Ignite Your Intimacy I could have titled this presentation: Ignite Your Passion James 3:5b …Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. Passion is the forest fire set on fire by the spark of intimacy. If there is one thing that God wants from His people, it is intimacy!
Uncaused First Cause I want you to come on a journey with me In your imagination! Back before the Cross; before the Patriarchs; before the flood; before Eden, back before even creation itself. What was in existence?
Uncaused First Cause ONLY GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT – THE TRINITY. Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. Ex Nihilo – out of nothing!
If we could have been a "fly on the wall" in the camber of that relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, what would we observe? But for some reason, in the midst of the glory, through the ecstasy of intimacy, God wanted something more from that perfect relationship. WHY? What was it that He yearned for? INDESCRIBABLE GLORY PERFECT HARMONYABOUNDING LOVEJOY UNSPEAKABLECONSUMMATE UNITYand PERFECT PEACE
Uncaused First Cause What is the first passage of the Bible Narrative? (The Chronological Bible) John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him; and without Him nothing was made that was made. Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God (Elohim = plural) created the heavens and the earth.
Uncaused First Cause What was in the mind of God when He decided to create a universe? Firstly, let me say, we cannot know the mind of God However, He does give us some hints! God determined to bring another creature into that perfect, eternal relationship - for a reason. We get a small insight into this in Ephesians 2:4-7
Uncaused First Cause Ephesians 2:4-7 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Uncaused First Cause God has created us to be, for all eternity, exhibits of His grace and mercy. But it goes deeper than that. There is a much more fundamental purpose for this exhibition of God's grace expressed towards His church. What is it? I believe it goes back to that time prior to creation. What was in the heart of the father? We get some insight into this from Ephesians 3:8-11
Eternal Mystery Ephesians 3:8-11 8 Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to His eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Eternal Mystery Again, in Romans 16:25-27, we read; 25 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey Him -- 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen. WHAT IS THIS MYSTERY?
Family of God What is a Father? A Father is one who has children! The whole concept of Fatherhood is procreation – reproduction. Now, follow me here with a little deductive reasoning! The Biblical model for fatherhood is within the ??? FAMILY!
Family of God What is a family? Father, mother and, ultimately, children. Who established this model? God did! Upon what did He base this model? Upon His own relationship! FIRST COMES THE SPIRITUAL, THEN THE NATURAL
Family of God God established the family as a picture of His love and desire for relationship. So, for us who have come into a personal relationship with God, who are we? What is our identity? We are: The Church Universal The household of God The Temple of God The body of Christ THE BRIDE OF CHRIST
Family of God We are part of the blood bought bride of the Lamb of God! Purchased by the shedding of His precious blood, glorious, perfect, without spot or wrinkle. Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Family of God So what was in the heart of the Father way back before that very first creative act? I believe it was to provide a Bride for His beloved Son! God did not just want galaxies and solar systems and suns and planets! He did not just want angels and archangels and cherubim and seraphim! He did not just want animals and birds and fish and plants! He did not just want men and women, boys and girls!
Family of God He wanted, and is preparing, a BRIDE for His beloved SON! And WE are that BRIDE! We, the universal Church of Jesus Christ, are the very object of that mystery kept hidden from ages past. How should this impact us? The primary impact should be in our relationship with Him. What does the Bridegroom want from His Bride?
Intimacy Picture this scene with me: A wife comes in for her daily appointment with her husband Its early, because she has so much else to do during the day. This happens the same time every day, always conducted in the same manner She comes in with her requests –
Intimacy Dear, there are several things I need today… I need some more money because I want to buy that new handbag I saw in the shops, I need you to make sure the garbage bins are put out, The lawn needs mowing and the windows must be washed. And by the way, please call Aunt Muriel and see how she is doing. She needs her light fixed also, so be a dear and get that done! Thats all I can think of for now, so Ill see you again tomorrow morning. Bye.
Intimacy How long would that relationship last? And yet, how often do we treat the Lord like that? We say that we have our quiet times and we even put aside a regular time for it. But how do we really conduct our relationship with the Father? What is it He wants? He wants… INTIMACY!
