The Peace of Knowing
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

The Peace of Knowing

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

What does it mean to know stuff? God is all-knowing. He knows you and me and everything. When we don’t know we can find peace that He does. Do you know God?

... doesn't it? I mean it's a strange place to be when you don't know something. I mean when you show up to a new place, like a new church, for the first time and you wonder what is this gonna be like? Is it going to be weird? Is it going to be okay? How are the people going to receive me? How are they going to treat me? It's just awkward and it's strange. And if that's where you're in this morning, like I know that and and the special welcome to you and we hope that you feel as accepted and loved and welcome here is possible, because it is such an awkward feeling. But this awkwardness and this unknowingness is because I if you've ever had a conversation with somebody and you're talking about whatever, like the weather, I don't know, and then someone's like, I heard a song the other day and the song's title was like, Oh yeah, it was this, it's searching for and it's like a minute later you know who wrote the song and you also know when the song was written and the album that it was on, and the data was released and what other songs are on the album and how the whole thing was received. It it's like, couple minutes later you're like, what were we talking about again, and who cares? Right, I'm talking to myself, because that's me. Who Cares? Who Cares about all that stuff? It doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things to the conversation, but we just need to know. We know so much stuff and we probably know too much stuff. But it was my last two years of my high school experience, my junior senior...

...year, that I dated a girl who was a Mormon and I knew, as a follower of Jesus, as a believer, that I probably shouldn't have done that or this, but I didn't really know about mormonism and so God used this relationship in my life to help me to know what the Bible said and to know what my faith was really all about. Like a challenge me that to learn as much as I possibly could. It challenge me to to consume as much information as I possibly could, consume and digest as much as I could and compare and contrast, and I read so much stuff. I read so many books, I read websites, not web pages like entire websites. I read, listen to podcast and watch videos. I did all sorts of things. Anything I could get my hands on, I grabbed it. And as I was doing that, I came across a group of people that just became Christians and a couple years earlier to me discovering them, they were Mormons and they were on their mission. So a couple years older than I was, they were on their mission, sent out by the Mormon Church from Utah to Florida, when this guy, his name is Mica, became a Christian and they started this ministry, this Christian Ministry called Adams Road Ministry, and so I thought it would be great it kind of learned from their experience. Well, this Guy Michael, when he was on his mission, he thought it would had the great idea that he was going to show up at a Baptist Church in Florida and he was going to talk to the pastor about becoming a Mormon. He was going to convert the pastor and then Mica and the pastor were going to work together to convert the entire church. Like it was a perfect plan. But God had other plans and that Baptist Pastor challenged...

Manca to read the Bible as a child, like he had never read it before, specifically the New Testament, and then to compare what he was reading with fresh eyes and a new heart with what he believed and what the Church taught, and compare it what it was. And through that experience, Mike came to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Believed in the Gospel School and it's really an incredible story. He shared it with everybody. Instead of like teaching mormonism to people on his mission, he started sharing the Gospel and Jesus and he shared it with his mission partners and one of them became a Christian. He actually got kicked off his mission for that, but which is really interested. But one of the guys became a Christian and soon after his brother also became a Christian. And so, like I said, I thought it would be awesome to reach out to these guys because they had this experience of being a mormonism and come into faith in Jesus, and I reached out to them via my space. Now, I didn't even have a my space account, but I think I created one for the sake of trying to get in touch with a couple of emails and and they got back to me and we had this email conversation kind of back and forth, and it was it was really helpful. And a couple years went by and finally I went to go see them on their tour, their ministry tour. They were close enough, there about an hour and a half away from me. I was at college and they were just northern Pennsylvania, an hour and a half. And the problem was I knew someone, this girl that had a car from my Bible study, and so I asked her which shoot drive me to this thing and we invited a couple other people from the Bible Study and I had football practice. So we were going to show up to this thing late because I couldn't miss football practice. I jumped over the fence and I got in the car and we drove an hour and a half north to try and just get to any part of this thing. So I wanted to meet these guys and...

