January 24, 2018

January 24, 2018

Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
January 24, 2018

1 Peter 5:6-8

What are the two questions regarding identity that we need to be constantly asking as Christians? One is, “Who is God?” and the other is, “Who am I?” It was Tozer who said, “What comes to your mind when you think of God is what is most important about you.” What do you think about God? Calvin said, “We need to understand who God is or we will never understand ourselves.” We need to first look at the face of God before we can understand who we are. It makes sense, we are made in the image of God and we have that identity. Someone put it this way, “Because God is an infinitely complex being we will never fully understand Him perfectly.” Even in heaven we will constantly be learning about who God is. We will be growing in our understanding of God for all eternity. Because God is infinitely complex, we are complex too. We don’t understand ourselves all that well. In heaven we will also be growing to understand who we are in the image of God. That is a profound concept, “You were made in the image of God.” What does that mean? The whole Bible helps us to understand what it means to be made in the image of God, but there will be an eternity where we will be learning how to reflect God and image God for all eternity.

The first great truth we learn about God from Genesis 1 (and certainly we reflect God in this) is simply that God talks, God communicates, God speaks. God made us to talk; animals don’t, we do. We were made to communicate; not just with one another, but with God. Think about that, God wants us to talk to each other; it is part of our image bearing capacity. He wants us to talk to Him and God listens. That should amaze us, that the God of the universe listens to us. If someone came to you and said I have regular conversations with the President of the United States and you say, “Wow!” But you have ongoing communication with God every day, any time of the day with the God who made you, who made everything, who sustains everything, who controls everything. We don’t simply talk to God like we might talk to a guy at work, a very impersonal way, talking about the weather, politics or sports. We talk to God in an intimate, personal way. All of our worries, our cares, you can bring anything to God. The worse things about you, your sin, you can confess that to God. Jesus tells us in the Lord’s Prayer to regularly ask Him to forgive us for our debts. Anything that grieves you, that troubles you, that causes you to lose sleep at night.

Think of all the verses in your Bible that encourage you to bring everything to God. I am sure there are some verses that are stored in your own memory banks that remind you that this God will hear anything that you have to say. Psalm 55:22, “Turn your burdens over to the Lord and He will take care of you.” Psalm 18, “But in my distress I cried out to the Lord, yes I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from His sanctuary.” Psalm 50, “Pray to me when you are in trouble, I will deliver you.” Philippians 4, “Do not be anxious about anything, instead in every situation let your request be known to God.” Psalm 46, “God is our refuge and strength, a great help in times of trouble. Therefore we will not be afraid when the earth roars, when the shake into the depths of the sea.” Proverbs 3, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Matthew 6, Jesus says, “Don’t worry about what you’re going to eat or drink, about your tomorrows because your heavenly Father knows everything you need.” Then the passage we read earlier in 1 Peter 5. Let’s remember who we are talking to, we are talking about a Father who loves us; He wants to hear us talk to Him. He listens and can do anything in terms of the request that we make to God. Any remedy, any problem, He can lift any burden, any care.