Thursday, July 18, 2013

Promises vs. Promiser

I want to know Christ and the power of
his resurrection and the fellowship of
sharing in his sufferings, becoming like
him in his death…      Philippians 3:10 

     Throughout the Bible, we read the promises of God. Some Bible study experts claim there are over 3000; others over 5000. No matter the number of promises, we like to cling to them in times of trouble and heartache. And, while God’s promises do bring comfort and contentment and peace, I prefer to concentrate on knowing the Promiser.

     In Philippians three, the Apostle Paul recounts the joy in believing, and in verse ten we find the heartbeat of Paul’s soul…to know Christ. The Greek word for know in this verse is ginosko. It indicates an intimate knowledge—personally and experientially. In John 10:27 Jesus explains, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Intimacy!

     I remember an occasion, after the loss of five loved ones within a seven-month period, that I found myself face down in the carpet—sobbing. “Lord, I want to know You. I need to know You. I have to know You.” I couldn’t remember the promises; I didn’t have the energy to search them out. All I knew was that I needed to know God. I needed to know He loved me. I needed to know He walked in that room, wrapped His arms around me and was never going to let me go. At that moment, I didn’t care about His promises. I cared about Him.

     Please do not misunderstand. God’s promises remain precious to me. But more than knowing His promises, I have to know God! I have to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. Knowing God erases all doubt that He is good and my life is precious to Him. Knowing Christ erases all fear that I will ever be alone for His Holy Spirit has set up residence in my heart.

     Knowing God means that whatever comes my way has been filtered through His fingers and is in my best interest—even when I do not understand. Knowing God means that I know Jesus never fails! Satan better run! Enemies need to flee!

     I am sure that you, like me, have your own stories to tell about knowing God. I would love to hear them. His manifold, bountiful blessings of love and mercy are for everyone. You have never gone so far that God cannot reach down and pull you to Himself. You are not the one person in human history that God is unable to save. You aren’t the one that He will decide to leave in the pit of despair. His mighty hand can reach you, lift you out of the pit and set your feet on the solid rock of Jesus.  

     Today is the day to know God! Put your life in His hands. I can promise you that there is no place that is safer, sweeter or more satisfying! He loves you. He is the Promiser. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  (Matthew 11:28 NIV)

©JP 2013           

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