...we're going up through the mountains, it's dark, we're in the middle of nowhere. We show up to this Christian retreat center and I don't know how to get in and so I just found the door that was open and and I know I tried it. We got in and we don't know going up these stairs. It's this dark stairway. Who knows where we were? And then I heard the music, because these guys in the animals road ministry, they they put this music together and they were musicians and they shared their testimonies and they also did music and they put out free music on CDs. Like I was listening to these things, remember those things on CDs? I was listening to their free music and I felt like I knew them through their music, through our emails. But in that moment, as I was standing in that dark hallway with these couple other people and I heard like the live music through the wall, it felt like I like I really knew them, like this was where I was supposed to be, like this was real, and I wondered, like what this girl thought, like this crazy guy asked here for a ride using my car and these other people driving up an hour and a half into the middle of nowhere, into the mountains, it's dark. What do they think you like, who's this crazy, crazy guy? But then as we were in that's there will. I just remember we got to open the door. So we opened the door and thank God we didn't enter onto the stage, but we were like there's a door like just off to the right. That's where we came in and everyone in the audience looked at us and the man turned and they I kind of I told him I was coming, so they turned and like wave to us and then we came and sat down and then I listened to I think half an hour of this. But here's the picture that I took on a grainy flip phone, thirteen years ago or whatever, of these guys playing their music in the ADA's Road Ministry.

But I was I was so excited then to meet them like in person after it was over and we hung around and they invited us to join them on their tour bust. How cool is that? And we just spent a lot of time getting to know each other and the talk and that girl that I asked to borrow her car, well, here's a picture of her on the raft and if you don't know, that's my wife, Alicia, and yes, the beginning of our dating relationship was really, really rough. So if you want to ask her more about that, she's got a lot of great stories to tell, but there's we are on the tour bus. So this whole adventure illustrate some of the interesting aspects of knowing something, knowing things, like we know times and places, we know how to connect with somebody, we know where we begin to know people that were talking to. We know how to get stuff accomplished. We know the people were doing things with. We know we got to be at a certain place at a certain time, even though if there's like a couple nineteen year old driving an hour and a half into the middle of the woods somewhere, like we we know how to do these things. And I knew I knew the guys in this Adams Road Ministry. I knew Mica and Joseph, I knew math, but I never met them before and I'm sure they kind of knew who I was from emails and text messages. But but then we saw each other and we met each other and we talked more. And here's the thing. They were exactly who they said they were online, like they were the real deal. We they invited us on to their tour bus and we hung out and talked and it's like they were the real deal. See, I knew about these guys.

I knew about them, but in that moment I was really getting to know them. And we've stayed in touch over the years and they invited us down to Florida, which is where their home base is, and at least and I stay down there with them and we've continued to get in to know each other over the years. And you're like, this is a cool story, Kevin. Why are you taking so long to tell me about all this stuff? You could be making this up anyway, right. Who are these guys? It's just a picture. Well, guess what, they're gonna come here this summer and then you'll get to meet them in person for yourself. So that's really exciting and it also illustrates the difference between knowing about something but also experientially knowing them. So I'm going to preach a message to you today called the piece of knowing, the piece of knowing. We got a piece of Pie, a piece of cake, piece of a puzzle, but I want to talk to you about the piece of knowing and if you have your Bible, I encourage you to turn with me to the book of First John. First John is at the end of Your Bible and the end of the New Testament back here and the book at first John is a really, really interesting book. If you don't have a Bible, that's okay. The words will be on the screen behind me and we would love to give you a free Bible before you leave here today. Just stop at the new here area in the lobby. Will Get make sure you go home with one. But the book of First John is a really interesting book. It's not like a letter that Paul wrote. I mean Paul wrote these amazing letters, a lot of them in the New Testament, and they're so organized, there's so structure. It's like a great argument John. I don't know what he's writing. It's like he's just scattering all different thoughts all over the place and just throwing in the word love wherever he felt like it. It's like what, this doesn't make any sense. It's real. It's really interesting. I was reminded...

