Well…friends…I’m excited to introduce our next series…it will last for 8 weeks…and it’s all about “Seeking God”. I believe that it’s important for us to have a personal, intimate relationship with our Creator, our God, and most importantly know that God that desires us to relate to Him as Father.
But…He goes beyond what we know about fathers. Most of us relate to God the way we relate to our earthly fathers, but can I tell you that He’s on a higher level than our earthly dad’s?
At the end of these 8 weeks, you will know God more personally through prayer, the Word of God, and worship. You will learn simple Bible study techniques to know God more intimately.
I will do my best to stay caught up and current…and I hope that at the end of these 8 weeks…we’ll all have a more personal & intimate relationship…and maybe for the first time in our lives really understand what Paul meant when he said we should be able to relate to God as “Abba, Father”…which is another way of saying…”Daddy”.
So…let’s get into message number one…and get ready for an awesome 8 weeks of Seeking God.
Our awesome Creator loves you and longs for you to know and love Him in the deepest and most extreme way. He demonstrated His extreme love for you by sending His Son, Christ Jesus, to suffer and die in your place.
The first, and most important thing to know is that God loves each and every single one of us in a personal and intimate way. How personal and intimate? Let’s allow the Word of God to answer that question. Matthew 10:30 says that God numbers our hair, and He knows every single hair. I was taught attention to detail as a recruit during Marine Corps Basic Training, but I certainly don’t know details about anyone or anything that intimately. Jeremiah 1:5 God is speaking to His prophet Jeremiah, but since we know God is no respecter of person…and that He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever…then He also knew us this intimately: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee,”
Listen…one of the best things I ever heard about our struggles in our walk with God came from Pastor Stephen Robbins when he said during several of his sermons that “the number one area Christians struggle in is their own walk with God.” The reason for this struggle besides the push for “sin consciousness” is the fact that many of us don’t understand or know how to relate to Him as our Father…and not the Old Testament fire and brimstone God. Even in the Old Testament you find people like David who had a personal and very intimate relationship with God…we know this by the Psalms he wrote.
So…it’s possible to know God this intimately, and that’s what we’re going to focus on during these next 8 weeks…knowing God as Father. Knowing that He loves us, and that we are valuable to Him.
Based on the way you are living your life (i.e., investing your time and money), how would you say you are keeping the first and greatest commandment to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength? Describe your relationship with God on an average day.
The first commandment of the Ten Commandments is the same as the first commandment given by Jesus when asked by His disciples about which of the commandments is the greatest commandment. Again, I don’t want to tell you what He said…I want you to see it in the Word of God so that you know Jesus said it, and not me. “36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” that is found in Matthew 22:36-37.
I spend a lot of time pumping praise and worship music into myself, and I also have the opportunity to listen to some great Bible teaching on the radio in the delivery van I use while running my route for Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (shameful plug for Krispy Kreme Doughnuts). I actually have a whole line up (that probably needs to be updated) of radio stations, and who is on at particular times from about 2 am through 5am. I talk to God all the time, and many random times throughout the day.
However, I also have to remember that I love God by following the second commandment…by loving others. That’s the area I’m working on the most because not only am I supposed to love those who love me, but love those who DON’T love me. The more I am able to love people…the more I love God.
Can I tell you that the reason there are so many angry, rude, and people who are selfish is because that’s exactly how they relate to and treat God? Listen…I can’t say that I love God, and then turn around and treat people like they’re a nuisance. The Bible says that if I say I love God, but don’t love the people He’s placed in this world…then I’m a liar.
I don’t know about you…but I don’t want to be a liar. I want to not only love God in word, but in action…and I do that by learning to allow the love of God that’s shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit to be shared with the world.
how would you say you are keeping the first and greatest commandment to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength?
I am sure that I can always stand to improve in this area too. I can always spend more time with God in His Word, alone with Him in our quiet place, and worshipping Him in that quiet place as well. I’m constantly telling Him that I love Him, and working every day to make sure that I’m not just saying it…but showing it.
How is your love walk? Are you loving God? Are you allowing Him to love you? Do you know that He loves you? Do you know that you’re valuable to Him?
I know for me…the thing I desire above all is the presence of God. It’s the single most important relationship I have today…because my ability to function in the rest of my relationships depends upon how functional my relationship with God is. I know that if my relationships with my family or friends or co-workers or just people in general is dysfunctional…then my relationship with God is too. Not only am I not loving God and others, but I’m not allowing His love to penetrate my heart…in the presence of God…all dysfunction disappears because it’s in those moments…He reminds me that He loves me.
If you remember anything at all from this message today…above all…remember that YOU are the apple of God’s eye, YOU are valuable to Him, and He loves YOU. It doesn’t matter what you look like, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, and it doesn’t matter where you are…He loves you…and that’s the most important thing to know.
God loves you…and so to do I.
Points to Ponder:
- Is your love for Him cold, lukewarm, or hot?: My love for the Lord is extremely HOT. I’ve never been more in love with God, and sole desire is to know Him deeper. I’m excited about this series…because I can’t think of anything more important than seeking God.
- Are you relying on His life today? Right now?: Yes I am. I rely on Him more than ever before…and know that I can always work to rely upon Him even more. There are still many areas that I’m walking by my own strength and understanding…but like everyone else…I’m a work in progress…learning to be completely dependent upon His life, His love, His direction, and His guidance.
- Where you would like your relationship with God to be one year from now?: I would hope that a year from now my relationship with God will be deeper, stronger, and more intimate. I would also hope that I would surrender more of those areas to Him that I need to, and that I’m a better example to the world, my friends, and my family. I want my relationship with God to spill over into my relationship with the world…less of a heart of stone…and more of a heart of flesh…soft and ready and willing to love not just those who love me…but those who don’t.
- What choices do you need to make to get there?: First, I need to continue to abide in His Word. Second, I need to spend more time with Him in that quiet place. Third, I need to get better at spending time with Him in that quiet place. More of Him and less of me…
Be A Doer…Not Just A Reader:
I’m not sure if we’ll be bringing this section back for this entire series…but I know for this message we are…and I know this is a homework assignment that the Lord really wants you to take seriously…so here it is:
Write down any thoughts or commitments you are ready to live out. Spend some time in prayer abandoning your all to God.
Just when I thought we were going to take a step back…I woke up to find this series, and I knew that it was where the Lord wanted us to go. 48 days of seeking God…getting to know God on an intimate basis…and like I said in the message today…my relationship with Him is the single most important relationship I have…because out of that relationship…the rest of my relationships are able to be functional. I hope this series winds up being as good as I feel it’s going to be.