IMPACT VISION 2014, Week 1, Get to Know God

Week 1, GET TO KNOW GOD, Message Notes

Get to Know God. Learn the Bible. Connect with People.  Impact 2014

 

I. Get to Know God

Do you feel close to God?  It is sometimes hard.  You can’t see Him or talk with Him.  Do you ever think…is He really there?

Do you believe  you know God? We all can feel unworthy of knowing God.  J.I. Packer wrote, “…so we are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it.”

Do you have time for God? Life’s distractions and duties can compete with our desire to spend time with God—then before we know it, we’ve drifted in our devotion to Him. But the Father desires to commune with us on a daily basis.

Do you know how much He loves you?  I hope you do.  Today’s message should help you answer this last one.

 

II. To Know God, Know this…

Every individual is important to GOD.

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us…” Genesis 1:26

You might feel unworthy of the Father’s attention, but the truth is, you are a unique creation and beloved in His sight.

Every one of us was created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26); He designed us with the emotional and spiritual capacity to have an intimate relationship with Him.

Do you ever feel undeserving of God’s notice? Why or why not?

Jesus called His disciples “friends” (John 15:15-16). In what way is your relationship with Him like a friendship? How does it differ?

2. No one is too sinful to have a close relationship with God.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23

NO ONE…In other words, no one is righteous enough on his own to fellowship with God, who is perfectly holy. Instead of friendship with our Creator, we deserve death and hell—everlasting separation from Him. However, Jesus took the guilt of our sin on Himself and gave us the gift of eternal life (Rom. 6:22-23).

 

ALL JOY…We can have incredible joy in our relationship with God.

Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin. Romans 4:7-8

How does it feel to know you are completely clean in God’s sight?

We typically think of eternal life as the promise of heaven after death.

And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. John 17:3

3. GOD IS NOT Mad  AT YOU, HE LOVES YOU!

God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17

 God loves you dearly (John 16:27) and Always will! (John 12:25)

 

 

4. Cultivating an intimate relationship requires a commitment.

Commit everything you do to the Lord.  Trust him, and he will help you.     Psalm 37:5

 

4 Commitments for getting to Know God:

1. Make the most of Opportunities…Luke 10:38-42

Allow everyday to be journey of getting to know God.  You can see Him in Children, in the needy, in creation…in so many ways!   God is alive and well on planet earth.  Go out there and make the most of Knowing Him.

 

2. Find a Sacred  SPACE…Luke 5:15-16

 

A. SACRED SPACE…Choose a special place where you can meet with God.

Even if you don’t have a large home, devote one section of it to your time with God. You might choose a chair, a small rug, or even a closet. Eventually, that place will take on a sacred quality. There, you will find it easy to focus on the Lord and His still, small voice.

But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases.  But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer. Luke 5:15-16.

Where did Jesus go when He needed time alone?  He got away from everyone and everything

 

3. Invest your Time…Psalm 25:3

…Invest a significant amount of time in getting to know your Maker.

 

Just like a close friendship or good marriage, an intimate relationship with the Lord requires time. Biblical writers often referred to “waiting on God.” By this, they meant trusting in the Lord and giving Him time to speak to their hearts, encourage them, or answer their prayers.

 

What benefits are associated with “waiting on the Lord”?

Psalm 25:3, No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced…

Psalm 62:5, Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.

 

What do you enjoy most about sitting quietly before the Lord?

 

4. Be HUMBLE…James 4:6-7

…As we approach God, we must come with an attitude of humility. 

 

Proud people don’t see their need for the Lord and, consequently, resist His guidance and correction.

But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say,“God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:6-7

 

 

III. Getting to Know God 

Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. Psalm 63:3-5

 

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence

    and the pleasures of living with you forever. Psalm 16:11

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.  Psalm 139:23-24

I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ. Jude 1:1

 

III. KNOWING GOD – 10 ATTRIBUTES (just the tip of the iceberg, who am i to describe God)

When we talk about the attributes of God we are talking about His nature—who God is in His manifested character. These 10 attributes are not the only ones set forth in scripture. However, these will give you a better appreciation of who God is.

 

1. Omniscient – God knows everything and His knowledge is complete.

God knows everything and His knowledge is complete. This is called His omniscience. Isaiah said that Israel had not seen everything that God had planned (Isaiah 40:28). Job said that God had all knowledge (Job 37:16). The psalmist said that God’s understanding was infinite (Psalm 147:5). The New Testament also claims God’s omniscience in 1 John 3:20 and Romans 11:33.

 

2. Omnipotent – God is able to bring to pass everything that He chooses.

God is able to bring to pass everything that He chooses. He has no external limitations. His only limits are those He places upon Himself. The book of Job (42:2) says that He can do all things and that nothing can restrain him. Genesis 18:14 simply asks, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” The answer, of course, is “no.”

