In the message I gave today I find myself getting really intense in the message today. Some people said I even came across as stern, but passionate over what I was talking about. I was. I feel very passionate about the idea of coming to church to experience God. I don’t understand why someone who says they follow Jesus will come to church and play on their cell phone, or flick someone’s ear as a joke, or just make comments about other people at church. What a waste of God’s time. Why do we settle for anything less than God?
There were a couple items I overlooked in my message I thought I would pass along. First, concerning sacred cows, those organizational memories, great memories, blessings of God, but we end up coming for them and not for God. The point I overlooked in my message today is this is an age old problem. In fact Jesus had to address this issue with the Pharisees, who had turned the Bible into a sacred cow. Listen to what he said, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” John 5:39 You can even turn the Bible into a sacred cow!
The second part had to do with the definition of a jealous God, which was not a jealous boyfriend that controls his girlfriend in unhealthy ways. The image the Hebrews had a jealous God was that of a mama bird protecting her chicks. Jealous God is a God that seeks to protect and help those he loves. It’s an incredible loving picture. Jesus reflected this attitude of a jealous God when he said about Israel, “How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.” Matthew 23:37
I hope you are catching on to the consuming fire that is our God. God’s name is Jealous. He is a consuming fire. May we accept no substitutes!