Vol. 12 No. 6 June 2010
By Jeff A. Jenkins
The story is told that after Mark Twain returned from his triumphant tour through Europe, where he was honored by various universities and kings, his daughter said to him, “Daddy, I guess pretty soon you will know everybody except God!”
Some people pride themselves in the quality and/or the quantity of people they know. In our culture, name-dropping is a popular sport. We see it in families, in the business world, in athletics, even among Christians. We believe that if we know certain people, it will help our standing in the world. However, the real truth is, it does not matter how many great people we know, or how many great people know us. Ultimately, knowing God is the only relationship that matters for our eternity.
Numerous Scriptures emphasize the importance of knowing God and knowing that He is our God. Consider just a few of them. “Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians” (Exodus 6:7). “Sanctify My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God” (Exodus 20:20). “They will live in it securely; and they will build houses, plant vineyards and live securely when I execute judgments upon all who scorn them round about them. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God” (Ezekiel 28:26). “Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are My people, declares the Lord God” (Ezekiel 34:30). “Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, And that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other; and my people will never be put to shame” (Joel 2:27).
Why is there such a strong emphasis on knowing God throughout Scripture? We need to know God because He is the one who gives us life and breath (Acts 17:24-25). We need to know God because He is the one who makes our salvation possible. It was by His own will that He begat us (James 1:19). Our reconciliation to Him was His idea (2 Corinthians 5:18). Our God knows us better than we know ourselves. His plans are perfect, His remedies always work, His knowledge is limitless. The more we come to know Him the better our lives will be.
It is not difficult for us to get to know our God. We can be eternally thankful that He has chosen to reveal Himself to us in His Word. Everything we need to know about Him is found on the pages of Scripture. He has given us everything that we need for this life (2 Peter 1:3). Besides knowing God through the revealed Word, we can know God by looking at the created order in the universe (Romans 1:20-21).
Another way for God to be known is through the lives of the people of God. The apostle Peter expressed this very thought in 1 Peter 2:12, “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.” All of these passages in Scripture are relating the importance of our knowing God. We should extend ourselves in every way possible to get to know Him better, to serve Him more fully, and to love Him with all of our heart.
The best translation of the Bible is the life of a faithful Christian. There is a story about four preachers who were discussing the merits of the various translations of the Bible. One liked the King James Version best because of its simple, beautiful English. Another liked the American Revised Version because it is more literal and comes nearer the original Hebrew and Greek. Still another liked Moffatt’s translation best because of its up-to-date vocabulary. The fourth minister was silent. Asked to express his opinion, he replied, “I like my mother’s translation best of all.” The other men expressed surprise. They did not know that this mother had translated the Bible. “Yes, she did,” he replied, “She translated the Bible into life, and it was the most convincing translation I ever saw.”
You are writing a gospel
a chapter each day
by the deeds that you do
and the words that you say.
Men read what you write
whether faithless or true.
Say what is the gospel
according to you?