All right, hey, across our campuses, can we praise God for the moment that he has brought us to, right here, right now? Man, I know it's, as people have asked me before, is it a little weird to come out to a video that you just did for 10 minutes?
Yes, it's a little weird, okay, but we've already transitioned now, so let's just keep rolling, all right? Hey guys, we're going to be in Proverbs chapter 13 today, if you have a copy of scripture, and I want you to go ahead and start finding that, Proverbs chapter 13, but as you're doing that, I want you to know that we have something for you, a guide that our teams have put together. They've been working on this for a long time, and we actually want to put it in your hands now, so at all of our campuses, our teams are going to start kind of passing those out, and we want to physically just put one of those in your hand. This guide is going to be something that is a great companion over the next four or five weeks, okay, as we are in this series together. It has a vision, all the stuff that we just talked about in that long video is in this, and either even in more depth, and in greater ways, it also has a place in this book for your sermon notes, all right? I have lamented sometimes at Mercy Hill, because I grew up in a tradition that was way more vocal, so it's like, man, when people, when the preacher made a good point, somebody let them know it, and I wish we were a little more like that, so feel free if you come from that tradition, but I do know that our culture is a little more like, if the preacher hits something pretty good, heads go down, and people are furiously writing, okay? That the note-taking is, the amen nowadays, I guess, or whatever, so now we got, we gave you that book, so that's got all your notes right there. Hey, it's also got your community group questions in it.
If you are in a group, you bring this book to group with you. It's going to be one of those things that is a prompt for you. You got your sermon notes there. You got all that stuff there. If you are not in a group, okay, at all of our locations in the lobby this weekend, we have something called for the next five weeks, The Deeper Depot, okay?
You're gonna love how we did that, all right? It's in the lobby right outside. It's basically all things deeper. If you have questions, if you need resourcing materials, anything you miss, you can grab it there. Hey, that is an opportunity for you, though, this very weekend, to sign up for a discovery group. It's really gonna follow deeper, so if you're not in a group, you can come and be part of a big discovery group that we're gonna have throughout this series, so make sure you do that. Hey, and the last thing, and I want you guys to grab this real quick from inside the book, the last thing is this card, okay? And I'm not gonna talk about it a ton today.
We're gonna talk about it throughout the series, but I do want to bring it up now. I'll bring it up again at the very end of the sermon today. Guys, this card, I just want to make sure you feel the weight of this, and what I hope you're gonna do is take this card and put it somewhere where you can remember it, where you can see it, put it somewhere where it can be a prayer prompt in your life, because this card is gonna represent, man, what we're driving at for the next five weeks, God, are you the deepest desire of my heart, and I want you by your spirit to become that in my life in greater ways for all of us, for me, for my family, for everybody here, and as a result of that, the output of God becoming the deepest thing in our life as the spiritual input, the output is, man, we're gonna open our hands and commit to give over the next two years, and this will be a good prompt for us to remember that, all right? So, guys, that's where we're at.
That's where we're going to be. You got your books. You can find our sermon notes in there for this weekend in Proverbs chapter 13, and we're gonna get rolling, all right? So let me jump into the sermon. So Proverbs chapter 13.
Here's how I want to start today, okay? Every one of us have had this experience at some point in our life, but have you ever had your hopes put on hold or your dreams really get dashed, okay? Now we've also had the opportunity to see our hopes fulfilled and our desires fulfilled and dreams come to fruition, but we've probably had times in our life where that didn't happen. Every single one of us have experienced that at times in our life. I was thinking about this in my life, a time that a hope got put on hold when I was right out of college.
Anna and I had just gotten married. I was kind of being being considered to be a preacher for a nationally recognized summer camp, and I was really hopeful that I was going to get a chance. It kind of came right down to the wire, and at the very end I wasn't the one that was chosen. And you know what that did? It kind of made my heart a little sick, you know?
