In preparation for the class I am teaching on Sunday mornings — Getting to Know God — I have tried to consider the implications of what happens if we do not know God, and the implications that happen because we do know God.
Consider for a few moments the implications of Genesis 1:1. This passage suggests that God was “before the beginning” and that it was (is) God who created time. This suggests that God is eternal—that he is not bound by time. This helps me to better understand why God waited for approximately 400 years before he delivered the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. We know that the Bible says that God was not going to judge the Canaanites until “the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” (Genesis 15:16). This teaches us these things: First, God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), and for the Canaanites to be judged God waited and waited for the Amorites to “fill” their sin before judging them with his people. This teaches me that God is VERY PATIENT when it comes to his creation, and his desire to put off judgment until there is nothing else he can do. Does this help you and I to understand why God has not judged the world yet? Second, we want what we want when we want it, and we do not have God’s long range outlook for the world. PERHAPS God is being patient with his people; waiting for us to spread the gospel to the whole world (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16).
God created the heavens and the earth. He set the universe and the world into motion. Hence, he has to be powerful enough to create the world (omnipotent—all powerful) as well as wise enough to get everything to work together seamlessly (omniscience—all wise). What are some implications of this? First, he created man, and he knows what is best for us. Hence, he has given us his word to help us to know and understand what we need to do to live this life in preparation for the life to come. His word tells us that he has designed us for living with him in eternity. Second, God wants us to fulfill the purposes for which we are made—to know him, and then to help others to know him as well. Third, since he created us, and since he wants to succeed for the purposes for which we were created, and in knowing and loving him he will do all he can to guide us and help us. Hence, he promises the Christian that he will be with us to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20) and he will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6). Christian, do you believe God will walk with you through whatever problem and trial you have in life?
As we consider further the idea of God creating us for the purposes he has for us, let us consider as well that he knows our talents, abilities and personalities, and he know the best way to use both personalities and talents for his glory. Hence, the parable of the five talent, two talent and one talent man in Matthew 25:14-30.
In this parable of the talents, or abilities, the master knew what the five, two and one talent men could do. He knew them well enough to know that the one talent man could not do what the five talent man was able to do. Notice he did not condemn the one talent man because he did not do what the five talent man did—he condemned him because he did not do anything with the one talents that was given unto him. What was the one talent man’s excuse? “I knew you to be a hard man. . .” In a sermon I listened to recently, Eric Owens made the point that if we think God is “a hard man” we will not even try to serve him and honor him with what we do. Why? Because we will think we can never please him. And if we think we can never please God, we don’t really understand the gospel, grace or his forgiveness. We will live miserable lives struggling to give him what we think will make him happy, always wondering if it is enough.
As our Creator he knows what we are capable of, and gives us responsibilities accordingly. Our thoughts about God will affect the way we live for him. Do you/we give him what he knows we are capable of? This is enough! You will not be judged by what you can’t do—but you/we will be judged by what we can do!
Think Great thoughts about God.