Responding to Our Knowledge of God - Omnipresence

Faith Church June 23, 2007 Matthew 28:20

 

Introduction:

1.  We’re continuing our new series today in our Worship Service:  Reaching New Heights in Our Knowledge of God!

- our goal is to further APPLY the subject to our lives as an ABF, so we’ve entitle our ABF study: Responding to Our Knowledge of God

2.  Remember the words if Daniel: 

  • Daniel 11:32 "…but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.”

- we say this in counseling a lot, but counseling problems are theological problems (unless of course it’s medical problem that can be proven in a laboratory)

- i.e. people struggle with problems in marriage, family, various life situations because many times their view of God is WRONG!

Input: Complete this sentence:Many people think that God isn’t __________________?

 – but holy, faithful, sovereign . . . + HERE (He’s not omnipresent), nor is He gracious, powerful, loving, patient, aware, etc.]

- so that’s why, in part, we doing this study

- this ties in with Paul’s words:

  • Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death

know’ = knowledge based on personal experience (because of the interaction/relationship)

3.  Our goal is that you not only Reach New Heights in your Intellectual Knowledge of God . . . but in your PRACTICAL knowledge of God (a life of obedience, a attitude of hope, and high motivation for future service to demonstrate that faith in God and what you truly believe about Him!)

4.  It’s important for us to each of the attributes about God that we study and FURTHER apply them to our lives, families, work, and life situations!

*  The purpose of our study:

1) to glorify God by with our praise of worship of Who He is

2) to put that knowledge into ACTION!

- the first part of our study includes:

I.  Reaching New Heights in Our Knowledge of God:  His Omnipresence!

- that is (or was – depending on your ABF) the subject of our study in the worship service

*  God’s omnipresence = God penetrates and fills the universe in all it’s parts!

* One of our goals in this study is to learn more about God . . . and His OMNIPRESENCE so we will understand that He is always WITH US – He never leaves us, nor forsakes us!  

1)  exercising our faith in a God Who is always present

2)  proclaiming this truth of God’s presence to others

3)  modeling this the confidence in our God’s being with us all the time (that others may “see our good works and glorify our Father Who is in heaven!”)

- each week, we’re going to be asking a set of questions for you to consider in the context of the specific aspect of God that is being presented in the Worship Service!

II.  Responding to Our Knowledge of God’s Omnipresence

Q: Do you really believe that God is HERE . . . right now, with us in this room and is always present in every situation!

  • What other passages communicate this attribute of God? [various answers]
  • Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
  • Jeremiah 23:23-24 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the Lord, “And not a God far off?” Can a man hide himself in hiding places, so I do not see him?” declares the Lord.  “Do not I fill the heavens and the earth?” declared the Lord.
  • Hebrews 13:5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,"
  • 1 John 4:20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
  • 1 Timothy 5:21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.
  • 2 Timothy 2:14 Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.
  • 2 Timothy 4:1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
  • Psalm 76:7 You, even You, are to be feared; And who may stand in Your presence when once You are angry?
  • Psalm 139:7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?

READ all of Psalm 139 – very powerful passage!]

  • What impact should this attribute have in the following areas:
  • Temptation to sin:

- while we realize God is PRESENT, I have to respond and say no to prevent sin

- if I have sinned, I did so in the presence of God – He saw what I did, etc.

Illustration: Committing adultery in the presence of your spouse? Why would you do it in the presence of God [maybe it’s because you really don’t think/act like He is there

Illustration: Why does Wal-Mart have camera in the stores (to watch for thieves . . . that’s why most things are stolen at night, so they can’t be seen . . . but God is there watching!)

  • Facing Trials (suffering, illness, disappointments)

- God is with me every step of the way – I’m never ALONE!

  • Conflicts with people:

- I need to be care what I say (God is here listening)

- I need to be careful about how I respond (God is here watching)

  • Prayer Life:

- We can STOP and pray to the Lord because He is there, and can ask for wisdom, grace, strength to do the right thing not the easy thing

Q: But why should we pray and make a request that God would “be with us” when He has already said that He is present and there will never be a situation where God would NOT be present? 