Not didn't crush me. It wasn't something that, you know, that I threw me into the depths of despair, but it's like when when a hope is put on hold or a dream gets dashed, your heart gets a little sick. You get a little bit upset. The flip side of that is also true, all right? When you have a desire or a hope that is not put on hold, but instead, man, it's fulfilled.
What happens? We're encouraged. We have exhilaration. We feel more alive. I mean, we get excited about things that are going on in our life. I thought about that in my life.
Another example for me of maybe a win, okay? I remember the first time that I was offered a ministry position that was full-time at the Summit Church in Raleigh, Durham, and I was over the moon, man. I felt excited about it. I was encouraged about it.
Here's what I want you to see during our time this weekend. Guys, read the book of Psalms, even for believers, okay? Life is a little bit like this. There's nothing wrong with that. Man, our emotions are corresponding many times to the things that are going on in our life. That's healthy and good until, listen, until those circumstances in our life, we end up assigning too much weight to them. And instead of feeling a little bit of, you know, a little bit down in a drooping spirit, as the Scripture is going to kind of say today, instead of that, all of a sudden we feel crushed. All of a sudden we feel like, because something didn't work out in the world, that we're never going to be okay. All of a sudden we feel like, and this is what happens, we put too much weight in the things of this world. And what happens is, when something doesn't go the right way, we feel like God has abandoned us. We have that same emotion.
You know why? Because we were chasing said thing like it was a God, and it didn't work out. And humans were not built to have their God flee or fail. And so when we do, we feel the depths of despair. The other thing is, we can end up in not just low lows, but incredibly high highs that are really too high. Something works out in this life, and it's a circumstance that worked out the way that we wanted, and a hope wasn't deferred.
Instead, it worked out. And all of a sudden we feel like God is shining upon us. We feel the emotions as if we're secure in His hands. And really, it's just about a set of circumstances in this life. It's not about being high and low. It's about being ultimately high, or ultimately low, when it comes to the things in this life, the circumstances, and the things that we are chasing. That's what we want to get into in Proverbs chapter 13. We all experience highs and lows, but the way that we respond to things that don't work out, or things that do work out, show us.
I mean you can think about it like this, all right? Every single time something happens, there are emotions in our life. But when our emotions become extreme, it probably reveals an idolatrous tendency in our life.
You know what the fix for that is? And this is the fight of a Christian's life. We talked about the fight of faith last week.
You know what the fight of the Christian life is, and the fix for this? Y'all, it's realizing that God is supposed to be our deepest desire. And He is a desire that will fill us again and again, and will not flee. And if we get that right, all of a sudden we can begin to become the type of people who can handle the highs and lows of life well.
And we can handle the emotions of life well. And we're not thrown into extremes because of idolatry, because our hearts are fixed in God being the deepest thing in our life. So you can say it like this, God should be, this is a big idea, God should be the object of our ultimate hopes and our ultimate desire. Are there things that we desire so deeply that if we don't get them, we'll be crushed? Are there things that we desire so deeply that if we do get them, we will have the emotion as if it is the God of this universe that really is not?
It's just a set of circumstances. We gotta check that today, and the Scripture helps us to do that. We're gonna be in Proverbs 13, one verse this weekend, here we go. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, Proverbs 13, 12. But a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is the tree of life. I know at our campuses today, and I know here at Regional, every single week there's people that are brand new to the Bible. So let me just orient you a tiny bit with the book of Proverbs, okay? The book of Proverbs is unlike, and really I should say wisdom literature. You wanna throw Ecclesiastes in there, Solomon and Solomon in there, okay?
Maybe a few other portions of the Bible, but there are portions of Scripture that are just unlike anything else in the world. You know why? Because the God of this universe who authored the world has told you, hey, this is how you live well in the world. This is how you live well in the world that I created. Now, Proverbs are not promises, okay? In sin and in a fallen world, there can be links that are broken between following wisdom and experiencing the life that God would have us if there was no sin in the world.
