Summary: To seek after God, to follow His ways, means we must believe that His is – ever present, all knowing, all powerful.
ACT up part 1
Text: Philipians 3:13-16
In our lesson last Lord’s Day we considered “our year in review”, and the need to conduct or look back over this year almost past through the filter and standard found in the Word of God.
And there is great value in examining ourselves and our past conduct so that we may strive to improve our conduct in the year to come.
Philippians 3:13-16 ( NASB ) Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.
This lesson begins a three-part series intended to help us reach forward to what lies ahead, not just in the coming year but into eternity as we reach for the prize of eternal life given to us by our God through His son Jesus. The series is called “ACT up” and addresses three key elements to successfully answer the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
This morning we begin with the first element which is our need to acknowledge God.
I. Acknowledge God
A. Believing Is not the issue
1. According to the Gallup Poll, belief in God has always been very high in the United States, ranking in the mid-90 percent range over the last sixty years. (92% in 2008)
a. Only 80 percent believe He watches over them and answers their prayers. Only 60 percent declare their complete trust in God.
b. Acknowledging God goes beyond mere belief. (James 2:19 “…demons also believe and shudder.”
2. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB ) Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
a. We see God acknowledged in the pages of the Bible in the words and actions of His people.
b. The names given God acknowledge Him.
1) Elohim: The first name found in the Bible, Genesis 1:1. Elohim is a plural in Hebrew which means three or more (Hebrew has singular (1), dual (2), and plural (3 or more) nouns.) In Elohim we see the Trinity. (Used more than 2800 times.)
i. We see EL, meaning God, in complex names, “Beth”el” meaning house of God; Dani”el” meaning judged of God; Immanu”el” meaning God is with us.
ii. Elijah combines Elohim and Jehovah (means My God is Jehovah.)
2) YHWH, Yahweh, Jehovah: is the covenant name of God, sacred and holy, it was not spelled out. Used more than 6, 000 times in OT. This is the name God gives for Himself in Exodus 3:14
3) Other names are applied to God to acknowledge Him in specific events:
i. El Shaddai – Almighty God who made the covenant with Abram (Abraham) Genesis 17:1
ii. El Olam – Everlasting God when Abraham made a covenant with Abimelech Genesis 21:33
iii. Jehovah shalom – the Lord is our peace given by Gideon on the site where God spoke peace to him Judges 6:24
c. In the names given to themselves and the events in their lives, the people of God acknowledged Him, His presence in their lives, His wisdom in their lives, and His power in their lives.
B. These are the attributes we need to acknowledge
1. His Omnipresence. (“Omni”= all - Everywhere present.)
a. Psalm 139:7-12 (NASB) Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
b. Jeremiah 23:24 ( NASB ) “Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, And not a God far off? Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the LORD. Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.”
c. His presence is in us and everything around us.
2. His Omniscience. (Omni- All, Science- Knowledge)
a. He knows everything: Read Job 12:13-25
b. He created everything – there is nothing beyond His understanding.
c. He knows our world, He knows us.
3. His Omnipotence. (All powerful)
a. Read Job 42:1-6 (Job’s admission following the instruction from the Lord in chapters 38-41 which declare the sovereign power of God over creation.)