Monday, November 19, 2012

But if Not, KNOW GOD!

1                    Knowing GOD

We have talked about needing Revival and this morning I want to offer an Idea of where that revival may start. More than bible reading, more than Attending Church, More than Loving neighbors, I want to look at KNOWING GOD and OUR RELATION TO HIM.

God is Holy and glorious. He is the Most High God. The Lord is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, who is enthroned on high, who’s Name is HOLY ? God is three persons in one divine being: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is infinite, self-sufficient, unchangeable, and sovereign. He has infinite power, knows everything, and is present everywhere. The God of heaven and earth is the only holy, righteous, and just God and can only do that which is compatible with His nature. He is full of love, grace, and truth. 

Does knowing the theology of God mean we know God, or is knowing God knowing Him personally, what he did for us?

2                    Moses knew God

The rest of the people saw the works of God, but Moses knew the ways of God.

They knew about God,
Moses knew God intimately.

"And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend

There is a great difference in knowing ABOUT God and knowing God.  Moses talked with God on a personal level. We may not speak face to face with Him but, we can and should have a Bible based understanding of the Ways of God. The more we study and pray and spend time with God the better we know Him.

3           The great problem in today's churches

We have many who know about God
 but few who know God intimately
How sad it will be in the resurrection to meet a God face to face that we have not known heart to heart

To know Him is the source of all our strength, when troubled times come we need to know Him.

4                   God made us to know Him.

Made in the image of God.
The glory of man is that we are made in the image of God’s glory.
Reason,  Thinking
Feeling, Emotion, Instinct
Choice, Free Will, Action
God wants us to CHOOSE to know Him.

In creation our Sovereign God Created Man in His own Image, which is our Original Glory.
He created us In His own Image.
Thinking, The ability to reason, know, and understand.
Feeling, The function of emotion, instinct, hope, despair, love, hate, courage, and fear.
Acting The Will of man to act on reason and understanding, tempered by emotion, even at times controlled by emotion. Man is free to act within his own Choice to serve God or not.

5                    The image of God in Man
                                 We Have A choice

The image of God in man is Choice. Only Man, in all creation, has the Glory of God in the ability Think, Feel, Act, that is to freely make a choice.
Man was created in the image of God’s Glory with the ability to and right to Choose to serve God or not.

6                        God Wants us to choose to Know HIM
         We were made in His image to know Him.
We were made with the ability and right to know Him.
He is our Guide, Strength, Rest.
We know who we are and why we are here By KNOWING HIM.

7            There are so many great examples of the ones that knew GOD. 
 Hebrews Chapter 11 list some.  Heroes and martyrs
By faith Noah, when he was warned about things not yet seen, with reverent regard constructed an ark.     See Gen 7:16
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

Noah obeyed God, he built the ark, he got everything on board. GOD SHUT HIM IN!!   God will not ask us to do what we cannot do.  How could a man shut the door and let all his friends and neighbors drown  in the rain?  This is such a loving act of mercy, God closed the door, they could not break in, Noah could not let them in.  The judgment was in God’s hand.

Moses was taken from the river to live as the son of Pharaoh’s  daughter. He had only one contact with the history and tradition of his people, the princes sent his sister to get a nurse maid for him and she got his mother. Moses lived in the palace, went to the best Egyptian schools, was Egyptian royalty; He did not grow up in Israel, he did not go to Israeli schools the only contact he had with Israel was his nursemaid.
In ancient Egypt the crown and throne passed from father to Daughter.  To be the Son of Pharaoh’s Daughter was to be Crown Prince in Egypt.  WHY WOULD A PRINCE TURN AWAY FROM  HIS THRONE.  One of the greatest characters of the bible is a nurse maid a mother, all Moses knew of Israel came from the quiet teachings of a mother, a mother I pose that KNEW GOD, and taught her son. 

8   How well do you know God?

The point here is that these saints past Knew God! They knew death was better than disobeying God. The early church lived as the property of God, Bondslave to Him ready to die for Him.      How well do you know God?

9             And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of All.
Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

10                 Of whom the world was not worthy
And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
(Of whom the world was not worthy:)
These Heroes of Faith KNEW GOD!

11                        Quenched the violence of fire
Three bold young men knew GOD  they knew he was able to keep promises

The suffering of the faithful is still part of God’s plan. That is no less true today than in the second century. And it was true in Daniel’s day when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood before mighty King Nebuchadnezzar. When he ordered all his leaders to bow down before the golden image, they and they alone refused. When called to give an account of their disobedience, they replied that the king could do what he wanted, but their God could deliver them, and no matter what happened to them, they would not bow down.
Their heroic words speak across the centuries to us today. Let’s take a few moments to consider what they said and what it means for us. I urge you to pay close attention. You may need this truth sooner than you think.

