Sunday, September 27, 2015

that I may know Him...

artwork by Tamara Peterson

Tamara Peterson’s beautiful work of art, which she posted on her Artful Story—Journaling Facebook page, brought to mind sweet memories of unconditional love and wide open arms of love from my childhood. My sweet Daddy, Eston Willis, went home to be with Jesus in 1989. He was such a powerful influence in my life, he loved Jesus, his family, and sharing his faith with others. He led me to a saving faith in Jesus, I watched him prepare for his Sunday School lesson all week, and learned so much from his teaching. When our son, Jason, was born in 1991, two years after Daddy went home to be with Jesus, I longed for my children to know him like I knew him. One night in 1992, I had a dream, so real, so vivid, I can remember every detail. Daddy was walking toward me, smiling his big, warm smile, but younger than I ever knew him. No glasses, no wrinkles, so alive. Then, we were sitting in a living room, he was holding Jason and rocking, and then my dream ended. But when I woke up, I was inspired. I wanted to capture memories of Daddy for my children to read. I mailed letters to everyone I could find in our friends and family network. I asked them just to write what they remembered about Daddy. I collected all those letters in a book we still have today. One letter was from Marci Clements, a friend from our church in Sebring. She commented on how much Daddy loved to sing the old gospel song, “Without Him,” as his confession of faith…Without Him I could do nothing. Without Him I'd surely fail; Without Him, I would be drifting. Like a ship without a sail. Jesus, Oh Jesus, do you know him today? You can't turn him away, oh Jesus, oh Jesus. Without him, How lost I would be. Without Him I would be dying. Without Him I'd be enslaved;  Without Him life would be hopeless. But with Jesus, thank God, I'm saved. Jesus, Oh Jesus, do you know Him today? You can't turn him away, oh Jesus, oh Jesus. Without him, How lost I would be.

Do you know Him today? Those lyrics led me to a word study of the word, know, from one of my favorite verses… Philippians 3:10a Amplified:  [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly]

Know in Greek is the word ginōskō, which usually speaks of the attaining of personal or experiential knowledge. In other words, ginōskō is not just an intellectual knowledge of the facts, but is a personal experience of something or someone, in this case a knowledge of the Person of Christ. Ginōskō means to acquire information through some modality, as through sense perception (hearing).  Ginōskō involves experiential knowledge, not merely the accumulation of known facts. Ginōskō is one of the major verbs of the Bible and because of its numerous uses, Greek lexicographers ascribe a number of nuances of meaning including to get to know, come to understand, to ascertain, to have intimate relations with another, etc. The basic meaning of ginōskō is to know by experience. Knowledge possessed through the intellectual process of learning is one thing. However, knowledge gained by experience, by an active relationship between the one who knows and the person or thing known, is far superior to the former.


Pastor F. B. Meyer wrote, “We may know Him personally intimately face to face, Christ does not live back in the centuries nor amid the clouds of heaven, He is near us, with us, compassing our path in our lying down and acquainted with all our ways. But we cannot know Him in this mortal life except through the illumination and teaching of the Holy Spirit. To know Christ in the storm of battle, to know Him in the valley of shadow, to know Him when the solar light radiates our faces or when they are darkened with disappointment and sorrow, to know the sweetness of His dealing with bruised reeds and smoking flax, to know the tenderness of His sympathy and the strength of His right hand, all this involves many varieties of experience on our part. But each of them like the facets of a diamond will reflect the prismatic beauty of His glory from a new angle. Paul’s emphasis here is on gaining a deeper knowledge and intimacy with Christ.”

Pastor Charles Spurgeon writes, “Then it is clear, if I know him I shall have a very vivid sense of his personality. "That I may know Him." He will not be to me a myth, a vision, a spirit, but a person, a real solid person, as real as I am myself, or as my dearest friend can be to me. My soul, never be satisfied within a shadowy Christ. My heart, be thou never content until He hath embraced thy soul, and proved to thee that He is the lover of his people. This knowledge, then, must be a knowledge of Him in His personality. Then, beloved, it must be a personal knowledge on our part. I cannot know Christ through another person's brain. I cannot love Him with another man's heart, and I cannot see Him with another man's eyes. Heaven's delight is, "Mine eyes shall see him and not another." These eyes shall behold the King in His beauty. I am so afraid of living in a second-hand religion. God forbid that I should get a biographical experience. Lord save us from having borrowed communion. No, I must know Him myself. O God, let me not be deceived in this. I must know Him without fancy or proxy; I must know Him on mine own account.”

