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MESSAGE on topic WHO IS GOD – for  Sunday 8th November 09 young adults service:

Encounter with God

–         we are hungry for encounter!

–         Encounter is possible!

–         From the very beginning God walked in the garden with Adam and Eve and at the end of this world as we know it we again will worship Him face to face.

–         As Christians its not about coming to church or being a nice person its about knowing God and making Him known, its about encountering Him and walking with Him, about hearing His voice and being in relationship.

One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.

Psalm 27:4

ONE THING do I seek, one thing do I ask, one thing do I make a priority, one thing do I live for – to dwell in the house of God, to see Him, to seek Him, to know Him, to encounter Him.

The privilege of living in our days is that we can encounter God – Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  As Christians we have access to the very Holy of Holies – the place where God dwelled.  In the OT only the most high priest could go in there and even then it was on special days and after rituals and cleansings.  He used to have a rope tied around his foot so that if he DIED in there they could drag him out…. Serious!   If we are born again children of God – real Christians – then there is no barrier between God and us, the separation is gone, the veil was torn from top to bottom by God, at the death of Jesus Christ signifying that we now may enter and encounter Him!

I’d like you to turn to Exodus 3 and we’ll read about an encounter Moses had with God, his first encounter really and how that changed his life and shows us how we too can know God.

I’d like to encourage you to read along with me as I read from Exodus 3, I know we have different versions, but if you can multi task and listen and read at the same time, go for it, because each version has different flavours and levels and will speak to us differently…

Exodus 3….

One day, Moses was taking care of the sheep and goats of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and Moses decided to lead them across the desert to Sinai, the holy mountain. 2There an angel of the LORD appeared to him from a burning bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire, but it was not burning up. 3” This is strange!” he said to himself. ” I’ll go over and see why the bush isn’t burning up.” 4When the LORD saw Moses coming near the bush, he called him by name, and Moses answered, ” Here I am.”

5God replied, ” Don’t come any closer. Take off your sandals–the ground where you are standing is holy. 6I am the God who was worshiped by your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

Moses was afraid to look at God, and so he hid his face.

Lets hit pause here for a bit….

So this is the first encounter Moses has with God.

To give you a back story, Moses was born in a time of great persecution for the Hebrew people.  They had settled in Egypt in the time of famine, in a way rescued by Joseph who was PM at the time.  Go have a read in the last chapters of Genesis to read his amazing story.  As a people group they grew in strength and numbers and intimidated the Egyptians who then enslaved them and persecuted them.  At the time of Moses birth the Pharaoh made a decision to wipe out a generation of children – all male children born were to be killed at birth.  Coincidence?  Nope.  Moses’ mother hid him for three months and then set him in a basket, setting him adrift on the Nile, trusting God to care for her son…. Who was found by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised as a prince and leader in the palace.  He then discovered his true heritage and got himself in trouble and so he fled Egypt and met Zipporah and married her… becoming a shepherd in the Midian Desert.

So on this day, he’s out having an ordinary day.   He is in the wop wops, minding his own business, an ordinary life, and ordinary job.

And he sees a bush, burning but not burning.

And so he goes to investigate.

And God speaks.  And Moses freaks.

And he hides his face, afraid.

You see, we don’t approach God on our own terms.  He isn’t impressed with our qualifications and our good qualities and our girl scout badges.

He is HOLY.  HOLY.   Almighty.  Powerful.  The creator of the universe.  He breathed the stars out.

BREATHER:  caleb asked me does God breathe….?

I remember when I became a Christian – I got saved in 1993, in a shearing shed near Blenheim.  I was 16.   That afternoon we were told to go and pray and seek God.  To encounter Him.  I had only just discovered He was real – when at a youth group housegroup type meeting someone had prayed and God had opened my eyes and gone “hello!”   I sat under a big tree, cried and made a lot of snot and totally acknowledged that I was not good enough to get to heaven on my own merits – that God was holy and I was not.  I was afraid and wanted to hide my face – but I wanted to know this very real God who might have made a way even more.

God has made a way.

Faith in Jesus Christ who died on the cross to pay for our sins and wrongdoings, who makes us new and clean and transforms us from sinners into family.  Jesus is the only way to heaven, the only way to God.  There is no other way.

God is real.  He has made a way.  You cant make up your own way.

If you want to encounter God, seek Him, repent, ask for forgiveness, have faith in Jesus, ask Him to wash you and make you new, live holy, pray and walk with Him every day.

Lets read on in Exodus 3:

And the LORD said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

12 So He said, “I will certainly be with you.

How many of us respond to the call of God like Moses?  WHO AM I?

When God called Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1 he said the exact same thing WHO AM I?  I am too young.

When God called Abraham and told him he was going to be father of nations Abraham said the samish thing WHO AM I?  I am too old.

Who am I?  That’s not really the question.

God’s answer, to all 3 of the who am I’s above… I AM GOD I AM WITH YOU.

Who knows that God plus one equals a majority.  Equals you can do it.  Equals success.  Equals it will work.