I'm not going all the way into that today. We do need to understand that. But in general, okay, and I think a good word for this is the word tends, all right? When we follow wisdom, our lives tend, we tend to have this living well in the world. And that's what God has given us in wisdom literature. Now, we find ourselves in Proverbs chapter 13 in a place in wisdom literature that is, you know, there's a whole section in the book of Proverbs right in the middle of the book that is all the tweetable lines before Twitter was a thing, okay? It's all these little pithy little hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
That's like the whole section for chapter and chapter like 10 chapters, okay? And there's just all these little wise sayings that we have got to grab on to. Guys, I talked about this last week. If you're trying to shape the culture of a team, a classroom, a home, a business, man, the way to do it is to say not that, but this. You know, the greatest tool for that is wisdom literature. The greatest tool for that is to say, man, this is what God desires.
This is how he wants a human to live. Not that, but this. And our home with our kids, we call it the Proverbs bell, the wisdom bell, okay? So if somebody says something that is coming from a principle from the wisdom literature, then I will say ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. It's the wisdom bell, right? It's the bell that's being rung. And you know, you say something from Proverbs, you say something from Ecclesiastes.
If the kids aren't there, maybe you say something from Song of Solomon, okay? But you know, you're just trying to get into us what God has for living well in the world. That's exactly where this falls, all right? Hope deferred makes a heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is the tree of life.
Now let's just take it as it comes. We're gonna talk about hope deferred, and then we'll talk about a desire fulfilled, all right? Hope deferred. What is the word, what comes to your mind when I say deferred? What comes to my mind is somebody who just applied to a college and they got deferred, right? That it's like, man, you did not get in, okay? But you've gotten deferred to a later date. That's what comes to my mind. You know, the problem with that is that there's a little more weight in the language of deferment here, okay?
And you gotta go back into languages and get into the commentaries and all that. But here's what you need to understand about this word deferred. Deferred here means it's been deferred to a never-ending extension of time. So it's not exactly saying that the dream was dashed, but it pretty much is saying the dream was dashed. Because now it has been pushed off, it has been deferred to a never-ending extension of time. You could say it like this, a hope deferred is on permanent hold. When a hope is deferred, when it's on permanent hold, when the dream is dashed, what happens? It creates a drooping spirit.
This is something that I said in the intro. When circumstances in our life don't go the way that we want them to go, and when health is not, or we didn't make the grade, or that person broke up with us, or the relationship didn't work out, like it, the hope that we had in that is deferred. That's not wrong until it becomes something that's ultimate and begins to crush. Actually it can be things in our life that are really good. When we feel sadness, when we feel a little bit of that drooping spirit, then we can run to God for healing. So it's not like we run away from all emotions, but this is the idea that a drooping spirit comes from a hope that is deferred.
It's put on permanent hold. You know, I thought about this this week. So when my grandfather passed away, he passed some things down to some different people in the family in a lot of ways. Every grandson got one of his shotguns. That was cool.
We got that to remember him by and all that. A few other things got passed down, but my mom called me when my grandfather passed away, and she said, hey, nobody has taken the stuffed bobcat that hung in his den my whole life, okay? And I was just absolutely shocked by this. I thought there would be physical fistfights over who's getting the bobcat, okay?
And apparently nobody won it. She says, do you want it? I was like, do fish swim, okay?
Of course I want it. I couldn't believe it. I call Anna, and I'm like, babe, you're never going to believe this. I mean, this is like the centerpiece of the living room in my grandparents' house for my whole life, okay? It's right there. It's this really gnarly stuffed bobcat that my great-grandfather killed right off the land that my grandfather lived on in like the 50s, okay? And it's been hanging there forever. And so I call Anna.
I'm like, you are not going to believe this. They're giving us the bobcat, and she was not as excited about it as I was, okay? All right? And so she says, well, hey, well, where are you planning on putting it? And I said, well, I don't really care as long as it's the center and focal point of our entire house decor. Babe, I'm okay with wherever you want to put it, as long as it's the centerpiece of the whole house, right? She thought maybe a closet in the barn was a little better, you know, or something. And so it was funny.
