Why I Preached on Knowing, Experiencing & Desiring God for 12 Weeks

This past Sunday I preached a sermon that was so big to me, that I wanted to post my notes here. Without getting to long here in this introduction, there are few books that have changed my life and my thinking like “Desiring God” by John Piper. I read this book after Ed Stetzer recommended it to me. My only wish now is that I could have read it earlier in my ministry life. Sunday’s sermon was based on a short insert that Piper did after being asked why he wrote the book. After I read and reread Desiring God I had to find away to get these points in this series hence this past Sunday’s sermon. Enjoy! -jon

I have gotten told quite a few times over the last few weeks that this sermon series has been amazing. Many in our church have started a life transformation of desiring God. With this in mind comes the question, why did I preach this series? Here’s why:

My Pleasure! 

And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all.  (2 Corinthians 2:3 ESV 

And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. (1 John 1:4 ESV)

When you are a starving man among starving people and you discover food, you become obligated to tell the others about the food that will save them. The delight is not in just that you get to eat, but I that helped others get to the table so that they can eat. Talking about how important God is a delight for God is delightful. My desire in talking here is to double my joy in God’s banquet of grace by sharing it with as many as I can. I preached this so that you can eat and so that you can be full.

God is dope.

There is nothing better than Jesus. He is awesome. Breathtaking, awe-inspiring and amazing beyond normal comprehension.

One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4 ESV) 

…I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:1-3 ESV)

As a pastor, teacher, counselor, friend and preacher, I find myself many times seeing myself as a tour guide. People are longing for beauty & grace  and here we are on this ride of life. Most are looking at the floor, some stairing at themselves and it is my job to get you to look up, to look out the window so that you can see what great and mighty things God is doing so that you can see God.

The Book says so

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4 ESV) 

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. (Philippians 4:4 ESV)

Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things, therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything. And he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you. (Deuteronomy 28:47-48 ESV)

God commands us to delight in the lord, to pursue joy. Friend, knowing God, experiencing God and desiring God is not a philosophy of hypothetical words, but rather it is right out of the book we are reading. The book commands us to pursue joy, and the best joy is found in God.

Religion Sucks. True Religion Rocks.

It astonishing to me that so many people think that true christianity is defined by decisions rather than real affections, real deeds and real living.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27 ESV)

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9 ESV)

Fakers.

There are alot of people that are fake. Fakers are those that claim to be what they are not. I wrote this series so that those that are fakin can get real and those that think its ok to say one thing and do another will stop.

so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:7-10 ESV)

God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. (1 Corinthians 1:28-29 ESV)

Genuine Love for People

This thanksgiving this church gave out 104 turkeys, 160 boxes of groceries, 75 hot thanksgiving meals and signed up 100 kids for toys for Christmas and over 125 for Christmas groceries. This is my heart people. This is what we are supposed to be doing.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (1 John 5:2-4 ESV)

Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:33-34 ESV)

Glory to God

Everything we do should be for God’s glory because when we answer the question how important is God to you…we put God’s glory above above our pleasure. Our quest is not for our own pleasure but in our pleasure God’s glory, for joy is in God.

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:36 ESV)

What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. (Isaiah 1:11 ESV)

Our life’s purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. 

“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (Isaiah 58:13-14 ESV)

Notice that calling the sabbath a delight is parallel to calling the holy day of lord honorable. This simple means you honor what you delight in. Or you glorify what you enjoy. The enjoyment and the glorification of God are one. His eternal purpose and our eternal pleasure unite. To magnify his name and multiply your joy is the reason I have preached this series.

The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever. 

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