Sunday, April 28, 2013

To Know Him


Phil.3: 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Oh the unspeakable joy of knowing Christ! Only those who have been awakened by the Spirit to find that Jesus is the Creator about whom they wondered and searched the night skies can understand this death to life experience. And when we realize that He alone is the Redeemer, and that He loves and beckons me to come and dine, well what words can drip from human lips that give the sufficient wonder and gratitude for such surpassing knowledge? Jesus loves and died for me and desires to fellowship with me?

How often do I despise myself and all my hidden and open shortcomings and yet Jesus knows them perfectly and yet still desires to meet with me and forgive me of the litany of sins I often attempt to hide and minimize? Oh this is no religious science or just a doctrinal treasure. No, this is what men have searched for in their own strength and thought they had found by some philosophy or some equation or some moral tenants. This experiential knowledge can be described through careful exegesis and doctrinal dissertations, but oh how pitiful they are when compared to what happens within us! The experience surely eclipses the description.

We were lost but then found; we were blind but now see; we were dead but now alive! I can recall that a few days after I was born again I was walking on 8th Avenue in Manhattan in New York City. The hookers were still there, and the peep shows were still open, and men were still selling drugs, and the entire ambiance still reeked of sin and degradation, however something was different! I walked with a slight smile on my face and I seemed to have found a new love for these demonstrative sinners with whom I once roamed. You see, I knew Jesus now and my perspective was now alive with God’s love and Christ’s redemption.

But throughout almost forty years of knowing Jesus and with varying degrees of faithful discipleship, I still believe the key to following Jesus with a passionate love and obedience centers around this core pursuit. “That I may know Him…” Yes we know Him doctrinally and within the gospel narratives and within all the overarching truths of the epistles. Yes we know all those things which hold infinite treasure. But if we awaken each morning with a drive to know Him this day in the Spirit, and with an inward experience that makes everything our doctrinal head knows come alive, well then the word of our testimony will not have to be pulled down from the shelf and recited with a stamped date from the past.

The word of our testimony will be found today because we have known and still know the Lord Jesus Christ as our exclusive raison d’etre, and in whom we live and move and have our being. Halleluiah, what a Savior!


Cherie c. said...

I have written before about my struggles, but through them I continue to seek the Lord. I cannot stop. I don't want to stop! And blessings be He is revealing Himself to me. I wait for Him to come back, and some days it is difficult. But as I wait I am led to more knowledge and truth.

We forget we were made to glorify God not ourselves. We were made for God's good pleasure, and our worship, our joy in Him is His good pleasure. See, I just learned something I never realized, God want glory, and by creating us His creation beyond Him Glory. But we are free rebellious which doesn't bring Him glory, so by His good pleasure He sent His son to pay the penalty for our rebellion, so that He will have Glory, and rightfully so. Read Isaiah 46 for a glimpse in our Father's character. But don't forget, He is Holy, and we are not. Not unless we have His Spirit within us.

This is a good read, although I am still getting to get my head around it. Will take it to Good in prayer. The best friend you ever had cannot compare to the fellowship with our Lord and Savior. And for His good pleasure. Glory to God!

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Cherie c. said...

Pastor Rick,

Please excuse my last part, still getting used to the swipe feature of my tablet. I will need to be more diligent in proofreading my content.

For those reading my part, please insert the word the word there in error represents. Thank you.

Your sister in Christ
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lord help us. We are at a time that even the elders of the church don't know Him. Having spent a decade in a church that I believed was "it" - the closest thing that understood God and all He is, I broke free because of works. It was a "law" church.

And this weekend, after perusing old sermons from the U.S. community churches from that denomination, I wanted to test them to see if the powerful worship, with the utterance of speaking in tongues also manifested His true loving compassionate Spirit; but to my horror, they pray for the troops who are sent away in Iraq and Afghanistan, and say believe that God wants these troops to succeed in their mission WHICH is so that we may worship here in freedom. My stomach turned when I heard that. Is sending young people to their death the way Jesus wants us to have liberty? They don't understand spiritual liberty, because in the spiritual, liberty is being able to worship in a prison cell.

There is nothing wrong with praying for each individual military young man or woman - of course we pray for their protection. But we also have to realize that they pursue a life that puts them in a compromising position and we hope and pray that they won't ever have to be in that compromising situation; But what the men of God ignore is that God is not about the "war" business - and if they pray, at least pray too for those people in Iraq and Afghanistan who may not yet know Christ and die at the hands of our governments. Why would the Lord bless a church service, where His holy presence is, when the clergy pray for one group of warriors, peacemakers while ignoring praying for those who may lose their young lives without a second chance? Is there no room to pray for the protection of all and whoever - those across the sea who will undoubtedly become targets of the chaos of war? Babies, children, teens, parents, civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan aren't worthy to be prayed for????

I'm so alarmed that the Church does not know their God.

I want to know Him so deeply, that I do not have any sense of who I am in this world. I don't how to live in a world that wants allegiance to other things besides God; where are the elders of Christ's church who don't value the national systems, who train us up to be only pilgrims of this earth?

It's getting more and more apparent to me that I won't ever find a church that doesn't preach that we are to love and pray for the protection of souls in every avenue of this world; I feel so alone because I know we may be churchless until the Lord returns. I feel all your pain, brothers and sisters, here. Lord please tell us what you would have us do or say? Who will listen?

Anon. J

Anonymous said...

Do not rely on man. Too many are putting too much faith in their church and often have put pastors on a pedestal, thus, winding up disappointed, hurt and let down. Even our brothers and sisters in Christ can hurt us and disappoint us at times. All our needs will be met by our Lord and Savior. The only one who will NOT disappoint. It's not complicated (lol), but requires total surrender to His will and not ours. Anon. J, praise God that you realized you needed to get out of that church. Perhaps the Lord will be able to use you now in helping other Christians who are going through something similar. But the key is, you MUST NOT let that experience leave you bitter or angry, or the Lord will not be able to use you.