Do you know Him? That is the refrain I remembered from S. M. Lockridge (born Shadrach Meshach Lockridge, March 7, 1913 – April 4, 2000). He was the Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, a prominent African American congregation located in San Diego, California, from 1953 to 1993. He was known for his preaching across the United States and around the world. He is well-known for this magnificent six-and-a-half minute description of Jesus Christ, known as “That’s my King!” ...
My King was born King. The Bible says He’s a Seven Way King. He’s the King of the Jews—that’s an Ethnic King. He’s the King of Israel—that’s a National King. He’s the King of righteousness. He’s the King of the ages. He’s the King of Heaven. He’s the King of glory. He’s the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords. Now that’s my King. Well, I wonder if you know Him. Do you know Him? Don’t try to mislead me. Do you know my King? David said the Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork. My King is the only one of whom there are no means of measure that can define His limitless love. No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of the shore of His supplies. No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing. He’s enduringly strong. He’s entirely sincere. He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful. He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful. That’s my King. He’s God’s Son. He’s the sinner’s Savior. He’s the centerpiece of civilization. He stands alone in Himself. He’s honest. He’s unique. He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. He’s supreme. He’s pre-eminent. He’s the grandest idea in literature. He’s the highest personality in philosophy. He’s the supreme problem in higher criticism. He’s the fundamental doctrine of historic theology. He’s the carnal necessity of spiritual religion. That’s my King.He’s the miracle of the age. He’s the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him. He’s the only one able to supply all our needs simultaneously. He supplies strength for the weak. He’s available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He’s the Almighty God who guides and keeps all his people. He heals the sick. He cleanses the lepers. He forgives sinners. He discharged debtors. He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek. That’s my King. Do you know Him? Well, my King is a King of knowledge. He’s the wellspring of wisdom. He’s the doorway of deliverance. He’s the pathway of peace. He’s the roadway of righteousness. He’s the highway of holiness. He’s the gateway of glory. He’s the master of the mighty. He’s the captain of the conquerors. He’s the head of the heroes. He’s the leader of the legislatures. He’s the overseer of the overcomers. He’s the governor of governors. He’s the prince of princes. He’s the King of kings and He’s the Lord of lords. That’s my King. His office is manifold. His promise is sure. His light is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His Word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I wish I could describe Him to you… but He’s indescribable. That’s my King. He’s incomprehensible, He’s invincible, and He is irresistible. I’m coming to tell you this, that the heavens of heavens cannot contain Him, let alone a man explain Him. You can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t get Him off of your hands. You can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him. The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him. Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree about Him. Herod couldn’t kill Him. Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him. That’s my King. He always has been and He always will be. I’m talking about the fact that He had no predecessor and He’ll have no successor. There’s nobody before Him and there’ll be nobody after Him. You can’t impeach Him and He’s not going to resign. That’s my King! That’s my King! Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Well, all the power belongs to my King. We’re around here talking about black power and white power and green power, but in the end all that matters is God’s power. Thine is the power. Yeah. And the glory. We try to get prestige and honor and glory for ourselves, but the glory is all His. Yes. Thine is the Kingdom and the power and glory, forever and ever and ever and ever. How long is that? Forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever…And when you get through with all of the ever’s, then…Amen!

Oh Lord Jesus, how I thank You for my heritage of faith…for my Daddy who loved You with his whole heart, and introduced me to You...Thank You for filling me with the desire of my heart...my determined purpose is that I may know You, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of Your Person more strongly and more clearly…thank You for the many ways You reveal Yourself to me through Your Word, for Your Holy Spirit flowing through me, like a river...filling me with knowing You, washing away all my unbelief; filling me with Your glory, washing away all my pride; filling me with satisfaction in You, washing away all my idolatry; filling me with experiencing Your peace, washing away all my prayerlessness; filling me with enjoying Your presence, washing away all my legalism. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You...In Your precious name I pray, amen.

Previous word studies…

Romans 12:1-2…flawless…transformed by the Spirit

Romans 12:18-21…overcome by a Good, Good Father


9 word studies from Romans Chapter Eight…

12 word studies from Ephesians Chapter One…

Weekly LinkUps…

32 comments:

  1. What a beautiful dream :) God still speaks to us today!

    I really enjoyed this study, especially the speech from Pastor Lockridge. I was surprised how much it moved me, and how passionate he was! Amazing.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. You have really encouraged me today. I so agree with you about Pastor Lockridge's anointed words...tears flow every time I hear his precious words about my Savior Jesua Christ...many blessings to you ❤️

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  2. Yes and Amen! I do know Him... and I am oh so very thankful for that... for Him!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Karrilee. I so agree with you...truly, all is grace. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  3. Amen! This is my favorite post right now! The Lord Jesus He is the incomparable King.
    God Bless

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    1. Thank you, Ifeoma! I so appreciate your encouraging comments...many blessings to you ❤️

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  4. Wow Beth.. that Jesus Shadrack Meshack Lockridge knows is the one we know ! What an amazing description...I have save this as my life is spent in getting to know Him more and more as this man did.
    I would love to have heard his preach !!
    Thanks for introducing him Beth.

