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Part 1: We Seek God Because He is Glorious

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Our first core value aims at the most important issue in our lives and in our church: who is God and what is he like? In the Bible, God has clearly revealed to us that he is unimaginably glorious, and this truth sets our direction.

Scripture: Isaiah 40:3-28

Manuscript

Every one of us, as human beings, is continually trying to figure life out
            -we are always wondering and questioning and trying to understand
            -we are creatures who try to find meaning – we can’t live without meaning
As you go through life, you will be confronted with and asking the big questions of life?
            -Questions like: What is life about? – Why are we here? – What is our purpose?
            -these big questions have a hold on us – we can’t get away from them
            -they keep confronting us deep in the core of our souls
            -these questions relentlessly question us
So why are we here? What is the purpose of life?
If someone were to walk up to you and ask you what the meaning of life is, what would you say?
            -well you have to have the tight starting point - the meaning of your life is directly connected to God
                        -he made you for his reasons and his purposes
                        -we are not here because of some random cosmic accident
                     -we are here because God has put us here
            -so if we are going to understand what our lives are all about, we have to see what God is up to
            -because God made us, we cannot understand our lives apart from him
                     -The purpose of your life is directly connected to the glory of God
                        -this is why you are here on the earth
We are beginning a six week series in which we will look at our Core Values
            -our Core Values are six statements that are very important to us as a church
                        -six statements that we love and cherish and delight in
                        -six statements that express core convictions that are at the heart of who we are as a church
            -first three are our core beliefs – three truths that define us
            -the last three are three ways these core beliefs are lived out
            -these great truths are not just to be known and understand – they must impact our lives
                        -these great truths must transform the way that we live out our faith as a church
Today – our first Core Value – this one gets at our ultimate aim and the ultimate meaning of life
We Seek God Because He is Glorious
The biggest question in your life is the God question
            -Who is God and what is he like?
            -God is infinitely glorious – he is perfectly and beautifully and majestically glorious
            -this truth about God changes the direction of our lives
            -We Seek God Because He is Glorious
            -the absolute direction of our church is set and determined by this great truth
                     -We Seek God Because He is Glorious
(PRAY)
First – what we mean when we say God is glorious
            -Second – what this means for each of us
The passage that we heard read a few moments ago, Isaiah 40, describes the glory of God to us
Isaiah 40:28 – Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the
                     ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
This is God’s word to us – in his word God tells us that he is glorious
            -we don’t have to guess or speculate what God is like
            -God has told us what he is like
            -in fact, here he says, it asks us, “Have you not know? Have you not heard?”
            -God is asking us these questions
                     -he is asking us “Do you know who I am? Have you heard who I am?”
            -He is the everlasting and Almighty God – the One True and Living God
                        -he is the Creator of all that is
                     -if you go anywhere in the universe and find anything there, it is because God has made it
                        -nothing exists that God did not create
            -he has no limits or weaknesses – “He does not faint or grow weary”
            -his understanding and wisdom is perfect and complete – we can never get to the end of his knowledge
                        -“his understanding is unsearchable”
This is what God is like – God wants us to know this
            -in fact, he specifically tells us what he is like
This is what we mean when we say that God is glorious
            -glory is a summary word for God – it brings together a lot of who God is
            -glory means that God is beautiful and majestic and admirable
            -it means that God is bright and filled with light
            -it means that God is deserving of the highest honor and position
God’s glory means that he is perfect in every way
            -from whatever angle you look at God, he is absolutely perfect
            -in every category and ideal, God is fully and completely perfect
            -he is perfect in love and goodness
            -he is perfect in knowledge and wisdom and understanding
            -he is perfect in justice and power
            -he is perfect in who he is and in all that he does – completely perfect in every possible way
Sometimes we wish that God were different in some way that he is
            -you have probably said, “I wish God were ______” or “I wish God would do (this or that)”
            -but we cannot improve upon God
                        -we can’t make him better in any way
            -he is fully and completely perfect
            -if he would change in any way to come into line with our wishes, he would become less
            -when we wish that God were different than he is, it is because we are foolish
            -it is we who do not know or understand – it is we who have the limited vantage point
            -God cannot be improved in any way – he is perfectly and completely glorious
This is what God has made known to us in the Bible
            -the primary reason God has given us the Bible is so that we can know him
                        -so that we can know who he is and know how we should rightly respond to him
            -in every part of the Bible, we hear the message that God is glorious
We are given glimpses into what God was doing even before creation
            -as our passage said, he is the everlasting God
                        -this means that he has always existed – “who was and who is and who is to come”
            -before creation, God existed, in loving and satisfying relationships between the Trinity
            -the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit loved, honored, and delighted in one another
John 17:4, 24 – “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before

