Knowing the God You Worship | Dr. David Jeremiah

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Knowing the God You Worship

You were created to know your Creator. Not just to know things atm_lt Him, but to really know Him. Deeply. Intimately. Personally. Dr. David Jeremiah begins a series to help you experience that closeness: The God You May Not Know.

You know, knowing about someone who is not the same as knowing the person himself.
And as Christians, if we’re not careful, we can suffer the same delusion in a relationship with God thinking that knowing about God is the same as knowing Him personally.
Yes, we need to know about God. That should just be the beginning of our relationship.
And today on turning point, we’re gonna be talking about knowing the God you worship as we begin a weekend discussion of the changeless faithful, holy righteous God.
It’s next right here on the weekend edition.
I’m glad that you’re here for the beginning of this new series.
I just want you to know that nothing is really more important to your life or mine right now than knowing God according to the Bible.
Our God is this awesome person. He’s the everlasting father. He’s the God of hosts.
He’s the Lord of heaven and earth. He’s the author and finisher, the alpha and Omega.
He’s the comforter, the counselor, the creator, he’s the great physician and the God of all grace.
His name is I am and the holy one of Israel, we call him Jehovah the most high.
He’s the lord of the living and the lord of the dead.
He is maker, mediator and man of sorrows.
He is our prophet, our priest, our king, our redeemer, our refuge and our rock.
He’s the ruler of heaven and earth and he’s the friend of sinners. He’s wonderful.
And the study of God that we are about to begin reveals to us that God can be known because God reveals himself in the scripture.
It’s the greatest subject we will ever ever explore for. God is the apex of reality.
If you want to have an investigation that takes you to the highest of your intellectual powers, if you want to study something that will challenge you at the very limit of your ability to comprehend, study God trying to comprehend the person of God’s like trying to capture all the galaxy of the universe in a child’s prism.
But God wants us to know Him. He has revealed himself to us through nature.
And in the scripture, it is true that no man can ever fully know God or he would be God’s equal.
It often intrigues me that people criticize the God that we talk about because they don’t understand Him as if God and that person would have a cup of coffee some day in a restaurant.
And God would say you bring your universe and I’ll bring mine and let’s have a discussion or they don’t understand why God is so hard for us to comprehend.
He is so far beyond anything we could ever know. His ways are higher than our ways.
His words are greater than our words. But that does not mean that we cannot know Him.
We will never know him in his totality or we would be equal to him, but we can know what he reveals about himself.
Perhaps this verse from the book of Deuteronomy will help us. It’s Deuteronomy 29 29. And here’s what it says.
The secret things belong to the Lord, our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our Children forever.
There are some things about God that are secret. We will never understand.
Maybe even in heaven, we will not be able to comprehend at all.
But the Bible says there are secret things and there are revealed things and we’re going to talk about the revealed things.
We’re going to learn what God has given us to know about Himself.
And the Bible says this is something we can treasure and our Children can treasure it forever.
We can all know more about God than we know.
And we can be closer to Him than we are because you know, we are made to know God.
We were created to relate to Him, to know Him personally, as a father, as a friend, as a creator, as a sustainer.
And when everything around us fails, he never does. And when the foundations tremble, he is changeless.
And immovable and eternal in the heavens.
When our hearts are overwhelmed, the Bible says, he is the rock that is higher than we are.
The Apostle Peter was nearing the end of his time on this earth, writing his last letter and he wrote in his last words, these instructions to us, but grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Peter said, make it your goal to grow in your knowledge of the Lord God.
So I want to begin by giving you some reasons why we should be concerned about knowing God.
And along the way, perhaps some things we learn from the scripture that help us to do that.
First of all, it’s important to know that knowing God is a high priority.
The priority of knowing God King David is a poster child for all of this in Psalm 27 4.
He said one thing I have desired of the Lord that will I seek that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life and behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple for David, knowing God was his ultimate priority.
It was his one thing. He wanted to behold the Lord to grow in his knowledge of God and to learn more about Him all the days of his life growing in the knowledge of God means we are learning more about Him, which is the greatest intellectual pursuit of the human mind.
The subject of God is all encompassing as we’ve already mentioned.
But knowing about Him is only part of it. Knowing Him personally is the ultimate goal. Psalm.
100 verse three says, know the Lord that He is God that he has made us and not we ourselves.
Let me just say to you, if evolution is true, if we are just evolved from primordial sludge through random mutations caused by improbable biological accidents, we are as good as dead.
But if we have an eternal creator who made us in his image, nothing could be more important than learning all we can about Him in whose image we have been created.
Because if we learn about God, we learn about ourselves.
