God has desired to have a relationship with you for a long time and has prepared the way for you to enter into that relationship. When a person comes to faith in Christ and passes from spiritual death to life, a transaction takes place that has many far-reaching implications. One of these is complete and full reconciliation with God and the start of a new relationship. It is a relationship that is fuller, deeper, and richer than anything we can possibly imagine.

This invitation to relationship should not surprise us since God, at His core, is a relational being. Ken Boa, in his book That I May Know God writes “As a communion of three Persons, one of God’s purposes in creating us is to display the glory of His being and attributes to intelligent moral creatures who are capable of responding to His relational initiatives.” Later in the same book he writes, “If I had to choose one word to summarize the theme of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, that word would be relationship.” The truth is, we will never want to know God as much as He wants to be known by us.

As with any relationship, our relationship with God is reciprocal. There are certain things that God does to establish and maintain the relationship, and there are specific things we must do for the relationship to grow and develop. Understanding this dynamic and how it affects the relationship is very important.

Read this entire Pocket Principle by downloading the free pdf link.‘Relating to God.’

Pocket Principles® are currently offered along with Guided Discussions. The content of the Pocket Principles® will reinforce truth learned in the group discussion. Each workbook is formatted for use in a small group, where pocket principles may read prior to each discussion.  Also, if a group member misses a meeting, he can read the corresponding Pocket PrincipleTM to review the information missed.

Get this Pocket Principle in Knowing God, part of Cornerstone  from the WDA Store

For more information visit the WDA Store.

What we think about God is of vital importance in determining our relationship with Him. Because our response to God is based on our thoughts and feelings about Him, it is critical that we know what He is really like. A true relationship with God is based on a Biblically accurate understanding of His attributes (or personal characteristics).

Unfortunately, our impression of God usually has been colored by hundreds and thousands of inaccurate images of what He is like. Imagine having heard about someone you had never met from several different sources over a long period of time. (Some of the reports may have even been slanderous and misleading.) Most are limited to minor events related to this person. Others are varying accounts of his personality and behavior.

When you finally meet this person, the beginning of your relationship is colored by assumptions and expectations based on these secondhand reports. If you want to know what this person is truly like, you will have to make a point of trying to understand him. This might involve discarding some of the false impressions that you have already formed. It will certainly take time and many shared experiences for the picture of this person to come into clear focus.

In a similar way it is possible that we can misunderstand God’s attributes and have conflicting views of what He is really like. We can have an intellectual view based on what we know about Him. We can also have a very different, emotional view based on what we feel about Him. Just as accurate vision requires two correct lenses, so a true relationship with God must be based on proper thoughts and feelings about Him.

Unfortunately, our feelings often mislead our thoughts, resulting in wrong ideas or false mental images of God. Correcting these false images can be difficult, but there are steps we can take to gain a clear view of who God is.

You can read the rest of this Pocket Principle by downloading the pdf.‘The Attributes of God.’

Pocket Principles® are currently offered along with Guided Discussions. The content of the Pocket Principles® will reinforce truth learned in the group discussion. Each workbook is formatted for use in a small group, where pocket principles may read prior to each discussion.  Also, if a group member misses a meeting, he can read the corresponding Pocket PrincipleTM to review the information missed.

Get this Pocket Principle in Knowing God, part of Cornerstone  from the WDA Store

For more information visit the WDA Store.

My daughter defines “friendship” as a relationship where “you can just be yourself”. We all need relationships with people who love us and accept us completely, a place where we feel safe and secure. Every relationship is unique, but healthy relationships have this in common: they are based on trust, loyalty, and commitment. They are places where “we can just be ourselves”.

An environment of honesty, good will, and unconditional love reassures us that we are relationally protected. When we are with people who love us in this way we are able to be transparent, which serves to deepen the relationship. We all need relationships with safe people who love us if we are to thrive and grow. This is also true in our relationship with God. If we feel loved and accepted by God we will approach Him in faith and with confidence. Conversely, if we feel condemned by God, we will not have a healthy relationship with Him. Being secure in our relationship with God requires two commitments. The first involves His eternal commitment to us, the second involves our commitment to stay in the relationship with Him.

Learn more by reading WDA’s Pocket Principle “Security in Christ.” ‘Security in Christ.’