the world existed. . . . Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
God (Father, Son, and HS) were fully and completely fulfilled in each other
            -God wasn’t sad and lonely before he created us – his was completely joyful
Then in creation, God’s joy overflowed
            -God didn’t have some lack that he was trying to fill by creating – he didn’t need creation for any reason
            -he created so that he could pour out his joy and goodness on others
God created all that exists – and his creation gives us a glimpse of how glorious he is
            -everywhere you look in creation, you can see that God is glorious
God glory is evident in the bigness of the universe – 1 trillion stars in our galaxy (100,000 million)
            -1 trillion galaxies, each with 1 trillion stars of their own
            -each galaxy is 100 light years across – there are 3 million light years between galaxies
            -absolutely astounding – beyond our comprehension – yet God designed every part of it
God’s glory can also be seen in the smallest parts of creation
            -atoms and subatomic particles that work together with perfect balance and design
            -living beings made up of cells – each cell like a well-designed factory of interworking parts
            -human body – best estimates are 37.2 trillion cells
                        -each cell doing its part in every organ to keep you alive and functioning rightly
There’s this crazy idea that science has somehow disproven God
            -as if the more we learn, the less we have room for God
            -well it is actually the opposite – the more we learn, the more we see what an amazing Creator he is    
            -think about it – we are amazed with a well-designed sports car or smartphone or airplane
                        -we are amazed at human creativity and engineering skills
            -but how much more should we be amazed at God, who created all of the universe
            -and even this was not difficult for him – he merely spoke the word and it was all created
We see that God is glorious throughout the story of the OT
            -how God graciously makes a covenant between himself and his people
                        -how God makes a way that his people can be reconciled to him
            -we see God’s glory in the way he reveals himself and his ways to us
            -we see that God’s character is glorious
                     -how he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love
            -how God is perfectly just and rightly punishes sin
            -how God sovereignly accomplishes all of his plans and uses all nations and kings for his purposes
Then we see God’s glory most clearly displayed in the coming of Jesus Christ
John 1:14 - And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only
                     Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
            -in the person of Jesus, the glorious God walked the earth
            -when Jesus laid down his life on the cross, we saw the most beautiful and glorious thing about God
            -we see the depths of his self-sacrificial love and mercy
            -the amazing story of how God is not only the Judge who brings judgment, but the sacrifice who
                     receives the judgment in our place
We still see God’s glory in our world every day
            -in the way that he continues to sustain all of creation every moment
            -in the way he relentlessly pursues hardened rebellious sinners like you and I
            -not only demanding that we return to him but changing us and giving us a new heart so that we can
            -we see God’s glory in the way that he gives his people the Holy Spirit who works in us and purifies us
            -we see God’s glory in the way that he is building his church among every nation, tribe, tongue and
                     language
And the day is coming in the future when we will see the glory of God to an even greater degree
            -when God’s purposes come to fruition and he brings his full kingdom
Revelation 21:3 - And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with

man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”
Revelation 22:3-5 - No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be

in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
God is so glorious that when we will be in his presence, there is no need for any lights or even the sun
            -the Lord God himself will be our light
            -How? Because God is glorious – perfectly and completely and beautifully glorious
So that is a lot about God – How does this make a difference for you?
God created you and designed you very purposefully and intentionally
            -how God has wired human beings is not random or unplanned afterthought
            -God created us so that we can know him and worship him
            -God created us so that we can see his glory and glorify him with our lives
            -as the Westminster Catechism puts it – “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever”
God created human beings as the pinnacle of his creation
            -we are the only part of creation created in the image of God
            -we are created in the image of God so that we can know him and worship him
The importance of being created in the image of God has been impressed upon me recently
            -we recently became dog owners for the first time – just over a month
            -I have been amazed at how simple dogs are – dogs are a very simple creature
            -all our dog wants is to eat and be with his pack
            -training a dog is a fairly simple task of behavior modification –a combination of treats and punishments
            -a dog does what he does because of instinct and training
            -there are no deep levels of understanding in a dog
                        -they not only do not ask questions – they don’t even have questions
                        -they don’t have the mental capacity and ability think of questions – it is not in their nature
            -emotionally dogs are very shallow – don’t have the depths and complexities that we all do
            -God has wired them to have one primary goal - to survive
            -they don’t wonder about the meaning of life – they don’t worry about the big questions of life
                     -they can’t know and worship God in any meaningful way
                     -they are simply content to live a simple dog life – this is what they were created for
Now every dog perfectly glorifies God as God intends them to
            -just like every rock and tree and flower and molecule does
            -all these parts of creation glorifies God by displaying God’s creative work
            -but all these parts of creation only glorify God passively
This is where you are different – because you were created uniquely in the image of God
            -God has created you with the unique abilities to know him and understand him
                        -God has given you the capacity to love him and worship him
            -being created in the image of God is not only a gift – it is our greatest responsibility
God created you to know him and be in a deep and satisfying relationship with him
            -this means that nothing else will ever be able to satisfy the deepest longings of your heart
            -we are driven to find happiness and satisfaction
            -once we turned away from God, we tried to find this happiness and satisfaction in created things
Romans 1:21-23 -  For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they

