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G od: Our Ultimate Reference Point. By Jeremy Lelek, Ph.D. God: Our Ultimate Reference Point. “No finite point has meaning without an infinite reference point.” John Paul Sarte. “I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after the wind.”

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g od our ultimate reference point

God: Our Ultimate Reference Point

By Jeremy Lelek, Ph.D.

god our ultimate reference point

God: Our Ultimate Reference Point

“No finite point has meaning without an infinite reference point.”

John Paul Sarte

“I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after the wind.”

King Solomon (Ecclesiastes 1:14)

god our ultimate reference point1

God: Our Ultimate Reference Point

Reference Point:

An indicator that orients you generally.

we exist in many contexts1

We Exist In Many Contexts

Location

Situation

we exist in many contexts3

We Exist In Many Contexts

God

“In him we live and move and have our being…”

Acts 17:28

god s faithfulness to reveal himself

God’s Faithfulness to Reveal Himself

“And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and feed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (Deut. 8:2-3)

“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deut. 29:29)

god our final reference point

Psalm 139: 1-10; 13-16

  • God knows when we sit and rise.
  • God is intimately aware of our thoughts.
  • God is well acquainted with all our ways.
  • God knows our words before we speak them.
  • God surrounds/consumes us.
  • We cannot escape His Spirit.
  • In the most desolate places, He is present.
  • God was present at our conception.
  • God saw our unformed bodies.
  • God has already fashioned our days.

God: Our Final Reference Point

god our final reference point1

“And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after the wind.”

Ecclesiastes 1:13-14

God: Our Final Reference Point

god our final reference point2

The wise author highlights a very important existential truth: at the end of the day, if life is about what is “under heaven” alone, then nothing ultimately matters. It is all vanity! Therefore, if we are to find meaning in our marriages and relationships there must be more. Finding kinder ways to communicate may make life much more convenient, but such changes are ultimately meaningless if not rooted in the Person and agenda of God.

God: Our Final Reference Point

the context of god s gospel

We MUST recall our desperate need for Rescue

The Context of God’s Gospel

“…the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”

(Gen. 8:21)

“The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth speaking lies.” (Ps. 58:3)

“None is righteous, no not one; no one understands; no one seeks after God.” (Rom. 3:11)

the context of god s gospel1

In relationships, we MUST remember who we were!

“Sin is the ruin and misery of the soul. It is destructive in its nature; and if God should leave it without restraint, nothing else would be needed to make the soul perfectly miserable. The corruption of the heart of man is so immoderate and boundless in its furry; and while wicked men live on this earth, it is like fire pent up by God’s restraints. If it were let loose, it would set on fire the whole course of nature.”

Jonathan Edwards

The Context of God’s Gospel

the context of god s gospel2

In relationships, we MUST remember who we were!

“For the first time I examined myself with a seriously practical purpose. And there I found what appalled me; a zoo of lusts, a bedlam of ambitions, a nursery of fears, a harem of fondled hatreds. My name was legion.”

C.S. Lewis

(Surprised by Joy)

The Context of God’s Gospel

the context of god s gospel3

His Mercy Has Made Us Alive!

Ephesians 2:1-7

The Context of God’s Gospel

“The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time.”

Tim Keller

(Reason for God)

the context of god s gospel5

You ANDYour Spouse Are PERFECT in CHRIST!

The Context of God’s Gospel

Philippians 3:8-9

Romans 3:21-22

Hebrews 10:12-13

the context of god s gospel6

You ANDYour Spouse Are PERFECT in CHRIST!

The Context of God’s Gospel

Do you demand your spouse perform according to your own laws of marriage?

Do you allow your wrath to punish him/her when he/she fails?

Do you see your spouse clothed in the righteousness of Jesus NO MATTER WHAT?

If you view your spouse through the lens of the Gospel, what changes in your attitude, thoughts, words, desires?

the context of god s gospel7

The Gospel and Your Marriage

The Context of God’s Gospel

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Rom. 12:1, NIV)

Don’t think of yourself too highly.

Love sincerely.

Hate evil.

Be devoted in love.

Be joyful in hope.

Be patient in affliction.

Be faithful in prayer.

Bless those who persecute you.

Live in harmony together.

Avoid pride and conceit.

Don’t repay with evil.

Do what is right.

Overcome evil with good.