No. 2: Who are you Worshipping?
It is so important for every person on the earth to know who they are having any kind of relationship with. Too many people get married to a person and they only know the nice parts about their character, or they think their partner is perfect, (whatever that is), and get a real shock when they learn more and more about that person and they do not like what they find. In Acts 17 the apostle Paul is in Athens and he finds the people very religious (that is, trying to work their way to God, whereas Christianity is God’s way to men, through His Son). He finds an altar dedicated, “To an unknown god”, and Paul is very keen to make the One True God known to them. God wants us to know Him really well; not just to have a general impression about Him, but to be on intimate terms with Him, so He sent Jesus, who said:
“Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father…Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? The words I say to you are not just My own. Rather it is the Father, living in Me who is doing His work.” John 14:9-10.
Also: “No one has ever seen God, but God the one and only, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.” John 1:18.
Finding God is the beginning. Getting to know Him is the journey. Many people have found Him in salvation, but do not yet know Him.
* He spoke – and galaxies whirled into place, stars burned the heavens, and planets began orbiting their suns – words of awesome, unlimited, unleashed power.
* He spoke again – and the waters and lands were filled with plants and creatures, running, swimming, growing, and multiplying – words of animating, breathing, pulsing life.
* Again He spoke and man and woman were formed, thinking, speaking, and loving – words of personal and creative glory.
Eternal, infinite, unlimited – He was, is, and always will be the Maker and Lord of all that exists. Then He came in the flesh to a speck in the universe called ‘planet earth’. The Mighty Creator became part of the creation, limited by time and space and susceptible to age, sickness, and death. But love propelled Him, so He came to rescue and save the lost (even though they didn’t realise it) and to give them the gift of eternal life.
He is the Word; He is Jesus, the Christ
John’s Gospel is not just a small part of the life of Christ; it is a powerful record of the incarnation, a conclusive demonstration that Jesus was, and is, the very heaven-sent Son of God and the only source of Eternal life.
This can sometimes cause problems for Christians, but the Bible makes it very clear that there is only one God, Isaiah 44:6-8. The Father is God, John 6:27, the Son is God, John 1:1-3;14 Colossians 2:9, and the Holy Spirit is God, Hebrews 10:15-17. The relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is one of coexistence as three uncreated, eternal, coequal persons with the same indivisible divine nature. We may not understand the Trinity but we can accept it by faith in the Truth of the Word, it just reminds us that we do not know everything and cannot bring God down to our mentality, which is just as well as He has a very great job to do, He is bigger than our minds!
When we come to worship the Living God we need to know who we are worshipping so we can come boldly before His throne and offer up all the Praise and Worship in our hearts. We can believe He will receive all we have to give Him as we worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, John 4:24
He is the awesome (Hebrews 12:29), infinite (Psalm 145:3), faithful (Psalm 36:5), sinless (1 John 3:5), truthful (1 John 5:9), strong (Psalm 145:14), eternal (Revelation 1:8), powerful (Psalm 104) Spirit, full of forgiveness (1 John 2:1), light (1 John 1:5), love (John 3:16-17), compassion (Psalm 145:8-9), grace (Psalm 145:8), justice (Psalm 145:20), righteousness (Psalm 145:17), laughter (Psalm 2:4). He is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14) but slow to anger (Numbers 14:17-18) and abounding in mercy (Luke 1:50).
Because of His character and who He is, we are drawn to want to lift up our eyes from our problems and to fix our eyes on the One and only Person who can do anything permanent about them.
If we have the wrong picture of God, which is worshipping a graven image, we will not trust Him even with our concerns, to say nothing of life and death issues. Look at the list of the characteristics of God above. Don’t they look just like Jesus? We will see as we work our way through John that all these points are easy to identify in the person of Jesus provided we do the study.
Praise and Worship
This is a major part of our love-walk with God and is a part of the collection of weapons, which we use in our victorious battle against the enemy – not just songs with the best voices and music, but those from the inner, born-again spirit. It is the expression of a deep longing for God, born out of love. The best text book on the subject of praise and worship, with many examples, is the book of Psalms.
1. The means by which we can enter His Presence, Psalm 100.
2. Exuberant, outward, Psalm 63:1-8.
3. Builds faith.
4. Extols God’s character, Hebrews 13:15; Psalm 50:23.
5. Silences the lies of the enemy, Psalm 8:2 Psalm 50:14-15.
6. Whole-hearted, Ephesians 5:4 Psalm 9:1.
7. Adoration, Matthew 2:11.
8. Intimate surrender, Psalm 95:6.
9. Drawing close, Hebrews 10.
10. Totally focused on God’s qualities, Romans 12:1.
11. Deep within the spirit, John 4:24.
12. Awesome, full of reverence, 1 Chronicles 16:29.
So determine (make a decision) today that, as the pages of John’s Gospel come alive to you and as you see Jesus, you will see the Father, so you will praise and worship the one true Living God in the power of His Holy Spirit.
Home Challenges for Power Up! – No. 2: Who are you worshipping?
1. Read the notes ‘Who are you worshipping?’ What did you find most challenging?
2. From the list of the characteristics of God, which characteristic do you find most difficult to accept, and which do you find easiest? Do you know any characteristics of God not mentioned here?
3. From the first eighteen verses of John’s Gospel, which verse really speaks to you? Do you know it by heart so you can share it with someone else to encourage them?
Read John 1:19-28.
4. Which verse interests you? Why?
5. Who did John say he was not?
6. Who did John say he was? (See also Luke 3:3-6)
7. (Personal) Who do you say you are?
8. (Personal) Take time now to consider your own testimony. (We overcome Satan with the word of our testimony. Revelation 12:11) Try and give the main points of your salvation experience, (so that the hearer will know what they have to do to be saved), then about living for Christ, and a recent story of something God has done for you. Write your points on a small piece of paper and practice telling it in about three minutes! Look at John the Baptist! This is the greatest tool you have to talk about to bring this world to Christ, as no one can argue against your personal experience.
9. Do you think the Levites really wanted to know who John was? (See also Matthew 3:7-10)
Read John 1:29-34.
10. What did John the Baptist say about who Jesus is? (See also Matthew 3:11-12)
11. Describe the baptism of Jesus in your own words. (See also Matthew 3:13-17)
12. According to John 1:31 what was John’s main reason for doing what he was doing?
13. What has God asked you to do? What is your main reason for doing it? Do you need some of John’s boldness to help you? Pray.
Read John 1:35-51
14. Who was the first disciple of Jesus?
15. What name of Jesus does John reinforce in John 1:36?
16. Why do you think Jesus asked the question “What do you want?” John 1:38.
17. What was the first thing Andrew did after he had met Jesus?
18. Who does God want you to bring to Jesus? Are you praying for them? The battle is won in the spiritual realm before we see it physically. Keep praying and do not give up – and have your testimony ready.
19. Jesus uses the Holy Spirit gift of Words of Knowledge with Nathanael and so he becomes a follower. Do you have a testimony of a time you used this gift? Ask God to make you sensitive to all the gifts for His Glory at the right time and be ready to be bold.
20. Try and write a short sentence describing what you have learnt from these verses. John 1:19-51