Pocket Principles® are currently offered along with Guided Discussions. The content of the Pocket Principles® will reinforce truth learned in the group discussion. Each workbook is formatted for use in a small group, where pocket principles may read prior to each discussion.  Also, if a group member misses a meeting, he can read the corresponding Pocket PrincipleTM to review the information missed.

Get this Pocket Principle in Knowing God, part of Cornerstone  from the WDA Store

For more information visit the WDA Store.

“May the force be with you!” This now familiar “benediction” of the Star Wars series has emerged as one of our cultural icons, characterizing an accompanying (albeit impersonal) power that is able to provide strength and comfort for life’s challenges. Unfortunately, this is also how many Christians view the Holy Spirit. For them, the Holy Spirit is a mysterious “force” who somehow influences and impacts their lives. Admittedly, explaining the Person and work of the Holy Spirit can be daunting. But the rewards of understanding God through the Person of His Spirit far outweigh the difficulties.

Who is the Holy Spirit? Is this only another name for God? A force? An impersonal “it”? A separate personality? The Holy Spirit, like the idea of the Trinity, can be a difficult concept to understand. (In fact, almost all the cults stumble over the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, denying the existence of the Holy Spirit as God.)

Fortunately, we have the light of Scripture to show us God’s will and reveal His truth. This is particularly valuable in our understanding of the Holy Spirit.

 Read the rest of this Pocket Principle by downloading the pdf. ‘The Holy Spirit.’

Pocket Principles® are currently offered along with Guided Discussions. The content of the Pocket Principles® will reinforce truth learned in the group discussion. Each workbook is formatted for use in a small group, where pocket principles may read prior to each discussion.  Also, if a group member misses a meeting, he can read the corresponding Pocket PrincipleTM to review the information missed.

Get this Pocket Principle in Knowing God, part of Cornerstone  from the WDA Store

For more information visit the WDA Store.

God to Jonah. Pretty clear directive. Not, “Hey Jonah, I was thinking about sending you to Ninevah”, not “Hey Jonah, if you can fit it into your busy schedule, go to Ninevah for me”, not even, “Hey Jonah, go to Ninevah if you feel like it.”

Nope. Just “Arise and go!”

When I started a Bible study of Jonah about 4 weeks ago, I was pretty excited about meeting with the ten or so ladies from my neighborhood who agreed to study and eat dessert together every Tuesday night. Even after the first week, when the lady on the bible study video was talking about how God interrupts our life with unexpected or difficult requests, I was still feeling pretty good. My life wasn’t interrupted in any dramatic way.

After about week four, when Jonah has decided that he just isn’t all that interested in going to Ninevah, and gets swallowed by the fish and violently vomited right back up on the shore, I was starting to feel uncomfortable. And when after all that, God said to Jonah, again, “Arise and go to Ninevah”, I knew that God was talking to me just as surely as He was talking to Jonah.

Without going into details, let me just say that about two years ago, I knew God was telling me to do something. But because I didn’t feel like doing it, I didn’t. And I justified, rationalized and denied with the best of them. Last April, I pretty clearly heard God say it again. “Arise and go!”. And I still didn’t feel like it, but I tried to do it anyway. Well, to the best of my ability. But there were a few special instances where I could justify not doing it that day, or this occasion. Or whatever.

Jonah and the Whale

Suddenly, the other day, I realized that I have been in the belly of that fish as surely as Jonah was, suffering the consequences of my unwillingness and disobedience. Unable to breathe right, think clearly, see in the darkness or live right. And I heard God say, with His infinite patience, “Arise and go!” I felt like I had simultaneously been hit with a hammer and set free from prison.

“Arise and go!!!!!”

 

(Salvador Dali, Jonah and the Whale)

John Piper, in his poem about Jonah says it well:

Learn how the work of God is done.
That there is fierce and stormy grace
With wind and waves and mangled face,
And sailors with condemning dice,
And demons waiting sacrifice,
And giant fish with slashing teeth,
And gasping, acid graves beneath.
Yet none of this is to destroy,
But to restore the prophet’s joy,
And not his merely, but the throngs
Of Nineveh will sing their songs.
And Jonah, in the coming years,
Will say with tender heart and tears,
Along with each whom God will call,
The price was high and worth it all.
The pain of being loved by God
Is great, so let us kiss the rod.

What is God telling you to do and where is your Ninevah?