Date: 
Sunday, February 19, 2012 - 10:45am
Service: 
Sermon Series: 
Author: 
Bible Reference: 
Ephesians 3:14-21; Genesis 16:13

THE GOD WHO SEES AFTER YOU

EPHESIANS 3:14-19

Opening Remarks

 

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,

15  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,

16  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

17  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith---that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

18  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

19  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

 

        Within the human spirit there is a deep seated need to be loved.  Every person you know has a genuine emotional need to be cared for.  On the inside of each of us is this voice crying out to be loved intensely and unconditionally. 

        We have many needs, but to be loved hits at the very basis of our human nature.  Your greatest need is not more money, or more success, more education or more recognition.  Your greatest need is not to simply have a roof over your head and food on your table.  Your greatest need is not the accumulation of stuff.  Your greatest need is to be loved in a sincere, genuine and unconditional way. 

        Now we must ask ourselves, “Where do we find this love?”  TV tells us we find it in a local bar where everyone knows our name.  Society tells our teenagers they will find the love they need by fitting into a certain peer group at school.  Many adults, who have grown cynical, will tell you this kind of love doesn’t exist.  It is a fairy tale. 

        But the Bible tells us this type of love does exist and is found in an intimate and personal relationship with God.  Now I am convinced that most people will not argue with the statement that God is love.  And most people you meet will agree that God’s love is big, and that God’s love is free.  The problem is, for most people, God’s love has never become personal, intimate and experiential.  It is not concrete or tangible.  They know about God’s love, but they have never experienced God’s love.  For way too many people, God’s love is a theory and not a fact. 

        The bible says that before we were even born, God loved us.  Before we were an apple in our parent’s eye, we were an apple in His.  Now that is nice to know, but what does it really do for us?  How does that make a practical difference in our daily existence? 

        My spiritual journey began in 1981 when, as a senior in high school, I was confronted with my broken humanity and convicted of my sin.  In response, I repented and surrendered my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  Early on my relationship with Christ made a huge impact on my life and brought many changes, but it was 12 years before I truly experienced in a tangible way the love that God had for me.  I always believed God loved me.  The Bible says that God is love.  It is His nature to love us.  He really can’t help but love us.  But where I cognitively knew God loved me, I had never experienced it in a perceptible way. 

        I went to college and studied for the ministry and learned about God’s love.  I went to seminary and learned from godly teachers about God’s love.  I taught about God’s love.  I preached about God’s love. 

        But honestly, it was all theory.  Where I truly experienced God’s love in a tangible way, was at the birth of my two boys.    

        When Jordan was born and later Jarrett, the experience was what I imagine it would be like to get hit by a truck.  In each situation, as soon as the boys were born, the nurse would wrap them in a blanket and hand them to me.  When I held each of them for the first time, I experienced genuine, unconditional love like I have never known before.

        As I stood there overwhelmed by the strongest of emotions, it was like God reached into my soul and grabbed me and said, “Greg, the love that you are feeling right now, the intense emotions you are experiencing right now, multiply that by infinity and that is how much I love you.” 

        I can’t explain it, but in those moments I experienced God’s love.  I experienced what it meant for God to be my heavenly Father.  Everything I had studied, everything I had been taught, I finally experienced and understood in real and tangible ways. 

        I know God loves me, not only because someone has told me, but because I have experienced it. 

 

        There is an Old Testament event where we see a biblical character realize that God loves her.  It is found in Genesis 16 where Hagar, fleeing from Sarah’s wrath and Abraham’s ambivalence, finds God. 

 

Genesis 16:13   So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, "You are a God of seeing," for she said, "Truly here I have seen Him who looks after me."

 

        The name for God we find in this passage is Jehovah Roi.  Literally it means, “I am the God who sees”.  By implication, it means, “I am the God who loves you enough to see after you.”  Some translators say it means, “I am the God who shepherds you”.  It means He loves us enough to tend to us, to watch over us.  He sees you this morning.  He knows what you are going through.  He loves you and He cares. 

        Some this morning are going through difficult times and have begun to doubt if God really loves them.  Others are dealing with moral failure and wondering if a holy God could still love them after what they have done.  Still others are not really sure if God’s love really matters.  After all, what does it matter that God loves you if you are out of a job, or battling through cancer, or have wayward children or something along those lines. 

        Let me give you three truths this morning that can change your life. 

 

1.  GOD KNOWS YOU AND STILL LOVES YOU

        First, I want you to know that God knows everything about you and still loves you.  When we get our arms around God’s love and we know that it’s personal and it has our name on it, and we fully understand that He knows me and still loves me, it will set you free. 

