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Summary: This sermon encourages folks to find their rest in His presence... that in His presence is fullness of joy!

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Soaking in His Love

May 27, 2001

1. Over the past few week’s we’ve been looking at Paul’s deep passion to know Jesus

- I want to know Him…

- One thing I do, forgetting what is behind…

- 3:8 I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus

2. We’ve seen this in the life of David

- One thing I shall seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to gaze upon His beauty and meditate in His temple.

- “When you said to me, “Seek my face”; with all my heart I said, “O Lord, Your face will I seek.”

- David not only had passion to know God but he understood that it was God’s passion to know Him… that God was, above anything else, calling David to seek His face in worship.

3. Looked at God’s warning to the Ephesian church in Rev. 2:1-7.

- Serving, sacrificial, persevering, discerning, wise, suffering church

- Seemed like the perfect church… influence by Paul, Timothy, and John (Mary died there)

- But in spite of these things… God had a serious problem… He didn’t need them to be a serving church… but was calling them to be a loving church.

- “I’ve called you to be lovers… but you’ve settled with being “workers”.

- And God would not allow them to go on just serving Him… He wanted their love… and so He tells them… “You have lost your first love” and you need to change this or else I will take your ministry away. For God, labor is no substitute for love.

- God knows that we can’t work our way into intimacy with Him… rather, it comes as we lay down our life and place ourselves in His loving presence.

- TEAM MISSION APPLICATION: Is your joy in LOVING Jesus or SERVING Jesus?

- I realized and continue to learn when to say “no” to the many things, which seem to require my time… and “yes” to the voice of my Father calling me to come away with Him and rest in the presence of Jesus.

4. This passion to know God and walk intimately with Him was shared by all those central people in Bible.

- Moses: After he led the Israelites out of captivity, he says, “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you.”

- The Lord replies, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then Moses says…

- “Now, Show me Your glory”

- While Moses had seen God’s glorious works, the glory he really longed for was God Himself. And what was God’s response to Moses’ heart to know Him more? A deeper perception of His abiding presence in Moses’ life. You see Moses felt He needed to climb the mountain to get to into God’s presence… but what God was saying now is that Moses could enter into the reality of His presence wherever he was.

- The important connection to make here is that we KNOW God and experience deeper intimacy in our relationship with Him to the degree that we rest in His presence.

5. Yet finding that rest is no small thing… we’re not a people who tends to rest well.

- By rest I’m not talking about ability to take naps… but a place of settledness where our hearts and minds are quieted in spite of the craziness of life.

- Yet so many things get in the way of that rest… things s/a

Busyness Hurts Stress from finances, work, or school

Struggles in relationships Undealt with sin. Tiredness Unforgiveness

- WHAT is in YOUR live that may be standing between you and experiencing deeper intimacy with the Father? Think of several things… perhaps during ministry time you’ll want to ask Him to help you with those things.

- You know, we don’t plan for our hearts to become distant because of these things… but in the midst of just living life, we can get so caught up in the doing that we forget to just “be” in His presence.

6. Bjorn… had a heart that melted toward God & loved His presence.

- I was challenged by Him and asked God to give me the same passion for His presence.

- I realized that I had b/c distant… looking back, I think the issues were tiredness. I asked God to stir in me a new hunger to know Him. “I thought you’d never ask!”

- And what I believe God began calling me to were times of “soaking prayer”. I didn’t call it that back then… but that’s what it was.

- God called me to that b/c He wanted access to me… so He could restore my strength, refresh my spirit, heal some hurts, and most of all, to lavish His love on me. 1John 3:1 says just this… that is it God’s desire to lavish His love on us.

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