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The most important question.

Who is God, really? And why does this question matter so much? A headline on the editorial page of my Raleigh newspaper caught my attention recently: Trying to Make Sense of so Many Suicides Among Young People1 Miss USA 2019, a local, star athletes, with seemingly everything to look forward to, decide that death is better than going forward in life... how can that be? Life has become meaningless. When life is meaningless, there is no hope. The young attorney who wrote the article said an encouragement that God created you in his image and has special plans for your life is one way to hold on... True that. There is no meaning in life without God. [We will unpack that in the next couple days - looking for your input too.] Paul started his letter to the Ephesians with this glorious greeting: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ . . . Paul wrote to fellow believers all the way down to you and me today. Grace, then peace. Always comes in that order. Can’t experience peace without knowing the grace provided through Jesus. Why is God the source of Peace? Because of who he is. Yes, God is the source of peace because of who he is. Grace and Peace come from him because they flow out of the nature of God. So, what is the nature of God? Who is God, really? Please read slowly and savor. Friend, how do you think about God? For surely it is the most important thing about you!2 Your view of God will certainly define your relationship with him, but it will also influence every area of your life. Come away with me for a bit ... come away from religion, from racing mind and distracted thinking. Come apart, sit down in your easy chair in a quiet room, and let us contemplate God. I turn my eyes heavenward and ask, ‘So, God, how do we think of you? Hmmm . . . you are mighty and also gentle you are tender yet fierce you are good, but angry at injustice you are new and exciting, but unchanging you are just, but forgiving you are holy, but patient with your unholy children you are humble but desirous of our praises to you. You know all things, you see all; you are all powerful and ever present. You. are. big. You have always been and always will be. . . eternal. You are one God expressed in three persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You exist in perfect submission one to the other. In your personhood, you think, will, enjoy, feel, desire and even suffer just like any other person.3 Your nature is one of inexhaustible love and light, and is perfect in holiness. There is seeking to know about you; there is seeking to know you for oneself, and a seeking to know and be known by you—a relationship — a desire to know you person to person. Permit that I might know Thee, O God. Grow my desire to know you to be an all­consuming fire! ‘As the deer longs for the water brooks, so longs my soul for you, O God. My soul is athirst for God, even for the living God . . .’4 Like David, make that the cry of my heart, God. Grant that I might be found by you. And God, since you made me in your image, that must mean I have some capacity to truly know you, right?’ Friend, doesn’t it seem like many ‘accept Christ’ or choose to follow him, but then do not pursue pure knowledge of God? We memorize Scripture or a catechism, things about God and the path to him, but miss the person of God. Could it be the reason for so much of our anxiety, depression, and casting about? We even accept Augustine’s saying, “Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee,” yet we stop short of getting to know God...could that be the cause of our unsettled natures, the cause of our great dis­ease? God meant us to see him and live with him and draw our life from his smile.5 It was in the beauty of that original Garden he had placed our forebears ... it was in that environment of abundant, flourishing, freedom and love we were meant to make our home, walking and talking with God, that we might know and be known by him. Who is God really? ****Friends, hit 'reply' and respond­­ 'Who is God to you?'**** Listen: Christine 1 ­ - 2 - a.w. tozer, knowledge of the holy 3 – a.w. tozer, the pursuit of god 4 – psalm 42.1 5 – again, tozer

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