THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 9-28-08
LESSON TITLE: "GOD IS FOR ME: GOD IS EVERYWHERE"
Good morning! Let me welcome each of you to our program this morning. It is always a privilege to have you with us to hear the Living Word of God. We are excited that you have chosen to give this time of sacrifice to our God. Won't you take advantage of every opportunity this morning to give your own reverence to God, as we together offer this time of worship to Him? May all things be done, to God, for God and unto His glory? Let's begin our offering to with a prayer!
This morning, our first song deals with glorious way prepared for those who desire to follow God. So, please participate with the congregation as we sing together, "The Gloryland Way!"
(SONG # 1)
Our God does so much for us on a daily basis, I think we often tend to take it all for granted! However, the reality is, from time to time we do need to stop and realize all God has done, is doing and will do in our lives. Then we need to show Him the proper thankfulness, honor and respect for all these things.
Now let me ask you, how often do we each forget all the great and wondrous things God does for us? Furthermore, how often do we forget that He does these things for us on a daily basis? Oh, how true it is that we would be a much happier people for God, if we but remember just how much He has done for all of us.
But now let me ask you, to what extent does God provide for us and help us in this life? Well, the answer is given very beautifully in Ephesians 3:20, were Paul said, "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us." Think about that for a minute! How does God answer our prayers? How does God respond to the needs we have in this life? Well, this verse says that He does even more than we ask or even think of! What a mighty and loving God we serve.
Now, if we go down to the next verse, which is verse 21 and read through Ephesians chapter 4, and verse 1, we find out about our part in the equation. There it says, "to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called. You see, our part is that we must give glory to God the giver and provider of all. How long must we do this? The verse here says forever and ever.
The final verse answers how we give this glory to God when it said that we must, "walk worthy of the calling." Our job then is to glorify God by walking in His will according to how we are called in Jesus Christ. We must all do the work of the Lord and in this we praise and glorify His holy name.
One writer summed it up like this, when he said, when we, "attempt great things for God, we can expect great things from Him." How true this statement is, because the Bible said that the more we do for Him the more we will receive. So, are you glorifying God through your labors in His service? If you are, then remember that His promise is that He will do more for us than we ever ask or think. Our God is great!
This morning we will continue our series called, "God Is For Me." Our specific topic today will cover, "God Is Everywhere." So stay with us and after our next song I will lead our lesson thoughts of the morning. Now let's join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, "To Canaan's Land I'm On My Way."
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We thank you for continuing with us this morning as we again go and look to God's Word in understanding that God is many things for us. He actually has given us that knowledge through the Bible that we might know who He is, what He is all about and understand just what that means to us and how it should increase our faith and give us the strength and courage we need every day to continue on.
In our study, we've been finding out many important things about God and we'll continue to look at the great characteristics and attributes that affect us of God. But as you might as well understand, today we'll continue by looking at the idea of God being everywhere.
If I were to ask you, "Where is God?" Well, the obvious answer might be, "He's in Heaven." We find many passages and scriptures that talk about God being in Heaven. We find there in Hebrews chapter 1 that not only is God the Father on the throne, but there in the first several verses the idea that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father. And so there we find that God is in Heaven. Throughout the book of Revelation, we find over and over again the concept of Heaven which is described as the temple of God, the house of God, and how there is the place that God is, the throne of God, as well as the lamb of God being Jesus and the spirit of God all represented with the saints, the faithful in that eternal city that has been prepared for those who are found faithful in the end. And so with this knowledge again, we understand that God is everywhere.
However, as we think about that concept, and we say, "Well, if He is in Heaven, how can He be on earth at the same time?" There are many passages that we can deal with that not only show us, as we saw last week, that God knows everything, but certainly we begin to have to ask the question, "How can He know everything at one time? How can He then not be everywhere at a given time if He can know everything at a given time?" You see certainly the two are tied closely together. If God knows what the person in Africa, the follower there, or in Asia or in any other continent is doing, if He is with that individual, if He cares for that individual, if He knows everything about that individual, the fact is that He must be there and around the individual in the presence of in order to know such things.
