“Understanding Who God Is”

“Behold God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out.”–Job 36:26

Understanding God in all of His fullness is impossible. In fact, Job says that God is infinitely beyond our understanding. However, does that mean we should avoid the subject all together? Of course not, because God has made many of His traits and attributes understandable.
 
We see that God reveals himself to us through His Word. Through reading and carefully looking into God’s Word, we are able to learn about who God is, how He responds, and how He reveals himself to us.
 
God can only be known to the extent He reveals himself. God has revealed himself to us through His natural creation, as a personal God to His people, and subsequently, supernaturally in the incarnation of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
 
A few things God’s Word shows us about the nature of God is:
  • God is Spirit;
  • God exists everywhere and knows everything: and
  •  God is unchangeable and incomparable.

Another key to understanding God is a study of His attributes. These characteristics, as revealed to us through God’s Word, are crucial to understanding the truth about God, who He is, what He is like, and what He does.


Some of the attributes of God is that He is wisdom. He is that Father who truly knows best. He is infinite for He has no boundaries, and He is without measure. Isaiah speaks of the sovereignty of the God who is in control of every- thing that happens. Additionally, He is omniscient – all knowing; omnipotent – all powerful; and omnipresent – everywhere. We see God’s omniscience in knowing every thought of man; His omnipotence is His every creation, and His omnipresence in the Garden of Eden as Adam and Eve attempted to hide from God, but God found them in the cool of the day.


Another avenue to understanding who God is: examining the words of Jesus. Jesus said in John 14:9, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” Jesus Christ came to reveal God, the Father. Jesus shows us that the Father is intimately concerned with the whole of creation. Even the falling sparrow gains His attention; yet, Jesus said human beings are more valuable than sparrows, and the Father is deeply concerned with His master plan for humanity.


Jesus additionally shows us that God, the Father, sends rain on the just and the unjust. He is kind to unthankful and evil human beings. He is merciful, putting up with much from a wayward mankind. He is patient toward us, always hoping for full repentance. As a human, Jesus demonstrated the way the Father thinks and lives. Truly, He came to reveal the Father. It is through Christ, Himself – through His life and work, that we more completely comprehend the Father’s nature.

We see though Christ that God is good, holy, and full of love. Jesus told the parable of the lost in Luke 15: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. The Shepard leaves the 99 in the fold in search of the lost one; likewise, God searches for the lost one. While the owner searches without giving up, so God never gives up on His quest for the salvation of mankind. Finally, we see the love of God as the prodigal came home. The father forgave, received, and restored his lost son. How grateful we are for the forgiveness, love, and restoration of our heavenly Father.


As we enter into this season of Thanksgiving, let us ever be grateful and thankful to God, our Father, for His goodness and many blessing! Until then, let us continue…
 
Changing Lives for Eternity,
 

Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson 


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“Altered At The Altar”

“And Abraham removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east, and there he built an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.” – Genesis 12:8

Throughout Scripture we see the importance of the altar. The altar was a meeting place where God met with man and man met with God. It was also a place of sacrifice, surrender, and worship.

In these passages, Abraham responded to the call of God, taking his family and leaving what was familiar the Ur of Chaldees – and went to a land where he had never been. As God led him, Abraham came to a place called Sychar. There, he surrendered himself to God and God appeared unto him. Following his time of consecration, Abraham built an altar and called on God.

Later, in Genesis 22, Abraham and Isaac ascended up Mt. Moriah to worship God. There, on top of the mountain, Abraham and Isaac built an altar. God met them there, providing a sacrifice reaffirming that He is Jehovah Jireh the God who provides.

We see in I Kings 18, the Israelites had neglected and forsaken the altar, turning their hearts towards Baal. There, at Mt. Carmel, Elijah rebuilt the altar, offering a sacrifice and calling out to God in repentance on behalf of the Israelites for their idolatry. Following his prayer, God opened the heavens and consumed the sacrifice by fire. Notice, the altar is a powerful place.

A long-standing conviction we must have as a church is the priority of the altar in personal and corporate worship. It is a marvelous moment when the Holy Spirit moves upon hearts and lives of the people and takes them to a time of saying, “Yes, Lord”, in response to working of the Holy Spirit.