I mean, we look back on it now. Big argument, okay? I mean, big argument ensues about where the bobcat is going to go and who's going to have the bobcat, you know, where it's going to be in our house and all that kind of stuff. I distinctly remember one night arguing with her, and I told her, I said, babe, there's billions of men in the world.
You could have married any one of them, New York City, skinny jeans, whatever. You married a man with bobcat-killing lineage, okay? And you're going to need to just, well, it's in the basement tucked away somewhere, okay? And that's where it landed, right? Okay? And I think about that story because I'm like, man, you know, I have this hope. That hope was deferred and it's pretty much permanently on hold, okay?
It's never coming out of that deferment. Now, I'm being a little bit funny here, but the reality is that many times in our life, we end up facing things with loss. A hope didn't come true. Man, I thought it was going to be marriage and it wasn't. This can get serious, right? I thought I was going to get into that school and it didn't happen.
Man, I thought this was a promotion that was coming and didn't. You know that losing something is emotionally more affecting of us than actually gaining stuff. This is called loss aversion. I don't know if you've ever heard of this.
You know, they do studies with people where they say, here, this is interesting to me. They'll say, hey, how much would you pay for this coffee mug? And somebody will look at it and say like, well, I don't know, it's probably worth like $2.
I paid $2 for it. Okay, then they'll do this. They'll say, okay, well, here, I'm gifting you the coffee mug. You now have the coffee mug now.
Oh, great, I have the coffee mug now. Okay, I want you to sell it back to me for the $2. You know what people will do? They'll be like, nah, I'll sell it to you for $7. Something about giving it away is harder than getting it. I would pay certain for it, but now giving it away, there is something about losing a hope. There is something about a dream that is being dashed that is very hard for us.
Losing things is hard, but here's the deal. For the Christian, is it an emotion that we go through when a hope is put on hold or a dream is dashed that sends us running to the Father? It sends us running to Him for healing?
Or is it something that crushes us? It's all too revealing how we react to these things and what we thought about them and what we think about God. Here's what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4. We are afflicted in every way but not crushed, perplexed but not driven to despair, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed. I don't want you to make, I don't want you to get the wrong impression, Christian. All right, God has not called you to a life without emotion. He's called you to a life that processes your emotions before God, that allows your emotional life to run back to Him.
And that's what Paul is doing here. We are struck down, but we are not destroyed. I think the way to think about this, back to Proverbs chapter 13, just thinking about it, hope deferred makes the heart sick.
Okay, here's the way to think about it. Does hope deferred make the heart sick with a capital sick? A capital S. Man crushed, you know, despair. Or does the hope deferred just make the heart sick? This is the trick in a Christian life.
This is the smoke that reveals a fire of idolatry. All right, if we are crushed, if I'm ultimately sick because that hope didn't work out, you can say it like this, how does a human be sick without being sick? How does our natural and good reaction to losing things that pushes us back to God and even puts us in a state of sadness even or whatever, how can that be something that ends up morphing into a capital S sickness where we are struck down, where we're not just struck down but we are destroyed, we are not just pressed but we feel crushed into the ground? That only happens when we have assigned too much weight to whatever the hope was. See, we're looking for something in the world that actually we're only meant to find in God. Hope deferred, now look what else it says, but a desire fulfilled, right, is the tree of life. Proverbs 13 12, hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Now, we got to go a little deep here, okay, because all of a sudden the Bible has brought up a bombshell when it comes to the tree of life.
Wait a minute, what does this mean? A desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Well, if you're newer, let me take you on a little bit of a ride here as we go back through some of the Old Testament when we realize what the tree of life is. Y'all, the tree of life given in Genesis chapter, you can read this in the first couple of chapters of Genesis chapter two and three, very prominent, the tree of life stood in the midst of the garden and through it God's life flowed into the life of the people that he created Adam and Eve. They were not immortal just because, they were immortal because they ate of the tree of life.