God dares us – sometimes He dares us the most impossible things – but with Him, all things are possible.   God + 1 is all you need!

When God calls He qualifies, He empowers, He equips.

God dares and He enables!

Don’t look at who you are but at the GOD who is calling you.

Don’t be intimidated by the task ahead but have faith in Almighty God!

God’s promise is I AM WITH YOU!

BREATHER/ILLUSTRATION:  The Ultimate Gift production – my greatest fear – singing in public….

God said to Moses:

I am the eternal God. So tell them that the LORD, whose name is ” I Am,” has sent you. This is my name forever, and it is the name that people must use from now on. 16Call together the leaders of Israel and tell them that the God who was worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has appeared to you.

I love this passage.  I love how God reveals His name to Moses.




Oooh such power and significance and gloriousness in that!

God is who He will be.

He is who He is.

And we can expect Him to be who He says and who He is.

We can expect Him to act how He says and how He is.

We can TRUST Him to be who He reveals Himself to be.

Lets break down those omnis….

1. God is omnipotent .  He’s got the power to do whatever He wants. Revelation 19.6 Ephesians 1:11 Isaiah 14:24-27

2. God is omniscient (knows everything). Psalm 147.5. 1 John 3.20

3. God is omnipresent. (Psalm 139.7-12; Jeremiah 23.24) He fills heaven and earth and there is no place where He is not there, watching. Not only that, but as Creator God also stands outside the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1.1) He is not, as the doctrine of Pantheism says, simply “everything that is”.

4. God is eternal, before all things (Colossians 1.17), and without end (Psalm 102.27) (Psalm 90:1-2)

5. God never changes. (Malachi 3.6; Hebrews 13.8)

I AM.  I AM WHO I AM.  The holy glorious eternal wise mighty creative one… the one who breathed out the stars, who created and designed the zebra, totara tree, the kumera, the komodo dragon, the flying fish, mt everest, volcanoes, glaciers, oceans… who knows the path of lightening, who sees all and knows all, who knows the number of hairs on your head…

The I AM.

I AM is the special name of God.  It is a great revelation.

When you get a clear understanding of who God is you draw nearer in faith.  You take Him at His Word.  You know His promises.  You know His heart.

You know something else awesome…  The holy eternal glorious creator of the universe I AM is the one who made the way for us, little old me and you, to come near to Himself.

The creator of the universe DESIRES encounter with us.

So much so that Jesus Christ, who IS GOD the I AM – read John 8:58 and John 18:5 – died on the cross to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross, so that all we would be brought back to God.  We used to be far from God. Our thoughts made us His enemies, and we did evil things. But His Son became a human and died. So God made peace with us, and now He lets us stand in His presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent.  Colossians 1:19-22

God is a God of encounter.  Of redemption.  Of relationship.

He is close and personal, not far off and indifferent.

Find out for yourself how good and glorious God is.  Get an accurate understanding of His heart – read your Bible.

God has opened the way – He tore the veil – He made us family – for one reason and one reason only – so we will know Him.  In this life and for all eternity.

If you are hungry to encounter God – JUST DO IT!

The Bible promises that if you draw near to God, He will draw near to you.

Tonight we’re going to have some worship.  Worship is a time to encounter God.   And it can happen not just here at church.  I had just become a Christian and someone gave me a tape and I put it on and the presence of God flooded my bedroom to tangibly.  I encountered God.  I still encounter God when I make that time and worship Him.

Tonight we’re going to worship God, we’re going to encounter God.

You may never have encountered God before.  This might be your first time here at church.  You might be just trying to figure out who God is and if He is even real and if He is what the next step is.

Tonight you can meet Him and come before Him.  Tonight you can know His love and grace and be made new and forgiven.

Don’t try and do it your way – Jesus has made the one and only way to God and you cant get to Him any other route.

If you are not a Christian and want to, then my challenge to you is when the worship starts to come right up the front here, so that we can come and pray with you and help you to encounter our awesome God.

Most of you here are Christians though.  You may be relating to what Moses said though, Who am I God?  Why have you called me?  I’m just me.

Tonight God wants to remind you that HE is God and that He is with you and that when He calls he equips and empowers and He wants you to encounter Him afresh and be inspired and refreshed.

You may not know what God has called you to do and be.  If you want to hear from God about what He is calling you to do then I want you also to come right up the front here so we know you want prayer.

Tonight’s worship is a time to encounter God.  Seek Him.  Don’t be passive.  Moses saw the burning bush and He went to see what was going on.  He walked over to the bush. He moved and did something.  He didn’t passively sit on the sideline waiting for the bush to get up and walk over to him.  He didn’t passively sit there doing nothing.  You got to seek!   You got to connect!  You got to draw near!

This is your time to encounter God.  Don’t worry about what the person beside you is doing or not doing.  He loves YOU.  Jesus died on the cross for YOU.  God wants YOU to know Him.

Tonight if you want to respond, if you want prayer, if you want to encounter God, then come right up the frontish here meet with God.

Lets stand and pray:

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Worship Wednesday

1000 Things

November 2009
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