Ice: God So Near by James Merritt

Ice: God So Near
James Merritt
I John 4:7-21
01-14-07

INTRODUCTION

1. I HAVE SHARED BEFORE THE FIRST TIME I EVER MET MY WIFE, TERESA. I WAS A MINISTER OF STUDENTS IN A CHURCH, HERE IN ATLANTA, AND SHE WAS A STUDENT AT TRUETT-MCCONNELL COLLEGE. I HAD TAKEN A GROUP OF JR. HIGH KIDS UP THERE FOR A WEEKEND RETREAT.

2. NO ONE WAS IN THE OFFICE, BUT THE PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE HEARD ME AND CAME TO MY ASSISTANCE AND WALKED ME ACROSS THE HALL TO GET THE RECEPTIONIST, WHO WAS TERESA. SHE WAS SITTING IN A HIGH-BACK CHAIR FACING AWAY FROM ME. SHE WAS EITHER WATCHING A BILLY GRAHAM CRUSADE OR A SOAP-OPERA (I DON'T REMEMBER WHICH), BUT WHEN SHE STOOD UP AND TURNED AROUND, SHE LITERALLY TOOK MY BREATH AWAY AND TWO THOUGHTS INSTANTLY WENT THROUGH MY MIND. THOUGHT #1: "YOU ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE." THOUGHT #2: "YOU WOULDN'T GIVE ME THE TIME OF DAY IF MY DAD WAS THE CEO OF ROLEX."

3. I BELIEVE THAT IS THE WAY MANY PEOPLE FEEL ABOUT GOD. I THINK OF A LOT OF PEOPLE LOOK AT GOD AND THINK TO THEMSELVES, "GOD IS 100% PURE. TOTALLY PERFECT. ABSOLUTELY HOLY. SNOW WHITE CLEAN. GOD IS GOD. HE KNOWS ME BETTER THAN I KNOW ME. KNOWING ME AS HE KNOWS ME THERE IS NO WAY GOD CAN LOVE ME. THERE IS NO WAY GOD WOULD WANT ME. THERE IS NO WAY I COULD HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. HE WOULDN'T GIVE ME THE TIME OF DAY."

4. THERE ARE THREE WORDS AND ONE HISTORICAL EVENT BOTH FOUND IN THE BIBLE THAT REMOVE ALL DOUBT THAT GOD LOVES EVERYONE ON THIS PLANET. THE THREE WORDS ARE: GOD IS LOVE. THE EVENT (PUT PICTURE OF CROSS ON SCREEN) IS THE CROSS OF JESUS CHRIST.

5. WE HAVE BEGUN THIS YEAR WITH A SHORT TWO-PART SERIES THAT WE HAVE ENTITLED "FIRE AND ICE". LAST WEEK WE TALKED ABOUT THE HOLINESS OF GOD. THE NUMBER ONE CHARACTERISTIC AND ATTRIBUTE OF GOD IS HE IS A HOLY GOD. HE IS PURE. HE IS PERFECT. THERE IS NOTHING ELSE AND NO ONE ELSE LIKE HIM. HE IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT AND TOTALLY DISTINCT FROM ALL CREATION AND EVERY CREATURE. ...


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