...of that this week because I was a parent. But I want to bring us our attention to these words and first John, Chapter Three, where John writes these things. He says, dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other. Let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so that we will be confident when we stand before God, and even if we feel guilty. God is greater than our feelings and he knows what everything. Dear friends, if we don't feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence and we will receive from him whatever we ad because we obey him and do the things that please him. So what does God know? Everything? God knows everything. God knows Calculus, God knows microbiology, God knows English, God knows the number of stars that are in the sky and he knows how to create the stars and he knows how to tell the stars what to do so that everything doesn't fall apart. Right. It's really mind blowing to know and to consider what God knows and does. He knows how many hairs are on your head or not on your head. He knows when a sparrow dies and he knows the plans that he has for you. Declare his Lord plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a hope in a future. God searches you and knows you. God knows when you sit and when you rise. God knows your thoughts. God knows where you go and when you go to sleep, God knows everything you do. He even those the next word you're going to say. Ever before you say it, God knows you completely. That's paraphrase from some one hundred and thirty nine, and this is a...

...really, really good thing, because last week then, he did an incredible job of telling us and teaching us about God's power. God is all powerful, he's super strong, he can do anything. He has the authority and the ability to do anything. God is omnipotent. Everyone say omnipotent. Never say that's the fancy words. Say He is all powerful, but now imagine omnipotents, the ability to do absolutely anything without being omniscient. Someone say omniscient mission. That's the fancy way of saying all knowing. What if God was all powerful and didn't know what he was doing? Like can you think of miracles gone wrong? Like Jesus picks up malchus' is a ear, Peter cuts off and Jesus is like, all right, here we go, I'm gonna do this miracle. I'm going to put the ear back on, but Oh, I forget, I forget how it make it work on this I'll just put it in there and it looks good at help but actually work. But it looks good right. or Jesus does a miracle, feeding five thousand people or more, right, and he tells the disciples just get the food that you can find and bring a couple loaves of fit bread and some fish, and he's like okay, now go out and give this to everybody. So okay, they go out and give it to everybody. Jesus, I all right, this is my chance. I'm gonna give them this amazing lesson where all the disciples are going to come back with a basket of leftovers, just overflowing for every single one of them, all the twelve. It's going to be perfect. And then I'm going to use them this lesson that I'm going to ask God. I'm going to provide for you more than you could ever ask or imagine or need, like I might. My grace is sufficient. I'm going to provide for you. It is gonna be beautiful. You're all going to be standing there with your leftovers and it's going to be perfect.

And I can imagine that, if Jesus didn't know any everything, that the eleven of them, or are bringing their baskets back and Jesus like, okay, now's my time. is going to be perfect. I've I've set it all up. And then barth all of you, starts wandering up the hill and Jesus looking at him. As he gets closer, he realizes, Martholm, he doesn't have his basket. He forgot to bring it with him and he's like, Jesus, high, I ate some on the way and then I tripped and fell in the then the bread fell all over the place and I just I don't have my basket. And Jesus is like, AH, man, it was gonna be so perfect that you ruined the no, Jesus knows everything. He doesn't learn things as time goes on. God knows everything. He knows the past, he knows the present, he knows the future, and God's plan and knowledge also extends to all the different choices that we make. Now. Now God knows and we make choices. How those two work. They've been debating for thousands of years, but that's true. How many of you've ever gotten stuck making a decision? You you want to go to this take this job or not take this job? Do I date this person? Do I not think this person? Do I go here, do I go there? So many choices to make. God knows the outcomes of both choices. So in Jeremiah Seventeen, I'm just going to read this for you, Jeremiah sends to Zedechiah. Jeremiah the prophets that Achih is the king. This is what the Lord, God of Heaven's armies, the God of Israel, says. If you surrender to the Babylonian officers, you and your family will live in the city will not be burned down. That's choice one. I got one choice. Or you can refuse to surrender and you will...

