One Thing Bible Study Chapter 8
Chapter 8 – God’s Campaign For You
Podcast available on Apple Podcasts and wherever you listen to podcasts.
This blog series talks about why trust is so vital, what God has done for you, will do for you and more. When trust in God is not in our hearts the channel through which God can influence our lives is blocked. If we don’t trust in God, He can’t be our God no matter how bad He wants to be. It’s not because He doesn’t want to, but because we can’t receive from Him anymore. So, for God to have access to your life, He needs you to trust Him. This is why God runs His “campaign” for you so to speak.
Ch. 8 Outline – God’s Campaign For You
- This blog series was about trust. Specifically how God brings forth trust in Him.
- Parallels to presidential campaign – candidate has to bring forth trust – same with God. He knows the burden is on Him.
- Why trust is so vital – it’s the channel through which God can influence our lives. If he doesn’t get our trust, He won’t be able to persuade us to live life with Him
- Trust is earned. Faith comes from hearing the Word, not just any word though. It has to be the rightly divided word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15). It’s just like if I tell somebody their child was hit by a car. They don’t have to try to feel fear, it just happens. See the power of the words you hear? Faith just happens when you hear the right message.
- God’s Motives Behind His Pursuit – It’s not to get you to do something for Him. Not so that He can use you. He wants to serve you (example of Peter in John 13). You take his breath away. You just do it for Him. When He envisions His “best life” He can’t envision it without you. You complete Him.
- John 21 – shows us the heart of God. He just wants to fellowship with us.
- God’s Track Record – What God did for Paul, prophecies fulfilled, etc.
- Romans 6:23
- Genesis 3:1
- 2 Tim. 2:15
- John 15:15
- Romans 6:4
- Luke 12:7
- Psalm 139:17-18
- Why is trust so important in relationships?
- How does trust work? How would you describe how trust works in your relationship with God?
- How does Arthur Meinjtes describe a friend? Would you say that is consistent with how you know God? How so or not?
- What is your favorite name for God and why?
- Does God want us to serve Him or does He want to serve us? How does the story of Peter in John 13 show this to us?
- What does John 21 show us about the heart of God?
- What does the Prodigal Son story show us about the heart of God and His pursuit of us?
- How does what God did in Paul’s life show us His heart?
- How many Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus? Which one do you think is the most amazing?
- What is your favorite scripture about what God will do for you?
Chapter 8 – God’s Campaign For You
The following is a blog series I wrote called “God’s Campaign for You”
Part 1: Someone You Can Trust
I’m starting a new series this week entitled “God’s Campaign for You ”. Obviously this is inspired by the Presidential race going on right now (this was in 2016). I’m not that big into politics, but it seems to me that most people don’t care for either candidate that much and have trouble trusting them. So it’s becoming more of a debate about who is the lesser of two evils. I thought this would be a good opportunity to remind people about somebody they can really trust in.
Regardless of what side you are on or if you are currently undecided, the responsibility of bringing forth trust in the candidates lies on the candidates themselves. They need to build your confidence in them and make you believe they have the right character for the job. Why do think the candidates spend so much time attacking the others’ character? It’s like they spend more time talking bad about the other’s than they do about what they are actually going to do and the real issues. But this is what our news stations are filled with constantly as Election Day comes closer. We spend so much time scrutinizing every little thing about the candidates but are they our savior? Are they who we are putting our trust in? Why not spend some more time getting to know somebody who is trustworthy?
A similar situation to the Presidential race happens when deciding where to cast your vote for the God of your life. God gives us free will. Some use the free will to choose themselves, some choose money, some choose alcohol or drugs, some choose God, some choose the devil, etc. There are many things vying to be the God of your life and God knows the onus is on Him to bring forth the trust in Him for you to have confidence casting your vote with Him in the midst of all these other voices in your life.
God runs a flawless campaign but unfortunately many are deceived by the enemy who is always trying to throw mud on God’s name. The devil will do anything so that you don’t place your trust in God. He wants to get you to doubt God’s goodness any way he can. He will plant lies and try to get you to think God is the one responsible for the very things that he is doing. The devil is a liar and has been from the beginning.
It’s not all the devils’ fault though. The way most Christians present the Gospel makes it seem as though God has a gun pointed to their head and is saying “accept me or I’m going to kill you.” Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death…not the judgment of God. It’s sin that was killing man, not God. Sin simply being unbelief in God by the way, not lying, cheating, stealing, etc.