    Wonderful teaching as always, dear Beth.

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    1. Thank you sweet Mary, your kind words always encourage me and so many others! We can never hear enough about our precious Jesus! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  5. I love the quote from Pastor F. B. Meyer: “We may know Him personally intimately face to face, Christ does not live back in the centuries nor amid the clouds of heaven, He is near us, with us, compassing our path in our lying down and acquainted with all our ways." - experiencing this personally rocked my faith and completely transformed all I knew of God. How amazing is our God that He's so much in our lives!

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    1. Amen, Kathryn! I so agree with you...it is our personal relationship with Jesus that gives us such peace and joy in his presence...many blessings to you ❤️

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  6. Yes! I know Him! Thank you for this post & sharing with us at #RaRaLInkup today!

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    1. Angela, thank you so much for stopping by! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  7. Oh I know Him, love Him, worship Him! Neighbor from Women With Intention link up.

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    1. Amen, Michelle! I so agree with you...thanks for stopping by. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  8. What a great word, Beth!

    I love that old message from S. M. Lockridge. One of my seminary professors found it on YouTube, and played the recording of him preaching this message. Very powerful!

    Oh, that I may really know Him. What a wonderful goal!

    Came over on Little R and R.

    Hope you have a blessed day today~
    Melanie

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    1. Melanie, thank you so much for stopping by...I so enjoyed listening to Pastor Lockridge...can't listen without weeping though...all grateful tears...many blessings to you!

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  9. Your daddy story touched me, Beth ... my own daddy died in June, one day after we moved here to do life with him and my mom. And then our littlest grandchild went to heaven to join him not long after.

    That they are with their Heavenly Father is a great comfort.

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    1. Linda, I'm so sorry for you loss of two precious loved ones...it is our blessed assurance that we will see them again...I believe my dream was a little glimpse of how Daddy looks in heaven...many blessings to you ❤️

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  10. It sounds like you had an amazing daddy, Beth. You were truly blessed. What a wonderful gift you've created for your precious children with those letters. I love that idea! Unfortunately, my parents didn't teach me about Christ growing up so I'm just getting to know Him. Thank you for all of these wonderful quotes on who He truly is.

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    1. Thank you, Candace...I do feel blessed...I was adopted at four months of age after my birth mother first tried to abort me and then left me at a Salvation Army hospital...but our Heavenly Father knows the end from the beginning and His timing is perfect...many blessings to you ❤️

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  11. Beth, a beautiful post. I love the quote by Spurgeon> "Then it is clear, if I know him I shall have a very vivid sense of his personality. That I may know Him." It is powerful to think in terms of God having a personality. Yet we truly need to recognize that as it is the means to knowing Him, more intimately & deeply. Grateful to have linked after you at Thought Provoking Thursday! Blessings!

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    1. Thank you so much, Joanne, I so agree with you...thank you for stopping by, many blessings to you ❤️

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  12. Beth,
    I have seen and heard S.M. Lockridge's famous "Do You Know Him Speech"...how powerful. I admit that it was in the depths, the valley, the battle that I truly came to know my Savior. I believe that I had to be humbled enough to truly come to "know" Him. Always am blessed by your words...
    Blessings,
    Bev

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    1. Bev, every time I listen to Pastor Lockridge's anointed words tears flow as I, too, am humbled by the majesty and glory of His Name. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  13. What a great idea - getting letters about your loved on from others who knew them well!

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    1. Kelly, it is such a blessing to have these letters about Daddy for my children and now grandchildren...this was in the days before the internet so I mailed sheets of beautiful paper to them to request their letter with a self addressed stamped envelope. A few people called and asked if they could send me a cassette tape which I transcribed onto the paper for them. I remember the tears flowing as I listened to those sweet stories of how my Daddy had been the hands and feet of Jesus in their lives. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  14. Beth...I loved this from Spurgeon: "I must know Him without fancy or proxy; I must know Him on mine own account.” How true! Thank you for sharing at Monday's Musings.

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    1. I so agree with you Naomi...thank you for stopping by...many blessings to you ❤️

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  15. That I may know Him. AMEN! Thank you for sharing, Beth. Hugs, Susan

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Susan! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  16. I love that God created us for relationship with Him, and that we get to know Him!

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    1. Barbie, I so agree with you...thanks for stopping by. Many blessings to you!

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