A Realistic Love
Pastor Curt did a wonderful job on Sunday of reminding us from Psalm 139 that God knows us. He knows everything about us. He even knows the “grievous ways in me” (Ps. 139:23). And yet, in light of that full knowledge, he still loves us. This humbling truth reminded me of one of my favorite sections in J.I. Packer’s Knowing God.
"What matters supremely, therefore, is not in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it—the fact that He knows me. I am graven on the palms of His hands. I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me. I know Him, because He first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when His eye is off me, or His attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when His care falters.
"This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort—the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates—in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love, and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that His love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench His determination to bless me. There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that He sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow-men do not see (and I am glad!), and that He sees more corruption in me than that which I see in myself (which, in all conscience, is enough). There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, He wants me as His friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given His Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose."
Let that sink in. I’ve re-read it a half dozen times. As you enter a new year, stop to spend some time meditating on the fact that God’s “constantly taking knowledge of you in love.”
Grace to you,
PS: If you’re looking for a book to read to kick off 2016, Knowing God would be a great one. In a recent sermon, Pastor Mike called it “one of the best books ever written by any theologian of any age”!