Know God Personally
KNOWING GOD PERSONALLY BEGINS WITH A RECOGNITION THAT:
- THERE’S SOMETHING MORE
- THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG
- THERE’S SOMETHING WONDERFUL (AND GOD HAS DONE IT!)
- THERE’S SOMETHING TO RECEIVE
Have you ever felt that there must be something more to life? Have you sensed an emptiness within your soul? The truth is that money, possessions, prestige, power and people cannot fulfill that deeper hunger we all have.
We long for a satisfied heart, mind and soul.
Blaise Pascal, the French philosopher and mathematician, wrote, “Within each human being there is a God-shaped void.”
We were designed with a need that only God Himself can fill.
Within every heart there exists an intense inward yearning for the transcendent (for meaning, purpose, a satisfying relatedness and integration with love– a personal relationship with God).
The wise Hebrew King Solomon wrote of this universal need: “He (God Himself) has also set (the thoughts of) eternity in the hearts of men.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV)
C.S. Lewis wrote, “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing.”
What is the desire which finds no satisfaction in this present world but points us to heaven? It is an inner yearning for righteousness, peace and joy.
The fifth century philosopher, Augustine wrote, ‘Our hearts are unquieted until they find their rest in Thee’.
We have the longing for eternal life in our hearts but we cannot comprehend or experience that eternal life by ourselves.
God has made Himself known in history and has promised to fulfill that human longing. He has told us that we are made for something more. That ‘something’ is Himself. He is the Living Water, that when you drink it, you will never thirst again. He is the Bread of Life that satisfies that indescribable hunger. He is perfect light, life and love. And He wants us to share all that He is with us.
WHY IS IT THAT WE DON’T EXPERIENCE THAT KIND OF LIFE AND LOVE THAT SATISFIES?
The Bible says:
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God.” (Isaiah 59:2)
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
The Greek word for “sin” comes from an archer’s term meaning “to miss the target.” It is as if our daily living is like an arrow. The bull’s eye in the target is “to love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, with ALL your mind and with ALL your soul. The next circle around the center is “to love your neighbor as yourself.” Each day is a fresh launching of the arrow towards the target. And each day we miss. That is what sin is. Whether it is a near-miss or a far-miss, it is a miss. It is sin.
The truth is that God is holy. He does not pretend that we are hitting the mark when we are actually missing it. We were created in God’s image. This means that we were created to tell the truth about God. Each time we break one of God’s commands we are telling a lie about Him. For example, the reason the law tells us not to steal is that God is not a thief.
God is perfectly just. The law tells us that sin must be punished with death (separation from God).
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
The Bible says that by sinning we have earned death. We deserve to die and be separated from God forever.
It was not God who turned away from man but man who turned away from God. In a sense by sinning man was saying, “I want to put myself at the center of my life rather than God.”
No matter what man tries to do he cannot put himself in a right relationship with God through his own efforts. Throughout history people have tried to make their way back to experiencing peace with God through religion, good works, drugs, investigation and philosophical understanding etc.
Although there is no way that man can go to God, the good news is that God has come to man.
What mankind could not do for himself, God did. We call this grace- unmerited favor – God doing for us what we do not deserve and what we could not do for ourselves.
God came to man in the person of His Son. The Word was made flesh (John 1:14). Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, became a man and lived a perfect life without sin. Every day his life hit the bull’s eye. It was as if someone were taking a test for us, in our name, and getting 100 percent all the time, and having that score credited to our account. Because He loves us He lived a perfect life fulfilling the righteous requirements of the law on our behalf, and then took the death penalty our sins deserved when he died on the cross.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“For Christ died for our sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” (1 Peter 3:18)
Jesus’ resurrection from the dead proves that our sin debt was paid in full and that God’s justice has been completely satisfied with His atoning sacrifice on the cross. His resurrection demonstrates that God has answered Jesus’ prayer, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”
Because Jesus is fully God and man, He is the perfect mediator between the two, knowing what was required to provide perfect reconciliation and being both able and willing to do it.
1 Tim. 2:5-6
For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men–the testimony given in its proper time.
How do we receive the free gift of God’s forgiveness and eternal life? How do we experience restored fellowship with God and the promised gift of the Holy Spirit?
REPENT (‘metanoia’ in Greek means ‘change of mind’). We need to change our mind. We can no longer think that we can save ourselves through our own goodness. Repentance also implies ‘turning’. Jesus knows that all will perish unless there be a recognition of our need to be turned from going our own way to going the way He taught about.
“Unless you repent you will all perish.” (Luke 13:5)
“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)
This leads to crux of what is required:
“Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
We receive the gift of God by faith. Faith means “believing God”. Faith is “committed trust” in that which is trustworthy.
Faith is a turning to God. As you turn to God by faith, you will turn from what God hate- sin.
Just as you trust a chair to hold you up through no effort of your own when you sit down upon it, so you must trust Jesus Christ to put you in a right relationship with God and get you to heaven through no effort of your own. He is absolutely reliable.
What is keeping you from trusting Christ? Think about it. There is nothing more important than committing your life to Him.
Tell God that you are trusting Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior now in prayer. Prayer is conversation with God, speaking what’s on your heart and being receptive to what’s on His. This prayer does not save you but trusting Jesus does save you. This prayer is a way to express to God that you are trusting His provision for your salvation.
I know that I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. Thank you that Jesus Christ died on the cross and took the penalty that my sins deserved. I am trusting Jesus Christ alone to be my Lord and Savior. I want to be born again. I repent of my sins and ask you to fill me with the Holy Spirit and make me the kind of person you want me to be. Thank you for the gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life which I am receiving by faith in Jesus’ name. Amen.
What happens when you trust Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior?
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
Did you hear Jesus’ words of truth?
Do you believe that God sent Jesus to demonstrate His love an take the condemnation your sins deserved?
Does “has eternal life” mean sometime in the future or right now?
Does “will not be condemned” mean “might not be condemned?
Does “has crossed over from death to life” mean sometime in the future or now?
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Have you confessed your allegiance to Jesus as the worthy leader of your life?
Do you believe that His work on the cross was effective in that God raised Him from the dead?
On the basis of God’s word, are you saved?
for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
If you are serious about your commitment to Christ you will tell somebody about your decision. Tell a pastor, a friend or a family member. Find a group of Christians who will encourage you, pray with you and join with you in your journey as you get to know God better. If you have any questions or would like to know more contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.