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Knowing Me, Knowing You

“But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house.  And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.”  Hebrews 3:6

“Jesus, you know every single thing about me.  I cringe at times that you know the parts I try to keep hidden.  When I realize you still love me and want the best for me it brings me great joy.  I know your thoughts are higher than mine and your ways can be mysterious but I want to know you as best I can to bring up my end of this relationship.  Help me to get as close to you as I possibly can so that when I am faced with standing for your Name, I can fully glorify You. Amen”

I asked them what they would do if an acquaintance or stranger told them something horrible about another member of our little Bible study group.  That this sweet, kind woman we know from meeting with her each week had been terribly unkind to a child.  And without hesitation they all were willing to stop this gossiper in their tracks.  “That doesn’t sound like her.”  “That’s not the friend I know.”  “Are you sure you have the right person?”  They responded.  I asked how they knew their friend would never be unkind to a child.  And they all said because they know her character from spending time with her.

And then I said to them, “Now, a family member or friend comes up and says to you, ‘Jesus would be ok with an abortion.’  What would you say? “  Some hemmed and hawed a bit.  Another said firmly, “No He wouldn’t.”  For the former I asked them why they wouldn’t be so sure.  They didn’t want conflict.  They were a bit unsure if scripture was thrown at them what to do or say.

For the later, I asked how she could be so sure.  And her response was perfect.  “Because I know Jesus.”

 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’"  Matthew 7:21-23

Jesus recognized that there will be plenty of people who call themselves followers.  Who attend church and appear to be in a relationship with Him.  But He knows who is making a real effort to know Him as much as He knows us.  For my friends who struggled a bit with my question they work hard at knowing who God is and His character.  They KNOW the answer to probably every false statement said about Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes it just takes practice being able to stand up for what we know to be true and good.  And that’s exactly why we meet weekly to talk about God – who He is, what He has done and will do and how much He loves His creation.

Friends, the next time you are at church take a moment to look around.  Is your church one that encourages everyone to bring their Bibles, open them up and take notes?  One that makes Bible study a priority?  A church whose focus is squarely on getting to know God – not being your personal counselor?  Because I don’t know about you but when I was in college and even high school, that’s how I learned the subjects well.  I studied, diligently.  And when we are given the gift of having someone either ask us a question about God or the chance to correct a falsehood about Jesus we need to be prepared so that we can speak of the glory of God, of how He knows us and loves us.  

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Majesty Revealed

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  Acts 7:55

“Lord, there are so many times you quietly reveal yourself to me.  At times I miss the chance to see and glorify you while other times I realize the moment is very special.  Thank you for finding ways to communicate with me and showing me your full glory. Amen”

Each time I go play golf – which I’m fairly new at and definitely very terrible at – I say a prayer thanking God for the opportunity to enjoy this thing called “Creation.”  I ask for Him to help me remember that I “get to play golf” rather than it being some awful task that I’m being drug into.  Because if you’ve ever tried learning something new you know there’s a steep learning curve which can bring you to the point of wondering why you ever embarked on the journey!

The other day not only did God bless me with meeting three new golf friends but He revealed Himself to us on the second hole of the course.  And it gave me the opportunity to proclaim His glory to strangers.

At the green of the first hole, I noticed two large hawks hopping along the ground near the tee for the second hole.  I pointed it out to my new friends and we interrupted our putting to stop and notice the unusual sight.  And when we had finished there, we drove over to the next tee.  When we all arrived, I looked over to a post located maybe 4 yards away and there sitting majestically was one of the large hawks.  It was at least 2 ½ feet tall.  Just sitting and watching us.  I have never been that close to a wild hawk before because they are a bit skittish.  I gasped and pointed to the hawk and we all stood there and stared. He/She was stunning and slightly scary looking with its large beak and talons. And I realized God was reminding me of my prayer.  To not take playing golf too seriously that I don’t notice the beauty of His creation.  I found myself, amongst these strangers crying out loud, “Glory to God!”  And then he flew off.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7

I certainly hope I never am in a situation like the disciple Stephen – being stoned to death.  In his terrible demise, God helped him take his eyes off the pain and suffering and lifted them to the glorious scene of God and Jesus.  Friend, it doesn’t matter if you are just going through the motions of life or you’ve found yourself in a stressful, painful situation, God will reveal Himself to you.  Seek Him and you will find Him.