically, these basic disciplines do not require multimillion dollar facilities and hundreds of staff to manage.
Test – How well do you know God?
Who is the most God-centered person in the universe? Who is uppermost in God’s affections? What is the primary jealousy of God? What is the chief end of God? Do you feel more loved because God makes much of you or because at the cost of His Son He enables you to make much of Himself? Are you God centered because He is supremely valuable to you or are you God centered because you believe you are supremely valuable to Him?
The Glory of God
Ezek. 20:6 on that day I swore to them, to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had selected for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands. Ezek. 20:7 “I said to them, ‘Cast away, each of you, the detestable things of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.’ Ezek. 20:8 “But they rebelled against Me and were not willing to listen to Me; they did not cast away the detestable things of their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. Ezek. 20:9 “But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made Myself known to them by bringing them out of the land of 11 Egypt.
The Exodus from Egypt
Psalm 106:6-8 - We have sinned like our fathers,We have committed iniquity, we have behaved wickedly. Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders;They did not remember Your abundant kindnesses, But rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea. Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name, That He might make His power known.
GIVING OF THE LAW
Exodus 20:3-5 - You shall have no other gods before Me. Ex. 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. Ex. 20:5 “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,
THE WILDNERNESS WANDERING
Ezekiel 20:21-22 “But the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, nor were they careful to observe My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live; they profaned My sabbaths. So I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the wilderness. Ezek. 20:22 “But I withdrew My hand and acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.
THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN Joshua 24:12-14 - Then I sent the hornet before you and it drove out the two kings of the Amorites from before you, but not by your sword or your bow. Josh. 24:13 ‘I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities which you had not built, and you have lived in them; you are eating of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.’ Josh. 24:14 ¶ “Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. By giving Israel the land of Canaan, God aimed to create a people that would recognize His glory and delight in Him above all things.
A prayer of King David:
2 Samuel 7:23 - And what one nation on the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people and to make a name for Himself, and to do a great thing for You and awesome things for Your land, before Your people whom You have redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, from nations and their gods?
THE BEGINNINGS OF THE MONARCHY
1 Samuel 12:19-23 Then all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, so that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil by asking for ourselves a king.” 1Sam. 12:20 Samuel said to the people, “Do not fear. You have committed all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. 1Sam. 12:21 “You must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which can not profit or deliver, because they are futile. 1Sam. 12:22 “For the LORD will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the LORD has been pleased to make you a people for Himself. 1Sam. 12:23 “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in 17 the good and right way
THE TEMPLE OF GOD
1 Kings 8:41-44 - Also concerning the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel, when he comes from a far country for Your name’s sake 1Kings 8:42 (for they will hear of Your great name and Your mighty hand, and of Your outstretched arm); when he comes and prays toward this house, 1Kings 8:43 hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name, to fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by Your name. 1Kings 8:44 ¶ “When Your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way You shall send them, and they pray to the LORD toward the city which You have chosen and the house which I have built for Your name,
DELIVERANCE IN THE TIME OF KINGS
2 Kings 19:34 - For I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake 2 Kings 20:6 - “… I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.”
EXILE AND PROMISED RESTORATION
Isaiah 48:9-11 - “For the sake of My name I delay My wrath, And for My praise I restrain it for you, In order not to cut you off. Is. 48:10 “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. Is. 48:11 “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act;For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another
EXILE AND PROMISED RESTORATION Ezekiel 36:22-23 - Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. Ezek. 36:23 “I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. Zechariah 2:5 - For I,’ declares the LORD, ‘will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst Haggai 1:8 - Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the 21 LORD.
The life and ministry of the Lord Jesus
Jesus prayed at the end of His life: John 17:4 - I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.
Jesus’ death John 12:27-28 - Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. John 12:28 “Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE 1 Corinthians 10:31 - Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 4:6 - For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 1 Peter 4:11 - Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Matthew 5:16 - Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
THE SECOND COMING AND CONSUMATION
2 Thessalonians 1:9-10 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 2Th. 1:10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed.
Questions to ask relating to God’s glory
Why did God create us? Isaiah 43:6-7 - Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory. Why did God call Israel? Jeremiah 13:11 - You are my servant Israel in whom I will be glorified Isaiah 49:3 - I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the Lord, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory.
