Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 4 September 21:
Psalms 103:7 – “He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.”
“Are you satisfied with merely knowing the acts of God, or do you also want to know His ways? There is a difference. This difference is illustrated in the lives of the children of Israel as compared to Moses. The Israelites witnessed the miracles God performed; they walked across the dry Red Sea just as Moses did. They ate the manna and quail from heaven even as Moses did. They were content to receive God’s provision without ever knowing God Himself. Yet Moses saw beyond the provision of God to the person of God. Others, such as the Egyptian magicians, might perform miraculous acts, but no one else did things the way God did (Exod. 7:11-12). The way God acted provided a window into His nature. If Moses had been content with only God’s power, he could have accepted the presence of an angel and been victorious in his efforts (Exod. 33:15). But Moses wanted to experience more. He wanted to experience God Himself, not just God’s activity. Some today, like the Israelites, are content to experience God’s activity without ever coming to know God. They are the recipients of answered prayer, yet they never come to know the Provider. They are blessed by God’s providential care over their families, their homes, and their jobs, yet they are satisfied not knowing the One from whom the blessings come. They benefit from God’s protection, yet they never become acquainted with the Protector. Have you come to know God more personally as a result of your experiences with Him? As you observe the acts of God, look beyond them to the revelation of His character (Gen. 22:14; John 6:35).” (Henry T. Blackaby)
Saving, transforming faith is knowing Jesus, not just knowing about Jesus; it is living for Him, not just believing in Him – “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (James 2:19) Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Knowing Jesus is loving Him and being one with Him in spirit and in purpose. In fact, this unity in Him and with fellow believers in Him is Jesus’ prayer to the Father for us as stated yesterday – “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 17:22-23) Today’s readings reveal some of the attributes of someone who truly knows and loves Jesus:
1) They are truly humble and repentant before the Holy Lord -- “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5) 2) Though humble and repentant, in light of God's love, mercy, and grace they our truly joyful, thankful, content and worshipful regardless their circumstances – "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!" (Psalm 103:1) “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3) 3) Finally, they are eager and ready to serve the Lord and proclaim His message to others regardless the personal cost – "And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' Then I said, 'Here I am! Send me.' And he said, 'Go'…. (Isaiah 6:8-9)
Do you display the attributes of someone who truly knows the Lord? Are you truly humble before the Lord rather than prideful? Do you radiate love, joy, and contentment at all times, no matter the circumstances, because you are abiding in the Lord and resting on His grace and provision? Are you constantly praising His Name within your soul and to others, continually celebrating His Greatness, and rejoicing in His wonderful blessings? Are you eager to serve Him and to share the Gospel with others? When Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you,” are you quick to say, “Here I am! Send me”? (Matthew 28:19-20; Isaiah 6:8-9) If you are lacking in some of these attributes or in the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), don’t focus on improving your attitude or your behavior, focus on your relationship with Jesus. Seek Him, not merely His blessings, with all your heart, and you will enjoy the greatest blessing of all: Him.
- Jeremiah 29:13, 14 — You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you….
- Psalm 63:3 — Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
- Isaiah 26:3 — You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
- Jeremiah 9:23-24 — Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 4 September 21: Today, pray that God will reveal Himself to you more clearly through His word and His activities.
- Ephesians 3:14-21 — For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.