Sunday, August 14, 2011

A God Who ...

A God Who ...

Intro.: I remember a pallor trick.

  1. A bag with two parts.

  2. The first part has something simple in it – child's blocks, or marbles, or some checkers

  3. The bag is passed around members of the party – each given a chance to figure out what is in the bag. No one is to say anything – but to keep their guess to themselves.

  4. But then the bag gets passed to the person who has been chosen to be IT. When that happens,, unknown to everyone but the chosen few, the first part of the bag is closed and the second part is exposed.

  5. When the person who is IT places their hand into the bag, they don't feel the blocks, or marbles, or checkers, but they place their hand into a bag of catsup or some similarly messy substance.

  6. John does not want God to be that kind of God – he wants us to know what God is like.

Read: I John 5:13-15


T.S. In I John 5:13-15, John introduces us to three characteristics of God that will better prepare us to live our lives for Him.

  1. John shows us a God who gives us life

    1. John's audience was not a world of unbelievers.

    2. John wrote to those who believed in Jesus Chrsit

    3. And he wanted them to know something - “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”

    4. You believe in Jesus – you have eternal life.

    5. John quotes Jesus, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

(Ill.) One hymn writers puts it this way:

I know that my Redeemer liveth, And on the earth again shall stand; I know eternal life he giveth, That grace and pow’r are in his hand.

I know His promise never faileth, The word He speaks, it cannot die; Tho’ cruel death my assaileth, Yet I shall see Him by and by.

I know my mansion He prepareth, That where He is there I may be; O wondrous tho’t, for me He careth, And He at last will come for me.

I know that my Redeemer liveth, And on the earth again shall stand; I know eternal life he giveth, That grace and pow’r are in his hand.1

    1. Do you believe in Jesus – you have eternal life.

    2. This is called “assurance” - we can know that we have eternal life.

  1. John shows us a God who hears us

    1. We can be assured of eternal life

    2. But there is more -

    3. Listen again to John, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”

    4. We can not only be confident in the gift of eternal life; but when we take the time to pray according to His will, when we pray according to God's will, he will hear us.

(Ill.) Over the years I have been privileged to hear a great many preachers, some good, some not so good. I was sadden to hear that one of the best passed away this week. His name was John Stott. Rev. Stott was English – very English. I heard John Stott preach twice – both times I was a part of a congregation of nearly 17000 college students gathered from around the United States and the world to hear of God's love. This week as I was working on today's message, I stumbled on something Rev. Stott said that helped me to understand what John was saying. You see, Rev. Stott reminded me, Prayer is not designed to impose our will on God. Rather, prayer is designed to get us in agreement with God's will.

    1. In some ways, we really are not praying until our prayers are in accordance with God's will. Jesus said it in his prayer - “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Every true prayer is a variation on that theme: “Thy will be done”

    2. Charles Wesley understood it when he wrote:

To do or not to do; to have or not to have,

I leave to Thee:

Thy only will be done in me;

All my requests are lost in one,

“Father, Thy will be done!”2

(Ill.) But perhaps it was little five year old Jessica who understood it better than any one. Jessica became a bit frightened as lightning flashed and thunder cracked just as she was stepping out of her evening bath. The lights began flickering as she was getting into her pajamas. She remembered the other times the electricity had gone out and they had lit candles. Now she asked if she could “please sleep in Mommy’s room” because of the storm. Before kissing her parents good-night, Jessica prayed: “Dear God, I hope it doesn’t thunder and I hope the lights don’t go out.” After a brief pause she continued, “But I thought it over, and you can do what you want. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” What better way to say, “Thy will be done”?

  1. John shows us a God who responds to us

    1. But there is more – you see if God hears us, he also gives what we need.

    2. I remember a time many years ago, when I was either still in high school or just starting college. I needed somebody to desperately understand me. It was before I knew what it meant to be a believer – and I felt so alone.

    3. I did not know it – but there was someone who understood. There was someone who would meet me where I was.

    4. I suppose some of you might expect me to say that I meant Sandra – but that is not true. She is good for me, but she will be the first to admit that even she does not always understand me. I confuse her – even when she wants to understand.

    5. The one who understands me, the one that will see that my needs are met is not Sandra, but it is God.

    6. John writes, “And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

    7. When life gets tough, the only one I can rely on is God Himself.

    8. Oh, I am glad that my wife is there – oh, I am glad for friends, but in the end, it is God that will meet my very needs.

    9. Will you let God meet you needs today? Tomorrow? Whenever?



1Eckert, P. (1998). Steve Green's MIDI hymnal : A complete toolkit for personal devotions and corporate worship. (Electronic ed.). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

2Hobbs, H. H. (1990). My favorite illustrations (124). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.

3Green, M. P. (1989). Illustrations for Biblical Preaching : Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor's illustration file). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.