Also view us on FACEBOOK:

View us on FACEBOOK: http://on.fb.me/1Ps6aEG

Sunday, 18 June 2017

'GOD IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS'

Rev. Brent Russett
By Rev. Brent Russett
Pastor of Sunnyside Wesleyan Church in Ottawa:
http://www.sunnysidechurchottawa.com/   

_______________________________________________________
PODCAST LINK to CFRA broadcast - Sunday, June 18th, 2017:
____________________________________________
Broadcast Notes:
******************************

God Is Who He Says He Is

Good morning and Welcome to good news in the morning. I am so glad that you have tuned into the program today. My name is Brent Russett. I am the Senior Pastor at Sunnyside Wesleyan Church here in Ottawa. I have been pastoring there for 27 years. One of the things I love to do is show how God’s word that was written a long time ago, connects with our world right now.


            I want to thank Clifford and Alice Miller for sponsoring today’s program. Thank you for helping us share God’s word with people. May you know God’s blessing.


            I know that some of you who are listening have been followers of Jesus for a long time, and I know that others of you think of yourself as spiritual, but you are not really sure of this Christian thing, and I know others of you just curious about how people of faith think. I trust that wherever you are on yours spiritual journey, that you will find this program interesting and informative, and I believe that for those of you desire it, God can use a program like this to take you another step closer to Him.
******
            This morning I want you to know one big truth. God is who he says he is.

            Before I get to how this affects how we live, let me just say it is important that you understand this, to live well in our culture. Now I realize, that when we say “God is who he says he is.” We have to answer the question of about the where do we find the words of God? Where does he tell us who he is?

            We as Christians trust the scriptures, the bible. We believe that God by the Power of his Holy Spirit, inspired people to write down what he wanted to communicate about himself. The bible is full of history and poetry, and letters to churches, and instructions to individuals – but in the middle of all that God shows who he is.

            I know some of you have some real questions about whether or not the bible is reliable. I have been there. I have come to the conclusion that it is. If you are interested in investigating that more I would refer you to a website called Dig and Delve. It has video’s of a conference that was held last year about the reliability of the Bible.  -  Go to their website:   Diganddelve.ca I think it will help you with some of your questions about the reliability of the Bible.

            This morning we are looking at God is who he says he is.  It is important that you know where to find what God has said about himself. You find it in the Bible.
*****
            I want to start off by talking about some of the mistakes we make when we are thinking about who God is.

One of the great theological discussions of 2016 was “Is the Muslim God and Christian God, the same God?” If you trying to figure it out philosophically, then you may come up with one answer. If you look at what God says about himself in Scripture you will come up with another answers.

            Philosophically, we can says, both God were seen in the Old Testament.. The Muslims have one invisible, all powerful, all seeing God. The Christians have one invisible, all powerful, all seeing God. Therefore they must be the same God.

            But that is kind of like taking a sparse wooden kitchen chair, and a plump cushioned living room chair, and saying they are the same thing – they are both chairs – but are they the same? Well yes and no.

            Our scriptures says, In the beginning was the word and word was with God and the word was God.  Jesus was and is God.

Hebrews 1:3 (NLT)
 The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command…

            If you told a Muslim that God had a son – well Mohamad spoke about that and used stronger words than heresy. We as Christians believe in the triune God, Father Son and Holy Spirit. We get there because we believe that God has revealed himself through his only begotten son, Jesus Christ and we believe that the New Testament is an expression of God’s revelations to us.

            Is the Muslim God and the Christian God the same God. Philosophically you get one answers. But if you believe that God was revealing himself in the person of Jesus Christ, and through the bible, then you come up with another answer.

            I want you to know that God is who he says he is, not who philosophy says he is. God is who is says he is in his word, the Bible.
*****  

            Another common mistake that is made in our culture when it comes to who God is, == is that instead of saying “God is who he says he is” People say “God is who I say he is.” There is a big difference between God is who he says he is – and God is who I say he is.  