...not escape and this city will be handed over to the Babylonians and they will burn it to the ground. Choice number two. It's kind of like when I was thinking about naming my daughter, like what if, like, first of all, what responsibility to name somebody? Right? Like, what if my daughter's name was supposed to be Rachel and at Leasha and I decided together we're going to name her Zalem? Like did I make a wrong decision and I ruined her life forever? Right, like I got two choices. I got one choice that's good and one choice that's bad. I got two choices. God knows both of them. And I just read this verse like, I mean, what is that all me? Right, we got one that's good one that's really, really bad. We're like, what, what does this mean? Well, thankfully Paul wrote a very wellknown verse and Romans, Chapter Eight, Verse Twenty Eight. That says these words. He says and we know that God, for those who love God, that all things someone say. All things, all things work together. We're for good, we're good. That choice and that choice, God works together there for good. The right choice and the wrong choice, the okay choice and the better choice, the great choice and the perfect choice, the choice that doesn't matter. God, in his infinite wisdom, his allnoing knowledge of everything, causes all of those things to work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose. God knows what will happen, no matter what choices you make, and in his perfect ability, he causes all of its work together for good. Not Not saying that everything is good. I mean we make wrong choices, bad choices, sinful choices, and not every circumstance that comes our...

...way is helpful or good. But Somehow God's omnipotence and his power and is all knowing. He's able to and causes everything to work together, mixes it all together according to his purpose. He knows, and God's knowledge should give us peace, a piece, that we can trust him, that there is a God who knows and cares and can cause anything in my life to be used for good. He's got a plan and a purpose for me, and I, and I hope you do, want to know and discover that better. See, God knows everything, but God also knows us, like he this doesn't know about us, like he actually knows us. So in First John, Chapter Three says, dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other. Let us show the truth by our actions to God knows our actions and he wants us to love. How do you know what love is? Well, that's where this comes in, of Jesus Teaching that Jesus tells us to love like he loved. Has Been called like the Platinum Command is saying love one another. And here's the kicker, as I have loved you. That's what Jesus told us, disciples the last last teachings, and the disciples, they knew what Jesus is. Love Look like they've experienced it but they had seen Jesus die yet, and that expression of love on the Cross, of Jesus Dying for their sin, like that's the ultimate action of love. It's not just the feeling, it's not just a thought, but it's an actually put into actions, and we're called the love like that for everyone else. But our actions, they don't make us right with God.

Our actions don't make us right with God. There's something about knowing God the sorry like that. That makes sense. Our actions don't make us right before God, but they do show us what we really believe. There we go. So let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions don't make us right with God, but they show us what we really believe, and what we really believe plays out in what we do. So if we believe in Jesus and we've trusted him as our Lord and our Savior, we are living for him in our actions. We take care of one another, we love each other, we meet each other's needs, and then the outcome of doing that is that our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so that we will be confident when we stand before God. To God wants us to stand before him with confidence. But you don't have to wonder how God is going to judge you, like we know that he's going to love me, because God knows me, and we can be confident in this, like we can know this. But if we feel guilty, here's a great promise. God is greater than our feelings and he knows everything. Like this is the birth that was really speaking to me as I was preparing us. Does the fact that God knows everything about you? Does that comfort you or does that scare you? Because what you looked at on your phone last night, God knows them. And what you said to that person you love, God knows that too. And that thing you did in middle school that you...

...wish you never did, God knows that. Like we can't fool God. Anything that we do for show with God is a waste of time. Like we try to pretend like things are okay, we try to pretend that our life is all together, that that God is so lucky that he would have us around. We might not say to those terms, but like we live life that way and we stuff all these other things inside, showing under the Rock. We never deal with it. But God knows all that stuff and he already knows what you're hiding, so don't even try to hide it. Be Honest about it and don't try to clean yourself up. I don't get all your thoughts and emotions right before you come to God. Just come. He knows or insecurities, our disappointments, you, knows our needs and he can handle our fears and our doubts. And then he promises that he will guide us into peace and healing. And when our own thoughts baffle us and confuse us, God knows them and he understands them. In Psalm one hundred and thirty nine and says search me, Oh God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts, point out anything of me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. And See, the order of this is so important, like we don't start walking on paths of everlasting life and then think God can know us. Know, he knows our anxious thoughts and he knows the things that we do that offend him. And then he asks us, or invites us to invite him to know those things, like meet us there, and then he will lead us to where we want to go. And as we begin to walk on the path...

