Getting To Know God | Week 1: What God Knows About You

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We’re beginning a new series of posts on the attributes of God. The Apostle Paul said that the goal of his life was to know Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection.

What is God really like?

To start us off, let’s look at a character quality that is completely unique to God.

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare to Him to whom we must give account.”  Hebrews 4:13 NIV

The Bible says nothing in creation is hidden from God. 

“Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.”  Psalm 147:5 NIV

What these verses are talking about is what theologians call the omniscience of God. Omniscience means God is all-knowing, God knows everything. There is no question He cannot answer, no problem that confuses Him. He’s never surprised or shocked. God knows everything.

1.  God knows all about Himself

You don’t know all about yourself. That’s why you have a lot of problems. We are constantly surprising ourselves with things we thought we could do that we can’t or things we thought we could not do that we can.

God never has these moments because God knows what He’s doing. We don’t always know what God is doing, but He does.

2. God knows all about creation

He knows about everything He has made.

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”  Genesis 1:31 NIV

There are two amazing statements here, God saw everything. Every rock, every tree, every blade of grass, every fish, bird, animal, star and grain of sand. He was totally aware of everything that He created and He said, “It is good.”

This is before the fall. When things were the way God created them, they were very good, because God is a very good God.

3. God knows all about history

He knows the past, present and future. He knows the scope of history from beginning to end.


Before we move on in this post, we need to ask you to do something first. We want you to worship first. What we have already read about God is amazing, and we should not move on from this too quickly.

Throughout the book of Psalms you see these interludes. Your Bible might say, “Selah.” It’s a pause moment, an interlude. A chance to take a breath.

Weigh the meaning of what you have just read about God. Rest in the fact that God is all-knowing. So take a moment, literally a few minutes, and sit with this. Here’s an instrumental playlist you can have playing while you sit in wonder and awe of a God who is completely and eternally omniscient.

As you do this, stuff is going to come to your mind. Don’t let those thoughts frustrate you, but use them as an opportunity to give what ever it is that comes to mind back to God. To say: “God knows and God is good. I submit that to you God.”

“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.” Psalm 145:3 NIV

“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above- what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below- what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.”  Job 11:7-9


What God Knows About Me (Psalm 139)

The Bible says in Psalm 139 that God knows everything about you. We say God knows everything, but we really don’t live like it.

Let’s look at five specific areas that God knows everything about in your life and the difference that it will make if you just remember that fact.

1. God knows all your faults and failures

This is the bad news. God knows everything about us. The fact is, sometimes we want to forget the omniscience of God because it’s a little uncomfortable. It is uncomfortable to realize we have no secrets from God. There are some things we’d rather God not know about us.

“O God, you know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you.”  Psalm 69:5 NLT

Foolishly, when we do something wrong, we try to hide our sins, put them in the closet and lock the door, but God knows what’s behind that locked door.

“For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths.”  Proverbs 5:21 NIV

The devil tempts us by saying, “No one will ever know.” So we go ahead and do it and then afterwards he hits us with another question, “What if they find out?” 

You have already been found out. God knows and He’s the one who counts.

Fact: God is not shocked by your sin.

Your Response: Be honest and turn from your sin.

He’s already seen it. When we confess to Him the things we’ve done wrong, He’s not shocked. He understands our faults and our failures.

So be honest. The Bible says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

Just admit it. You’re not fooling anyone. “God, You’re right. I was wrong.” 

“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”  Proverbs 28:13 NIV

God knows everything about you. He already knows all you’ve done wrong and He still loves you. When you admit it to Him, it never changes the way He feels about you, because He already knows.

He loves you and He loves you unconditionally. That means you don’t have to fake it, you don’t have to pretend.

2.  God knows all my feelings and frustrations

You may thing that no one knows what you’re going through, or that no one feels the pain you’re going through.

God knows. He knows your feelings and frustrations.

“…you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.”  Psalm 31:7 NLT

Often when we’re hurting we feel very isolated, very lonely. Maybe there’s been a death in the family, a divorce, a traumatic event. We feel alone thinking that no one understands they way we feel.

What does God think when He knows how you feel?

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”  Psalm 103:13-14 NIV

Fact: God is sympathetic to your hurts.

Your Response: Trust Him with your hurts.

Not only does He see, He cares. God understands why it happened. The Bible says He understands because He made us. He sees the hurt in your heart that nobody else may see.

