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How Big Is Your God? (What Relationship Reveals)

At Gateway Church in Austin, we continued our series called “How Big Is Your God?

John Burke shared at the Northwest Campus (McNeil), and I shared at the South Campus. Here are some of our thoughts:

“There seems to be this irresistible longing for love that produces both our highest highs, and our lowest lows. But have you ever thought about why? What does that tell us about ourselves and about the God who Created us?

God comes out of hiding and reveals things about himself—when we really want to seek Him with an open heart. ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD’ (Jeremiah 29:13-14).

The reason we don’t really seek God or trust God fully is that usually our God is too small. Our inaccurate views of God make us think that God can’t relate, that He doesn’t feel like we feel.

In reality you and I can move the heart of God. God allows his life to be complicated by love for you.

‘The LORD said to me, “Have you seen what fickle Israel has done? Like a wife who commits adultery, Israel has worshiped other gods on every hill and under every green tree. I thought, ‘After she has done all this, she will return to me.’ But she did not return…I divorced faithless Israel because of her adultery… Israel treated it all so lightly—she thought nothing of committing adultery’” (Jeremiah 3:6-9).

Do you hear the heart of God ripped apart? God compares his love for people to the most intimate marital love.

And here’s a more amazing truth, even though we’ve all rejected him at some point. He just can’t give up – even though He divorced those who kept on giving their love and alliegence to false gods who led them into harmful practices that hurt them and others. Even still God’s heart longs for them to come home: ‘This is what the LORD says: ‘O My faithless people, come home to me again, for I am merciful. I will not be angry with you forever. Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you rebelled against the LORD your God and committed adultery against him…Confess that you refused to listen to my voice’ (Jeremiah 3:12-13).

This is the heart of God. Even though we all have turned from Him, yet He is merciful and His love forgives.

We long to get a love we can never fully get, but we also long to give a love we can never fully give. Have you ever thought about that?

I want to be a sacrificially loving husband and father—I love my wife, and I adore my kids. It’s what we all think we would do for those we love – sacrifice ourselves. But you know what I often won’t sacrifice? My Pride. It’s easy to fantasize a love that lays down it’s life, but then we get in an argument and we won’t even sacrifice one point.

Again, all our loves, and even our struggle to love—they point us back to our need for the Source of Love. We can’t love as we know we should without His help.”

To watch or listen to this message, go to www.gatewaychurch.com/podcast.

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ebryant@churchleaders.com'
Dr. Eric Michael Bryant serves with Gateway Church in Austin as the team leader for Central and South Austin and as part of the teaching team. Eric previously served at Mosaic in Los Angeles and his books include Not Like Me: A Field Guide to a Influencing a Diverse World and A Fruitful Life: Becoming Who You Were Created To Be. Eric coaches church planters and campus pastors, teaches on Post Christian Ministry, and leads a cohort for a Doctorate of Ministry in Missional Effectiveness through Bethel Seminary where he earned his Doctorate of Ministry in Entrepreneurial Leadership.