        Please read this verse with me from the Gospel of John:

 

John 10:14 I am the Good Shepherd and I know my sheep,…(NLT)

 

          God knows you.  He knows you exist.  He knows the details of your life.  Your problems are not petty to Him.  He is fully engaged in everything about your existence.  He even knows the number of hairs on your head right now.  Scripture makes it clear, God knows you – the good and the bad, and God still loves you.  And when you understand this through experience, when you understand that God knows you and loves you unconditionally, that you don’t have to measure up, that you don’t have to earn it, that His love is a free gift of grace, it will radically change your life. 

       

        Some would question, “How can God love me?  I am far from perfect.  I don’t measure up.  There are too many things wrong with me.”         What we are doing when we make statements like that is placing finite attributes on an infinite God.   

        God’s love is perfectly unconditional.  You and I have trouble loving unconditionally.  Our love is based on human emotions and attractions.  Our love is based on what the other person does for us or gives to us.  But God’s love is based on His character.  God knows everything about you and He still loves you with all His heart because that is His character.  That is what He does.  God sees you and God loves you and because God loves you, He will see after you.    

 

2.  GOD PROTECTS YOU

        Not only does God know you and still love you, but God loves you and He protects you.  He sees you.  He sees what you are going through.  He sees what you are up against.  He sees what life is throwing at you.  And He is here to help. 

        He is the God who sees after you. He is the God who loves you protects you like a shepherd protects his sheep.  The Bible teaches that God is in control.  The God who sees you and loves you is in control. 

        Now I don’t want to diminish what you are going through.  Some of you have your backs against the wall.  I understand that.  Some of you feel like your life is in deep trouble, you are sinking fast, you have no way out, and you don’t know what the answer is. 

        But just like Hagar in the wilderness, God sees you and God will see after you.  He will protect you.  He has the answers to the situations you face.  He hasn’t turned His back.  He hasn’t walked away.  He is here and He sees your need.    

        We simply have to recognize His presence and His help. 

        One day a man was stranded in his home by a flood.  The reports said that the water would submerge all the homes and that if people didn’t get out they were in real danger.  The man begins to pray.  “Lord, I am a God fearing man.  I pray.  I attend church.  I serve you best I can.  You are going to have to rescue me or I am a ‘gonner’”

        A john boat came by and the man in the boat shouted out, “Jump in and I can take you to safety”.  The stranded man replied, “I am a God fearing man and I have prayed.  God is going to rescue me.”

        The water continued to rise and a little while later, a bass boat came by.  The boat driver yelled, “Get in and I will take you to safety”.  The stranded man replied, “I am a God fearing man and I have prayed.  God is going to rescue me.”

        The water continued to rise and the man ended up on his roof.  A helicopter came over.  The pilot called out on the bullhorn, catch the rope and I will pull you up.  The stranded man replied, “I am a God fearing man and I have prayed.  God is going to rescue me.”

        Unfortunately, the man drowned.  When he got to heaven he said to the Lord, “ Lord, “I am a God fearing man and I prayed.  Why didn’t you rescue me?”

        And Jesus said to him, “I sent you a john boat, a bass boat and a rescue helicopter.  What more did you want?” 

       

Let me remind you of a verse and challenge you to take it to heart.

Romans 8:38-39  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,

39  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

        What you are going through, what you are up against, what you are facing in no way indicates that God has stopped loving you.  He is the God who is here.  He is the God who sees after you.  And He will protect you. 

 

3.  GOD GUIDES YOU

        And finally this morning I want you to know He guides you.  This week, many of you are facing important decisions and God sees what you are up against and He is ready to guide you through the process.  God wants to fully engage in your life and guide you every step of the way.  You are important enough to Him to warrant His time and His energy. 

        God has a plan for you.  He has a plan for your life.  His plan is not to harm you.  His plan is to prosper you – spiritually, relationally, and emotionally.  His plan is to give you a future, a productive and fulfilling future.  His plan is to transform you into the image of Jesus so that you live an eternally significant life that impacts others and makes a difference in His Kingdom.  God wants you to be fruitful for His kingdom.  He has vested interest in you.  He designed you.  He created you.  He redeemed you.  And He wants to guide you. 

       

Psalms 139:1-10        

O LORD, you have searched me and known me!

2     You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.

3     You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.

4     Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.

5     You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.

6     Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.

7     Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?

8     If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

9     If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

10  even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

 

          Your life is not a random accident.  He is a God who sees.  He loves you.  He protects you.  He cares for you.  He will guide you.  He is the God who sees after you. 

 

 

 

THE GOD WHO SEES AFTER YOU

EPHESIANS 3:14-19

 

 

Love is found in an intimate and personal relationship with God

 

Genesis 16:13  

 

Jehovah Roi

 

 

1.  GOD KNOWS YOU AND STILL LOVES YOU

 

 

John 10:14

 

 

 

2.  GOD PROTECTS YOU

 

 

Romans 8:38-39 

 

 

 

 

3.  GOD GUIDES YOU

 

 

 

Psalms 139:1-10

 

 

Your life is not a random accident.  He is a God who sees after you.