This week, one of City Central’s elders Darrin Miller preached a powerful message on how to know the heart of God and share His heart with others. Darrin expressed how it is possible to know the Word without intimately knowing and serving the God of the Word. He encouraged us to not miss God’s heart in our desire to know about Him. He continued to share how the Lord transformed him as he chose to serve the least of these in Tacoma, specifically disadvantaged youth, and those experiencing homelessness. Darrin’s message was that we are meant to live transformed each day, experiencing the heart of God and sharing it with others.
God’s Heart – Not for Information, for Holy Spirit Transformation
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
God’s Heart – To Transform us through Obedience
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”
When we know God’s Heart, He will use us to:
- Loose chains of injustice
- Set the oppressed free
- Share food with the hungry
- Provide shelter for the wanderer
- Clothe the naked
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
Promises from Isaiah when we begin to move in this transformed way:
- Light will go forth
- Healing will appear
- Righteousness will go before us
- The Glory of the Lord will be our guard
- Light will rise in a dark world
- God will go with us
- We will be called Repairers and Restorers
God’s Heart – to Transform us into Living Sacrifices
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
1. How can mere knowledge about God keep us from experiencing or serving God Himself?
2. Do you find it difficult to have a heart for the poor, needy, or oppressed in Tacoma? What do you believe stands in the way?
3. Darrin said that things of this world can distract or draw us away from God’s heart and mission for transformation. What are some examples you’ve experienced? How can we guard ourselves against these schemes of the enemy?
4. When we begin to step out in obedience to God’s call on our lives, He transforms us. Is there a specific way God has called you to obey Him by serving others that you have not stepped out in yet?
5. Darrin said that worship is more than a song on a Sunday morning. What is true worship, according to Romans 12:1-2?
6. Is there anything in the way of the Lord transforming your heart in a specific way right now? Share this with a friend or mentor this week and get prayer in this area.
7. Do you find yourself distracted by or drawn to anything of the world that’s taking you away from God’s heart and mission? Name that distraction and bring it to the feet of Jesus this week. Repent, choose to walk in the opposite spirit, and find refreshment in Jesus (Acts 3:19-20).
8. Darrin expressed how the truth in Matthew 25 represents both the practical and the spiritual needs of others. How can you start to serve God by serving those who are poor or needy in a practical way? Choose to walk in obedience and serve in this area before the end of the month.
9. God’s desire is for heart transformation, not religion. Do you need to repent of any religion in your life? Do so this week and share with a friend.