Listen, God knows what He’s doing. We may have no earthly idea what he’s up to, but, whatever it is, it will be good and meaningful. There is a God and there is purpose for pain and hope for humanity.

Are you trusting God in the dark? Are you trusting God in the midst of your feelings and frustrations?

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:7 NIV

Cast them all permanently, once and for all, don’t take them back. Give Him your hurts just like you give Him your faults, every area of your life.

3.  God knows all your future

“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  Psalm 139:16 NIV

Everybody is interested in the future. People try all kinds of things trying to figure out what’s going to happen next. Astrology, horoscopes, reading tea leaves, bio-rhythms.

Fact: God sees your tomorrow, today.

Your Response: Ask for his advice.

He already sees the things we’ll face. God is not limited by time. He’s not limited by sequence of events.

It’s like when they show a helicopter shot of the Macy’s thanksgiving day parade. You could see the beginning of the parade and the end of the parade all at the same time, without even stopping it.

God, from His perspective, can see it all at once. That gives us greater confidence in God, because He knows everything that is going to happen in your life, and He still created you.

He knew every horrible thing that would happen to me and every stupid thing you would do and He still thought it was worth it to create you. He doesn’t want anyone to suffer for nothing. What He has in store must be greater than we could have ever imagined.

The things you don’t know, God can tell you about. He’s not going to lay out your whole life all at once, telling you everything that will happen in your life. If He did you’d get very discouraged or full of pride or both. He will lay it out a little at a time.

Here’s a practical application: When go over your schedule with the Lord, say, “Heavenly Father, You’ve already seen this day that I’m about to experience. You know every interruption I’m going to face, every cranky person in the office, everything my teacher is going to throw at me. You’ve already seen it. Would You, right now, give me the strength to cope through this day, the strength that I need for today.”

He already knows and you can ask Him in advance for wisdom and strength, for what you will face that day. 

4.  God knows all my fears

Often, the things we get most uptight about are in the areas of finances, our needs.

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.”  Matthew 6:31-32 NIV

He knows everything you need. Worry is the result of not realizing the omniscience of God. When you think that God doesn’t know what’s going on in your life, that He’s unaware of it and He doesn’t care, then you start to believe you need to take matters in your own hands.

Worrying is us trying to play God. Worrying is taking responsibility for things God never intended you to have.

“…your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”  Matthew 6:8 NIV

Fact: God knows all your fears.

Your Response: You don’t worry.

Don’t worry, trust God. Don’t panic, pray and surrender it to God.

5.  God knows all your faithfulness

Every time you do the right thing, God is watching. Every time you don’t give in to temptation, every time you exhibit the fruits of the spirit, God understands and He sees your faithfulness to Him. 

Fact: Every good deed will be rewarded.

Your Response: Don’t be discouraged.

Every good deed will be rewarded no matter how insignificant, regardless of whether anybody else on earth saw it or not. Every encouragement you give to other people, every time you serve your husband or wife, every time you pick up around the office when it’s not your job, or set up chairs in church or stuff bulletins, He sees it.

Every act of courtesy, every time you had the opportunity to gossip and you didn’t, every time you had the opportunity to be critical and you weren’t, He sees every little thing and every big thing.

Every time you gave an offering sacrificially, served someone in a big way or went the extra mile, God sees it. He’s seen it all and He will reward you. 

It really doesn’t matter how we appear in public. What matters is how we are in private. Character is who you are in the dark. Reputation is what other people say about you.

Character is who you really are. What matters is the integrity in your life when nobody is looking, because there is someone looking…God. That is a tremendous motivator to live a Christ-like life.

If God sees all the good things that you do and He’s out there cheering you on and you are going to get credit for them all then we shouldn’t be discouraged.

Every act of kindness, every act of love — God is recording it all. Nothing good that you do is ever done in vain.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:9 NIV

Matthew 10 says even a cup of cold water given in the name of Jesus Christ, God is interested in it. Knowing these things and knowing that God knows everything in your life, can either be very disturbing or very comforting. It depends on your relationship to Him, whether your trying to fool Him or not.

Which of these five areas have you been acting as if God is totally unaware?

God knows all your faults and failures. Have you been acting as if, pretending, that God does not know the wrong things that you’re involved in? Maybe you thought you could get away with it or that no one will ever know. You may be fooling other people, but you’re not fooling God. 

You need to admit it to yourself and to God — come clean — and ask God to forgive you.  Remember that He already knows about it and He still loves you. 

