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Knowing about God is inferior to truly knowing him

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 There was a movement that started a few years back built around the premise of “WWJD,” or, “what would Jesus do?” You could buy the bracelet and T-shirt to go with it. 

I suppose that’s an appropriate question to measure our actions, but we don’t have to wonder what Jesus would do. 

We have God’s word, which makes it very clear what Jesus did and does. 

We live in an age of individualism. We believe the world revolves around us. “Be all that you can be….your best life now.” 

Worship that begins with self isn’t worship at all. It is idolatry. Worship must be about glorifying God, his desires, and his instruction. 

We all have choices and decisions to make.  Decisions have consequences. Most of the time we make our decisions around: “I’ll just go along to get along.” 

We don’t want to make waves.

We are prone to treating worship and our response to God kind of like a “buffet,” where we choose the parts we like and leave out the rest. We don’t stop to consider eternity because in America, we have created heaven on earth. After all, we are entitled to air conditioning, a 52-inch television, and a cell phone.  The people living in “third world” countries, not knowing where their next meal will come from, have little difficulty in acknowledging God.

My fear is that our abundance and blessing in this nation will be a stumbling block for many people. Do you know God or do you know about God? “The demons know who Jesus is and tremble.”

 How do you know God? Do you know him personally? Do you know him from his word or from what some preacher or someone has told you about him? 

I know who Abraham Lincoln was, but I never knew him. 

If you believe that you don’t have time to read the scripture, or have difficulty understanding it, I would encourage you to get alone with the word of God and just read the “red letter” words of Jesus from the Bible. 

It won’t take that long and you will come to see who Jesus truly is.  

Matt. 7:21-23 contains some of the saddest, most difficult words in the Bible. In it, Jesus says: 

“Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day, many will say to me Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name? And then I will declare to them I never knew you, depart from me you workers of lawlessness.” 

The choice is clear, we do our own will, or we do the will of God the Father. 

And then, of course, there’s that tired excuse: “I just won’t be a Christian because of all those hypocritical church people.” 

“They have been hateful and dishonest, all the while professing Christ.” 

If you look to men, men will always disappoint. 

If you have a bad meal are you going to give up eating? 

If you are cut off in traffic, are you going to park the car? 

And the typical refrain: “Isn’t God a God of love? How could he ever condemn anybody?” 

God is love. God is also a righteous judge that utterly destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sinfulness.  Why would we condemn ourselves for eternity over such shallow excuses? 

The fact is that we have a basic choice. 

We can either embrace the reality of God, surrendering ourselves to his eternal omnipresence, or we can vainly try to live for self on our own terms, and to reject what he has freely given.  Someone has said: “God won’t settle for half measures because He loves us, and wants to give us Himself. He can’t give us Himself as long as we are full of ourselves.”

 

Gary Thompson is a resident of Lawrenceburg.