Sermons

Summary: First in an eight part series on the attributes of God.

Actual warning labels from products

• Sign on the side of a massage chair: "Do not use massage chair without clothing."

• "Do not use snow blower on the roof."

• "Do not allow children to play in the dishwasher."

• A warning on an electric router made for carpenters: "This product not intended for use as a dental drill."

• On a baby stroller: "Remove child before folding."

• On a bottle of prescription sleeping pills: "Warning: May cause drowsiness."

• A sticker on a toilet at a public facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan: "Recycled flush water unsafe for drinking."

• An "Aim-n-Flame" fireplace lighter cautions: "Do not use near fire, flame, or sparks."

• On a cartridge for a laser printer: "Do not eat toner."

• On a household iron warns: "Never iron clothes while they are being worn."

• On a blanket from Taiwan: "Not to be used as protection from a tornado"

• On a Taiwanese shampoo bottle: "Use repeatedly for severe damage"

• On a hairdryer: "Do not use while sleeping"

• On a bag of corn chips: "You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside."

• On a bar of Dial soap: "Directions: Use like regular soap."

• On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding: "Product will be hot after heating"

• On a Korean kitchen knife: Warning: Keep out of children"

• On a string of Chinese-made Christmas lights: "For indoor or outdoor use only"

• On a Superman Halloween Costume: "This costume will not enable your children to fly"

Indebted to Chip Ingram and his book by the same title.

A.W. Tozer in Knowledge of the Holy:

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater that its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God. For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, as the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God.

Seeing God with 20/20 vision:

Illustration: LASIK surgery for my eyes. We need spiritual LASIK

1. God is not like us

"To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.

Isaiah 40:25 (NIV)

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8,9 (NIV)

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?" For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Romans 11:33-36 (NIV)

2. Left to ourselves, we tend to reduce God to manageable terms

• Trivializing God

Illustration: Exodus 32:1-6

• People had seen the power of the invisible God through his miracles (plagues, parting of the Red Sea, God’s presence through the pillar of cloud by day and fire at night

• Moses goes up on the mountain to receive the ten commandments and the people reduce God to something they can see and manage

How we do the same thing:

o We redefine God as the “self-help genie”

 We demand that God get busy and keep us comfortable and happy

o We reduce the Christian life to a formula

 If I read the Bible each day, say a few prayers, go to church every Sunday, give some money and read some Christian self-help books, then life will be great. I’ve done my part, so now God is obligated to do his part:

o Give me a great marriage

o Make all my kids turn out right

o Have all the possessions I want

o Keep me healthy

o Keep any bad things from happening to me

o Never allow me to get sad or depressed

• “Salad Bar” Religion

Pick and choose what we like from among all the different world religions:

• God is loving, so he couldn’t ever bring judgment

• I like heaven, but not hell

• Essentially this is nothing more than worship of self – we make God just like us.

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