'This is what the Lord says: Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight, declares the Lord.' - Jeremiah 9:23-24 - NIV
Today, I would like all of us to undertake a very serious journey. I know many of us see journeys as short, long, arduous or easy but not really as serious. However I am choosing the word serious deliberately. The journey I am talking about is what I have chosen as the theme for today: it is a journey I would like to call: Knowing God, life's greatest and best pursuit. It is the best journey anyone can undertake because the destination is sure - eternal life with God.
We live in a world of many pursuits and ambitions:
We pursue knowledge, wealth, fame, power, peace, joy, good marriages and other rewarding and fulfilling relationships. We pursue leisure and pleasure and many more things.
Even when we do not pursue these things, they pursue us. In sort we can safely say that we of things that we think will enable us to live enriched and comfortable lives. But as J.I. Packer says 'we are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it. The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place, and life in it a disappointing business for those who do not know about God. Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble through life blindfold, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.'
Indeed contrary to the much touted axiom that self-knowledge is what will give us an understanding of our world, it is rather the knowledge of God that will give us, not only an understanding of our world, but also the peace and joy that will enable us to have fulfilling lives.
God Reveals Himself in Nature
Can anybody really know God? The answer is Yes! Because God has revealed Himself to us - He has made Himself known to us in creation. The Psalmist in Psalm 8 tells us about the awesome God who gives us a vision of Himself through His name and through His handiworks. Again in Psalm 19:1 we read that ' the heavens declare the glory of God .' In nature we see the general revelation of God. Just think of the skies, with their constellations, clouds, sun and moon; think of the rise an ebb of the seas with their high and low waves and tides, the changing seasons, plant life, animals and the variety of human beings and where they live. All these point us to the fact that God does not hide Himself from us.
But God has not revealed Himself to us in nature alone. He has also revealed Himself to us in History - the whole of life is His story - the unfolding of Himself and His plans towards us. God has also revealed Himself to us in Scripture - He has specifically and graciously revealed Himself to us in His written word of Scripture and His Living Word who is Jesus Christ. To know Christ and Him crucified and to know the Trinity ought to be life's major pursuit. Such knowledge will give us the right understanding of God and how He wants us to live. Our view of God does many things for us and to us as it:
· Enhances our worship - prompting us to praise Him.
· Shapes our moral and ethical standards.
· Affects directly the way we respond to pain and hardship.
· Motivates our response to wealth, fame, power and pleasure.
· Gives us strength to overcome temptation.
· Determines our lifestyle and behaviour.
· Keeps us faithful even when we are outnumbered.
· Stimulates hope to go on in spite of what is ahead.
· Sensitises our conscience and creates the desire to be obedient.
· Gives meaning and significance to relationship.
Who is Our God
Indeed knowing God is the very foundation on which everything else should rest. Let us ponder on the first two stanzas of Methodist Hymn Book 494 ' A SAFE STRONGHOLD OUR GOD IS STILL' composed by Martin Luther .
1. A safe stronghold our God is still, 2. With force of arms we nothing can,
A trusty shield and weapon; Full soon were we down-ridden;
He'll help us clear from all the ill But for us fights the proper Man,
That hath us now o'ertaken. Whom God Himself hath bidden.
The ancient prince of hell Ask ye: Who is this same? Hath risen with purpose fell; Christ Jesus is His Name,
Strong mail of craft and power The Lord Sabaoth's Son;
He weareth in this hour; He, and no other one,
On earth is not his fellow. Shall conquer in the battle.
To be continued!
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INVITATION TO SALT AND LIGHT MINISTRIES PRAYER RALLY
Date : Saturday, 5 th October, 2013
Time : 8:30 am. - 1:00 pm.
Venue : Sunlodge Hotel, near Tesano Baptist Church
(Circle - Achimota, Nsawam Road)
Theme : ' Total Devotion to God' - 2 Chron. 16:9 a
Song Ministration : The Harmonious Chorale
Contact Numbers : 026 813 0615 / 0302 772013