Boasting in Knowing Him

Jeremiah 9:24   (KJV)   24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.

Glorying or boasting is good if glorying is in the right thing. Having a true saving knowledge of, experience with, and understanding of God are right reasons to glory—Jeremiah 9.24 - Boasting in Knowing Himknowing His nature, His power, His ways, His will.

The more we know Him, the more we see how wonderful He really is. For Him to lovingly and graciously invite us to drink of the free Living Water, He knows that when we do, we get to taste and see how good He really is, that He really is the One we need and we’ve been looking for. He’s the only one Who really satisfies our deepest hunger and thirst. He really is the answer to the greatest longing of our souls.

Others run after this world and its seemingly grand offers. They pursue more and more money. They strive hard to share in the 15 minutes of fame—of increased power and influence. They continually look for new things that will satisfy the cravings of their tongues and stomachs, or other people and things that will satisfy their flesh. But those are not things we glory in—not temporal things that will eventually just get burned up.

What we have extends beyond the reaches of matter, time, and space. Who we have and what we have are infinitely worth more than anything and anyone. He’s incomparable, immeasurable, incalculable, and incomprehensible. That’s why we worship Him alone. No volumes of books are enough to accommodate everything that can be written about Him. No amount of words can be used to fully describe the joys and blessings of having a saving knowledge, personal relationship, and very close intimacy with such a magnificent Being.

 

“Kings” and “Kingdoms”

2 Chronicles 34:33   (KJV)   33 And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the Lord their God. And all his days they departed not from following the Lord, the God of their fathers.

King Josiah opted to live in obedience to the Lord. He did away with all the abominable ways his predecessors established. The people of his kingdom were also living according King Josiah Hears the Law II Chronicles 34:14-19to the sinful ways of their previous kings. He also influenced the people of his kingdom to follow God.

Most of the nations in the world are not in a kingdom system. Most nations are comprised of different people who have different spiritual persuasions and who subscribe to different sources as their authority. Leaders in these kinds of societies can’t dictate their constituents who to worship. But the truth remains: leaders have certain degrees of influence that others don’t. And leaders choose who they personally worship. Leaders can choose the path of righteousness.

We all are leaders one way or another. As for us believers, we opt to live our lives in complete surrender to the one true living God. We willingly submit to His Kingship. Although we’re citizens of our country, we’re first and foremost citizens of His Kingdom. We live in obedience to His will and His Words. We implore others to be a part. And we lead those who become a part to fully live the Kingdom life—with all its challenges, uniqueness, and joy. There’s no life better.

Worship and Sacrifice

2 Chronicles 11:16   (KJV)   16 And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the Lord God of their fathers.

God is the ultimate priority of true worshipers. There are no double thoughts about pulling ourselves from one place and planting ourselves to another if that’s what God wants us to do. Our hearts are set on seeking and following the LORD, and if doing so The Biblecalls for sacrificing of anything here on earth we find extremely valuable, we joyfully do so.

We don’t deny that there are those who profess to be followers of our Lord yet relegate God to one day a week worship. Their priority is their profession, or position, or recognition, or a person. Most of their precious resources are spent in earthly things instead of our Lord’s Kingdom. True worship of God is a continuing lifestyle. It’s not sporadic; it’s not selective; it’s not catered to our comfort, or our benefit, although worshipers are benefited much.

Life of worship willingly denies self, daily takes up cross, and follows the footsteps of our Lord. What seems very hard in other people’s perception is a joy to us. Our joy is found in being in God’s will. If this necessitates forsaking everything else, so be it. We ascribe to God the highest worth, that’s why He’s the One we worship. That’s settled in our hearts and mind. Everything else comes far second. And for Him, we gladly do anything.

The Magi and the Star

Matthew 2:2   (KJV)   2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

The wise men sought for Jesus. They didn’t know His Name, but they knew that the King of the Jews was born. The sign they pointed to was unusual: a “star in the east.” Their motivation was pure; their purpose was on target: they came to worship the King. Both the matthew-2-2-the-magi-and-the-startheologically astute and the critics may question one aspect of the narrative: the inclusion and promotion of what seems to be a practice of Astrology—one condemned by the Scriptures.

Here’s my humble take. The magi weren’t just magi; they were magi earnestly seeking the Lord. They were wise indeed. Wise people seek God. The star wasn’t just any other ordinary star; it was a unique star; it was especial enough to let the wise men know that it was pointing to the birth of the King of the Jews Who we now know is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We have a special God Who does special things in special ways.

This isn’t a dogmatic statement, but just a humble opinion: the Lord saw the sincerity in the hearts of the magi. They were intently and industriously seeking God. God honored them and in some undocumented manner, He communicated with them to look for a specific kind of star as a sign for the birth of the King. That’s why they knew what to look for. And although explanations were given to give a “natural” flair to how the star led them, there really is no problem for God creating a star just for a particular group in a particular situation at a particular time for a particular purpose.

