Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

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Pandemic Perspective – Part 114 Worth – Known By God – Part 2

Psalm 139:1-6

1 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. 3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. 4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. 5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!

Not only does God know who we are but He also knows:

  1. What We Do – Vs 2-3

Verse 2-3 says: “You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. 3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.” The two opposites of sitting and standing represent all of our actions. God knows every move we make, just as Proverbs 5:21 says, “For a man’s ways are in full view of the Lord, and He examines all his paths.” Regardless of whether we are awake or asleep, sitting or standing He knows everything we do. God is familiar with all of our ways, He is fully aware of what is going on in our lives. The fact that God knows every detail of our lives can be both a comforting thought and a convicting one. Comforting, because not only does it reveals that He cares, but also because He knows the true motives of our heart. When others questioning our motives and misjudge or misrepresent us, God knows the truth. There is a comfort in knowing that when we are falsely criticized God knows our hearts. But this can also be convicting, because it also reveals that we can’t hide our hearts from Him. We may be able to con and convince others, but we can’t fake out the Father. God is fully aware of everything we do and nothing escapes Him. You see some of us are putting on false fronts, pretending as if everything is fine and while we may fool each other we are not fooling God. Some of us are being very careful to look around and make sure no one will see us but are we looking up? Nothing is hidden from Him. Not only does He know what we do, but He also knows:

  • What We Think -vs 2b

Verse 2 goes on to say: “You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.” This word to know or to discern literally means to winnow. David was drawing an example from everyday life, where unlike today’s farming that is done with sophisticated combines, then the winnowing of grain was done by hand and would have been a common sight. To winnow grain one would toss it in the air so that the wind could blow away the chaff and leave the seed behind. In the same way God “winnows” our lives, He sift our lives and sees every detail, so that our lives are fully known to Him. But this knowing not only refers to what we think, but also why we think it. God knows not only our motives but our aims. He knows the heart behind the head even when we don’t always understand our own intentions. He knows all about our thoughts, what we are thinking as well as why and also how they will affect us. Yet there is another amazing aspect to what God knows here, for it says He, “knows our thoughts from afar, or when I am far away” Not only does God know our thoughts from afar off as from heaven, but He also knows our thoughts even when those thoughts are afar off from us. He knows our thoughts even before we ever think them. He understands our thoughts thoroughly, knowing our thoughts even before we think them. 400 years before Christ, the philosopher Socrates famously said, “Know thyself” and people have been trying to do that ever since. But do you realize that the best way to get to know yourself is to get to know God, because God is the only One who fully understands us. God knows what we do, He knows what we think, and also knows:

  • What We Say – Vs 4

Verse 4 proclaims: “You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.” God knows our words even when they are on the tip of our tongues and they haven’t yet been spoken. Sometimes we don’t even know what we are going to say until it is out of our mouth, and when we think of all the foolish things we have said sometimes we wonder why we even say the things that we do. These words may have caught us of guard but they never took God by surprise. Not only did He know what I was going to say even before I said it but He never stopped loving me, even when I said stupid things that I later regretted. He kept on loving me because He is Yahweh the covenant-keeping God. Think about this reality, that God knew that you were going to yell at your kids before the words ever came out of your mouth. He knew all about the selfish, unloving and insensitive words you would say to your wife. Or the rude and sarcastic words you would speak to your husband. He knew, and yet He kept on loving us, because His love is unconditional. You see there is nothing that you can do to make God love you more than He does right now. This kind of love should motivate us to speak words of mercy, words that bless and not break. Words that edify and encourage not words that criticize and cut. Are your words blessing or bruising the people who hear them? We have a God that knows what we do, what we think, and what we say. Where in your life do you need to take comfort from this truth and where in your life do you need to be convicted by this truth?

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Pandemic Perspective – Part 113 Worth – Known By God – Part 1

Psalm 139:1-6

1 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. 3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. 4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. 5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!

