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Forum 1

Gateway to God Rom 10:20
God describes Himself Exodus 34:7
God reveals himself in Jesus John 14:6
Knowing God through Experience John 6:35
The Name of God Exodus 3:14
How do I respond to this? Matt 22:37

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The Holy Spirit is a gift to be sought.... click the dove.

Our Christian Faith
is a gift to be sought,
click the dove

 

Gateway to God

Our search for God comes with humility, respect and reverence. In fact we don't choose God - he chooses us - having placed in our hearts an empty void that only he can fill.

Here is his word on this:

"I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me" (Rom 10:20).

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last" (John 15:16).

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (Jer 29:14).

On this basis we can go forward in our foremost task: of loving God and obeying his purposes in our lives.

Here are some insights to help us grow in our knowledge of God:

God reveals himself in Jesus
Knowing God through Experience
The Name of God
How do I respond to this?

 

God Describes Himself

At the time God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, he also described himself.  How absolutely wonderful that thousands of years later we can still read God's own discription of himself:

"Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord.

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The Lord, the Lord the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation." (Exodus 34:7).

Similarly in the Ten Commandments God expressed to us the nature of his character and how to relate to him:

"And God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name." (Exodus 20:6).

Here we realise our guilt... yes, we have broken God's laws!   But there is an answer: God has provided one way out of this predicament of our own making, through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is not a matter for argument but a need for revelation. Let's go on from here...

 

God reveals himself in Jesus

God's supreme revelation of himself is in the person of Jesus. As we study the life of Jesus (whose name means Jehovah our Saviour), we come to know more about God. Jesus said:

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.

"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves." (John 14:6).

From here we will learn more about God through attested experience...

 

Knowing God through Experience

We come to a personal knowledge of God as he reveals himself to us in our experience... however we note that real experiences of God will always be entirely consistent with the Bible.

Throughout history God involves himself in the lives of those who respect and respond to him. The promises of God come true for those who believe him and trust in the integrity of his word.

One of the most wonderful aspects of coming to God is that at any moment in time we may have a fresh start. Our repentance is the doorway to an encounter with God.

The Bible is full of such encounters. In response, people often ascribe to God a name which reflects their experience. Here are some examples to look up - which will encourage us in confidence and prayer:

Name of God   - Reference Name of God   - Reference
Bread of Life John 6:35 My Confidence Psa 71:5
Comforter in sorrow Jer 8:18 My Friend Job 16:20
Consuming Fire Deut 4:24 My Hiding Place Psa 32:7
Defender of Widows Psa 68:5 My Hope Psa 71:5
Faithful and True Rev 19:11 My Redeemer Psa 19:14
God Almighty Gen 17:1 My Salvation Psa 42:5
God of all Comfort 2 Cor 1:3 My Saviour Psa 42:5
God who Avenges Psa 18:47 My Stronghold Psa 18:2
God who Saves Psa 51:14 My Support 2 Sam 22:19
Good Shepherd John 10:11 Our Father Isa 64:8
Good Teacher Mark 10:17 Our Guide Psa 48:14
Great High Priest Heb 4:14 Our Help Psa 33:20
Head of the Church Eph 5:23 Our Leader 2 Chron 13:12
Holy One among you Hos 11:9 Our Peace Eph 2:14
Jealous God Ex 34:14 Prince of Peace Isa 9:6
King of Kings 1 Tim 6:15 Refuge and Strength Psa 46:1
Light of Life John 8:12 Righteous Judge 2 Tim 4:8
Lord of Lords 1 Tim 6:15 Sovereign Lord Luke 2:29
Lord of the Harvest Matt 9:38 Strong Deliverer Psa 140:7
Mediator 1 Tim 2:5 Sure Foundation Isa 28:16
Most Holy Dan 9:24 Wonderful Counsellor Isa 9:6
My Advocate Job 16:19
1 John 2:1
Your Life Col 3:4

Credit for this table and the illustrations below are to:
"Experiencing God" by Henry Blackaby & Claude V. King
ISBN 971-717-007-X page 58

 

The Name of God

"Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I AM who I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you." (Exodus 3:14).

Jesus intentionally used this same name,
reflecting his perfect union with God.

God is one person in three forms: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We call this the Holy Trinity (illustration: think of H2O as having three forms... water, steam and ice).

With this in mind we can learn a lot about God from Jesus' own application of his name:

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matt 11:29)

For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. (Luke 22:27)

"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)

"I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty" (John 6:35).

