Summary: A message to encourage passionate pursuit of God in people’s lives.
“The Journey of the Heart”
June 4, 2006
Introduction: Today we are going to begin a series looking at what we are about as a church. We are going to look at what scripture has to say about our lives and how we are to live them to make them count.
Everyone wants to have a life that counts. No one is really interested in simply existing. While that may be good for a while and we may like the freedom that a vacation may bring, ultimately we must all pursue something in our life. We must be on a journey toward something or someone. Over the next few weeks I want to help us to realize that life is a journey or a quest and that we are called to live it out to its fullest potential.
The dictionary defines a quest as a seeking or a journey for adventure.
The problem is that we often don’t know where to look. We seek signs to guide our journey, but often they just leave us more confused.
How do we begin to make sense out of life?
What is the point of the journey we are on?
The greatest of all human quests is the desire to know God.
Scripture tells us over and over again to seek God and to learn his word.
“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV)
“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11 (NIV)
The nation of Israel took seriously the idea of knowing God and his word. It was the greatest commandment for their lives.
“Attention, Israel! God, our God! God the one and only! Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you; love him with all you’ve got! Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (The Message)
The way that we get to know God is through his revelation to us. God reached into the lives of man and helped us to see who he is and what he is like.
The journey of the heart is the journey toward God.
Our focus and our energy must begin to be shaped around the idea of getting to know God better.
When Jesus was pressed about the greatest thing that a man can do, he outlined the journey of our lives.
“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)
The beginning point of our life quest is to pursue God.
It is the first part of our church mission. It is what we as a church are all about.
“To passionately pursue God.”
It is worth noting that when God began to teach the Jewish people how to live, he started by how they should relate to him.
"You shall have no other gods before me.”You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you.” Deuteronomy 5:7-13 (NIV)
The first four commandments all center on our relationship to God.
It seems that God is interested in shaping the pursuits of our life.
The problem: Mankind has a distorted view of himself.
We have this “Disney” view of life that man is inherently good. However, the reality is that man is not basically good at his core. We are deceived in our thinking and our view of our own spiritual condition.