The Head AND The Heart

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” – Psalm 14:1

The “heart” commonly refers to the mind as the center of thinking and reason (Pr 3:3; 6:21;7:3), but also includes the emotions (Pr 15:15, 30), the will (Pr 11:20; 14:14), and thus, the whole inner being (Pr 3:5).

ROMANS 1:19-20 MSG

Based on His creation, what can we learn about God?
– God is intelligent.
– God is creative.
– God is personal.
– God is… good?

  • The world isn’t perfect. The world is broken.
  • God didn’t make it that way. He made it good.
  • He created us to be part of that good world, AND for relationship with Him.
  • We broke the relationship. We broke the world.

WHY DOESN’T GOD DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?
What if He already has?
1. He sent Jesus – To show us how live in step with God.
2. Jesus died – To open the door to have a relationship with God.
3. Jesus set up the Church – To be a light in the darkness

WE HAVE TO DO BETTER.

“Behold, I am making all things new.” – Revelation 21:1-5

“Faith sees best in the dark.”

Søren Kierkegaard

“I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.”
Job 42:5

I realized at that moment this historic figure of Jesus was no longer just this historic figure, but he was the one who was calling me all along through my creativity, and I realized, if this is true— if Jesus is the one who gave his life for me so I would know love, the greater love that I have been longing for— if this is true, then that is exactly the paradigm that would allow me to understand beauty, beauty that I was creating.”

Makoto Fujimura

Matthew 7:21-23

“We can be left utterly and absolutely outside – repelled, exiled, estranged, finally and unspeakably ignored. On the other hand, we can be called in, welcomed, received, acknowledged. We walk every day on the razor edge between these two incredible possibilities. Apparently, then, … our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside, is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation.”

C.S. Lewis

Matthew 16:13-20

Start With Jesus

“Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
John 1:29

After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
Matthew 3:16-17

John the Baptist, who was in prison,… sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”
Matthew 11:2-3

  1. Experiencing doubt is a normal part of faith
  2. Asking questions is the surest way to find answers
  3. We need people who walk with us through these times

Knowing WHAT you believe is good.
Knowing WHY you believe is better.

Why is it so important for us to watch out for how we treat others?
We never realize how our small actions affect the faith of those around us.

START WITH JESUS.

What I found…

What would the world look like if we all lived like that?

The church has done a lot of good.

The way Jesus taught us to live is the best way to live.

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic…or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

C.S. Lewis

Did Jesus Exist?

Did He claim to be The Messiah/God/Son of God?

Did He rise from the dead?

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…
1 Corinthians 15:3-5

“What is certain is that the earliest followers of Jesus believed that Jesus had come back to life, in the body, and that this was a body that had real bodily characteristics: It could be seen and touched, and it had a voice that could be heard.”

Bart Ehrman

 If Jesus is who He says He is, it changes everything.

Making of the Bible – Tim Mackie Video

Do Anything

WHAT DID JESUS DO TO REACH YOU?
HE REFUSED TO LET ANYTHING STAND IN HIS WAY

 Philippians 2:5-8

Jesus’ whole life was an example of the extremes He wants us to go to to reach people.

Jesus was willing to DO ANYTHING to reach someone.
And I believe He wants a church that will be willing to DO ANYTHING to reach someone.

  • “We’ll do anything short of sin to reach someone.” – Craig Groschel

There are ways of doing church that no one’s thought of yet,  … The problem is that at some point most of us stop creating the future and start repeating the past and we get comfortable. Well, tell me the last time you were uncomfortable and I’ll tell you the last time you grew.

MARK BATTERSON

If we’re going to be a church that is willing to try anything, we have to be those people.
To reach people no one else is reaching, WE/I must do what no one else is doing.

MATTHEW 25
– KEEP THE FIRE BURNING
– KEEP TRUSTING GOD
– KEEP LOVING PEOPLE


WHAT’S IT GOING TO TAKE?

  • A willing heart
  • Open eyes
  • Positive attitude
  • Fresh ideas
  • Reckless love
  • Bold steps

VALUE EVERYONE

When we get distracted, we begin to value the wrong things.

PSALM 139:13-14

1 JOHN 3:1

When we get distracted, we begin to find our value in the wrong places.

Where do you find value? 1 Timothy 6 

Jesus VALUES you more than anyone ever has or ever will
– NO MATTER WHAT.

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

We want our church to be…
A CHURCH WHERE EVERYONE HAS VALUE.

  • Making people feel welcome
  • Showing people the love Jesus has for them
  • Let them know they have purpose and help them live it out

That’s the kind of church I want to be a part of.

A church that carries out Jesus’ mission: Luke 4:18

  • Jesus saw value in those the world had written off.

“What did Jesus know that enabled Him to do what He did? Here’s part of the answer: He knew the value of people. He knew that each human being is a treasure. And because He did, people were not a source of stress, but a source of joy.”

Max Lucado

 A CHURCH THAT VALUES PEOPLE IS MADE OF PEOPLE WHO VALUE PEOPLE. 

  • A church isn’t a building, or a list of beliefs, or a mission statement.

WHO DO YOU VALUE?

  • Who do you make time for?
  • Who have you written off?

   SHOWING SOMEONE THAT THEY HAVE VALUE
  IS THE FIRST STEP IN CHANGING THE WORLD. 

Matthew 4:18-22

Why Jesus Said He Came.

