I’d like to propose an idea to you – If God truly exists, then nothing on earth is as important as knowing Him. If God is God, then we cannot simply give Him an acknowledging nod and be on our way. The fact of His existence should change everything.
Now if that “if” is still a big “IF” for you at this point, I would encourage you to look into it and make a decision for yourself. Doesn’t the gravity of the implications demand that you at least invest some time into making a decision?
Why it’s so important to know God :: When asked “What is the most important truth to teach any follower of Christ?” Cru founder Bill Bright responded, “The attributes of God.” He went on to say, “There is nothing more important to teach another believer than who God is, what He is like, and why or how He does what He does.”
This semester here at Cru we will be doing a series of talks on the character of God. Tonight I want to briefly touch on why it is so important to know God. What else matters more? I’ve heard it said that there are only 3 things that are eternal – God, His Word, and the souls of men. If God truly is the creator and sustainer of everything, than what better use of our time then to get to know Him?
The Bible: it’s author – God. It is all about His dealings with us. He wants us to know Him. He created us to know Him. We are the only thing created “in His image.” (Gen 1:26-27 “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, …27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”)
Our life was created to reflect who He is. Just as a mirror displays the image of whom stands before it, we are to display the image of our creator. If we do not know Him, we cannot reflect Him, we cannot live our life in a manner pleasing to Him. AW Tozer said, “What comes to mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” (Knowledge of the Holy) My question for you is, do you know Him? Do you really know Him? Or do you just know about Him? Or, do you think, “I know Him,” but you’re really worshiping a cheap replica. Maybe your picture of God has been distorted by bad experiences or family or even a well-meaning religious upbringing. Maybe your view of who God is is all wrong. I say this, because, again, our view of God has implications:
- If I realized how much He loves me, I would be more loving myself.
- If I saw the extent of His grace and mercy I would never live in guilt
- If I reminded myself that God is omnipresent (that He is everywhere) I would never feel lonely
- If I truly believed in His omniscience (that He knows all) I would talk to Him as a friend who is intimately involved in my life instead of a distant deity.
Alright, so where do we start? If it is so important that we know God, how do I get to know Him
How you can know God :: Based on the Bible, here is how it is:
1. God loves us and created us to know Him personally. We covered that.
2. People are sinful and separated from God; our relationship has been broken. And we are the culprit.
3. Jesus came to earth to die, to pay the penalty for our sins and restore a right relationship between us and God
So, how do we respond to this? It all comes down to God’s proposal and our response.
- “…whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” –John 4:14
- “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” – Revelation 3:20
- Here’s what God is offering to us: a personal relationship with the Creator and Lord of the universe, forgiveness for our sins, and eternal life.
Let me lay out for you the best deal in history:
- “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21
- Jesus gets (or takes) ALL our sin, guilt, death, and punishment
- In exchange, we get ALL His righteousness, forgiveness, peace.
- Deal or no deal?!
Acknowledgement is not acceptance. For example, when I proposed to my wife Jenn. Say I were to get down on one knee, ask her to be my wife, and she thinks for a minute, and then says, “I understand.” And then she walks away. Are we engaged at this point? No.
God’s proposing to us, asking us if we want in. Do we want to know Him?
How it should effect our lives :: Let me tell you about what this relationship with Christ, this knowing God personally, looks like played out in real life.
This is powerful picture of the brevity of life and the NEED to know God. Some of you have heard, but a student at UW-La Crosse was killed last Friday night in a car crash. Sean knew God (and knows God now like he never had before), and that effected his life greatly. He served on the Cru leadership team at UW-L where he had a passion to clearly communicate to men on campus the need for a personal relationship with Christ. The last 3 months of his life he dedicated to sharing the Gospel to anyone who would hear. He didn’t know it, but he was finishing strong.
If we truly know God, it should affect our lives like it did Sean’s. But it all starts with a decision, a choice to begin that relationship, that personal relationship with God. If you are reading this, and you have never made that decision, I’d like to give you that chance. The following is an example prayer. They’re not magic words – it’s all about the attitude of your heart.
Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving me of my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.
If you made that decision, please contact one of our staff, or even a student leader. We’d love to get a hold of you and talk to you more about that decision.
- Paul (email@example.com)