To Know God (Prayer Devotional for the week of September 20, 2015)

Is knowledge enough to get us through life? I would argue that it is not. Let’s use an example that is near & dear to me, since my eldest just got his license: driving a car. You can study the handbook provided by the DMV office; you can memorize every motor vehicle regulation in your state; you can even get practice on a simulation machine. But, any of you who already have your driver’s license know that none of those things compare to actually getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and driving yourself.

 

Why, then, would we expect our spiritual lives to be any different? Simply attending church now & then or saying, “Bless you” when someone sneezes is not the same as having a genuine relationship with Christ. On occasions when I’ve had the chance to share my faith, I can remember several times when someone would respond, “Yeah, I believe in God.” Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but James 2:19 tells us that even the demons believe that much, and they tremble in fear at the name of the Lord. In fact, Luke 4:41 goes so far as to say that the demons even understand that Jesus is the Christ! They know everything they need to know about the Lord, so what’s the problem?

 

Just believing in God and even believing that Jesus is the Messiah is not enough. That knowledge has to make a journey from your brain to your heart. Romans 1:21 is a good example – it says that although the people knew God, they neither gave him honor nor thanks. In other words, the knowledge was all in their heads, and not in their hearts. The Common English Bible translation puts it this way: “their foolish hearts were darkened.”

 

God wants us to know him, and not just know about him. You know the difference … think about your spouse and/or your very best friend. That person really knows you; in fact, he or she probably knows what you are thinking before you even say a word. They don’t just know facts about you, but they know your heart. God has written us a very lengthy love letter, and he wants us to know his heart.

Of birthdays and memories

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My best friend has a milestone birthday tomorrow. As I was thinking about something funny or meaningful to post on her Facebook wall (I decided on this photo for now, LOL >>), I started reminiscing about so many things that we have been through together in our almost-30-year friendship.

We competed on the neighborhood swim team together for a few summers. We went to middle school and one semester of high school together. We attended each other’s graduations and weddings. We commiserated during pregnancies. I even had the once-in-a-lifetime privilege of attending one of her C-sections because her husband was unable to be in the operating room with her.

She also met me at the hospital the night my brother died. She drove all the way across Houston — literally, from the south side to the north side — to meet me in response to my frantic phone call. She took my youngest son, barely age 4 at the time, home with her for the night (or was it the weekend? the whole timeline is a blur). Good friends will be there for you in a time of need, but her willingness to drop everything and go above and beyond the call of duty on the worst night of my life will forever warm my heart.

We’ve been thinking about planning a girls-only vacation for the past few years — something nicer than just a weekend get-away … perhaps a cruise! We actually started talking about it before our “25th anniversary” (when a waiter overheard our conversation and thought we were a couple-couple). We still laugh about that night!

It’ll be a while before we can seriously plan our fun in the sun, however. I have my dissertation to finish before I can really let my hair down, but that’s relatively minor compared to what she has on her plate these days. Please pray for my sweet friend’s husband, as he undergoes treatment for stage 3 rectal cancer. She’s a strong, independent woman, and I know it’s hard to accept help, much less reach out and let others know of your need. So, I’m sharing this information because I know many of you are prayer warriors, and I ask you – first and foremost – to pray. If you feel so compelled, please also consider giving at the site linked above.

Here’s to old memories and new adventures!