Summary: What God wants for our church this year.
Giving God More
Woodlawn Baptist Church
January 25, 2004
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan. And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a high mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him.”
This morning as we bring our Faith Promise Missions month to a close, I want to say a couple of things that have been on my mind. First, I want to thank you. In my opinion, moving from a week-long Faith Promise Conference to a month of Sunday morning guest missionaries and pastors last January and this year was one of the best things we could have done for our church. Many of you who are normally here on Sunday mornings may not have been able to attend nightly meetings for a week, and this gives you an opportunity to hear missionaries you would normally never meet. God is doing great things as He works in the lives of people all over our globe, from McKinney, where Kevin Clinton is laboring, to the fields of Kosova, where David Helmick is moving. I trust that God has touched your heart through the messages from these men of God. Last week we heard from a seasoned missionary’s pastor, a former missionary himself who has used Faith Promise and knows that God can and will use us to get His work done if we’ll allow Him to.
I also want to thank you for being the kind of church that will allow me to bring in a month of guest preachers on Sunday mornings. There are many churches that have this unbiblical mindset that they pay the pastor to preach every service, and if he’s not preaching then he’s not earning his keep. God has called me to be your pastor, and you have the privilege and responsibility of supporting me as I labor among you, and sometimes the best way for me to lead you is to allow God to speak through others, which is what He has been doing. He has certainly used each of these men to minister to me, and even more so as I have enjoyed having them in my home and picking their minds. These last few weeks have been a very refreshing time of spiritual renewal and concentration; a time that I have used to determine where God would have me to lead you this year and what He would have me to share with you in the months to come, so you have only to gain from allowing me to be out of the pulpit for these last few weeks.
So, what has God been speaking to me in those moments of study and prayer? I think the passage we read a moment ago contains many of the thoughts that God has expressed to me in the last several weeks, and I want to share with you those thoughts this morning.
God Is Passionately Committed To His Glory
Did you ever stop to think that God is supremely self-centered? We’ve all met people who were self-centered, and at times most of us can be that way, but ours is a self-centeredness that arises out of deceived hearts, we think more of ourselves than we ought. God on the other hand can be self-centered and in fact is! The most God-centered being in the universe is God Himself, and it is imperative that we get a hold of this truth. Isaiah 42:8 says,
“I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”
Isaiah 48:11 adds,
“For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? And I will not give my glory unto another.”
Everything God does is done for this one ultimate purpose – to bring honor and glory to Himself! Why is that so important?
“Because many people are willing to be God-centered as long as they feel that God is man-centered. It is a subtle danger. We may think we are centering our lives on God, when we are really making Him a means to self-esteem…God loves His glory more than He loves us and that this is the foundation of His love for us.”