It was a perpetual healing in their life. There was another tree in the garden though and there was a tree that wasn't the tree of life, actually it was the tree of death. It was a tree that was called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and there's a lot that we could go into here, but suffice it to say that the first human and every single one of us, myself included, after them have chosen at different points of our life not to reach for the tree that God said, but we reach for the tree that he told us to avoid and we reach for that tree of death. And here's what happened in the very earliest humans, Adam and Eve, they reach for that tree of death, the knowledge of good and evil and in so doing they were barred from the garden.
Well, what's in the what's in the garden? In the garden is the tree of life. You get cut off from the tree of life and you are doomed to die, which is what happened because they were cut off from the garden because of their sin and they were doomed to face death and to face what looks like to not have the immortality that God had for them. Now, the tree of life does come back and we're going to talk about this more in this series. The tree of life comes back all the way at the end of the Bible. It comes all the way back in Revelation and you see it there that it stands as a symbol for the healing of the nations and we will eat of this tree again, but here's what I want to talk about.
Wait, what could it mean? Desire fulfilled is a tree of life. What did the tree of life do? The tree of life provided life.
That's what it did. It provided life, listen, not just in quantity, immortal, but it provided life in quality. It provided vitality and energy and vigor. Now with that in mind, think about it like this, the tree of life represents the abundant life that God has for us and here's what he's saying. He is saying, through desires that we have that are fulfilled, not just quantitative but qualitative, through God's blessing, through him giving us desires and then meeting them, we end up having life.
Not just the physical life, but the enjoyment of life. That's what the tree of life is all about and what God is saying here is, in my blessing of you and my fulfilling your desires, I am giving you a tree of life. You know, John 10 10, Jesus said it like this, I'll never forget this verse because it was my dad's favorite verse growing up, okay?
And he would always talk to us about this. The thief comes not only to kill and to kill, to steal, to kill and destroy. I came that you might have life and that you might have it abundantly. That you might have it to the fullest. That's what the tree of life is all about. The tree of life is about renewal. It is about encouragement.
It is about energy. It is about revitalization of the heart and what you actually, if you do a deep study in the book of Proverbs, here's what you're going to find. There's a few things that are likened to a tree of life and you know what they all have in common?
They bring healing to those that are around, all right? So wisdom, Proverbs 3 18, wisdom is said to be a tree of life. Righteousness is said to be a tree of life. Actually it says that a righteous person is like a tree of life. They hold court.
They hold captive those that listen to them. Healing flows in. It says in the book of Proverbs, a gentle tongue is a tree of life. That a gentle tongue brings healing. You know what else goes in that list? Wisdom, righteousness, gentle tongue, desires that are fulfilled. Here's the point. Y'all, God in His goodness as an incredible Father has put desires in your heart and there are things in your heart that He then meets with His blessing. And when He does that, you know what happens?
Energy, vigor, vitality, revitalization of life. But here's what I want you to see and this is a good thing. God you are so good.
You bless us in incredible ways. But here's the deal, all right? This kind of go back to hope deferred. There's a capital sick and there's a lowercase sick, all right?
You know what? Same thing with fulfillment. There's a capital fulfillment.
There's a lowercase fulfillment. The tree of life that God is referring to, that is coming into our life through His blessing. Y'all these are great things from a good God. Man it's marriage, it's job, it's raising kids, it's success, it's having the resources that we need for our family and to give. It's great relationships and friendships in an awesome small group and a good church and great places to serve. These are awesome blessings but you know what?
And they're good. They revitalize. They give us energy but they are not meant to be depended on as if they are the capital F fulfillment in our life. Because even these things will fail us if not now, they will fail us in death. There is a capital fulfillment and a lowercase fulfillment and I think the key sort of for all of this for us is that we have got to sort of realize, man that capital fulfillment is what we have got to be after and we will only find that in God Himself. The book of Proverbs is always this way. Y'all there is a hill, a mountain, there's always a mountain beyond the mountain.
You know what the mountain beyond the mountain is? Man God is saying, hey if you want to not have a hope deferred put your hope in me. If you want to have a desire fulfilled you need to put your desire in me. The small mountain is, man God is so good even in our heartbreak over things that don't work out we can run to Him and He gives us blessings in our life and they create energy and vitality and vigor in our life and that's awesome. But the capital fulfillment that He's talking about, the greatest desire, desire fulfilled is a tree of life. If you want to ultimately be blessed with life in the kingdom and life before God then our ultimate desire can't be anything but God. You could say it like this, when God is our hope He will never, our hope will never be deferred. When God is that thing for us it won't be deferred, it won't be postponed, never ending. Man when God is our ultimate desire it will always be a tree of life that provides healing and encouragement and vitality and strength and vigor and energy over and over and over again because this is the thing that we were called, this is the thing that we were created to long for. Now you know I think about this and I wonder if you're catching this because I know for me it's one of those things like okay man I'm to desire God more than anything else.
I know what comes to your mind it's like okay I want that but how do I do that right? Like I want that but how that is what God is calling us to here. Man God is telling us desire me ultimately. What is supposed to be the greatest desire of our heart? You got to go to some other place in the bible to find this.
But what is it supposed to be? Deuteronomy 6 is so clear, another place that's clear is what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 22. Here's what he said, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. We desire fulfilled as a tree of life. What is supposed to be our desire? Our ultimate desire.
Man our our greatest desire. Not just first in an order. God your first in my life in the order ordering of things.
No no no in priority. Man I think what the bible is calling us to do is to love God with all of our heart and then everything else in our life that we love is an extension of that. It's not even like oh oh this is like 10 percent and that's like 20 percent but God you're like 40 percent you know. It's like no no I love God with all my heart and everything else overflows from that. If you're like me and you've been a believer for a while the question comes to your mind okay I know that I want that. That's what I want. I want God I want you to be the greatest desire.
I want that to be the tree of life for me. I don't want it to be possessions or promotions. I don't want it to be my kids soccer games and their grades and all that kind of stuff. Like I want it to be this. Y'all if you catch me on the wrong day you say man what's the greatest desire of your heart? I'll probably say something like this like man I know what it's supposed to be but on this day maybe it's my kids success.
On this day maybe it's maybe it's the church's success with ministry. Maybe it's a possession. If I asked you maybe it's a possession.
Maybe it's a 96 horsepower steel chainsaw with a 27 inch bar. Not that I've ever googled that okay. You know I mean I don't know. What is a possession that is in your heart and in your mind? You know what God God is saying to us today?
No no no. What is the greatest desire? All right I want it to be you God. How do we do it?
How do you do that? This is how the Spirit works in our life. Ultimately we can't do this without the Spirit. We've got to pray and that's why I hope at the end of our services man that our altars at all of our campuses man people will come forward and they'll they'll kneel down and we'll pray and say God I want you to be the deepest desire in my heart. I need the Spirit of God to do that but do you know how the Spirit does it? The Spirit is like a light that shines on the beauty of God's love for us.
That's the secret. That's when we want to become a lover of God it always starts with understanding that He loved us first. You you could say it like this how do we do that? Man we we got to understand today before we are ever called to desire Him first He desired us. How do we know that? Look at the gospel. For the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross. Man God didn't want heaven without us so He sent Jesus Christ to do what we couldn't do. Don't you understand Jesus to give us the tree of life He went to the tree of death and He took all of the penalty for all of the sin of all of the world including all of my failures and all of my shortcomings and all the times that I didn't love God the way that I was called to love Him and He died for the sin of the world on that cursed tree and when we see what He has done for us man our hearts begin to melt our hearts begin to lean in in greater ways but you know what then we see the invitation that we are given in His resurrection this is very deep okay what does He call us to do in His resurrection come and join with me be united to me that's what He calls us to do to be found in Him. Man when you not only see what Christ has done and what God has done for us but then you see the invitation to come and to live life with Him and be united to Him. Man it really begins to light us up. You know this is interesting we sang this earlier you know John 15 what does it say vine and branch what is that all about I don't know if you realize this maybe you've read the Bible for a long time I don't know if you know this or not the Bible is obsessed with trees okay it really is I mean