            What often happens in our culture is that we end up taking pieces of spirituality from here, and a little from there, and then we figure out what our values are, and then we promote them and attribute them to God.

            So, in our culture God is loving and tolerant, and non judgemental. God might judge the terrorist and the drug dealers because of the destruction they bring, but God would never judge me, because I am doing what is right in my own eyes.

            The god of my own making is someone who is always there to help, but never demands anything from us. He is always at my disposal even though I pay him little attention. That is often then God we get when we buy into the idea that “God is who I say He is.”

            Some people think about God in just the opposite way. They see God as someone sitting up in heaven looking to strike us with lightening or hit us over the head with his spiritual baseball bat when we step out of line.

            But I got to tell you, that kind of God is unhelpful. You see --What you believe about God does not change who God is, but it can sure can mess up who you are.

            A.W. Tozer, one of the greatest ministers and devotional writers of the last century said this, “What comes into your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you”.

            You are defined by your perception of God. I say that because your relationship with God will define you. It will cause you to walk in spiritual awareness or spiritual darkness. It will cause you to become responsive to the will and voice of God or to do things your own way. It will cause you to grow into the image of a God who is good and gracious and loving and holy, or it will cause you to be the center of your own life. Your relationship with God will define who you are.

            Your perception of God will either deepen your relationship with God, or it will cause your relationship to remain shallow. You perception of God will push you away from him or draw you to him.

            Yanit Ross says:
“Our faulty views of God can cause us to fear intimacy with Him, and inspire us to labor for Him out of duty or fear rather than out of love. If we see God as a loving Father, we will draw near to Him; if He seems to be a harsh judge, we will withdraw from Him. If we do not believe God cares about us, we will be overly focused on caring for ourselves. If we feel insignificant or ignored by Him, we will weary ourselves seeking significance from people.

Distorted images of God affect how we worship Him. We may question if He is worthy of our worship. Our witness will also be affected; the more we admire and love Him, the more we want others to know Him like we do. We can rise no higher in our spiritual life than our view or concept of God.”
           

            Just as in a family the parents give a child self-worth, value, security and identity, the same is true in the spiritual realm. Our heavenly Father gives us value, worth, security and identity, as his children if we really know who he is. If our image of him is distorted, then our self-worth, value, security and identity will be distorted as well.

            It is important that you know that God is who he says he is, and that you get to know what God has to say about himself.

            I want to expand your view of God so I am going to play you a short cIip of Dr Jim Altizer doing his best to describe the indescribable.  Dr. Altizer is a professor of worship at Azusa Pacific University. In this audio clip he describes some of the character of God.


Audio Clip – Jim Altizer – the Attributes of God. 3:15


            Listen  to the poetry of the prophet Isaiah as he attempts to describes the God who is.

Isaiah 40:12–14 (NLT)
The Lord Has No Equal
12 Who else has held the oceans in his hand?
Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers?
Who else knows the weight of the earth
or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?
13 Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord?*
Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him?
14 Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice?
Does he need instruction about what is good?
Did someone teach him what is right
or show him the path of justice?

            Listen as God describes part of who he is.
Isaiah 40:25–31 (NLT)
25 “To whom will you compare me?
Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.
26 Look up into the heavens.
Who created all the stars?
He brings them out like an army, one after another,
calling each by its name.
Because of his great power and incomparable strength,
not a single one is missing.
27 O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
28 Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

            We tend to focus on those last, beautiful, poetic verses
Isaiah 40:31 (NRSV)
31          but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.

            But the promise of God stem from the character of God. It stems from who God is. It stems from who God says he is. The question is always, will you trust that God is who he says he is.

            This is a mark of spiritual maturity. A deep settled faith in the Character of God. Will you trust that God is who he says he is. And sometimes that is not easy.

