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Sunday June 6th
Know God Know Peace 2
Welcome Journey Travelers
What a joy to be with all of you today. I’m Pastor Paris of The Journey Church.
Last week Pastor Ben launched a new “Know God - Know Peace” series that will drive our hearts and eyes toward our Almighty God. The series we are in for a bit is designed to get you to shift your perspective from simply a horizontal worldview, with all our human struggles front and center, to a very vertical heavenly view, with God in our cross hairs. We are called to look up and see the salvation of God. In a world where the threat of “no justice - no peace” we in the church must proclaim “Know God - Know Peace”.
John 14:27 (NIV) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
For much of the life of church going people in America today, we hear of the value of consistency, faithfulness and integrity of being a follower of Christ. That gets us to focus on our role. If you will bear with Pastor Ben and I we are going to shift our primary focus for a season toward a very God centric series. Now when I say primary focus, please don’t lose sight of the great value of the secondary focus, of love your neighbor. The Bible spells this out.
Matthew 22:36–39 (NIV) “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
But how do we love God in this way? How do we do this first, foremost and with the proper alignment and priority? One of the effective ways for me in my faith development has been to read what God Himself says about Himself.
When I spent a good deal of my early faith development reading my Bible with this in mind, I found out real truths as my mind was being retrained by God about who He really was, not who some atheist said He was. I wasn’t becoming more religious, but rather I was knowing God Himself.
I learned that not only is He all powerful, all knowing and all present, Pastor Ben’s 3 O’s. He identifies Himself by the very name GOD. This single word reference refers to someone without restriction or creation. He is and always has been. The Hebrew word used is Elohim, which is found 3000 times in the Bible. It has as its meaning: creator, mighty and strong. The very first time it is used is one we should be familiar with.
Genesis 1:1 (NIV) In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth.
I’ll teach you a few additional title names God gave Himself, so we could learn about who He is. Here is the next one. Keep in mind that volumes have been written investigating and identifying these names, so I have no way of covering them all, just a select few to wet your whistle.
El Shaddai: God Almighty
2 Corinthians 6:18 (NIV) And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty (El Shaddai).”
“Lord Almighty” is His name and not simply a characteristic or label. It’s like me being Paris and not simply being like Paris. He is God Almighty and no one is mightier. He has all of the might and none is absent.
Adonai: Like Elohim, this too is a plural of majesty. It means master and owner, which stresses man’s relationship to God who is to be seen as our master, our authority, and our provider.
Joshua 5:13–15 (NIV) Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord (Adonai) I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
Another name God used of Himself was Yahweh. Rob sings a song of this title. It was a name of power, honor and fearful reverence. Yahweh is the same as Jehovah or LORD. This name specifies an immediacy, a presence, accessible, near to those who call on Him for deliverance, forgiveness and guidance.
Exodus 3:13–14 (NIV) Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. (Yahweh) This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”
Psalm 107:13 (NIV) Then they cried to the Lord (Yahweh) in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
Psalm 31:3 (NIV) Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name (Yahweh) lead and guide me.
This name Yahweh, was so revered in Jewish culture that to say it was to be irreverent. It was His holy name, His worshipped name and we today through Christ we get to shout it out in song and declaration.
Years ago, one name God gave Himself that drew me to Him early in life was Jehovah- Jireh: The Lord will provide. The story of Abraham’s test of faith in God, shows that when we stand faith filled, God will provide our every need. Willing to obey God’s every word Abraham laid his son’s life on the altar when God stepped in and provided an alternative offering.
Genesis 22:13–14 (NIV) Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord (Jehovah-Jireh) Will Provide…
What confidence and joy it brought me to learn that in the midst of my financial draught I could rest in God’s personhood as my provider. And when this next verse caught my eye I was strengthened for life.
Philippians 4:19 (NIV) And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Our gracious God also identifies Himself with the name Father. This is only found in the New Testament portions of scripture. Jesus revealed this possibility to humanity. This name father tells us that we can look up to him in a similar way we would look up to the one who chose to bring us into this world. Someone who was designed to love unconditionally and over a lifetime. Now maybe that has not been your experience. So investigate what a real father is to be like as you look at God and model after that. The name Father is very important today in this world of the absent and confused.
John 1:12–13 (NIV) Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
There are many names God uses for Himself and we are tasked with growing in our knowledge of God. If we don’t know who God truly is, how can we have faith in what He says He will do? How can we trust Him or rely on Him?
Ephesians 4:11–13 (NIV) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
When, our enemy and God’s, attacks our home, our health or our community, how will we stand against that attack if we think it has more to do with our faith in a belief system, than faith in the one we serve and the one we love?
2 Corinthians 10:4–5 (NIV) The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
When you begin to know God as He has revealed Himself, you will begin to know peace.
“Know God - Know Peace”. However there is more to the slogan “No God - No Peace” so let’s keep that in mind also as we continue to grow in our knowing..
I pray today that you will allow these names to enter your mind and live there so that you can be transformed.
Next week we will hear of God as our protection