Friday, June 14, 2013

To Know Him and to Love Him

I don't normally publish the same articles on my blog that I write for our mission magazine or newsletter, but since receiving an email from a reader what an encouragement this article was to her, I felt compelled to post it on our blog as well. 
Over this past year, in the quiet moments as I studied God’s Word and prayed, God impressed a truth upon my heart that I now feel called to share with you: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38) 

Serving others is important; whether that is for us here in Haiti, or for you in Canada or the United States. I can make a list of how we serve others, but then, so could you. The truth is, you don’t have to be in Haiti to serve and love others, wherever we are, we all need to emulate the example of Christ, who “..made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant..” (James 2:7a) But loving and serving others is NOT the first and great commandment. 

What did Jesus tell Martha when she complained that Mary wasn’t helping her serve others? Luke 10:38-42 38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. 

How can we love a God we do not know? Jesus warns us in Matthew 7:22-23 by saying: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” 

And God says in Hosea 6:6 “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” And in Hosea 4:6a “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:” 

Don’t waste your time seeking the things of the world, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33) Don’t spend your time only on physical sustenance, but heed the words of Jesus when he said “..It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) 

He urges us in Isaiah 55:6 “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:” “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39) “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:8a) Try it. It’s simple and it’s true. It doesn’t say, “Draw near to God and He MIGHT draw near to you.” No, it says “Draw near to God and He WILL draw near to you. And the more you draw near to Him, and He to you, the more you will get to know Him. And the more you get to know Him, the more you will love Him. And then you can say with the Psalmist: “I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.”(Psalm 116:1-2) Then it doesn’t matter what trials and struggles you may be going through, for the “joy of the Lord is your strength”. (Nehemiah 8:10b) 

So I urge you dear readers; seek Him, draw near to Him and He will draw near to you, and when you find Him, for you will, for He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him; (Hebrews 11:6b) tell those around you about Him and urge them to seek Him as well. 

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” (Hosea 6:3) Then we shall be like “..a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalm 1:3b) 

Then when trials come, like they inevitably do, we won’t fall, for we are founded upon a Rock, “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” (Matthew 7:25b) Then you can say with the Psalmist;“I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.”(Psalm 104:33) and “I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.”(Palm 13:6) 

Everything else pales in comparison to the first and great commandment; to know and to love God above all. There is no greater joy.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that was a very encouraging article; thank you so much for deciding to share it on your blog!