Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 25 August 19:
Job 42:5 — “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore, I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
There is a big difference between knowing about God and truly knowing and experiencing God personally. A personal encounter with God drives you to repentance, humility, and surrender, as well as awe, worship, joy and praise. Witnesses testify to what they have seen and have experienced first-hand, not merely what they have been told by others, which in a court is considered hearsay.
Through Job’s terrible trials, Job’s friends tried to make sense of it all by referencing what they knew ‘about’ God, and much of what they said about God was generally true but misplaced; they presumed to know the “why” and to understand the mind of God, though they really didn’t, which angered God. However, Job, who admittedly didn’t understand what God was doing, sought God – “Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his seat!” (Job 23:3) And Job didn’t lose hope in his Redeemer – “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.” (Job 19:25-27)
– Proverbs 8:17 — I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
– Jeremiah 29:13 — You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
– John 17:3 — And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
– John 17:22, 23 — The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
Through his trials and pleas to God, Job had a genuine, personal encounter with God. As Job’s story reveals, an encounter with God serves many purposes: to bring glory to God and reveal to us His holiness and sovereignty; to reveal to us the truth of our total inadequacy and dependence on God’s mercy and grace; to reveal God to those around us (such as Job’s friends) who witness His transformational impact in our lives; and to strengthen our faith that we would serve Him in greater ways in the future. An encounter with God is life changing, evident to those around us, the foundation of our testimony, the reason for our indescribable joy, and the source of our enthusiasm to share the Gospel with others, as was the case with Paul, who after his encounter with Jesus, dedicated His whole life to sharing the Gospel with others through great trials, persecution, and imprisonment until his death by execution.
“For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16) Have you had a genuine encounter with God which has changed your life in a powerful, evident way and which compels you to share the Gospel with as many as possible? The more you know Jesus personally, the more you will joyfully share Jesus with others personally.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 25 August 19: Today, pray that God will increase your knowledge of Him through your personal relationship with Him, so through your relationship with Him, “the world may know….” (John 17:23)