            Will you trust that God is good, even when life isn’t good. Will you trust in the love of God, even when you are feeling self condemnation. Will you trust in the grace of God even when you feel like you don’t deserve anything. Will you trust in the justice of God even when you are being unjustly treated.

            Will you trust in strength of God when you are feeling weak. Will you trust in the provision of God, when you don’t understand where that provision is going to come from. Will you trust in the wisdom of God even when it goes against your wisdom or our culture’s wisdom, or your friend’s wisdom.

            Will you trust in the goodness of God even when your prayers are not answered. Will you trust in the love of God even when life doesn’t turn out the way you want.

            These things are not always easy to do, but they are the marks of a spiritually mature person. They are the marks of one who has learned that God is who he says he is, even when life disappoints.

            Here is what these kind of people have discovered. They can’t see life from God’s eternal perspective. They can’t know what God knows about the future. They can’t understand all that God knows, but they have come to trust the character of God. They have come to trust God when he says he is good – because they have seen enough to know that it is true, even when life is unfair. They have experienced the kindness and faithfulness of God – and so they can trust God on the worst days of the worst parts of their lives.

            They know that God is who he said he is. They don’t try to make him into something else. They don’t try to distort him. They trust him. And as they do, they find that he gives them a sense of his presence that allows them to handle what life brings their way. They have a sense of personal security, even though all of life seems really insecure. They have come to know that he is who he says he is – and they trust him for it.

            The question is are you willing to take God at his word and believe that God is who he says he is? If you are then the obvious follow up question is how do you embrace the character of God. Before we go there we are going to listen to Steve Green sing about the character of God in the song

Immortal, Invisible. – Steve Green 3:44

            How do you embrace the character of God. 

First,
            You have to know the character of God. To do that you are going to have to go where God talks about himself – the bible.
            When you are reading the Bible, look for what God says about himself. Or look at what his actions reveal about himself. The bible is about God’s revelation of himself.

            Sometimes it is very explicit
Exodus 34:6–7 (NIV)
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

Sometimes it is very subtle. Some of you will know the story that Jesus told of the prodigal son. Think about what tells us about who God is.

As you are reading a story like that,  ask the question, what does this teach me about God. If you are going to trust what God says about himself then you need to know what God says. If you are going to trust in the character of God, then you need to know what God has to say about who he is. Get to know what God has to say about himself. Read the bible –

If you have never read the bible before then I would encourage you to do that. If you don’t have one at home, you can go to Biblegateway.com and read it there.

The bible is made up of 66 books with 40 different authors. So I would encourage you not to start at the beginning like you would with most books,, but start in the book of John. Look it up in the index. It is the story of Jesus – when you are reading the book of John, ask yourself, what does this tell me about who God is.

When you are reading scripture, take note of the names of God. The name of God reveal his character. They are worthy studying.

            So you are reading the bible, and you see what God says about who he is – The question is what do you do with that.  

Respond to God’s revelations of Himself

            I would suggest that there are a few good  responses to seeing who God is The first response is prayer and worship. Thank God for who he is. Prayers like, “Lord you have shown me in your word that you are faithful – thankyou for your faithfulness. Lord thankyou that you are trust worthy. Lord help me to trust in your faithfulness.

Praying back to God his character is also a good thing to do.

God I thank you that you are good. You have revealed yourself to be good. All that you are and all that you made is good. God help me to trust in your goodness, even when life is tough, and the circumstances are not good. Help me to trust in your goodness even when I go through difficult times. Thank you that you are good. Thank you that my current circumstances do not dictate who you are.

Praying back to God his character is something that his both helpful and it can be profound.

The other thing that his helpful to do when you see who God has revealed himself to be is to “God you have shown me who you are, what does that mean for me as I walk in relationship with you?”

 Prayer and or worship, and then asking the question, “God you have shown me who you are, what does that mean for me as I walk in relationship with you.”

            In some ways you were created to reflect God. You were not created to reflect his Omnipotence, but you were created to reflect his love. When you see who God is, you ask yourself, what does this mean for me as I walk in relationship with you?”

