Beautiful Things Pt.3 – A Beautiful God
Colossians 2:13 – Discover the depths of our brokenness – and the heights of God’s Love for us. Even out of the dust of our lives, God can make beautiful things.
Lucy and Linus are gazing out the window at a staggering downpour of rain.
“Boy, look at it rain, ” Lucy says, fear etched on her face. “What if it floods the whole world?” “It will never do that, Linus responds confidently. “In the 9th Chapter of Genesis, God promised Noah that would never happen again, and the sign of the promise is the rainbow.” “You’ve taken a great load of my mind, ” Lucy says with a sigh of relief. Linus replies, “Sound theology has a way of doing that.”
That is my aim in this message today! To articulate the good theology (study of God) that God is a good God contrary to what someone may have said about Him, or our past perceptions.
I googled God. turns out there are 564 million results. My conclusion after the first few pages….Everyone has an opinion about God.
To Know what God is like, look at Jesus
John 1:1-5, 14 ESV – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son[a] from the Father, full of grace and truth.
•Incarnation – enfleshment of God. God revealing Himself in the nature and character of Jesus (Not just an event, but the whole life of Jesus) – I believe Jesus alone is perfect theology.
He was not a man who became God, He is God who became a man
John 5:39 ESV- You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,
Matthew 26:59-64 NIV The chief priests…were looking for false evidence against Jesus so they could put Him to death. But they did not find any… Then they said, “Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God.” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.
John 14:9 NIV – Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
God is Exactly like Jesus
God is like Jesus – Jesus is what God has to say to the world. Jesus is the full and faithful witness to how God is to be understood. Jesus did not come to save us from God – Jesus came to reveal God as savior. He came to reveal God’s love. (John 3:16) – absorbing, forgiving and taking away the sins of the world. (Jesus the icon of the invisible God)
Hebrews 1:3 NIV – The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
Colossians 1:15-19 NLT 15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. 18 Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything. 19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ…
Colossians 2:9 NKJV – For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily
A person’s perception of understanding of the nature of God will determine their level of faith in His ability or desire to help them.
I Corinthians 15:34 MSG – Ignorance of God is a luxury you can’t afford in times like these”
J.I. Packer said: “What were we made for? To know God. What aim should we set ourselves in life? To know God. What is the best thing in life, bringing more joy, delight, and contentment, than anything else? Knowledge of God.”
“I have found God to be cordial and generous and in every way easy to live with.”- A.W. Tozer
I. What You Must Know about God
“Truth is true even if no one believes it, and falsehood is false even if everyone believes it.” Ravi Zacharias
1. God is Powerful
Isaiah 40:28-31 ESV – Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 44:24 NIV – This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself,
Isaiah 45:12 NIV – It is I who made the earth and created mankind on it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.
God is more powerful than your sickness, disease, problem, etc…(Easter series – Miracles “God’s Power to Change your Life”)
•The Proof of God’s Power is not in an explanation but in a changed life – The world doesn’t need an explanation but a demonstration of the power of God.
Buechner said, “God cannot be expressed but only experienced”
Jesus is Powerful – Lazarus Come Forth, Blind Bartimaeus, Casted out 3000 plus demons out of the man and put them in pigs, woman with the issue of blood (who touched me?)
2. God is Good
Psalm 31:19 NIV – How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you
The Bible connects the name of the Lord or God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit with “good” or “goodness” 370 Times.
Psalm 34:8 ESV – Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
God cannot cease from doing good, because HE is GOOD!
Psalm 103:1-5 ESV – Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s
Jesus went everywhere doing good to people
- Acts 10:38 – how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
- Jesus healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, opened the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf. He had compassion on the needy and proclaimed good news to the poor. Jesus said in John (10:11) referred to himself as the “Good Shepherd”
3. God is Gracious and Merciful
Psalm 145:8-16 NIV 8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.9 The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. 10 All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. 11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, 12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.[a]14 The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. 16 You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.”
•Grace is God giving people credit for something they didn’t do!
Micah 7:18 NIV “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.”
Psalm 103:9-10 NIV “He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”
Do not freeze frame a certain time in your life and condemn your future based on that moment. God is gracious and merciful
Jesus is Gracious and merciful
•John the Baptist – Jesus the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Luke 15:1-2 ESV – Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
•Woman caught in Adultery – I don’t condemn you, Go and sin no more
•Paralyzed man – Your sins are forgiven
II. What God Wants You to Know about HIM
1. To know that God loves me.
Lamentations 3:21-23 NIV – “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORDʼs great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
2. To know that God has a plan for me.
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 NIV – “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
3. To know that God will bring me through.
2 Timothy 4:18 NIV “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Philippians 1:6 NAS “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
III. My Prayer for you
Ephesians 1:17 NIV “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”
Jeremiah 29:13 NIV “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Everybody surrenders to something or someone in life. If not to God, you’ll surrender to popular opinion, money, resentment, or fear, to your own pride, lust, and ego.
Surrender is not the best way to live; it is the only way to live. Nothing else works. All other approaches lead to frustration, disappointment, and self-destruction.
So give it all to God: your past regrets, your present problems, your future ambitions, your fears, dreams, weaknesses, habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Put Christ in the driver’s seat of your life, and take your hands off the steering wheel. Don’t be afraid; nothing under his control can ever be out of control.
Prayer of Commitment
I’d like you to stand this morning and we’re going to pray a prayer together. This prayer originally appeared in A.W. Tozer’s book called, “The Knowledge of the Holy.”
“O majesty unspeakable, my soul desires to behold Thee. I cry to Thee from the dust. Yet when I inquire after Thy name it is secret. Thou art hidden in the light which no man can approach unto. What Thou art cannot be thought or uttered, for Thy glory is beyond comprehension.
Still, prophet and psalmist, apostle and saint have encouraged me to believe that I may in some measure know Thee. Therefore, I pray, whatever of Thyself Thou hast been pleased to disclose, help me to search out as treasure more precious than fine gold: for with Thee shall I live when the stars of the twilight are no more and the heavens have vanished away and only Thou remainest. Amen.”