Summary: We can do nothing without being connected to the Lord.
Are You Connected?
* Let’s think about being ‘connected’ or getting reconnected to God.
* I begin with a long statement: This culture (American) is on a collision course with God. We are decaying at the roots and disintegrating at the fruits while we have more ‘church buildings,’ ‘church ministries’, ‘church members’, and ‘resources’ than in any time in the history of America and maybe, mankind.
* This is not going to be a ‘traditional’ message where I land on only one scripture passage and kind of ‘tear it apart’ with a lesson (although we’ll end in that fashion). Additionally, this may not even be considered a ‘sermon’ – but rather a talk.
* Every one of us here tonight is concerned about this church. We all share this concern. Most American congregations are concerned about their particular church because up to 90% of churches are plateaued and/or declining. Of the churches which are ‘growing’, very few are growing by transfer growth as opposed to transformational growth. In other words, we are swapping sheep. It is this truth which causes me to offer this message.
* It does seem that perhaps we are all concerned about the wrong things. We get concerned when the attendance, offerings, and other ministries decrease. While these may be sad and bad, are these truly the top indicators which should concern us.
* For me, I say ‘no’. The big concern should not rest on what we see but whom we seek. Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God (where God is King) and all these things will be added unto you.” Put in a simplistic question; Is God and HIS will the center focus of His people in this place?
* Let me briefly run around 3 topics and then close with an answer.
1. The People of God – These are people who are chosen to do God will. In the New Testament, when you are saved, you have been chosen of God to fill and fulfill His plan. His plan is the redemption of mankind. (John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9). However, God’s people have a history of ‘not’ following God. (Exodus 32)
a. They Rejected God’s Man – (Verse 1) Look at all these words ‘this Moses’, ‘The man’, and “we don’t know what happened to Him.” Know what is more than a little interesting to me? Moses was called by God, was right where God wanted Him, and was doing what God wanted him to do; standing face to face with God on behalf of the people and they threw him under the bus! They rejected Moses because he wasn’t doing what they wanted, where they wanted, and like they wanted so he wasn’t good enough.
b. They Resisted God’s Plan – (Verse 2) God’s plan was for them to wait on HIM. Sometimes God calls us to wait. So Aaron (God’s concession to Moses) took valuable materials from them. God had not asked them to give like this! God wanted His people to depend on Him and Aaron decided to save His own neck, respond to their crazy request, and do what he could do; and he made a calf. It was a golden calf. It was probably worth a lot of money.
c. They Replaced God – They set up the golden calf and said, “This is your God!” Think about how crazy this really is! They said, “This is the God who brought you up from Egypt. (A few minutes earlier this ‘god’ didn’t even exist so how did he bring them up out of Egypt! Also, about all they had done to this point was gripe about God–so it’s a wonder, they didn’t melt him down.
d. They Reveled in their actions – (Verse 6) This verse tells us that they mocked, made sport of, and ran wild before this god. They literally, had an orgy while they were worshipping their god.
* If God’s people don’t stay connected to Jehovah and slip into sin, they are capable of ungodly behavior. The result of which will bring shame, disgrace, and dishonor to Christ’s name.
2. The Word of God – Rick Warren has been heard to say, “The American Believer has a big head and little heart” which is to say, that we have much of the Bible in our head but have not taken it in our hearts. Information in your head does not always translate into inspiration in your heart.
* Think about it this way: How much of God’s word have you been taught? Whatever failures I’ve had over the past 6+ years, it has not been at this point. I submit that our previous pastor did the same. Think about the number of Sunday school lessons you’ve heard. We have enough Bible information to float a battleship.