Worthy (2): Knowledge

In closing my last article, I spoke of how, although we know so much about God, there is still so much more for us to learn. As we gain knowledge, we not only learn how to better give God what He is worthy of, but also our knowledge of Him is something He deserves. It is important that we distinguish what kind of knowledge to gain. “All heathen wisdom is but folly. Of all knowledge, the knowledge of God is the principal. There is no true knowledge without godliness” (Bridges). It is not heathen wisdom, such as the knowledge of things here below, but true knowledge of God that is important. God is worthy of knowledge first, so that we may better praise Him, second, so we may reverently and affectionately obey His law, and third, so we can better love Him.

As mentioned in the previous article, our praise comes from an acknowledgment of what God has done for us. To be able to render any kind of praise to God we must have true knowledge of Him. When we consider that God is worthy, which the Bible says many times, (II Samuel 22:4, Psalm 18:3, Rev. 4:11, 5:9, 12) we consider the weight of God. God is worthy. God is worthy of so much above and beyond what we can ever render to Him. Yet, as children of God we have the desire to bring our best fruits and our best sacrifices before God as did the children of Abraham. It is only natural then that we yearn to know God better and to understand all that Christ has suffered for us. The more we learn of Christ’s death and God’s forgiveness of us, the more we realize we are undeserving and God is so merciful. As we realize this more and more we can better praise God for His work.

In Proverbs 1:7, we read of knowledge and its connection to our obedience of God’s law. We read that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” The fear of the Lord is “the affectionate reverence by which the child of God bends himself humbly and carefully to his Father’s law” (Bridges).  Knowledge comes from and is obedience to God’s decree of His command. We must know God’s command and then we will have a mind that is obedient to Him.

To truly know God is to love Him. John points out the importance of knowing God in I John 4:7-8. John says that one who loves God will inevitably have knowledge of God and if one does not love God then he surely will not have any knowledge of God. We need knowledge to love God. That is why God gives us His perfect book, and reveals Himself to us with all the creation around us. We must know God is God, the God of infinite perfections, to love Him. It is important we do not make up a God, but we must know the One true God for who He is. When we truly know who God is we will be overflowing with love towards Him. We will be as the lame beggar who began walking and leaping and praising God when He first learned the name of Christ.

God is worthy that we must render so much unto Him. We know He is worthy of our gratitude, knowledge, praise, obedience, love and yet so much more than that too. Most importantly we must walk in a life of gratitude towards God which walk will be filled with learning about God and much more. How great a joy and blessing that God has shared His name with us so we may know Him!

Luke Christian Potjer

Bridges, Charles. “Proverbs”. pp. 3-4. 1846, First Banner of Truth Trust edition.

Running the Race

I recently went to a cross country meet for Covenant Christian High School (Grand Rapids, MI). For those of you who don’t know much about the sport, it’s running a distance through grass (which can slow you down more than you think). For high schoolers it is a distance of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles). Needless to say, the weather is not always perfect. Rain or shine, sleet or snow, grass or mud, they run. I was even crazy enough to run on the team for two years through high school. I loved it even though some days were tough.  Attending the meet made me realize how much I missed that atmosphere.

I was reminded again why the Bible often compares the life of a Christian to that of a runner, and participation in this sport taught me a lot of lessons for everyday life. Cross country taught me how to set goals and learn how to achieve them, thus it made me a stronger person. The Christian can and should apply this same enthusiasm to his or her spiritually life and tasks of everyday life.  Running allows you to be competitive with other teams and your fellow teammates, but it’s friendly, as we were instructed to let our light shine, even (or especially) on the running field.

Even though you are running for an individual place, there is a team spirit that comes through, no matter if you are one of the first placers, towards the middle, or at the back. Your team is there to support you and cheer for you. The body of Christ should operate in the same manner: encouraging everyone in their journey of faith; not just popular or well-known people.

Being part of a crazy cross country-loving team is one of the best things I did in high school. Yes, you have tough days and bad races, but you also have a team and friends that are ready to pick you up and help you. Even on those bad race days I liked to remind myself that it’s not the end of the world. There’s a lot of other good things in your life to be thankful for.  Like those team mates and friends that you have in your life to help you get through any struggles, running or not.  

“…and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:1c-2a).

Laura Feenstra

 

Exultant Praise

God chose us before He formed the creation. He separated us out from all those whom He would create and proclaimed that He would be our God and we would be His people. He loves us now even though we daily reject the guidelines He has given us and turn instead to our old chains. What a great God we serve! Why would God choose to love us, miserable people that we are? Our great God chose to love us so that we would see His wonders and praise Him for His glorious grace.[1] We will then praise Him who He is and what He has done for us.

What a glorious God He is! God is the King of Creation. He is sovereign over all things, and has predetermined all of history to serve His own divine will. Not only is He the original being, the Creator of all, and the sovereign King, but He is also the only source of all good. Only God is worthy to be praised. Whom else can demand the praise of men? The greatest of us are but dirt and grime in the light of His boundless power and goodness. Every good thing is given by God, and every evil thing He gives power to and directs to serve His purpose.[2] If this Eternal King gave us nothing but punishment, He would yet be infinitely worthy of all our praise. If He had promised us hell, yet our every thought and desire could only be well directed if it served His commands.[3] He is the one and only God.

This great God is our God! This high and mighty Master of the universe came down to earth in the person of the Son. The Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, condescended to our filthy state to face every temptation and suffer the rejection of His Father, who was one with Him in being![4] All of our sins were erased before the sight of our righteous God as our bleeding Savior, rejected by man and by God, cried out, “It is finished!” Therefore it is not only our duty to praise our powerful Creator, but it is our joy to praise the endless mercies of our loving Father.

We praise our Father, for He has made us heirs of Christ’s reward. We praise Him, for He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings.[5] We bring glory to the Name of our Master as we direct our every purpose, goal, though, desire, and action to the service of His people in the station He has given us. We praise Him as we do His commandments, for only He could free such sin-bound creatures as us. We praise Him after we fail to do His commandments, for we know that only He could turn such stubborn sinners back to Himself. We honor Him for His perfection, and we love Him for He first loved us.

Our Father loves us now. He has loved us from the beginning and He will love us eternally. Despite our wretched state He has purchased us to be members of Christ and live in communion with Him. He has done all of this to serve His own good pleasure , so that we would praise Him for His beauty and grace. Let us praise our King forevermore!

Seth Bleyenberg

 

[1] Ephesians 1:5-6, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

[2] Examples include: God’s use of Cyrus, emperor of Persia (Ezra 1:1-4), God’s use of Satan’s work in the book of Job, and God’s use of wicked nations to purify His people and redirect their hearts to Him (Isaiah 1:24-28)

[3] Even the wicked are called to repent and believe, and therefore are called to obey God’s commands. (Matthew 22:14, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”)

[4] Jesus did not face every temptation, but He was “in all points tempted like as we are,” so that He fully understands our struggles against sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

[5] Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:…”