...of everlasting life, we will begin to feel less guilty about things, will fill more confident walking with him and therefore, it says, dear friends, if we don't feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence and we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him. There is something about knowing God that we can know him so well that we can listen to his voice and obey him and please him, that the things we ask for or we will receive from him because we're asking according to who he is, like we are, we're getting so good and understanding his voice and knowing who he is that what we are asking for is in according with his will and who he is, that we get it, we receive it and you don't have to feel guilty coming before God. But guilt is such a natural thing. I scourage you like embrace it. But God is greater than our feelings and he knows everything about you. He doesn't just see you as that label everyone else does or that sin that's in the forefront of your mind right he doesn't just see you as a murderer or a gossiper or drunker. He knows everything he knows everything about you and he knows everything that Jesus did for you so that you could stand before God, not on your own merit but on his. And not only does God know everything and not only does God know you, but God wants to be known by you. And, and this is a really incredible thing to consider, how can we, as sinful, finite human beings, have a relationship...

...with all powerful, all knowing, holy other God? But because he wants it, he invites us into it. He doesn't just know about you, like he wants to experientially have a relationship, to know you, to be at peace with you. And my question for you today is like, do you know God that way? Do you have a living, active, real relationship with God? Today, like right now, Jesus teaches us a great warning, especially to those that are in Church and in Christianity, around Christian in Matthew Seven, twenty one, twenty three, Jesus is not everyone who calls out to me, Lord Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my father in heaven will answer. On Judgment Day, many will say to me, Lord Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast a demons in your name, of perform any miracles in your name, but I will reply. I never knew you get away from me, you who rank God's law. So we can be so close to God and not actually put our faith and trust in him. We come for all the intellectual knowledge, like we love it. We know all the Bible Stories, we sing the songs, but when it comes to moving our intellectual knowledge into an experiential knowledge of God, have you done that? Do you have that type of real relationship with God right now? And you say maybe, I'm not sure. You know, last week was hard. I feel guilty about a bunch of stuff that I did. I just don't know. Well, remember, God is greater than your feelings. He knows everything, he knows all that stuff. He knows about the sin that breaks your fellowship and your relationship with God, but he still wants to be known by you. He said his son Jesus to died on a cross in your place...

...so that your sins can be forgiven and then you can have a right relationship with God and that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord can be saved. But one of the most beautiful things about God's all knowing. This is the thing God chooses not to know. You know what that is. And Isaiah, forty three and twenty five, he says, I this is God. Yes, I alone will blot out your sins for my own sake and I will never think of them again. God thinks about your sin in this way. Have you received that? You've got to receive it. You've got to believe it. You've gotta you can't earn it, you can't achieve that, you just gotta receive it and believe it. And Guess What, God knows if you've done that. He knows your heart and I pray that you know his. Would you pray with me? In our worship teams going to come up and close us out in a song. God, we come to you today and we realize and believe in love. I hope that you know everything. You know everything, and whether that scares us or comforts us, God, I just pray that in this moment, right now, that we would really sense and know and believe that yes, indeed, you know absolutely everything. Help us to be honest with you, because you already know. There's no need to hide and as we're honest, as we're honest, we come and meet a god who loves so perfectly and receives us because he wants a relationship with us. So, Lord, I just pray that we...

...would experience you in that way, in this moment, that we would come to you, run to you, knowing full well you know absolutely everything about us and you absolutely love as completely, as perfectly as possible. So, Lord, help us to trust you, help us the build, build our faith in you, helps to live our life loving others and sharing this amazing truth of who you are with as many people as we can. For Jesus,.

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