Now we also find this in scripture. So let's look at several passages.
The first that I would like to look at is found in Proverbs chapter 5. It gives kind of an idea of knowledge here, but it goes a little bit further in verse 21 when it says this, "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord and He ponders all of His paths." What it says here is that the eyes of God are watchful. It is not just talking about what God knows. It says that God sees all the ways of man. Then the second thing it says is that He ponders or He considers all of the paths. Now multiply that by the 300 million plus in this country and say, "God knows all the paths. God knows here with His eyes and sees what is happening." I think this begins to develop very clearly for us that God truly does know all things because He is everywhere at all times and He knows all things because He sees those things and He has a presence throughout all of His creation.
You might say, "Well, hold on for a minute. How could God be everywhere at one time?" Have we forgotten faith? Have we forgotten that we believe that God made the entire world, every human on the earth, that God has made every part of creation, that He has been able to control not only the earth but the universe as He has hung it and put it in place that it might function in the way that it does and then we question how He could be in and around all of His creation. Certainly the fact is that the Bible teaches that by faith we must believe that God is everywhere.
Another great passage I think is found of David in Psalm 139. If you'll turn there, if you have your Bibles handy, it certainly is an exciting passage because here we talk about just how wonderful God is, how wonderful His Word is, how powerful He is because of the creation and how powerful He is not in creating the earth, but even humans, humanity, and forming life within other humans. Well what a great and mighty and powerful God we serve. But within that context, I want you to notice the strength, the comfort and the care that David found in his God because of a particular attribute. I want you to notice with me what that attribute is, the very one that we talk about this day.
Verse 7 begins by saying this, "Where can I go from your spirit? Oh where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend into Heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in Hell, behold you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and I dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me and your right hand shall hold me."
Let's stop there just for a moment and begin to dissect a little bit the things that are said here. He asked first of all the question, "Where can I go (notice) from your spirit?" If we go back in the Old Testament or we move into the New Testament and we find a lot of the different concepts about the spirit of God or the Holy Spirit, what we begin to understand is that the spirit is within man and is everywhere. How significant that was because it was able to give not only the twelve apostles, but many, many disciples of that day, even the miraculous gifts all simultaneously at the same time this was possible. How? God was everywhere at the same time. And so here he makes the statement even in the Old Testament, "Where can I go from your spirit?" Why? God's spirit is always everywhere and with all faithful. Now certainly David wasn't the only man who was faithful so God's spirit was everywhere and He dwelled with all of those who were faithful.
Then he begins to give some examples. He says, "I can't even flee from your presence." It makes me think of Adam and Eve. You might recall there again in the garden when they tried to hide in chapter 3 of Genesis from God. They hid themselves because they heard God coming and then God said, "Why are you hiding?" Then Adam said, "I was naked and ashamed and so I..." He said, "Who told you you were naked?" Do you see the idea presented here? God knew although Adam couldn't see him, although Adam didn't know that He was right next to him. He learned a valuable lesson that day that God knows everything and God is everywhere. Eventually, we know because of the punishment there in chapter 3 that man is cast out of the Garden of Eden. But after he is cast out of the Garden of Eden, we later learn that Adam seems to raise his son, Seth, in the name of God. Then we have many other individuals who continue to arise up as faithful of God such as Enoch who walked with God and never died because of his faith. What does that tell us? That God is with the faithful and God can be and is anywhere He needs to be at any given time for He is God.
Now what are the examples that are given in this text, Psalm 139? He says, "Even if I go up unto the Heavens or into Hell..." The idea here is this concept of Paradise. We know that, according to the book of Luke chapter 16, after a man dies there is a state or a stage that a person goes to until the final judgment. That's represented in the illustration, the parable, the true to life story of the rich man and Lazarus. You might recall that Lazarus was there in the bosom of Abraham in the comfort, the care of Paradise, that God had already rewarded him in a sense for his good, kind nature and his faithfulness, whereas the rich man was already suffering. Now what did God say? He told us that He was aware of both men in both places. This was before the judgment and before the eternal reward of Heaven or Hell. So now if we'll go back into Psalm 139, he says, "Even if I go into Paradise or into the Hadean realm, whichever it be, God you are there and you are with me." He goes on to say there in verse 9, "Even if I have wings of the morning and I dwell in the sea..." In other words if I am in the Heavens or if I am on the earth or if I am in the depths of the sea guess what. God is there!
