Blogger's Note: Continuing on in John MacArthur's devotional book, Strength for Today, I'm grateful for my time in January remembering what it takes to be worthy of the label and Name I use to describe myself, ... "Christian." Now I move on in my attempt to get to know my God this month ... more today than yesterday ... more tomorrow than today.
Passage of the Day: Philippians 3: 8 – [see underlined portion] – What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.
My Journal for Today: Once, early in my discipleship as a new Christian, as I was being mentored by a Godly retired physician, I asked him what was the most important thing to him (i.e., what was his #1 Christian goal). Without hesitation he replied, “To know God more today than yesterday and more tomorrow than today.”
John MacArthur, in Strength for Today, writes, “…to know God is … the highest ambition of life.” Solomon taught his son by writing, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” [Prov. 9: 10] And Jesus prayed that His disciples (including you and me) would come to know The Father as well as Himself (see John 17: 3). So, in launching our February devotionals, we come to Paul’s personal declaration in today’s verses that everything else is “rubbish” save the greatness of knowing Jesus Christ as our Lord God.
So, one of the most important questions a man, like me, can ask myself would be: ”Do I really know God?!” And as you meditate or ponder that, you may be overwhelmed with a sense of the impossible. But it is a wonderful truth that knowing God is not only an attainable goal for a Christian; but it is absolutely assured by God Himself in His word. David told his son, Solomon, (in 1st Chron. 28: 9), “If you seek Him (God), He will let you find Him.” The Prophet Jeremiah shared God’s promise with His people [in Jer. 29: 13], “You will see Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” The underlined emphasis is mine; but I do so to emphasize the underlined “catch phrase” in Jeremiah’s channeling of Gods’ promise. I firmly believe that God reveals Himself to His children and allows us to grow into an intimate understanding of Himself when we humbly surrender the self and unabashedly pursue the Savior.
Another truth I learned from my mentor helps explain the importance of knowing God for the Christian. He taught me this …
>>> To know God is to love God … to love God is to obey God … to obey God is to serve God … and to serve God is to be blessed by God.
What Christian doesn’t want to be blessed by his/her God? Of course we all do, don’t we? Well, to pursue God’s blessing all begins by getting to know God. So, [duh! – no brainer!]… knowing God is nothing less than THE “numero uno” pursuit in our lives. And anything that gets in the way of knowing God becomes an idol for us; and we know God’s commandments with regard to idols.
And it’s also important – if not essential – for us to realize that sin not only blocks, or at the least impedes, our pursuit of knowing God; but at the same time, the pursuit of idols or the sin in our lives breaks down our relationship with Christ. So, as in so many things with regard to our relationship with Christ, it becomes our choices and our priorities which either facilitate or block our pursuit of knowing our God. Therefore, at this point, I find myself asking myself, “Bill, just how much do you really want to know God?” And I know the answer to that question today or tomorrow will depend on what I do to set aside my self and pursue my Savior.
Certainly God knows us. That’s a given … another no-brainer! And we know that Christ prays for us to know Him (again see John 17). Fortunately at any point in our lives, when we have sinfully been pursuing self, rather than doing all we can to know the Savior, we can be cleansed (see 1st John 1: 9) to begin anew to get to know our Lord with more intimacy and closeness than ever before. So, following my mentor’s lead and the prayer of my Savior, I have made knowing God … my #1 desire/drive in life. And it is my prayer that my kids, grandkids, and those who might follow my lead will join me in this most Godly of pursuits. >>>
Are you with me?
My Prayer Today: That’s it, Lord. You know my heart; and I seek to know You above all else! Amen