Following Are Some Ways We Can Become Familiar With God:
- Bible Study: God is my Shepherd (Protector of the weak and Oppressed), God is Powerful, God is my Nurturer.
- Listen to other biblical character's eyewitness accounts of God.
- Study God's creation and consider what it tells us about God, its creator.
- Study the meaning of God's Hebrew names.
- Study how Jesus modeled God's character.
- Listen to what Jesus said about God.
- Observe specific terms and analogies used to describe God in the Bible.
- Study out the qualities of love, as they relate to God.
- Observe how God handled various situations in the Bible.
- Observe God's guiding principles as a means to understand His heart.
Isaiah's Vision of God - This is how the prophet Isaiah describes God in the book of Isaiah 6:1-8
Listen to other biblical character's eyewitness accounts of God.
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne,
high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.
him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their
with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.
3 And they were calling to one another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory."
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and
the temple was filled with smoke.
5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips,and I live among a people of unclean lips,
and my eyes have seen the
King, the LORD Almighty."
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand,
which he had taken with tongs from the altar.
7 With it he touched my
mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken
away and your sin atoned for."
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And
who will go for us?"
And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
Four Things Happened to
Isaiah When He Spent Time in God's Presence:
- He saw his sinful character.
- He saw the sinful character of the culture around him.
- As he was humbled by this, he then experienced the grace and forgiveness of God
- He was then empowered to make a difference in his world.
Thus, the more we spend contemplative
time in God's presence, meditating on His character, the more we will be transformed. Go to the Worship section to learn more about this.
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Read Romans 1 and Job 38-40. The chapters in Job are truly amazing!
Observe His creation.
One resource that has helped me with this is Kay Arthur's Book Lord, I Want To Know You. This book teaches His Hebrew names very well! Kay and Her husband, Jack, run Precept Ministries. Here's the link: http://www.precept.org.
Study the meaning of God's Hebrew names.
Here's a description from this book: Discover the Limitless Power of God's Name. So much of our confusion and pain results because we don't know God -- who He really is, how He works in our lives. But with Lord, I Want to Know You, that will all change. When you know God more fully by studying His names -- Creator, Healer, Protector, Provider, and many others -- you'll gain power to stand strong. You'll find strength for times of trial, comfort for pain, provision for your soul's deepest needs. And your walk with God will be transformed. Let Kay Arthur guide you through the Scriptures in this deeply insightful study. Your daily time with God in His Word will introduce you to the limitless
treasure available to you as His child.
I learned about a name of God called "ELOHIM". It refers to the Creator God and the plurality of God. It validated God as a designer to me and as One who values relationships.
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Jesus is the exact representation of God's being. (Col 1, He 1, John all)
Study How Jesus Models God's Character
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Listen to what Jesus said about God.
Jesus portrayed God as the Father of
the Prodigal Son in Luke 15: 11-32. He did this in reply to the
self-righteous religious leaders who criticized him for having dinner
with sinners. These religious leaders were so close to God (in
physical proximity (they read the scriptures and attended Temple) but
they were so far from Him in heart. They are like the older
brother in this parable. Let's look at this parable:
The Parable of the Lost Son, Luke 15:11-32
11Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one
said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he
divided his property between them.
13"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set
off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild
living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in
that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired
himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to
feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs
were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired
men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set
out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned
against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called
your son; make me like one of your hired men.' 20So he got up and went
to his father.
"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was
filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around
him and kissed him.
21"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and
against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.22"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and
put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring
the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24For
this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'
So they began to celebrate.
25"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the
house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants
and asked him what was going on. 27'Your brother has come,' he replied,
'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back
safe and sound.'
28"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father
went out and pleaded with him. 29But he answered his father, 'Look! All
these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders.
Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my
friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property
with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'
31" 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything
I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this
brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'
We've been talking about Jesus as the role model of God. Well, how
did Jesus validate this portrayal of God in his own life? How did he
show patience and a forgiving nature?
1. Jesus offered forgiveness to all men but did not force them to turn to him.
He grieved over their choice to live independently of him (see the
parable of the Rich Young Man in Mark 10:17 and longs to embrace
us (like the Father) .
2. Like the Father in the parable, Jesus also longs to embrace us and
wants us to turn to Him.
In Matthew 23:37 Jesus cries out,
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those
sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together,
as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
His hope is that His Love (his willingness to dies in our place for our
sins on the cross) will cause us to turn to him. In our state of living
independent of God (like the Prodigal Son initially) we are described as
being "dead". Yet, our "deadness" means that we aren't in communication
with the Father. It does not mean that we aren't able to think and
reason. We still have a conscience and can make a decision to ask God
to transform us! We can't transform ourselves, we don't have the power
to. But, He will give us the Holy Spirit if we ask Him. Once we truly gaze on him at the cross, consider the truth about his sacrifice for our sins, and decide to let Him control our lives through His Holy Spirit, His love "will"
penetrate our hearts and will empower us to trust in Him. (See John 3:14 - John 3:21). We will begin our transformational adventure!
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I have included specific names below along with some scriptures that describe God in these ways. One suggestion in getting to know Him better is for you to look up one of these names using both the scriptures I have referenced as well as other references that you can get from the online Bible at the bottom of this page. Then after you have read about this particular characteristic of God, i.e. Shepherd, you could try sitting outside and just contemplating on this facet of God. See more about meditating on God's character in the Worship section of this site.
Observe specific terms and analogies used to describe God in the Bible.
- Good Shepherd: John 10, Isaiah 40:11
- Gardener: Matther 13:1-23
- God Is Love: 1 John 4:7-20; 1 Co 13
- Creator God: Job 38-40
- The Potter: Jeremiah 18
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Study out the qualities of Love, as they relate to God.
In 1 John 3:16 and 1 John 4:16 it says that Christ and God have shown us what "LOVE" is. Then in 1 Co 13:4-8 it describes LOVE as being Patient, Kind, Not Envious, Not Boastful, Not Proud, Not Rude, Not Self-Seeking, Not Easily Angered, Keeping No Record of Wrongs, Not Delighting in Evil, Rejoicing in the Truth, Always Protecting, Always Trusting, Always Hoping, and Always Persevering. I replace the word "Love" with "God" and it helps me to understand His nature more.
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Observe how God handled situations in the Bible.
The Article, God's Ways Are Higher Than Our Ways ,
is a very interesting perspective of God's handling of the events leading up
to Jesus' birth.
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Observe God's guiding principles as a means to understand His heart.
He outlined these in both the Old and New Testaments. These principles show us how God thinks
about relationships and how we are intended to live as we are transformed/metamorphed into His image. (See Leviticus 6, Matthew 5, Galatians 5)
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