            For some of his characteristics it will mean that you look at how to reflect them in your own life. In other ways, like the fact that God is everywhere present, means that the situations that you find yourself in, in this coming week, God is already there.

            God is who he says he is. Trusting the character of God is fundamental for spiritual maturity. It is fundamental for your life and growth and walk as a Christian. Today I want to encourage you to push into God.

Let’s pray;

Lord Jesus, thank you so much for who you are.
God, thank you, for revealing yourself in your Word.
Lord, we know, and have come to see, that you are who you say you are.
Help us, Lord, to sort that out with who I say you are, or what philosophy says you are.
Lord, help us to take your revelation of yourself, in your Word and help us to live it out well, as we trust in your character.
We pray this in Jesus’ name. AMEN.


            I want to thank Clifford and Alice Miller again for sponsoring todays program. Thank you for enabling me to share about who God is.

            My name is Brent Russett and it has been a privilege to spend some time in God’s word with you and bring you some good news in the morning.

By Rev. Brent Russett
Pastor of Sunnyside Wesleyan Church in Ottawa:
_______________________________________________________ 
PODCAST LINK to the CFRA broadcast:

Sunday, 11 June 2017

THE WORD OF GOD IS ALIVE AND ACTIVE

Rev. Brent Russett
By Rev. Brent Russett
Pastor of Sunnyside Wesleyan Church in Ottawa:
http://www.sunnysidechurchottawa.com/   

_______________________________________________________
PODCAST LINK to CFRA broadcast - Sunday, June 11th, 2017:
____________________________________________
Broadcast Notes:
******************************

The Word of God Is Alive and Active


Good morning and Welcome to good news in the morning. I am so glad that you have tuned into the program today. My name is Brent Russett. I am the Senior Pastor at Sunnyside Wesleyan Church here in Ottawa. I have been pastoring there for 27 years. One of the things I love to do is show how God’s word that was written a long time ago, connects with our world right now.

            I want to thank a kind Anonymous donor for sponsoring today’s program. We appreciate people like you who work behind the scenes to help share God’s words. 

            I know that some of you who are listening have been followers of Jesus for a long time, and I know that others of you think of yourself as spiritual, but you are not really sure of this Christian thing, and I know others of you just curious how people of faith think. I trust that wherever you are on yours spiritual journey, that you will find this program interesting and informative, and I believe that for those of you desire it, God can use a program like this to take you another step closer to Him.


            This morning I want to talk to you how the Word of God is Alive and Active. This comes from Hebrews, a book in the bible

Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

            Now when we talk about the word of God, we are talking about the Bible. We use the word of God, Scripture, the Bible as interchangeable terms.

            The word of God is alive and active. By the time we get to the end of this program, I hope you will be able to say, the word of God is alive and active in me.

            I have one over-arching question that I want you to ask yourself today. The question is “What is my relationship to the word of God?” What is my relationship to the word of God?

            The truthful answer to that question will reveal a lot to you about where you are spiritually and where you are headed spiritually. I know that some of you have never read the Bible – and don’t have any relationship with it. Some of you have studied it as a text book. Others of you know it well and love it deeply.

            I want to tell you a little of my story in regards to journeying with the Word of God. The reason I tell you this, is because some of you will see yourself in some of my story. Others of you will hopefully be able to avoid some of the mistakes I made.

            From my earliest remembering – I grew up hearing the bible stories. My mom and dad had a big book that went from Genesis toe Revelation, and told the stories of the bible. Each day, my parents would read one story to my sister and me, - at the end of the story it asked the question “Were you listening.” We went through that book a number of times.

            In my earliest day the bible was a great story book. I think that is a wonderful place to begin. It was certainly good for me as a kid.

            As I grew a little older the bible became about virtue. It told me about what was right and wrong. I came to know the 10 commandments. But more than that,, if you look through the New Testament you see all kinds of commands. Be kind and tenderhearted, forgiving each other Just as Christ has forgiven you.

