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December 8, 2019
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Does God exist? How can I know for sure? If He does, how can I know Him? In week two of "Unsinkable," Pastor Doug showed us that God is real and worthy of our worship, that He is a knowable, self-revealing God who pursues us, and explains how we can know Him and why we can trust Him.
Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the message and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.
God Is the Center of the Universe. I Am Not.: As much as we may not want to admit it, most of us live as though the entire universe revolves around us. We like to think of ourselves as master of our own destiny, captain of our ship; we get so incredibly wrapped up in our own lives, problems, and desires that everything else takes a backseat or is minimized. We place ourselves on the throne of our heart and lives. Here’s a simple test: If you feel extreme angst, bitterness, or anger when things aren’t going your way, you have indeed placed yourself at the center of your life.
But the truth is we are not the center of the universe; we are not even the center of our own lives . . . God is! God is the center, the purpose, and the sustainer of everything in existence—of things visible and invisible; of things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. He is all-powerful (omnipotent), all-knowing (omniscient), and everywhere in every moment in every space in time (omnipresent). He made it all and He paid it all by sending His Son Jesus Christ—God in the flesh (John 1:14), the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15–23), the eternal Word and Creator (John 1:1–18)—to pay for our sins. He is the center of the universe.
He is on His throne, sovereign over all the universe, Lord over all and Lord over you. And when you and I realize and acknowledge this and realign the way we believe, live, think, and act under His Lordship, everything will change for us. We don’t know how long we will live and we don’t really have any control over what happens in our lives, but the One who gave us life is in control of our lives and He has a plan and a purpose for us. If you really think about it, this is a huge weight lifted off your shoulders! You don’t have to be in control, you don’t have to keep your world spinning, the world does not revolve around you, and thus the weight of the world is not yours to carry. God’s got you, He created you, He sustains you, He blesses you far beyond what you can see, and He loves you with a love far beyond what you can comprehend.
So, the question we must wrestle with daily is, "Who is at the center of my heart and life?"
God Is a Self-Revealing God: R.C. Sproul once said, “I believe firmly that all of truth is God’s truth, and I believe that God has not only given revelation in sacred Scripture, but also, the sacred Scripture itself tells us that God reveals Himself in nature—which we call natural revelation.” This natural revelation—or general revelation as Pastor Doug called it this weekend—is essentially God revealing Himself through nature (His created works).
In light of this, no one can claim there is no God or that everything in this universe was by chance, randomly coming into existence without purpose or meaning, without an intelligent, skilled designer at work. When you really stop and think, it defies logic to believe that everything came about by chance. You could make the argument that it requires more faith to believe there is no God than to look on at creation and know that God is real and that He is the author of everything!
Here’s the amazing thing, though: While we do have general revelation, which clearly shows the majesty, care, and power of God, special revelation gives us His name and reveals His character and heart. This revelation is through direct communication with God through His Word, the Bible. Our God has revealed Himself to us through the Bible, telling us who He is, how much He loves us, and how we can know Him personally.
God wants to reveal Himself to you; He wants to draw you near to Him, give you the abundant life you were created to experience, and use you to accomplish His good will and purposes. So, are you searching and listening for His revelation? Are you spending time with Him in His Word, in prayer, in silence, and in meditation and reflection? Are you attuned to His voice through nature and through the wisdom and counsel of other faithful believers? God wants to speak to you and work through you! So, how has God revealed Himself to you? What is He revealing to you? How are you walking in it?
The Unsinkable Life Has Jesus at the Center: A life that is built upon the foundation of Christ, a life that has Christ at its center and on the throne, is a life that is unsinkable, unshakable, and unbreakable. Paul describes this life with Jesus at the center in 2 Corinthians 4:7–10 (NIV), saying, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”
You see, when Jesus is at the center, even if the world around us is crumbling, even if a storm threatens, even if we are surrounded, even if we are in the lion’s den or the fiery furnace, we will not be shaken or sink because His strength and His power and His grace sustain us and enable us to survive, thrive, and live in abundance. Even if “outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV) because the “Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you” (Romans 8:11 NIV).
Every other foundation will crumble; every other root will be uprooted; anyone else (including ourselves) that we put on the throne of our lives will utterly disappoint . . . Only a life that is built on Christ is unsinkable. So, one more time, we implore you to ask yourself, "Who is at the center of my heart and life?"
Quote to Remember: We don’t know how long we will live, but we know that the One who gave us life is in control of our lives.—Pastor Doug Sauder
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
1. How is God being at the center of the universe a good thing for us? How does it relieve pressure and make life simpler?
2. Are there areas in your life where you have not yet surrendered control to the Lord? What steps can you take to give those areas up to Him?
3. In what ways has the Lord revealed Himself and His will to you? How are you walking in this revelation?
4. What does a life with Jesus at the center look like?
5. How can you help others understand the truth about God and help them know Him personally?
Join us this Wednesday as we continue our "Unsinkable" series with special guest Pastor Isaac Frere from Spanish River Church.
Then at our weekend services, we’ll dive into week three of “Unsinkable.” In this message, Pastor Doug will explain what the gospel is and show us a deeper, richer picture of the good news of Jesus, how the gospel is completely unique and set apart from religious beliefs, and how it radically changes our lives.