From Presents to Presence
Topic: Growing in Faith Scripture: Isaiah 7:14, Romans 1:18–1:23
From Presents to Presence
Hope for the Holidays series…
- Our hope = Him
- OT prophecy; Immanuel = God with us…
- Isaiah 7:14, “…Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
- Immanuel refers to the CLOSENESS… to His PRESENCE with US now…
- Beyond Religion, everyday rel’p with living God, who cares x BIG + SMALL details life. IPODs.
- God ≠promised PRESENTS…
- Marriage, relationships + their timing
- Wealth… health…
- Perfect boss or Perfect church…
- Ultimately, His promise =He would =with us. HIS PRESENCE
- Presence changes everything…
- BIBLE… disciples suffered + died x following Him. How?
- Acts 7:56-60, “56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 “And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”
- Courage, conviction, resolve, humility, forgiving + gracious
- Gracious, forgiving, holy, wise God…
- What happens when =AWARE… ever met some1 who =AWARE?
- Phil.4:4-7, “4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything…”
(CLARIFYING THE PRESENCE OF GOD)
Misnomer… We are ALWAYS in His presence
- Psalm 139:7-10, “7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”
- True of all creation: God is everywhere… rather everywhere is IN Him
- Q: You know what that means?
- A: We=TERRIBLE@discerning His Presence. FEELINGS: poor indicator of His presence.
- Privilege & birthright of His children, by Faith = Holy Spirit IN US… intimacy!
Our struggle concerns THE AWARENESS of His presence
- Our awareness SHIFTS FROM Him TO things.
- “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love.”
- Matthew 14:28-30, “28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”
- Until we see him face-to-face, we must pursue His Awareness continuously.
And here’s REASON… We actively SUPPRESS the awareness of His presence
- Peekaboo: Object Permanence: important developmental milestones where your baby understands that things they ≠see (you, toy, a pet) still exist. Once baby grasps object permanence, they’ll look xtoy or try to get it back… because they know the toy still exists!
- Romans 1:18-23, “18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
- Human heart = bent on suppressing KOG. Willful choice to REDUCE + REJECT Him.
- KOG = plain to us; we perceive His power + nature in creation. IOW we reject Him first as Creator.
- Rejecting God creator >> refusal to honor or give thanks to God. Why would we?
- Vs.21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
- And IF God ≠Creator >> ≠Provider. WE believe we are.
- Thinking > futile (worthless) > darkened hearts. Everything we believe =based wrong assumptions.
- Vss.22-23, “22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
- Fools know the truth + act despite it. Stupids don’t know.
- END UP worshipping CREATED things rather than CREATOR.
- ASK: Where do you worship creatures + creations & swap out God?
- Idols: good things…
IMPOSSIBLE for us to please Him/ be aware of Him. So God SENT Him…
- DESPITE our unrighteousness before an EVERPRESENT GOD
- 2Cor.5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
- ALREADY NOT YET: Even NOW =filled, our hearts leak awareness + drift from PRESENCE
- Until we see him face-to-face… pursue His Awareness continuously.
HOW DO WE GROW IN AWARENESS OF HIS PRESENCE?
- Discipline of PRAISE… Honor Him for who He is and what He does
- DECLARE (= restoration) Him as CREATOR + SUSTAINER + GIVER
- Did you know OT = Sung. Why so much singing? ALL creation meant to worship!
- Isaiah 55:12, “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Delighting leads to praising… BUT ALSO Praising leads to delighting
- CS Lewis, “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.
- GRATITUDE… Give thanks for all things
- Vs.21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him
- Discipleship… blank sheet of paper. LIST Anything + Everything God has given you…
- Praise the GIVER for the GIFTS
- Thank Him for what He GIVES YOU…
- Thank Him for what He WITHHOLDS FROM YOU…
- Everything was purchased @CROSS x US.
- SALVATION… FREE TO US/ COSTLY FOR HIM
More in Hope for the Holidays
January 2, 2022A Year of In-Courage-Ment