In our services, when a call to the altar is issued, people may kneel at their pews or bow their heads. That is fine in many cases because the important thing is to spend time in prayer. However, there are occasions when publicly stepping out and moving to the altar in obedience to the voice of the Spirit is important. This literally, and spiritually, signifies the person’s determination to fulfill what God is impressing on his or her heart. Testimonies abound of people whose lives were transformed during a time of meeting God at the altar.

Let me encourage you to keep the altar at the focus of your life. As the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart, respond to the altar call for it is the culmination of all that God is speaking to you. It is your act of responding to the truths and principles of God’s Holy Word. In that moment, the Holy Spirit deals directly with your heart, mind, and soul as you are touched by the life-changing Word.

Often, we hear the phrase “oldfashioned altar” used, usually in reference to its timelessness. Though the altar is timeless, there is nothing old-fashioned about the altar. It is a place where God continues to meet with people of all generations who come and seek His help and grace.

Keep the altar as the centerpiece of your life. Your life will be strengthened immeasurably as you obey the voice of the Spirit and commit to His leading. Decisions made at the altar will impact those who respond. Transformed disciples will rise from their knees knowing the reality of God’s love and grace and determined to fulfill their promises to Him. Until then, let us continue…

Changing Lives for Eternity,

Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson

Senior Pastor


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“Live the Life”

“Blessed are those who trust in the Lord… They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:7-8 NLT

Even before the creation of the universe, God had you in mind and planned you for His purpose! You are not a biological accident; neither are you a mistake or did you enter into this world by chance or happenstance. Your life has purpose because God has given meaning to your life. God has called you to live your life with purpose and direction. When you live out God’s calling in your life you will be productive and blessed.

It is imperative for every person to know and understand their purpose for existence. When an individual does not understand his purpose for being, he will wander aimlessly though life being driven by outside forces. You see, you will find some in life are driven by the outside force of guilt, spending their entire lives running from regrets and past mistakes. Others are driven by resentment or anger. They hold on to past hurts and pains, either internalizing their anger or exploding it on to others. Thirdly, you will find people imprisoned by fear keeping them from becoming what God intended for them to be.

Others find themselves driven by the outside force of materialism. This drive for material things perpetuates the misconception that having more will bring happiness and security; however, we must realize one’s value is not measured by what is attained in life. One is valuable because God created him to be valued and to live his life fulfilling God’s call.

On the other hand, when you live the life God has for you becoming who God has called you to be, you will find meaning and fulfillment. God’s first call for your life is to be loved by God. That is the bedrock for everything that happens in your life.

Remember, you were created and called to be loved by God.

Secondly, to live the life God has called you to live, you must belong. You were not made to go through life alone on your own. You weren’t made to go through life lonely. God created you to belong – to belong to Him and His family, the Church. Not only are you called to belong, but, thirdly, God has called you to “become.” “Becoming” means becoming all that you are in God. It means growing and maturing in your faith. No longer being a “spiritual” baby but becoming a disciple and follower of Jesus.

Fourthly, to live the life God meant for you to live, God has called you to be a blessing to others. We serve God by serving others. God has given you unique gifts and abilities to help build His Family. God has blessed you with your spiritual gifts, your heart, your abilities, your personality, and your experiences. God wired and shaped you to serve Him. When you become a blessing to others, God will bless you. Finally, to live the life and to become who God wants you to become, recog- nize you are called to be sent by God on a mission. Your mission is to share what Christ has done in you and through you.

God wants you to live your life with purpose and meaning; to be fruitful and productive. It is the only real way to live. It is said of David that he was a man after God’s heart. Why? Because according to Acts 13:36, he “… served his own generation by the will of God.” David dedicated his life to fulfilling God’s purpose on earth. There is no greater reward than serving God’s purpose in your generation.

During this month at Life Church, I challenge you to be a part of the Live the Life series. Join an Empower class or small home group, commit to serve, or join an outreach ministry sharing the wonderful love of God. Invite your family and friends to be a part of this exciting journey at Life Church as we live the life!

Changing Lives For Eternity,

Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson


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