Either that or people are told that God forsook Jesus and beat Jesus in our place. I believed this lie for many years, until I was led to do my exegesis paper in Bible school on the forsaking verse from Jesus on the cross. The key to understanding this verse is in the definition of the word forsook. There isn’t a good translation from the original Hebrew word but it doesn’t mean to abandon as it does in the English language. Just know that God has never forsaken or abandoned us. If you believe that, it will be very hard for you to trust God. I didn’t realize it at the time but this is why God led me to that verse for my exegesis paper; He wanted to help me trust Him more and that definitely helped. Imagine that. God actually knew what He was doing. Greg Henry has several awesome teachings on this topic at his Youtube channel if you’re interested in learning more. Just use the search feature on his channel.
Why Trust Is So Vital
When we look back at the Garden, we see Satan attacking God’s character right from the beginning, similar to the way the candidates in the presidential race do. In Genesis 3:1, the serpent representing Satan says, “did God really say, you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” Why did he ask that question? He was trying to get Eve to doubt God. If we don’t think God is a safe person for us to be around, if He is not our refuge, then we go into self-preservation mode and no longer rely on Him.
Our flesh will try to figure out how to fulfill the desires of our heart without trusting God. That’s where we get all the checklists from. The top 5 this or top 10 that. They may start off by saying to pray about things but then the other 90% of it is talking about all the things we have to do. It’s like we’re saying just tell me what I have to do but what we often times don’t realize is that when trust in God is not in our hearts, the channel through which God can influence our lives is blocked. If we don’t trust in God, He can’t be our God no matter how bad He wants to be. It’s not because He doesn’t want to, but because we can’t receive from Him anymore. So, for God to have access to your life, He needs you to trust Him.
How Trust Works
If trust is so vital in our relationship with God, then we should understand how it works. Trust is defined in Webster’s as confidence; a reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or other sound principle of another person. You don’t trust someone by them being the least non-trustworthy; someone who is trustworthy is actually a person of integrity, veracity, justice, etc.
The human heart is not able to believe in something or someone very easily. For example, if someone comes up to you and says I just saw a spaceship outside you’re probably not going to believe them. Or if a stranger comes up to you, asks you for something, says they will pay you back and says “just trust me”, you’re probably not going to trust them. Why? Because you don’t know them. Similarly, you can never trust God because you know you should, you have to get to know God. Trust is never just given, it is earned. God knows this and it’s why He’s always pursuing you. He loves you and wants to earn your trust. I’ll get more into God’s motives and track record later, but understand that God is not asking you to blindly trust Him. All God wants is an opportunity to earn your trust. He knows that if you hear about how good He is and what He is really like, then He will earn your trust. This lines up with what the Word says in Romans 10:17:
“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” NIV
And in the Message version, it says this:
“Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ’s Word is preached, there’s nothing to listen to.” MSG
This is why the message and teaching you listen to is so important. We were designed to be persuaded by the words we hear. Many people can open a Bible and preach, but that doesn’t mean they are preaching the Gospel to you. It must be the rightly divided word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15). When you hear the right message, it produces faith. Faith and trust in God are not something we work up in our power.
God Knows & Understands You
When we know that God understands us and accepts us it allows our hearts to go to rest and promotes trust. I think this quote from Arthur Meintjes is great and helps build trust with God:
“A friend is somebody who understands your past, believes in your future and accepts you just the way you are.”
Jesus said in John 15:15 that he has called us friends. If we connect these two, we see Jesus as someone who understands our past and accepts us just the way we are. He’s not trying to change us, He just wants to hang out with us and show us His goodness. It’s impossible for us to trust someone who we don’t think is good to us. God shows us His integrity and goodness towards us in the way He treats Jesus. If something is not true about the way God thought of Jesus, then it’s not true about the way God thinks of you. Jesus was man’s representative. God showed us what He thinks of us when He raised Jesus from the dead. Romans 6:4 says that Jesus was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father. That word glory there means view and opinion. It was the good view and opinion God had of Jesus that raised Him from the dead. If you meditate on that, it’s hard not to trust God.
Also remember, we’re made in His own image and likeness (Gen. 1:26), so if He rejected us it would be as if He was rejecting Himself. Here’s some more scriptures that show us how well God knows us:
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Luke 12:7. NIV
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? Psalm 8:4. KJV.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! Psalm 139:17-18
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb…You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:13, 15-16.