  • Time we are afraid (fearful):

- We can STOP and pray to the Lord because He is there, and can ask for wisdom, grace, strength to do the right thing not the easy thing

  • What are some examples in the Scripture of God revealing His presence?

- Moses in the burning bush

- 3 Hebrew guys in the fire – a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ

  • In what ways does our church emphasize/model this quality? [various answers]

- we weave this truth in our counseling and preaching/teaching

- we thank the Lord for being with us and guiding us along the way (no matter what)

  • In what ways do we as a church need to GROW in the way we emphasize/model this attribute? [various answers]

- increase our prayer time and emphasis – to pray about things as a body (VBS, Community Picnic, VBS closing program, etc.)

- serve and minister like God is really watching

- don’t be afraid . . . when trying something new, God is with us

  • How can you emphasize this attribute to your family (spouse, children) and friends?

- remind them that even though you are not there, God is

- when your children start getting older, or graduate and go to college, remember God is with them, SO . . . you don’t have to worry, fret, etc. (easy for me to say at this point!! J)

- when you are on vacation, times together, even at the meal, remind each other of God’s presence

  • How can we help each other grow in this quality?

- remind each other that God is EVERYWHERE PRESENT, all the time

- when we pray, praise the Lord for His presence with us

- Be willing to communicate honestly when is struggling with a sinful habit  – go asking q’s about their view of God being too small!

  • What causes you to doubt God’s omnipresence?

- wrong view of God – ignoring the examples of God’s omnipresence

- we over-emphasize the ‘earthly’ and ‘human’ perspective than we do the ‘heavenly’ and ‘divine’ aspect of all situations – basically, we’re short-sighted of the truth and the nature and character of God!

>  we can’t see Him with our physical eyes, so . . . we conclude He isn’t there

- failure to acknowledge the affects of the curse of sin on our ability to think & reason – we should rely upon God’s Word not our human reasoning

  • How did Adam demonstrate the curse of sin on his ability to think and reason about God’s presence? Can you think of other O.T. examples of Israel failing to acknowledge God’s presence?

- Adam (Gen. 3) – ran to hide in the bushes (like he could get away from God)

  • What instruction was given to the NT regarding this subject?

KEY QUESTION:  What impact should this attribute have on the following?

  • Outreach:  as God provides the opportunity, we need to ACT like God is with us every step of the way (acknowledge His presence)
  • Praise/Worship: we worship the only TRUE and living God – He’s present!
  • Discipleship/Growth: God is there to help us in difficult or lonely situations!
  • Serving (use of gifts/abilities): God walks with me as I serve, He is beside us as we minister in _____________ (examples)
  • One another ministry (Building Meaningful Relationships): Our relationship with God is the most important relationship, and we need to acknowledge His presence and really ACT like our God is standing right beside us

>  we also need to ask the question, do I act like I want to be in God’s presence?

IMPORTATNT: APPLY THIS TO THE FOLLOWING:

  • VBS CLOSING PROGRAM (June 24th – God will be with us tonight – ARE YOU GOING TO BE THERE . . .to help befriend our guests/parents from the community?)
  • COMMUNITY PICNIC & Grand Opening (July 1st – God will be here that day, are you?  He will be there to help you reach out our guest, serve in the picnic, celebrating the Grand Opening!  Are the people in our community going to see the love of God in us as we let them know we really believe Jesus is alive and can change lives!)

> Get TICKETS today!

  • JULY INTRO TO FAITH (July 11th [1st night] God has brought us a number of visitors over the past few weeks, who do you know that you can invite to the Intro to Faith (childcare is provided)

Conclusion:

Q: Are you seeking to acknowledge the presence of God in your life?

Q:  In what ways does your knowledge of God’s omnipresence truly impact your actions/choices/thoughts?

Key Verse:  Matthew 28:20” . . . and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Faith Church