It’s probably a lot about my own story with Jesus, but the stuff we are going to be talking about in our series “THE LANGUAGE OF GOD” is among my favorite things to speak about.
This week we asked the question, “Does God Speak to Ordinary People?” Of course, shock to no one; we argued that the answer is a resounding “YES!” I don’t know too many people who believe the Bible who would say that He doesn’t. But it’s interesting to me that many seem to portray “words from God” as exceptional, and feel more comfortable with a posture of mistrust of any communication from God.
Here’s the powerful and beautiful quote from one of my hero’s Dallas Willard from his book, Hearing God:
The ideal for hearing from God is finally determined by who God is, what kind of beings we are & what a personal relationship between ourselves & God should be like…understanding how God speaks to us should be sought only as a part of certain kind of life, a life of loving fellowship w/the king and his other subjects w/in the Kingdom of heaven.
So union with God – his presence with us, in which our aloneness is banished & the meaning & full purpose of life of human existence is realized – consists chiefly in conversational relationship with God while we are engaged as his friend & co-laborer in the affairs of the Kingdom of heaven.
Our sermon in one line was:
DESPITE YOU DOUBTS, DARE TO BELIEVE THAT GOD WANTS TO SPEAK TO YOU… and that’s a good thing!
I’m suggesting that we see February as a month in which we dare to believe this.
Think of this past weekend as a bit of foundation for the weekend messages that will follow. We laid out a “Trinitarian” overview of God’s communication to us.
CREATION – Father
WORD – Son
SPIRT – Holy Spirit
Let me give a few BONUS POINTS on “the Word”
√ The Word is Jesus. That’s pretty clear in the first few lines of the Gospel of John. Jesus is not only a historical person, but a “the LIVING ONE” (see Luke 24:5). He is continually revealing Himself to His people and even through His people.
√ We know about Jesus through the “graphe” (Greek for scripture). The Bible says about itself that it is breathed out by God (See 2 Tim 3:16). The point of the Bible is to cause us to connect with and trust in God through Jesus.
√ One of our 12 Journey DNA descriptors is “TRUTH AND SCRIPTURE”. We desire to be a community shaped by words from God’s mouth. So we honestly engage Scripture and seek to discern what God is saying first to those who originally read it (this takes a little work sometime) and then we seek the Spirit in living out what that means for us.
√ So “The Word” – the living Word, Jesus and the written Word – acts as a foundation and a filter through which we pass other “words” that we think are from God.
√ BUT the Scripture as a “living and active Word” is not just some kind of a grid or map; it is a PLACE WHERE WE MEET GOD. God meets us, personally and deeply in the Words of the Scripture. We are not primarily reading the Bible to gain information to use, but we are meeting God in that moment. Interacting with the Scripture is a way of “beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord” and thus we are “changed into that same image from Glory to Glory!” (See 2 Corinthians 3:18).
Here are some pics from the services