Trust In God Made Easy
It’s easy to trust God when you see Him for who He really is. When you start seeing Him through the correct lens, trust in Him will come naturally, which is the major reason why I wrote this book. I thought I would include some more scriptures below along with the different names of God in the Old Testament so you can get to know Him better or be reminded of His character.
His Word is trustworthy:
Psalm 111:7 – The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.
His nature is faithful and true:
Deuteronomy 7:9 – Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
Psalm 25:10 – All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
Psalm 145:13 – Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
Psalm 146:6 – He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— he remains faithful forever.
His plans for us are perfect and purposeful:
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
The Names Of God
- El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty)
- El Elyon (The Most High God)
- Adonai (Lord, Master)
- Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah)
- Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner)
- Jehovah-Raah (The Lord My Shepherd)
- Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals)
- Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)
- Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness)
- Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You)
- El Olam (The Everlasting God)
- Elohim (God)
- Qanna (Jealous)
- Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)
- Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace)
- Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts)
Part 2: God’s Pursuit of You & His Motives Behind It
Keeping with the campaign theme, candidates running for political offices go after votes relentlessly. They do whatever it takes to try to reach people and convince them that they are the one they should vote for. Similarly, God is relentless in His pursuit of you. I think most people have heard that God loves them, but I don’t think most are fully persuaded of how relentless God is and why exactly it is that He loves them in the first place.
Now, you might be thinking who cares? Does it really matter why God loves us or the motives behind His pursuit of us? Shouldn’t it be enough that we just know that God loves us? No. Here’s why: if you have a wrong perception about God’s motives then it will be very difficult for you to ever feel or experience God’s love for you. If you think it doesn’t matter that you feel or experience God’s love, think about how it would go over if one spouse said to another, “Hey babe, just so you know, it doesn’t really matter if you ever feel or experience my love, just know that I love you.” Guys have a tendency to think to themselves, well hey I told her I loved her when I married her and that should be enough, yet women want to keep hearing and experiencing their man’s love for them. It’s not enough to just say they should be satisfied to have a mere intellectual knowing that their spouse love’s them. That’s not going to cut it for them. They need to experience it. See when you bring it into the relationship context, it starts to make more sense. When you understand why God loves you, it frees you up to feel and experience His love, which is what we all really want whether we admit it or not. I’ll elaborate more on this topic in the chapter entitled God’s love. In the meantime here’s a verse for anybody that still needs convincing regarding the feeling and experiencing aspect:
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. Eph. 3:17 NIV
Regarding God’s pursuit of you, many of us tend to think God may be pleased with us sometimes, but when we mess up, we think that He’s in heaven with His arms folded shaking His head. No matter how good of a person you are, you are going to miss it sometimes. It’s in these times that you need to be reminded of how God is always coming after you, just desiring to be around you and fellowship together. This will keep you in a good, healthy relationship with God, despite any circumstance you may be facing or failure you may have encountered.
I hope the following information helps convince you that God is always pursuing you no matter what and allows your heart to go to rest at the integrity of God’s motives for it.
From the Beginning
It always amazes me how quick we are to forget about God’s heart for us from the beginning. It’s like we think He created a garden and then needed somebody to work the garden, so he created man. God was looking for somebody to share His quality of life with and he found it in man. Those that listen to Bertie Brits and Greg Henry know this verse well, but it bears repeating regardless, Genesis 1:28 says God blessed man after he created them. The word blessed there in the Hebrew is barak which means to kneel down in adoration of and speak well of. Something similar to this in our society nowadays would be when a man gets down on one knee to propose to a woman. If you want to know where God declared his judgment of man, it’s right here. This is when he deemed what we were worthy of. Before our sin had anything to do with it.
Those that think God just sees us as sinners but puts up with us because He is love and He just loves everything are missing God’s heart from the beginning. We excited Him so much that He got down on one knee and proposed to us because He couldn’t see life without us. He wanted to spend eternity with us. And if you think God’s heart changed after we sinned, think again. I’ve mentioned these verses before but in Genesis 3 we see God still pursuing Adam and Eve and clothing them even after they sinned. He didn’t turn His back and say I can’t stand to be around sinners like the way some people present the Gospel. God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8) and His heart has always been to simply fellowship with us and enjoy life together. Oh and there’s also that verse that flat out says God will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). And this one to:
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— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Eph. 1:4-6 NIV.
His Motives: To Have Us Serve Him or To Serve Us?
