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RESET: More of God

Bruce KendrickJan 3, 2021

In This Series (5)
RESET: Resetting Your Mission
Todd WagnerJan 31, 2021
RESET: Resetting Your Leadership
Todd WagnerJan 24, 2021
RESET: Resetting Your Relationships
David PenuelJan 17, 2021
RESET: Resetting Your Priorities
David LeventhalJan 10, 2021
RESET: More of God
Bruce KendrickJan 3, 2021

Summary

Are you in need of a reset? Looking for a change in 2021? In the first week of our Reset series, Bruce Kendrick teaches through Romans 11:33-36, showing us the importance of resetting our hearts and minds on to the sufficiency, sovereignty, and supremacy of God.

Key Takeaways

  • 2020 was a gift from God to His people.
  • God gave us time to not only slow down and be more intentional in our families and relationships. He gave us an opportunity to declutter our schedules and obligations to grow more in our affections for Him.
  • The best gift God can give us is an increasing love for and trust in Him.
  • We need more of the riches of God because we have a wealth of possessions but a deficit of values.
  • If you can imagine the depths of God’s riches, you haven’t quite gotten there yet (Psalm 50:10-12).
  • We trust in chasing wealth and stress over paying our debts, but the depth of God’s riches invites us back time and time again to remember our debts are paid. He welcomes our dependence on Him.
  • We need more of the wisdom of God because we are drowning in information but starving for discernment.
  • The wisdom of God is a mystery, and yet we want more of it because wisdom calls out to us (Proverbs 8:1-11). God is not playing spiritual hide and seek with us. He wants us to grow in wisdom.
  • Wisdom brings life, justice, and righteousness.
  • We need more of the knowledge of God because we know so much that isn’t so.
  • God does not rush to quell our demands for explanation.
  • The question isn’t “Why do bad things happen to good people?” but “Why do good things happen to bad people?”
  • It’s appropriate to reset, and it’s appropriate to set New Year’s Resolutions, but all that amounts to is a spiritual guilt trip or lands you back in the exchange line at the end of the year, you have missed the God who reaches through space and time to reveal Himself, redeem, and restore you.
  • Don’t exchange God for anything less than God.
  • God is willing to meet you where you are, because while you were still a sinner, Christ died for you.

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

  • What might it look like to truly reset the way you think about God this year?
  • What are you trusting in other than God?

Mentioned or Recommended Resources

  • Suggested Scripture study: Romans 11:33-36; Psalm 50:10-12; Proverbs 8:1-11; Job 38:1-7

Welcome to 2021! Let's do this thing! Man, 2020 was such an amazing year. I loved every bit of it. I'm so excited for 2021. I know you are too. My name is Bruce Kendrick. I'm the director of Life Initiatives here at Watermark. If you were around back in August or maybe October, I was up here sharing about some different things, and I likely introduced my family to you.

I normally don't start with this, but I have nine kids. I also have three grandkids, and I'm not quite 40 yet. You don't normally start with that kind of introduction whenever you're meeting new people, because it just gets weird and awkward. People then automatically move into the categories of large families.

It's like, "Oh, so you have a Mormon background?" "No. But I do drive a 12-passenger van, so you've got me there." They're like, "Oh, Catholic then. Catholic." "No. Not Catholic either." Then the last category is always like, "I bet you homeschool, don't you?" "No. We don't homeschool. None of our children are named after minor prophets. We don't have any of that going on."

My homeschool friends, you know. Hey, we love you. We know you're right, so that's why we make fun. Nonetheless, I'm excited to be here, excited to be kicking off the Reset series as we talk about our relationship with God this morning. As we look forward to our priorities and as we're looking at New Year's resolutions, I realize some of us are overachievers and have already broken some of those New Year's resolutions.

We're three days in, and you're like, "Got it. Nailed it. Why wait a month? Just break it now." This time of year really is my favorite. It's like the extended celebration of the holidays. It's that little buzz that's kind of left over after Christmas and New Year's. There are two types of people who come up in this particular phase of the holidays, the dwindling celebration of the holidays.

