Summary: Sermon’s purpose is to motivate people to pray, "God, give me your heart for lost people."
[This sermon is contributed by Hal Seed of New Song Church in Oceanside, California and of www.PastorMentor.com. Hal is the author of numerous books including The God Questions and The Bible Questions. If you are interested in The Bible Questions Church-wide Campaign, please visit and watch Hal’s video at www.PastorMentor.com.]
I believe that all of us came here today hoping to hear a word from God. Didn’t we? So I want to pray, and then I want to talk to you, from the Bible, about what God would say if you asked Him this question: What matters to You, God? What do You really care about? What’s really important to You?
Let’s pray. (prayer)
What’s really important to God? Is that of interest to you? I hope so, because I believe that it’s what God wants to talk to every one of us about that today. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that you’re in the room this morning/evening. I think God wants you to see your life in terms of these two categories.
So let’s talk about what really matters to God.
If you study the Bible you’ll discover that it says that GOD IS ON AN ALL-OUT SEARCH FOR TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE. Read it from cover to cover, and you’ll find that it pictures God in search mode. But He’s not like a casual shopper who strolls through the mall just to see what’s there. He’s intense and intent about finding and working with two kinds of people.
And all of us in this room can fit into one of these two categories.
There are actually about 4 kinds of people in this world, but God really only wants there to be two kinds. Have I peaked your curiosity yet about what those two kinds are?
My hope is that in the next half hour, you’re going to be able to diagnose the category you’re in right now and the category you want to be in.
So, let’s get at it. The first category of people that God is searching for are what He calls, THE FULLY COMMITTED.
The Fully Committed. Let me explain this to you.
One time in the O.T. a well-intentioned king of Israel named Asa came under attack from the neighbor to his north. Asa was a seasoned king who had been at war several times before, and in those previous battles, Asa’s strategy was to do the best he could to array his troops tactically, and then pray that God would fight for them.
And God always did. As a result, Asa never lost a battle.
One time Asa was attacked by a vastly superior force from Ethiopia. In customary fashion, he arrayed his troops, and then prayed. Let me read you the actual account from the Bible.
Once an Ethiopian named Zerah attacked Judah with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots. They advanced to the city of Mareshah, so Asa deployed his armies for battle in the valley north of Mareshah. – 2 Chronicles 14:9-10
Then Asa cried out to the Lord His God, “O Lord, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come against this vast horde. O Lord, you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against you!” – 2 Chronicles 14:11
That’s what Asa prayed. Here’s what happened:
So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians in the presence of Asa and the army of Judah, and the enemy fled. – 2 Chronicles 14:12
That’s background for what I want to tell you now.
Several years later, King Asa is older and more established. So when this king from the north attacks him, Asa’s reluctant to go into battle, because now he’s got more to lose than he used to when he was just a young king starting out.
So this time, in his conservative days, instead of going to battle, he takes money from his treasury and pays the king of Syria to attack his rival from his eastern flank. That way, Asa risks nothing.
He lets somebody else do his fighting for him.
Well, God is watching closely, like He always does when His people are in need. He knows all about the hostile king of Asa’s northern border. And He is so disappointed when Asa takes the comfortable way out that He sends a prophet to Asa, whose name is Hanani.
Here’s what happened:
Hanani the seer came to King Asa and told him, “Because you have put your trust in the king of Syria instead of in the Lord your God, you missed your chance… - 2 Chronicles 16:7
Don’t you remember what happened to the Ethiopians… and their vast army? At that time you relied on the Lord, and he handed them all over to you? – 2 Chronicles 16:8