Sometimes I tell people that my life began in August of 1998 at the age of 62! Reason? That’s when God gave me the “This is Life Eternal” Bible reading plan and the year that for the first time in my life, I read the entire Bible — in 3 months! I had gotten over half way through it again when in early 1999 a small study group started meeting in my home. So I returned to the beginning to read it through with them. What a thrill that was for me after failing to keep those New Year’s resolutions to read the Bible “cover-to-cover” so many times.
Now eight years later, I’ve made 13 or 14 journeys through the Bible. I’ve lost count! Each time through gets more exciting than the last for in each repetition God seems to reveal something of significance about Himself that’s a new dimension. It’s those “new dimensions” that I want to share with you month by month on a “blog.” Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine blogging about God! But here we are, and I’m praying that the brilliantly colored threads of acquaintance with Him which He has woven into the fabric of my experience as I have studied over the last eight years will enter your lives as well. Just one topic at a time seems the most doable for you and for me. Jesus never gave the disciples more at a time than they could handle.
Interestingly enough, it seems that although there are many texts which I have journaled relating to all my topics (see the sample journaling page) there always seems to be one significant, shimmering characteristic about God that reaches into my mind and sinks into my very soul becoming a new dimension of my understanding about my very best Friend. It has been said that this kind of experience can only happen to individuals who spend quality time acquainting themselves with Scripture. But I pray God will give me the words that will transplant the joy from my own soul into yours so that you will be captivated by the love of God. He wants you to know and love Him so much that communicating with Him through the Word, prayer AND witness will become your greatest happiness.
Picture the excellent craftsmanship and beauty in the earthly sanctuary. God requested that threads of varying colors would be woven through the draperies and the clothing of the priests. Some of the threads were even spun gold! Well the first shining thread that I would like for you to weave into the warp and woof of your life, is this: GOD WANTS YOU TO KNOW HIM. When I want to make a new friend or nurture old friends, I invite them home to dinner! Then we can eat good food and visit and get to know one another. Well, every time I sit down to read my Bible it’s like sitting down at a spiritual feast with Jesus (Rev. 3:20; John 14:21), and it is Jesus who is the Host and Who feeds me with flashes of inspiration that light up my life!
But haven’t we who have grown up in church and church schools always “known” God? All my life that was a phrase I heard and tried very hard to understand and hoped that I had accomplished it. And I believe God honors honest efforts. But this little rosebud of knowledge should open at least partially toward a full bloom as we consider what God has said in the scriptures about “knowing Him.” The more we learn about Him the more we realize that this quest, to know God, really know God, will be
a Friendship that will continue to bloom and grow for all eternity!!
Jesus presented this concept powerfully as He spoke to His disciples just before His betrayal. “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent.” This is the formula from Jesus Himself: knowing God = Eternal Life! It can’t get any simpler than that!
Hear the words of Hosea 6:3: “Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him! Then He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” (New Living Translation – this is NOT a paraphrase)
Now hear the words of the Lord in Hosea 6:6: “I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices. I want you to KNOW God; that’s more important than burnt offerings.” God does not expect us to accomplish this on our own. Every time we open the Bible we need to ask the Holy Spirit to guide our minds. I John 5:20 says: “And we know that the Son of God has come and He has given us understanding so that we can know the true God!” God gave John understanding and He will give it to you, too.
Jer. 9:23, 24 says: “This is what the Lord says, ’Let not the wise man gloat in his wisdom, or the mighty man in his might, or the rich man in his riches. Let them boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord Who is just and righteous, Whose love is unfailing, and that I delight in these things! I, THE LORD, HAVE SPOKEN!!’ “ So God wants us to have knowledge AND understanding regarding His unfailing love and justice. It delights God when we learn about Him, see His love, and love Him above all else in return.
Solomon got some wise advice from King David just before he died. “And Solomon, my son, get to know the God of your ancestors. Worship and serve Him with your whole heart and with a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and understands and knows every plan and thought…” 1 Chron 28:9 Is God your closest Friend? He knows your every plan and thought — and loves you anyway! He seeks our friendship — Awesome God!
God knows about the distractions in our lives, Isaiah 5:12,13: “You furnish lovely music and wine at your grand parties, the harps, lyres, tambourines, and flutes are superb! But you never think about the Lord or notice what He is doing! So I will send my people into exile far away because they do not know Me. . .” Isn’t this incredible? The people in Jerusalem and Judah, could throw some sophisticated parties apparently. But they didn’t have time to think about God or even notice what He’s doing! How many times has God done helpful things for us, but we didn’t perceive that it was Divine intervention. When I’m on an errand for the church, low on time and in a hurry, was it just an accident that the closest parking space to the storefront was available? Listen, friends, the devil doesn’t want that errand for God to be accomplished. No. If he had his way, everyone who loves God would be DEAD. So I ask you again – Who saved that parking space for you? Give God the credit and learn to “notice what He is doing!!!” — for YOU! It doesn’t have to be big dramatic things He does, to merit our appreciation. He cares about every detail of your lives.
Here is the situation. You have been offered a role in the great controversy drama. Your part is to demonstrate to the universe that you trust and love God supremely. Recommit your life to Him, start reading His Word for the purpose of KNOWING HIM, and keep your mind open to the certainty that He is moving in your life in a very direct and personal way. Then as you “notice what He is doing!“ SHARE THAT WITNESS – with anyone – on a plane, a ship, at home – wherever you are, God will give you opportunity to talk about what He has done for you. It will change your life! I declare it on the authority of Malachi 3:16-18. Read it! You will probably see this text frequently over the next year or so. It has become one of my very favorite texts. And gives me a new perception about witnessing: the loving things we say about God are heard in heaven(!) and written down in God’s BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE! How about that?
There are too many texts in my journal about “knowing God” to comment on all of them. So here is a partial list for further study: Prov. 30:2; Heb. 8:7-11, esp. vs. 11; Titus 1:16; II Thess. 1:8; Jer. 4:22; I Cor. 15:34; Isa 11:9 (I really like this one in the NLT Bible); Jer. 22:15,16; Jer. 23:18 (the NLT reads: “But can you name even one of these prophets who knows the Lord well enough to hear what he is saying?…”); Col 1:10
Feel free to respond with your thoughts or questions. I will be praying that many of those who visit this site will start spending time with God in all the ways that are available to us. If the This is Life Eternal Bible Reading Plan works for you, then I will praise God! I hope that you will enjoy the journey!
Next month, October, there will be a new “journal (blog)” issued: God’s Personality