How Well Do You Know God? (Part 1)
By Tommy Thornhill
A few weeks ago I started preaching a series of lessons here at Etna, with the above title. The brethren seem to have received them well, and I thought them worthwhile enough to print them in this bulletin, not only to remind the brethren here of what was said, but also teaching those who don’t attend Etna, but receive the bulletin via email or ground mail. I have recorded the sermons and they are available on CDs. If you desire copies let me know and I will send them to you.
On Sunday, Jan.7, 1855, Charles Spurgeon, the minister at Southwark England, only 20 years old at the time, began his sermon, “It has been said by someone that the proper study of mankind, is man. I will not oppose the idea, but I believe it is equally true that the proper study of God’s elect is God; the proper study of a Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God. is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom He calls His Father.” “No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God…” “Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing will so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout earnest, continued investigation of the great subject of the Deity.” … “I know nothing which can so comfort the soul; so calm the swelling billows of sorrow and grief; so speak peace to the winds of trial, as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead. It is to that subject I invite you this morning.”
In my study of the Psalm (which I will resume soon), I have come to realize that
regardless of the circumstances, the psalmists were not atheists or agnostics. God was at the center of their psalms. They certainly entertained no doubts about the LORD God they believed in and served. He may have been invisible, but to them He was real, living, great, glorious, majestic and awesome. In their writings, they never portrayed Him as some remote power totally disinterested in them or the world in which they lived. They always honored and glorified Him for His greatness, goodness and mercy. He was just as real and alive to them as the air they breathed, the food they ate, and the water they drank. He was as near as any of their needs and prayers. Their faith was firmly fixed and unwavering. Their convictions were so strong they allowed no room for compromise. They seemed to know very well the LORD God they served.
So, how about you? How well do you know God? Think about the question I posed in the title. It is an all -important one. Jn.17:3 tells us, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” But, knowing God includes more than just knowing about Him, and offering a little sacrifice without much conviction Hos.6:4-6. One needs to know God on more of a personal nature. This knowledge of God should fill our thoughts and shape our lives. When you read what Paul wrote in Phil.3:7-10, you will see he didn’t spend his time thinking of what he had given up to follow Christ. He was thinking of what he had gained. He not only didn’t think of the things he sacrificed for Christ as being worthless, he didn’t live with them constantly on his mind.
Wanting to know God should cause us to live in such a way that people will see we truly believe the LORD lives and we take Him seriously. Those who keep dwelling on the things they cannot do as Christians show they have little knowledge of God. Those who do not truly know God cannot please Him Heb.11:6, nor will they obey Him Matt. 7:21. Instead, they will be like the apostate Jews, who sought their own plan of righteousness, trying to find salvation in their works Rom.10:3. But they will fail miserably, and in so doing will end up lost eternally 2.Thes.1:7-9. So, again, the question. How well do you know God?
People who really know God will be people who are active in their lives for God. “”…But the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits” Dan.11:32. In the context, these people were reacting against those who were siding with a vile (contemptible) person v.21. We see people who knew God in the examples of the 3 Hebrew children and Daniel himself. Those who know God will have great thoughts of God as we see in Dan.2:20-22. Such people will be bold for God as were the apostles Acts 5:29; 20:23-24. And they will be content in God Rom.5:1-3; 8:31 f (to be continued).
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