Encounters with God
The Bible is an incredible book full of real people who encountered the Eternal Creator of the universe.
As we read the 66 books of the Bible, we see God revealing Himself in a variety of ways- burning bushes, fiery mountains, gentle whispers, and even face to face. However God chooses to reveal Himself at a given time, there is one thing that is almost always consistent when that happens to people.
The people who meet God are forever impacted by what they heard and saw.
When Jesus walked the earth, we see that same kind of impact being made all over. There were many who were touched by Jesus in ways that forever changed their lives.
I believe that through the Gospel of Christ, God is still encountered today. As people hear the good news of Jesus and respond in faith, God saves and transforms people in some amazing ways. He may not appear in a burning bush or on a fiery mountain (though He certainly could), but He is still working in the lives and hearts of people today. He is still seeking to save the lost.
What worries me about the modern church today is that there are many people who would claim faith in Jesus but who have never really been transformed. They say that they've encountered the God of the universe and yet in most ways their lives remain untouched and unchanged by Him.
(Credit to Paul Washer for the illustration here) What would you say if I came in late to preach one Sunday morning and my reason for this was that I got hit by a semi truck?
If I was perfectly dressed, unhurt and had every hair in place- would you believe that I had REALLY been hit by a semi truck that morning?
Or would you assume that I was making it up?
In the same way, how in the world can we say that we've placed our trust in Jesus, that we've encountered the God of the universe- and yet show no visible signs of change or growth in our daily lives?
Our sermon series in August 2021 is all about this. People in the Bible who encountered God and were changed.
Abraham, who left his sinful family past behind to follow God and start a new legacy.
Jacob, a rebellious kid of believing parents who meets God and gets his life right.
Job, a believing man who loses everything and yet gains something far better- a new perspective on who God is.
And Saul, a vicious persecutor of the early church who encounters Jesus and is forever changed into someone who passionately follows Christ.
These kinds of changes are normal for people who have met God.
And yet so many of us remain stagnant and unchanged in our faith.
I hope this new series will help to answer some of these questions and challenge us to "make our calling and election sure" as the Bible says.