“I want to know Christ”
A Blessed and Prosperous 2023 to all of you!!!
“Beloved, I pray that in all respects, you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” (3John 2)
The word ‘prosper’ is made up of two Greek words ‘eu’ meaning good, and ‘hodos’ meaning a journey down a particular road. In other words, “may you have a good journey!” For the soul to prosper, one would have to journey into that which enriches the soul. Psalm 104 begins, “Bless the LORD, my soul! LORD my God, You are very great…” The soul is blessed by meditating on and discovering the glory and majesty of God. I am greatly encouraged this year by the number of people who have decided for 2023 to… I quote, “know Jesus more”. As a pastor, it is like music to my ears; but just imagine what Jesus feels when He hears His followers say, “I want to know you more.” He says, “if you seek me, I will let myself be found” and “I will reward you for diligently seeking me” (Jer. 29:12-14; Heb. 11:6). Spending time getting to know Jesus is the most rewarding endeavor anyone can pursue! It was the apostle Paul’s heart cry (Phil 3:8-14).
When Paul entered a town to preach Christ and make Him known to those who had not heard, he went straight to the synagogue, and declared the Word of God – he opened the Old Testament scriptures and declared Jesus as Christ, King and Lord. For Paul and the other apostles, Jesus was the living Word of God! John writes, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). In the book of Revelation, John sees the conquering Jesus, and describes Him like this: “He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.” It goes without saying that if we really want to know Jesus more, we should spend time studying the word of God – reading it, meditating on it, asking Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to us. Why would we endeavor to pursue such a task? Because as a follower of Jesus, a Christian, our life’s mission is to know Him and become like Him…to be conformed to His image – it is our destiny (Rom. 8:29).
Jesus said to His harassing opponents, “You examine the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is those very Scriptures that testify about Me” (John 5:39). It is possible to study the word, and not discover Jesus. Friends, to know Jesus more, there has to be an intentional ‘seeking to know Him.’ When we approach the Word of God with that intent, and invite Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to us, the Spirit of truth will reveal the truth about Jesus to us (John 16:13-14). When we really know Jesus, then our life is characterized by obedience to Him. You can’t obey someone you don’t know – unless they force you. But to obey out of mutual love creates a wonderful relationship. Listen to the words of John: “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever follows His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected” (1John 2:3-5).
This year I have decided I want to know Jesus more! I am pursuing to really discover Him by starting with the book of Isaiah, Yeshayahu (means salvation of Yahweh), has the same name as Jesus (Yeshua, means Yahweh saves). The book of Isaiah opens with a list of the sins of God’s people and a call to, “hear the word of the Lord…give ear to the instruction of our God” (Isa. 1:10). He says, “My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge” (Isa. 5:13), and “they have rejected the law of the Lord of Hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel” (Isa. 5:24). The church, the called out ones, who are God’s people are accused of neglecting the word of God, and as a result, they do not know their God and what He requires of them. As a result, the love relationship is broken, for in the words of Jesus, “if you love me, you will obey my commandments” (John 14:15). The fruit of a true love relationship with Jesus, and really knowing Him, is obedience. I believe the reason someone does not intentionally spend time reading the word to know Jesus, is because they really don’t want to know Him, nor obey Him as Lord. Those saints I know who really love Jesus, are always in His word, because they want to know Him and do what He says.
Friends, 2023 is supposed to be a difficult year in many respects, according to analysts. But it can be the best year ever for the follower of Jesus who desires to know Him more and obey Him in love. I am believing, like Isaiah for a people who say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; So that He may teach us about His ways, and that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go out from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (Isa. 2:3). There is a movement of people who desire to know Jesus, follow Him wholeheartedly, and fulfill His calling for their lives. There is a growing desire in many to know Jesus and make Him known. I am greatly encouraged!
I want to encourage all of us to pursue Jesus with our whole heart; to know Him more and what He requires of us! I believe the world is setting up for the best year ever for the church of Jesus Christ to be the light of the world that points people in great darkness to the Hope of the world, even Jesus! “Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isa. 2:5). May you prosper; that is, have a good journey getting to know Jesus more, and may you experience your best, most fruitful year ever, for our King and His Kingdom!
Blessings in Christ!
"Advancing the Kingdom of God by releasing Spirit-filled followers to serve Jesus in freedom and joy."