Messiah Lutheran Church 6201 W Patterson Av
Chicago IL 60634
773-725-8903
 

Fall 2016

TO KNOW HIM IS TO LOVE HIM!

There exists in each of us, a deep hunger to know God and His ways. And such a longing to know God and His ways has been the desire of some of God's greatest Saints.

Moses cried out to God in Exodus 33:18, "Now, show me your glory!" We read throughout the Psalms, David, as a man after God's own heart, longing to know God, saying over and over again, "Teach me!", "Show me!", while asking God the big questions of life, such as "Why are you taking so long to answer me?" "Can a dead man give praise to you?"

Job demanded an audience with God, as to why he suffered so much. Habakkuk complained to God why he allowed the Babylonian captivity, and God answered him, even telling him to write down His answer as a testimony to others.

In the New Testament, Jesus, God in the flesh, took special delight in revealing Himself and the ways of His Kingdom to His followers, even hiding these truths from those whose hearts weren't open to what He was saying, by speaking in parables.

And in Acts 9, when Saul encountered the living Lord on the Road to Damascus, he cried out, "Who are you, Lord?"

God doesn't want to be a mysterious being, as great and awesome as He is. He wants us to know Him, and for us to seek Him, to come to Him with our questions, and to go to Him for His insights and wisdom.

He wants us, as His redeemed people, to make it our goal to really know Him and His ways, and not be satisfied with trite man-made philosophies and explanations ... to really hunger to know Him and what He is up to in our lives!.

To chase after Him, and cry out in our hearts, "God I want to know you! I want to know your ways!" As David writes in 42: 1-2, "As the deer pants for the water, so my soul pants for you, 0 God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?"

But, God and His ways can seem so beyond our human comprehension. Is it possible for us to really know God and His ways?

Yes, it is possible. For God has revealed Himself to us in His Word, as to what He is like, and how He acts, as well as the many promises He has bound Himself to keep in His Holy Word. And, along with that, He has given us the Holy Spirit, so that we might grow in our understanding of Him and His ways. For the same Holy Spirit that inspired the writers of this Holy Book, is the same Holy Spirit that dwells in our hearts, as believers in Christ.

And as the author of what He wrote, if we ask and diligently search, God the Holy Spirit will reveal to us just what He means and how His inspired Word applies to our lives and our life's situations. As James 1:9 promises, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him".

Now, granted, there are certain things in this life that we will never fully understand about God and His ways. A lot of people I've ministered to over the years, have shared with me, that they can hardly wait to get to heaven, and have God answer all their life's questions. But, I contend that instead of asking questions, the first thing spoken out of our months in heaven will be, "Oh!" As in "Oh, now I get it. Now I understand, what God was up to in my life. And why He allowed or didn't allow certain things to happen. As 1 Corinthians 13: 12 tells us, "For now we see only a reflection as a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known".

But, in the meantime, we are to strive to know God and His ways, while on this earth, like a person searching for hidden treasure. As Proverbs 2:1-5 advices, "My son if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the know ledge of God".

And James 4:8 puts it, "Come near to God and he will come near to you". In addition, Hebrews 11:6 promises, " .... he rewards those who earnestly seek him"

Our knowledge of God and His ways begins with the cross of Jesus. If we are to fully understand what God is like and His ways, we must begin with His work of salvation, and His unconditional love for sinful human beings such as you and me.

"God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

Knowing the meaning of the cross of Jesus and God's tremendous love for us, we can go on to grow even deeper in our walk with Him, as we discover more and more just what an awesome and loving God we serve. Of who He is and what He is like.

Mayall of us earnestly seek to know God more than ever before!

For to know Him is to love Him! "As 1 John 4:19 puts it, We love because he first loved us!"

And so as your pastor, I make it my prayer for the members of Messiah, the same prayer the apostle Paul prayed for the Christians in Ephesus, when he writes::

"For this reason I kneel before the "Father", from Whom every group in hea.ven and on earth gets the name of "family" and ask Him, as he is rich in glory, to give you this: that His Spirit will inwardly strengthen you with power, Christ will live in your hearts by faith, and you will be firmly rooted and built up in love, so that you and all the holy people can grasp how broad and long and high and deep His love is, and know how Christ loves us - more than we can know-and so you will be filled with all that is in God" (Ephesians 3:14-19).

"Now to Him Who by the power working in us can do far, far more than anything we ask or imagine, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all ages forever. Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21).

In His Love,
Pastor Wendt

Copyright 2016 Messiah Lutheran Church All Rights Reserved