10 We tend to reduce Christian life to a formula: If we read the Bible in the morning,If we pray a few prayers,If we give some money,If we go on a short mission trip to an exotic place,If we read some Christian self-help books,then life will be great,we have done our part.
11 So God Is Obligated To Do His Part: To give us incredible spouses.To make all of our kids turn out right.To never allow us to be depressed, or even sad.To keep any bad things from happening to us.To give us all the money we need.
12 What We Are Saying Is: We worship our own happiness. We have reduced God from the sovereign Lord of the universe to a servant who's supposed to fulfill our personal agenda.It is about Me,Myself and I.
13 When Challenges Come: Our spouse gets cancer. Our kids don't turn out right.When we don't have marital bliss.When we are short of money.When we don’t have a job that we like.
14 We Question God: Where are you God? How can you tolerate such things to happen?What's the deal, Lord?I've been going to church regularly.I pray.I even put something in the offering plate! . . .
15 that is not the God of the Bible What Did We Do With God?We have melted Him in a to-day golden calf.We have reduced him to a dispenser of personal peace, prosperity, and self-fulfillment.I've got news;that is not the God of the Bible
16 What is your Picture of God? Jealous Full of loveEx 20:5 a jealous God, 1 John 4:16 God is lovepunishing the children forthe sin of their father to the3d of 4th generation.Implacable PatientUnjust, cruel full of compassionYou have to fear Always ready to forgive
18 God and YouWhat you think about God shapes your whole relationship with Him.What you believe God thinks about you determines how close you will grow toward Him.Misconceptions about God can create a barrier in your relationship with Him.Meanwhile, the friendship, love, and encouragement you could be sharing with your heavenly Father are never realized—all because of wrong conclusions about Him.
20 A.W.Tozer“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people have ever risen above its religion, and man's spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God.”
21 God and YouNothing in all your life will impact your relationship with God, your relationship with people, your self-view, your decisions, and your purpose like the way you think of God.Everything in your life consciously or unconsciously comes back to one thing: Whom do you visualize God to be in your heart?
22 Our Tendency: To make a god who will eliminate all difficulty. The God of the Bible gives us the grace to overcome any difficulty.
23 God Reveals Himself:Philip asked Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us” (John 14:8)Jesus' frustrated answer: “Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father?”” (John 14:9).
24 You Can Know God: Jesus is the fullness of deity in bodily form. "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us." (1 Corinthians 2:12)
25 A.W.Tozer“Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God. For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at any given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like.”
26 A.W. Tozer“Who we are and what we become cannot be separated from our understanding of God.”"We tend, by a secret law of the soul, to move toward our mental image of God.”This principle applies to both individual Christians and the church at large.The way we act as believers and as a church states clearly what we actually think about God.
27 Until we know God as He is, we will never become all that 20/20 VisionUntil we know God as He is,we will never become all thatHe has created us to be.
28 The Goal of Worshiping Yahweh: To recognize that He is the Creator.We are His creatures.He is all that there is.He's the way, the truth, and the life.We are his disciples who are to endure or enjoy whatever comes our way.Life is about Him being at the center, not us., the triune, holy God of the universe,
29 He Never Promised: That we will not have problems. That we will have a wonderful family.That our life will be a success.That we will each have a house.That we will all have a nice bank account.
30 His Promises Include"In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33).Glen who almost downed: Jesus help meGod is good, isn’t HE?Glen, God sure is good, but He’d be good even if died out there!
31 But We Are Not Alone:"But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).I am with you, Jesus says (Acts 18:10)I will give you peace (Isaiah 26:12).I will help you through the troubled marriage, the wayward child, and the chemotherapy.
32 The Lord’s Prayer Relationship “Our Father” Worship “hallowed be Your name”Submission “Your will be done”Provision “Give us to day”Forgiveness “Forgive us”Protection “Lead us not”Affirmation “For Your is the kingdom, the power, and the glory”
33 CHALLENGESAfterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry" (v. 6).This was not the revelry of a joyful worship service.Base sensuality, a casting off of restraints.Does their line of thinking seem familiar? "We can't see this God and so we're going to make something up and then we're going to call it god. We're going to worship it, create a religion to go with it, burn offerings to it, and then experiment with any behaviors that strike our fancy—but we'll call them all religious exercises."
