The Work of God (1 John 1:1-4)

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Good morning — Please open your Bibles to 1 John

Back home — at the Red Tree church I get the privilege of pastoring — we are beginning a new series called THE WORK OF GOD. Where we will spend 3 weeks answering the question what is GOD at work doing?

As a pastor most of my time is spent answering three really basic questions… They come in all kinds of crazy circumstances and in crazy ways but when you boil it down I’m spending most of my time answering the questions: Who is GOD, What is He doing, Who am I in light of that?

Here is my encouragement to you this morning… No matter how many answers you get to those questions  — never stop asking them…

People all over the world whether they know it or not – are asking these questions — And the reason why these questions are still popular today is because the answers to these questions are actually make sense of the world we live in — they define for humanity it’s deepest questions, like: why do we exist?, what is our purpose?, how do we spend our time on this planet?…

Ecclesiastes tells us an incredibly depressing story about King Solomon – who set out to try and answers these questions outside of GOD and in the end his conclusion was vanity, vanity all is vanity!

Without GOD nothing has meaning, nothing has purpose. Philosophers have been searching for the answers to these questions since the beginning of time.

Here is my concern for the church – and my main problem with cultural christianity — It seems to promote an attitude — that causes us to stop seeking… I prayed a prayer I’m done — We have pad answers to questions like: why do you exist? “for the glory of GOD”… NOW go live your life…

Listen the answer to the question why do you exist was never intended to stop our seeking of GOD… But rather to fuel it!

The most destructive thing that can happen to a person’s faith — to a person’s life is that they stop seeking GOD.

A.W. Tozer – “How tragic that we in this dark day have had our seeking done for us by our leaders.”

SO today I am hoping to stoke the fire of desire in your hearts for GOD by beginning the conversation with a question: “What is GOD doing?”.

We use language like invitation and participation. I want us with confidence to be able to answer the question What is it that I am being invited into and how do I participate once i’m there?

So What is the work of GOD? I broke it down to three of the most basic aspects of what GOD is doing:

Revelation: God is revealing Himself to His creation
Redemption: God is buying back what was stolen by sin, satan and death
Restoration: God is renewing that which was damaged by sin

I don’t have time to teach through all three this morning but I do want to address the first one.

Revelation: God is revealing Himself to His Creation. He’s making Himself Known… I could literally read hundred’s of passages of scripture to support this claim.

Yet it is becoming one of the least talked about aspects of the work of GOD in the church. Scripture itself is becoming less central to the life of the believer because of this truth.

Many in the western world are abandoning the beauty and sufficiency of the word of life and in the end they are finding themselves less and less satisfied with GOD.

Sin is attempting to be satisfied by anything outside of GOD and His design for us. Which means worship is the state of finding satisfaction in GOD and His design for us.

1 John 1:1-4

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

My son’s favorite phrases is “Daddy do it again!”. He never tires of repetition. It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be a magic trick or drawing a picture or swinging him around. He never tires.

A few weeks ago we went fishing together and he has his own little fishing pole and I get all ready and baited up and we walk over to the side of the lake and I have the pole and wrap his little hands around mine so he could learn how to cast and we cast it into the lake — and no joke not 4 seconds after it hit the water a fish took the bait and hooked himself on our line.

So we reel it in together and there is this little fish on the line and Moses is just going nuts and jumping up and down and just so incredibly happy.

We take the fish of the line and throw it back and my son looks back up at me with his big blue eyes and says “Daddy — do it again!”.

So it’s on — I spend the next hour trying to become super fisherman. I am casting and reeling, I am standing under bushes and on logs trying to find the best spot for Moe and I to catch another fish. And nothing… I can see as time goes on the disappointment growing on my son’s face which put even more pressure… So I abandon my son and I am off to try and go catch a darn fish.

And he comes up to me and says Daddy I don’t like fishing anymore and I say oh son we’ll catch another fish and he looks up to me and says “I just want to be with you”.

In that moment it hit me. Moses’ do it agains were not because he was so amazed by what I accomplished but his “do it agains” were motivated by his desire to spend more time with me.

He got to be with me. If I did it one more time that was more time that we got to be together… the drawings, magic tricks, spinning around none of it was ever about anything else other than being with His daddy.

I was so busy trying to accomplish something for Him that I missed the real gift — which was just to be with him…

Let me begin by saying this: The greatest missed truth about the REVELATION of GOD is that all of it is for the purposes of a Restored Relationship with GOD.

Let me say it this way — GOD has AND is revealing himself to you so that you would have a genuine RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.

GOD made you and He knows you and His desire is that you would know him… That you would know His glory and that He alone would be your satisfaction.

listen: Not because He’s lacking — but because He’s loving…


1 John

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us…

The apostles John and Paul were both big on the idea that what was hidden has now come to light. What was veiled by sin and human desire has now been brought to light by Jesus through His life, death, and resurrection.

John the Baptizer went around, before Jesus’ public ministry quoting the prophet Isaiah… “The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the shadow of death a great light has dawned.”

Something has changed…

I hope we hear the zeal and excitement in this text — For John — in the 1st century they had only heard about GOD. There was 400 years of silence – no miracles, no burning bushes, no parted seas, no prophets — Just stories.

They heard about it but now through Jesus they SEE. God has become manifest — The word of life has come to be seen (known) and become a tangible reality for them.

GOD is at work making himself known. But why?

3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. {Relationship: The invitation is to participate in fellowship, deep relationship with the Father and with His son in the power of the Holy Spirit}

Time/Out – the God of all creation — wants to be in fellowship with you and on top of that has made a way for us to be in fellowship with him.

This truth is the most humbling truth… the God I reject on a daily basis by my indifference or selfishness or self righteousness — Is constantly at work wooing me to himself. Through revelation (Creation, Word, Jesus)


So all of the work of Revelation that GOD is doing is so that we would be humbled unto repentance and return to the FATHER….

NOW here is what Blows my mind… Not only is GOD revealing himself to us — He is pursuing us!

John 6:44 says that “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him…”

GOD is at work drawing you to Him so that you can know Him.

But let me show you how relentless His pursuit of you is…

The imagery used here is awe inspiring…

Turn with me to the book of HEBREWS 12:24-29…

GOD is relentless in His pursuit of us… His creation, His beloved children…

What this is saying is that GOD is willing to shake the heavens and the earth in such a way that anything that is not of him would fall away… So that the only thing that remains in our lives is Him and His glorious purposes and design. His UnShakable Kingdom

verses 28 and 29 display more of the heart of GOD and our only right response to that…

“let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,
let us offer to God acceptable worship with reverence and awe.”
for our GOD is a consuming fire…

When life seems to be shaken up this verse should come to mind because we know that the one thing that cannot be shaken is the kingdom of GOD that we have been promised through Jesus Christ. Our response: THANK YOU!

Our God is a Jealous GOD and is a consuming fire… Because He loves His creation— Because He desires good and glory in His creation — He leaves us with the only thing that can truly satisfy and truly capture our hearts and that is himself…

4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

His willingness to whatever is necessary to keep His unshakable kingdom our firm foundation is because of His Unshakable LOVE for us…


Now I want to get practical. What does that mean for us?

Simply put the Doctrine of Revelation means: We are invited to know HIM

And in order to know someone you must pursue them.

Here is a really basic truth for you… You will never lay a hold of that which you do not pursue.

This is why Jesus said in Matthew 16:24 “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

God is pursuing you and GOD has initiated the relationship AND God has given us everything we need in Jesus — HE has done everything necessary BUT we have to lay hold of that work… it’s called FAITH.

One of the things that crept into Christianity is the idea of convenient grace and easy salvation

Where one can be “saved” purely as an academic endeavor but never truly have a love and desire for GOD. ONE can walk an aisle, pray a prayer, and even get dunked in water but in the end have no real desire for GOD.

This is one of the affects of the porn generation… It’s convenient and easy and there is no real work involved…

And then in the end we wonder why are left completely unsatisfied. What is more frustrating to me is we have a generation who is blaming GOD for their unsatisfying life when GOD has been at working inviting His creation to find satisfaction in Him.

Everything in the Christians life is completely and utterly dependent on relationship with GOD. GOD is drawing you to Him by revealing Himself to you. We must Lay a Hold of it…

James 4:5-8 5 

Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

Matthew 5:6

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied or filled.

John 6:29

Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe (intimate knowledge) in him whom he has sent.”

It is not about understanding GOD… It’s about knowing Him.

He is not a science to be mastered or even a history to be detailed out, He is a person to be known!

This truly is the work that GOD himself has initiated with you. To know him… To See Him… To Cherish Him… To pursue Him as He has you firmly in His hands.

Jesus’s words to the thief on the Cross… You will be with me!… Jesus died so that we could be with HIM.

So what are some things for us to know in our pursuit of GOD…

1) We seek to know not to get…

– in knowing — everything we long for is satisfied.

My son taught me that day at the lake that what He truly sought was me. Not what I provided, not what I could do but me…

25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” Do you believe that the best and most valuable thing God can give you is himself?

2) We seek him through His means not ours…

– (??Moses and Show Me Your Glory??)
– His word, prayer, mission, obedience

Matt 11:28-29

3) We seek Him in the mundane not just the extravagant…

– How are you knowing GOD in your singleness?
– How are you knowing GOD in your marriage?
– How are you knowing GOD in your vocation?
– How are you knowing GOD in your education?

We look for the red sea and miss the manna in the morning…

God never tires of the do it agains… Everyday the sun comes up, and every year the leaves change colors, and every minute he reveals and saves and renews His children. God never gets tired of the do it gain.


Psalm 70:4

May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you!

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