Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 13 June 21:
Psalm 71:6 — “Upon you I have leaned from before my birth.”
As mentioned yesterday, “To know Him is to love Him. To love Him is to trust Him. To trust Him is to obey Him. To obey Him is to be blessed. And to be blessed is to be a blessing. It all begins with knowing God and spending time with Him.” (Adrian Rogers. Here more on the topic: https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/love-worth-finding/listen/knowing-god-intimately-740253.html)
Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3) And His prayer to the Father for us before the Cross was, “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 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.” (John 17:21-23) Intimacy with God and intimacy with each other in Him is our life purpose and our life testimony. This is the Great Commandment which inspires the Great Commission.
It is all about relationship with Him, and all relationships take time and investment to cultivate. The Psalmist proclaims, “Upon you I have leaned from before my birth.” This is no incidental, casual, superficial relationship with God; this is a lifetime of intimacy with Him, relying on Him, listening to Him, talking with Him, walking with Him, trusting in Him, obeying Him, loving Him. But note that this relationship started “before” birth – “We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
- Job 10:11-12 – You clothed me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews. You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit.
- Jeremiah 1:5 — Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you.
- Psalm 139:16 — Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
- Psalm 22:9-10 — Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts. On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
- Ephesians 1:4 — Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love….
- Romans 8:29 — For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
- Jeremiah 29:11 — For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
- Ephesians 2:10 — For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
God loved us first, remains faithful and unfailing in His love, and enables us to love Him that we might have the fullness of joy and life in Him while sharing His love with others. However, we must abide in His love (see John 15). Perhaps, unlike the Psalmist, you don’t feel as if you can celebrate a lifetime of fellowship with the Lord. Perhaps you have neglected the relationship. There is an ancient Chinese saying, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second-best time is today.” Today is the day to seek the Lord with all your heart. He will not deny you.
- Jeremiah 29:13 — You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
- Matthew 7:7-8 — Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
- Psalm 105:4 — Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!
- Psalm 70:4 — May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”
“O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds…. I proclaim your might to another generation…. You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again…. I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praises to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you…. And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long….” (Psalm 71:17, 18, 20, 22-24) The natural response to the experience of knowing God is to praise Him and proclaim Him continuously with an unquenchable joy, regardless the circumstances. The psalmist is one of those “fanatics” who just won’t shut up about God because he is so excited about Him, and no matter how bad things get, the psalmist never waivers in positive enthusiasm and thanksgiving. Is that how people would describe you? If not, seek the Lord with all your heart until the reality of Him truly overwhelms your heart and until you are truly amazed by grace.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 13 June 21: Today, pray God will increasingly reveal Himself to you so you can’t help but continuously and joyfully praise Him and proclaim Him to the world.