The world will never starve for want of wonders, but only for a want of wonder.
NOVEMBER 22, 2022
Matt Heard: The world will never starve for a want of wonders, but only for a want of wonder. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
If you’ve suffered too long under a do more, try harder religion. Key Life is here to proclaim that Jesus sets the captives free. Steve invited Matt Heard to teach us all this week. Matt is a speaker, teacher, writer, pastor, coach, and the author of life with a Capital L.
Matt Heard: Thank you Matthew. I hope your Thanksgiving week is progressing and you’re getting all the preparations made for whatever you’re up to. And I’m glad you’ve joined us because what we’re spending some time talking about this week is being grammatically correct with our gratitude. Gratitude by definition requires a direct object. Thanksgiving, thankfulness requires having someone to whom I’m thankful, not just for whom I’m thankful, but someone that has provided whatever I’m thankful for. And you and I are inhabiting a world that is filled as G.K. Chesterton said with wonders and he says.
The world isn’t starving for want of wonders, but only for want of wonder.
And he is referring to people that are not rising to the occasion, not just noticing the wonder, but directing their wonders, their gratitude, acknowledging what they’re seeing around them. What we’re letting guide us through this week is a statement Jesus made to this woman by the well in Samaria in John chapter 4: verse 23 and 24, he says.
“Yet a time is coming, and has now come, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for they’re the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
It’s a powerful statement. And what Jesus is actually saying to this woman by the well is that you’ve been sought after for your worship. And here this woman had been trying to quench her thirst through what she thought would fulfill it and the whole time that she was seeking something that would quench her thirst, God was seeking her. One time, my middle son Joel and I were elk hunting in the mountains of Colorado and we got on the trail of an elk. It’s our first time we’d ever done it, and there’d been about eight inches of new snow and we started in the dark. We knew there was a big elk that we were after cause we could hear him. We just couldn’t see him. After several hours of going through mountains and dales and rivers and streams and so forth, as the saying goes. We finally thought, you know what? I think we’ve lost this elk. I don’t think we’re going to find him. And it was about at that point I realized from the GPS that we were close to some guys that we were hunting with that said, Hey, if you’re in this area at these coordinates at such and such a time, let’s reconvene and talk about what’s been happening and who saw what. And we were just about 20 minutes hike from there. And I said, Joel, Let’s go get some hot chocolate. And so, we headed up there. There’s one guy there waiting, We were telling him about tracking this elk that we had heard. And he hadn’t had such luck. But then a couple of guys came up to us about five minutes later and they were almost running, They were trotting, and they came from the same direction where we had been. And they said, Well, did you see him? And we said, No, that elk was a long way away. And they said, No, no, no, not, not the elk. Did you see the lion? We said the what? And they said the mountain lion. I said, What mountain lion? They said, Well, we’ve been following your, your boot prints for 30 minutes and we can see where you were tracking the elk, but there’s been a mountain lion tracking you and you know, my hair on the back of my neck stood up and Joel and I trotted back down the hill with these guys and caught up with our trail again and looked at the tracks and sure enough, there were the tracks of the elk. There were our boot tracks, my big boots and Joel’s small boots. And then there were these ginormous, paw prints of a mountain lion that had been tracking us. Joel said, Cool, I said something else. And then we went on about our day. We never saw the elk or the lion, but I learned something about this text. While we are seeking what we think will please us and will satisfy us and will fulfill our longings, God’s seeking us and he’s seeking us for our worship. Now, that’s not saying that he’s got an ego problem. God doesn’t have an ego problem. He’s not feeling insecure and saying, would you please say thank you, I feel unappreciated. No, he’s created us for his glory, every human being is, and part of me being restored in the original purpose that I made for in Jesus is not only being overwhelmed with his love, but being redirected according to our original calling and purpose. And part of that calling, part of that wiring is that we live as we talked about a little yesterday to the praise of his glory. We live our lives to glorify him, to worship him, to be grateful towards him, not to fulfill his ego. He doesn’t have an ego, but it’s for us to fulfill our calling. It’s how we’re wired. So, I can’t think of a more appropriate week than Thanksgiving week to do a reset according to why we’re made and we’re made to worship. And so, let me give you a definition of worship and you can unpack this during the week and we’ll talk about it the rest of this week. Worship at its core is my active, it’s not passive. I don’t watch worship, I do it. It’s my active all of life. It’s not just a Sunday morning thing, when I’m in church, it’s my active all of life response to the worth of who God is and what he does. So, notice my worship is directed to God, is directed to the worth of who he is and what he does. Now, three words come out in that verse 24, 25, worship and spirit and truth. And they’re inseparable. All of them are involved in worship. So, we’re going to talk about each of them this week. Today, let’s look at kind of ingredient number one, focusing on that word truth. Worship in spirit and truth. This whole notion of worship involves me recognizing his worth. Facing the truth about what God is up to in my life. And not attributing it to me being some lucky protoplasm that just happened upon this universe. But I’ve been created and God has created all that is around me. And the whole notion of acknowledging God, of being grateful is noticing, is recognizing his worth. It’s his Chesterton said, he says.