God knows all your feelings and frustrations. Maybe you’re hurting or feel misunderstood. Have you forgotten that God understands you, completely?

He sees the crisis in your soul, every time you cried yourself to sleep, He has seen it. He loves you and He’s very much aware of all that has happened in your life, that has brought you hurt. Look to Him for comfort and strength. Realize He understands you even better than you do.

God knows your future.

God knows your fears.

God knows all about your faithfulness. Are you discouraged trying to do what’s right? God knows and He will reward you. Nobody knows you like God does. He knows you better than you know yourself and at the same time, nobody loves you like God does.


Check Back

Check back on your discussion from last week, “The Excellent King.” (Am I making wise choices? Am I managing what God has given me well? Am I treating people well? Am I worshipping sacrificially?) Any more observations or thoughts on that message or your discussion?

 

Listen to the sermon: online, iTunes podcastGoogle Play Music or Download the Rock Brook Church App

Big Idea

This week we began a new sermon series on the character of God. In this series we’ll look at what God knows about us, his omniscience; God’s power in our lives, his omnipotence; Where God is when we need him, his omnipresence; Our unchanging God, his immutability. From his love and grace to his sovereignty and faithfulness, let’s get to know God!

To start things off, we looked at what God knows. The Bible says nothing in creation is hidden from God. Hebrews 4:13 says “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” What this verses is talking about is called the omniscience of God. That means God is all-knowing. God knows all about himself. God knows all about creation. God knows all about history.

“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.”  Job 11:7-9 NIV

Read Psalm chapter 139 with your group.

Discussion & Application

1. Growing up, what was your family’s view of God? Was he ever discussed? How did you picture God? What influences were shaping the character of God for you?

2. Which of the five things God knows about you stood out the most?

3. Proverbs 5:21, “For your ways are in full view of the Lord and he examines all your paths.” Why do people feel they can hide their faults and failures from God? Have you ever concealed a sin from God? What were you hoping would happen?

4. Psalm 139:16, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Since God knows all my future, what might it look like to ask God for advice? How will he respond?

5. Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” How could the fact that God knows our faithfulness impact our daily life?

Prayer Focus

Ask the group for how you can pray for and support one another this week.

Next Steps

Have you been honest with God and confessed your sin to him? Have you asked God to save you through Jesus Christ so you don’t have to face the punishment for sin? If you’ve never done that, let the group know so they can pray with you.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

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Why the Bible Can Be Trusted

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Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

Today we’re going to talk about God’s word, the Bible, and why we can trust it to be the lamp and light we need today. The word “Bible” means Book. The greek word is “biblos.” But it’s not a lowercase ‘b’ book but a capital ‘B’ book because it’s a book like no other.

It’s the most read, the most translated, the most sold, most shoplifted, and the most talked about book in history. It’s actually made up of several books.

66 books, 1600 years, 3 languages, 3 continents, 40 writers — 1 Author & Message

If you step back and look at the Bible from simply a literary point of view, that is remarkable. How could you get that amount of people over that long a period of time, speaking Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek to have the exact same theme?

Group authorship normally doesn’t work out. You don’t see group authors on the best seller list. But the Bible’s author is God. It’s inspired, only God could have done it.

Man held the pen, but God wrote the Bible.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT

These 66 books have two major divisions: The Old Testament and The New Testament. The books that make up the Bible are not in chronological order. They are grouped by the type of book they are.


The Old Testament

Law – 5 books – Genesis through Deuteronomy – It’s written by Moses. This has creation, the flood, Abraham, Moses, the ten commandments, and the law.

Historical – 12 books – Joshua through Esther – This has Israel’s history after Moses all the way to the temple being rebuilt in Jerusalem.

Poetical – 5 books – Job through Song of Solomon

Prophetical – 17 books – The prophets all lived in that historical section. There are five major, meaning that they’re long and twelve minor because they are smaller.

The Old Testament was put together by the Jews long before Jesus time. They had very strict criteria. We have the endorsement that they got it right because Jesus affirmed every section of the Old Testament.

Then, there was 400 years where no Biblical books were written. If you come from a Catholic background or another background you might have a Bible that includes the Apocrypha.

The Apocrypha are writings that happened between the end of the OT and the beginning of the NT. They weren’t considered scripture, but added on as an appendix. But, in the 1500s during the Protestant Reformation the Catholics decided to include the Apocrypha in the scriptures.

The problem is no apocryphal book was written by a prophet. None of these books were included in the Hebrew Scriptures or cited as authoritative by later Biblical writers. Jesus, who quoted from every section of Old Testament Scripture, never once quoted from the apocrypha. Neither did any of His disciples.


The New Testament

Gospels – 4 books – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – Four different accounts of Jesus life, death and resurrection.

Acts – historical record of the early church – After Jesus Ascended into heaven, churches were planted and letters were written to these churches.

Epistles – 21 books – Romans through Jude – They give us instruction and teach us how to be the church and how to live and spread the gospel while we wait for Jesus return.

Revelation – prophecy of the last days and eternity

Many have this picture in their mind that a bunch of guys got into a room and held a vote on which books they liked and which they didn’t and that’s how the New Testament was formed.

Different things have given us that impression, like The DaVinci Code. The DaVinci Code is a problem because it’s fiction, it was written to be fiction, but people take it like it’s not. The story he tells is that it was a political thing. How do we even know the right books got included?

What we actually have historically is lists from people who had nothing to do with each other, yet their lists for the New Testament books are the same. It was only when some other books tried to weasel their way in that church counsels made official what was already known – that there was only one set of books that everyone has agreed on for hundreds of years.


Three Criteria for the New Testament

1. New Testament books had to had to be written by an apostle or someone affirmed by an apostle. 

That’s huge because Jesus had chosen the apostles and they understood that the disciples, and later The Apostle Paul were the ones to give us the faith.

2.  It had to be accepted by the early church.

The early church, those first Christ followers, were able to affirm these letters. They were there when Jesus spoke and did these things. They heard Paul preach. They confirmed and accepted these writings and started sharing them.

3. It had to be in agreement with the rest of the books.

You couldn’t have one book say something different than the rest of the books.


Maybe you say, “I don’t know if I can trust the Bible.” Here are some reasons why you can trust the Bible.

1. It is historically accurate

Many will say it’s all made up, but history proves the Bible. It’s not just a book of great principles. It’s historically accurate. Now if you want to know if anything is historically accurate it has to pass some tests like:

  • Eyewitness accounts.

Other religions, false religions, started with one person having a private dream about God, a private idea about God and sharing it with others.

Christianity isn’t some made up story that built momentum over time. Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven were witnessed by many people. Those who witnessed it shared it and it spread like wildfire.

These are not hearsay stories that someone heard and wrote down. Almost all of scripture is written by people who were actually there or written by people who interviewed the people who were there.

The gospels for instance were written by people who lived and walked with Jesus. Or, in the case of the gospel of Luke, he went to investigate and interview Jesus followers. They saw and heard these things for themselves.

So that’s why the gospels align the way they do. However, they don’t say word-for-word the same thing. If they did, that would mean they weren’t true.

If you were to take four different witnesses one-by-one into a room and ask for their side of the story and all four said word-for-word the same thing you would know instantly that they had all gotten together beforehand and corroborated the story. But if you talk to each one and they all saw the same thing but maybe a different part of the event stuck out to them from their point-of-view, you would know it’s true.

The second test for historical accuracy:

  • It has to be recorded and copied with extreme care.

The Jewish scribes had a standard that no one else ever has ever had to record history. They didn’t even copy word-for-word. They did it letter to letter. They had systems to make sure it was copied correctly and they weren’t afraid to throw out the whole thing if it didn’t line up.

Maybe you ask, How do we even know if that’s what the original authors even wrote?

People think that it’s a giant game of telephone. But, when a committee goes to create a Bible translation, it’s translated from the original language to the language you speak. It doesn’t get translated from Greek to Latin to German to English.

We don’t have Paul’s piece of papyri that was touched by Paul’s hand. So, how do we know the copies we have accurately reflect what the original author wrote? There’s a science to this. This is an academic field called textual criticism. These scientists study and compare the ancient manuscripts that have been copied from the original.

You might say, well people can make copying errors. Yes, they can, but 24,000 people don’t make the same error. That’s how many ancient manuscripts we have.

  • The third historical test that something has to pass is archaeological confirmation.

Sites, events, people, places, and names have been found where we have dug in the Bible lands. King David’s palace. Luke will talk about a governor, we have his name. Pilot, we have an inscription with is name on it.

There are some things in scripture of a historical nature that haven’t been verified archaeologically. But there are more and more discoveries made that don’t disprove the veracity of scripture archaeologically, but bear out the veracity of scripture.