            The bible became a book of virtue for me. In it we learn what is right and wrong. In it we learn what God thinks is good and what isn’t good..

            There is nothing wrong with that, in fact it is very good. The idea of inherent human rights comes out of a transcendent view of what is valuable and therefore what is good. Virtue is a good thing.

            But I didn’t stay there. I started to use the word of God to prove that what I thought was good was in fact good, and what I through was bad was in fact bad.

            The bible became a fact book by which I could win an argument.

            Maybe this is a phase that we all have to go through in our faith. You can usually tell a spiritual adolescent because they want to go out and fight the cults – they want to stomp out heresy.

            I got to know the bible really well. I could show you where everyone else was wrong and I was right. When I went to Bible College they tested the incoming class. I knew more bible than almost anybody.

            But here is the thing about knowledge – even biblical knowledge  1 Corinthians 8:1 says
Knowledge puffs up while love builds up.

            When being right is more important than loving someone, you know that something has gone wrong in you. If you can’t speak the truth in love, you should really be asking yourself if you should be speaking the truth.

            Along with this I started to take an interest in the question, “Is the bible reliable?” It was a burning question for a while. I knew the arguments against the bible, but were their good arguments for the bible.  I read the popular apologetic books of the time like Josh McDowell’s “Evidence that Demands a verdict.” I investigated the Bible, and I found to my satisfaction that it is indeed reliable.

            There are some personality types that don’t need to go through this phase. They are the type who are quite able to authentically say, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.” But there are others of us who are more skeptical. We need to wrestle with the issues of reliability, and authenticity.

            And while you are wrestling through some of these issues it is a big hairy deal. I remember wrestling through an issue over the bible’s trustworthiness. For the life of me right now, I can’t remember what the issue was. But I remember losing sleep over it.

            I remember wrestling with the issue, and it being resolved. Things like that become a foundation that we build on. We may not even remember all the blocks that put in the foundation, but those things are important to us at the time.

            If you are in that place where you are wondering about the trustworthiness of scriptures, there are all kinds of great resources to address that question. It is a phase that many of us have to go through.

            When I went to seminary – which by the way wasn’t the most friendly place on my spiritual life. The bible became something between a theological and philosophical text book to be understood and argued with, and a book of literature where we were supposed to bring literary critique, and a book in another language where we were to learn to parse the words.

            I am thankful for all those things, and they taught me how to think. It is very helpful to be able to think theologically about life. But in spite of being around the word of God all the time, my spiritual life was dry. You will notice, up until this point in my life, the Word of God was basically about information.

            Oh I believed all the right things about the bible. It is God’s word. It is  inspired by God. It is authoritative in faith in practice.

            I read the word of God faithfully. I knew it. But what I have described so far doesn’t sound a whole lot like

Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

            I was get around the edges of this verse, but I wasn’t living out this verse.

            Well I graduated and became the solo pastor of Bruce Mines Wesleyan Church at 22 years of age. I look back and think, what was I thinking becoming a pastor so young.

            But Bruce Mines had a Sunday morning and Sunday Evening service. I had to preach two sermons a week. Those poor people. They had to put up with sermons that sounded more like a bible commentary.

            It wasn’t long until I could see those kind of sermons weren’t connecting with people. So I started to preach a different kind of sermon. I started to preach the principles of God’s word.

            Here are principles to live by. There are certain ways which God has ordained for us to live, and if you follow these ways our life will be better, if you don’t follow these things your life will be worse.

            God’s word became a handbook for living. I still believe in following the principles laid out in the word of God. God designed life to be lived a certain way, and if you go against that way, life becomes much harder.

            The book of Proverbs is full of principles for living. The problem with principles is that some are inclined to treat them like scientific formulas. If you plug in A + B it will always = C

So the bible says a soft answers turns away wrath. That is a principle. Generally speaking if you give a soft answer it has a way of diffusing anger. That is the principle. But it doesn’t always work. Sometimes you give a soft answer and things still blow up.

