Devotional August 3, 2016,     3 AM

 

Knowing Christ, the perfect gift!

Matthew 7:22-23

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Oh, what did that say????…. Let me back up a bit.  Jesus is teaching the people what it means to “know” him.

Wow!  Let’s delve into what this is saying about “knowing him”.  There is so much else about this scripture to talk about, but today I am led to just talk about knowing Him.

God sometimes wakes me up to write stories.

As I awakened at exactly 3:00 AM, I was thinking about what it means to know someone. The thoughts running through my head were that you really don’t know someone until you know what their favorite color is, favorite food, favorite kind of car is etc. Given that it was three in the morning exactly, the beginning of the 4th watch of the night, I realized I needed to get up and write…. as these thoughts were very random and were leading to something bigger.

 

God made me aware that he had given us the perfect gift of his Son Jesus Christ because he knew us, he knew our favorite color, favorite food, etc. He knew everything about us and knew exactly what we would need, want and love.

I was given an analogy to help explain this concept.  He knows us, but on the other hand, we don’t know him.  It is like this:

Peopgiftle will begin to understand that Jesus is God. They will find out that He is a gift in their time of need for peace, comfort, safety. They will be offered the gift of knowing him in an intimate relationship. (God will give all of us the opportunity to receive his Son, who paid the penalty for our sin, and we will have the choice to do so or not.)

Some, receive the gift of Jesus, and put him on as a label, like a name tag on their shirts and call themselves a Christian. They say the salvation prayer, not in pure love and faith and devotion, but in desperation for a label. They want to be “saved” but don’t understand what they have received and never really wanted anything more than a label.

They never unwrap the gift of the Lordship of Jesus Christ and get to know Him.  They never allow the truth of that label on their shirt, to sink in deep into their hearts to allow transformation.  They don’t know his colorful characteristics and don’t understand His majestic power. They won’t discern the intricacies concerning His love relationship with them. He remains hidden inside of a wrapper that they never open.

They may even pray for themselves and others in his name but really don’t know what that means. They have never read the directions (Bible) that he provide
biblees for life, living in peace and love with Him,

Jesus, the gift, looks good, all wrapped up, situated on the shelf as they (the ones with the labels) sit and stare at the TV.  For they eventually have taken him off their lap because he is too much to carry. Carrying him has become a burden, just a bunch of rules to follow with no love relationship attached.

Sunday, they muse, is a day of rest and “The game is coming on.” They lose their desire to spend time with Him because they never got to know Him. He was really only an acquaintance.

 

They know the characters of the soap opera inside and out. They can’t miss the show! They look forward to watching that sitcom every week because it makes them laugh and “forget about life for a while.” (Cheers TV show)

The life and love of God in Christ, sitting on the shelf, figuratively and literally, is just waiting for them. God is waiting for them to unwrap the gift of Jesus Christl as found in the Bible and get to know him.

Chocolate gatheringJust as much as receiving a gift box of chocolates, the sweets don’t make any difference to you until you have tasted and seen that they are good. You don’t sit the box of chocolates on your lap and don’t open the box. The aroma coming from inside the box will lure you to open it and taste and see that it is good. You will savor the flavors, the colors, and let the sweets melt in your mouth.

Now don’t worry! I am not comparing our Lord to a box of chocolates!  It is an analogy! Psalms 34:8 says just that! “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”  I am laughing now as I write the end part….. “Take refuge” How many times have I taken refuge in a box of chocolates instead of Him!!??

Just as a box of variety chocolates, Jesus has many wonderful different sides to his character.

One day, you may learn, when facing the death of a loved one, His comfort.

One day, you may learn when trying to decide something, His wisdom.

One day, you may learn when thinking about your life, how involved God was because he is all-knowing.

One day, you may learn after making mistakes, His forgiveness.

 

There’s a song called “Scandal of Grace” and the refrain goes like this…

 

“Oh to be like you, give all I have just to know you, Jesus there’s no one beside you, forever in my heart”

 

The scripture comes to mind about the lost treasure parable (analogy) that Jesus told:

 

Matthew 13:44-46New International Version (NIV)

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

treasure

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

 

Jesus our Lord and Savior is that “Treasure” and “Pearl”   and Jesus is helping us to know that, just like in these two examples, we too, must want Him so much that we will give our all to have him as Lord.

 

The desire to “know” and not just “know OF him” is of utmost importance. If we really realized how valuable He is, then we would give our all.  I can’t believe that the merchant, after selling everything he had and buying the pearl, just set it up on a shelf. No! He carried it everywhere, showing it to everyone and telling them how much he loved this pearl and how special it is!

I can even imagine how the merchant looked up how the pearls came to be, how they developed and grew inside the shell and helped people to understand why this pearl was so different and of great value.

Liprealkewise, the man who realized the hidden treasure in the field and hid it again and sold everything to buy the right have the right to the field realized its value.  Now I can’t imagine that man keeping his treasure a secret, can you? He probably carried it out to show all his friends and they opened it and explored what was inside.  Treasure boxes carry treasure!  That box wouldn’t have been meaningful until they explored the contents of the treasure box. Oh, can you imagine what was in that box? Pearls, diamonds, gold, silver….. chocolate? Oh, probably not chocolate! 🙂

Do you “Know” Jesus?

If you want to learn more knowing Jesus and meet Him you can learn how at:

https://www.cru.org/how-to-know-god/would-you-like-to-know-god-personally.html

 

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