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Experiencing God 01 - Knowing God by Experience

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Reading: John 17:1-19
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3 (NIV)

I.   God Reveals Himself to us

A.  God Created us to know Him

          1.  God walked in the Garden with Adam & Eve.

                a.  This is the perfect example of the relationship God wants to have with us.

                b.  Jesus says eternal life is knowing God — not knowing about God — knowing Him.

          2.  Our fall into sin corrupts our knowledge of God.

                a.  Sin skews our ability to know God for Who He is.

                b.  We mentally remake Him to fit our sinful outlook.

          3.  God wants to renew our knowledge of Him

                a.  He keeps revealing Himself to us through history.

                b.  Much of that revelation is recorded in the Bible.

                c.   God is at work in our hearts too.
We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5:20 (NIV)

     B.  God Made us for a relationship with Him

          1.  All people go looking for God.

                a.  As certainly as Eagles look for Salmon.

                b.  Wherever there are people there is religion.

                c.   If we can’t find God, we make one.

          2.  God reveals himself to us.

                a.  He shows himself to us in His creation, in History, and in His Word.

                b.  God shows Himself to us in our own lives.

                c.   God wants us to find Him

          3.  He reveals that He wants to be our God and us to be His people.

                a.  God tells us this about Himself: He loves us and wants our love in return.

     C.  God is at work in Your life

          1.  You could know nothing of Him unless He reveals Himself to you.

                a.  If you know anything of God, it’s because God is showing Himself to you.

                b.  Do you know the God of compassion, the God of provision, the God of power, the God of healing...?

          2.  As surely as you are here, God is at work in your life.

                a.  I know nothing about you with greater certainty than that God is up to something with you.

                b.  He is carefully making Himself known to you to deepen your relationship with Him.

          3.  What is He up to?

                a.  Turn this paper over and write down this question: How is God revealing Himself in my life today?

                b.  Before you go to bed tonight, try to have at least a partial but specific answer to that question.

II. We know God as God

     A.  I AM That is who I am

          1.  God is more than our small minds can comprehend.

                a.  God revealed this name “I AM” to Moses at the burning bush.

                b.  Whoever/whatever God is, that’s what he is.

                c.  However we might describe Him, he’s more.

          2.  Would you want a God you could fully understand? — Could that be God?

                a.  Would you want a God you could put in your pocket like a box of lozenges?

                b.  Whatever God is up to in your life, if you think you understand it all, your fooling yourself.

          3.  God comes on His terms, in His way, in His time.

                a.  He doesn’t punch our clock.

                b.  He’s got his own job description.

                c.   God’s timing is perfect — from his perspective. His actions are just — from his perspective.

     B.  The Lord will Provide (Jehovah Jireh)

          1.  God comes to provide when we think all is lost

                a.  This is the name Abraham gave to God when he provided a Ram instead of Isaac for a sacrifice.

                b.  God provides when we see no way of providing for ourselves.

                c.   God reveals his loving care for his people.

          2.  God provides for us in our spiritual poverty.

                a.  Our deepest need is our spiritual need: our need for a restored relationship with Him.

                b.  We have wilfully sinned ruining our hope of finding a loving relationship with God.

                c.   Jesus is provided as the sacrifice that restores that relationship — God provides.

          3.  God’s provision, not our own, makes the difference.

                a.  The God at work in your life and mine is the God who provides for what we cannot.

                b.  Whatever task God calls us to, he will provide to means to accomplish it.

     C.  The Lord is my Banner

          1.  In the battles of life, only what’s done in His strength has a hope of success.

                a.  Moses gave this name to God after they won their first battle--with Moses lifting hands in prayer.

                b.  We battle in God’s strength or we loose.

                c.   We go out in God’s strength, or we go out to fail.

          2.  What battles do we fight without Him?

                a.  Far too many. Far too many.

III.  Knowing God is Eternal life

     A.  Knowing God is Knowing the Eternal One

          1.  The Haitian name for God “L’etenel”

                a.  Bene Soi L’etenel!

                b.  Doesn’t it make you gasp to realize who it is you claim to know?! You know God?! Personally?!

          2.  When God reveals Himself to us, we are forever changed.

                a.  We cannot know God and remain unchanged.

                b.  God is always turning our darkness into light, our chaos into order, our death into life.

                c.   God’s touch always heals and restores and cleanses.

          3.  How has he revealed Himself to you: Comforter, Healer, Provider, Rescuer, Banner, Strength?

     B.  Eternal life is a restored relationship with Him

          1.  The whole point of Jesus’ death and resurrection was to fix this relationship.

                a.  God wants a personal relationship with you.

                b.  Jesus wants us to know Him — that is have a personal, experiential knowledge — to meet him.

          2.  This restored relationship is what forever is about.

                a.  What do you think we’ll be doing up there anyway?

                b.  It’s not how you get eternal life, it is eternal life.

     C.  Eternal life begins when we come to Know Him

          1.  Eternal life isn’t for some day it’s for now

                a.  When did you think everlasting started anyway?

                b.  When we come to know God, begin our relationship with him, eternal life starts.

          2.  It’s about this “Do you know God?”

                a.  I don’t mean do you know all the attributes of God: communicable and incommunicable.

                b.  Jesus doesn’t mean, if life were a written exam would you pass.

                c.   Do you know God? Is He a part of your life?

          3.  God wants an eternity with you and He wants you to know Him now.

The Bottom Line:

God Wants a love relationship with you. Ask Him to open your eyes to see Him at work in Your life.

Hymn of Response: R#51 I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say v.1

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