The first type of person is that person who… You got the gift from Mom, Dad, family, friends, whoever it was, and you opened it with a little smile on your face, and you were so thankful that somebody was thoughtful enough to get you a gift. You opened it up, and no matter what it was, you were like, "Oh, thank you so much. This is so, so nice." You intend to wear that thing at least one time in front of that family or friend just to show that you appreciate it, and then you're never going to wear it again.

Or you just grab that… "Oh, it's so nice. Thank you." And then you put it into that cycle of regift you have going in your closet, or whatever. We'll see that thing again in 10 or 11 months, whenever it comes up again and you have dirty Santa or white elephant or Christmas gift exchange, whatever you do. So, you have those kinds of people.

Honestly, aren't we all that person on the surface? Nobody likes to think of themselves or go public about this second type of person, but this is, honestly, who I am and, I think, many of us. We got that gift, and we were appreciative. We thought it was so nice that somebody was thoughtful enough to get us a gift. However, we were wondering why maybe they didn't look at our Amazon wish list or the wish list they asked us to give them that they were supposed to reference before they gave us said gift.

As soon as we opened that thing, we went, "Oh, that is so nice. I really do appreciate that." Then the party ended, and they left, and we went, "I cannot wait until the first week of January comes around where I can go exchange that thing for something I actually wanted." Now, does that make me a bad person? Yes, it does, and I'm fine confessing that to you. But here's the reason I start with that: because 2020 was an absolute gift to every single one of us in this room.

There are those of us who just go, "I don't know what you're talking about, because at numerous times throughout 2020, I wanted to get in that exchange line and swap that thing out for something that suited my comforts or my styles or my tastes or my fashion." Yet 2020 was God with a giant, blinking, neon sign going, "Stop going in the way you are going. A stronger economy is not the answer. A political party, a politician, a government, a stimulus check is not what you need. Even your own comfort and health and security is not what is ultimately going to bring you satisfaction."

I found myself in March going, "God, what are you doing? I feel like this is a bit of a curveball here" and found myself, honestly, saying, "God, I want to love you more. I just have all of these other things that are really important. My love for you doesn't always pay the bills. My love for you, my worship of you… I don't feel like it always fills in the gaps and puts food on the table. So, I really need you to do kind of this worship thing off to the side, if we could just set that to the side…"

I just realized I don't love God as much as I think I do or as much as I want to. If you missed that 2020 was a gift to you, I do not want you to miss it in 2021, because what's at stake is we are exchanging God for something or anything less than God. Many of us are going to chase after a vaccine or we're going to lose weight or we're going to try to downsize our lives or we're going to try to find that pandemic-proof job so we don't ever have to experience that insecurity again.

We might still prioritize praying more or reading our Bibles more, and those are all good things. Right? None of that stuff I just listed off is a bad thing, but if we find ourselves once again in the exchange line at the end of the year because we didn't reorient our lives and our hearts around the majesty and glory of God, we will have missed the best gift God could have given us to increase our love and trust for him.

These next several weeks, as we go through the Reset series, we're going to talk about some really tangible principles and applications and things like that that are all really, really good, but if that's all we do… I don't want you to just walk out this morning with some new perspective. I want to help us reset our hearts on our relationship with God and be reminded of the sufficiency, the sovereignty, and the supremacy of God, of his work in our lives, of his existence, of his creation.

We're going to be in Romans. If you have your Bible with you, go ahead and open up to Romans, chapter 11. Paul is writing this letter to a group of about 50,000 Jews and believing Gentiles there in Rome, likely from the city of Corinth. They were moving along trade routes, and he was meeting people and sharing the gospel with them, and then they'd go back to Rome and share about what Paul had taught and the gospel. He's encouraging them.

In chapters 1-11 of Romans, if you're not familiar with it, he's unpacking what God has done, why he has done it, and what has happened as a result. In chapters 12-16, he provides a lot of really solid application, but right at the end of chapter 11, Paul just pauses. The joy of knowing God spills out onto the page, and he reminds his readers about the majesty of God. This morning, we get to reflect on what more of God we want. So read with me. Romans 11:33-36:

"Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 'Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?' For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen."

