Thoughts from Pastor Ben:
What we think about God is the most important thing about us.
"Decades ago, American pastor A. W. Tozer wrote about the importance of our personal 'vision' of God:
What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. …No religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. ...We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God.
The most [determining] fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like.
What we think about God determines everything else in our lives: what we value, what we pursue, and how we pursue it. Our vision of God also determines whether our beliefs will make it through the inevitable storms of doubt, temptation, and suffering that life brings. The real God is not a god who simply completes us and makes us feel sentimental during worship; he is a God who humbles us and transforms us from the inside out. When you really see him, you’ll either love him or hate him. The one thing you will not be is bored."
The above words are found in a new book by J. D. Greear titled Not God Enough, a look at why a small God leads to big problems. It’s the book that inspired our new sermon series “Is Your God Big Enough?” And that’s a great question to ask yourself, “Is my God big enough?”
I am convinced that the shape of our lives is the consequence of the size of our God. If your God is too small, a diminutive god in a world of big problems, your life will be limited in its joy and power and adventure. But how can a person grow a big God perspective? The simple, short answer is saturating yourself in Scripture.
¹ I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. ² Everyday I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. ³Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. 4One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. 5On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. 6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. 7They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. 8The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. (Psalm 145:1-9)
Thoughts from Pastor Mike:
When I was growing up, church is what I did on Sundays. Every Sunday I’d go to the same church building, see the same people, sing the same songs, and pray the same liturgical prayers. And sometimes, I’d actually listen to the sermon, too!
Then, something happened. The gospel came alive to me. God captured my heart and revealed to me a new life in Christ. I began to see Jesus as the one and only source of hope in my life.
But still, even now, there are days when I open up my Bible and just don’t feel like doing it. Sometimes I’ll start to pray and wonder, “Does God really hear me? Will God answer me?” Occasionally I’ll ask God: “Why aren’t you doing more to heal the sick or help people with their addictions? Why aren’t you doing more to change my heart?”
The fact is, I lack faith.
Although, if we’re all honest, I think we could all say “we lack faith.” We all, at times, have passionless hearts and fail to surrender our lives to God.
I’ve come to realize that it’s in those times that we’ve actually traded the true God of the Bible for a much smaller version. I’ve realized that sometimes we just don’t view God as big enough.
This weekend, Gateway is kicking off a brand new sermon series called, “Is Your God Big Enough?”
Throughout the series, we’ll ask several questions, such as: Is God big enough to worship? To forgive? Is He big enough to actually hear our prayers? Can He really change us for the better?
We’re all searching for faith in something, or someone. So, let’s look at what the Bible has to say about God. If we start seeing God for who He really is, we might just discover that we’ve got a ‘too small’ view of God. As we do, I think you might be pleasantly surprised at how big God actually is.
You’re invited to Gateway from June 23 through July 22 to find out: “Is Your God Big Enough?
Worship Service Locations & Times
North Main Campus - Saturdays, 6:00 p.m.; Sundays, 9:15 & 11:00 a.m.
CR9 Campus - Sundays, 9:00 & 10:45 a.m.