            The Bible is full of principles. Principles like Honour your parents and it will go well with you, wisdom is found through many counselors, Give and it will be given to you. People get to thinking; if I do all the right things then life will go right.

            I have found over the years that A + B does not always = C. Just because you do all the right things does not always mean that life will go right. It is still right to do what God says – it will save you from a lot of trouble. But life is not a formula, plug in all the right things and you will predictably get all the right things in life.

            About this time, God in his providence brought some people into my life who were teaching about spiritual warfare. I was also in a place where I was going through some incredibly tough spiritual warfare.

            Satan’s strategy is to make us think that he does not exist, and if that doesn’t work make us think that there is a demon lurking behind every rock.

            The reality is that we are in a spiritual battle and if you are going to win that spiritual battle then you need the power to defeat the enemy. That power is found in the word of God and the cross of Christ.

            God has to become more than a premise to be believed in, or some philosophical construct – if you are going to win the battle.

            Ephesians 6 talks about putting on the armor of God. It talks about taking up the shield of faith so that you can extinguish the fiery arrows of the evil one. The shield of faith is made up of the fact that

God is who he says He is
God will do what he says He will do, and,
I am who God says I am.

            Who God says he is, comes out of the word of God. What God says he will do, comes out of the word of God. And who God says I am comes out of the word of God. If you take God at his word, you have the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish the flaming darts of the evil one.

            When Paul describes the armor of God in Ephesians 6, He talks about the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. In all the armor of God it is the only offensive weapon. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, He used scripture to parry the temptations of the evil one.

            As an aside, when Satan was tempting Jesus, once he used scripture – does it not say that if you throw yourself off this high rock that the angels will catch you. Satan can use and distort scripture. But Jesus answered the devil with scripture.

            In spiritual warfare Satan’s power comes through the power of the lie. If you put faith in his lies, it gives him power in your life. He is the great accuser of the children of God. Your only hope, is to combat his lies with God’s truth.

            He will attack your identity. You are not a child of God, you are not righteous, you are not forgiven. God can’t really love you. God just tolerates you. Those all lies – and the way to combat them is by the truth of what God has said. That is why the word of God is so important.

            You will notice though, that is not so much an intellectual processes, although, of course our mind is involved, as it is a war that takes place in our hearts.

            It was in spiritual warfare, that the word of God for me, started to move into the spiritual realm.

            It wasn’t that long after that when I was introduced to a couple of people who were using scripture in biblical counselling. Now I know that term can mean almost anything – there are some people who do biblical counselling, and it is neither good counselling, nor good use of the bible.

            But the people I was exposed to had a solid grasp of scripture, and showed how scripture uncovered what was going on in our hearts. They showed how scripture uncovered the patterns of sin in our heart, and how it gave channels for healing.

            Since I learned to see the word of God as speaking primarily to the heart, the idea of Repentance has become a positive thing. It is the channel through which Christ heals. The idea of reading the word of God at a heart level has become more and more of my thing.

            It has influenced my preaching in profound ways. I used to preach in a way that people would know something. I now try to preach in a way that aims at the transformation of our hearts.

            When I am speaking, I try to preach in a way  that aims at your heart without violating your mind. So I tend to stay away from clich├ęs. I am going to trying to speak in a way that is intellectually coherent, but my hope is not to create biblical scholars, although that wouldn’t be a bad thing. My hope is to see us experience and live out, and invite people into an experience of God’s transforming love. My hope is that God, through his word and his spirit would transform us at a heart level.

            Well that was a long story of my relationship with the Word of God. Some of you may have been able to see yourself in parts of my story. Now I am going to take you back to our verse today. But before we do that let’s listen to some Music. It is a great old Hymn of the church

MUSIC – Guide Me Oh thou Great Jehovah 4:42 – For those of you who don’t know Jehovah is one of the Old Testament Names for God.