you need to just think about it outside of God and outside of humanity the Bible talks about trees more than any other living thing you go tell me one Bible character that you are introduced to that there's not a tree associated with it they were under that tree oh they were in these forests of where these oaks are where these trees are all right you see it so much how many trees show up in all of the great Bible stories what what you see is like wait a minute the Bible is doing something with this concept of trees I'm going to tell you what it's doing it's preparing you to be a branch all the way from the beginning Genesis chapter one through Genesis let me give you this days of creation okay one through three they parallel four through six all right what happens on day three and day six the second part of creation on day three trees the second part of creation on day six humans they're both planted where in the dust and they grow from there you're being created to be a branch your whole life God is doing something with the trees and then what you know what we see it's not just what Jesus has done for us it's not just that he has come to the cross and canceled our sin debt but in his resurrection you know what he calls us to do he is telling us today you don't need to just take part partake of the tree of life you need to come and be a part of the tree of life I mean who's the actual tree of life I mean who is the life giver well he was a seed actually he said this he was a seed that was going to be put into the ground and die so that what so that he could be planted and he could grow Jesus Christ is the truer and better tree of life and what has he called you to do what has he called me to do he says this I am the vine I am the tree and you are the branches and whoever abides in me and I and him it is he who bears much fruit y'all we don't just taste and see that the Lord is good in the gospel we are joining up with the tree of life and you say well how do okay how do how do I how does God become my deepest desire do you realize what he's done for you and what he's invited you into what he's called you to be do you see who you are today despite our sin despite our failure he desires us he joins with us and that melts our hearts in a way that nothing else can I pray the spirit of God will do what he can only do break our heart and show us the love of God that will give us the response Christians humans we are not built to muster love we respond to love and we have seen love and we respond to it so I call you to do this with me today set God as the ultimate object of your hope and your desire guys we look at this hope deferred makes the heart sick but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life what is the ultimate desire what is the one hope that will never be deferred God himself is that the desire of your heart and so here's the question all right and this I said in the intro video y'all this question well is the whole series in five five weeks this is it what is your deepest desire is God your deepest desire man that has rocked me been a Christian since I was six years old 39 years old been walking with Jesus a long time many of you guys have been walking with Jesus a long time some of some of you longer than me man it rocks me what is my deepest desire what do I want more than anything else and is it God is it his kingdom man is it his fame is it his renowned God am I like the deer and I'm panting after you like the deer pants for the water can I say today better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere I've been to some pretty cool places in my life one day in your courts a thousand elsewhere can I say today man my life is for you because you are the famous one this is what I want I hope it's what you want as well and that's what this journey that we're on is about listen I listen I know we've got big things in front of us church we got big things in front of us man we got two years for the next 10 if we're gonna see 5,000 baptisms and 500 missionaries sent from this church by 2032 it's gonna matter what we did in the next two years and I want to jump straight there I want to talk home and hub I want to talk campuses I want to talk church planting I want to talk adoptions I want to talk about families reunited through foster care I want to see moms loved on from this church I want to see all of that and you know I want to see it and you want to see it and we love it it is not first what's first is God our deepest desire and when we get that right that when we get that right all the sudden things get put in the right order and now our hands begin to open and now we can begin to talk about generosity you know I mentioned this earlier I want to mention it one more time you guys can get this card or just have it in your mind you know I'm not going to open I'm not even going to talk about it I just I just want you to see it and kind of realize what does this card represent this card doesn't represent our love for the mission so much as it represents our love for God and in our love for God all of a sudden we have an opportunity to open our hands and become free some of you today this is what I need to convince you of today like me okay because I needed to be convinced on this before we started really thinking about these things before we started thinking about God are you the deepest desire of my heart I would have been one who has said well me and Anna are clearly at the top of where we can be with generosity you know I mean I'm the pastor I mean we're giving I mean we you know faithful and all that stuff but like yeah I I don't know how much I've got to grow in this