Presence of God – 4/23/2017
God always desired to dwell with us
If God is just visiting in your life, things will return back to normal when glory leaves.
[Psalm 27:4] – The one thingI ask of the LORD–the thing I seek most–is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in His Temple.
Is God dwelling with you? Are you dwelling with God?
[Genesis 3:8-9] – the Lord God walking about in the garden, they hid because they realized their nakedness, He asked “Where are you?”
Tabernacle– “mishkan” (dwelling place, tent) – in the Wilderness
[Leviticus 26:11-12] – I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people.
[Exodus 33:11] – Inside the Tent of Meeting, the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind in the Tent of Meeting.
Temple – in Jerusalem
[1 Kings 8:27-30] “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O LORD my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day, that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place.”
[Acts 17:24-25] – The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, and human hands can’t serve his needs–for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need.
[Zechariah 2:10-11] “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the LORD. And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
DWELL – “shakan” or “shaken” (shaw-kan’) – to settle down, abide, dwell – this word is derived from rabbinic word “shekhinah” (Shekhinah Glory – divine presence of God)
[Matthew 1:23] – Immanuel “God with us”
[John 1:14] – And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (Pitched His Tabernacle/Tent, Tabernacled with us)
[Ephesians 2:21-22] – In whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
“naos” – (nah-os’), place of divine dwelling place
[Ephesians 3:17] – Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. DWELLS IN OUR HEARTS THROUGH FAITH
“katoikeó” (kat-oy-keh’-o) – dwelling place, settle down as permanent resident
Revelation 21:3 – And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
Is God dwelling with you?
- Sin separated us from God (Romans 3:23)
- The penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23)
- Jesus paid the penalty for our sin (Romans 5:8)
- If we repent of our sins & confess Jesus as Lord, we will be saved (Romans 10:9-10, 13).
If you believe in JESUS – the Spirit of God is dwelling within you.
[John 14:17] He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you.
“menó” (men’-o) – stay, abide, remain
Are you dwelling with God?
HOW’S YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?
Are you talking to God (prayer)?
[1 Thessalonians 5:16] Pray without ceasing
Are you listening to God (reading His Word)?
[Colossians 3:16a] – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” WORD DWELL WITHIN YOU
Are you walking with God (in faithful obedience)?
[John 14:23] – Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves Me, He will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and we will come to Him and make our home with Him.” OBEY THE WORD
[John 15:5] – I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. BEARING FRUIT
Benefits of Dwelling with God
- Protection / Safety
- Removal of Fear
- Deliverance from evil
- Long Life
“And I ask Him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God” 17-19 [MSG]
17 – Rooted deep in love… founded securely on love
18-19 – Strength to comprehend…
BREADTH – extends to all
John 3:16 – For God so LOVED THE WORLD
LENGTH – everlasting duration
Romans 8:37-39 – Nothing can separate you from LOVE of GOD
DEPTH – Christ’s humility saves those from pit of sin
Ephesians 2:4-5 – When dead in trespasses made alive
Romans 5:8 – While still sinners, Christ died for us
HEIGHT – raises to glory
Ephesians 2:6 – Raised & seated with God because united with Jesus
2 Corinthians 4:14 – Raises us with Jesus and brings us into His presence
Know the Love of Christ that…
Fills you with all the fullness of God
“We should be astonished at the goodness of God, stunned that He should bother to call us by name, our mouths wide open at His love, bewildered that at this very moment we are standing on holy ground.” – Brennan Manning
Bible Study Questions:
- We usually gauge the depth of someone’s love for us by the cost of that love. Many times we look at the sacrifices, the money, the time we give as a way to measure the love. How can we measure Christ’s love by what it cost Him?
- We can gauge the depth of someone’s love for us by how much we actually deserve the love. If we are not so nice to someone and they love us compared to someone who loves us when we treat them well, there is a difference. It’s more difficult to love some people. How can we measure Christ’s love by how much we deserve it?
- We can gauge the depth of someone’s love for us by the greatness of the benefits we receive from being loved. What are the benefits we receive from Christ’s love?
- We can gauge the depth of someone’s love by the freedom with which they love us, meaning that the person isn’t doing something because they are made to do so, but because they choose, they so desire. How free is the love of Christ?
- What gets in the way from you accepting the love of Christ? What gets in the way from you showing the love of Christ to the body of Christ (the Church)?
This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Ephesians. The 12 weeks include:
[The Unproductive Fig Tree: Luke 13:6-9, Withered Fig Tree: Matthew 21:18-22]
Colossians 1:9-10 – “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” [NIV]
*BEARING FRUIT IN EVERY GOOD WORK*
- Filled with the knowledge of His will
- Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord
- Bearing fruit in every good work
INTERNAL FRUIT + EXTERNAL FRUIT
Internal Fruit – Deeper walk with God which produces: Fruits of the Spirit
External Fruit – Abiding in Christ impacts relationships and increases effectiveness of your ministry
Galatians 5:22-23a – “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” [NLT]
John 15:5 – “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” [NASB]
John 15:8, 11 – “My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples… I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” [HCSB]
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:14-21 [NIV]
Bible Study Questions:
1) Looking at the Parable of the Unproductive Fig Tree, who is:
The Vineyard Owner –
The Vineyard Keeper –
2) The Keeper of the Vineyard pleas with the Owner to give another chance. What does this say to us?
3) In Matthew 21:18-22, we read of the Withered Fig Tree. The fig tree bears a false resemblance of one that would have fruit. How can we appear to be fruitful but not yet not bear any fruit?
4) What does the Withered Fig Tree represent to us? What can we take from this message?
5) Read Colossians 1:9-10. The passages mentions being filled with the knowledge of His will, to walk in the manner worthy of the Lord, and about bearing fruit in every good work. How can we:
Be filled with the knowledge of His will?
Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord?
Bear fruit in every good work?
More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.