For instance, they’re still excavating areas where Biblical events happened. The Old Testament talks about a Hittite empire and many have said the Bible writers just made them up because it wasn’t anywhere else. And that was the only empire they couldn’t prove. But, in the early 1900s they dug around in Turkey and found 10,000 tablets and a 1,200 year civilization. What they found was the Hittite capitol and all their records.

It was said that the Bible can’t be true because of the sophistication with which Moses writes in the Pentateuch. Then they discovered the code of Hammurabi which was written 300 years before Moses writings and it’s one of the most sophisticated levels of writing that people didn’t believe existed.

You have Solomon who supposedly had the stables of a thousand Arabian horses and skeptics said, we’ve been digging for a lot of years, if that’s true that should be found somewhere. Then a number of years ago in Megiddo they found 1,000 plus stalls where all these horses were.

We don’t have time to go through many of the archaeological discoveries. There are over 25,000 specific places in the Old Testament alone that are verified in history.

2. The second reason it can be trusted is because it is scientifically accurate

The Bible has an answer for origin. It has an answer for how the first cell began. When Hubble discovered the universe had a beginning that of course lined up with scripture.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 NIV

What we see is that creation is ordered. It’s designed. What we’ve learned about our world and living organisms at the DNA level is incredible. The complexity of living organisms doesn’t just happen by chance. There is an intelligent designer. 

3. It is prophetically accurate

The Bible is predicated on a setup and a payoff. If man wrote the Bible it’s a great risk for them to fill it with things that are foretold and then have to come true. Because if anyone of the prophecies doesn’t happen it’s not reliable.

There are over 1,000 specific prophecies in scripture. They’re not generic prophecies like a team with red on its jersey will win the Super Bowl. There are over 300 specific prophecies for Jesus alone. How would the prophets know all that?

“For Prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:21 NIV

It takes more faith to believe the prophecies of the Bible are coincidence than to believe that God planned them. 

4. It is thematically unified

There is a 1600 year span that somehow hangs together as one book. The first page and the last page use the same image as bookends.

Well couldn’t the people who wrote the later stuff read the early stuff and made it fit? In some cases no, they didn’t even have access. But even if they did have access, some of the stuff that was written doesn’t even make sense until you bring in the other parts of scripture.

If it were only one person who wrote it, that would make sense. The Quran was written by one person. The writings of Buddha. One person. As you look around at all the sacred texts from other religions, most of them are written by one person.

Some have the contributing factors of several different people. But as you read the Bible you get the symmetry of one powerful story and that is how Jesus is creating and restoring all things, from people who never met each other dealing with different issues under the influence of one God.

Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24:27

5. It has survived all attacks

There have been people and governments who have tried to burn Bibles and persecute and kill Bible translators. It’s supernatural work that it’s here. It’s still changing lives. No one has been able stop it. And it will change your life in Jesus name.

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever. 1 Peter 1:24-25

6. It has transforming power

There is no cause that has done more good for the human race as a whole, in tangible ways, than God’s church following God’s word. There’s a lot of misinformation on this point. Sometimes people get away with making the absurd claim that the Church has done more harm than good.

This is laughable statement. Because where Jesus is exalted and the Church flourishes, there is inherent value of human life and caring for the handicapped and the sick and dying… Slavery and racism are intolerable… Women and children are defended and cared for… There is justice and legal systems…

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 NIV

If you go all in on the Bible it will transform your life for the Good. Many think that the principles in this book will ruin your life. That God is out to steal the fun out of your life. Wrong. The Bible will set you free.

7. It is trusted by Jesus

Jesus believed the Old Testament to be the very words of God and predicted the New Testament to be likewise. Some Christians claim that, “The Bible contains the word of God, but it is not all the word of God.” They say, “We believe the words of Jesus, but everything else we’re not sure about…” They’ll say things like, “The Apostle Paul was writing to the cultural backdrop of his day. His words aren’t for us.”

But Jesus handpicked Matthew, Peter, Mark, John, and Paul. He inspired them to write the New Testament.  Jesus believes it all. God inspired it all. The whole thing is the word of God, not just the red letters. For those who don’t trust the bible its not usually due to one of these seven reasons.

What actually happens is our feelings tell us there are things that contradict our basic values, beliefs and culture. We get offended. So, we couldn’t possibly believe it all. But, If the Bible is really God’s book and written by Him, then its not a product of any one culture. It would contradict every culture on some point. Different cultures — different points.

