The Main Thing

 

The Main Thing

 My recent prayer retreat was a re-calibration.

Recalibrate: To make small changes to an instrument so that it measures accurately. To change the way think or do something.

The thing I got the most from this time alone with God was this:

The Main Thing is the keep the Main Thing the Main Thing.

Not just for me but to keep this before all of us.

          Life happens – we get busy – responsibilities – time limit – work – energy levels – health – family – financial issues – our ambitions and longings for things = all require our time and consume the life we have.

          God had a main purpose in mind when He created us.

What would you say is the Main thing? We all might disagree here.

Better – what does God say is the Main thing?

Jesus was asked this question more than once.

Teacher what is the greatest commandment (the Main Thing)  in the law?

Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”  
Matthew 22:37-40

This is so familiar we don’t take it seriously. It is a radical declaration.

I know some of you are thinking the preacher is going to tell us we are to love God with all our hearts. No, I am not going to tell you that you ought to do this. This is not an attainment or a goal for you to achieve. In fact, you can’t love God like this by making it your goal.

          It takes God to love God.

          Loving God with all of our heart does not start with us, it starts with God loving us with all His heart. In fact, it’s the only way He can love – with all His heart.

“God has sent forth into our hearts the Spirit of His Son, crying “Abba Father.” Gal. 4:6

          Every human born has this desire for God deep inside their hearts. If they try to fill this space with anything else – the cry still goes on.

We are designed by our Creator to seek God, then get to know Him, then to know Him will cause us to love Him.

 It is not that we try harder to love God with all our hearts. Instead, it is seeing God more clearly and then you naturally love Him.

Ill. Guy attracted and wants to know a girl. First he seeks after her. Some guys are more confident and bold here. I was so shy I would choke up if I tried to talk to Pam. Worried over what I could say!

There is a right way and wrong way to seek a girl = romance.

 In the next few weeks we will learn there is a right way to seek God = romance. His Word identifies how we are to seek Him.

It takes time. The more the guy seeks the girl, the more he gets to know her. Then the more he gets to know her then through time he discovers if he loves her.

How do you know if you love her?

Praise – give – service- sacrifice – faith – joy – hope –obedience

It is the same way with God.

Loving God is a PROCESS of:

          SEEKING GOD

          KNOWING GOD

          LOVING GOD

How do I know if I love God?

Praise – give – service- sacrifice – faith – joy – hope –obedience

Since God is perfect and doesn’t need anything. What value can God get by me loving Him? There must be something of value to God by me loving Him? He doesn’t need me to love Him.

But I am created in such a way if I don’t do this then my life will be unfulfilling no matter what outward success I have.

ill. We see this today in so many celebrities with outward success they would do anything for yet their lives inside are miserable.

Pic Jim Carey

Pic Johnny Depp

Pic of Angelina Jolie

Pic of Lady Gaga

          What do these famous celebrities have in common? Outward success according to the world but confess to being miserable in their soul.        

If this one thing is not fulfilled then I will end up stuck in life without satisfaction, or burned out, disappointed, and then bitterness will characterize my life and I will not finish well. Because this is what I a designed be and do by my Creator. It is the MAIN THING about my life.

On the other hand, if I do this I may still suffer persecution, hardships, disappointments, and some bitterness but it will not be the overall main story of my life. I will have issues but I will overcome because I am

Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing.

We are made for this. So where do we begin?

 It starts with recognizing that God is loving us with all His heart – because that is the only way He can love!

-        Even though we have sinned and are flawed He is still loving us.

-        The demands of His own law have not changed. The law says the soul that sins must die. The law cannot be changed – it can only be fulfilled.

-        So God Himself sent His Perfect Son Jesus to fulfill this law.

God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 
Romans 5:8

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

God is loving you right now. You might not have gushy feelings of being surrounded by His love – but it is there for you.

Ill. Did you know you can love your child and your child not receive your love? The same is true for God.

“He came to His own and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who received Him, to them He gave the power to become the sons of God, to those who believe on His name, who were born not of blood, nor of human will, but of God.”  John 1:11-13

You receive His love by receiving Him as Lord and God and only Savior.

          But here’s the deal. Once you receive His love and Jesus as Lord you must keep yourself in the love of God.

Jesus said, “Just as the Father loved Me, I also loved you. Remain in My love.” John 15:9

Remain in My love = indicates we can deviate from it.

“Keep yourself in the love of God . . .” Jude 21

“I pray the you be . . . rooted and grounded deeply in God’s love.” Eph. 3:14

Paul wrote the Corinthians;

“I am afraid just as the serpent deceived Eve through his subtlety, your minds may be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”  I Cor. 11:3

There was a mega church in Ephesus in the first century. They had everything going on and thousands of members. It was this church that first impacted Asia with the gospel. On the surface it was a great church but Jesus had something to say about it in Revelation.

 

“To the church of Ephesus. . . I know your works, your labor, your patience. You have endured and labored and not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. . .” Rev. 2:1-4

-       So subtle. They were serving God.  You have left the main thing.

-       By man’s measurements this is a successful church and ministry.

-       If I succeed outwardly but fail in this one thing – I still fail!

Read Luke 10:38-40.

Jesus answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things. But one thing is needful. And Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken from her.” Luke 10:41-42

Loving God is not an attainment. My part is to keep re-calibrating my heart to His so that His life flows easily through me.

The danger is you can be going through all the motions of the Xn life and not be fully alive like God intended. You are not fulfilling your purpose until you align your heart with His. Not that you do it perfectly but you are intentional and pursuing, seeking Him to know Him.

Concl: Jesus is not coming back for a burned out bride. He is coming back for a “prepared bride”. How do we prepare the bride?

The Main Thing is to keep the Main Thing the Main Thing!

          You like me may need to re-calibrate.

          “God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Heb. 11:6

This week decide how you are going to seek, pursue God, to know Him intimately so that you discover a love stronger than death itself.