8/12/18 Sermon Questions

Jonah

Week 4: Jonah 4

 

Life Group Questions:

  • Read Jonah 4 together as a group.
  • What surprises you about Jonah’s response to Nineveh’s repentance?
  • What surprises you about God’s response to Jonah?
  • Have you ever tried to put God in a box like Jonah did in Jonah 4? Why? What happened?
  • What can we learn and apply from Jonah’s heart problem?
  • What are the three things that God provided for Jonah in chapter 4? How were these three blessings, invitations into God’s grace?
  • Pastor Josh said, “God’s provision is not about our convenience, but our transformation.” Agree or disagree?
  • Share a circumstance in your life right now that is meant to be an agitator (like Pastor Josh’s example of the washing machine) and instead is just agitating you. How can you submit that circumstance to God this week?

 

Sermon Notes and Scripture:

  1. Inconvenience creates opportunity for transformation. Convenience encourages stagnation.
  2. God’s invitation to Jonah is inward focused not outward focused.

 

Jonah 4

But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”

Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant[a] and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.” But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” “It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.” 10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

 

 

8/5/18 Sermon Questions

JONAH

Week 3:  Jonah 3

 

Life Group Questions:

  1. Are you able to see grace and not punishment in the story of Jonah? If so, where?
  2. Share a time with your group when you saw God gave you a second chance like He did for Jonah in chapter 3.
  3. Read chapter 3. How does Jonah’s eight word statement take pressure off of you in sharing your faith? How do you see God working in this chapter?
  4. Read the verses provided below (in the sermon notes section) about the salvation process. What did you learn? What can you apply?
  5. Who are you praying for like their life depends on it?
  6. Think about this, Pastor Luke asked how many people would enter into salvation last week if all your prayers were answered. How many would it be?
  7. Who is one person you can pray for this week that needs to hear the gospel?
  8. How can you better prepare to share the story of God’s grace and what it has done for you?

 

Sermon Notes and Scripture:

1 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:  “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” 10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. – Jonah 3:1-10

 

BECOMING AN EFFECTIVE WITNESS:

  1. ALWAYS REMEMBER: GOD ALONE IS THE ONE WHO BRINGS PEOPLE TO REPENTANCE.
  • “No man can say that Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 12:3
  • “To as many as received Him… He gave the right to become children of God—who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” – John 1:13
  • “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God…” – Ephesians 2:8-9
  • “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him… all that the Father gives to Me will come to Me.” – John 6:37, 44

 

  1. FAITH COMES BY HEARING.

17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. – Romans 10:17

 

  1. PRAY LIKE SOMEBODY’S LIFE DEPENDS ON IT.

 

 

 

 

7/29/18 Sermon Questions

Jonah

Week 2:  Jonah 2:1-10

 

Life Group Questions:

  1. Have you ever noticed the word “provided” in Jonah 1:17? How does that one word change your perspective on the story of Jonah?
  2. How is God trying to get your attention right now?
  3. What lengths have you seen Him go to show you His grace?
  4. In what ways in Jonah 1&2 can you see God’s relentless grace?
  5. What area of your life do you need to stop running from God and start running to God?
  6. How can our Life Group pray for you this week? 

 

Sermon Notes and Scripture:    

17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. – Jonah 1:17


From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.  He said: “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight, yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’ – Jonah 2:1-4

 

  1. WHEN WE TURN OUR BACK ON GOD, THE ONLY DIRECTION WE CAN GO IS DOWN.

The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever.  But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit. – Jonah 2:5-6

 

2.  IT’S BETTER TO BE UNITED WITH GOD IN THE BELLY OF A FISH, THAN TO BE WITHOUT HIM ON DRY LAND.

“When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. – Jonah 2:7-8

 

  1. WE CAN’T TRULY UNDERSTAND SALVATION UNTIL WE CAN TRULY UNDERSTAND OUR NEED FOR IT.

But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, Salvation comes from the Lord.’”  10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. – Jonah 2:9-10

7/22/18 Sermon Questions

Jonah

Part 1:  Jonah 1

 

Life Group Questions:

  1. What would you say to the atheist Richard Dawkins about his quote concerning God?
  2. Read Jonah 1 as a group.
  3. What have you learned about Jonah in the past?
  4. What did you learn about the Ninevites? Does that information help to put into context Jonah’s response?
  5. Read the text and look at the way Jonah makes his descent. Had you noticed that progression before?
  6. How do you know when you are choosing Nation over God?
  7. Where do you see God’s grace and mercy in Jonah 1?

