You can click here if you missed Part 1
What does any of what I shared in Part 1 have to do with what I regard as my most important resolution for this new year?
The answer was found in my Scripture reading Tuesday morning.
First of all, Psalm 29:1-2 reminded me that God is a God of glory, strength, and holiness. As I mentioned Tuesday, it is in both knowing about God, as well as knowing relationally the true and living God of Holy Scripture, that leads (or ought to lead) me to worship him.
Conversely, in Romans 1:18-20, the Apostle Paul warns us against suppressing the clear and knowable revelation of God through our wickedness. God, Paul teaches us, has made himself known to all people everywhere and it is only in rebellion that people falsely claim ignorance. Paul says that no one can legitimately make that excuse.
Jesus himself, in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 9:18-20), asks those closest to him who other people believe he is. He then brings it closer to him by asking them who they believe he is. Knowing him clearly and truly mattered (and matters) to our Lord.
In Romans 1:1-4, the Apostle drives home a similar point by teaching us who Jesus is, both as fully human and fully divine. Just as Peter had declared, so Paul also reminds us… Jesus is the “Christ,” the “Messiah” of God and Lord. He is the Son of God and the very center of the gospel of God.
Knowing God and his Son, Jesus Christ, (as I mentioned last time, from John 17:3), is a big deal. One might make the case that it is the only deal that really matters. Whether or not we would want to take it that far, hopefully we would all agree that knowing God should be our greatest priority (In addition to John 17:3, there is also Philippians 3:7-11 and Luke 10:38-42.)
Tuesday morning I needed reminding of that because I all too often take my eyes off of God and turn toward idols of my making. Not only is that sin, in and of itself, (see the first two Commandments) but following after such idols leads me further and further away from God and closer and closer to destruction and despair (whether I realize it or not at the time).
Knowing God is the only thing that can save my eternal soul. It’s the only way to be saved from God’s wrath and for rest, peace, fulfilment, meaning, purpose, righteousness, joy, eternal life, and utimately, God himself. Idolatry leads me in the opposite direction.
Idolatry is a wide and comfortable road in which I will never be judged or condemned by the world around me. In fact, I may even be well thought of on that road. The road of idolatry, however, leads to destruction, regardless of how popular or how numerous the crowd is that walks it.
Knowing God (and seeking to know him better and better – in the fulness of all that that means) can be narrow, hard, trying, and certainly unpopular. Yet it is glorious and life-giving.
I resolve in 2012 to put my eyes back on God and his Son, Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith. I want to truly know him. That’s what it means to really live. Other resolutions are fine… maybe even good. But I need to make sure that the “good” doesn’t become the enemy of the “best.”
Only one resolution comes with a guarantee… with a promise… and that is to know the one true God and his Son, Jesus Christ, whom he sent.
Thanks be to God,