June 7, 2021
Do you want to know about God or do you want to know God? It is great to know about God but knowing God is far better. We can all think of people about whom we know. We can all discuss things about that which we know. What we have researched and studied becomes an area of knowledge for us. But it is when we put our knowledge into practice that it has significance to us.
Relationships require interaction. If we want a relationship, we must spend time together. We get to know each other through interaction rather than just studying facts. When we spend this time together it creates connection, understanding of intentions and priorities, and finding places of commonality.
So, what does this mean about our relationship with God? Oftentimes we develop our knowledge of God through reading the Scriptures but we fail to take the additional step of developing our relationship with God. We need to read the Scriptures. But we also need to pray through the Scriptures. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to give us the mind of Christ and show us how the Scriptures should impact our lives. We need to think and pray to have the mind of Christ. We need to remember that Jesus abides in us and we in him.
When we talk this way, it can seem mystical. It makes unchurched people uncomfortable. It is contrary to our natural thinking and living. We understand relationships with the people we see and talk to regularly but how do we do this with God? When we learn to reflect on God; when we learn to sit quietly and listen to God; when we develop these other disciplines in our devotional life we begin to form a relationship with God.
Many say that Christianity is a religion just like other religions. But Christianity is a relationship with God. When we truly accept this and strive for this relationship, our lives will be changed. This removes our tendency towards legalism. It allows us to understand what God wants from us and for us. We begin to see others as people whom God loves and wants a relationship with rather than inconveniences in our lives.
This week, take what God is teaching you through the reading of His word and allow it to transform your mind and heart. Seek after Him for relationship. Desire something more than just knowing about Him. Get to know God. He desires your relationship.
Wow! What a service we had yesterday. The Holy Spirit sure invested in guiding us throughout the morning. He is always with us, especially when we gather for worship. But sometimes the manifestation of His presence is overwhelming. That was the case yesterday.
It is such a joy to serve the Lord in a church that so many people are well connected with the Lord. I am not just speaking about salvation but also about growth in our relationship with Him. This leads to committed service to Him and the people around us as well.
I know that yesterday as we worked through 1 John 1:5-10, I was speaking to many who have already understood and adopted that teaching into their own lives. I am aware that so many in this congregation have vital and growing spiritual walks with the Lord. But I know from my own experience that it is easy to allow what we know to be true to become intellectual alone with little practice of the truth.
I believe that God in His infinite wisdom brought us all a reminder of truth yesterday. I believe that many, including myself, needed to understand just how important our intimacy with Christ truly is both to us and to Him. And He showed us that even the simplest of sin in our life that is not dealt with puts us on a path away from Him.
I count it a joy to walk this path with all of you this week. I started my day praying the very things I encouraged you to pray. I then prayed that each of us would recognize the significance of this commitment. I prayed that we would all experience a fuller and more complete walk with the Lord this week. I prayed that each of you would have an ever-deepening desire for intimacy with the Lord. I believe that He will answer these prayers.
Do something special this week. Remember the challenge to memorize 1 John 1:9. Also, be encouraged to spend that 10 minutes. But do one more thing. As you see what God is doing through this in your life, write it down. Celebrate how God is specifically working in your life by immortalizing it in the written word. Then share it with others. Encourage one another by sharing what God is doing in your life. Even share it with those who don’t know Christ. It may be just what they need to move a step closer to receiving the Lord.
I know that God is working. I want to hear the specifics about how he is working on your life.
May God richly bless you today and throughout this week.