God will shake heaven and earth to be true to His promise to those who look for Him: But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29).  He seeks us; we seek Him. He finds us; we find Him. He draws us; we draw near; He draws near. However the divine dynamics are, we’re just indescribably overjoyed in being closer to and worshiping the King—our heavenly Dad.

The Word

John 1:1   (KJV)   1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

One of humanity’s greatest struggles is knowing God. Praise God, He Who is the one true God wants to reveal Himself to us. He doesn’t want us struggling in that area. And speaking of revealing Himself, this passage is one of His greatest revelations. Before time john-1-1-the-wordbegan, our Lord Jesus already existed. He existed together with God and is Himself God. This may sound difficult for our minds to comprehend, but it really isn’t.

This isn’t a play of words to confuse us; confusing us is farthest from His mind. He’s drawing us closer to Him; He wants us to draw closer to Him; He wants to be near us. He took the most loving step to prove this: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Through our Lord Jesus, we meet God face-to-face.

The endless debate about Jesus being divine isn’t supposed to be… Whatever our stand regarding this is, we at least have to admit that there are direct statements about the divinity or “Godhood” of Jesus. There is a direct statement about the “Godhead.” The problem arises in understanding how Two can be One. There really isn’t a problem with that when we understand that even human makeup reflects this. We have an immaterial part; we have a material part. Common understanding of God’s Word shows that when our earthly tent (body) gives up, we (our spirits) is present with the Lord. There, we see how one can be two and two can be one.

I praise God that our Lord Jesus gave us more than enough “glimpse” of God—enough for us to have a saving knowledge of Him; enough for us to love Him; enough for us to walk worshipfully and faithfully before Him.

Spheres of Christian Existence

Luke 2:39   (KJV)   39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.

We as believers live in variety of spheres: there’s the personal, the familial, the ecclesiastical, and the vocational, professional, or social. The most important is our personal relationship with God. This is our utmost priority. Next responsibility we have is luke-2-39-spheres-of-christian-existenceour family. This doesn’t take precedence over our relationship with God, but we don’t neglect this. The next is our ministry. This doesn’t take priority over our relationship with God and our family, but we serve our spiritual family and serve in the church. Next is the world around us. This doesn’t take priority over our relationship with God, etc., but we reach out to them and serve them.

There have been quite a few times when I met different people who were very vocal about their spirituality and their knowledge about the Bible. But when I asked them about their spiritual families (their local churches in particular), they told me that they don’t attend church. I’ve also met people who told me that their family is their church. I remember reaching out to a pastor friend of mine because not only has he stopped living out his calling, he and his entire family even stopped attending church. When I encouraged him to keep “pursuing” his call, he told me that he is pastoring—he’s pastoring his family. I explained to him that yes, we do “pastor” our families—they’re our responsibilities—the familial sphere, but he still had to serve in the context of being a part of the body of Christ. Sad to say, he didn’t change. By the time of this writing, it breaks my heart that his children are still lost.

Different spheres, different responsibilities, proper priorities. God gives us time for all of them. We’re not accountable for what we don’t have. We have twenty four hours a day, seven days a week; we juggle through all our complex schedules and indispensable responsibilities. We don’t neglect any of them. With the right priorities, proper balance, and good time management, we enjoy life to the fullest, yet relaxed and rested. We’re not stressed; we love life; people enjoy our presence; God’s pleased. Thank You Lord for a wonderful life.

Glorying in the Cross

galatians-6-14-glorying-in-the-cross

Galatians 6:14   (KJV)   14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

We exalt Jesus alone—not another person, not a group, not a denomination, not even ourselves. Whatever accomplishments we have: spiritual, educational, societal, or anything else—we count all of them as trash compared to what our precious Lord Jesus has accomplished. So yes, if there’s someone and something to be proud of, it’s the Lord and His loving sacrifice on the cross for our salvation. He’s the One we adore, praise, and worship.

This doesn’t mean that we got rid of righteous and godly living. I can’t overemphasize this: there’s no conflict and competition between the Gospel—the cross—and holiness. We’re not saved by our own good works, but we’re saved unto good works. They do come together. Our positional righteousness and practical righteousness don’t have a kind of disconnect; one is in a perfect state of Christ-like righteousness; the other is in a progressive state and journey towards it.

Yes, we glory in the cross. With that, we also know that it’s through that cross—that accomplishment of our dear Lord that we’ve been transformed. The world has lost its appeal to us. Our interest in this world is now rendered dead—crucified, and we’re no longer appealing to the world either. We smell like poison to them. Through what Jesus has done, we now have the Holy Spirit leading us so that we no longer plant towards our sinful desires. We don’t engage in immorality, impurity, lusts, pride, and other sins. We’re confident in Him, we live to please His Holy Spirit. We reap eternal life and not death. His Kingdom is our inheritance.