How can you know God?
How can you know about the person who most influenced a new friend, whom you have just met, although you do not personally know this influencer? You observe the appearance of the new friend and may ask the usual…occupation, city of birth, why moved here, age, immediate family members, possible mutual acquaintances, church attended, etc. But, what can you know about the person who most influenced his worldview and avocational interest?
Apostle Philip asks Jesus about God; John 14.7-11.
- Perhaps your new friend makes the statement like Jesus’ in verse 7: you did not know him before, but now you will see him through me.
- Do you reply with Philip’s ‘huh?’ in verse 8? Or, do you understand what Jesus replied in verse 9: you know him because you have been with me.
- Your friend continues, like Jesus in verses 10 – 11, ‘I express his thoughts in the words I use, and I show the depth of his abilities through my lifestyle.’
- This is how you can know the chief influencer in someone’s life: see and hear carefully. Most importantly, this is how you can know God; i.e., by reading His book, especially the first four books of the New Testament.
- Jesus’ words in verse 11 He repeated in John 15.24 about people in the world who would hate Him. The point about the ‘works’ identifies Jesus as the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18.18, Who would act like the God of Exodus 34.10, Who still does miraculous signs and wonders! Thus, Acts 10.38 describes Jesus and God.
How else can you know God?
- Through your experiences with Him. In studies in 2011 at www.sozoclass.com, you can learn about people who experienced, and therefore named, Jehovah as tsidkenu (righteous standard), jireh (provider), rapha (healer), rohi (guide), nissi (deliverer), shalom (peace), and shammah (abiding presence). In which of these ways have you or someone you know well experienced God?
- Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1.20-21 that no one can say he has not known of God. Simply looking at flowers and trees, mountains and valleys, oceans and snowflakes, and sunshine and moonlight…even the stars…declare His glory and handiwork, like King David declared in Psalm 19.1-6! You cannot miss Him!
- You can almost feel the depth of desire to know God in the words of the sons of Korah (a worship leader) in Psalm 42.1-2. Although God is Spirit, you, too, can worship Him in ‘spirit and truth’, as Jesus said in John 4.24. And, God wants you to worship Him like this, as Jeremiah 8.23-24 state.
- How else have you come to know God?
- Apostle Paul profoundly summed your knowledge of God in Acts 17.28, which if you have not yet, you will come to realize!
Epistemology deals with how we know what we know.
- As you may have learned as a child, ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.’
- Think about what you read in Romans 1.16-17 and 2 Corinthians 5.7.
- This truly is objective, subjective, and mystical!
Praise God!!! Copyright by Maurice L. Painter 2012.
What do you think of God?
Contemplating the statements of God’s thoughts about you in Genesis 1.26-27 and James 3.8-10 leads to this question: what do you think of God? Consider also Apostle Paul’s description of His love for you in 2 Corinthians 5.21 and Galatians 3.13-14. Of course, you must remember His ultimate expression that Jesus stated in John 14.1-3. God made you in His image, paid the price to make you acceptable to Himself, lavishes His blessings upon you, and will come to get you someday to take you to be with Him eternally! Look at how King David answered.
‘What is man that You are mindful of him…?’
- Read these words of David and others in Psalm 8.4-8 s l o w l y to simulate the reflection of the shepherd looking over his sheep toward the beautiful clouds refracting the setting sunlight at the close of day. He gave these lyrics to the chief musician when he became king.
- His words are about God, not man.
- God thinks about you! God cares for you! God has crowned you with glory and honor! God made you just lower than Himself!
- God wants you to dominate His other creation! God put all else under your control! Refer to Genesis 1.26 and notice ‘over all the earth’. ‘Things’, in Psalm 8.6 was added later for clarity, but the word, really, limits the expansiveness of his thought. For, remember God’s encouragement to Cain in Genesis 4.7. Consider this encouragement as you read John 16.33 and Revelation 12.11.
- That’s a lot of responsibility that God has entrusted to you! Are you up to it? Philippians 4.13!
- ‘O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!’ (Psalm 8.9)
‘”Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?”’
- King David brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. You read this interesting account in 2 Samuel 6.1-23. Do you worship with his exuberance? Why not, in your time alone with God?
- Then, he told the prophet Nathan that he wanted to build a house for God, in 2 Samuel 7.1-3. But, in verses 4-17, God told him that his son would build this Temple. Further, God recounted His past and future faithfulness to David.
- The result is David’s deeper worship of God, in verses 18-29, including the words of this heading. A good memory will deepen your worship!
- David’s question at the end of verse 19 should be your question for contemplating God’s faithfulness to you…past and future. Remember Jeremiah 29.11 and Isaiah 55.8-9 as you sit with Him.
- From his worship of God, David came into covenant with Him, in verses 28 and 29. How do you state your covenant with God?
‘…You have subdued under me those who rose against me….’
- 2 Samuel 22.1-51 are David’s praise to God for delivering him from his enemies during his lifetime.
- Assignment: read the paragraphs of this praise and remember similar occasions in your walk with God; then, state and/or write your praise to God for delivering you.
So, what do you think of God?
Praise Him!!! (Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2012.