Is God for real?

Does God Exist?
 
 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20, NIV)
  • Creation has been designed
  • Creation proves cause
  • Creation reveals a moral creator
 
Does God Care About Whether I Believe in Him or Not?
 
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).
  • God’s love is unconditional
  • Belief in God brings eternal life
 
Does God Love Me?
 
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him” (1 John 3:1, NIV).
  • God’s love is a gift
  • God’s love compels our love
 
 “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” (1 John 4:9-12, NIV).
  • God sent His own Son because He loves us so much
  • God atones (forgives) for our sin through the gift of Jesus
 
Does God Want Me to Be Happy?
 
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10, NIV).
Worldliness chokes out the happiness that is found in Christ
  • Jesus came so that Christians could live a full life
 
Does God Help Me Know Him Better?
 
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3, NIV).
  • His power is enough
 
He gives us everything we need
 
 “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8, NIV).
  • God is approachable
  • He will respond
 
Is God Enough for Me?
 
God is All-Powerful. “ For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16, NIV).
 
God is All-Knowing. “O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways” (Psalm 139:1-3, NIV).
God is Everywhere. “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the LORD “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD. “Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off?” (Jeremiah 23:23-24, NIV).
 
How Do I Know What God Wants Me to Do?
 
God has spoken His will for man.In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe” (Hebrews 1:1-2, NIV).
  • God has always communicated His will for man.
  • He has spoken in various ways and at different times.
  • Now He speaks to man through His Son.
 
Jesus selected specific writers to communicate His will through His Word.But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:13, NIV).
God communicated His will through His Spirit. “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26, NIV).
 
How Can I Find Out What God’s Will for My Life Is?
 
From belief in Jesus.I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13, NIV).
 
From His Word.All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NIV).

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Does God love me?

Does God Speak Today?
 
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe” (Hebrews 1:1-2, NIV).
  • God Spoke in Times Past
  • God Speaks Today Through His Son
 
Does God Know Me Personally?
 
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God” (Luke 12:6-8, NIV).
  • God knows us personally
 
Has God changed through the years?

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100:5, NIV).
  • The love of God is enduring
 
The love of God passes through to every generation.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him” (1 John 3:1, NIV).
  • God blesses us with relationship with Him through Jesus
 
We are God’s family!
 
What Does Creation Tell Me About God’s Love?
 
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27, NIV).
  • God loves us
  • He created us in His own image

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world” (John 17:24, NIV).
  • God loves His son

Through relationship with Christ we know who God is, and how we can love Him in return.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will” (Ephesians 1:3-5, NIV).
 
Who Is Jesus?
 
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).
  • Jesus is God’s own son

Belief in Jesus brings eternal life,.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NIV).

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him” (1 John 4:8-9, NIV).
 
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:6, NIV).
 
How Do I Know God Loves Me?
 
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:10-11, NIV).

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10, NIV).

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4, NIV).

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:1-3, NIV).

How Can I Show My Love for God?
 
I can step out in faith and believe in Jesus.Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16, NIV).
 
I can be willing to make positive changes in my life to be pleasing to God.Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38, NIV).
 
I can courageously share my faith in Jesus with others.If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9, NIV).

I can make a life-commitment to Jesus by being baptized.  “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21, KJV).

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Is the Bible for me?

How does God communicate His will to me today?
 
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe” (Hebrews 1:1-2, NIV).
  • God Spoke in Times Past
  • God Speaks Today Through His Son
 
How Does Jesus Speak Today?
 
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:13, NIV).
  • God’s Spirit guided the Apostles into ALL truth.
 
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26, NIV).

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21, NIV).
 
How Do We Know the Bible Reveals God’s Will?
 
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NIV).
  • God’s Will is Revealed Through His Word.
  • God’s Word is valuable for all of life’s circumstances.

How Do We Understand the Bible?
 
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth
” (2 Timothy 2:15, NIV).
  • Understanding the Bible takes some effort
  • Efforts to know God’s Word better will be rewarded.
 
Why Do We Trust the Bible?
  • We trust the Bible because it is historically accurate
  • We trust the Bible because it is consistent
  • We trust the Bible because it is scientifically accurate
 
Do We Follow the Old Testament or the New?
 
The Old Testament is valuable as a schoolmaster that points God’s people to His New Will in Christ.Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24, NIV).

The Old Testament was valuable as a tool to bring us to faith in Christ.But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Galatians 3:25, NIV).

The Old Testament was done away with when Jesus died on the cross.having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross?” (Colossians 2:14, NIV).
 
How Does the Bible Help Me Understand God’s Will?
 
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:7-11, NIV).
  • God’s Word is perfect.
  • God’s Word is enduring.
  • Knowledge of God’s Word brings reward.
 
What Does Knowing What the Bible Teaches Do for Me?
 
And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe” (1 Thess. 2:13, NIV).
  • The Bible Contains the Word of God.
  • God’s Word is at work in the lives of believers.

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17, NIV).

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Ever feel like you were invisible?

