Common Sense Success
Guide Posts

GP 5: Knowing God

Knowing About God and Knowing God are Different

In John 17:3[1] it says, “Now this is eternal life: that they ____________ you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

Do you know God? Most of us are unaware of the difference between knowing information about God and actually “knowing” God. On the website My God Encounter people tell how they went from knowing information about God to intimately knowing God. Here is Jackie’s story, the girl who went from “sexin, druggin, and clubbin” to an intimate life with God. Here is Alton’s story.

It isn’t enough to know about God. It isn’t even enough to believe in God and to believe the Bible is true. In James 2:19 it says, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”

Knowing God involves the same actions as knowing an earthly friend. You must spend time together, talk, and listen. When we come to intimately know God the evidence will be our changed lives.

In this interactive blog we will look at: What Do You Know About God? What Does the Bible Teach Us About Knowing God? What Can I Do to Deepen My Relationship with God?

What Do You Know About God?

A reporter asked people in San Diego, What is God Like? What do you think God is like? Describe your mental image of God ___________________________.

Here is what a group of children have to say about what God looks like.YouTube Preview Image

What do the following Scriptures tell us about God?

God is ____________. Luke 6:35[2]
God does not show _____________. Acts 10:34-35[3]
God is a God of _______________. Romans 15:5[4]
God is a God of __________ and ___________. John 1:14[5]
God is ____________ and is a God of ____________. 2 Corinthians 3:17[6]
It is impossible for God to ________________. Hebrews 6:18[7]
God is ______________. 1 John 1:5[8]
God is _______________. 1 John 4:7-8[9]
God was in the ________________. Genesis 1:1[10]
God is the _____________ and the _____________. Revelation 22:13[11]

J.I. Packer, author of the best selling book Knowing God, asked whether it is worth a person’s time and effort to seek to “know God.”

“A fair question!” Packer writes, “As it would be cruel to an Amazonian tribesman to fly him to London, put him down without explanation in Trafalgar Square and leave him, as one who knew nothing of English or England, to fend for himself, so we are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it.

“The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place, and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business, for those who do not know about God. Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfold, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.”[12]

Getting to Know God with Life’s Most Reliable Guide

What does Life’s Most Reliable Guide, the Bible, tell us about God?

God is personal

Genesis 1:27[13] says we are created in God’s own _________________. Think about something you have made in your life. Maybe something you built in school when you were a child. Maybe you made a clay pot or drew a picture for one of your parents. Imagine how proud you were of your creation because it was your personal expression. It was made to resemble your personal values. When the Bible says God created man “in his own image” it is like this and even more personal. The Bible says in 1 Peter 1:12[14] that even the angels in heaven long to know the intimate life we have as humans in Knowing God.

In Psalms 139:13-18,[15] we learn that God looked at me in my mother’s ______________ before I was born. Matthew 10:30[16] says even the ____________ on my head are ________________.

Matthew 6:8[17] says God knows what I _________________ before I ask Him.

In Exodus 33:11[18] it says that God would speak to Moses face to face like a ________________. James 2:23[19] says Abraham was called God’s ________________. In John 15:15[20] Jesus said he does not call his followers servants but instead he calls them _________________.

God reveals himself to us in the person of Jesus

In 1965 the memory of President Kennedy’s murder was a cloud over a nation and a whole world that seemed to be descending into a great darkness. War was erupting around the planet in China, India, Pakistan, and South Africa. Governments were collapsing. The Soviet Union was rising. The United States entered the war in Vietnam. In the U.S. civil rights protests turned deadly. Martin Luther King Jr. emerged. Malcolm X was murdered. The nation divided and mass protests formed. Los Angeles burned in the Watts Riots. News headlines carried stories of grisly serial murders in Australia, England, and the United States. And President Johnson, leader of the free world, was forced to declare War on Poverty at home in the U.S. It seemed the nation was broken.

Then on December 9, 1965 a low budget television Christmas special with even lower expectations aired on CBS and it seemed an entire nation stopped to take notice. In fact half of all U.S. televisions that night were tuned in to this one special: A Charlie Brown Christmas. The show that has become the most viewed Christmas special in history.

Why was a Charles Shultz animated cartoon able to capture the heart of a hurting nation and why has the roughly produced show endured for almost half a century? The message: Jesus.

A Washington Post writer interviewing Producer-director Lee Mendelson wrote this: “Mr. Schulz insisted on one core purpose: “A Charlie Brown Christmas” had to be about something. Namely, the true meaning of Christmas. Mr. Mendelson and Mr. Melendez asked Mr. Schulz whether he was sure he wanted to include biblical text in the special. The cartoonist’s response, Mr. Mendelson recalls: “If we don’t do it, who will?” The corporate sponsor never balked at the idea of including New Testament passages. The result — Linus’ reading from the Book of Luke about the meaning of the season — became “the most magical two minutes in all of TV animation,” Mr. Mendelson says.

God is not just a personal God, but God reveals himself perfectly in the person of Jesus.

YouTube Preview Image

In John 3:16-17[21] it says, “For God so _____________ the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever __________________ in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

In John 14:8-10[22] Jesus tells philip, “Anyone who has seen ________ has seen the ______________.”

Hebrews 1:3[23] says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the _________________ of his being.”

How is God currently revealing himself to you? ___________________

How Can I Deepen My Relationship with God?

People often ask how they can deepen their relationship with God. The answer is simple: Devote time to God. It is the same as deepening a friendship. Here are the ABCs of friendship:[24] What friends do to help each other.

Devotion deepens my relationship with God

The early believers deepened their relationship with God through their devotion expressed in the 4 spiritual actions listed in Acts 2:42:[25] “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ ______________ and to _______________, to the _______________ and to __________________.”

In our modern age we tend to “go to church” and yet fail to “be” the church. Devoting ourselves to an environment where there is trusted teaching is important. We all need mentors and guides. “Fellowship” requires more than occupying a seat at church. Fellowship requires a combining of lives. We fellowship when we share meals together, when we work together, and when we carry each other’s burdens together. Lastly, being devoted to prayer is more than just acknowledging God. Devotion to prayer means just what it sounds like.

Do Something!

List one valuable insight you have gained from each of these sections.

What Do You Know About God? _________________________________

What Does the Bible Teach Us About Knowing God?______________________________________

What Can I Do to Deepen My Relationship with God?___________________________________

My spiritual goal based on this lesson is:_______________________________________

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
  2. “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”
  3. “34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”
  4. “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.”
  5. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
  6. ” Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. “
  7. “God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.”
  8. “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”
  9. “7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
  10. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
  11. ““I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
  12. J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p.17
  13. “So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.”
  14. “It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.”
  15. “13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
    15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
    16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
    17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
    18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.”
  16. “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
  17. “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
  18. “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.”
  19. “And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.”
  20. “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
  21. “16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
  22. “8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.”
  23. “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
  24. A Friend:

    Accepts you as you are
    Believes in “you”
    Calls you just to say “Hi”
    Doesn’t give up on you
    Envisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)
    Forgives your mistakes
    Gives unconditionally
    Helps you
    Just wants to “be” with you
    Keeps you close at heart
    Loves you for who you are
    Makes a difference in your life
    Never judges
    Offers support
    Picks you up
    Quiets your fears
    Raises your spirits
    Says nice things about you
    Tells you the truth when you need to hear it
    Understands you
    Values you
    Walks beside you
    Xplains things you don’t understand
    Yells when you won’t listen
    Zaps you back to reality
    Notice: There is no emphasis on “I” in the definition of a true friend.

  25. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
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