Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The greatest thing life can offer!

If we were to ask a group of people "what is the greatest thing in life?" we would probably get as many answers as there were people. Certainly, many things contribute to a full and happy life, but we hope many would agree that knowing God is absolutely the greatest and most important of all. Without that, everything else loses meaning.

Building, maintaining and often repairing our horizontal relationships is a real-life experience and can be very demanding. We can be so occupied with our relationships with family, friends and associates that we overlook the most critical relationship of all – our personal relationship with GOD. The vertical relationship. We should not settle for just a knowledge of GOD or a belief in GOD, neither will take us to GOD'S Heaven. We must have a personal relationship with HIM.

The good news of the Bible is that GOD is ‘knowable.’ HE is not some distant, remote force who acts coldly without feelings as the owner/operator of the universe. The Bible teaches just the opposite. HE is a GOD with feelings. HE cares. HE is compassionate. HE loves. There are things that please HIM and things that cause HIM anger. HE is fair. HE is true. HE is holy and the good news is HE is near and intimately aware of everything that is happening in our lives.

But the question is - Is GOD interested in US? The truth is that HE wants to have a very personal and permanent relationship with us. HE offers that to us today through His Son, Jesus Christ. JESUS prayed these words to HIS FATHER in Heaven: “This is life eternal, that they might KNOW YOU the only true GOD and JESUS CHRIST whom YOU have sent.” The Apostle Paul put it this way, “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing CHRIST JESUS my LORD. For HIS sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain CHRIST"

Think of this: Paul wasn’t a loser. He hadn’t hit rock bottom with nowhere else to go. He wasn’t turning from a life of failure and counting that as “rubbish". He was one of the most educated and accomplished men of his day. He was the elite of the religious class. People knew him and they wanted to be like him.

Paul wasn’t writing just about the time before he was born again. He had been a Christian for decades at the time he wrote this. He had travelled the world and been used of GOD as few men ever had or ever will be. Yet here he was still seeking to know GOD more.

Paul was saying that the best life had to offer and the greatest accomplishments and pursuits of any man, when compared to knowing GOD, ranked in the same category as rubbish. What does it say, when the man who wrote half of the New Testament was still pursuing knowing GOD decades after his conversion? 

Paul spoke of this when he prayed that the Ephesians would come to know the height, length, depth, and breadth of GOD'S love. He said something very interesting - " know the love of CHRIST, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fulness of GOD."  At first this seems confusing. How can we know something if it passes knowledge? Paul is speaking about experiencing GOD'S love in a way that is infinitely greater than mere intellectual knowledge. Notice that when we experience GOD'S  love in this way, we will be filled with all the fullness of GOD. What a statement! What a reality! Truly this is the greatest thing in life!!

Reproduced by permission from Messages with Meaning (27/08/20)

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