God’s Glory Revealed

5/22/2005 7:18 AM
Title: THE GLORY OF THE LORD GOD OF MY LIFE
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S: ?And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the
holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, so
that the priests could not continue ministering because of
the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of
the LORD.? 1 Kings 8:10, 11

O: God reveals himself to people. In Moses day it was by a
burning bush, plagues and miracles, opening the red sea,
water from a rock, manna, quail, etc. In David?s day it
was in answered prayer ? should I go up, should I fight,
should I do this or that. In Ezekiel?s day it was by story
and parable. In Samuel?s day it was through the prophet
that God revealed himself. In Abraham?s day, it was in
visits and conversations.

Here in Solomon?s day, God also reveals himself. First it
was in a night time visit ? what do you want me to do for
you? And a conversation ensued where God says to Solomon
what he will do for him. Then here in 1 Kings 8, and 2
Chronicles 5, God makes a miraculous appearance to the
temple. He could have waited to come in when they were
done setting up. But I think God made such a grand
entrance before they were done setting the thing up,
because there were so many priests, Levites, leaders,
rulers, and people there that He wanted them all to see.

I just imagine that the glory of the LORD was so powerful
that they came running out ? almost in terror, but more in
awe. In other words, God interrupted their work and showed
them again His glory. And God simply revealed Himself
again.

A: God has revealed himself to me in many ways. Although
I?ve not heard God?s voice in an audible fashion, nor have
I seen him physically. But like the Israelites in the
wilderness, I have some strong assurance that He?s been
here. I can see His work.

1. I have 5 healthy kids that are trying to serve and honor
him
2. My son is so responsible that he is working outside the
home and making good money
3. My wife and I have a healthy relationship
4. My church is growing ? who would have thought that a
year ago, we?d be averaging 260 today?
5. Jim and Shane on staff
6. Asked to lead a leadership/church planting summit

I could likely go on and on ? watching my parents go
through bankruptcy and not get divorced. Seeing how he led
my brother out of bondage of sin. Watching people?s lives
get changed.

But I see God leading. God seems to show himself in
different ways to different generations. Sometimes I am
amazed at how God revealed himself to Solomon, and
sometimes I wish he would do the same for me. But in
reality, I see God?s hand on me. I heard his voice speak
to me. I know that I am being led by the Father God, Jesus
Christ and the Holy Spirit.

O: Lord, God, I love you. Thank you for speaking to
Solomon. Thank you for speaking to me through the story of
Solomon. I love you, Lord. I want to continually serve
you.

Yesterday the West Campus seemed to go better than the East
Campus. That has almost never happened. Thank you, Lord,
for helping that to take off yesterday like that. It
helped having a pretty full house. It helped having a time
of reflection on the sermon after I preached it in the
East. I am thankful to you for the growth we?ve had at the
West Campus and the East Campus. Lord, I pray for the Holy
Spirit to lead us.

Thank you, Lord, for leading and making things work for us.
I pray for your will continually in my church, my family,
my kids, Gail?s and my life too. Please come in and help
us get ready to leave town. I pray for your will in our
lives. Thank you, Lord. I love you.

Disciplined Life

5/19/2005 6:18 AM
Title: DISCIPLINING THE HEART
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S: ?I will behave wisely in a perfect way?.I will walk
within my house with a perfect heart. I will set nothing
wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall
away; It shall not cling to me.? Psalm 101:2,3

O: David understands the need to discipline the heart.
Without discipline it destroys who we are. He?s really
talking about disciplining the sinful nature of man. But
it?s interesting to note that he?s simply talking about
disciplining the heart because when people don?t, their
work is unholy and their lives become unholy. David is
simply saying, I don?t want to be like that. I don?t like
those people?s lives, and I don?t want to be a person like
that.

A: I agree. One of my personal core values says ? ?The
pursuit of discipline will get me to where I want to go.?
No doubt this means in the area of physical discipline,
mental discipline, emotional discipline and spiritual
discipline.

One thing I?ve learned over the years, you cannot grow in
significant and consistent ways spiritually or any other
way without discipline. This time in the morning for me is
one of those times.

But David also speaks to me when he says I will put no
wicked thing before my eyes. That?s hwy I don?t go to Star
Wars movies, that?s why I don?t go to The Matrix. It?s
also why I don?t watch TV, why I filter my internet
connection, why I don?t hang out certain places. I?m not
saying this to say that I am somehow achieving perfection
and that everyone should follow me ? on the contrary. I
simply have instituted these disciplines because I have a
great need to follow God, and without these disciplines, I
would be walking down a very poor path.

P: Lord, I want to become even more disciplined in my
eating, in my organization, in my leadership, and in my
life in general. I want to continually learn ways that I
can learn from you. I want to continually learn ways that
will lead me to walk with you. I pray, Lord, for the Holy
Spirit. I pray for your will in my life. I pray you will
continually teach me to walk in your ways and to walk
according to your word. By myself, Lord, I would not be
able to do that. But in your power I can.

Thank you. I love you. I will follow you all the days of
my life. I want to serve you.

The cost of discipleship

5/13/2005 6:02 AM
Title: THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP
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S: “Then King David said to Ornan, ‘No, but I will surely buy it for the
full price, for I will not take what is yours for the LORD, nor offer burnt
offerings with that which costs me nothing.'” 1 Chronicles 21:24

O: David has just trusted in the strength of his army and not in God. And
God punishes him for it. He gives him the choice of 7 years of famine, 3
months of running from the enemy or 3 days of destruction and death by God.
David chooses the 3 days.

When it was nearly done, the death is so huge that even David stops and says
– “Wasn’t it I who sinned?”

It seems that two things happen here: 1) sin always has consequences, and
2) sin of leaders carries consequences to the whole group of people.

But David is then instructed to go and sacrifice and his famous line to the
owner of the field and threshing floor, who offers it to David for free. “I
will not offer God anything that costs me nothing.”

It’s a very noble phrase. And one that once again, comes out of David’s
heart for righteousness and good. He is repentant. He understands that sin
has a cost. He understands that there is a cost of discipleship.

A: I also understand that there is a cost of discipleship. I have given up
a lot to follow God. Sometimes I would respond like Peter if I were asked
whether I was also going to flee Jesus, when he said, “Where would we go?
We have given up everything to follow you.”

The cost has been high. I’ve given up dreams, friends, and some of life. I
continue to give things up for the sake of following Him and Him alone. I
don’t regret it. But don’t let anyone tell you that the cost of following
Jesus is light.

No, the cost is EVERYTHING. But Jesus says the burden is light and His yoke
is easy. In other words, the struggle for me is not when I give it up, but
choosing to give it up.

God has taken such good care of me and my family. He’s taken care of me.
Even though I have given up dreams of sports, baseball careers, wine, women
and song, I don’t regret it. Even though the cost of following God has
taken me down a path of giving up foods, giving up sins, giving up agendas,
and giving up privileges that others get to enjoy. I do not regret it.

P: Lord, following you has been a high price. I love it! I want to follow
you to the very end of time – which will never come. I pray you will
strengthen my desire to do just that. I know that I will make mistakes
along the way. I know that I will make mistakes that will hurt people, that
will destroy some, and that will damage you cause. I don’t want to do that,
Lord. But I do want to have the repentant heart of David.

I never want to offer myself easily, it must cost me something, Lord.
Please guide me. Please come into my heart. I submit myself to you. I
give up control. I give up affirmation. I give up entertainment. I give
up stuff that simply would affect my relationship to you. I pray, Lord, for
the Holy Spirit to take control of my life. I submit ME to you. I love
you.