For 7 weeks, we're partnering with over 100 other churches in metro Richmond for the Explore God series. This series is especially designed for people that have spiritual questions and are exploring what they believe. For more information on the full series, as well as other Explore God opportunities we have going on, visit our Explore God page, or visit the ExploreGod.com.
We’ve asked a lot of hard questions in this series, and we’ve learned a lot about God. But at the very end we come to the most important question of all: can a person actually know God personally? This gets to the very heart of Christianity.
People have a lot of different ideas about what Christianity is all about -- a philosophy, a worldview, a way of life. But at its core, Christianity is about a relationship with a God of love. The entire Bible is a story of how God who once walked in intimate relationship with his people is now seeking to win that relationship back.
This week we’ll look at the priority of knowing God: the way that personal knowledge of God is at the very heart of being human. Second, we will look at the pathway to knowing God, answering the question, "how does a person actually come into this personal knowledge of God?" And finally, we’ll look at the practice of knowing God: what it means for someone to nurture a relationship with God through practices such as prayer.
1The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
4Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.You anoint my head with oil; my cup over flows.
6Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever
John 10:1-5; 14-15
1 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him,
and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep
follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.
3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.