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
John 10:10

Different Translations: 
“My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” NLT
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” ESV
“I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness.” BSB


What does a life to the fullness look like?

Matthew 6:31-32

Matthew 7:11

Jesus’s words say no matter the circumstances around you, He has a good for you.


Exodus 6:6-8

Israelites’ Reaction
1. Grumble and complain
2. Build own gods
3. Look back to Egypt
4. Did not trust the promise

Yes, they were delivered from bondage, but wow did they miss it


Our Reaction to the Promise
1. Joy an Love in midst of the struggle
2. Turn to God for peace and rest
3. Remember the grace that brought us out of our past
4. Trust in God and what He has for us.

Look and see what Jesus says first…

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Deny Yourself

Luke 9:23-25

It’s the first step to following Jesus… BUT IT DOESN’T END THERE

“Let us measure ourselves by our Master, and not by our fellow servants, then pride will be impossible.”

Charles Spurgeon

“God opposes the proud” (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5)
Who did Jesus oppose?


Jesus says “DENY yourself”

He used this word later at another time.

  • To affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone

Humility says…

  • God is more important, other people are more important
  • I need God and I need other other people

Matthew 20:25-28


Jesus was the embodiment of humility
And as His followers, we should be too.


Matthew 23:12

There is power in humility.

Real or Religion

If there is a God that’s out there, and He’s the kind of God who wants to be reached and wants us to reach Him, it’s not going to be by our own methods.

Jesus didn’t come to start another religion. He came to breakdown the barriers between us and God. Not to make up a new way for us to work our way to God, but make the door wide open between us and Him.
Hebrews 10:19-20

Religion has failed a lot of people. Jesus never has.

The Golden Calf – Exodus 32:1-8
(The people prepared for Moses to go up the mountain in Exodus 19)

We would never make an idol to worship instead of God?
But have we?

The problem wasn’t that they made a cow. The problem was they wanted to reshape God to fit into their box.

Instead of waiting on what was real, they settled for just religion.

Are we guilty of this too?
– Wanting a god we can carry around, but when he becomes inconvenient we can leave him behind.
– A god we can visit once a week and proclaim how awesome he is, and then walk around the rest of the week like we’re the center of the universe.
– A god we can use to intimidate opponents, but can be easily ignored after the fight is over.
– A god that can speak against other people, but can be silent whenever it’s time to talk about how we fall short
– A god we can learn about and maybe even understand, but never truly know.

In a world as fast-paced, and self-centered as our own, it’s so easy to settle for religion.

We can’t formulate our faith. We must maintain that connection to heart of our

What do you have? Something that’s real or just religion?

The default mode of the human heart is religion. What’s the solution?

“Revivals and renewals are necessary because the default mode of the human heart is works-righteousness.”

Tim Keller

Moses was the only one invited up the mountain,
But Jesus’ cross changes things.

Romans 3:21-24

We’re all invited up the mountain.
We’re all invited into the cloud of God’s presence.
We’re all invited into a relationship with God.

An Invitation To Try Again

Sometimes it’s good to give up somethings…

  • Things that don’t matter
  • Things that are destroying your life
  • Things that are keeping you from the people you love

But what about when we quit the things that really matter?
What about when we quit the things that were helping us grow?
What about when we quit doing the thing we were created to do?

Three things that cause us to quit…

1. We get distracted

1 Corinthians 9:24-25

We have to be sure the things we are going after are the things that really count.

2. We get comfortable

For too long we’ve bought the lie that if we don’t feel passionate about something, that’s a  good reason to quit. But in reality, we lose our passion because we have failed to do the simple things that keep the fire going.

Hebrews 12:11

If you’ve neglected to do the simple things, it’s time to try again.

3. We get scared

Hebrews 11

Hebrews 12:1-2

It would be so sad for us to miss this invitation to be part of what God is doing in the world because we’re distracted, or lazy or too scared to even try.

An Invitation to Believe Again

Why does our world just seem to be getting more cynical, more untrusting, more skeptical?
– As Christians, I think this isn’t a trend we can follow.

Another name we’ve been called is believers. Believing is what we’re known for.
Hebrew 11:6

Matthew 14:22-33

That’s what Jesus does is He looks into our lives —the mess ups, the doubts, the stupid mistakes—and says “Come on.”


He believes in us. And we should believe in ourselves.


He loves us and He believes in us enough to die for us.


And if that’s possible, what isn’t?

  • If the divide that sin had created, the rift between God and man, could be mended… what is too hard for God?
  • If He would die to claim us as His own, what would He not do?
  • If He can love us at our darkest, who is beyond the reach of His grace?
  • If He can defeat death, what enemy can’t He stand against?
  • Are there truly any hopeless situations once Jesus is involved?

To follow Jesus is to believe the impossible.

  • Who should be more optimistic than followers of Jesus?

 

Where have you given up in your life?

The cross is an invitation to believe again.

 

I’m not saying God’s given you a blank check, and that if you just believe hard enough God will do whatever you want.
I’m saying there are some things YOU KNOW God wants to do in your life—heal you both physically and spiritually, destroy life-stealing habits, help you make a difference in the lives of those around you, and be a positive influence in the world—but He can’t do any of that if you’ve already given up.

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. – John 14:12

Here’s what I know
God does the impossible…
He has done it in my life, and He has done it in yours
And He’s not finished yet
He wants to do the impossible in the lives of others
And He wants to use us to do it.