area I've had a lot of growing to do in this area you know if you're giving at Mercy Hill is not like I either am or I am or I'm not okay for giving at Mercy Hill is like no this is a lifelong journey of growth and that's what this card represents God as you are becoming the deepest thing in my life now I want to open my hands in greater ways God as you become the deepest thing in my life I become one who is freed to be able to give because now all of a sudden the security that I need by having X I can begin to relax in that because you are the deepest desire of my heart not to be safe you know all of a sudden it's like the experiences that I can buy with with money and all that and I've got to have it's like no I can begin to be free to give because God those experiences aren't the deepest desire of my heart you are and you are filling me you are the tree of life is filling me again and again and again it begins to free us to open our hands to give in ways that are extravagant guys that card is between you and the Lord and nobody else but it is going to reflect you know the two questions are are you the deep God are you the deepest desire of my heart and what does my life in generosity what is my life in time talent treasure what does it say about what is the greatest desire of my life and I pray you're gonna take this journey with us I pray you'll go all in all right and allow God to work we've had a lot of people already doing it y'all we've had stories already of people who have said hey man I love to work I'm right near retirement but you know what I'm gonna keep working I love to work and I can be super generous if I keep working and we're gonna do that we've had people that have talked about maybe downsizing a living situation or or selling a significant possession we've had people this is my story already all right I think about this Anna and I have begun to ask this question wait a minute okay God if you are the deepest desire of our life then then what does it mean for our home economic family finance situation shouldn't you then what we give to you be the greatest expense of our life I'm 39 years old I'm not I'll be I'll be honest with you I'm 39 Dave Ramsey I all that kind of stuff we do financial peace and all that 15-year mortgage but we still have one right now and so I'm thinking I'm thinking like wait a minute God if something else in my life is showing up bigger than our giving like a mortgage like a 15-year mortgage if that's true that and God is just shaking us up with all of that what does that mean for us that's part of the ride that's part of the journey and I pray that you'll go on this journey with us as we continue you know as we continue the next four or five weeks all right so guys put that card in a place where you can get to it you can pray through it the last thing I want to tell you is this all right another step we can take is October 24th is an advanced commitment night that we are going to have on the new home and hub property the land all right man I know we have many multiple campuses and and here's the deal we're going to be I pray uh worshiping over there at least once or twice a year all together all church all campuses coming together I hope at least once or twice a year for the next 20 years the first time we're going to do it is on October 24th okay now there's not a building over there or anything okay so we got it it's going to be you know um but man listen we're pouring more into that night this I want you to think Easter Christmas blow all that away that more we're pouring more resourcing into this than we have any other event we've ever done and because here's the deal it's going to be a groundbreaking it's going to be a worship time it's going to be a chance for all of us if we're like man I'm ready maybe some of you haven't even been around Mercy Hill that long but you're like you know what God brought us here and I'm ready to lead I'm ready to commit then come out there and be with us on October 24th it's going to be a ride man let's stay in a constant posture of heartbreak and prayer and openness over what God is going to do let's pray Father we come before you now and Lord we've embarked on this journey and God the train is moving here and Lord we just pray that you'll bless it we know that you own the cattle on a thousand hills God we know that it's all yours and you could do this without us Lord but you invite us in you want to do something in us not just through us Lord I pray that you'll take our church to a deeper place God I pray that our zeal in year 10 new foundation God for the next 10 years Lord I pray that our zeal for you now would be greater than it has ever been in the history of our church and the history of our church families here in Christ's name we pray amen amen well hey guys I'm gonna invite everybody in all the campuses you guys can go ahead and stand with us as we close our service listen we have an opportunity to pray to bring and to sing okay so hey come down during this song if you want to put your physical body in a posture of prayer man our altars are open at the campuses as well hey this is a time where you can bring your tithes and offerings all right you can actually do that physically in the room that you're in whatever campus you're in or you certainly can do it online God is brought us his best we bring us we bring him we bring to him our first and our best and then let's sing man let's praise God for where he is doing for what he has brought us to and let's sing a shout of praise from all of our campuses this weekend
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-04 12:17:35 / 2022-12-04 12:35:32 / 18