The fact that the Bible contradicts your personal feelings or cultural values, that doesn’t cut against it being the word of God, that proves even more so that it is indeed the word of God. If you have a God that agrees with you on everything, never agues with you, always does what you want him to do, and perfectly fits your image of what you want a God to be, you know one thing for sure… you don’t have the real God. You have a product of your imagination.

The only way to get the real God, the God who is sometimes hard to understand or sometimes calls you out is to take the Bible as it is and don’t edit. Because, if you don’t believe the parts you don’t like, how can you really believe the parts you do like?

Some people struggle to believe that God is gracious and that we can be forgiven. We want to believe we are children of God. The Bible says these things but we may struggle to believe them. This happens when people choose part of the text and slash out the rest. 

This does violence to God himself, just like we did with Jesus. He came, people followed him by the thousands because he said all these wonderful things. Then he started saying some hard teachings and things that were difficult to understand, and we fell away and eventually killed him.

We have the option to do the same thing today – kill the real God and invent a God of our imaginations. If you do that, initially at least, this new God you make up for yourself, will have a lot more in common with you and be a lot easier to get along with. But you will miss so much if you do that. You will miss the warmth, love, relationship, and grace of the true God. You miss salvation.

The only way you get those things, is if you take Him as He is. Because, that’s what He does with you. He takes you as you are. Or at least, that’s what the Bible says.


Check Back

Check back on your discussion from last week, “It’s Time To Get Together?” How do you think the challenge to, call out the best in each other, call out to God for each other and call out the truth to each other might impact your group this semester?

Listen to the sermon: online, iTunes podcastGoogle Play Music or Download the Rock Brook Church App

Hear the Word

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)

Almost all Christians believe this verse is true, but were never taught the fundamentals of the Bible. How did this sermon help you in your basic understanding of the Bible?

Which of the seven reasons why the Bible can be trusted stood out to you the most?

  • It is historically accurate.
  • It is scientifically accurate.
  • It is prophetically accurate.
  • It is thematically unified.
  • It has survived all attacks.
  • It has transforming power.
  • It is trusted by Jesus.

Application

  • What stood out to you in this message?
  • Which of the seven reasons stands out to you the most?
  • Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 (NIV) Could you point to a verse, Biblical principle or sermon that had transforming power in your life?
  • The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
  • Have you ever been in a discussion or argument with someone about the validity of the Bible? Was it productive? Why or why not?
  • Which version of the Bible is your most favorite? Is there a study Bible or a Bible study tool that has been helpful for you that you would recommend to your group.

Tell Someone Else

With whom could you share this message? How might this change your defense of the scriptures?

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Building Your Life On Values That Last | Value #2: Trust

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Who are you going to trust?

According to Forbes & Gallup, what is the most trusted profession? The answer…nurses, doctors, pharmacists then teachers. Then, Readers Digest set out to name the 100 most trusted people in America based on integrity, character, exceptional talent, drive to personal excellence, internal moral compass, message, honesty and leadership.

Who did America say was the most trustworthy person in America? Tom Hanks

Even the most trustworthy man in American is going to let you down. You can’t always trust people. People are people and they will let you down.

Who are you going to trust?

When God created you, He wired you in such a way that you have the capacity and the desire to trust in something greater than yourself because He wanted you to have a relationship with Him. 

If you never learn to trust God, you will create something to trust in. You will find something to give you security. It may be money in the bank, a beautiful spouse, a career or a goal. But you will create something to worship and value. You will idolize something.

Anything I trust or value more than God is an idol.

“For your own good…do not sin by making for yourselves an idol in any form.” Deuteronomy 4:15-16 GNT

Why does God want us to trust him? For our own good. He wants us to have a correct understanding of what He’s like in our minds.

In this post, we’re going to answer three questions about trust.

  • What happens when you trust something other than God?
  • Why don’t you trust God?
  • Why should you trust God completely?

What Happens When You Trust Something Other Than God?

There are two negative effects of trusting something other than God.

1.  You are disappointed

Any time you expect other people to meet a need in your life that only God can meet, you are going to be disappointed. Any time you take anything and base your fulfillment on that thing, you’ve idolized it. You’ve given it a place in your life it can’t hold up to.

“…those who make idols are disillusioned…” Jeremiah 10:14 GNT

“Of what value is an idol… For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation…” Habakkuk 2:18 NIV

We look at a person in the jungle who carves out a little god and then bows down and worships it and we say, “That’s dumb! You made it!” But we do that all the time with our careers. We get a job that’s fulfilling and then say, this job is my purpose for living. This job is why God created me. We act as if that is what gives us meaning in life and significance.