Now that is always comforting to me because I'm not always crazy about flying and so when I get up there in those planes at 30,000 plus feet or whatever, I want to know God is there, no matter where I am that God is there. Certainly those who go out on the seas in certainly raging seas, and as the tempest comes up, no doubt they are glad to know that God is there no matter where one might be.
He goes on to say in verse 11, "Surely even when the darkness comes or the night comes, God is there." Whether it be light or whether it be dark, God is with those whom He loves, all of those whom He loves. And there it says in verse 10, "Therefore His hand is with you." Now what a great comfort. What a challenge this is for us to be bold and strong and courageous and faithful because we know God is always with us. Isn't that the promise that He even gave His disciples? There in Matthew 28 in the Great Commission after He has established the fact that all authority has been given to Jesus, God in the flesh, that certainly they should go out and teach the gospel and make disciples and baptize them and teach them to observe all things. But then finally what does He say? "And lo I am with you always even until the end of the ages." What did God know? He was sending them out to every nation, to every creature, every place under the sun and with that knowledge what did He say? "Lo I am with you always." He says, "I am going to be with you. I am going to be by your side. I am going to help you. I am going to provide for you." Isn't that the message of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6 that as God cares for all of the things of this earth that God will provide our food, our shelter, our clothing, the necessities we have need of. How does God know we have need? He sees all things and He sees not only all things pertaining to us, but even the sparrow that falls and even the sparrow that has needs as is spoken there, even the great grass of the field that he takes care of. God knows every intimate detail of all of His creation and how does He do it? Not only by knowledge but by being able to be there as God Almighty.
Let's look at several other passages there in the Old Testament and just refer briefly to them to understand that God has always said that He will be there and that He is with those who are faithful.
In Jeremiah 23, we find a great example there of a man of God who makes the statement that he knows God is never far from him. That verse says, "Am I a God near and at hand, says the Lord, and not a God far off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places so I shall not see him, says the Lord? Do I not feel Heaven and the earth, says the Lord." This is a quote that Jeremiah gives to us pertaining to those who were speaking false things of that day, but yet he clarifies this is what the true God said. "I am everywhere. I am in all places at all times, Heaven and Earth and I know everything. You cannot hide yourself from Me," not because of knowledge only, but as we have seen, "I see you."
Later in the book of Amos chapter 9, He there rebukes Israel and He says, "You cannot hide from Me. It doesn't matter whether you go into captivity or you hide amongst this nation or that, no matter what you do," He says in verses 2-4, "I will find you. You will pay for your sin and for your rejection of Me."
You see again, God says here He will be with the faithful. God knows not only about the faithful though, but He knows about those who reject Him, and then He will make the determination whether we will have eternal life or be punished eternally. NO doubt it is comforting to find that Jesus said in John 14, actually back in chapter 13 as well that God would come and be with us, that He would make a home with us, that He was with the disciples, the Holy Spirit actually filling them. It is encouraging to know there in Acts chapter 2 and verse 38 one of the promises of salvation is that once we believe and have been baptized, it says that we have the gift of the Holy Spirit with us. On and on and on we think that Paul understood this in Acts 18 realizing that God was with him and that he had no reason to fear. Why? At every moment, at any given second, God not only knew his needs, not only knew who he was, but knew where he was and what he was doing. Why? He was with him. He was with him showing him His love, showing him His care, showing His concern.
I submit to you today that in Ephesians 4 and verse 30 that we are told that we are given the Holy Spirit as a seal of the promise. You and I, we have God with us. Are you doing what God has said today in order that you will have Him with you eternally?
(SONG # 3 - "Lord We Come Before Thee Now!")
Thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in giving this time to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God!
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The knowledge that God is always there, certainly gives us great comfort and peace in this life. However, it also challenged us to be the people that God demands. Are you following Christ according to His Will today?