THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 9-7-08
LESSON TITLE: "GOD IS FOR ME: GOD IS LIVING"
The Psalmist once proclaimed, "God is for me!" Is your God for you in this life, as you are striving to do His will?
Thank you for joining us this morning for the Living Word program. It is always a pleasure to have you with us for this time of praise and homage to God. It is our desire this morning to do all things in accordance to His Will, as we sing songs and study from His Word. May we all participate and do our part, in this time of worship to God. Let's begin our offering today with a word of prayer. Bow with me, please.
It is our privilege this morning, as we worship our God, to sing a song of praise before His throne. Our first selection of the morning reminds us of the mansion in Heaven, which God has prepared for the faithful. So won't you join in with the congregation as we sing together, "An Empty Mansion!"?
(SONG # 1)
In our introduction this morning, we mentioned an encouraging
statement of David which is found in Psalm 56. In the text King
David is talking about his many adversaries who wait to harm him.
Evidently, some were even seeking to take his very life, he confirms this in verse 6 when he says, "They gather together, They hide, they mark my steps, When they lie in wait for my life." This all sounds kind of scary doesn't it? However, notice what he says about God's help down in verse 8-9, "You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? And when I cry out to You, Then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me." I just love these thoughts, don't you? All brought to a conclusion with the precious knowledge that, "This I know, because God is for me!"
The fact is God does here our prayers, He does answer them, and as faithful children He always does what is best for us. Even in the face of adversity and trials, God is always by our side to protect us and care for us. What a loving Father we have in God, and how precious He should be to each and every one of us.
With these things in mind, we are going to begin a new series of study today which is centered around the character of God. We will title the series "God Is For Me," because God truly is real and has done so much for each and every one of us that we might have an opportunity to be saved. Together it will be our privilege to go to the Bible to find out that "God is" so many things for us, and furthermore just what perfect characteristics He demonstrates for each of us to follow. So please continue with us this morning as we consider together the first lesson in this new series, entitled, "God Is Living."
As far as our speaker today, it is wonderful to have with us brother Kevin Patterson this morning. Brother Kevin is the minister for the Highway 13 Church of Christ, in Bolivar, Missouri. We thank him for being with us and look forward to him guiding our thoughts from God's Word this day. It's now time to join in our second hymn of the morning. Won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "Anywhere With Jesus."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Kevin Patterson
Good morning, and thank you for staying with us and as always we appreciate you making this program a part of your Lord's Day morning. It's our aim and our prayer through this ministry to reach the whole counsel of God, a passage which is mentioned in Acts chapter 20 and verse 27, so that through this program you might be encouraged and edified by God's Living Word.
As brother Ray mentioned a few minutes ago, we began a new series of lessons today entitled, "God Is For Me," a phrase that is taken from Psalm chapter 56 and verse 9. This morning we are going to examine the specific subject, "God Is Living."
Realizing that there are some who do not even believe that God exists, that there even is a God, it's interesting that passages like James chapter 2 and verse 19 teach us that "even the demons believe that there is a God and they shudder." When we ask the question: Does Satan believe that there is a God? The answer is absolutely yes! He does believe even though he stands against all that God stands for, even Satan believes God exists. This is perhaps why the Psalmist wrote in Psalms chapter 53 and verse 1 that "the fool has said in his heart there is no God."
But there is another group of people out there who believe in many gods, not simply the one God that we read about in the Bible but they believe in many gods, many false gods. I would take your minds back to the Israelites who lived several hundreds of years under Egyptian slavery, when Moses led them out of Egyptian bondage into the wilderness where they wandered for forty years. And at one point when they were camped at the base of Mt. Sinai, as Moses went up to the top of that mountain to receive the Ten Commandments from God, you will recall that the people down below got quite impatient and some of the teachings that they had obviously learned from the Egyptians, a civilization that believed in many gods carried over into their belief system as well, because we read in Exodus 32 and verse 1 that "when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron and said to him, Come make us gods that shall go before us." So they were under the impression that they could get their way out of what they perceived to be a problem by simply fashioning idols or false gods. Moses' successor, Joshua, would later tell the children of Israel in Joshua 24 and verse 14, "Therefore fear the Lord. Serve Him in sincerity and in truth and put away the gods which your father served on the other side of the river and in Egypt." He concludes that passage by saying, "Serve the Lord." In other words, recognize that these false gods are just that. They are false gods. Serve the true God of the universe, the God of Heaven above.
We jump forward to the New Testament and see that things have not changed very much as time has passed because the apostle Paul visited the city of Athens in Acts chapter 17 verses 22-25, and it was in this city a very intellectual people that they had decided that in order to serve all the gods of the universe that they believed existed, they would simply fashion idols for everything imaginable. They no doubt had idols for trees, idols for the sun, idols for the sky, idols for the grass. We read that when Paul stood in the midst of the Aeropagus and said, "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: 'To the unknown god.'" They had even fashioned an idol for the god that they might have missed.
Well the Bible teaches very clearly that there is only one God. In Isaiah chapter 44 and verse 6 reads, "Thus says the Lord, the king of Israel, and His redeemer the Lord of Hosts, I am the first and I am the last. Besides Me, there is no Go."
We see numerous other passages of scripture where people make this same declaration. A scribe in Mark 12 verse 32 mentioned to Jesus, "You have spoken the truth for there is one God."
The apostle Paul would say in several passages of scripture, 1 Corinthians 8: 5-6, Ephesians chapter 4:6, and to the young preacher Timothy in 1 Timothy 2 and verse 5 that "there is one God." The Bible teaches that that one God of the universe is still living today. Now when I use the term "still living" that would suggest that perhaps He could have an end, and as we see all things that have an end often have a beginning, but the Bible teaches something quite different concerning God. In Psalm chapter 90 and verse 2 we read, "Before the mountains were brought forth or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting you are God." In other words, God is eternal in both directions. He never had a beginning nor will He ever have an end. He is everlasting to everlasting. The Psalmist said that God existed, God lived before the universe was even created, before the earth was formed. So in Genesis 1 and verse 1 when we read, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," we realize that in the beginning of all things God already existed.
