How can I know God?
Christians don’t believe in a distant God uninterested in your affairs, but rather in a very present God who is passionate about your every breath! So how can we know this God? It might be helpful to start with a different question.
Who are we?
We are God’s creation made in God’s image.
The very first chapter of the Bible tells us each human being is not an accident, but a purposefully made creation of God, made to reflect God’s image:
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
We are notorious sinners.
It seems harsh to say, but if we’re honest with ourselves we have to admit we fail daily at loving God and loving others. To sin means to “miss the mark,” and the Bible tells us we all fall short of God’s glorious standard:
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
We are separated from God by our sin.
Every action has a consequence. Sin also has consequences. The Bible says its consequence is death—eternal separation from God:
“The wages of sin is death” [spiritual separation from God]. Romans 6:23
Bottom Line: Humanity has an eternal predicament. Is there an eternal solution? Yes!
Who is God?
God is love.
The scriptures couldn’t be clearer. Love comes from God because God is love:
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God…God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8
Jesus is God.
Maybe you can identify with Jesus’ followers who asked Jesus to show them the Father, to show them God. What was Jesus’ reply?
“If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father”. John 14:9
And elsewhere we read,
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being…” Hebrews 1:3
How can we know and experience God’s love?
We know God’s love in Jesus.
None of us want to simply know about love. We want to experience love. We want to see love demonstrated. The Bible doesn’t just tell us the facts of God’s love. It narrates the demonstration of God’s love.
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” 1 John 3:16
We experience God’s love in His family.
God’s now and eternal family is the central home where God’s kids experience His love.
“Yet to all who did receive him [Jesus], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12
We receive God’s love by grace through faith.
What is grace? Grace is God’s unmerited favor. God loves us not because we get straight A’s on our moral report card. He loves us because He is love. That’s why we sing about God’s Amazing Grace!
What is faith? To have faith is to believe in and depend upon. All of us are experts at faith. All of us believe in and depend upon different ideas, things, and people every day in our quest for love. The Bible teaches us that God has lovingly rescued us through Jesus by His grace, and we receive that rescue by believing in and depending upon Jesus to save us.
“By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
If you’ve read this far, it’s very likely you want to not only know about God. You want to experience God! The good news is God is not far off, but near! The scriptures say Jesus is just outside the door of your life waiting for your faith-filled response:
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Revelation 3:20
How should you respond? Simple! Open the door! Let Jesus know you long to know and experience His loving, saving presence in your life now and forevermore. The first step of faith is often a prayer.
Lord Jesus, I admit I’m a sinner and I need You to save me. Please forgive me for my sins—past, present, and future. I believe you lived, died, and rose again so I might become part of Your loving, eternal family. I commit to believing in and depending upon You for all of life—now and forevermore. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so I am forever empowered to walk in Your truth. Amen.
We’d love to know about your journey and answer any questions you might have. A great place to start is Alpha! Alpha is a 10-12 week journey for skeptics, new believers, and people whose faith needs a “jump start.” You can learn more about Alpha here.