May 4, 2014
Stetson Memorial United Methodist Church
Sermon Series on “The Names of God”
Sermon 17 of series-
“The Sacred Names of God: El Kanna”
Exodus 34:10-14 NIV Bible
Deuteronomy 4:23-24 NIV Bible
1 John 3:1-7 Common English Bible
Spangler, Ann: Praying the Names of God: A Daily Guide
“Hello My Name is…El Kanna”
Let us pray… (Pray for God to illuminate His word and that we would have the open eyes, hearts and minds to conceive and receive it)
A reading from Deuteronomy chapter 4 verses 23-24…listen for a Word from God to you and me the people of God…
23 Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. 24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
Have you ever been jealous about anything? Maybe someone who seems to have it all or someone who seems to get all the breaks in life…good breaks that is. Maybe someone who got that big promotion instead of you…even though you know you are more qualified than they are. Having 3 daughters has been interesting…especially when the “green eyed monster” decides to make a visit. Either someone is able to stay up later than someone else…maybe someone gets something and the others didn’t…someone seems to get all/more of mom’s or dad’s attention… The list can go on. Three have even been time when I have felt jealous regarding my children. Times when they spent more time at a friend’s house with their mom…they come home and tell me how cool this mom is or that mom is…stuff like that. Things that make me feel they are happier with other people than with me. I can kind of understand how God must feel when we decide that we “like other things better than Him…when we put the god’s of the word before Him.”
Scripture compares God’s jealousy to what a husband feels when his wife has been unfaithful. No wonder the first of the Ten Commandments prohibits the worship of other gods. The Lord is our Jealous God…El Kanna, who cannot endure unfaithfulness.
Shakespeare described jealousy as a “green-eyed monster.” Mark Twain called it the “trademark of small minds.” Robert Heinlein labeled it a “symptom of neurotic insecurity.” But these are descriptions of human jealousy will only confuse you if you try to apply them to God, whose jealousy might better be described by the words of the English poet Joseph Addison: “Jealousy is that pain which a man feels from the apprehension that he is not equally beloved by the person whom he entirely loves.” This is the kind of jealousy that impels God to pursue us, despite our evasions, our indifference, or our waywardness.
We are so wayward at times why would our God be Jealous for us? Why would He pursue us and bring us back? Because we are His children…as I said I have been jealous at times when my girls have talked highly about other mothers to me. How must God feel when His children go to idols and forget about Him? 1 John 3:1-7 tells us what it means to be a child of God…let me read it from the Common English bible for you…
See what kind of love the Father has given to us in that we should be called God’s children, and that is what we are! Because the world didn’t recognize him, it doesn’t recognize us.
Dear friends, now we are God’s children, and it hasn’t yet appeared what we will be. We know that when he appears we will be like him because we’ll see him as he is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself even as he is pure. Every person who practices sin commits an act of rebellion, and sin is rebellion. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and there is no sin in him. Every person who remains in relationship to him does not sin. Any person who sins has not seen him or known him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you. The person who practices righteousness is righteous, in the same way that Jesus is righteous.
What does it mean to be children of God…are there thing that are our responsibility as children of God…:
- God Loves us (vs. 1)® He calls us His children. We are considered children and co-heirs with Christ. We are adopted into the family of God through the blood of Lord Jesus Christ. How do we know this? Because of the Cross and the Resurrection of Jesus…because God’s Word tells us…because of faith and because of the witness of the Holy Spirit within us. Pure undeserved grace given to us from God
- We are to be like him (vs. 2)® since we are children of God we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. We have this hope in our hearts and we purify ourselves by the renewing of our hearts. We renew ourselves by the living word of God and having a relationship with Him and our Risen Lord Jesus Christ. As we become more in the image of Christ we become more like who God has called us to be.
- We are not to sin (vs. 6)® Now there are some that believe since they are under grace they can do whatever they want and God will forgive them because they are “a child of God.” This is partly true as in God does forgive us but we are called to remain in our relationship with God and not sin. If we keep sinning and not even trying in this relationship have we truly seen God…do we really know Him and His plan for our lives?
Real faith arises from contact with the living God, who by his own definition is jealous for our attention, our devotion, our love. He’s not interested in competing with other deities. He neither shares his glory nor compromises his holiness. This is our Jealous God, the one who loves us with an everlasting, all-consuming love.
So…how are we doing as we try to become the likeness of Christ? Are we causing Dad to be jealous or are we giving Dad our attention? Are we are looking up to our Big Brother, wanting to be just like Him or are we going our own way? Are we striving to be more like Him each day? We have a jealous God that loves us with a passion. We have a God who will not put up with our putting other gods before Him…the god of money…the god of possessions…the god of envy…the list deities goes on. How will you respond to the call to new life of being the mirror image of our Brother and Savior, Jesus Christ? Will you lay aside the deities of the world and follow the One true God? The choice is ours to make. Which will you choose?
Let us pray… (Pray to El Kanna)
Lord, you are holy beyond my understanding, perfect in a way I cannot perceive. Help me to catch a glimpse of your glory and to grow more zealous for your name, that I might exalt it by the way I live and the way I love. Send your refining fire to heal and purge my heart and send your all-consuming love to lead me home.
(Spangler, Ann (2008-09-09). Praying the Names of God: A Daily Guide (p. 122). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.)