Paul is going to show us three attributes, three aspects, of who God is, and then he's going to ask three questions. I want to spend our time together unpacking some of those and, again, reflecting on what more of God you and I want, what more of God you and I need, as we consider the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God.

1 . We need more of the riches of God because we have a wealth of possessions but a deficit of values. You see, the depth of God's riches is this inexhaustible treasury with no spending limit. I was having lunch with a friend a while back. He has been really successful in business. We were just exchanging what's going on in our lives and staying up to date, and I was sharing a little bit about ministry stuff. He's such an incredible friend that he bears with me through some of that as I'm going, "This is what I'm struggling with. This is what's going on."

Then he started to talk about business stuff, which has always been something that has really interested me. He deals in developments and real estate and all of these different ventures. He started to talk about these different opportunities. I was like, "Are you going to chase that one or are you going to pursue that or are you going to pursue that?" He was like, "No, man. I don't just chase every opportunity to turn a profit anymore, because I've been successful in business. I no longer deal in the currency of money; I deal in the currency of time."

I was like, "Dealing in the currency of time? What is that?" I started to realize that we deal in different currencies. When you're younger, you don't really understand money or even time as much, but you definitely understand popularity. As humans, we often deal in that currency of "Who has the most friends? Who's the most popular kid in school?" As you grow up and transition into college or you start driving, you realize things cost money. All of a sudden, it gets very real.

You're no longer being funded by Mom and Dad, so student loans start to pile up, but you get through college, or however you move forward in that direction. Then you might start a family or get your first job. You're still dealing in the currency of money, but eventually, you start to deal in that currency of time. As you get older, you realize that relationships and popularity and whatnot, no matter how many Facebook or Instagram followers you have, or whatever social media platform you're on, brings you some kind of satisfaction…

You realize, "Okay. We're going to need some money," but then you get to that point in life where you look back and go, "All of that was nothing compared to the fact that time is counting down, and I want to invest my life in the most important things God has given me." These are all human currencies we deal in, yet God doesn't really deal in any of them. God deals in the currency of glory that cannot be added to or taken away from.

So, when I say we have a deficit of values, I'm not talking about, like, "Hey, we just need to be better people. We just need to be more honest with one another. We just need to be more transparent and be kind and nice." I'm not talking about moral therapeutic deism where God is like, "Hey, you need to be better behaved." What I'm saying is that when we talk about values, we don't understand what to value.

2020 is proof of that, as we chase every possible thing that might help us bring our world back into order. God just stepped back and went, "Hey, I'm still in control. It's okay. I'm still dealing in the currency of glory, because I'm sovereign, because I'm sufficient, because I'm eternal." Just look at how God has designed and built heaven. The streets are made of gold. What we use concrete for, God goes, "I've got gold."

God doesn't chase after all of this monetary value. He goes, "Glory is what I have. Yes, of course I have riches beyond compare." He says in Psalm 50 through the psalmist: "…for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it."

God goes, "I own the cattle on a thousand hills." If you can imagine God's riches, his inexhaustible resource, you haven't quite gotten there yet. For us, as we think about cattle on a thousand hills, it doesn't really compute. For the Israelites, it would have made a lot of sense, or if you were raised on a farm, that would make a lot of sense, because you're like, "My life revolves around livestock and crops and the harvest time."

But if you grew up in the 'burbs, you're like, "I mean, I can just drive down to Tom Thumb and get a steak of my choosing. They have a whole meat department down there. There are little meat diapers that soak up all the juice. I don't get the thousand hills cattle thing." If I could just translate this… The vault in the bank of God is measured in light-years. God's data servers don't have gigabytes or terabytes. They have yottabytes.

