Would anyone like to share a quick story of or something that was a life changing experience?
Story: Niagara Falls
Has anyone ever been to the Niagara Falls? A short history of the falls….
Does anyone want to experience God to the fullness of who He really is and have Him change your life? Now someone in here might say, well I’m ok right now where I’m at in Life, and that’s OK…. But is it ok to stay where we are for a long period of time? Is it ok to just be alright….
Could we be hung up in our own desires and self-reasoning to the point that it actually could have a wall between us and God and even to the point of sin in our lives. God wants us to have more than just plain ok:
- God wants a Relationship with us: –
- And to Experience God we have to know who we are to God? God Loves His Creation…
Look at Gen.1:26 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [ak]sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [al]sky and over every living thing that [am]moves on the earth.” Vrs. 31 says God saw what he had made ( man) and it was very good!
- The question is what kind of relationship do we really want with God today? Are we willing to go beyond the gorge base?
Do we really want to Experience the fullness of God? John 10:10 “ Jesus said we can have life and an abundance of it.”
- When we enter into a relationship what has to happen for the relationship to work?
We have to work at it, right?
- So, would it be safe to say we have to work at our relationship with God? Absolutely.
But I thought it’s not by work?
Ephesians 2:8-10 says “8 for by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, (created) in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand- (Why) so that we would walk in them.
Created in Greek is the word Ktid-zo, which is akin to Ktah-om-ahee meaning to get, i.e. acquire (by any means ; one’s own): obtain, possess, provide, purchase. Created – ktizo (through the idea of the proprietorship of the manufacturer): to fabricate, i.e. found (form originally): – create, Creator, make.
- I think we get the word work somewhat twisted up in this meaning…. It’s very true that when we talk of Salvation it definitely is not by work. There is no way to get to the father (God) except through His grace and by faith.
But, we need to understand that to experience the true relationship with God it comes down to the principles as Paul tells the Church in Philippians2: that we are to Be LIKE CHRIST and in vrs.12-13 says” So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure”.
- There is always a difference between Faith and Works; in the book of James 2:14-26 it says
14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can [n]that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, [o]be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is [p]dead, being by itself.
18 But someone [q]may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that [r]God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and [s]as a result of the works, faith was [t]perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
- Man was always meant to work. Work was originally a blessing from God. Work was not a bad thing…
Genesis 2: 15-17 15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate (work) it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not [a]eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
- God intended for man to have something useful to do and enjoy it. Works only become hard and difficult after Gen. 3:17-19 17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken;
for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
- So, now work becomes a curseto man and it’s as if it’s like a new formed word in our minds…. it’s hard…. it’s unpleasing and unfulfilling. In what God intended to be rewarding now becomes a burden to bear.
- And most of the time, when something becomes hard for us, what often times happens? We give up or quit, we turn away or just refocus on something easier, right? Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
- Even if we desire to do right we still have to be “born again” John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born [b]again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Speaking to Nicodemous the Pharisee a well know ruler of the Jews …
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 19 says “17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, [a]he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and [b]He has [c]committed to us the word of reconciliation.
- Now, Christ comes on the scene and declares us to be His Workmanship… Through His Obedience we become righteous again as believers. It’s then that we begin to desire to do what it takes to become closer to the Father… James 4:7-8 says, 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
- 2. Now that we have become born again and begin to work on a relationship with God and we now are alive in our Spirit, how do we get to know God and who we are now that we are Christians? Does everything just change? What has to happen?
- We need to Discipline our bodies .Romans 12:1 says “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, [a]acceptable to God, which is your [b]spiritual service of worship
- To experience God we need to Discipline our mind. Vrs. 2 2 And do not be conformed to this [c]world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may [d]prove what the will of God is, that which is good and [e]acceptable and perfect.3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
The word Transformed is the greek word metamorpho. If we split it up, it means:
– meta – (Joined or accompaniment,)
– –morphoo – fashioned and formed changed or transfigured.
Example Butterfly – Egg, Caterpillar, Butterfly
Training our thoughts and renewing our mind is the Key to learning how to come into a closer experience with God. We begin to Discipline our minds by paying attention to what we are actually thinking. 2 Corinthians 10 :says, 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Unless we consciously choose to do this, we will never walk in the fullness of who God wants us to be. The preacher can’t preach enough sermons, the teacher can’t teach enough lessons to make it happen. There is only one person that can move you and me into fullness of God, and experience the true blessings we can have in our lives, and that is US. It’s our choice to draw closer…. To press beyond where we are now and into His presence. Life then becomes meaningful and fruitful.
- Service Men in training…. Why do the Men march and do all the routines and gun reps etc.?
Movie A few good Men with Tom Cruse, Demi Moore, and Jack Nicholson. The Code: They had a man-made Code called Code Red.
Closing: God not only wants us to know Him but wants us to experience Him: David was declared a man after Gods heart, even in all his blunders, failures, sinful lust and desires. David learned to experience God!
Listen to what he said; vs.
Ps. 139:vs. 16-18 says 16“
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!
- The God who created the universe in its entire splendor is thinking about you right now! He Cares….
- God has a personal plan for your life. He planted eternity in our hearts and you are not an accident.
- He’s a present help in a time of need. And even when we don’t realize He is there, He never leaves us or forsakes us. He never stops loving.
- Paul says in Romans 8 “nothing can separate us from the love of God.” That’s how much He Loves us and wants us to experience that Loving relationship with Him…..