Any author worthy of our time gives a clear message in what he writes. When that message illuminates some eternal truth or principle, we feel well-rewarded and may again pick up the book with the hope of discovering even more. The Bible, for instance, has a clear message, but it differs from every other book ever written because of its purpose: that we may personally know the One who inspired the writer.
Recently, a friend related how he had studied in a seminary where a celebrated professor had committed the whole Gospel of John to memory—in Greek. This academic was widely sought after and held in awe by many seminarians. However, he was in fact a proud and unapologetic atheist. What a terrible message! Nonetheless, the professor’s reputation drew many students to him. As for my Christian friend, there was no such attraction.
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible proclaims a clear message: if we will come to know and love God, we will be richer and wiser than the greatest of kings and sages. The Bible has a message for every person living on this earth:
Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me.
Jesus said, “This is eternal life, that you may know me, the only true God and Jesus Christ.” Isn’t this the best and most appropriate message for modern times, where Man seems to be groping about to find meaning in life? How wonderful to think that our greatest responsibility in life is to know and love God.
As a young boy, I attended many Christian services that seemed to have been meant for older folks. But they were for me. At one such meeting, the message I heard has remained with me ever since: “God is near, to each of us.” These simple profound words caught the dull ear of a small boy. Years later, early in my first year at Fairwood Bible Institute, the realization dawned on me that those who taught me knew God for themselves. I decided very quickly that we are not here on earth to seek comfort, but to know God personally. Time went on and one evening, I yielded myself wholly to God and received the Holy Spirit. Three weeks later, the thought struck me that I too had come to know God!
What I have found true ever since is that learning about God falls short of what He intends, until we know and love Him for ourselves.
We have been inspired by men and women of common means and uncelebrated lives, who knew and loved God. Our lives too are meant to encourage others who we meet every day. Many are going through hardships and need to know that “God is near.” It may be a young man who confides to us that his wife has been diagnosed with cancer, an unmarried friend who feels alone after the passing of a loved one, a single parent struggling to raise her children, or a coworker suddenly crippled in an accident. We can help ease their sorrows and bring them to God who bears all burdens.
And on this Sabbath day, let’s seek the Lord until we find Him. For the promise is true: if we seek Him with all our hearts, we shall surely find Him!