This is really hard for most people to accept, especially the religious types, but God actually wants to serve you. We have been so ingrained with the doctrines of man about how we must serve God and do all these things to either earn eternal life and/or rewards in heaven and what not. That is a man centered Gospel that will never allow you to rest in the finished work of Jesus.
Remember what happened in John 13 when Jesus was washing Peter’s feet. At first Peter said no but then Jesus said unless I wash you, you have no part in me. We get it so twisted when we think it’s all about us serving. Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t do good things but there is a big difference between trying to do things in our own power and simply letting God live His life through us. This is what Paul was talking about in Galatians 2:20 when he said:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. KJV
I think we tend to get this idea that God is a self-centered God. Like He can’t wait to bring others into His kingdom simply so He can relish in how powerful He is. I also think we tend to get this notion that God looks at us like some seed that He is just trying to reap fruit from. Listen guys, if you don’t get anything else out of this section I hope that you take away an understanding that God does not come to befriend you to get something out of you. He doesn’t look at me and say “Oh baby, I think I can get this guy to be a pastor and/or write a book for me, so let me go and befriend him.” The thing He is trying to reap from you is a RELATIONSHIP!!! His motives are pure. He pursues you because He likes you and wants to be around you. He sees you and says that’s my type of guy or girl. He simply wants you, not what you can do for Him.
John 21 is probably my favorite chapter in all the Bible. The thing about it is it’s so easy to read over some of the simple things that happen in this chapter but I believe they give us great insight into the heart of God for us. Let’s look at verses 1-12:
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c] 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”
It’s awesome to see how God knows exactly what they need and how to get it to them but the thing that sticks out the most to me in these passages is the last verse here in which we see Jesus saying “come and have breakfast”. Imagine this from Jesus’ perspective. He sees His disciples struggling to get food and provision for their lives, so it’s like He comes and says “oh you guys need some fish, here ya go.” Then they have a problem reeling them all in and it’s like he says “here ya go, I’ll give you a supernatural ability to bring them in.” But what did Jesus want? He just wanted them to come hang out with Him and have breakfast.
Jesus goes on in the chapter to reinstate and restore Peter. If you recall he had denied Jesus three times at His trial and Peter’s place in all of this was probably a little shaky. Jesus came and restored Him asking him 3 times if he loved Him. We also see Jesus’ heart for His people when He tells Peter to feed and take care of His sheep. The whole chapter paints a beautiful picture of Jesus’ motives and His commitment to us even when we mess up.
The Prodigal Son
One last example for good measure here is the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. I call it the story of the Good Father. Most of you know it well. The son asks for his inheritance, then proceeds to squander it on wild living. But after he comes to his senses and decides to go back home, we are told this is verse 20:
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. NIV
The son asking the father for his inheritance was practically like him saying he wished he was dead. It would have been very easy for the father to turn his back on him. But instead we see the father spotting the son while he was a long way off. That means he must’ve been looking for him. And look what happened when he saw the son had turned back to him. He ran after him and threw a party for him. Another example of God’s commitment, faithfulness and pursuit of us.
Part 3: God’s Track Record
In this section I’ll be using many scriptures to show us what God has done in the past. For some of you it will be the first time you hear of these things, but for many of you, these will be verses that you know well. Even if you have heard these stories and scriptures hundreds of times, God can highlight different things to you each time. That is one of the things I love about the Word; it has so many layers and gold that can be found as you hear it more and dig deeper into it.
So it’s good to not only hear these things once, but to keep hearing them and being reminded of them. I recently shared my testimony in a men’s small group that I’m a part of on Saturday mornings. I hadn’t shared my testimony in a while and it really blessed me to go back and recall everything that God has done in my life and how good He has been to me. On the other hand, it’s easy for us to forget about these things if we don’t sit at God’s feet and allow Him to remind us of them.
When it comes to looking at someone’s past, we often judge people by their character and the attributes they consistently show us. We decide if we believe their words based on what they have done in the past. We determine our relationships with them based on their faithfulness as a friend, in good times and bad. God too, has a track record in our lives. He’s held true to His promises, has shown up for us time and time again, and has accomplished more than we even know.