And the more we learn about Him, the more we’re all struck with the majesty of His being, our priority is not just knowing about God.
This is not just an intellectual pursuit.
I hope we don’t end up saying at the end of these messages.
Wow, I know a lot more about God than I did before.
I hope we end up saying I know God better than I did before. We know about Him.
And then we know Him. Here’s how that differs.
What is the difference between knowing about Him and knowing Him?
Well, the thought that God is present everywhere is an attribute of God. We call it his omnipresence.
The thought that God is everywhere is a staggering thought.
But the thought that He is present with me wherever I go and whatever I need, that’s personal.
That’s knowing Him. The thought that God knows everything we call that omniscience. He’s all knowing.
That’s a tremendous truth about God.
But to know that every detail of my life, he understands that he knew me before I was born, that he knows me.
And that makes a difference. The thought, the Lord is all powerful, that’s his omnipotence that makes us marvel at how great He is.
But when he does something great in your life that becomes personal and you see Him in that personal way, you don’t know about Him.
Now, you know Him through his power. The fact that he’s immutable, that’s a great term.
That means he never changes. It’s good to know that God is changeless.
But it’s even more important to know that when you’re going through the ups and downs of your life, the God you’re serving is always the same and you can trust Him and he will be there for you.
And you can know that thought that God is love.
It’s wonderful to contemplate He is not just loving, he is love, but to know Him in his loving personal relationship with you.
That’s the difference between knowing about Him and knowing Him.
So I say again, my hope is that you won’t just know more about Him.
But that by knowing more about Him, you will know him better and how much he loves you.
The Apostle Paul was like David of the Old Testament.
If you read his letters, you discover it pretty quickly. When he wrote to the Philippians, he said this.
He said, I count all things lost for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
My Lord Paul said everything else is totally unimportant to me compared to my desire to know the Lord.
I know this is high and holy territory. And once again, I confess to feeling very intimidated about this.
But if God says we can know Him, we can know Him.
And if God says that in His word, he will help us learn how to know Him.
He will indeed let’s don’t make this so theological and so complicated that we don’t get it.
Getting to know God is really not much different than getting to know another person.
I mean, there’s 7.6 billion people on this earth, most of whom you and I will never meet of those.
We do meet, we will only know most of them casually or in passing.
But from time to time, we meet someone with whom we develop a friendship.
And by spending time together, we talk to them and we listen to them and we learn about their stories and they learn about ours and we become better acquainted and we do so by spending time together, our relationship grows, our knowledge of the other person deepens in our mutual love and concern.
A few of these people that we meet become our friends and they become our dearest best and closest friends.
Getting to know God is the same.
We meet Him through Jesus Christ, who by his death, resurrection and ascension has given us access into his presence.
We get to know Him better by spending time with him.
We talk to God every day and we listen to Him through his precious word.
Let’s face it, friends.
If we’re not careful, we become trained Christians, people who have learned to do the things others expect of us outwardly.
But while maintaining all of these outward traditions that are a part of being a Christian.
If we’re not careful, our hearts turn cold toward God and they are starved out.
There’s an illustration of that in the book of Revelation when the letter is written to the church at Ephesus, the church at Ephesus in that book was a great church.
In fact, I’ve often thought it would have been wonderful to pastor that church.
All of the descriptions of it are dynamic and thrilling.
It was a growing church that made a difference in its community.
It only had one problem and that is, it had lost its first love for God and I warn us all and myself, you will never be happy or fulfilled by just doing the outward things of your religion or your relationship.
It’s all about what’s in the core. It’s all about. Do you know the God you’re worshiping?
Is he really important to you? Have you entered into a relationship with him?
Here’s the principle that we cannot afford to forget.
We can only worship someone we love and we can only love someone we know.
And our goal is to know Him better. It’s a priority.
Here’s the second thing did you know that in knowing God, there is great dignity.
And here’s a verse of scripture from that famous book written by a dynamic prophet whose name was Jeremiah.
Jeremiah chapter nine verses 23 24. Listen to these words from the scripture.
Let not the wise men glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches.
But let him who glories glory in this, that He understands and knows me that I am the Lord exercising, loving kindness, judgment and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight says the Lord, what does that mean?
It means that God is not interested in how much money we make and we should never glory in that, that God is not interested in how powerful we are.
That’s not our priority in life that God does not really care how popular we are.
God says the thing that we should brag about if we’re going to brag about anything is that we know God that we know Him the Bible tells us we shouldn’t brag or base our self esteem on our wisdom, our education or our physical conditioning or financial well being.
We are to glory in someone that we’ve met.
Someone we know in someone we love, we should freely boast in the Lord and we know him and that he knows us and he’s a God who exercises kindness.
