I'm loving Bro. Gary's sermons in John on Sunday mornings. When we were first realizing that God might be leading us to Grace, and I heard that Bro. Gary was preaching through John (and in chapter 4 at the time!), I thought, "Really, God, again??" For those who don't know, Bro. Kent spent 5 years (give or take a bit) preaching through the book of John...we just finished a couple of years ago. It was wonderful...life-changing for me in many ways...but my thought was that I just wasn't sure I was quite ready to go through it verse by verse again quite so soon. :)
But our God...and His Word...are so amazing! Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Going through John again right now has been such a great illustration for me of that verse. I'm in a totally different place than I was when we went through John the first time. God has brought us through much and taught us much since then. And while His Word never changes...it is definitely living and active! I'm seeing and learning all kinds of fresh, new things this time around...because God has different things to teach me now! Talk about awesome...!
It's also been so neat to sit under two such different pastors preaching through this book. Bro. Kent and Bro. Gary are both solid men of God, committed to preaching the truth. We are so blessed to have both of them as part of our lives! They are much alike in their love for God and His Word, and their passion for proclaiming it. But, oh, my goodness...they are also so very, very different in so many ways! Their personalities, their styles, their delivery...totally, totally different. They are preaching the same message...but because they are so different, there is not a bit of the "we're doing this AGAIN?" feeling.
I love it. :)
Anyway, this morning we were in John 5:37-47, talking about the Jews, who had seen Jesus, heard about Jesus, and knew who Jesus was, but they didn't KNOW Jesus. They rejected Him, in fact. Bro. Gary talked about people in similar condition today...they've heard the Bible all their lives, they may even be church members, but they don't truly KNOW Jesus. They claim a relationship with God, but they don't want Him to have any authority over their lives. They know *of* Jesus, but they don't KNOW Him. I was reminded as I listened of this blog post from last spring, and I thought I'd share it again.
|Ammah Grace, Bayley, and Emlyn meeting Guy after the St. Paul concert in May. |
(Thanks to Faith Denise Mckinley for the photo!)
|Guy signing Ammah Grace's shirt. She was concentrating on being *very* still. :)|
I do have to make a bit of an update, though...since this was posted last spring, Ammah Grace has actually seen Guy Penrod sing in person. Not only that...she met him, had her picture made with him, and he signed her t-shirt! It was a pretty amazing time for her. Now...they still aren't friends. I doubt he would recognize her if he saw her again. They don't know each other. There isn't a relationship. Kind of like the folks Bro. Gary talked about this morning who walk an aisle and maybe even get baptized, but there's no change in their lives, because there is no true relationship with God.
Please make sure you KNOW Him.
Do We Know Him? Or Know About Him?
Gracie happened to see a picture of Guy Penrod online this afternoon:
AG: "Mom, that's Guy Penrod!"
Mom: "Yes, it is."
AG (a few seconds later): "Mom, does Guy Penrod know me?"
AG: "But I know Guy Penrod!"
Mom: "No, you know *about* Guy Penrod, but you don't *know* Guy Penrod."
AG: "I sure do...I only missed TWO on that test. I did better than a lot of people!"
The whole conversation cracked me up. She has two Guy Penrod shirts, can sing "Pray About Everything" by heart, and came in tied for second on the pop quiz we had at the last OCBCGPFC meeting (otherwise known as Craft Night :)). (And before anyone gets worried...it's all in fun and we really aren't groupies...so don't panic! ;)) She knows a lot...for an 8-year-old...about Guy Penrod (as does her older sister, who came in first on the pop quiz. :))
But...she doesn't *know* Guy Penrod. Our conversation continued:
Mom: "You're right, you did. But just because you know a lot *about* Guy Penrod, doesn't mean you *know* Guy Penrod. You would have to have met him and talked to him to know him. And you would have to spend even more time with him to be his friend."
Mom: "It's kind of like God. You can know a lot *about* God, but until you repent of your sin and ask Him to save you, you don't *know* Him.
We continued talking for a minute, and then she hopped up saying, "But I still only missed two on that test!"
She's a silly girl, and she keeps us laughing on the hard days (and the not-so-hard ones, too. :)) But it was a good reminder this week-before-Easter. Do we know a lot *about* God? Or do we really *know* Him? And is that relationship growing deeper all the time as we spend time in His Word, in prayer, and in corporate worship and fellowship?
Do you have questions about knowing God? I'd love to share with you about knowing Him. Send me a message by clicking on "View My Complete Profile" on the right. Or if you'd rather, check out "Are you a Good Person?"for more information.