What is God's purpose for our relationships? Is it to get all our needs met?
What is God's purpose for our relationships? Do they define us and give us value?
What is God's purpose for our relationships? Is it just pleasure and fun?
Thermometer Take the temp and reflect it
Thermostat Set the temp
Thermostat Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God. He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles
Thermostat Never a great idea to upset your people Esp. in matters of religion
He commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands. He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him
Removed idolatry And restored proper worship
He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the LORD gave him rest.
and the kingdom was at peace under him…the LORD gave him rest… War= our default Peace= common grace and provisional grace
When conflict comes: God, thank you that I've experienced peace up until now Give me wisdom for how to handle this
There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him… a man who stirs up dissension among brothers - Proverbs 6 Blessed are the peacemakers - Jesus God, help me to be a peacemaker
“Let us build up these towns,” he said to Judah, “and put walls around them, with towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the LORD our God; we sought him and he has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered.
Asa had an army of three hundred thousand men from Judah, equipped with large shields and with spears, and two hundred and eighty thousand from Benjamin, armed with small shields and with bows. All these were brave fighting men
Zerah the Cushite marched out against them with an army of thousands upon thousands and three hundred chariots, and came as far as Mareshah. Asa went out to meet him, and they took up battle positions in the Valley of Zephathah near Mareshah
Outgunned, outmanned… In trouble Peace treaty? Alliance with foreign king?
Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said, “LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. LORD, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.” Worship!
The LORD struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah… for the terror of the LORD had fallen on them
The LORD struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah… for the terror of the LORD had fallen on them Faith is NOT belief Faith is Reliance Upon and Action
"We're not enough" God is enough
When God allows fighting He's giving his children An opportunity to trust him
Judah prevails, Azariah speaks: The LORD is with you when you are with him
They entered into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul. All who would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman
They took an oath to the LORD with loud acclamation, with shouting and with trumpets and horns.
All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the LORD gave them rest on every side
All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. When you seek God Because you want to There's great joy When you seek him Because you have to There's hope, but not much joy
Seeking God means defining ourselves by Him Saying, "He's enough" even when I'm not
Thermostat King Asa also deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah. Asa cut it down, broke it up and burned it in the Kidron Valley. Thermostat King Asa also deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah. Asa cut it down, broke it up and burned it in the Kidron Valley.
I want a new god…one that does what he should
In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah
People are scared Judah is cut-off
What should Asa do?
Thermometer Asa then took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the LORD’s temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. Thermometer Asa then took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the LORD’s temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus.
“Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me” I am not enough I need YOU to make me strong
Worship: to ascribe worth or value Idolatry: to ascribe worth or value reserved for God to someone or something other than God
When we're not enough It's there to remind us That God is enough
Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his forces against the towns of Israel. They conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim and all the store cities of Naphtali
When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and abandoned his work. When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and abandoned his work.
It worked! I'm part of the cool team! I'm seen as tough I'm one of the pretty ones I'm accepted by the right people They know I'm successful
Getting the right result The wrong way Is still…wrong
At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand
By definition, trusting someone other than God means not trusting God = Idolatry
Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand.
God is enough Every time God is enough
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him Fully committed= singular, undivided
You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war. God's hand of protection is lifted
God's judgment= opportunity for repentance
Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people He stopped being defined by God And it ended badly
You and me…
Do we define ourselves by the people we hang with?
We will love people and use things Or we will use people and love things (comfort, security, image)
I need them to Give me value Make me feel secure Define me Be happy Complete me
My God Gives me value Is my security Defines me Gives me joy Completes me
My God Does Not Change Will Never Forsake
My God Defines Me
Otherwise it's Idolatry They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - Romans 1:25
When I am defined by My relationship with God It changes all other relationships
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! - 1 John 3:1 We represent God
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! - 1 John 3:1 We represent God We become…Theromostats
What is God's purpose for relationships?
For fellow believers: …Encourage one another …Spur one another on toward love and good deeds …Speak the truth in love with the goal of helping them become like Jesus
In other words, Be a thermostat pointing toward Jesus
Changes how I approach relationships: - What I can give, but get - Not about me- or you-but us in Christ - Words become vitally important - As do our actions
Is this how I approach My relationships with my Christian family? (Do they come away challenged and encouraged to live more for God?)
What is God's purpose for relationships?
For non-Christian friends: We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God
We want them to know the Love of our God More than we want To make them pleased with us We are thermostats Not thermometers
For a real child of God Relationships are always God-centered Not our desires Not our causes Not even our politics or denominations Just God
If I am complete in God (worship) I don't have to be complete in you (idolatry) And I have the freedom To seek your best Instead of my own