Life At Its Best: Really knowing Jesus
There's a big difference between knowing about someone and truly knowing them. We can know about them by hearing stories or by making distant observations. However, really knowing them requires establishing a personal relationship.
I learned this as a high school junior. I was a new Christian and had just started attending a Baptist church. Every Sunday, I listened to the pastor preach. I watched how he interacted with people. I heard others talk highly of him, but I didn't know him myself.
One day after service, he came to talk to me. He asked if I'd want to play racquetball once a week. I was a little skeptical. I thought maybe he just wanted me to give a bigger offering or become a better church member. But despite my doubts, I agreed to go.
As weeks passed, I realized my notions of him were inaccurate. He wasn't interested in getting something from me; in fact, he wanted to help me. He wanted to know me and to know about the struggles I was facing. He genuinely cared about my life, and it became obvious. He showed me Biblical truths that helped lead me in a better direction.
By my senior year, we'd established a solid relationship. I realized how much better my life was because of him. I also realized how much I would have missed if I would have let my own preconceived ideas keep me from getting to know him.
It's the same with God. Many of us may know a lot about Him. We've heard family or friends talk about Him. We've heard Scriptures about what He's like, but we haven't gotten to know Him personally.
We haven't experienced for ourselves who He can be to us. Thankfully, His invitation is always open. It's never too late to pursue a relationship with Him, but we must open ourselves up to understand and experience His nature.
Doing that starts with receiving His goodness. Psalm 145:9 says, "The Lord's good to all. He has compassion on all He has made." God wants to be good to us. He cares about the condition of our lives and desires to help us experience better outcomes.
Sometimes, we may not think our situations reflect His goodness. Things don't always go how we'd like. In those times, we must remind ourselves of His past faithfulness and trust that he has our best interests in mind.
Then, we must recognize His holiness. God never makes a mistake. He knows the exact direction we need to go and the decisions that'll get us there. If we'll trust Him and continue in obedience, we'll move into His best.
So what about you? Do you know the nature of God? Or do you simply know about Him? I encourage you to go deeper. Let Him reveal to you His goodness and holiness. Trust the difference He can make in your life. It's never too late. Start today.
Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com.