"You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins." (John 8:23)

"I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. (John 10:7)

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." (John 10:11)

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25)

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

"Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves" (John 14:10)

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. (John 15:1)

"You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." (John 18:37)

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matt 28:20)

God is not historical - he is eternal. This means that apart from Jesus time on earth, he is above our time reference (determined by the rotation of the earth around the sun). Therefore we cannot apply our human understanding of time to God ~ he is in a different time dimension...

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).

 

Other Names of God

Jehovah Jireh
God will provide for our real needs (Gen 22:13-14).

Jehovah Nissi
God is our banner (Exodus 17:15).

Jehovah M'kadesh
God who sanctifies (Lev 20:8).

Jehovah Shalom
God our peace (Jud 6:24).

Jehovah Tsidkenu
God is our righteousness (Jer 23:6).

Jehovah Rohi
God our shepherd (Psalm 23).

Jehovah Shammah
God is always present with us ( Exodus 48:35).

Jehovah Rophe
God is our healer (Exodus 15:22-26)

"See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand..." (Deut 32:39).

 

God is an Awesome God


He is the First and Last,
the Beginning and the End!

He is the keeper of Creation
and the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the Universe,
and the Manager of all times.

He always was,
He always is,
and He always will beÖ
Unmoved, Unchanging, Undefeated, and never Undone!

He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!
He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power! He reigns and brings Peace!

The world canít understand Him.
The armies canít defeat Him.
The schools canít explain Him
and the leaders canít ignore Him.

Herod couldnít kill Him.
The Pharisees couldnít confuse Him
and the people couldnít hold Him!

Nero couldnít crush Him,
Hitler couldnít silence Him,
the New Age canít replace Him,
and Donahue canít explain Him away!

He is light, love, longevity and Lord.
He is goodness, kindness, gentleness, and God.
He is Holy, righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure.
His ways are right, His word is eternal,

His will is unchanging,
and His mind is on me.
He is my redeemer,
He is my Saviour,
He is my guide,
He is my Peace,
He is my joy,
He is my Lord,
He is my comfort,
and He rules my life!

I serve Him because His bond is love,
His burden is light,
and His goal for me is abundant life.

I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise,
the power of the powerful,
the ancient of days,
the ruler of rulers,

the leader of leaders,
the overseer of the overcomers,
and the sovereign Lord of all that was and is and is to come.

And if all that seems impressive to you, try this for size:
His goal is a relationship with ME!

He will never leave me,
Never forsake me,
Never mislead me,
Never forget me,
Never overlook me,
Never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!

When I fail, He forgives!
When I fall, He lifts me up!
When I am weak, He is strong!
When I am lost, He is the way!
When I am afraid, He is my courage!

When I am broken, He mends me!
When I stumble, He steadies me!
When I am hurt, He heals me!
When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me!
When I face trials, He is with me!

When I face persecution, He shields me!
When I face problems, He comforts me!
When I face loss, He provides for me!
When I face death, He carries me Home!

He is everything for everybody, everywhere
Every time and every way, He is God. He is faithful.
I am His and He is mine!

My Father in Heaven can whip the father of this world.
So if you are wondering why I feel so secure, understand thisÖ
He said it and that settles it.
God is in control, I am on His side,
and That means all is well with my soul.

Everyday is a blessing, for GOD Is!
Our God is an awesome God.

 

How do I respond to this?

The thing for us...
is to respond to God with a whole heart!

Imagine you have to cross a mine field. A person who knows exactly where every landmine is located, and offers to take you through. Would you reply: 'Oh, I'm a free thinker, I'll find my own way thanks'.  Well I don't know about you, but I would stay as close to the person who knew the way as I could!

Here is another example. Suppose the Lord says to you: "Let me tell you where a wonderful expression of love is. I will provide you with a spouse. Your relationship with this person will bring out the very best in you! It will give you an opportunity to experience some of the deepest and most meaningful expressions of human love.  This individual will provide for you, affirm you, strengthen you, love you, trust you and believe in you. Through this relationship you will receive children, and one day one of these children will sit on your knee and say I love you.

But God also says: "Do not commit adultery" (Matt 5:27). Is this command an imposition?  No, it is a protection - to free you to enjoy love at its human best. God's commands are there to protect you from the havoc and destruction which comes from betraying God, your spouse, your children, your friends and yourself. God's ways are there to protect from guilt and ruptured relationships. God's ways are only for good.

This is the way to see God... Everything he has for us is for the absolute best. Now we can bow in reverence and ask that he become Lord in our life. We set our heart to respond to God - as we realise he is inviting us to a love relationship with himself.

How do I respond to this?

Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matt 22:37).

How do I become a Christian?... click here

 

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