"This is ETERNAL LIFE: That They KNOW You, The Only True God!"
The Call to Intimacy With Christ
Does the summer seem to go by way too fast for anyone else? Here it is September and I cannot believe the summer is over! Every year it seems to go by faster and faster. I believe this phenomenon began happening the moment my kids started elementary school. This particular year, however, is a heavy one for me as my oldest has started High School and my youngest has started Junior High. I found that all summer long all I wanted was to close ranks with the kids and have some good quality moments of intimacy with the family. This can, at times, prove difficult as time with friends can begin to stand in direct competition with family time. Yet, I still feel that great desire for intimacy with my children. In fact, this desire for intimacy does not begin or end with our family and friends; it begins, as well as finds its utmost fulfillment, in our Intimacy with Christ! This is what we are created for, this is what we lost when we fell away from God, this is what Jesus gave His life to give to us again, and according to Scripture “This is Eternal Life!” Ponder for a moment what Jesus said in John 17:3, “Now THIS is Eternal Life: that they KNOW you, the ONLY True God, AND Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” If you have ever wondered what Eternal Life means, well here you go. To have Eternal Life is to KNOW God and His Son, Jesus Christ! We can use that term often without ever realizing what the word, “Know” actually means. In Hosea 4:6, God says this about His people, “My people are being destroyed because they do not KNOW me.” He goes on to say in verse 7, “They have exchanged the Glory of God for the shame of idols.” I wonder if there has ever been a time that we, as a people, have more resembled that statement. To fully understand my meaning we need to understand what God is saying when He uses the word “KNOW.” In the Old Testament the Hebrew word being used is “Yada,” and it means to “Have an INTIMATE, Experiential, Knowledge of God. The use of the word “Know,” even in the New Testament, maintains that meaning. Think about the seriousness of what Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23.He says this, “Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of Heaven…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? And then I will declare to them, ‘Depart from me, I NEVER KNEW YOU!” This word “Knew” is used in the New Testament to describe the Intimate relationship between a husband and a wife. It is this relationship, marked by deep, Intimate knowledge of each other, that God is calling us into. It is a relationship of “Oneness” with Him in the deepest sense. Now, of course, we have to accept that we can Never Fully know God, but to KNOW Him in the Intimate way He allows us to know Him IS ETERNAL LIFE! The essence of this type of Intimacy with God is marked by moving from Knowing ABOUT God to KNOWING GOD! It is possible for us to know ABOUT a lot of things and yet not actually KNOW them. For instance, I may know a lot About our President, but that is not the same as actually Knowing him! This summer, in preparation for my husband and I’s anniversary, I purchased and studied many books on the place we were going. I actually downloaded apps, spent time talking to others who had gone before us and I organized the whole trip based on everything I was learning. I was having a great time and I could have shared with you anything you wanted to know about the place we were going. I knew all I could ABOUT our destination, and yet it wasn’t until we were physically present there that I could accurately say, “I KNOW this place well!” It was important that I Knew all I could ABOUT this place because it made the experience that much more profound, but it wasn’t until I had Experienced it personally that I had an Intimate Knowledge of this place. It is important for us to study and Know ABOUT Christ. We need that preparation, but it is then even more critical that we KNOW Him through intimate relationship with Him! We are not called to mere Familiarity with Christ, we are called to Intimacy with Christ, and yet there are many, even in the church, who have either never known this, or have exchanged it for the worship of something else. If you don’t believe me think for a moment about this one seemingly silly question, and ask yourself about the shocking validity of it. “Are you more Intimate with God or your CELL PHONE?” This may seem crazy on the surface but listen to the findings of this nation-wide study conducted to gather data on this very topic. Network World released an article covering the study by research firm, “Dscout,” and the New York Times, Business Insider, and Times Magazine recently released similar articles. These articles reveal the discovery that the heaviest smart phone users “touch” their phones (that means everything from clicking, swiping, tapping, ect) about “5,427 times a day.” This is the top 10% of cell phone users. This may seem drastic, but the study reveals that even the average cell phone user “touches” their phone over “2,617 times a day!” Studies show that we spend over 4 hours a day glued to our phones. That is a significant amount of time that reveals the intimacy we have with our phones. Don’t believe me? Consider what we do WITH our phones. Now, I am not just meaning that these are things we USE our phones FOR, I am saying that these are also things we do WITH our phones, while they are PRESENT with us! We eat with our phones, shop with our phones, have meetings with our phones, we sleep with our phones, read with our phones, go to the bathroom with our phones for crying out loud, play games with our phones, exercise with our phones and we Talk with our phones. I don’t mean talk ON our phones. We actually now talk TO our phones. This is a thing that literally sticks closer to us than a brother! We are Intimate with our phones. I wonder if we are as Intimate with our Savior. How many times do we “touch” the heart of God in our day? How often do we spend time with Him, think about Him, speak to Him, and Listen to Him? How much do we know About Him and How Deeply do we actually KNOW Him? This is the question that I believe deserves our primary focus, because Knowing Jesus IS Eternal Life! I love what Hosea cries out in Hosea 6:3. He says, “Oh that we might KNOW the Lord! Let us Press On to KNOW Him. He WILL respond to us as surely as the arrival of the dawn!” This is what the Lord has laid on my heart for this year of ministry! He is calling His people to KNOW Him again! He beckons us to a life of Intimacy with Christ and THAT will be the focus of One Truth Ministries this year. I want to invite you to join us this fall for our study on “Intimacy with Christ!” A 30 week journey through the Bible discovering the intimacy we are meant to have with Christ! We will be studying Intimacy with Christ INTERNALLY, EXTERNALLY, & ETERNALLY! I want to encourage you to join us LIVE on Wednesdays, BEGINNING THIS WEDNESDAY, at either 9:30 AM OR 6:15 PM at Southside Christian Church for our Large Group Women’s Bible Study Class. You can also tune into ONE TRUTH MINISTRIES RADIO SHOW on American Christian Network every Saturday morning at 8:00 and again at 8:30 AM. Join us for a year of learning what it means to ABIDE with Christ, to Walk With Him, and to move from just knowing ABOUT Him, to Living a life KNOWING Him! This IS Eternal Life and we don’t want to miss out!