The Image of God—A.W. Tozer

Read carefully. A reading from “Why We Must Think Rightly About God,” from The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer:

“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 [group] has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.

For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and 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. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God, just as her most significant message is what she says about Him or leaves unsaid, for her silence is often more eloquent than her speech. She can never escape the self-disclosure of her witness concerning God.

Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, “What comes into your mind when you think about God?” we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man. Were we able to know exactly what our most influential religious leaders think of God today, we might be able with some precision to foretell where the Church will stand tomorrow…

That our ideas of God correspond as nearly as possible to the true being of God is of immense importance to us. Compared with our actual thoughts about Him, our creedal statements are of little consequence. Our real idea of God may lie buried under the rubbish of conventional religious notions and may require an intelligent and vigorous search before it is finally unearthed and exposed for what it is. Only after an ordeal of painful self-probing are we likely to discover what we actually believe about God.” —A.W. Tozer

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Sermon-LiveGenerous—Thankful and Obedient

This is a sermon I preached on October 28th, 2012, at CrossPoint EightTen during the LiveGenerous series. I was asked to preach specifically on tithing and Luke 17:1-21.

First and foremost (again): There is so much more going on in this amazing passage than I am able to get into here, not to mention the awesomely confusing verses that immediately follow. I was asked to speak on tithing. Is this passage about tithing? Not really. But it does deal with thankfulness and obedience in a sense, and since the series was on tithing, I wanted to make the connection that we give tithe to our local church out of thankfulness and obedience for God’s faithfulness to us, and so that money does not become our god.

Also, in the beginning of the sermon I way oversell the self-deprecating, disappointed church-goer bit about the sermon being on tithing. I did this out of iniquity in me regarding this subject and myself. Made aware of this after, these are things the Lord and I are working on. Also, the sermon is not nearly as much about about tithing as it is our reaction to God’s activity.

Amendment: About 20 minutes in I say that CrossPoint is able to give away millions of dollars a year to help people in need. This is not true, I did not take a close enough look at the budget, but they do help people in all the ways mentioned. I apologize for the mistake.

October 28, 2012 from CrossPoint EightTen on Vimeo.

Sermon-The Temptation of Jesus

This is a sermon I gave at CrossPoint EightTen on September 2nd, 2012, regarding the temptation of Jesus account in Luke 4:1-12.

First and foremost: There is so much more going on in this passage than I touch on here that it pains me to post this. I have trust in the Holy Spirit of God to help us glean truth from this, but this sermon is certainly not the final word on the passage. Dive in for yourself, read the passage in the context of the Luke’s entire narrative as well as its immediate surroundings, discuss with people close to you and in your church (hopefully those are some of the same people), and begin to see for yourselves the tremendous implications of this passage.

A couple other things: The beginning of the sermon is brutal; awful delivery of a joke I had no real grasp of in the first place, and later on I steal a bit from Dallas area pastor, Matt Chandler, so bear with me on that. And thank you, Matt.

What I was hoping for with this message is to talk about Jesus as the most human human. Or the one human who is truly human in all the ways that God has desired and designed us to be human. I wanted to show that through his temptation he identifies with all of us, displaying for us and freeing us to be truly human. Whether I accomplished this or not I will let you decide.

Here’s the potential controversy: I call people to personal responsibility. I have at times, in a manner of words, essentially been accused of moralistic deism. That by our own effort we can earn salvation apart from the grace of God. I do not believe this. But I also do not believe in using the devil, or the story of Adam and Eve and concept of “original sin” as a scapegoat from personal responsibility; from being the image bearers of God. Sometimes life beats the crap out of us. Other times we force life’s hand.

September 2, 2012 from CrossPoint EightTen on Vimeo.