Obviously I don’t have enough time or room in this book to go through everything God has done in the Bible and in my life, but I hope some of the things I’ve pointed out here help take your trust in God to a deeper level and remind you of things He has done in your life. As Paul said:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil. 4:8 NIV
What God Did For Paul
Speaking of Paul, when I think about God’s track record, what He did in Paul’s life immediately comes to mind. Paul wrote 14 of the 27 books of the New Testament and probably had the greatest revelation of Christ written about in the Bible. However, God had to do quite a work in Him to get him to that point. Paul was a Pharisee who was dedicated to the persecution of the early disciples of Jesus. It is recorded that Paul had a part in the stoning of Stephen in Acts Chapter 7 and he was on his way to persecute more Christians in Acts Chapter 9 when he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul talks about his transformation in Galatians 1:
I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles… Gal. 1:11-16
Paul’s transformation is an awesome example of what God can do in somebody’s life and I’m pretty sure that’s what He wanted us to see. If He can do what He did in Paul’s life, He can turn anybody around. This lines up with what Paul wrote in Romans 2:11 that says God is no respecter of persons. Meaning what He does for one, He will do for any.
Switching gears here, let’s look at the prophecies fulfilled by Jesus. A trustworthy person is someone with a track record of effective follow through. The Father has shown himself to be somebody of utmost integrity when you look at how He keeps His word in prophecies from the Bible.
Accordingtothescriptures.org states there are 353 distinct predictions which were fulfilled in Christ. There were at least 8 prophecies that were impossible for Jesus to control. The probability of 8 prophecies fulfilled is 1 in 10 to the 17th power; that would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. Let’s take a look at those 8. The first scripture is the prophecy and the second is the fulfillment if you would like to look them up.
- Place of Birth: Micah 5:2; Matt. 2:1
- Time of Birth: Daniel 9:25; Luke 2:1
- Betrayal of Birth: Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18
- Betrayal: Ps. 41:9; Matt. 10:4
- People’s opinion’s: Isa. 50:6; Matt. 26:67
- Manner of death: Ps. 22:16; Lk. 23:33
- Piercing: Zech. 12:10; Jn. 19:34
- Burial: Isa. 53:9; Matt. 27:57-60
You can find the rest of the prophecies fulfilled by Jesus on the website Accordingtothescriptures.com.
Ephesians Chapter 1 is a great place to look for what God has done for us. Notice how many times Paul uses the word has or hath if you prefer the King James version. By the way, most scholars agree that this is some of the most emphatic language used in all the Bible:
3 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.4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ…
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
More Scriptures About What God Has Done:
Here is a list of some scriptures I’ve compiled that talk about what God has done for us:
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption,the forgiveness of sins. 1 Col. 13-14 NIV.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. 1 Col 21-22 NIV.
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,14 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. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 2 Col. 13-16 NIV
4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7 NIV.
“He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.”[e]
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:22-24 NIV.
Part 4: What God Will Do For You
President John F. Kennedy famously said, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” While this is idealistic and sounds like a good approach in general, when it comes to your Christian life, this is exactly the type of mentality that is commonly accepted yet in direct opposition to the Gospel. The reason is because the focus is on your doing. When that is the emphasis, it’s very easy to get into guilt and condemnation because you are not doing enough or doing the wrong things.
But thank God that He has given us a new place to reason about ourselves in Christ. You no longer have to reason about yourself from your works. Christ came to do away with that. He has given us something new to believe, however when you add your works, you make Christ of no effect (Gal. 5:4).
In Philippians chapter 3 Paul warns them to stay away from people whose God is what they do through their flesh. If you think you can become complete by the work of your own hands, then your works are your god. The only way to frustrate the grace of God is to try to earn it. You don’t need to perform to be right with God. That is a perversion of the gospel of grace, it takes away from His glory and gives it to you. All of our works are as filthy rags (Is. 64:6). It doesn’t say all your bad works, but ALL your works.
Your value and worth are not based on anything that you do, it is in Christ. That’s not to say that we are worthless, it’s just that our value has nothing to do with what we do or don’t do. We shouldn’t say because our works are worthless that we are worthless. We shouldn’t connect our value to our works at all. Works are the worthless thing, not you. So my point is, you don’t need to keep hearing about what you’re doing right or wrong, but about what God has done and will do for you.
Isn’t It Selfish to Think About What God Can Do For You?
Some may say this is a selfish perspective, to only think about what God can do for you, but we all need to be persuaded of this and/or reminded from time to time or else our minds will always be on our needs. We will never be able to rest and enjoy life. It’s like if somebody is pinching your arm. You won’t be able to think about anything else until the pain ceases. It’s not selfish or immature no matter what stage of your walk with Christ you’re in. It just means you need to be reminded of what God has said and done in Jesus.