Paul wrote in Galatians.
God forbid that I should boast accept in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What turns your crank? What gets you up in the morning? What do you brag about?
What do you tell people about yourself?
The bible says all of that stuff that we talk about at the water cooler.
Most of it isn’t that important. But if you know God, you got something to brag about.
If you know God, you can put your shoulders back and be confident in your life.
Knowing God brings dignity to your life. Knowing God is something that makes you special.
Thirdly, I want to talk to you about the maturity of knowing God.
And I wanna show you a passage of scripture that you may not have read recently.
It’s in first John chapter two verses 12 and 13.
I’m gonna read the passage and then we’re gonna talk about it for a moment. Here’s what it says.
I write to you little Children because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.
I write to you fathers because you have known him who is from the beginning.
I write to you young men because you have overcome the wicked one.
According to this passage of scripture, there are three stages of growth and maturity in the family of God, just like there are in the physical human family.
Some people are Children. John writes, I write to you Children because your sins have been forgiven.
Do you know people who have been in the faith for a long time?
But when you try to have a spiritual conversation with them, all they know is their sins have been forgiven, they’ve been saved but they don’t know anything else except they’re going to heaven.
Now. That’s pretty good to know.
And if you got to know any one thing, I would suggest you start there.
But after you become a Christian, isn’t it important that you know more than just your sins are forgiven and to grow in your knowledge of the Lord?
The writer says that if you haven’t grown in any more knowledge than just the fact that you’re going to heaven, you’re still a child.
And then he said, a person who is like a young man in the family of God has experienced some spiritual victories in his life.
He’s overcome the evil. 11 of the things we learn when we grow in Christ is this that the forgiveness of our sins does not mean the absence of any problems when we become Christians, we still have problems.
And according to John, a man who is a young adult, he’s grappling with these problems.
He’s working against the evil one. He’s probably won some victories. He’s built some of his spiritual muscles up.
So now he’s gained a certain level of maturity that tells him when the enemy comes, I got something to throw in his face.
I can do battle with the enemy. That’s another level of maturity.
Now, there’s a great gap between being a child and a young adult.
But the gap between being a young adult and a father, that’s a huge gap.
John said that a person who is like a father is someone who is described like this.
He has known him who is from the beginning.
Mhm Maturity comes as you get to know God who is from the beginning, progressively more deeply and intimately to know God and to grow in Him.
That’s the maturity of knowing God. But here is one of my favorites.
It’s the authority of knowing God, knowing God gives us a sense of authority in our lives.
When you know God, you’re connected, do you know what it means to be connected?
If you know God, you know the supreme person in all of the universe?
If you know God and you know that He knows you, where do you go from there?
What’s the next step up from that?
Daniel says it this way, the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits.
When you read the Bible, you see all these heroes and of course, Hebrews chapter 11 is a whole list of them.
One of the things you begin to know as you study the people that jump out of the pages of the Bible is the people who did great things for God were people who had this incredible relationship with God.
Think about Daniel for a moment. Think about Him in case you question the validity of what Daniel wrote.
All you have to do to cure your problem is to read how he stood up in his life, how he stood against the king’s dietary requirements because they violated his faith.
His relationship with God, read how he refused to obey the prohibition against prayer and continue to pray three times every day.
Why? That’s how he had a relationship with God.
Read how he walked with His God through a pagan environment and never violated his commitment to holiness and stood for the things he believed because Daniel was a man of God and he did great exploits for God.
And if reading about Daniel doesn’t get you all fired up, go back and read the speech of his three friends, the speech they gave when they were being told they were going to be thrown into the fiery furnace because they wouldn’t bow down to the idol.
I always love this speech. I find every excuse I can to read this privately and publicly.
They said, oh, we have no need to answer you in this matter.
If that is the case, our God, whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and he will deliver us from your hand.
Oh King. But if not let it be known to you o King that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.
Every time I read that speech, I stand a little straighter and a little stronger.
I don’t know about the rest of you. I’m tired of Christians always being the victim. We aren’t the victims.
We’re the victors. And the only difference between being a victim and a victor is knowing God, knowing God, the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits.
You want to do something great. You want to be strong.
Start with knowing God, knowing God will give you the strength.
You need to be good at what you do to excel in your particular purpose of life.
It starts with knowing God. Don’t ever forget that.
Verse, those who know their God will be strong and do great things. Amen.
Finally, the humility of knowing God, nothing so humbles you as to study God.
CS Lewis said in God, you come up against something which is in every respect, immeasurably superior to yourself unless you know God like that and therefore know yourself as nothing in comparison.
You do not know God at all.
As long as you are proud He wrote, you are looking down on things you’re looking down on people.
And of course, as long as you’re looking down, you cannot look up and see who is above you.
What a great statement that is. You can’t always be looking down on people.
If you want to know God, pride will keep you from knowing God.
Your own pride says, I don’t need God. Why should I study God? I’m everything I need.
When you’re always looking down, you can’t look up.
I’ve always said one of the things that happens to you.
When you get really sick, you can go to the hospital, they put you in the bed and sometimes strap you in.
And the only thing you can do is look up and that’s the best thing you can do when you’re in the hospital is look up because your answer is there in his first letter to Timothy Paul described God like this.
He said he is the blessed and only sovereign, the king of kings.
Do you know what that means? I looked at the word sovereignty.
It’s one of the most wonderful terms in our vocabulary. The word.
So S O V means well, it’s the Latin prefix for the words over and above.
And then if you look at the rest of the word, the rest of the word is rain.
So rain, which means to rule what that little word means.
Sovereign means over and above and ruling everything that there is.
When we say God is sovereign, we say He is over and above everything and He rules Ephesians puts it this way far above all principality and power and might and Dominion.
And every name that is named not only in this age, but also in that which is to come.
When we speak of the sovereignty of God, we’re referring to his absolute control over everything from the tides of history to the details of our days, the most high rules over heaven and earth and over large and small.
And I think this verse has a smile on its face. Here it is Psalms 115 verse three.
Our God is in heaven and he does whatever he pleases.
I love that verse, listen to me. God is in charge you guys. He’s in control.
And when you know your God, you can put your head on your pillow at night and you can go to sleep no matter what is going on.
I’m not in charge. It does not depend on me.
I have a God in heaven and I can trust him because he is sovereign.
He is above and over all.
Rick Pritikin went through a really trying time in his life and he wrote a book about it.
How is this for a title of a book? Why did I lose my job?
If God loves me during his nearly two years of vocational transition, he wrote these words, I have discovered at my core that I know my God is real and he knows what is best for me.
We can truly trust God because He didn’t spare his own son.
He assures us that he’s in control and he may be using this season to transition for our ultimate good.
Our heavenly Father loves us, unconditionally wants the best for us.
How can we possibly know how wonderful a life he is providing if we don’t start living and enjoying the moment that we have today, what I take away from this sermon personally is this, yes, it’s important for me to know God, but the takeaway is he already knows me and he cares about me.
I look at it some of you who are getting a little bit older and I always hate to mention this.
The Bible says, he knows the numbers of hair on your head. He knows every detail about us.
Why does he know us like that? Because he loves us like that.
And when you get to know Him, you get to know more about how much he knows you and it gives us strength to your relationship.
That’s hard to describe. Oh, my friends.
I want you not to get lost in the verbiage that often accompanies such a journey as we’re on and get to the real core of what it’s all about, it’s all about.
First of all, knowing that God knows you and he loves you and then making it your purpose to know him better.
All of us are on that track. All of us have that goal.
Samuel Clemens, the American author and humorist had been a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi for many years and he chose his pin name from a phrase which I didn’t know before.
Mark Twain is a river man’s phrase for water. That is six ft deep.
That’s where he got his name, Mark Twain. Short.
While after he became famous, he was traveling in Europe and he took his little girl with him, just the two of them everywhere.
They went, royalty, well known artists, scientists, all Arnold Mark Twain toward the end of their travels, the writer’s little girl one day said to him, papa, you know everybody but God don’t you.
Hm. You know everybody.
But God, the Bible says this is eternal life that they may know you.
The only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent? Is it possible that there’s someone here today?
You know, just about everybody in your world except God who is at the center of your world, whether you want it to be or not.
Let’s don’t go through life.
Our relationships with everybody are sweet, but our relationship with God is almost nonexistent. So here’s my final question.
Here’s what I want you to think about. Do you know God not, do you know about Him?
But do you know Him? Do you talk to him? Do you hear him?
Do you listen to his voice?
Do you have any idea how much He loves you and how much He knows you and whatever you’re going through, it’s not unknown to God.
Cultivate our relationship with God, cultivating our relationship with God is our number one priority.
Let’s figure it out for ourselves.
I don’t want you to feel guilty if you don’t think, you know as much about God as somebody else.
I just want you to jam into your own situation.
See, this week, next week during these weeks, I’m gonna to know God better.
How do you know God better?
You spend more time with Him just like you get to know anybody else learn from Him, revel in him, come and worship Him.
Know Him if you don’t know God at all because you get to know God through his son, Jesus Christ.
My invitation to you is begin your journey. Now by inviting Christ into your life.
We hope you enjoy today’s turning point.


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