Summary: A look at how our attitude affects how we live for God. This sermon looks at our internal attitude, what we think of God and ourselves.
-welcome to Drink Deep on this fine Sunday evening. I know, it’s weird to be here in January without the Colts playing but life goes on.
-for the next two weeks we’re going to look at attitude. Now I want to make this a little bit clear, I don’t mean “attitude” [SNAP]. If you want to learn about that, watch Jersey Shore. No, please, don’t watch Jersey Shore.
-but we’re going to ask some questions for you to think about. Maybe you haven’t thought about some of these things before, but take a second and see what you come up with. Like this one?
1. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT GOD?
-and I’m serious about this one. If someone were to ask you about God, how would you answer? And where did you get that from?
-it’s a fair question. Where have you found out what you know about God?
-from my experience, it seems like a lot of people know what they know about God not through prayer or reading their Bible, but from things other people have told them. Kind of like here. Some of you, most of what you know about God is not what you have read about yourself or talked with God about, it’s stuff you’ve heard me or other adults here say.
-now I want you to think about this for a second, what kind of a relationship would you have with someone if every single thing you knew about them came from someone else? They never told you anything for themselves, it all came from a secondhand source?
-trust me, I’m glad if you listen to me and I try my best to make sure I’m telling you what I find to be true, but it can’t all come from me or from Pastor Mike or from whoever it is. Nothing takes the place of knowing God for yourself, like Paul found out:
**Phil. 3:9b-10 -> 9I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness. 10I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience His resurrection power, be a partner in His suffering, and go all the way with Him to death itself. (MSG)
-Paul figured it out. Following the rules, hearing what to do, who God is from someone else, not good enough. He wanted to know God for himself. He didn’t want to hear about Christ’s resurrection power, he wanted to experience it, to be a partner, or teammate, in Christ’s suffering.
-second hand information isn’t the same as knowing. I’m pretty sure everyone in this room has heard of Peyton Manning, the basketball player. No, we live in Indy, we hear about that big headed quarterback all the time. But you can hear on the news what he’s like, you can read on Wikipedia where he went to school, what he majored in, you can even hear from the hotel staff at a game what he had for breakfast but guess what, I dare you to walk up to him and give him a hug since you’re such a good friend and know so much about him. And prepare to be tazed.
-is your attitude that you want to know about God or that you want to know Him?
-or here’s another question. When you actually do read your Bible and you see something that doesn’t fit with what you think about God, what do you do?
-I remember a few years ago talking about angels here in this room, and a student told me how she was so at peace when her grandma died because her grandma was now her guardian angel. And I had to explain to her, when we die, we don’t become angels. And in the Bible, there’s no mention of us having personal guardian angels, it’s all myth and legend we’ve come up with in our culture.
-but then, I showed her in Scripture where it says God values us higher than the angels and we will do greater things than them. And you know what she said? She was upset and didn’t want to see how we were better, she wanted her grandma to be her guardian angel because for years she had believed that and she wanted to one day be her grand-kid’s guardian angel.
-see for her, she wasn’t discovering who God was, she was deciding who God was. With the truth in front of her, Scriptures and everything, she was not changing what she believed based on the Bible, she was choosing what she wanted to be true.
-guess what? You can choose all you want what you would like to be true, it doesn’t make it true. If God is a real person, than what you believe about Him doesn’t affect Him at all. It affects you because it affects how you see God, but it doesn’t magically change God into what you want Him to be. If God is real, and God is Who God is, then what you believe about Him doesn’t matter to Him. It only matters to you. So we have to be doing all we can to find out the truth about who God is and have a right view of Him.