Years ago, there was a popular television show called “The Invisible Man.” Each week the audience was treated to a fanciful narrative describing humorous anecdotes from the life of a man who actually lived his life in secret, or invisible. From this perspective, numerous jokes arose illustrating the life of an invisible person. Why did the invisible man flunk math at school? He couldn’t count his fingers! How many children does the invisible man have? None. He’s not “apparent!” How do you know if have just walked into an invisible man? You start to hear a voice saying, “Watch where you are going!” These silly questions and answers illuminate an altogether more significant concern-what if a person feels like they are actually invisible?
 
Paul, the Apostle, wrote to Timothy about one who is invisible, and it isn’t you, or me. He emphasizes the invisible nature of God in 1 Timothy 1:17: “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (NKJV). It is a reality, of course, that God is “Spirit” and His being is invisible to the naked eye. But, is this always the case? Is God always invisible?
In context, we understand that an important distinction between our perception of being invisible to others, and God’s invisible nature, must be made. Are we invisible? Of course not! Is God invisible? Absolutely! But if God’s nature is invisible, how can anyone ever see Him, or more importantly, develop faith in Him?
Here’s the theological underpinning of how our invisible God becomes quite visible:
From the very onset, there is with Paul an acknowledgement that he was a real jerk when he came to know Christ. However, God, according to Paul, “enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” (NKJV). In the text he goes on to own his own “junk” revealing a greater work of grace on his life. “Although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (vs. 13-14).
Hence, Paul’s ignorance and unbelief caused his very visible traits, which in turn, ignited the grace of God. Where there is sin, there is a Savior. And, though our sins are very visible, our invisible God becomes extravagantly observable in the gifting of His grace. “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life” (vs. 15-16).
So, where does this leave us? We are not invisible, far from it. Our actions through ignorance or in willful sin, betray us every time. This is when God “shakes” His invisible nature and becomes visible in the redemption of our souls. He doesn’t overlook our sin, He forgives it by grace. In doing so, all eyes are directed at Him. It is no wonder we become like a “city that is set on a hill [which] cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14b, NKKV). I am visible. You are visible. And, most importantly, in the right circumstance, God is visible! This can only happen, of course, when we allow God to transform our lives revealing His, dare I say it, “visible” nature!
 

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Ever experience a “Bushusuru” moment?

In 1992, while still enjoying a bump in the national opinion polls from his success in Desert Storm, President George Herbert Walker Bush took to the international stage. His much anticipated, and widely celebrated, trip to Japan was intended to highlight his diplomatic prowess and world-wide popularity. During a televised state dinner with Japan’s Prime Minister, President Bush became very ill and vomited all over the Prime Minister after which he collapsed to the floor. As it turns out, he quickly recovered from his ailment and completed the meal. However, a new slang word became popular in Japan which describes vomiting on someone called “Bushusuru.” Simply put, it means “to do the Bush thing.” I suppose it goes without saying, but who would want to be known as one who “does the Bush thing” and vomits all over other people?
I’m sure you have a few people like this in your lives. They are the people who bottle up feelings and emotions only to release them at will all over you. They feel entitled as though they have a “right” to speak their mind whether it soils the hearts of others, or not. But what if “they” becomes “me” and I end up doing the same thing? What does the Bible instruct our hearts to do with spiritual illness and immaturity that results in “Bushuru” moments?
A happy life results from developing the ability to “bite your tongue.” “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies” (1 Peter 3:10, NLT).
Learning to say the right thing at the right time arises out of gracious, or grace-filled, conversation. “Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone” (Colossians 4:6, NLT).
Cautious, even deliberate, communication is an encouragement to others, not a detriment. “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them” (Ephesians 4:29, NLT).
Develop the “class” to “shut up every chance you get! “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut” (Proverbs 10:19, NLT). Limit your conversations to few words. You don’t have to share everything you know, after-all. “A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent” (Proverbs 17:27-28, NLT).
In the end, a conscientious soul owns his own junk without dumping it on others. We don’t have the “right” to throw up all over the people in our lives. Conversely, we have the responsibility to control what we say making certain that what comes out of our mouths is uplifting, and never discouraging. “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless” (James 1:26, NLT).

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How can I tell if someone has true faith, or not?

Faith is measured by God by what a person believes, but more importantly, how he lives his life. “How would I know that I have faith?” “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3, NIV).
People who have faith have it because they faithfully follow God’s Word. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17, NIV). To hear the promises of God everyday will surely build your faith. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV). “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, NIV).
People who have faith build their reward by living the way God desires. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6, NIV).
People who have faith live by faith. Their actions prove their faith. To know what it means to live by faith, you should know what faith means. Romans 1:17 says, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” If a person claims to have faith, but is hateful, he does not have faith. “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (I John 2:9-11, NIV).
If a person “talks big” (brags) about faith, yet doesn’t follow the truth of God’s Word, they are deceiving themselves, and others. “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him” (I John 3:18-19, NIV).
Faith filled followers of Jesus are lovers of God’s people. The faith-less claim to have faith, but then reject other believers to suit their own purposes. “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (I John 5:2-3, NIV).
Having faith doesn’t imply that we will always live perfectly. Satan still operates in the world, trying to bring Christians down. We will stumble at times. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (I John 1:8-10, NIV). In the end, the difference between a child of God and a child of Satan is that God’s children pick themselves up after they fall and try to live righteously again.

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