34 CHALLENGES This was back then. We know better. Our theology is better. Our understanding of God is better.We don’t make such fools of ourselves to-day.Really?What seems like obvious foolishness viewed backward in time is a little harder to spot when we're actually doing the same thing today. You may be saying to yourself, "I don't make idols! I mean, I can't remember the last time I went home and said, `Excuse me honey, I'm going to the back bedroom to bow down to the statue in the family shrine forty-five times or so. I think it might do some good.' "No, that's not what we do. We take the God of the Bible who is all-wise and all-powerful, and we trivialize him. We make him the "Self-help Genie." We re-create him in our minds as our "God-On-Demand"—someone who's "there" when we need him and stays out of the way the rest of the time. Instead of worshiping him and knowing him and growing into servants who want to understand his mission and follow him by faith, we carefully select Bible verses out of context that confirm our conclusion that the real goal in life is for us to be happy. Instead of humbly recognizing that God is impossible to tame, we dare to demand that he get busy and keep us comfortable.
35 That doesn't mean God is a passive object of study for us to put under our limited microscopes. He is intimately involved in self-revelation.His revelation to you will depend largely on his relationship to you.
36 I Corinthians 2:12Describes this basic process: "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us."It is only when we are born a second time that the Holy Spirit comes in.It is the only the Spirit that gives us the ability to understand what you already possess in Christ.
37 I Corinthians 2:13Underscores the point that spiritual knowledge requires the Spirit's presence and assistance.
38 I Corinthians 2:14Why some people just don't get it: "The man without the Spirit …cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."Some people don't get it because the Spirit doesn't live in them.They have not yet received the Spirit because they haven't yet asked for it.
39 The Goodness of GodFor the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11 NASB)God's generosity on the cross reminds us that not only has He been good to us, but also that He is committed to being good to us in the future.
40 The Goodness of GodThat is why we can trust Him when those big lordship decisions come up. We can surrender ourselves to Him because He is very, very good.
41 The Goodness of GodGod's goodness in Jesus has to do with His unique role as Creator and Mediator between God the Father and his Creation."Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created." (James 1:17-18 )
42 I Corinthians 1:20 says that every promise of God is "yes" in Christ If I want to understand and appreciate God's goodness, I begin and end with His Son.
43 What God Says About Himself He is before all things; all things hold together in Him. He was there before the mountains were born, He brought forth the earth, He is the Alpha and Omega, and He alone is immortal. (Ps. 90:2; Col. 1:17; 1 Tim. 6:16; Rev. 1:8)He created all things, both in heaven and on earth, both visible and invisible. (Gen. 1:1; John 1:3; Col. 1:16)
44 What God Says About Himself He upholds all things, sustaining everything, holding it together by His Word. (Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3)He is above all things, specifically so that people in China, the U.S., South America, and everywhere, may know Him. (Isa. 45:5–12; Eph. 4:6)
45 What God Says About Himself He knows all things. He isn't a limited God. God knows everything completely before it happens. (Ps. 139:4, 6; Isa. 46:10)He can do all things. Nothing is too difficult for him! Nothing—not anything—is impossible with him. (Jer. 32:27; Luke 1:37)
46 What God Says About Himself He accomplishes all things.He orchestrates and determines what He is going to do:in your life,in my life,in war-torn countries with rebellious rulers—everywhere!Whatever He plans in this world and for this universe, He does. (Isa. 14:24; 46:10; Eph. 1:11)
47 The Sovereignty of God• Through His Promises• Through History
48 How Do We Respond to a Sovereign God? Bow before the King of the universe.Believe all that comes into your life is either allowed or decreed by a good God who will use it for your benefit.Behold in awe the mystery and majesty of his kind, compassionate, just, and sovereign rule over all that is or will ever be.
49 It’s a command that we obey It's an attitude we develop.
50 Romans 8:32The cross, God's radical sacrifice in Christ, is the clearest and most compelling evidence that God has my best interest in mind. The logic is airtight. If God has already loved us enough to give us his very best, don't you think he has the best in mind for our future?
51 Put in simple terms, if someone paid a million-dollar ransom to free you from a kidnapper, do you really believe you'd have to worry about who's going to buy lunch the next day?God's generosity in the cross reminds us that not only has he been good to us, but also that he is committed to being good to us in the future
52 That is why we can trust him when those big lordship decisions come up That is why we can trust him when those big lordship decisions come up. We can surrender ourselves to him because he is very, very good.
53 The third way I discover God's in Jesus has to do with his unique role as Creator and Mediator between God the Father and his Creation.
55 James 1:17-18"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created."
56 I Corinthians 1:20 every promise of God is "yes" in Christ That means all of God's specific, promised goodness comes to us through our relationship with Jesus. If I want to understand and appreciate God's goodness, I begin and end with his Son.