I had to look that up, because I was like, "Okay. I know what gigabytes are. I know what terabytes are. I need something I don't have any comprehension for." So, I was like, "What is the largest amount of storage we have a name for?" It's the yottabyte. It's one trillion terabytes. When you look at the definition, it says, "There is no need for a unit of measurement larger than a yottabyte because there is simply no practical use for such a large measurement. Even all the data that we have in the world is just a few zettabytes."

I was like, "Okay. Now we're nerding out, because I don't know what zettabytes are either." But Paul asks the question, "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?" So often, we approach God in a way that says, "God, what can I give you?" We treat God like this vending machine, where it's like, "Hey, I put my money in, and I said my prayer, and you're supposed to spit out the stuff I want."

Only, if we follow that illustration in regard to how God actually works, it's more like that time when you were a kid and you walked up and you thought you were going to put your money in, but you peered down, and what you wanted to drink was already there. You were like, "Yes!" You thought you were stealing candy from a baby or something, but you didn't realize that God doesn't approach you like a creditor.

He doesn't say, "Hey, it's time for you to pay up." He says, "Your debt is already paid. And guess what? You can keep coming back, because I have inexhaustible resources. I want to lavish them on you, that you might experience goodness and righteousness." We need more of the riches of God because we have a wealth of possessions but a deficit of values.

"Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 'Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?' For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen."

2 . We need more of the wisdom of God because we are drowning in information and misinformation, but we are starving for discernment. Have you ever heard somebody say, "Oh, gosh, don't be so judgmental; you can't judge me"? I don't want to encourage us toward condemning people, but I do want to encourage us toward discernment. When I hear somebody say, "Don't be so judgmental," what I hear them say is, "Look. Don't try to notice or pick out the fact that I can't tell right from wrong."

When God instilled the Holy Spirit in you, he gave you a gift that you might be discerning in this world. Not the morality police, necessarily, but somebody who could go, "Hey, that's not going to go well for you. Before you jump off that cliff or run off that bridge or follow this or that like some lemming that's just doing whatever the crowd is doing or echoing whatever the crowd is echoing, can I just stand firm in truth and kindly and gently remind you of what is real?" We have gotten carried away in our circumstances.

Several years ago, I was in this spot personally, professionally, and spiritually. My family was falling apart. It really started with me losing sight of the trustworthiness of God's Scripture. I started to kind of peel back and go, "Well, I believe some of these things, but this thing is hard to believe." In this small season of my life, in the midst of what felt like theological gymnastics, where you start to do backflips to try to explain things for God…

Have you ever been there, where it's like, "Well, God, let me explain something to you. I've got these doubts, and these questions justify my doubts; therefore, you are no longer this penultimate God. You're really kind of just… I mean, you're still up there." In my arrogance, I started to criticize and complain, and then all of a sudden, God went, "Hey, we're going to peel the façade off your faith."

My son decided to move out abruptly, and a few months later we found out we were going to be grandparents for the first time in our early 30s. They don't put that on the brochures when you go in to foster or adopt. Simultaneously, a sibling of our youngest three adopted kids needed a place to stay, so we added one more to the house.

My wife was pregnant with our ninth child, and we were caring for a child from an adoptive family where they had stepped forward and said, "Hey, we want to give of our family. We want to adopt this child. We want to care for them," and then not weighed either the managed sin in their own hearts and lives or the trauma and neglect and abuse and the impact of that neglect and abuse that child had experienced, and the family was just falling apart.

They went, "Hey, we need some place our child can go and be safe and be cared for," and we went, "We can do that. We have space." Then professionally, we had this small start-up nonprofit. It had five staff. In the span of this one little time, three of our staff members had to step back from their roles, whether it was due to their own personal health or their family or whatever it might be.

I'm just looking across the desk at my wife, going, "I do not understand what is happening right now." It all came to a head one day as I was sitting in my bedroom and my wife, with tears in her eyes, looked at me and was like, "What do we do with this?" In this fantastic, awful experience of abandoning God's Word, I just went, "Look, honey. I have two things for you. I know there is a God who sent his Son to die on the cross for our sins and resurrected, but that's all I've got." It is still palpable to me today. She looked at me and went, "Okay. For today, that's enough."

