Scripture: John 14:8-17
Sermon: “Feeling God” by Pastor Todd Buurstra
Have you ever felt God? I mean, why are you doing this? Ok, we all know the first, honest answer that comes to most of your minds: My mom is making me do this. And I say, Good for her! Now for a few of you, at least, I hope that you sense the Holy Spirit drawing you to Jesus. But on this Pentecost Sunday, wouldn’t it be cool to feel God like the first Pentecost?
Hopefully you remember the story: the disciples are praying together, and all of the sudden, the winds begin to whip and fire enters the room, and a halo, of sorts, lights on everyone, as they felt the Spirit filling them up. So they went to the temple and preached in the languages of the people gathered from all over the world. They preached in languages they didn’t know. And 3000 folks came to believe! The supernatural God came upon them in a supernatural way!
Wouldn’t it be cool if that happened today? As one friend asked another from NBRC, do you believe in God? Have you ever felt God? Or as Phillip told Jesus, Show us the Father.
But Surveyors has been all about, not feeling God, but believing in God. I still say that believing is easier when you feel it. And some people do feel God. Niiki Young told me how she had always believed in God, but actually came to feel him in the crisis of her dad dying.
Nikki, tell us how you believe God helped you…
How has feeling God’s presence helped you? (I mean, I still assume that you miss your dad.)
Nikki felt God because she first believed The apostles and most of us believed and then felt, too.
So the best way that I know of to help you feel God is to persuade you to decide to believe and then, if you still want to feel God, two things: do God’s works and read God’s word.
Know God through doing God’s works. Nikki was doing God’s work, taking care of her Dad, right? And in that work she felt God. Steve and Nancy were the school’s hottest couple: he, handsome and athletic; she, a cute cheerleader. After college they planned to marry. As they prepared for a happy wedding, sending out invites, picking tuxes and dresses, getting the hall, just before the BIG day, Steve was in a car accident and crippled for life. At first he couldn’t walk or talk. Nancy, her mother said, you know you don’t have to marry him. Nancy struggled and prayed, she tried to imagine her life without him. One night she had a dream. A man came to her while she was crying about the accident. Why are you crying? asked the man. Because I can’t take care of Steve, but I can’t imagine myself without him. Then how about if I help you, came the reply. Then the man vanished and the dream ended. Nancy woke up believing that she had seen an angel and she married him. After therapy he walked like this and talked like… Even though she had to feed and bathe him, she married him because that was God’s work for her life. And she said, God has always helped me. I’ve been so blessed!
I feel God when I help someone pray. It got dramatic one time. Someone came to me who had grown up in another church and really messed up their life. They had broken the 7th commandment (???), and it was breaking them. After we talked the first time, I could tell that they were still hiding something. So the second meeting I asked something like, If Jesus were sitting right here. What do you need to tell him? And they began to confess about pornography, and this seventh commandment. It was such a relief to get it off their chest that they could finally pray. The floodgates opened, and prayer poured out. I felt God in doing God’s work.
Know God through doing God’s works and reading God’s words. I’m thinking about how little the church helps you with your raging hormones. In my day, all the church said was, NO! Have sexual feelings? NO! Think you might be gay or bi? NO! Is s/he hot? NO! And let me tell you, that wasn’t very helpful. Maybe that’s why we too often said, Yes! So how does God’s word help you to feel Jesus in your body? I feel Jesus most when I realize that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Your body isn’t dirty. Its not shameful. You aren’t ugly, or fat, or skinny, or pimply. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The more you realize that the church won’t have to say NO! Just: you are the temple of the Holy Spirit! Value and respect your body as God’s word says, and you’ll make good choices—and feel God!
So, Surveyors today you are committing yourself to know God through God’s … and…
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