The poor, deluded fool…trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, “Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?” Isaiah 44:20 NLT

When we trust in anything besides God to take care of us, ultimately we’re going to be disappointed.

2. You are controlled

What you put your trust in and what you value is going to lead and influence you. You are controlled.

You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 1 Corinthians 12:2 NIV

If you made a list of the top ten most important things to you, and put them in order, whatever is in first place is your god. If it is not The God, you have just built an idol.  Whatever is in first place in your life, whatever you value most, eventually controls you.

This is how addictions start. Something becomes so important and pretty soon you think you’re controlling it, but it’s actually controlling you. 

Those who make idols end up like them. So does everyone who trusts them. Psalm 115:8 GW

Whatever you value the most in life, you’re going to become like. If you value money most important in life, you will be a materialist. If you value pleasure most important in life, you’ll become a hedonist. If you value what works most important in life, you become a pragmatist. If you value Jesus Christ most important in life, you become a Christian. You become like Christ.

Whatever you put in top value in your life is going to shape you. If it’s not the one true God it’s going to warp and distort you.

Why do we start trusting in all these other things to give our life meaning and significance? The reason we create idols is we want a god we can control. We want to shrink God down so we can manage Him. We want to reduce Him to our size so we can put Him in a little box. We want to assign Him to a location,

Some want to assign God to a big box called a “church building.” But God is everywhere whether you want him there or not. Answer this question for yourself –

Do I exist for God or does God exist for me?

Who made who? God made you. So you exist for God. If you think God exists for you, you don’t have a God  – you have a box. You have imagined Him. You have created an idol who serves you.

At creation, God decided to make man in His own image. Today, we do the opposite. We think we can make God into our image We think our god will act and think just like us. That’s called making an idol and God tells us no to do that. 

Don’t misrepresent God. He wants everybody to know the truth about Him. He takes it very, very seriously. For our own good.


Why Don’t I Trust God More?

Why do we end up trusting all these other things instead of trusting God? 

Because we don’t really know God

If you don’t know God and you don’t know what He’s really like, or you’ve got some of these phony ideas about Him, you’re not going to trust Him.

When God says things like, “I thought up sex and it’s to be reserved only for marriage.” If you don’t really know God, you’re going respond by saying, “Who are You to tell me what I’m to do with my sexuality?  Who set You up as judge?” You’re not going to trust Him. 

If you don’t know God, you tend to question all the things He says to do.

On the other hand, if you really know God and you really know how much He matters to you and how much you matter to Him. If you know what He’s got in store for your life that He has your best interest at heart, then you don’t have trouble at all following what He says. 

You will always do the right thing when you follow God. 

“Those who know the Lord trust him…”  Psalm 9:10 NCV

There are so many images of God we make up. People say, “I like to think of God…” and they fill in the blank. That’s just their guess. We’re supposed to stake our eternity on someone else’s guess? Just because “you like to think of God…” doesn’t mean that’s the way He is. 

What matters is not what you think God is like. What matters is what’s true. What matters is what God says He is like and He’s very clear about it.


Why Should I Trust God Completely?

The alternative to trusting God is worry, conflict, and feeling like you’ve got to control it all.  It’s a very stressful, miserable way to live. God has a better idea. Trust Him!

1. Because God always tells the truth.

God is truth incarnate. Truth is defined by God. He is the essence of truth. The nature of God are those things that are right. The things that are not right are those things that are anti-God, anti-His nature. They are opposite.

It is impossible for God to lie. Hebrews 6:18 NIV

Is there anything God can’t do? He cannot lie. Why? Because God cannot deny His own nature. God cannot contradict Himself because He is the essence of truth. There is no way God could be untruthful. Is there anything God can’t do? Yes. He cannot lie, because He is absolute truth. 

“God will continue to be true even when every person is false.”  Romans 3:4 NCV

2. Because God loves you

He says it over and over in the Bible in many places. He demonstrates love in your life every day. You were created as an act of God’s love. The greatest expression of that is Jesus Christ Himself. If you ever want to know what God is really like get a good, long look at Jesus Christ.

Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. Colossians 2:8-9 NLT

The picture God gave us is Jesus. Sometimes people wonder how we can say that Jesus is the only way. Because Jesus said that. He said,

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.No one comes unto the Father except through Me.”  John 14:6

If you have a problem with that, you don’t have a problem with te church. You have a problem with Jesus. If you check out Jesus’ story in the New Testament He’s either a liar or He’s telling the truth and you’re betting your eternity on it.

What keeps us from trusting God is fear. We’re afraid to trust God completely. The three greatest fears people have if htey really gave their life to God are:

  1. I’ll lose my freedom
  2. I’ll lose my fun
  3. I’ll become a fanatic

The more you know about God, the more you trust Him. The less you know, the more you’re afraid of Him.

We know the love that God has for us… Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. 1 John 4:16,18 NCV

3. Because God is in control

He created the whole universe. He could snap it out of existence if He wanted to. God is working His purpose and plan in history and He is moving history to a historical climax, a destiny. One day Jesus Christ is going to come back to earth. Nothing is going to stop that. He will work in your life for a purpose if you will allow Him to.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 NLT

It doesn’t say everything is good or that God causes everything. God does not cause evil.  God doesn’t cause war or cancer. He does not cause rape or abortion. God has given us the freedom to choose and sometimes we make evil choices and innocent people get hurt. 

The Bible says God causes everything to work together for good. This is not a promise for everybody. All things don’t work together for good for everybody, because next the Bible says “for those who love God”,

He causes all things to work together for good for those who trust Him. The more you trust God, the less you will worry when you see the headlines and the news, because God’s in control.

You’re free to make choices in your life, but you are not free of the consequences of your choices. Once you make a choice you’re no longer free. God causes the consequences to happen. There’s certain laws in this universe. 

If you get drunk, you will have a hangover whether I want it or not. Every time, God says, “Here’s a line. Don’t step over it.” You are free to step over it but, not free from the consequences of stepping across that line. God is in control, and that’s good news if we trust Him.

4. Because God will help me

Trust the Lord with all your heart, and don’t depend on your own understanding. Remember the Lord in all you do, and he will give you success. Proverbs 3:5-6 NCV

How do you know if you’re really trusting God? You’ll know by observing how quickly you obey when He tells you to do something. Is it immediate or delayed?

When you do the hard things that take courage, regardless of the consequences, you will see that you really trust God.

Maybe you’ve been burned in the past with some phony image of God or a religious system that taught you a warped view of God and you don’t really want to love and trust Him. You’re afraid of Him.

He’s worthy of your trust.

This post isn’t just for those of you who are seekers, but for those of you who have been Christians 20, 30, 40 years. You’ve never really given everything in your life to God. You’ve held back your finances, your career and your time. Today you can make a choice to trust that God is for your good and give it all to Him.

But my trust is in you, O Lord; You are my God”  Psalm 31:14 GNT


Check Back

Check back on your discussion from last week. Any more thoughts or conclusions about the message on responsibility? Have you had any opportunities to control your reactions, guard your mind or accept mistakes?

Listen to the sermon: online, iTunes podcastGoogle Play Music or Download the Rock Brook Church App

Hear the Word

The values you build your life directly depend on who you put your trust in. And trust is only as strong as the truth it’s based on. Where is your trust? Have you ever noticed there’s only one letter difference between truth and trust? You trust people who tell you the truth. You don’t trust people if you don’t think they’re telling you the truth.

When God created you, he wired you with the capacity and desire to trust in something greater than yourself because he wanted you to have a relationship with him. But because we have the capacity, if we don’t learn to trust God, we end up creating something to trust in. However, any time we trust anyone or anything more than God, the Bible says we’re creating an idol.

The poor, deluded fool…trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, “Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?”  Isaiah 44:20 NLT

Application

  1. What stood out to you in this message? What do you remember?
  2. When we trust or value anything more than God we end up disappointed or controlled. How have you experienced these two negative things in your life?
  3. In what situations or relationships do you have the hardest time trusting God?
  4. Can you identify what is holding you back from trusting God? Could you relate to the three fears listed in the message?
  5. God always tells the truth, loves you, is in control and will absolutely help you. Are you ready to trust him fully? What’s holding you back?

Trust the Lord with all your heart, and don’t depend on your own understanding. Remember the Lord in all you do, and he will give you success. Proverbs 3:5-6 NCV

Tell Someone Else

Who can you share this message with? You could send them a link to the message at RockBrook.org or share the podcast with them, or you could share with them a truth from this message yourself. You might consider giving them a Building Your Life On Values That Last study guide.

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