Known

Psalm 71:5–6 (ESV) ~ For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.

Psalm 139:13–14 (ESV) ~ For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV) ~ “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

In Galatians chapter 4, the apostle Paul talks about not just KNOWING God but being KNOWN by God.

Wow, just reflect on those texts for a moment. You are KNOWN by God. You are KNOWN from the very moment your life began…in the womb. God KNEW you then and KNOWS you now. God has a purpose for your life. Scripture talks about our hairs being numbered. You are KNOWN better by God than you KNOW yourself.

God KNOWS your shortcomings. God KNOWS every skeleton you are trying to hide. God KNOWS every dark secret; every single sin. God KNOWS. The psalmist reflects in Psalm 139 that there is no where he can hide from God. Even darkness is as day to God. Nothing can conceal you.

You are KNOWN.

And it is because God KNOWS you that Jesus was born. It is because God KNOWS you that Jesus was crucified and raised for you. God KNOWS you yet offers forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

You are KNOWN

WOW!

Just think about THAT.

You are KNOWN by God…from the moment of conception. God formed you and wove you together. Everything is ordained by God. And why? Because you are precious. Life is precious. EVERY life is precious. And if it is important to God, then it ought to be important to you.

You are KNOWN
The unborn are KNOWN
ALL life is precious to God

The Pastor -|—

Approval

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
[Galatians 1:10 ESV]

For the Christian in today’s world, the temptation is to please “man” as it were. It’s why we have seen so many churches sell out and preach a Gospel that is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ in order to attract the crowds. It’s why we have seen many Christians back peddle on what they first confessed to be the truth in order to fit in. It’s why many hard-core, Bible-believing, Jesus-faithful Christians are being persecuted today; accused of being hate-filled or discriminatory or old-fashioned. So the choice is to either buckle under; going along with the crowd or paddle upriver, as it were; being shot at from the shore. But to sell out and go with the crowd is not being a servant of Christ. And so, when put that way, I would rather please my Lord, who lives forever, than the lords of this world, who won’t live forever.

A wise mentor once told me, “If you find it easy being a Christian in today’s world, then you’re probably doing it wrong.” That makes a lot of sense, for you see, Jesus never promised that following him would be easy, rather, he promised that he would be with us always. And since that is the case, why not work to please the Lord rather than the lords.

So don’t worry if you are not pleasing “man”. Don’t worry if you are not popular. Don’t worry if the world seems to be against you. Don’t worry if you don’t fit in. Rather, rejoice that you have been found worthy to suffer for the Gospel. After all, it’s not about making people happy but rather living in the joy of the Lord; glorifying and worshiping Him. And who knows, your faithfulness to the Truth just may get noticed to the glory of God.

The Pastor -|—

Morning devotions ~ THE War on Terror

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. [Galatians 5:16-17]

We are at war.

No, I am not talking about the war on terror but it is close. This is the war against the flesh; sinful desires. And this is a war that has been going on since Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden in Genesis 3. And it is a war in which Satan is relentless for he knows what he is up against: Weak human beings.

The problem for many is that they don’t realize they are at war. It is hard to fight a battle if you don’t arm yourself. But worse yet, you are not going to fight a war unless you first declare war. You need to be ready and that means knowing who your opponent is, where the war is being fought, what is at stake and what your assets are.

Opponent ~ Satan
Location ~ The flesh
What’s at stake ~ Your soul
Assets ~ Jesus

Your biggest weapon in this “war on terror” is walking in the Spirit; staying close to God in Jesus Christ. That means staying in scripture; being in prayer; living a life of worship; studying the Word; having regular fellowship with believers. If you arm yourself in such a way, you are giving yourself the upper hand, not because you are so smart or strong but rather, through faith, you are submitting to the one who already fought the battle and won the war.

That’s right, the war has already been won, but the battle still goes on. It’s a backwards way of doing things but Satan is still trying to take down as many people as he can before Jesus comes again to claim his prize once and for all. But don’t despair, God is not throwing you to the wolves in the interim. You are here to glorify God in this life and bring others to him. You’re not alone.

Fight this battle with the flesh as you walk along side the one who has won the war for you: Jesus Christ. Declare war on Satan and realize temptation is all around you. Stand strong and hold firm to hope of the resurrection.

So go into battle today, ready and willing to fight, all to the glory of God.

Praise be to God and Amen!

The Pastor -|—