Intimacy Now picture the alternative with me! The husband is sitting watching his favourite TV programme – the Bokkers vs the Wallabies! Suddenly, his wife appears by his side and snuggles down next to him. NOW what does SHE want, he thinks!
Intimacy So he says: Is there something I can do for you, dear? She replies: No, thank you Sweetheart. I just want to be with you! Him: Do you want me to change the channel? Channel 3 is playing The Notebook. I wouldnt mind watching that with you. Her: Oh, No, Sweetheart. I know how much you love to see the Wallabies get trounced! Ill watch the game with you!
Intimacy Him (after a while of contented snuggling): You sure there is nothing you need, dear? Her: Not really. I was just wondering how I am going to get through everything. Him: Dont give it a second thought, honey. Ill put out the garbage later and Ill have the lawn mowed first thing tomorrow. Ill clean the windows as well. I know theyve been bothering you. By the way, I know you liked that handbag in the shops today. I saw a pair of shoes that would suit it really well, also. Why dont you go and buy them tomorrow? Oh, yes, I thought youd like to know I will be calling in on Aunt Muriel to make sure shes OK. Ill do any fix-it jobs she needs done.
Intimacy Her: Oh, thank you, sweetheart. You are so thoughtful. You look after me so wonderfully well! You dont think it works that way? Ladies, just try it! See what a difference it makes! And guys – when they do, make sure you notice… And respond appropriately! You see, thats the way it works with God. He wants relationship. He wants intimacy with us. He wants to fellowship with us. He wants our time and our attention, not just our shopping list! And He knows our need, even before we ask!
Intimacy Why does God want intimacy with us? He has modelled our Earthly relationships on His Heavenly relationship! When He created mankind, He made us to be just like Him! He made us for intimacy in our relationships because that is what He has and what He wants with us – He is creating a Bride for the King of the Universe!
Intimacy We are part of the blood bought Bride of the Lamb of God, purchased by the shedding of His precious blood, glorious, perfect, without spot or wrinkle. He was, and is, preparing a BRIDE for His beloved SON! And WE ARE that BRIDE!!! So people, if we are His Bride, if we are the focus of His desire for intimacy, how does He look upon us? What does He want for us? The very same thing any bridegroom would want for His intended Bride.
What does the Bridegroom want? 1. He wants to enjoy intimacy with us, ALL the time. 2. He wants us to recognize Him for who He is! 3. He wants us to recognize Him as the source of all we have. 4. He wants us to receive all that He has bestowed upon us. 5. He wants us to see that our destiny is with Him. 6. He wants us to walk in the authority He has given us. 7. He wants us to use the gifts He has given us.
Ignite Your Intimacy Just for a moment, lets go back to our couple watching TV. I wonder what lay in store for them later in the evening? Im sure there was a deepening of their intimacy! And that intimacy was the spark that becomes a raging fire of PASSION! You see, thats how we ignite our passion for serving the King of Kings! IGNITE YOUR INTIMACY… IGNITE YOUR PASSION!!!
IGNITE YOUR PASSION You may well ask; What does this have to do with Christian Education? Firstly, I believe that if we are to train our children effectively, we must have a clear vision of our destiny. A ships captain cannot navigate effectively unless he knows the destination! Secondly, if we correctly understand the Fathers purpose, we can intentionally walk in conformity to that purpose; and we can teach our children to do the same!
IGNITE YOUR PASSION Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Thirdly, if we understand our destiny and our purpose, then it gives us greater motivation to bring others into the destiny that we have been created to enjoy. Finally, it gives us focus on how we are to relate to our Bridegroom on our journey through this temporal world.
IGNITE YOUR PASSION Let me leave you with a final word of encouragement. Matthew 28:18, 19a Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go … King Jesus has commissioned His Bride to go in His authority –
IGNITE YOUR PASSION Lets remember: The power of heaven stands behind the command of the Lion of Judah to: Protect His Bride; Fulfil His purpose; Call men to repentance Train His children!
IGNITE YOUR PASSION Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. Are you ready? IGNITE YOUR INTIMACY … IGNITE YOUR PASSION … IGNITE YOUR PURPOSE … FULFIL YOUR DESTINY? Ready to…