I want you to consider some of the great characters of the Bible that mentioned that not only was God alive, but that He existed in their day and age as well.
Moses in Deuteronomy chapter 5 and verse 26 talked about "hearing the voice of a Living God."
Joshua said to the people in Joshua chapter 3 and verse 10, "By this you shall know the Living God is among you and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Peruzzites and the Gerguzzites and the Amorites and the Jebbusites.
David, young David before he became a king got a little frustrated at his fellow Israelites when they were allowing a giant by the name of Goliath to taunt them. He said in 1 Samuel chapter 17 and verse 26, "What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defile the armies of the Living God?"
Hezekiah also mentioned in 2 Kings chapter 19 verses 3-4 about those who bring reproach upon the Living God.
As we jump forward to the New Testament in Matthew chapter 16 and verse 16 Peter declared to Jesus that "you are the Christ, the son of the Living God."
Barnabus and Paul, in Acts chapter 14 verses 14 and 15 tore their clothes in frustration with a group of people who thought that Paul and Barnabus were more special than they really were, and they preached this lesson to them saying, "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the very same nature as you and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the Living God who made the heaven, the earth, the sea and all that are in them."
The Hebrews writer in Hebrews chapter 3 and verse 12 warned the Hebrew Christians of the 1st century, "Beware brethren lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the Living God.
John wrote in Revelation chapter 7 and verse 2, "Then I saw another angel ascending from the East having the seal of the Living God."
You see throughout the Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament, the writers recognize that God was not a being or a force form the past. He was the Almighty in the present as well.
Did all of these men speak from faith about the existence of a Living God? Absolutely! They did. But did they speak with a blind faith supported only by empty assumptions? The answer is absolutely not.
Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 1 teaches us that "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Now it is true that I have never seen God. But I have a faith that God exists and that faith is not built upon empty assumptions. That faith is built upon evidence, evidence first and foremost that I find in God's Word, but evidence also that I can see in God's creation about me. You see, Psalm chapter 19 and verse 1 in the Old Testament teaches that "the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork." In the New Testament, Paul said to the Christians at Rome in Romans 1:20, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made even His eternal power in Godhead so that they are without excuse." You see, God has given us evidence to prove that He exists. That evidence still requires faith.
Let us consider some of the Biblical evidence that God has provided for His existence to demonstrate that that Living God is still alive and well in our universe today.
Job chapter 26 and verse 7 teaches, "He stretches out the north over empty space. He hangs the earth on nothing." Now you will recall that for many, many thousands of years mankind did not believe that the earth literally existed out in space on nothing. In fact, many civilizations believed that the earth was on the back of something. Greek civilization believed that the earth rested on the back of Atlas as he held the earth up. Other civilizations, earlier civilizations believed that the earth rested on the back of a giant turtle.
In Job chapter 38 and verse 16, we read about the "springs of the sea, deep, underwater, fresh springs of water." How could Job have known about these scientific facts hundreds of years before they were discovered? Because he was inspired with that knowledge by the Living God.
In Genesis chapter 6 and verse 15 we see that Noah is given the instructions to build an ark. He says, "The length of the ark shall be 300 cubits, its width 50 cubits and its height 30 cubits." Do you realize that engineers have established today that the modern day ocean going, sea going vessel, that the ratio for the perfect vessel for carrying freight is 30 x 5 x 3, the same dimensions given to Moses with the ark? How could Noah have known this scientific fact hundreds of years before it was discovered? Because he was inspired by that knowledge by the Living God.
In Ecclesiastes chapter 1 and verse 7 Solomon mentions that "all rivers run into the sea and the sea is not full, to the place from which the rivers come, there they return again." We all understand that when rain falls down to the ground and it moves into a little creek and that creek moves into a river and that river flows to the sea and then that water evaporates and goes back up into the clouds, we call this the water cycle. How is it that Solomon knew about the water cycle? How did he know about this scientific fact hundreds of years before it was discovered? Because he was inspired with the knowledge of God.
In Isaiah chapter 40 verses 21-22, Isaiah mentions about the circle or the sphere of the earth. Now you know as well as I do that history records that when Columbus sailed the ocean blue in the year 1492 it was then that people started to recognize that the earth was not flat, but it was circular. It was a sphere. Well how is it that Isaiah could have understood this scientific fact hundreds of years before it was discovered? Because he was inspired with that knowledge by the Living God.
In Psalm chapter 8 and verse 8 "the birds of the air and the fish of the sea that passed through the paths of the sea" are mentioned. What are these paths of the sea? There was a man by the name of Matthew Fontaine Maury who is known as the pathfinder of the seas and he was a man who took God at His word and he said, "You know something, I don't know if there are paths in the sea, but if God will grant me the life to prove that they exist, I will." He did. He went on to prove that there are currents in the ocean, currents that he charted. Those same charts are still used for many ocean-going vessels today.
The evidence in the Bible is very clear. There is a God of the universe and there is only one God of the universe and the one God of the universe is alive today just as He always has been and always will be.
Let me encourage all of you who are watching this program to make the God of the universe, the Living God of the Bible the God of your life today, and be mindful that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a Living God as Hebrews chapter 10 and verse 31 mentions. So live your life for the Living God today.
(SONG # 3 - "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross!")
It has been a real privilege and blessing to have you with us this morning. Won't you join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God!
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How blessed we are to serve the one and only, true and living God. No wonder we find such peace and joy in this life, for we know that God is truly for each of us!