You see, in the complexity of our own lives and our own worlds, God holds all of these tensions together. He doesn't freak out. He's not wrestling with them. It's not like God goes, "This really got out of hand. I did not see this coming." As Paul asked the question, "Who has been his counselor?" When has God ever knocked on your door and been like, "So, uh, there's a virus. Didn't see that"? But God in his infinite wisdom holds all things together.

I brought this Rubik's Cube. I've never really been able to figure this thing out. We got it for my kids because my kids are smarter than I am, and I figured they'd be able to work it out. Every time I pick one of these up, I can always get two or three colors on the same side, but as soon as I try to move other colors over and it moves those colors back, I can never quite keep it all working at the same time.

This is infinitesimally less complicated than eternity and the existence and the creation God holds together, yet at no time does he ever freak out. When we think about things like free will and election… We have choices. We make choices, but then God steps in, and he elects, and he redeems, and he restores. God maintains justice and mercy, and not like this little childish social justice thing we're toying around with right now. Like, actual justice.

Not like, "Hey, we want everybody to feel like they're equal." Actual equality in a kingdom economy that actually works, that isn't surrounded by this pecking order, yet at the same time that he maintains this justice, he maintains mercy and love and truth and real relationships with personalities that get moody and get upset and complain. God maintains all of these things. We're not just robots with the illusion of a personality or the illusion of a choice.

Then this million-dollar theological phrase and idea that's known as the hypostatic union, where Jesus Christ is the 200 percent being, fully man and fully God. Fully man in that he lived on this earth. He sweat. He cried. He bled. He experienced all of the intricacies of what it's like to be human, to be limited and, at the same time, fully God.

When he laid himself on the cross and stretched out his arms and took the weight and the punishment of our sin, simultaneously, he was holding together every cell in the lungs of the Roman soldier to help him breathe and every muscle and every tendon and every ligament and even the fingernails on that man's arm as he held the nail and the hammer and struck it into our Savior's arms. Fully God and fully man.

God, in his infinite wisdom… It is remarkable, and I want more of it. In Proverbs 8, God says, "Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? […] Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her."

God is not playing spiritual hide-and-go-seek with you. He's not trying to be vague. He's not trying to be far off. He's not going to stand in the presence and enable your sin, but God, in his holiness and righteousness, says, "I have an inexhaustible amount of riches and wisdom I want to pour out on you, that you would experience the depths of a relationship with me."

So many times, I find myself going, "Hey, God, if you would just give me the surface-level stuff so I can kind of continue to do my thing, if I could just pay my bills…" Wisdom brings life and justice and righteousness, and we need more of the wisdom of God because we are drowning in information and misinformation and we are starving for discernment.

"Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 'Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?' For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen."

3 . We need more of the knowledge of God because we think we know so much that just isn't so. Every year, we take a trip with the Life Initiatives Team to DC in January around the March for Life, which is this big march of roughly a million people who show up in DC right there around the Washington Monument. We march up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court, basically in opposition of Roe v. Wade and the law of abortion in our land.

It is this incredible, cool deal where we get to go visit with legislators and the senators and representatives there in DC and talk to them about the work that our church, that you are doing in caring for vulnerable women and men with unexpected pregnancies and past abortions and engaging and being light in this community. It is such an incredible encouragement. While we're there, we often get to sightsee.

I've been to DC a number of times. I've done the whole tour of the White House thing. (I may have taken something.) I'd never been to the Library of Congress because I always thought, "I mean, it's a library, so why would I want to go there? I'm not here to read books." But the team was like, "Hey, let's go to the Library of Congress." I was like, "Great. I've never been there before. I've kind of done everything else here. Let's go check that out."

So we go in, and I immediately realize I do not belong in this building. You should have scored well over a certain average, or whatever, on your SAT to be allowed in this building, because the Library of Congress… Its contents are not just collections of things of, like, "Who cares? Congress, law, legislative, whatever." Its collections are universal. It's not limited by subject or format. It's not limited by national boundary.

