Summary: What is the one thing - the most important thing - that we should focus on in our lives? Knowing God.
ONE THING - KNOWING GOD:
FOR FUN – CHILDREN’S PRAYERS: (Actual prayers children have prayed to God)
• Dear God: Please send a new baby for Mommy. The new baby you sent last week cries too much. Debbie, 7
• Dear God: Who did you make smarter? Boys or girls? My sister and I want to know. Jimmy, 6
• Dear God: I need a raise in my allowance. Could you have one of your angels tell my father? Thank you. David, 7
• Dear God: This is my prayer. Could you please give my brother some brains? So far he doesn’t have any. Angela, 8
OPENING: It’s the beginning of a New Year
• Many people make resolutions (many people have broken them already!).
• But – what are you going to focus on in 2007? What SHOULD we focus on?
• I want to talk to you about the one thing that is most important – Knowing God.
• Christianity is not just about formulas: It’s about a relationship with a living God.
• The whole story of the Bible is about God pursuing a relationship with mankind
The Apostle Paul said: “[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly].” (Philippians 3:10, Amplified).
• This has been my heart cry since I came to know Jesus – to know Him more!
• Knowing God is more than knowing ABOUT God. Do you know Michael Jordan? You know ABOUT him, but you don’t KNOW HIM - personally. Do you KNOW God?
King David said: “One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.” (Psalm 27:4).
HOW DO WE GET TO KNOW GOD BETTER?
1. By Knowing God’s Word (Romans 10:17). Faith.
2. By Knowing God’s Voice (John 10:27). Following.
3. By Knowing God’s Love (Eph. 3:14-21). Fullness.
We won’t get through all of these today. We’ll start with
1. KNOWING GOD’S WORD:
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Rom. 10:17).
• Knowing God’s Word helps us to TRUST GOD.
“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” (1 Peter 2:2-3).
• Knowing God’s Word helps us to GROW.
• Vision of our church = Liberating lives through a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
• “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32).
MY STORY: When I came to Jesus and started reading the Bible, my life was changed. God’s Word working in us is powerful!
ILLUSTRATION: Christians need to learn how to read the Bible for themselves!
Our family was on holidays in Tampa, Florida. As far as the eye could see, orange trees were loaded with fruit. When we stopped for breakfast, I ordered orange juice with my eggs. "I’m sorry," the waitress said. "I can’t bring you orange juice. Our machine is broken." I was dumbfounded. We were surrounded by millions of oranges, and I knew they had oranges in the kitchen. What was the problem? No juice? Hardly. We were surrounded by thousands of gallons of juice. The problem was they had become dependent on a machine to get it. (Leroy Eims).
• What would happen if the ‘machine’ of church shut down?
CHALLENGE: The 5-minute Bible reading challenge – insert in bulletins this morning. To read the Bible for five minutes a day, and read through the whole New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs by the end of the year.
CLOSING TEXT: “But the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” (Daniel 11:32b).
• God wants us to be strong in the Lord so we can impact our world!
• Remember Acts 4:13: "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus."
• The more we get to know God, the more of a difference we will make!
“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42).
• What is the one thing that you will seek and focus on in 2007?
• I challenge you to seek to know Him more!