Every parent feels under qualified at one point or another. But we have a source of help in God’s Word. In Psalm 127, Solomon wrote about the necessity of recognizing the Lord as the One builds families and watches over them, so that we receive our children and how to parent them from the Lord.
Over the last two weeks, we’ve talked about the first two qualities of disciple-making, namely making disciples who have a heart for God and heart for each other. This week, we will focus on the third quality, Heart for Our World. In the gospel of Matthew, after Christ had been resurrected and just before his ascension, he called his disciples together on a mountain in Galilee to give them His Great Commission which expressed his loving heart for the people of this world. As disciples of Jesus, we have been given this same Great Commission to have Christ’s heart for the world.
We live in a time when it is easier to stay in touch, but people are still starving for a personal touch.What’s the solution to our increasing loneliness? A loving relationship with Jesus and through Him a loving relationship with one another. Jesus invites us to follow Him and belong to His family. In the gospel of John, Christ gave a new commandment to His disciples to love one another just as He loved them, demonstrating their heart for each other. As His disciples, we can follow Christ’s new commandment and have a heart for each other.
Christ’s Great Commission commands us to be a disciple-making church. But what kind of disciples? What qualities are we to instill in the disciples we make? That’s where today’s sermon comes in. For the Lord has not only given us the Great Commission. He has also given us the Great Commandment. Today, we’re going to focus on the first part of the Great Commandment which calls us to make disciples who have a Heart for God. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus was asked to name the greatest commandment. In a sense he was asked to simplify all of the writings of the Bible down to one simple statement. He didn’t pause. Jesus told his hearers that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your being, essentially with all your heart. Through Jesus, we can have a heart for God.
The question is not if, but when you experience doubts about God, what should we do? Should we bottle them up and pretend they aren’t there? Should we give in to them and turn them into unbelief? In Psalm 77, Asaph found encouragement in midst of his doubts of God’s character when he reflected on God’s faithfulness to the Israelites. We too can find encouragement in the midst of our doubts when we reflect on His faithfulness.
Would say you’ve experienced an event in your life that was emotionally devastating? Something so wounding that it actually altered your personality, maybe even your future? Would say this painful issue has been resolved? If pain is unavoidable in this life and there are so many struggles that cause us pain, what can we do? Just as pain moves us to call the doctor, it can move us to call on the Lord. In Psalm 25, David lifted up his hurting soul to the Lord for help. We too can lift up our hurting souls to the Lord for help.
Do you feel anxious often? Psalm 91 has been a favorite psalm for many who are anxious. In Psalm 91, the Psalmist wrote that those experiencing fearful anxiety could find relief by abiding in the Lord. We can experience relief from fearful anxiety when we abide in the Lord.
Anger is a powerful emotion, and if we let it control us, it can destroy relationships and cause harm to our souls. In Psalm 4, King David had received help from the Lord for his anger towards those who had betrayed him and he sought to advise them how they might rightly handle their anger as well. We can receive help from the Lord to rightly handle our anger.
Are you content? Happy with your life, your job, your house, your marriage, your kids…? Or do you struggle with discontentment? Does a constant restlessness plague you, so that you never feel fully satisfied and at peace? We go to a doctor when our bodies are sick, but where do we go when we need help for our souls? Go to the Psalms. They are God’s medicine for the soul!
In Psalm 131, David wrote of how he overcame his discontentment by finding contentment in the Lord. We can overcome our discontentment by finding contentment in the Lord.
Do you ever worry about the future? You watch one of the 24 hour news channels and all you see is war, terrorism, school shootings, natural disasters… “What’s this world come to?” you ask. Perhaps you don’t worry about yourself, but you worry about your kids’ future? But what if you could trust God with your future and your families’ future? What if God had already appointed times for the future, so that He not only knows what the future holds, but He has ordained it? And what if God would let you in on some of the details? In Daniel 11, the Lord revealed His future appointed times for His people, so that Daniel would understand what was to come. We can understand the times the Lord has appointed and respond accordingly.