What Does God Mean to You?
The following letter is in response to a 15 year old girl named Elizabeth. She wrote saying that her mother had given her a summer project to write to people in many parts of the world to ask the question, “What does God mean to you?”
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“What God means to me” is potentially a very large subject! I’ll try to condense it, however, and get to the real heart of it. I thought of something Jesus said in prayer to his Father in John 17:3: “And this is life eternal that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
It is one thing to be aware of certain facts and beliefs about someone. It is something else to know them through personal acquaintance. Men may believe, as a matter of religious doctrine, that God is loving, gracious, merciful, constant, yet being the object of God’s love, grace, mercy, and faithfulness through ongoing personal experience goes beyond words! Men live and die believing this or that but knowing God is forever.
Yet God in His essence is beyond human power to know. He is too great, too high, too pure, too far removed from our base existence. Were it not for His own sovereign initiative we could never know Him. He chose to make Himself known to us by sending His beloved Son to this flesh and blood realm to be a perfect expression of His Father. That is why Jesus said, “... and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
Still, most men remain blind to the glory of God that was revealed through His Son. They love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. They hate and resist divine light when it comes. They crucified Christ and would do it again, the religious leading the parade. How is it that some do come to know Him?
I could tell you from the Bible that coming to know God is not based on human merit but I can do more than that! As I examine my own heart I am utterly at a loss to account for His favor. I find no reason that He should love me above the vilest sinner upon the earth. It is by grace and grace alone!
Grace is a choice to extend favor to someone without reference to any deserving on their part. I find that for His own reasons He chose me before He even made the world. He has plans for me beyond my power to imagine, plans that will be forever unfolding long after this world has been forgotten!
He knew about all of my sins -- and dealt with them perfectly and completely at the cross. His Son is alive and on the throne and prays for me -- and I need it!
Knowing Him brings rest. I know that it is not because of what I am or have done or will ever do that He loves me. He has blotted out my sins. He has given me His Spirit to dwell in my heart. His hand is upon me to finish what He has started. Who can withstand Him?
I deserve none of this! If there is any goodness or righteousness in me it is the fruit of His doing. I have no grounds for pride. I can take no credit.
I can, however, love Him back. He has given me the power to do that. I can cooperate with Him that His light and life in me might become evident to those who have eyes to see. Yet all the glory goes to Him!
My prayer for you is that you too might come to know Him and His Son. If there is in you a true desire to that end, cherish it! It didn’t originate in you.
You can be like Cornelius in Acts 10. Cornelius had a desire toward God yet all he could do was to pray, do what he knew to do, and wait. In God’s time He sent someone to Cornelius, someone who was divinely chosen to give out His living Word. Through that Word, the God to Whom he had been praying and Who had seen his heart made Himself known to Cornelius and Cornelius entered into eternal life!
Many are they who preach religious sermons; few who have the Word of Life. Hold out for the latter. Religion without Christ is a deadly trap.
He knows all about you and loves you anyway! Nurture any desire you have towards Him. Keep your ears tuned for His voice when He calls.
Our lives here are so brief -- and so meaningless if in the process we do not come to know Him. All that men live for apart from Him will in the end come to nothing. If He should interrupt your life to turn your feet from the world’s way to His -- bow to Him in loving surrender. You’ll never be sorry!
In God’s love,