Sermon Notes and Scripture:

Jonah 1 New International Version (NIV)

1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.” Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?” He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.) 11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?” 12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.” 13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him. 17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

 

Richard Dawkins, a leading Atheist, once said; “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

  1. Our problem is not with who God is, but with who we are.
  2. The second observation is that God’s Grace goes beyond Opposition.
  3. God’s heart is for his creation, not a specific nation.

7/15/18 Sermon Questions

Uncharted Territory

Week 7:  1 Kings 19:15-21

 

Life Group Questions:

  1. What step towards obedience to God do you need to take today that you didn’t take yesterday?
  2. Read 1 Kings 19:19-21. Do you ever feel restless in the monotony of day to day life? Where can you see God in performing the daily tasks to the best of your ability?
  3. Read the passage again (1 Kings 19:15-21). How did Elisha model the phrase, “you don’t have to understand fully to obey immediately?” Where do you need to apply this?
  4. Have you ever asked, “What’s next, God?” What would you do with His answer?
  5. Read verse 21. Pastor Luke said that Elisha was burning his plan B. What can you learn from this principle and follow God immediately?
  6. What steps of faith does God want you to take to follow Him into uncharted territory?
  7. Are there things in your life that are preventing you from following God into uncharted territory?

 

Sermon Notes and Scripture:

15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” 19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant. – 1 Kings 19:15-21

 

PACKING LIST REMINDERS

 1. YOU DON’T HAVE TO UNDERSTAND FULLY TO OBEY IMMEDIATELY.

20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” – 1 Kings 19:20

 

 2. Sometimes… THOSE GOD USES THE MOST ARE THE ONES WHO HOLD ON TO THE LEAST.

21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant. – 1 Kings 19:21

 

7/8/18 Sermon Questions

UNCHARTED TERRITORY

Week 6:  2 Timothy 4

 

Life Group Questions:

  1. Before hearing the message this week, how would you have defined the word theology? How would you define it now?
  2. How does your theology affect your everyday life? (Family, work, Church)
  3. Read 2 Timothy 4. Knowing these are some of Paul’s last words, what can we learn from the message?
  4. Pastor Luke said, “There is never a season of life that God’s Word doesn’t apply.” (2 Timothy 4:2) Share a personal example of a time that was true in your life and what passage of God’s Word got you through that time.
  5. Read 2 Timothy 4:3-4. Has there ever been a time you recognized bad theology being taught?
  6. What can you do to better prepare for the hardship Paul talks about in 2 Timothy 4:4-5.
  7. What are some ways you can protect yourself from louder theology?
  8. Who are some people in your life that can continue to spur you on to fight the good fight of faith?

 

Scripture:

2 Timothy 4

4In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Markand bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.

14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.

16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

19 Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus.20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21 Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers and sisters. 22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all.

 

 

7/1/18 Sermon Questions

UNCHARTED TERRITORY

Week 5:  Hebrews 10:24-25; Acts 2:42-46

 

Life Group Questions:

  1. In what ways has technology and social media helped build community in your life?
  2. In what ways has technology and social media hindered you and your relationships?
  3. What did Pastor Luke mean when he said, “My active faith is about the one another’s?” How does this apply to the life of the Church?
  4. How are you present and active in the life of the Church?
  5. When was the last time someone lived out Hebrews 10:24 in your life? What effect did it have?
  6. How are you modeling to the younger generation that the Church is the most important community in our lives?
  7. How were you convicted or challenged by the text this week?
  8. How have you seen First Free Rockford take care of their own?
  9. How can our group pray for you this week?

 

Sermon Notes and Scripture:

 NEVER GO ALONE 

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.   Hebrews 10:24-25

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.   Acts 2:42-47

 

 

 

 

 

 

6/24/18 Sermon Questions

UNCHARTED TERRITORY

Week 4:  1 Kings 19:1-18

 

Life Group Questions:

  • Have you ever walked with God when you were “down but not out?” Or when the journey was too much for you? (1 Kings 19:7) How did you see His character all the more clearly during that time?
  • How have you replaced busyness for productivity?
  • Read 1 Kings 19:5-8. What can we learn through Elijah’s resting and waiting on God?
  • Read verses 11-12. Where did Elijah hear the voice of God? How do you need to position yourself so you too can hear His voice?
  • Is there an area of your life that the Lord is telling you to rest and wait on Him?
  • What are some ways you can remind yourself that God is in control in the midst of difficult circumstances?
  • How can our life group pray for you this week?

 

Sermon Notes and Scripture:

 WALKING WITH GOD WHEN WE’RE DOWN, BUT NOT OUT

 

1) GREAT CHALLENGES OFTEN FOLLOW GREAT VICTORIES.

Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. – 1 Kings 19:1-5a

 

2) RESTING AND WAITING ON THE LORD IS NOT TIME THAT IS WASTED.

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night. – 1 Kings 19:5b-9

 

3) GOD ENTERS WHERE WE ARE AND GENTLY PUSHES US TO WHERE HE WANTS US TO BE.

And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” – 1  Kings 19: 9-17

6/17/18 Sermon Questions

UNCHARTED TERRITORY

Week 3:  Joshua 1:1-9

Life Group Questions:

  • Where has God asked you to “burn your map” so you can follow Him where you have not been?
  • How do you think Joshua’s preparation under Moses’ leadership prepared him for what God is asking him to do in Joshua 1:1-9?
  • Pastor Luke said, “Don’t ever give up what is unique to you for something someone else will do.” What are those areas of your life?
  • Read verse 5, what is God trying to point out to Joshua?
  • When God repeats a theme in Scripture, we know we need to pay attention. In verses, 6, 7 and 9, God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous. Do you see the pattern here as to what God was calling him to?
  • Read verse 9. We see that God promises Joshua that He will be with him in what He is calling him to. When you read that and think about the areas where God is calling you into uncharted territory, does that give you courage? Does it build your faith to follow Him?
  • Read verses 7-8. What part does Scripture play in Joshua’s obedience?
  • How has Scripture lead you to obedience (not perfection) even this week?
  • What area of your life is God calling you to be strong and courageous?

 

Sermon Notes and Scripture:

FOLLOWING GOD WHERE I HAVE NOT YET BEEN

THE MYTH: YOU CANNOT LEAD PEOPLE TO WHERE YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY BEEN.

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. – Joshua 1:1-2a

DON’T EVER GIVE UP WHAT IS UNIQUE TO YOU FOR SOMETHING SOMEONE ELSE WILL DO.

 

THE TRUTH: GOD LEADS PEOPLE TO WHERE HE ALREADY IS.

Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. – Joshua 1:2b-6

 

SUCCESS IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE FOCUSES ON OBEDIENCE, NOT PERFECTION.

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:7-9

 

 

 

           

6/10/18 Sermon Questi

UNCHARTED TERRITORY

Week 2: Isaiah 6:1-8; 1 Peter 1:13-16

 

Life Group Questions:

  • What did you learn about the holiness of God?
  • How does that knowledge challenge you to live differently?
  • Have you ever thought about who you would be apart from God?
  • What response do we see from Isaiah to the holiness of God? (Isaiah 6:5)
  • What was the response back? (Isaiah 6:6)
  • What message of grace and calling do you see in these passages? (Isaiah 6:1-8; 1 Peter 1:13-16)
  • Pastor Luke said that, “confession leads to cleansing.” How have you seen that to be true?
  • Read 1 Peter 1:13-16. The imminent coming of Christ should call us to obedience and holiness. How do you see that call in these verses?
  • What did your time in silence this week teach you?

 

Sermon Notes and Scripture:

LIFE IN PROCESS WITH A HOLY GOD

 

1. WE HAVE A POSTURE OF LOOKING UP, NOT JUST LOOKING OUT.

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” – Isaiah 6:1-3

Holiness means “morally and ethically perfect, pure, and set apart from all sin.”

“Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.” – John 12:41

“In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” – Revelation 4:6b-8

 

2) THE FIRST STEP TO BEING USED BY GOD IS ACKNOWLEDGING WHO I AM APART FROM GOD.

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” – Isaiah 6:4-8

 

3) WE MUST ACT LIKE WHAT WE ARE DECLARED TO BE… CHILDREN OF GOD.

 13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:13-16

 

 

“When God’s holiness meets our humanity, we’re muted with humility. The discipline of silence is a natural reaction to God’s holiness. When we get a glimpse of who God is, we find that His voice is deeper than our own. His words are worth listening to. But we’re not accustomed to silence. We react to it, sometimes violently. Our own silence is an X-ray machine and we don’t like what we see – Loneliness, emptiness, insecurity. We fill up the hollow moments with noise. We blare the radio, blast the TV, and phone our friends. Why? To avoid the deafening roar within.

 

“This is one reason so many people are finding refreshment in the monastic traditions. Franciscan, Benedictine, and Cistercian monks splurge in silence every day, realizing the seriousness of worshipping God and the frivolousness of empty chatter. They understand the value of sitting before God, and waiting for Him to say the first word. God is always talking but our ears are full of wax, Silence is our Q-tip. Granted, there will always be a place for upbeat ear-popping praise. But when the ringing stops, when the ramblings cease, we find ourselves alone with the still small voice that whispers, “My presence is enough for you.”