Outline: Westminster Entitlement Sermon
My Birthday week
- You know you are going to get presents
- You know you’ll get to eat food you like
- You might get some other privileges you don’t usually get
- You only see entitlement in the eyes of the people around you
Sometimes the Holy Spirit shows you something and it’s like finding the one piece of the puzzle that makes all of the other pieces fit together.
Last week I talked about the sermon on the mount NOT being a new law. At the same time, there are things in there that show us the intent of God. They show us what is really important in a situation.
Love your neighbor as yourself
But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:44,
Give and serve in secret
“Be careful not to display your righteousness merely to be seen
by people. Otherwise you have no reward with your Father in
heaven. Thus whenever you do charitable giving, do not blow a
trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in synagogues and on
streets so that people will praise them. I tell you the truth,
they have their reward. But when you do your giving, do not let
your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your
gift may be in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will
reward you. (Matthew 6:1-4 NET)
Seek first God’s Kingdom and God’s Righteousness
"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33 ESV)
There is more going on than we can see
There are more important things going on around here than the affairs of men
And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven.
And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” (Genesis 28:11-17 ESV)
Jacob had never talked to God. God had appeared to Abraham, his grandpa, and to Isaac, his father. Jacob had heard about God, and had seen his dad and his grandfather’s lives lived in reverence and respect and faith in God, but this is the first moment Jacob sees God. God gives Jacob the exact same promise He gave to Abraham and Isaac. I will bless you, your family will spread over the entire earth, and I will be with you until the end.
There is more going on here than just a wilderness trip on his way to find his wife.
There is more going on here in Evansville than just our daily jobs. Than just our family interactions and our problems with our neighbors or the city council.
I think God is longing for each one of us to have that aha moment when we say “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.”
God wants us to see Him
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. (John 5:19, 20 ESV)
I am wrought with insanely great ideas and lofty ambitions. Not a day does by, and I’m not exaggerating, it’s just how I’m wired, that I don’t have an incredible business idea or a solution to a system or a resolution of something I want to do to make something or myself great.
Do you notice that Jesus didn’t invent electricity, or develop a sustainable food distribution system that would stamp out hunger? He didn’t train his disciples in a perfect government structure or even a perfect church system or structure.
He told them to look at the father. He told them the same thing God told Jacob.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)
Remember that stuff about me being entitled on my birthday? God is the only one that is entitled to anything. God is the only one worthy of compliments, praise, thanks, blessing, honor, or authority.
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. (1 John 4:19, 20 ESV)
Jesus is caught and not taught. We don’t draw near to God because of facts that we memorize, but because of work that we see happening above and beyond what is really going on.
Let us chuck our worldly ambitions and activities to see what our Father is doing, and then go after that!