The Church God Wants – Know Jesus

The Church God Wants – Know Jesus is the theme for our second week from our series on what God wants in a church.  It may seem obvious that God would want a church that knows Jesus, but it’s not these days.  Too many Christian churches don’t really.  In our text from Exodus we saw how God reveals himself.  This portion of Scripture is known as the sermon on the name of the Lord.

God made quite the name for himself.  Listen to a couple other things he says about himself.  “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.  Just take the first word in that list – compassion.  Did you know that sympathy and compassion are really the same word?  They both mean to feel with someone.  The only difference is that one comes from the Greek and the other the Latin.  God is that close to us.  He shares our nerve endings and our tear ducts.  If something is hurting us, it hurts him too.  When someone is hurting, it’s customary in our society to go and buy a compassion card – usually they’re called sympathy cards.

These say – I’m so sorry for your loss.  Get well soon.  Our thoughts are with you.  Those are good.  It helps us to know that people are with us during the tough times.  But those cards can’t take the hurt away.  When has God been there for me when I don’t know what to do with my children?  When I can’t find a job.  When I have to live with my guilt.  When I know what God says about my life – the thought of death is paralyzing.  God can’t be with me, can he?  What would the card look like from God – I’m so sorry you have to go to hell.  God would still be holy if this is all he did.  His compassion, his sympathy moved him to act.  God couldn’t endure seeing us spend eternity in hell.  He sent Jesus to endure the hell that should have been ours.  That is how God can be just and holy, but full of compassion at the same time.  In sending Jesus, God made quite a name for himself.

Want to hear more?  Watch this week’s message taken from Exodus 34 – the first in our series The Church God Wants – Know Jesus.