IGNITE YOUR INTIMACY. Bob Gregory:. Ignite Your Intimacy. I could have titled this presentation: “Ignite Your Passion” James 3:5b …Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. Passion is the forest fire set on fire by the spark of intimacy.
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IGNITE YOUR INTIMACY Bob Gregory:
Ignite Your Intimacy • I could have titled this presentation: “Ignite Your Passion” • James 3:5b …Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. • Passion is the forest fire set on fire by the spark of intimacy. • If there is one thing that God wants from His people, it is intimacy!
Uncaused First Cause • I want you to come on a journey with me • In your imagination! • Back before the Cross; • before the Patriarchs; • before the flood; • before Eden, • back before even creation itself. • What was in existence?
Uncaused First Cause • ONLY GOD • GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT – THE TRINITY. • Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. • Ex Nihilo – out of nothing!
Uncaused First Cause • If we could have been a "fly on the wall" in the camber of that relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, what would we observe? • But for some reason, in the midst of the glory, through the ecstasy of intimacy, God wanted something more from that perfect relationship. • WHY? What was it that He yearned for? INDESCRIBABLE GLORY PERFECT HARMONY ABOUNDING LOVE JOY UNSPEAKABLE CONSUMMATE UNITY and PERFECT PEACE
Uncaused First Cause • What is the first passage of the Bible Narrative? • (The Chronological Bible) • John 1:1-3 • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him; and without Him nothing was made that was made. • Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God (Elohim = plural) created the heavens and the earth.
Uncaused First Cause • What was in the mind of God when He decided to create a universe? • Firstly, let me say, we cannot know the mind of God • However, He does give us some hints! • God determined to bring another creature into that perfect, eternal relationship - for a reason. • We get a small insight into this in Ephesians 2:4-7
Uncaused First Cause • Ephesians 2:4-7 • 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, • 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), • 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, • 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Uncaused First Cause • God has created us to be, for all eternity, exhibits of His grace and mercy. • But it goes deeper than that. There is a much more fundamental purpose for this exhibition of God's grace expressed towards His church. • What is it? • I believe it goes back to that time prior to creation. • What was in the heart of the father? • We get some insight into this from Ephesians 3:8-11
Eternal Mystery • Ephesians 3:8-11 • 8 Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, • 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. • 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, • 11 according to His eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Eternal Mystery • Again, in Romans 16:25-27, we read; • 25 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, • 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey Him -- • 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen. • WHAT IS THIS MYSTERY?
Family of God • What is a Father? • A Father is one who has children! • The whole concept of Fatherhood is procreation – reproduction. • Now, follow me here with a little deductive reasoning! • The Biblical model for fatherhood is within the ??? • FAMILY!
Family of God • What is a family? • Father, mother and, ultimately, children. • Who established this model? • God did! • Upon what did He base this model? • Upon His own relationship! • FIRST COMES THE SPIRITUAL, THEN THE NATURAL
Family of God • God established the family as a picture of His love and desire for relationship. • So, for us who have come into a personal relationship with God, who are we? • What is our identity? We are: • The Church Universal • The household of God • The Temple of God • The body of Christ • THE BRIDE OF CHRIST
Family of God • We are part of the blood bought bride of the Lamb of God! • Purchased by the shedding of His precious blood, glorious, perfect, without spot or wrinkle. • Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. • Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Family of God • So what was in the heart of the Father way back before that very first creative act? • I believe it was to provide a Bride for His beloved Son! • God did not just want galaxies and solar systems and suns and planets! • He did not just want angels and archangels and cherubim and seraphim! • He did not just want animals and birds and fish and plants! • He did not just want men and women, boys and girls!
Family of God • He wanted, and is preparing, a BRIDE for His beloved SON! • And WE are that BRIDE! • We, the universal Church of Jesus Christ, are the very object of that mystery kept hidden from ages past. • How should this impact us? • The primary impact should be in our relationship with Him. • What does the Bridegroom want from His Bride?
Intimacy • Picture this scene with me: • A wife comes in for her daily appointment with her husband • Its early, because she has so much else to do during the day. • This happens the same time every day, always conducted in the same manner • She comes in with her requests –
Intimacy • Dear, there are several things I need today… • I need some more money because I want to buy that new handbag I saw in the shops, • I need you to make sure the garbage bins are put out, • The lawn needs mowing and the windows must be washed. • And by the way, please call Aunt Muriel and see how she is doing. She needs her light fixed also, so be a dear and get that done! • That’s all I can think of for now, so I’ll see you again tomorrow morning. Bye.