                     12            An Absolute Conviction
                                          Our God is able!

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it” They did not doubt the king’s intention to throw them into the blazing furnace. They didn’t doubt his ability or his willingness to act if necessary. I am sure they had seen firsthand how cruel he could be to anyone who crossed him.
What gave them the confidence to speak so boldly? Three little words: God is able. What a thought this is. They knew their God and they knew what he could do.
God is able to deliver! God is able to save! God is able to rescue! And how did they know that?

13           They remembered what he had done in the past.
He spoke and the stars flew into the skies.
He spoke and the planets began spinning around the sun.
He spoke and the lion roared and the eagle soared and the fish began to swim.
 He took a lump of clay and made a man
Then he took the man’s rib and made a woman.

14            They had been taught these stories since they were tiny children
He turned a rod into a serpent and back into a rod again.
He sent a wind and the Red Sea parted.
He set a table in the wilderness and fed his children manna and quail.
He brought forth water from a rock.
He caused the walls of Jericho to come a’tumblin’ down.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had been taught these stories since they were tiny children. Because they knew their God, they knew what he could do. Therefore, in their own time of crisis, they knew beyond any shadow of doubt that God is able.

15           What God Could do!!
Let me say it plainly. Because they knew what God had done in the past, they knew what he could do in the present. This is the great value that comes from learning God’s Word. You discover who God is, what he has done, and what he can do. Knowing God gives you the strength to stand your ground no matter who is standing against you.

 16          A Strong Hope
They had a big God. They believed in a God who could do anything. That’s why Hebrews 11:34 refers to them when it says, “By faith they quenched the fury of the flames.”
These three knew the ways of God not just about Him.

“And he will rescue us from your hand, O king.   There is a strong note of optimism in their voices as they stand before the mightiest man in the world. The fiery furnace was not too many yards away, certainly within eyesight, I would think. They knew the price for disobedience. But who did they serve? They disobeyed the earthly King anyway. Why? Because they believed deep in their soul that to obey and worship the golden idle was to deny the one true God . They expected some kind of deliverance. In this life or the next, but, they were true to GOD.
Now what made them talk like this? I answer very simply Our God Is Able! Here is strong optimism at a time when hope seemed gone.
Many of us stand in that same spot this morning. The circumstances seem stacked against us, but because of God, we can always be sure of victory. That’s a lot better than yielding to this world, which is where we are when we don’t know God at all.

17        An Unwavering Resolve

    But if not!!
But if not,  He may have other plans.
But if not,  His will, will be done.

We will be true to the God of eternity
Not just protect the present.

“But even if   he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:18). And so we come to the most powerful words of all. There are various stages in the life of faith and this may be the highest of all. Here they are saying, “We know God can deliver us but we don’t know if he will deliver, but either way, we still won’t bow down before your golden image.” Basically they were signing their own death warrant before an earthly King, and they knew it. But, they were true to the King of Kings. How many of us would have that kind of courage?
They knew it was better to die a thousand times with God’s approval than to live one day without it. Better Talk about a fiery furnace than to live with the fire of a guilty conscience burning in your soul. They could die, but they dare not sin! Their convictions were not for sale. Not at any price, not even their own lives.
What a noble example of faith. They hoped for a miracle but they didn’t demand one. They left everything in the hands of God!

18      Consider that little phrase: “but if not.”

We want our prayers answered—but if not!
We want long life and good health—but if not!
We want our children to prosper—but if not!
We want to see miracles happen—but if not!

If God says no to your cherished dreams and your fondest hopes, will you still trust him? If God says no to your plans for the future, will you still serve him?
If God says no when through your tears you pray for those you love, will you still follow him?

These three young men had a big God and they knew that their personal deliverance in this life might not be possible but, they had a promise of another life. That’s a key insight because for most of us, when we get in a tight place, the only thing we can think about is making sure we get out okay. So when we pray, we say, “O Lord, please get me out of this jam.” And sometimes we even say, “If it be thy will,” but we don’t say that very loudly because we hope God’s will is the same as ours.
But often it isn’t. We see through a glass darkly. At best we see only a glimmer of God’s purposes, like peeking through a pinhole. But God sees the whole panorama of history stretched out before him.
This time the three stood on “but if not”  and the King was good to his word! He commanded,” Heat it seven times hotter and throw them in”. But,


Their bonds were gone and the fire had no power over them.
They were up walking around.
Fellowshipping with Jesus He was there too
They got to meet the Savior!