We live in a day of proliferating knowledge, where what we know is doubling every 18 months. But regardless of how much we know what is still the most important aspect of knowledge is for us to be known. Deep down we all want not only to be noticed but to be known. We want to know that we matter and in Psalm 139 we discover that there is one who not only knows about us but wants us and desires for us to get to know Him because He cares for us. David, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote this Psalm for the director of music. It was written to be used in worship, to exalt the majesty of God, the all-knowing, ever present, all powerful God. The first word in this Psalm is the Hebrew word Yahweh, the great “I AM.” He is the great covenant keeping God of Israel, the One who keeps His Word. It’s here in Psalm 139 that David teaches us more than just great doctrines about God, He shows us how these truths about God relate to our lives today. Knowing God better is the solution to most of our problems, because it provides us with solutions and helps us to know how to handle them. Knowing God better will make us more loving which will enabling us to get along with others more. It also solves a lot of our marital trials and tensions as well as other inter-personal problems. Knowing God can fill us with joy. Knowing God better relieves our worries and provides lasting peace. Knowing God better can free us from fear. Knowing God better doesn’t just benefit our lives it blesses us and is well worth the time it takes. In verses 1-6 David reveals a powerful aspect of our Creator’s character, His omniscience. He knows everything, including knowing you and knowing me. The truth of God’s omniscience is seen in many different scriptures in the bible, here are just a few: 

1 Samuel 2:3: “…the Lord is a God who knows…”

1 John 3:20: “God…knows everything.”

Psalm 147:5: “Great is our Lord…His understanding has no limit.”

Proverbs 15:3: “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

Not only does He know about us but He knows us completely and thoroughly, He knows us intimately. There is a story told about a mother who was asked by a census taker how many children she had. Her and her husband had a large family, so she started to go through all her children, “Oh, let’s see now, there’s Billy, and there’s Harry, and there’s Martha, and there’s…” To which the census taker got a little impatient and annoyed with her, and said, “Never mind their names, just give me the number!” To which the mother replied, “They don’t have numbers, they all have names!” You may be a number to the world but you are not a number to God, you are a name, a person that He cares deeply about. The first thing that David reveals about our omniscience, all knowing God is that:

  • He knows us completely (1-6)

Verse 1 says: “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.” You is emphatic in the original Hebrew and the word “search” literally means “to dig.” It was a word that was often used in the search for precious metals or valuable gems. Picture for a moment someone panning for gold in a stream; they would sift through their pan very thoroughly so as to be careful not to miss any gold. The word search doesn’t just mean to look but to pay attention. Another way to look at this word is to picture an archeological dig where archeologists are trying to find fossils that will give them a picture of the past. Whenever someone on the dig site believes that they may have come across something of value, the archeologists in charge of the dig is notified and everyone focuses their efforts on removing the dirt so they can discover what lies beneath. This is not something that is rushed, they pay attention and very carefully and gently scrutinizing everything that they do. They brush the dust off very carefully, and catalog everything accurately. They do this with the entire area, leaving no stone unturned. You see that is the picture of how God searches us and how God thoroughly knows us. God cares about every aspect of our lives, He knows us completely, inside out. God doesn’t just look on our outward appearance but on the heart, the real us. He knows what makes our hearts beat with passion as well as what makes them beat with fear. He knows our dreams as well as our dreads. He knows us through and through, fully and completely. I want you to think about being loved, specifically a time in your life when you felt truly loved by someone else. What was it that made you feel loved? You see while the circumstances of our love moments may differ from each other, there are at least two common threads woven into the fabric of each one. First we were known and second we were accepted. Not only did they know us at a level deeper than the norm, but they knew things about us that most other people didn’t. Yet despite really knowing us, even the ugly parts of our hearts they accept and want us. You see for love to be complete, we need to be both known and accepted. Because to be accepted without being known is shallow, while being known and not accepted is painful. We have a God who searches us, who knows us as if He had taken us apart bit by bit, atom by atom. Yet despite knowing us intimately He doesn’t reject us, He wants us. Many of us work hard to fit in and be wanted, even being willing to conform to the culture and go against who we really are. Yet here we find a Creator who loves us where we are, we don’t have to perform to be acceptance. So what are you basing your worth on, what the world says or what the Word says?