It includes research materials from all parts of the world for the past centuries in over 450 languages. When I walked in and saw Latin, I was like, "I mean, I kind of know what Latin looks like. I can't read it or understand it, but I know it's a dead language, and if you're telling me this library has things in it that are written in dead languages that people are no longer using really, then I don't belong here."

No matter how much I tried to sort of exude my best Nicolas Cage impression… I was like, "Am I going to get to steal the Declaration of Independence while I'm in here? This is going to be awesome." We got into that next building that has all of the books in it that looks like a legit library on steroids, and I just went, "Nope. Too many words. Too much information," and just slowly backed out. Everybody kind of looked at me like, "Where is he going?" I was like, "Nope. Can't do this."

If that's what we have for a Library of Congress… When we think of the knowledge of God, his library must go on for eternity, and not just eternity past but eternity future as well. He holds it in his hands, yet in our arrogance, as we look at the existence of God and what has become a fairly cliché saying of "God is all-knowing and all-powerful and all-present," we then stand back and are like, "Okay. Well, why is God invisible? Why is God inaudible? Why is God immaterial? Why doesn't God…?"

I don't know if you've ever had this thought before. It happens to me a lot when I'm running at night. Why doesn't God just pause the world for a second, peel back the cosmos, peek his head in, and just be like, "Hey, just wanted to let you know I'm still here. You're looking good. Keep running," and drop that thing back in? Why doesn't he do that? Wouldn't that make a whole lot of sense?

Yet God, in his depth of knowledge, in his depth of wisdom, in his depth of riches, goes, "Hey, I'm not submitting myself to your scientific method. There are good reasons to trust that I exist. There are a lot of bad reasons to believe I don't, but I'm not going to put myself under your microscope. I'm not going to let you throw me in a beaker." Can you imagine? God doesn't rush to quell all of our doubts and demands for explanation.

I like to try to spur on spiritual conversations with my kids. Anytime I'm taking them to school in the morning… I don't like my kids to ride the bus in the morning, because I want them to get their start with a great conversation with Dad, just praying over them as I drop them off and just encouraging them to continue. Like, "Hey, what did you read in your Bible last night?" So, we have these little conversations.

Most recently, I was having this conversation with my daughter, and I was talking about the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present existence of God. In her pre-teen-ness, she looked back at me and was like, "Hey, Dad, if God is so all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-present, why do bad things happen?" Because God is not a Jesus-juke God… He doesn't slip your legs out from under you, where he's like, "Hey, sit in this chair," and then pull it out from under you as you're sitting down.

Does anybody ever feel like God is like that? I always have this… Anytime I come up on this stage and share, I feel like God is going to do something where he just… God goes, "No, I'm not like that. I'm kind. I'm gentle. I'm loving. I'm wise. I'm trustworthy." Because God is all of those things, he took what my response was about to be and went, "Hey, let me drop this question into you."

So, gently and lovingly to my daughter I said, "Can I help us ask what I think might be a better question? If we are so rebellious, sinful, and poor, why do good things happen? Why do we get anything good? Why don't we get all of the bad that we deserve? Why is mercy a thing? Why is grace a thing?"

In the story of Job, we see this man who has everything, and in the better part of a day it's all taken away from him…all of his possessions. He's like the wealthiest guy in his community. He is revered. He is popular. I mean, he is doing everything right, and in the better part of a day, all of his stuff is taken away.

His wife looks at him at the end of the day and is like, "You should just curse God and die. He obviously has it out for you." You may be sitting here today going, "Yeah. I felt like God had it out for me in 2020. I like this whole reset idea, but my circumstances haven't changed. I woke up on January 1. There they were."

Job, as he sits down with his friends and as they mourn and grieve together, and then Job begins to try to make sense of it all, he starts adding words. At one point, he tells his friends who are adding advice… He goes, "If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom." Which is a great comeback if you want to use that sometime.

