The Truth About God2
Excerpts from Intimacy With God; Establishing a Vibrant Quiet Time and Prayer Time by Tara Furman © 2009 by Knowing God Ministries and Tara Furman.
Coffee Talk for Wednesday, July 23, 2013
Today’s Focus: The Truth About God
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Tara Furman
Heavenly Father, we love You. We desire a closer relationship with You. Draw near to us, precious God, as we draw near to You. Open our ears to hear You as You speak to us and open our hearts to receive Your love. Fill us to overflowing with Your perfect love and all of the fruits of Your Spirit. In Your Son’s Mighty Name we pray, Amen.
This Week’s Treasure:
These are not just idle words for you (The Bible) they are your life.
THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD
Yesterday, we studied the truth about the Bible. Today, I want to begin learning the truth of who God is.
What/who has shaped your concept of God? (Check all that apply.)
TV or other media
I believe many factors shape our concept of God. The way we were raised; the churches we attend; our religious traditions and rituals; what we see and hear through the media and sitcom television; and Oprah herself will readily give you her opinion! But this is the problem. How will we ever know Who God is if we allow others to give us their perception – even in our churches? Do you base what you know about God entirely on what the pastor, priest, or minister says in the pulpit on Sundays?
In the Bible study I referred to yesterday, I was forced to dig into the Bible – to learn what it said for myself. To my surprise, much of what I was learning about Who God is and what He requires — contradicted the world in which I lived and live in now. Sometimes, it even contradicted what I would hear in church on Sunday mornings! (Scary!)
Our culture tells us there are many ways to God; that one religion is as good as another; that as long as seekers are sincere in what they do – that is all that matters. Is this true? Is this what Scripture says? Religions and some preachers tell us that you can work your way into God’s favor by keeping all the rituals and traditions of religion. Is this true? Is this what Scripture says?
If your answer to the following questions comes from anything other than Scripture, please realize that you may be answering from a version all your own, one peculiar to you alone. This reason alone is why it is so important for us to learn for ourselves what the Bible says. Therefore, we’ll begin our day by diving into the Scriptures at the very beginning – the beginning of the Bible! Before we begin today’s lesson, let’s do this one small task:
Turn in your Journal to the “Renewal” section or take out a blank piece of paper. At the top of the page write something like, “Memorable Verses” or “Favorite Verses.” (You can come up with your own heading.) I often read passages of Scripture that I want to remember, but can’t because I either lose them or forget them. In today’s lesson, and I pray in lessons to come, you will find nuggets of gold tucked away in the passages of Scripture that will speak directly to your heart. Take the time to write these passages down. It will soon become your own personal treasure box – a way to keep the Bible from becoming idle words.
Look at Genesis 1:1 (first book of the Bible). Fill in the blanks.
In the beginning ___________ created the _______________ and the _____________.
Read Psalm 33:6-9 (flip to the center of the Bible). Fill in the blanks.
For He _____________, and it came to be; He ____________________, and it stood firm. (v9)
Read Psalm 95:3-5. Fill in the blanks.
For the LORD is the great ____________, the great ________________ above all _____________. I n His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to ___________. The sea is His, for He _____________ it, and His hands ______________ the dry land.
(Notice in this particular passage that God is King with a capital ‘K’. He is also described as “above all gods” – little ‘g’. Let’s relate this to modern day.)
What are examples of little “gods” that you see in our culture? They are not always statues.
Anything that comes ahead of your relationship with God can be labeled a “god” or idol. There are many examples of “gods” in modern culture – money, social status, fitness – the gorgeous body, career, material possessions, relationships, spouses, children, “my retirement – my time,” and self, to name just a few. Our gods today are not often represented by statues the way the pagan gods of antiquity were. Do not be fooled.
Summarize Deuteronomy 4:19 (back towards the beginning of the Bible).
What does this mean to you today?
I have heard people say that God is in nature, therefore we should worship the things in nature. However Scripture says that nature reveals His splendor and glory. Nature reveals the existence of His holy Being (see Habakkuk 3:4, Isaiah 6:3; Romans 1:20). The created is not the same thing as the Creator. Be careful to not get the two confused.
Read Psalm 146:6. Write this verse in your journal filling in the blanks.
God is the _____________ of Heaven and ___________, the ____________, and everything in them.
Read Psalm 147:4. Write this verse in your journal filling in the blanks.
He determines the number of the ____________ and calls them each by ____________. Great is our LORD and mighty in _______________; His understanding has no _____________.
Read Job 38:16 (Job is found before the book of Psalms). Write this verse in your journal filling in the blanks.
