Do you really know the Lord?


“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.””

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭9:23-24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

We may not strut about declaring how wise, how strong, or even how rich we are, yet to some extent we place our confidence in these things. In the chapters preciding the above text, Jeremiah was prophesying for the Lord about the many sins of the Israelites. We would do well to learn from their failings.

What do you know more intimately: the battles of the World War II or the ways in which God distributes mercy and justice?

Which is more urgent to you: acquiring possessions/status/wealth or making time to help others?

How much time do you spend at the gym versus meditating and reading the scriptures?

I was in a discussion with one of my readers the other day about the importance of daily reading. We don’t study the Bible simply to know all the nitty gritty details. We read and explore it because we want to know the Lord. In addition to that, when we fill our hearts and minds with the Word, we give the Spirit more opportunity to work through us to bear the fruit of the Spirit.

I want to encourage you to make Bible reading part of your daily routine. This is not so you can be “more righteous” than that guy over there, nor is it for the purpose of being academically wise. Read the Word of God so that you can come to know God.

One last thought on this:

Do you know your spouse better today than you did the day you were married? I sure hope so! Just because you have chosen to follow the Lord, does not mean you’ve gotten to know Him.

It takes time and effort to really know your spouse. I know things about my spouse today that I really didn’t know 10 years ago when we said our vows. It’s like opening a present and finding another layer of paper. You get through that paper to find a beautiful box. You open that box to find delicate and shimmery tissue paper. All the time you keep learning all the layers that make that person who they are. We continue to discover. Why do we take that time and effort? Because we’ve chosen to love them and we want that love to deepen.

So it is with God.

The more we read and meditate (or ponder) on His Word, the more we will understand about His nature and we will want to be more like Him. We will have more of God and less of self.

Seek the Lord while you have breath. We only have today, and only this moment. Make the most of your time, because time is passing rapidly.

Training in Godliness

Deuteronomy 4:9-10

Our desire as Christian parents is to help our children mature into godly men and women. We want them to believe the Father has a plan for their lives and they’re accountable to Him.

I remember teaching my children from a young age about these important truths. I wanted biblical principles to shape their thinking, their choices, and their hearts. After explaining about God’s will, I told them they were accountable to the Lord for their behavior—as well as to their mother and me. If kids believe they are accountable only to their parents, then when apart from Mom and Dad, they’re likely to think they don’t have to answer to anyone.

My children didn’t always agree with my decisions, so I taught them to speak to their heavenly Father about it. Over time, they developed the habit of talking with Him. This training became very important in their teenage years. Instead of giving a quick no to some of their requests, I said, “Find out what God wants you to do. Whatever you two agree on, I will accept.” I knew this was risky, but I had to trust the Lord and give my children the opportunity to practice what I’d been teaching them throughout their lives—that they’re accountable to the Father.

Training in godliness begins before children establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We continue the process by demonstrating righteousness all through life. Children need to know about the Lord’s plan for them and their accountability to Him. When we model uprightness, our kids can grow up accountable to a loving Father.

Your Hope of Glory, Christ in You

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)

The last six words of this text have been the theme of many sermons, and surely they are worth our study, for the concept is used throughout Scripture. They also are included in the final verse of “Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners.”

Jesus! I do now receive Him,
More than all in Him I find;
Christ in me, the Hope of glory,
I am His, and He is mine.

Christ does indeed live in each believer and fills and controls as allowed by the individual. But for those filled with His abundance, He provides the certain “hope” of glory. We have assurance of salvation, adoption, grace, Spirit-filled life, and eternal glory as we are in Christ. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Scripture specifically teaches that God loves sinners as they are and moves as a gracious “Friend” to pay the penalty for their sin. “If thou shalt . . . believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).

The words “believe” and “receive,” while not the same, can often be used interchangeably in Scripture. Once we truly believe, we can receive Him, for when we believe we simultaneously receive God’s forgiveness and salvation. And we can affirm, “I am His, and He is mine.” His sweet “friendship” will last for all time. JDM

Seeking for More of God

And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. —Exodus 33:18

When Moses saw the glory of God he begged that he might see more. When God revealed to him that he had found grace, he wanted more grace. Remember this: The man that has the most of God is the man who is seeking the most ardently for more of God….

I have been greatly and deeply concerned that you and I do something more than listen, that we dare to go to God like the Lady Julian and dare to ask Him to give us a faithful, fatherly wound—maybe three of them, if you please: to wound us with a sense of our own sinful unworthiness that we’ll never quite get over; to wound us with the sufferings of the world and the sorrows of the Church; and then to wound us with the longing after God, a thirst, a sacred thirst and longing that will carry us on toward perfection….

Almost every day of my life I am praying that “a jubilant pining and longing for God” might come back on the evangelical churches. We don’t need to have our doctrine straightened out; we’re as orthodox as the Pharisees of old. But this longing for God that brings spiritual torrents and whirlwinds of seeking and self-denial—this is almost gone from our midst.

Lord, I pray that You will bring about a renewed, intense longing for You in my heart. Begin the work in my own heart, and let it spread also to all of Your Church! Amen.

God’s Gracious Acts For Us

The Word was made flesh… and dwelt among us. (John 1:14)

We do well to remember that mankind is only one order of God’s beings or creatures. So we wonder: How could the Infinite ever become finite? And: How could the Limitless One deliberately impose limitations upon Himself?

In the book of Hebrews we learn to our amazement that God took not upon Him the nature of angels, but He took upon Him the seed of Abraham.

We would suppose that God in stepping down would step down just as little as possible. But instead He came down to the lowest order and took upon Himself the nature of Abraham—the seed of Abraham.

I like what John Wesley said concerning this mysterious act of God in stooping down to tabernacle with us: we should be sure to distinguish the act from the method by which the act is performed. Do not reject a fact because we do not know how it was done, Wesley advised.

With the saints of all ages, we do well just to throw up our hands and confess: “Oh Lord, Thou knowest!”

Omnipotence may build a thousand worlds

Omnipotence may build a thousand worlds, and fill them with bounties; Omnipotence
may powder mountains into dust, and burn the sea, and consume the sky, but Omnipotence
cannot do an unloving thing toward a believer. Oh! rest quite sure, Christian, a hard thing,
an unloving thing from God toward one of his own people is quite impossible. He is as kind
to you when he casts you into prison as when he takes you into a palace; He is as good when
he sends famine into your house as when he fills your barns with plenty. The only question
is, Art thou his child? If so, he hath rebuked thee in affection, and there is love in his