Intimacy • How long would that relationship last? • And yet, how often do we treat the Lord like that? • We say that we have our quiet times and we even put aside a regular time for it. • But how do we really conduct our relationship with the Father? • What is it He wants? He wants… INTIMACY!
Intimacy • Now picture the alternative with me! • The husband is sitting watching his favourite TV programme – • the Bokkersvs the Wallabies! • Suddenly, his wife appears by his side and snuggles down next to him. • NOW what does SHE want, he thinks!
Intimacy • So he says: • “Is there something I can do for you, dear?” • She replies: • “No, thank you Sweetheart. I just want to be with you!” • Him: “Do you want me to change the channel? Channel 3 is playing ‘The Notebook.’ I wouldn’t mind watching that with you.” • Her: “Oh, No, Sweetheart. I know how much you love to see the Wallabies get trounced! I’ll watch the game with you!”
Intimacy • Him (after a while of contented snuggling): • “You sure there is nothing you need, dear?” • Her: “Not really. I was just wondering how I am going to get through everything.” • Him: “Don’t give it a second thought, honey. I’ll put out the garbage later and I’ll have the lawn mowed first thing tomorrow. I’ll clean the windows as well. I know they’ve been bothering you. By the way, I know you liked that handbag in the shops today. I saw a pair of shoes that would suit it really well, also. Why don’t you go and buy them tomorrow? Oh, yes, I thought you’d like to know I will be calling in on Aunt Muriel to make sure she’s OK. I’ll do any fix-it jobs she needs done.”
Intimacy • Her: “Oh, thank you, sweetheart. You are so thoughtful. You look after me so wonderfully well!” • You don’t think it works that way? • Ladies, just try it! See what a difference it makes! • And guys – when they do, make sure you notice… • And respond appropriately! • You see, that’s the way it works with God. • He wants relationship. He wants intimacy with us. He wants to fellowship with us. He wants our time and our attention, not just our shopping list! • And He knows our need, even before we ask!
Intimacy • Why does God want intimacy with us? • He has modelled our Earthly relationships on His Heavenly relationship! • When He created mankind, He made us to be just like Him! • He made us for intimacy in our relationships because that is what He has and what He wants with us – • He is creating a Bride for the King of the Universe!
Intimacy • We are part of the blood bought Bride of the Lamb of God, purchased by the shedding of His precious blood, glorious, perfect, without spot or wrinkle. • He was, and is, preparing a BRIDE for His beloved SON! • And WE ARE that BRIDE!!! • So people, if we are His Bride, if we are the focus of His desire for intimacy, how does He look upon us? • What does He want for us? • The very same thing any bridegroom would want for His intended Bride.
What does the Bridegroom want? • He wants to enjoy intimacy with us, ALL the time. • He wants us to recognize Him for who He is! • He wants us to recognize Him as the source of all we have. • He wants us to receive all that He has bestowed upon us. • He wants us to see that our destiny is with Him. • He wants us to walk in the authority He has given us. • He wants us to use the gifts He has given us.
Ignite Your Intimacy • Just for a moment, let’s go back to our couple watching TV. • I wonder what lay in store for them later in the evening? • I’m sure there was a deepening of their intimacy! • And that intimacy was the spark that becomes a raging fire of PASSION! • You see, that’s how we ignite our passion for serving the King of Kings! • IGNITE YOUR INTIMACY… • IGNITE YOUR PASSION!!!
IGNITE YOUR PASSION • You may well ask; “What does this have to do with Christian Education?” • Firstly, I believe that if we are to train our children effectively, we must have a clear vision of our destiny. • A ship’s captain cannot navigate effectively unless he knows the destination! • Secondly, if we correctly understand the Father’s purpose, we can intentionally walk in conformity to that purpose; and we can teach our children to do the same!
IGNITE YOUR PASSION • Ephesians 2:10 • For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. • Thirdly, if we understand our destiny and our purpose, then it gives us greater motivation to bring others into the destiny that we have been created to enjoy. • Finally, it gives us focus on how we are to relate to our Bridegroom on our journey through this temporal world.
IGNITE YOUR PASSION • Let me leave you with a final word of encouragement. • Matthew 28:18, 19a Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go …” • King Jesus has commissioned His Bride to go in His authority –
IGNITE YOUR PASSION • Let’s remember: • The power of heaven stands behind the command of the Lion of Judah to: • Protect His Bride; • Fulfil His purpose; • Call men to repentance • Train His children!
IGNITE YOUR PASSION • Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. • Are you ready? • IGNITE YOUR INTIMACY … • IGNITE YOUR PASSION … • IGNITE YOUR PURPOSE … • FULFIL YOUR DESTINY? Ready to…