True to Faith, true to God, their bonds burned off and they were up walking around.  The fire had no power over them because they were walking around and fellowshipping with Jesus.  He was there too!  What a reward for being faithful! They got to meet the Savior.  I am sure He told them how good they had done to be true to all they knew of God. He may have told them of the rewards they had earned. But, He surely gave them a message for the king and sent them unharmed back to give it to him.

20      The Other Side of Faith

         The “ Others” who suffered.

         The world saw failure.

         God said “Of whom the world was not worthy.

There is more to the story than that. If I left the matter there, I would be leaving a very incomplete picture. It sounds too easy. But living by faith is often very difficult. And it doesn’t always end up the way we would like.
Suppose we ask the question this way: Does living by faith mean you will always receive a miracle? The answer must be no. The end of Hebrews 11 makes that very clear. Verses 35b-38 record the Trials of Faith:
Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned and they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
Who are these poor souls? What have they done to deserve such punishment? The writer simply calls them “others.” They are “others” who lived by faith. These men and women who endured such torment were living by faith just as much as Noah, Abraham, Moses or Joshua. Their faith was not weaker. If anything, their faith was stronger because it enabled them to endure incredible suffering. They are not “lesser” saints because they found no miracle. If anything, they are “greater” saints because they were faithful even when things didn’t work out right.
So great it is said of them “ Of whom the world was not worthy!

21      How Well do you Know God?  
      How far will you go with Him?

An important part of Knowing God is knowing our personal relation to God.
There is an song:

 22   Who am I that a King should bleed and Die for?
        Who am I that he would say not my will thine Lord?

In “Church Talk” in our time the descriptions of Christians have many failings, we are referred to as sinners, repentant sinners, God must first show us good or we cant know it and many others, dealing with how low, sinful, unimportant, apart from God we are.  But, when I read the Bible I see something else. 

23      There are two ways!!

In Adam  Flesh and DEATH!

 In Jesus Christ  Life in the spirit!

Rom 5:17  For if by the transgression of the one, Adam death reigned through the one, Adam, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Rom 5:18  So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
Rom 5:19  For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

The God of eternity said man disobeyed me and is under the curse of death.  Our fellowship is broken. I must make a way to restore man to ME.  As we seek to know God and study the Bible we see a promise, a covenant made with us to provide a way to save us from spiritual death.
The Holy Eternal Spirit God required the penalty to be paid in full, it was a debt We
could not pay, So ,HE stepped across time and eternity and was born a man to pay our debt.  There are even today two ways 1 the Flesh Adam’s disobedience and death.  2. the Spirit, the shed blood of Jesus and God’s Grace.  And You by the will of our sovereign God have the right to choose.

Who am I that a King should bleed and Die for?
I have come to see that in eternity I am His adopted little brother. I had a debt I could not pay, so my Big Brother fixed it He paid my debt in FULL.

When we live in the SPIRIT He has provided we are adopted into the family of God. The Father not only forgives sin, The debt is paid in full God the Father does not even remember we disobeyed Him.  We are Justified innocent by the Blood of Christ. We are still human and may fail at times but Jesus Christ , the King of Kings and Lord of Lords stands before the Father as our intercessor, offering His Blood to pay our debt, see He’s my adopted big brother that is why I am so important to Him.

Who am I?
Living in the Spirit of Jesus
Adopted into the family of God,
Heir of God and joint heir with Jesus
A child of God
With Jesus Christ as Our High Priest, We Are Priest of the Most High God.
We have the indwelling of the holy spirit, and all the power of the Living God in us.

Every Christian has the power of a priest to God. Every Christian is to know and study the bible, growing in grace and knowledge, not waiting for someone to tell them what the bible says.
One of the cardinal passages affected by this is Romans 10. In verse 9 we are told we must confess with our mouth and believe in our heart to be saved.
Verse 14 holds the responsibility for every Christian, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a Messenger.”  The priest of this age is that messenger.

This view of a Christian is beautiful, breath taking, exciting, there is victory in knowing Jesus. But, it came with a caution, Rom 8:18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
How do you make this work and not seem proud?
How do you access the power of God?

By choice I give my all to Jesus, a bondslave to serve Him.  Life is not about Me and what I want.  I give my wealth, life, position, and Faith to the savior, He is my all in all I only live to serve Him. The more I yield to Him the more His Power can flow through me.

Who am I?
A bondslave of the King.

Rom 8:31:39
  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

24         How do you Know GOD?

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