 

3. Omnipresent – He is present in all places at all times.

God’s omnipresence speaks to the fact that He is present in all places at all times. While God is in Heaven, His throne, He is also present in every place. Proverbs 15:3 says that His eyes are in every place. Jeremiah says that God is close at hand and that no one can hide himself from God (Jeremiah 23:23, 24). The classic passage on God’s omnipresence is Psalm 139:7-12 where the psalmist says that he can never be out of the sight of God.

 

4. Immutable – God is absolutely unchanging.

By nature, God is absolutely unchanging. For this reason, the attributes He possessed before the creation of the world are the same ones He has today. Psalm 90:2 says that before anything was created God was eternal and existed in the same state that He is in now. Malachi 3:6 says, “I am the Lord, I change not.”

 

5. Holy – God is exalted, perfect or worthy of complete devotion

Though all the attributes of God are important and dependent on one another, the fact of God’s holiness seems to be the one He wishes us to put emphasis upon. When God revealed Himself to man (Moses, Job, Isaiah, Mount of Transfiguration, etc.) each encounter mentions His holiness. Isaiah called God “the Holy One” more than 30 times. Psalm 99:9 says, “the Lord our God is holy.” Because of His holiness He cannot accept, nor even look upon sin (Habakkuk 1:13).

Psalm 99:5  Exalt the Lord our God! Bow low before his feet, for he is holy!

 

6. Righteous – God’s holiness is manifested in His righteousness

God’s holiness is manifested in His righteousness. Because He is holy, He is righteous. This attribute of righteousness is the way His holiness is expressed when dealing with men. Psalm 116:5 and Ezra 9:15 say that God is righteous. Many verses declare His righteousness (Exodus 9:23-27; Psalm 129:4; 145:17; Jeremiah 12:1; 1 John 1:9)

 

7. Sovereign – God’s sovereignty is how He rules His creation.

God’s sovereignty is how He rules His creation. This is what makes Him free to do what He knows is best for us. Though He is in complete control, He has also given us a free will to obey or reject His leading. The first verse of the Bible says that God does what He chooses to do. The entire first chapter shows God’s authority and sovereignty over His creation. The Bible is full of passages that show God leading or commanding people to do certain things.

 

8. Love – God is loving towards His creatures. He wants to share a personal relationship with us.

If there is one attribute that people love to embrace, it is the fact that God is love. This word encapsulates for us His mercy, grace and loving-kindness. God is not like the deities of other religions who are thought of as angry and hateful. God is loving towards His creatures. He wants to share a personal relationship with us. 1 John 4 talks extensively about God’s love. Not just that God has love, but that He is love.

 

9. Merciful – God is not giving us what we deserve.

God’s mercy has been defined as God not giving us what we deserve. We, as sinners, deserve eternal punishment away from His presence, yet in His mercy He has chosen to offer us a way for salvation (Ephesians 2:4; Romans 5:8). Deuteronomy 4:31 and Psalm 103:8 say that God is merciful. A beautiful picture of God’s mercy is shown in the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15.

 

10. Creator – While God is one, He manifests Himself in three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit.

While God is one, He manifests Himself in three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament often the plural form of the Hebrew word God is used when speaking about Him (Elohim). The Bible refers to the “Angel of the Lord” several times. This is a reference to a physical manifestation of God (Genesis 16, 18). The Holy Spirit is also mentioned in the Old Testament (Genesis 1:2; Judges 6:34

 

The doctrine of the Trinity is taught even more clearly in the New Testament. The baptism of Christ in Matthew 3:16, 17 shows the three persons of the Trinity. God speaks as the Holy Spirit descends from heaven to Jesus. Another example is the way in which we are instructed to be baptized in Matthew 28—in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Jesus also said that He would ask God the Father to send the Holy Spirit as a comforter in John 14. The Bible also claims that each one of the three are God (the Father, Romans 1:7; the Son, Hebrews 1:8; the Spirit, Acts 5:3, 4).

 

IV. Personally Knowing God – Here’s a new ‘APP’

Ask  the Lord to draw you closer to Him in this new year.

Pray for the grace to make fellowship with Him a priority.

Put Him first each day and enjoy the blessings.

 

Prayer: We were designed to fellowship with God, and it is the greatest pleasure our souls will ever know on earth.

Ask the Lord to draw you closer to Him in this new year. If you have been too busy or distracted to dedicate time on a daily basis, pray for the grace to make fellowship with Him a priority. Wait on the Lord, and He will fill you with incredible joy in His presence.

 

The psalmist wrote, “It is good for me to draw near to God” (Psalm 73:28), and hopefully you are learning how good it is for you. A relationship with God begins when God calls us or draws us. Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up [resurrect him] at the last day” (John 6:44).

 

After God calls us, He expects us from then on to exercise initiative in seeking to draw near to Him. If we do, we have this very encouraging promise: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

 

The promise of a resurrection to life after death becomes a primary motivator. It is that “better hope, through which we draw near to God” (Hebrews 7:19).