They say the best thing for kids is when they get on a regular schedule. This way they know when they will be fed, go to sleep, etc. and their minds can go to rest that their parents are providing for them. Similarly, when we know what God has said and done in Jesus, our minds can go to rest and get off of our own needs. But you can’t give what you don’t first receive. We need to receive His compassion for us but also receive it to a point that it can manifest in us towards others Your life is made available to co-experience His life of compassion for others as a result of the wonderful union between us that He has provided in Jesus.
As Jesus said in Matthew 23:26: “First wash the inside of the cup, and then the outside will become clean too.”
See right beliefs lead to right actions. The problem is many Christians seem to believe the Gospel is something you only hear to get saved but then the rest of your Christian life is about behavior modification. So again, the Gospel of what God has done and will do for you is what you need to hear and keep on hearing.
What God Will Do for You
When it comes to what God will do for you, Psalm 37:4 comes to mind which says, “delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I think many people, myself included tend to focus on the last part of this verse which talks about God giving us the desires of our heart, but the first part about delighting yourself in the Lord is critical. You have to understand that God is not saying He will give you the desires of your heart as you spend your time delighting in the things of the world. For example, if you like BMW cars and choose to continuously let your thoughts be filled with BMW’s, that is not delighting yourself in the Lord. God is not saying he will give you the desires brought forth from BMW, He is saying He will give you the desires brought forth from Him.
The other thing I wanted to touch on that I previously hinted at when union with God was mentioned is that apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). It would be like trying to have a child with only one person. You need two to have a child. When you do have that union with God, He brings forth the fruit of the spirit in you which is listed in Gal. 5:22:
So this is not a list for us to go try to do in our own ability. This is what we can expect God to produce in our lives as we simply abide in Him.
Here is a list of some other scriptures which talk about what God will do for you:
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. 3:5-6 NIV
- The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Psalm 34:10 NIV
- those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind. 40:31 MSG
- If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5 NIV
- The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 NIV
- “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
And while we’re at it, here’s a few about what God will not do:
- Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you. Hebrews 13:5 NIV
- so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. Hebrews 6:18 NIV
- For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. Hebrews 8:12 KJV
- Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:3-4 MSG (He will not change His mind about us)
So What Are We To Do?
If you’ve made it this far in the book, then you probably know by now that I’m pretty strict about staying away from telling people to do things. I much prefer an approach that reconciles people to God and points them to Him for direction. However, after reading a post like this, you may be thinking to yourself, what am I to do then? In general, I would say nothing. Just cast your cares on Him and trust that He will take care of it. There a few things you can do that the Bible talks about to ensure that you stay in this place of rest:
Sit at His Feet (Luke 10:38-42) – Jesus said this is the one thing needful in the Mary & Martha story. This is what we can do to allow God to persuade us and wash us clean with His Word and it’s not a one-time thing. This is something we should continually be doing.
Guard Your Heart (Prov. 4:23) – Do not allow your belief system to be corrupted by the lies of the enemy. Fill yourself up with messages and teachings that are pure grace. Check out my resources page if you are looking for good places.
Labor To Rest (Hebrews 4:11 KJV) – The key to understanding this scripture is to see that you are operating from a place of rest. There are many things in this world that will tug at you to try to get you out of resting in God and into self-preservation mode. The disciples flat out asked Jesus what is the work that He would have them do in John 6 and he answered that they believe. That is the work for us…to continue to believe in Him as our Savior in every area of life and not try to do it in our own strength, ability and wisdom. This is also the “work” James was talking about when he said faith without works is dead. He was simply saying faith, without continuing in faith is dead.
And just so there is no confusion, I’m not against working hard or doing things with excellence. I’m just saying that it’s very easy for us to fall into the trap of trusting in our own hard work. There is nothing wrong with wanting to do good things and be successful, but let those desires come forth from your relationship with God, not trying to impress others and keep up with the Jones’, etc.
I started this series discussing how the two Presidential candidates have not inspired much confidence from the American people with a goal of reminding you about how God is someone you can trust. I hope these blogs have convinced you that there is only one guy who can give you life regardless of who is elected. It’s certainly alright to have an opinion but if you feel fear and anxiety about who the President will be then it’s an indication that you have gotten your eyes off of Jesus as the source of your life. Here’s a few more scriptures to encourage you.
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1 ESV
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. John 14:1 NIV