The Pursuit of God – Chapter 7a

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Wednesday 04/27/16 

Series: The Pursuit of God

Message –  Chapter 7 – The Gaze of the Soul I

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Click here for the Video

{The audio is divided into two sections. The 1st is where we read through part of the chapter and divide into groups for discussion. The 2nd is when we come back together as and share from our groups.}

 

For Discussion

  1. As Tozer said, “High up on the list of the things which the Bible teaches will be the doctrine of faith”.

While we know that faith is not the ONLY thing that pleases God, we know for certain what without faith it is impossible TO please Him.

The scriptures tell us,

“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” ~ Rev. 4:11

The word “will” is not quite accurate; it actually means that the creation is the result of His will. Meaning all that exists is an expression of His pleasure and for Him it creates joy.

So, naturally, if the creation exists for His pleasure and joy, then it is to be expected that if trust in God pleases Him, then it is going to be a primary doctrine in the scriptures.

Faith towards God is talked about and illustrated all the way through the Bible. This is true even when we do not actually see it mentioned specifically. Tozer mentions this when he said, “Outside of a brief definition offered in Hebrews 11, I know of no other biblical definition of faith and even there it is described functionally, not philosophically. The Bible assumes the presence of faith and shows what it results in, rather than what it is.” (paraphrased)

Here are two examples…

In Gen. 4:3-4, we see that Abel offered an offering to God which He looked on with approval – in other words it pleased God. THIS is an example of Faith.

In Gen. 5:21-24, we see that following the birth of Enoch’s first son he walked with God for 300 years, afterwards God simply took him home to be with Him. THIS is an example of faith.

If you read these passages, the word faith does not even appear….neither does trust or even confidence in God, but their actions coupled together with God’s response reveal its presence. There was FAITH.

To drive this point home, read Hebrew 11: 1-6.

Now, discuss faith…

•   Using terms other than the familiar ones you have been taught – describe what Faith is.

•   How would one recognize faith when they see it?

•   Why is faith such a foundational doctrine in the scriptures?

•   Why is it that faith pleases God?

•   Why is faith the means of obtaining a good testimony (witness)?

•   What is this testimony, a testimony (witness) to? (…”by faith they obtained a good testimony”)

 

  1. We know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. In this church we have come to know this on relational grounds. It is not enough to look in the scriptures, the scriptures are to bring us to God from Whom we hear words which result in trust.

Tozer uses a terrific example of faith which both further defines it and illustrates it relationally. He offers the example of Israel looking at the bronze serpent on the pole (similar to our pharmaceutical sign) and how Jesus used this as an example of belief. Jesus draws a direct line connecting “looking” with “believing”.

That belief can come from seeing is clear do to Thomas’ faith resulting from his seeking Jesus alive. However, there are other eyes we can see with, from which faith with a blessing comes. It is with these eyes that Jesus tells us to “look” and “believe”.

Read the following passages and then discuss what it means that “looking” and “believing” are equated as one and the same by the Lord.

•   Psalm 34:5

•   Psalm 123:1-2

•   Matt. 14:19

•   John 5:19-21

  1. Tozer ends this section with this statement, “… ‘looking unto Jesus the Author and Developer of our faith.’ From all this we learn that faith is not a once-done act, but a continuous gaze of the heart at the Triune God.”

What does this mean?

Offer examples. (ONLY If you get stumped here read – Col. 1:21-23)

Blessings! 

 

This is where we ended our discussions on chapter 6 , The Speaking Voice of A.W. Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God. We will most likely be teaching a lesson By Request next Wednesday…Blessings! 

I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. If you do not know Him, please use our ‘Contact Us‘ page and reach out so we may have the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Attendance at our church will NOT even be mentioned nor will money.

If you have been spiritually fed by this ministry and wish to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but all outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.

 

Blessings!

 

Hi I am Pastor Mark...

I have been a pastor for nearly 30 years now (2018), though never quite like I am today. (more on that in a moment)

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As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my best friend, greatest personal support and most valued aid.
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As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught. I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled). Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then,

"If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling."

~ Fredrick Buechner

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By 2009 I’d been Pastoring for nearly 20 years. Earlier in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our church was not in keeping with the New Testament. This was a shock to me and it is was a revelation that did not come all at once but over the course of a few weeks.

We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until about 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We believe the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly and though we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me. I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!