The world’s not lacking for want of wonders, but for a want of wonder.
There are few, there are too few people that are walking around in wonder, and the wonder that is being referred to by Chesterton and in Scripture is not just a wonder that stays confined to some feelings that I’ve got, but it’s a wonder that’s directed to this God who’s created this world of wonder. Romans chapter 1: verse 25 says.
At the the essence of our rebellion is when we exchange the truth of God.
The accuracy of who he is, what he does for a lie, and he says.
They worshiped and served, created things rather than the creator who’s forever praised.
So, they ignored the truth about who God is and what he does. So, for me to worship is coming back and acknowledging the truth and spending some time recognizing God’s worth. You know the word amuse, we’re addicted to amusement in our culture. You know what amuse means? Amuse means think, a is a negation. So amusement is not thinking. Now, that’s cool. We at times need to be not thinking, we need to take brain breaks, but when that becomes a reason for existence, that’s a problem. Too many of us spend all of our time pursuing, not thinking, instead of reflecting on who God is and what he’s up to in our lives. Brennan Manning one time in an interview with Dick Staub, who’s just a phenomenal interviewer, he said that.
I believe that the real difference in the American church is not between conservatives and liberals, and fundamentalists and charismatic, nor between Republicans and Democrats. The real difference is between the aware and the unaware.
How aware am I of what God is up to in my life? Am I noticing? Am I paying attention? And Elizabeth Barrett Browning, that famous poet, wrote in her poem, Aurora Leigh said.
Earth’s crammed with heaven. And every common bush is a fire with God, but only he who sees takes off his shoes, the rest sit around it and pluck blackberries and daub their natural faces unaware.
Unaware, just going through the motions. And then when a holiday comes along, we say, Yeah, I’m thankful, but we really can’t articulate what we’re thankful for and we certainly can’t articulate who we’re thankful to. And so, the beauty of a Thanksgiving week can get unpacked and experienced when all of a sudden I start, first of all, directing my gratitude to the one who does bless me, but then I recognize what he’s up to in my life. I don’t take it for granted. I’m paying attention to it. John chapter 11: verse 40. Jesus says to them.
Did I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?
Part of believing the gospel is getting some glasses that enable us to not just appreciate what’s around us and appreciate the blessings of our lives and our journeys, but it enables us to appreciate where those blessings come from. So, it’s not a matter of just being as some referred to as a practical atheist, which some Christians are, where we say we believe in God, but we don’t acknowledge him. It’s a matter of us saying, God, I see you. I see your worth. So, I hope today you recognize what he’s done, and as a result, I hope you thrive today.
And that was Matt Heard continuing to teach us about gratitude, a timely message this Thanksgiving week. Thank you Matt. And I hope you saved room because we’ll have another serving of this teaching for you tomorrow. Hope you will join us for that. So, the list of things we’re grateful to God for is long. You could fill a book. It did fill a book, but at the top of that list has to be gratitude to God for sending Jesus to die in our place, but here’s the question. Why did Jesus have to die? Well, Steve gave a sermon a while back to help answer that very question. It’s called Why Jesus Had To Die. And it is a classic. In fact, we put it on a CD that we would be happy to send to you, for free. Just call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an e-mail to [email protected] to ask for that CD. By mail, send you request to
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