Daniel Fast 2023

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Message Text

Genesis 1:1-31

1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so.8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so.10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so.12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so.16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars.17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so.25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Message Notes

Honor: high respect; great esteem. Regard with great respect.

God created only what he wanted to create, the exact way he wanted to create it, at the exact time he wanted to create it, and without any input from anyone else. My friend Terry King pointed out to me that after every creative act, it is recorded that God pointed out that it was good. He had placed great value and satisfaction in what was created. The value of the creation was beyond our comprehension, like a man trying to logically explain the connection between a woman and her child or an adult trying to understand the connection between a child and their favorite stuffed animal. God had by himself and of himself, with no inout or advice, created. Every animal and sunrise, every molecule that would make up the air we breathe was brought into loving existence by God, and he was absolutely satisfied with it all. That love was so strong that even after the creation rejected him, he moved to rescue them. The value He had placed on His creation wouldn’t allow Him to stand by idly and watch it perish. So he spent it all and sent Jesus. No greater love.

1. We don’t get to decide the value.

It’s not what you would be willing to pay but what He has already paid. Just because something isn’t valuable to you doesn’t mean it has no value. God created and it was good, and even after sin entered the world He never changed His mind. The value was proven by Christ coming to earth.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

2. Who we honor first decides everything.

Matt 22: 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

The first and greatest command is to honor God with our complete and absolute affection. The second command derives all of its ability from the first. You cannot love what at times seems unloveable until you can grasp the lengths God was willing to go to love that very thing.

We will consistently fail when honor is borne out of a response to people’s actions, because at some point everyone has and will do something dishonorable. Everything we are commanded to do is reliant on the prerequisite attitude of honor towards God.

John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

3. Honor God, Love your neighbor

Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

We are now able to love and honor each other in times when it is undeserved and countercultural.

1. Good Samaritan

2. Healing of the leper

3. Woman at the well

4. Prodigal son

None of these stories were motivated by how good the recipients were. This is not about fairness but about the value that God has put on each one of us. If you are consistently asking if someone deserves it, it’s not honor. Jesus has already determined that all people are worth it.