God, Himself has “walked in the _______________ of the ___________.”
When my children were in kindergarten, they studied oceans. One day they brought home a chart illustrating the four levels of the ocean and the fish/plant life that reside in each area. I found it most fascinating! The chart illustrated that scientists divide the ocean into four zones:
Sunlight Zone —Most of the ocean life lives in this zone. It is the only zone that gets full sunlight.
The Twilight Zone – very little sunlight reaches this zone. No plants grow here.
The Dark Zone – this zone gets no sunlight and is dark. Very little ocean life live in this zone.
The Abyss – very few animals live in this deep and dark zone. The water is very, very cold, and there is very little food.
Do you realize that God has walked in the abyss – the deepest part of the sea? Not only has He walked there, but He has created creatures such as the sea spider, rattail, and sea cucumber to live there! How awesome — how amazing is our God!
Go back and slowly read these passages. Ask the Holy Spirit to expand your mind so that you can take it all in! Then answer these questions.
Who created the heavens and the earth?
What did He do to make them?
To whom does the sea belong?
What two things are special about the stars?
After reading these passages, write one or two words/phrases that describe God.
If you wrote something like: Creator, Almighty God, One True God, etc…, you used words to describe His character, His attributes — words that define who He is.
Webster’s dictionary defines “attribute” as a characteristic or quality that defines a person. 6 In prayer, one of the ways of praising God is by praising Him for who He is – using attributes. Let me give you an example.
Lord, I praise You as the One true God. You are the Creator of the heavens, the earth, the sea and everything in them. Snow even comes from You, Lord!
More on this subject in three weeks, however, as we move forward, begin looking at Scripture in this way. Scripture provides us with words we can pray back to God.
Read Genesis 1:27. Write this verse in your journal filling in the blanks.
So ___________ created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; ___________ and __________________ He ________________ them.
Read Genesis 2:7. Write this verse in your journal filling in the blanks.
The LORD ______________ formed the man from the ___________ of the _______________ and _________________ into his nostrils the breath of __________, and man became a __________________ _______________.
Read Psalm 100:3. Write this verse in your journal filling in the blanks.
Know that the LORD is _________. It is He who __________ us, and we are __________.
Read Psalm 139:13-16. Write this verse in your journal filling in the blanks.
For ___________ [God] created my ________________ being; You ___________ me together in my _______________ _________________. (v13) My frame was not hidden from you when I was ______________ in the secret place. When I was _____________ together in the ______________ of the earth, your __________ saw my ____________________ _________________. (v15-16)
There is a huge cultural debate going on right now about creationism vs. evolution. Creationism says that humans were created by God. Evolution (more specifically, “macro-evolution”) suggests not just that life adapts to its environment (which is sound science), but also that human beings were derived from apes (which is NOT sound science.)
However, after reading these passages, what does the Bible say?
Man has been distinctively set apart from animals. Man was made in the image of God. It sickens me that our public education system teaches (macro) evolution – which is an affront to human dignity and the antithesis of what the Bible says. If it saddens me, oh, how it must grieve God … Lord, have mercy on us.
Take a few moments to mediate on our study today.
Were there particular Scripture verses or statements that spoke to you personally? (Do not feel the need to fill in all answer spaces.) Record your answers in your journal.
“PRAISE SECTION OF THE JOURNAL”
What new thoughts did you have about God today? Record them!
Open your Journal to the “Praise” section placing a plain sheet of paper behind the tab. Begin by writing today’s date. Under the date, start your list. I’ll give you an example from my list:
- You are Creator
- You spoke and the earth came to be
- You are the great King; the great God!
- In Your hand are the depths of the earth…
- You are the Maker or heaven, the earth and the sea…
- You named the stars…
- Your list can be as short or as long as you’d like.
- Begin your prayer time today by praising God.
- Use the list you just made to begin.
We praise You Lord for who You are! You are the Creator of the Universe, maker of the heavens and the earth, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Thank You God for teaching us about You and for making a way for us to have a close, personal and intimate relationship with You. Be with us today and everyday as we navigate the world around us; the world in which You have placed us. Be our constant companion. We love You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Furman, Tara (2009). Intimacy With God: Establishing a Vibrant Quiet Time and Prayer Time. LawrenceInk, and The Abare Group.
Unless otherwise specified, All Bible verses will be quoted from: The Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.
Scripture quotations marked NLT, New Living Translation; copyright 1996 by Tyndale House Publishers.
6 Webster’s New World Dictionary, fourth edition, Wiley Publishing, 2003, p42