Why does God save us? Ephesians 1:4-6, cf. vv. 12, 14 - He chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will unto the praise of the glory of his grace.
Why did God raise up Pharaoh to be the king of Egypt? Romans 9:17 - For the scripture says to Pharaoh, "I have raised you up for this very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth."
Why did God defeat Pharaoh at the Red Sea? Exodus 14:4; cf. vv. 17, 18 - And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host; and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord . . . And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen. Why did God spare the Israelites in the wilderness? Ezekiel 20:14 - I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. Why did God give the Israelites victory in Canaan? 2 Samuel 7:23 - What other nation on earth is like Thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be His people, making Himself a name, and doing for them great and terrible things, by27 driving out before His people a nation and its gods?
Why did Jesus tell us to do good works? Matthew 5:16; cf. 1 Peter 2:12 - Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. What reason did Jesus give for prayers that He answers? John 14:13 - Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Why does God forgive sin? Isaiah 43:25 - I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Psalm 25:11 - For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Why Jesus receives us into His fellowship? Romans 15:7 - Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
What is a primary ministry of the Holy Spirit? John 16:14 - He will glorify me, for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you.
How has God instructed us to live our lives? 1 Corinthinans 10:31 - So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
How are we to serve God? 1 Peter 4:11 - Whoever renders service [let him do it] as one who renders it by the strength which God supplies; in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Why Jesus fills us with the fruits of righteousness? Philippians 1:11 - It is my prayer . . . that you be filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.
Why is mankind under the judgment of God? Romans 1:23 They became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images. Romans 3:23 For all have fallen short of the glory of God.
Why does God strike Herod dead after a speech he made? Acts 12:23 - Immediately an angel of the Lord smote him because he did not give glory to God.
Concluding statements concerning the glory of God Jesus is coming again for the glory of God. 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10 - Those who do not obey the gospel will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints and to be marveled at in all who have believed.
Jesus' ultimate aim for us is that we see and enjoy his glory. John 17:24 - Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory, which thou hast given me in Thy love for me before the foundation of the world.
Even in wrath God's aim is to make known the wealth of his glory. Romans 9:22-23 - Desiring to show his wrath and make known his power, he endured with much patience the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for the vessels of mercy which he prepared beforehand for glory.
God plan is to fill the earth with the knowledge of his glory. Habakkuk 2:14 - For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Everything that happens will manifest God's glory. Romans 11:36 - From Him, to Him and through Him are all things.
The echo’s of God’s glory
Have you ever seen a sunset over the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean when the sunlight streams through the clouds to bring out shades of red, yellow and violet? Have you ever been to a movie that kept you captivated for two hours? Have you ever been a the top of a 10,000 foot mountain and seen a pan aroma of the city below? Have you ever been to the Indianapolis 500 or the Coca Cola 600 and heard the sound and seen the speed of those race cars?
The echo of God’s glory
Have you ever seen the Grand Canyon? Have you ever seen Michael Jordan play basketball or Tiger Woods play golf? Have you ever heard Pavarotti sing Nessun Dorma? Have you ever seen a great white shark attack a sea lion? Have you ever been inside St. Peter's cathedral? Have you ever watched the "Blue Angels" do an air show?
Jonathan Edwards writes: So God glorifies Himself toward the creatures also in two ways: 2. By appearing to . . . their understanding. 3. In communicating Himself to their hearts, and in their rejoicing and delighting in, and enjoying, the manifestations which He makes of Himself. . . God is glorified not only by His glory's being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it.
C. S. Lewis writes: But the most obvious fact about praise-whether of God or any thing-strangely escaped me. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honor. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise unless (sometimes even if) shyness or the fear of boring others is deliberately brought in to check it. The world rings with praise-lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game-praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, motors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians or scholars.
C. S. Lewis writes: I had not noticed either that just as men spontaneously praise whatever they value, so they spontaneously urge us to join them in praising it: "Isn't she lovely? Wasn't it glorious? Don't you think that magnificent?" The Psalmists in telling everyone to praise God are doing what all men do when they speak of what they care about. My whole, more general, difficulty about the praise of God depended on my absurdly denying to us, as regards the supremely Valuable, what we delight to do, what indeed we can't help doing, about everything else we value. I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.
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