            Let me take you again to
Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

            It is not exactly the most comfy metaphor is it? Why couldn’t it be the word of God is like a soft puppy? No, it is the word of God is like a sharp two edged sword. That word for sword, is a short sword, or even a dagger. It is very precise.

            What the word of God does is expose us. It actively and accurately exposes us. It exposes the difference between our soul and our spirit and our body.

            I want to camp on that for a few moments. Let me give you some rough definitions. Our soul is made up of our mind our will and our emotions. Our soul is where we think, where we feel and where we decide.

            Our spirit, when we become a Christian, is made alive – in other words it is connected to God. God by His Spirit comes into our Spirit. 

            Here is what Romans says


Romans 8:14–16 (NIV)
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

            There is a lot in those verses, but let me some up by saying that part of what happens in our Spirit is that we are led by God and we are loved by God, and show that love in return.

            When I say we are led by God, there is something deep down inside us that says, this is the right way to go, or this is the wrong way to go. Some of us are better at hearing those checks in our Spirit. Others of us, are better at hearing that we are loved by God . But a couple of the primary roles of your spirit is that you are led by God and loved by God.

            Now back to the Word of God. It is living and active, dividing between the soul and the Spirit.

            There are times when our mind and our emotions will tell us one thing, but we sense something deep down inside of us telling us another thing. The word of God is sharp enough to expose those things. It discerns those things.

            The word of God exposes the difference between our mind will and our emotions and how we are led and loved by God.

2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NIV)
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God  may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

            Remember we started off this sermon asking, what is your relationship to the word of God. I told you about my evolving relationship. It went from being a story book, to a book of virtue, to a book to prove I was right, to a theological text book to a book of principles on how to live life, to a spiritual powerful book in spiritual warfare, to a book that exposed my heart.

            In some of those phases my relationship to scripture was I was in authority over it. I judged if it was reliable or not. But I have come to a place where I am not its judge, it is my judge. It exposes who I am.

            It becomes a mirror. If I think I see clearer than a mirror, I only deceive myself. The bible tells me the truth about God and the truth about myself. It tells you the truth about yourself.

            The word of God is alive and active. Will you let it be alive and active in you, or will you deflect what it has to show you about yourself.

            If you want to read the word of God so that it alive and active in you. Then let me suggest this.

            When you read a passage of scripture, ask, what does this passage of Scripture tell me about God. What does this passage of Scripture tell me about me. What thought or attitudes of the heart does it expose?

            Take note of what it affirms or confirms. If you see something that you need to confess and repent of, do so.

            My question to you, is will you allow the word of God to be living and active in you?

            For that to happen you need to first of all be reading scripture. If you are not familiar with the bible, It is made up of 66 books, with 40 different authors. It is divided into two sections the Old Testament and the New Testament. If you are not familiar with scripture, then I would recommend that you not start at the beginning like you would with most books. I would recommend that you go to the index and find the book of John. It is the 4th book in the New Testament. Read the book of John. It will tell you the story of Jesus. That is a great place to start.

            As you read it, see what it is saying about God and about you.

            For those of you who are familiar with the Scriptures, you have probably discovered that if you pray that you will continue to see new things about God and about yourself.

            I want to urge you today to you allow the word of God to be alive and active in you.

Let’s Pray;

Lord, Jesus, thank you for your word.  Thank you for teaching us through it and showing us who we are.
Lord, I ask that as we come into relationship with you that we would treat your word well and properly.
Lord, I ask that you would allow it to be a mirror to our lives. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.

            Thanks again to our anonymous donor who made this morning’s program possible.

            My name is Brent Russett and it has been a privilege to spend some time in God’s word with you and bring you some good news in the morning.



By Rev. Brent Russett
Pastor of Sunnyside Wesleyan Church in Ottawa:
_______________________________________________________ 
PODCAST LINK to the CFRA broadcast: