Summary: We’ve all heard the great arguments and evidences for the existence of God and those all have their important place but this talk focuses on how God can be more real and relevant in our lives than the very homes we live in.
1. Is God Real and Relevant?
a. Is it really possible for a God you can’t see or touch to be real, personal and relevant in your life?
b. We’ve all thought those same thoughts and asked those same questions.
c. How do you know whether God is real?
2. That’s what were going to talk about tonight.
a. We are going to focus more, tonight, on how God can be real to you personally and relationally.
b. We won’t be focusing tonight, on all the natural, physical and scientific evidence for God’s existence, but there is a ton of this evidence too.
3. How do you determine what is real in the first place?
a. What does it take to believe?
1. Brain chemistry.
1. Optical illusions. - What you see is not necessarily real.
b. There are many things you don’t see that you know are real, and probably never doubted.
i. Can’t see History.
1. Know it’s real because of reliable records: historical artifacts & writings.
a. There are countless reliable and irrefutable records about Christ.
ii. Can’t see China (at least not from here).
1. Know it’s real because of trustworthy witnesses: descriptions and stories from people, TV and other sources.
a. There are millions of lives He has personally changed.
i. You’ll here some of those stories here each week.
iii. Can’t see Air.
1. Know it’s real because of natural effects: Breathing, wind.
2. You can see God working personally in your life every day! Our hope is that Connect will encourage you in this.
4. The Bible says, in 2 Corinthians 4:18, that “...what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
a. How can you know something you can’t see is real?
b. How can you know without any doubt that God is real?
5. Just because something is real doesn’t mean it is personal and relevant to you.
a. What is more personal and relevant:
i. A Facebook super poke or a talk with a close friend?
ii. An unlimited credit card or $20 cash?
6. So the question is really how can you know God is real and experience God in a personal & relevant way?
a. It’s human to doubt - you are not alone.
i. John 20:24-29 - “Thomas...was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
b. Jesus met Thomas where he was at, and He will do the same with each of you.
i. So how is God real to you personally?
7. Here are just a few ways you will experience & know God in a real and personal way:
a. He is the only way you will ever experience real PURPOSE & HOPE.
i. God promises you, in Jer.29:11, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
1. God is real to me because He alone gives me a purpose and hope!
b. He is the only way you will ever experience real LOVE & ACCEPTANCE.
i. God says, in Jer.31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” and continues in Rom.8:38-39 saying, nothing can separate you from His love.
ii. He has also given us friends, brothers and sisters, who love us like He does.
1. God is real to me because He alone gives me unconditional love and acceptance!
c. He is the only way you will ever experience real JOY & FULFILLMENT.
i. Jesus promised, in John 6:35, that He alone could meet the deepest desires of your heart; He said: "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
1. God is real to me because He alone satisfies me and gives me joy.
d. He is the only way you will ever experience real PEACE & SECURITY.
i. He promises you a peace that surpasses understanding (Phil.4:7).