Nonetheless, he continues. In chapter 38, he stops, and God comes out of a storm and speaks to Job and says this: "Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me." I love it when God flexes. I love it when God bows up, because it is so freaking scary. It's like, "Woo! He's going to do something." I absolutely love it.

It's like when God sent David against Goliath and went, "Yeah, use that little sling and those stones, the little ones." Then, as the giant is lying there all dizzy like he just got knocked out in a UFC fight, he takes the dude's sword and cuts off his head and then holds it up in victory and says, "Bring it, Philistines!" This is the God we serve.

"Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?"

Paul echoes the same exact question. He says, "Who has known the mind of the Lord?" We need more of the knowledge of God because we know so much that just isn't so. It's not that God is not big enough for our doubts. It's appropriate for us to reset. It's appropriate for us to have New Year's resolutions, to want to pray and read our Bibles more, to lose weight and downsize our lifestyles and all of the different things we want more or less of.

But if we end up with just a little more or a little less of all of these things but haven't gotten more of God, we will find ourselves at the end of the year in the same exchange line with our unwanted, unfulfilling gifts, and we will have missed that God is reaching through space and time to reveal himself, to redeem us, and to restore us. "For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever!"

I want you to walk out of here with a couple of things. First, don't exchange God for not-God. Don't exchange what is infinitely valuable for anything less. Secondly, pursue whatever stirs your affections and builds your trust in him. Back in March, I thought, "Okay. We're going to pivot here, and we're going to have a new normal," which if I ever hear those words again…

I thought, "We're going to read our Bibles more," and we read our Bibles more. July came around and I went, "We don't love God more. We're reading our Bibles more, and that's a good thing, but, God, I need you to stir my affections for you." That's not to say you need to go abandon the church, abandon God's people, and basically go, "You know what stirs my affections for God? Sleeping in. I like it." That is foolish and selfish.

You might go find yourself on a mountaintop and ski and enjoy God's nature and worship him there and then realize you were not meant to stay on the mountaintop and just worship nature. You were meant to be in the trenches with the creation of God that is often stuck in sinfulness and go, "Hey, let me pull you out and show you that there is more, that there is hope. Let me show you the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God."

No matter how much more of God I want to love, the sweetest truth is that God loves me. Romans 5:8: "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." This morning, I've been talking to the family. If you're here and you're kind of like, "Uh, I was just checking this out. It was part of my New Year's resolutions. I was going to jump back into church…"

If you've not heard the majesty and the glory of who our God is and, all of a sudden, your affections and your understanding of what is available and the fact that God not only says, "Yes, pray to me" but "I want to talk to you. I want to spend time with you. I want to lavish my riches and wisdom and knowledge on you that you wouldn't continue to get spent up by pandemics…" He has prepared a seat at the table for you, that you might come and enjoy the feast, that you might hear the truth of his gospel. He says, "This isn't about what you bring to the table. I've set a place for you. Come and eat without money and without cost. I have paid all of your debts."

Here after the service, we're going to have some friends up front. If you have never heard this stuff before, I want to invite you down to come have a conversation with us. If a friend brought you, I want to encourage you. Grab lunch together, and let's wrestle. Our God is good and trustworthy. We get to experience the depths of his riches and wisdom and knowledge, for from him and through him and for him are all things. Let's pray.

God, thank you for my friends, and thank you for 2020. I realize I say that and yet there are people who lost jobs and lost loved ones, and that reality is not lost on me. Of the time I got to spend at funerals in 2020, the reality is definitely not lost on me, yet, God, I'm so grateful that you would help me stop chasing after the things I think have value and you would help me declutter my schedule and declutter my life that I would focus in on you. God, help us reset our hearts. Help us reset our minds on what is infinitely glorious, the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God. God, you're good.

I pray for my friends as we land the plane this morning and as we wrap up, God, that as we walk out of here, our awe of you would be renewed, not out of anything I've said but just out of the truth of your Word, that we would be reminded of how glorious and majestic, as we pray in the able, wonderful, righteous, holy name that is above all names, Jesus Christ, who is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords in this year of our Savior, 2021, amen.