GOD HAS A NAME
To fire God is not to kick the one true God out of your life; it’s to eliminate the false image of God we all have in our heads. You know the one we mean. Maybe it’s God as a traffic cop, aiming the radar gun at everything you do. Or maybe it’s God as a standoffish stranger, satisfied to leave you alone as long as you just don’t bother Him. How we perceive God determines how we perceive ourselves and how we live our lives. How can we know God’s true character?
Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. Did you ever try to draw or paint God as a child? What did He look like? How has that vision changed over the years?
2. If you really think about it, do you perceive God as being like a parent, teacher, coach, or other authority figure from your past? Does that make God good or bad in your mind? How does that affect your relationship with Him?
3. What makes you angry at or frustrates you about God? Are your emotions based on the God of the Bible or on your false perceptions? How do you know the difference?
4. Read Exodus 3:13-15. Have God’s words to Moses, “I am that I am,” confused you in the past? Did this week’s message help clarify them for you? In one description, we heard the phrase explained as an existence different from all other existence. “I am, and there is none other beside me” (Isaiah 45:6). That means there is nothing and no one we can truly compare God to. How then can we determine the true nature of God?
5. Another name for God is Yahweh, which comes from the verb “to exist; to be.” Yahweh is used in many compound names/descriptors of God in the Bible. Translated, they mean, “The Lord will provide,” “The Lord is my Banner,” “The Lord is Peace,” “The Lord of Hosts,” “The Lord your Sanctifier,” “The Lord my Shepherd,” “The Lord our Righteousness,” “The Lord is there,” “The Lord, the God of Israel.” All of these are descriptors of God. Which of these descriptions speaks most to you? Can you think of a time in your life that you’ve seen God’s character be like one of these descriptors?
6. The Bible tells us that God is Love, so read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, and substitute the word “God” for “love,” so that it reads “God is patient and kind. God is not jealous or boastful… Does that define your God? If not, your God’s not the real thing. This week, write the Scripture down and post it somewhere you’ll see it every day, maybe on the fridge or on your bathroom mirror. Read it until it’s imprinted on your mind and heart. Then choose some people in your life to share how these reminders of God’s true character affected your week.
Exodus 3:13-15 – Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.
As you begin to dig deeper into all it means to find your hope in God’s promises, perhaps you are also looking for ways to share that hope with others. Serving at Gateway is a great way to do just that! As you look to dig deeper into the topics of this week’s message, consider exploring the meaning of the many names of God. Check out this great article by GotQuestions.org called “What are the different Names of God, and What Do They Mean?”
Here’s an excerpt:
ELOHIM [el-oh-heem]: God “Creator, Mighty and Strong” (Genesis 17:7; Jeremiah 31:33) – the plural form of Eloah, which accommodates the doctrine of the Trinity. From the Bible’s first sentence, the superlative nature of God’s power is evident as God (Elohim) speaks the world into existence (Genesis 1:1).
EL SHADDAI [el-shah-dahy]: “God Almighty,” “The Mighty One of Jacob” (Genesis 49:24; Psalm 132:2,5) – speaks to God’s ultimate power over all.
ADONAI [ˌædɒˈnaɪ; ah-daw-nahy]: “Lord” (Genesis 15:2; Judges 6:15) – used in place of YHWH, which was thought by the Jews to be too sacred to be uttered by sinful men…
To read the article in its entirety, go to gotquestions.org/names-of-God.html
SPIRITUAL OUTCOME — gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/study-god