Summary: A fresh encounter with God is a renewal of one’s personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.
A FRESH ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
Proposition: A fresh encounter with God is a renewal of one’s personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Objective: My purpose is to challenge people to a fresh encounter with
God in their personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Illus: A politician met an old friend on the street and said, "I sure hope you’re going to vote for me." The friend said, "No!" The politician asked, "But was not it me who got your daughter a job when she graduated from high school? Wasn’t it me who helped you pay your hospital bill? So why don’t you vote for me?" The friend replied, "Because you haven’t done anything for me recently." Unfortunately, a lot of Christians are like that politician’s friend. We forget God’s blessings so quickly. Psalm 103:2 (quickview)  exhorts, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits." "All his benefits" includes all His blessings. All ingratitude is unlovely, but especially unlovely in Christians. There is no relief from our burdens in complaining and self-pity.
Illus: A deacon once wrote out his experience. Later he brought it out for his pastor during a visit. He stated: “Here is my experience.” It was moth eaten. How said but that is the experience of many people in relation to their spiritual experience. There is nothing fresh and their experience has become stale. That is why we have revivals to remind us of our need of an up-to-date experience in our relationship with our God.
The book of Job begins with the attention of heaven focused on Job, a righteous man, who loved the things of God and lived a righteous life. He was extraordinarily successful in all of his relationships and endeavors. Then Satan asked the fateful question: Does Job fear God for nothing? To answer this, God allowed an experiment to go forth in which Job was tested through the loss of all that he held dear. The majority of the rest of the book is a series of discussions between Job and his so-called comforters.
Job is looking for a God big enough to comprehend his experience. He becomes aware and certain of God’s care for him. He wants to know that God is there and that He cares. At times Job goes down, and at times up. But the focus of his lament is always his relationship with God. At his angriest moments he is angry with God, at his most hopeful moments his hope is in God, and at his most fearful moments he is terrified of God. In Job 40 (quickview) , God continues to question Job, a cross-examination that exposes Job for what he really is--a finite creature. God presses Job further and chides him, challenging him to do a better job than He at being God and running the world. God hammers Job by asking him unanswerable questions about creation, himself and the behemoth. At the end of the entire process, God appeared and confronted Job in a whirlwind. Having been overwhelmed by the presence of God himself, Job comes to see himself as God sees him. It is as though he says, “Lord, You said, ‘Hear and declare unto me;’ but after seeing You as You as You are, rather than as I have taught that You are. I repudiate what I have said and repent in sackcloth and ashes.”