became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Two problems with this:
1. No created thing will be able to satisfy the deepest longings of your heart and soul
            -no friendship and no romantic relationship
                        -when you try to find your ultimate satisfaction in another person, they will disappoint you
                        -not only this, but you will crush the other person with your expectations and demands
            -no accomplishment – in business, in education, in sports (no victory or championship will be enough)
            -no respect and acclaim and adoration will ever be able to satisfy you
            -no amount of money or no possessions
                        -we’ve all had the experience when we long for some new purchase – something we want bad
                        -we are really excited before we get it
                     -but then once we get it, it doesn’t satisfy us like we thought it would
            -no vacations and no traveling the world – no seeing the sites and cultures and art museums
            -no music or concert experience
            -all these things can be good, and can bring us a certain level of enjoyment
            -but no created thing can ever satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts
            -Why? Because we were created by God for God.
            -nothing else is great enough to bring you ultimate satisfaction – it can only be found in God himself
                        -you were made for him – nothing less will ever do
If you try to find your ultimate happiness in anything other than God, you are falling for a counterfeit and a lie
                     and a deception
            -when you do that, it will end in disappointment, heartache, and ultimately under the judgment of God
C.S. Lewis – the problem with idols is that they break the hearts of their worshippers (Weight of Glory)
1. (first problem) – no created thing will be able to satisfy the deepest longings of your heart and soul
2. When you live for created things, you have personally betrayed God
            -God was our Maker, our Creator
                     -biblical language - he is our husband, and we have turned from him, looking for other lovers
                     -lovers who use us and destroy us and keep us away from the One who is good to us in every way
God is glorious – perfectly and completely and beautifully glorious
            -he is the only one who can satisfy your heart
            -to refuse to love him and glorify him as he created you for is a deep cosmic betrayal
            -this is what sin is – sin is not just breaking some impersonal rule
                        -sin is personally betraying God who has made us for himself
            -this is why sin rightly and justly leads to the judgment of God
            -this is why we need Jesus – this is why we need the good news of the gospel (next week)
 So in your life, what have you been living for?
            -What has been driving you? What are you after? What are you hoping for?
            -Are you truly treasuring the Lord and seeking him above all other things?
            -If you have to choose between pleasing God and trying to gain something else, what have you chosen?
            -If someone were to look at your life, what would they think you value above all else?
            -if you have been ignoring God and seeking after some created thing, you’ve been incredibly foolish
                        -you’ve been giving your life and wasting your life on what is of so little value
            -only God is glorious – only he can satisfy your soul
As you examine your life, you may see that you heart has been distracted
            -you’ve ignored God – you’ve lived your life with little regard for Jesus
            -you’ve treated God as if he is worth so little to you
            -well, if that is the case, you must return to him
            -our hard-hearted indifference towards our God – reveals how we must return to him
            -you must repent of the ways you have sinned against him and turn to him
The glory of God is the ultimate purpose of your life
1 Corinthians 10:31 - So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
But the glory of God is not just for your personal life – it is our highest goal as a church
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according

to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Our first Core Value is We Seek God Because He is Glorious
            -this means that our highest calling as a church is to take God seriously
                        -our highest calling is to fix our attention on God
            -as a church, the most important part of our message is who God is
            -we want to focus on a big, biblical vision of who God is
            -we don’t want to miss the glory of God
                     -we want to see him and know him in his holiness and beauty and majesty
            -we don’t just want to give you some basic life principles that will help your life go a bit better
            -We need to know God, we need God – we need Jesus
            -the most important thing we can do is to draw our attention and worship to Jesus
            -we must take God seriously
                        -we must pursue God humbly, reverently, joyfully, and seriously
What would our church be like if each of us took God seriously?
            -What would our church be like if we were truly captivated by the glory of God?
            -What would our church be like if God truly is the greatest desire of our souls?
            -What would our church be like if were so amazed by God that it transforms how we life?
            -What could our church be like?
May God himself produce this in us
            -may God continue to graciously refine and purify us as a church
            -and may God open our eyes so that we may behold him in all of his glory

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