How bad do you want to know God?
Why do you want to go to heaven? If you lack the desire to know God now, then why do
you even want to go to heaven? What do you think that we will be doing in heaven, playing golf all day long? Eternal life is the same thing as knowing God as stated in John 17:3. In heaven will be the eternal process of learning from God and thus responding by worshiping Him in his holiness. Here on earth we have so many things vying for our attention that we lose sight of what God means to us. Church can become just another activity in our busy schedules to check off our list instead of a place to corporately worship God now.
Miles Stanford tells the story of “A sage of India was asked by a young man how he could find God. For some time the sage gave no answer, but one evening he asked the youth to come and bathe with him in the river. While there he gripped him suddenly and held his head under the water until he was nearly drowned. When he released him the sage asked him: ‘What did you want most when you were under the water?’ ‘A breath of air,’ he replied. To which the sage answered, ‘When you want God as you wanted the breath of air, you will find Him.‘” -G.G. (To which I might add rather, He will reveal himself to you. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”)
Is your faith as precious to you as Peter’s?
2 Peter 1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Who are you Lord?
I AM the righteous God who saves. I AM the God who gives men genuine faith through my grace and through my Word. I do not use gimmicks or formulas, “not by might nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord.” “No one comes to the Son unless the father draws him.” “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me”. Do you feel my drawing? Then respond to my drawing while there is still time.
Only as you know me and are confident in me can you have lasting peace for I am the God of peace. Only as you know me will you recognize my grace in your day to day life. Only as you realize how great I AM and how sinful you are will you appreciate your salvation and nurture your faith. Only as you recognize that I AM the precious Pearl of Great price – your Salvation which is held out to you, the precious cornerstone which is Jesus, and His precious blood, and the very great and precious promises which I give you freely, will you sell off all of the distractions in your life to obtain it. For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also. How precious am I to you, can others tell by looking at your life?
Esau despised his birthright
Do you know the story of Jacob and Esau? God prophesied that the older would serve the younger; Esau who was the first born despised his spiritual birthright and sold it to his brother for a bowl of soup. “What good is it to me when I am dead?” He was thinking only of this world and his physical situation. Jacob on the other hand desired the position that God would give him regarding the birthright and as a result, it was through Jacob and not Esau that the promised redeemer would come. God and the birthright inheritance were precious to Jacob.
“not one flake of gold will ever touch my hand”
One tribal pastor who lives in PNG and has gold on his customary land made the statement that touched my heart. These poor people have little to live on and so his declaration inspired me to include in it this post. He said that “not one flake of gold will ever touch my hand”; (so that he might not be tempted to turn away from helping others find God instead.) His salvation is more precious to him than finding and selling gold. Which reminds me of the words to the church in Laodicea: Rev 3:17 “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.” (To this tribal man, his faith was more valuable than physical gold, “a pearl of precious price”.)
Is your salvation or is God commonplace to you?
For something to be precious, it must be compared to something else. We take for granted God’s salvation and treat it like old hat. Our enemy will fill our lives with anything else to crowd out of our conscious thought anything to do with how much God loves us. The term “Gospel hardened” means that we have heard it so much that we no longer consider it precious and valuable to us. Rom 1:28 “Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God (the opposite of precious), he gave them over to a depraved mind.” This is where we must make a choice to focus on the inherent preciousness of the Lord and what he has done for us.
He who has been forgiven little loves little
Each of us deserves eternal damnation but we have equally all had our sin debts cancelled by his death whether you know it or not. How much do you appreciate the Lord and what he has done for you? Not everyone does, as in this parable. Lk 7:36-46 “’Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?’ 43 Simon replied, ‘I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.’ ‘He who has been forgiven little loves little.’” If you don’t realize you have a sin debt like Simon here, then you will not be grateful that Jesus removed it. If your salvation means nothing to you, then you will love God little and your faith will just be religion like the Pharisees.
What has God done for you?
In the story of the Demoniac of Gennesaret it tells us how this man was made to cut himself with stone in some attempt to possibly commit suicide to escape the torment. In this natural life, there is no hope of escape. Suicide is not an answer; it only ends the chance of finding true salvation in this life. Had the demoniac succeeded, he would never have met Jesus and received his salvation. In lk 8:38,9 “The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” What has the Lord of Glory, the Eternal God, and the lover of your soul done for you? Is that worth talking about? Is that worth telling to others? Is that worth appreciating in worship and thanksgiving? Is that worth a life of service to the Lord like Isaiah discovered?
Who is your God?
Isaiah 6:1-6 “I saw the Lord high and lifted up” ‘I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple…5 Woe to me! I cried. I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty’… ‘See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for’…8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” Unless we see the Lord for who he really is, we will live this life to please ourselves and living a life without gratitude for everything that he gives us freely. When we genuinely see him for who he really is, we will see our abject need, His abundant provision, and have a desire to live for him controlled by him out of gratitude and obedience like the Apostle Paul…
His grace to me was not without effect
Paul thought of himself with a proper perspective. 1 Cor 15: 9, 10 “For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”
How precious is your faith? What is it motivating you to do? What are you waiting for? Be like Jacob, Isaiah, Mary, and Paul or this tribal leader and let the preciousness of the Savior show to others.
More to come,