Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What is GOD Like?

'What is God like?' is the most important question you can ask, because your understanding of God has everything to do with your understanding of self. It is a matter of identity. It all comes down to one thing. Here it is:

Psalm 100:3. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us and we are His. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.

Everything in life comes down to this:
Know who you are by understanding whose you are.
Understanding whose you are has everything to do with the decisions you make in your life. When you're tempted, do you give in to your temptations and become a cheat and a liar? Or do you keep your promises?

Let me ask you a question. How do you personally make the decision of what is right and wrong? Here is how most people in our culture do it? They say “well, by my experience, I just kind of go by my past experience and if it seems right to me or feels right to me, I do it.” Now think about that for a minute. If I am my highest force of authority in determining the standard of what is right, then I'm making myself out to be God. And that is a pretty shaky foundation to base my life on. Right?

It is a matter of ownership. The Lord is God. It is He who made us. You know, God, our Creator, has a right to make a claim upon our lives. Would you agree? Think about it for a minute. The Creator, He made all the stars. Do you know how many stars there are? I don't even know how to say this number, maybe you mathematicians can pronounce this number, but it is 250 million times 250 million. I can't even say what that is but that's how many stars there are. And do you know that our sun is a small one. Everything else in the universe is bigger than this. Now turn around the other way - take one handful of dirt and put that one handful under an electro-microscope and there are literally millions of micro-organisms in one handful of dirt. And then He made you and I in the middle of all of that.

You know I like the way David put it. He wrote a psalm about identity: “The Lord is my Shepherd.” You know what that means. Maybe here's how you'd say it today. “The Lord is my owner.” David knew it is a matter of identity. You understand who you are because you know whose you are. The Lord is my shepherd.

We don't like that word 'owner' today, do we? We resent being owned. I don't like that idea of ownership. You know what our generation is known for? We're known as the 'addicted generation.' We are addicted to everything from sex to chocolate. We don't like to be owned, yet we are.

We are the sheep of His pasture, and then Jesus says: "I am the good shepherd."
What is God like? Good.
Now get this. This amazes me. That God, 250 million stars times 250 million stars, a handful of dirt, millions of micro-organisms, the God who did all of that, said, "I am the good shepherd and the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep."

A God who lays down his life for me? A God who lays down his life for you? We can trust Him, that God, to bear our weights. It's a matter of identity. The Lord is God. He has made you. You are His. You are His people, the sheep of His pasture.

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