My goals fit into different categories: health, personal development, work, family & friends, spiritual growth, and fun. I have mapped out a target number of minutes to exercise each week, how many books I want to read, a writing project I want to pursue, specific things to do as a family, a book I want to use in my prayer life, how many rounds of golf I want to play, and several more. Are you working through similar targets for yourself?
While all these goals can be helpful, I also find myself reflecting on some BIGGER THINGS. I was walking out to my car a minute ago and found myself praying out loud, “Lord, I really want to KNOW YOU MORE this year.” As I pray that prayer, I find myself reflecting on a few things:
- By God’s grace, I already know the Lord. I don’t mean I know all of Him, but I mean I know much of Him. He has given us His Word, history, nature, the inner testimony of the Holy Spirit, the communion of the Body of Christ, and more to help us know Him … and I am so thankful for that gift. However, I want to continue to get to know Him better and better. “And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom God has sent (John 17:3).”
- Knowing more of God most likely means walking with God through difficult things. We get to know much of God through worship and Bible Study … but there is a FELLOWSHIP with God that comes as we suffer in His name (Philippians 3:9) or walk with Him through dark valleys (Psalm 23).
- Knowing more of God probably also means exploring areas of God’s character we may have neglected investigating in the past for a variety of reasons.
My strong guess is that many of you probably have on your list for 2022 that you want to know God better. To say it another way, I would highly doubt that many of you have a New Year’s Resolution to be further away from God in December 2022 than you are today. So how will this happen?
Well, as it relates to walking with God through difficult things, we don’t have to go looking for trouble. My guess is that enough hard moments will find you on their own in 2022. Our task will be to simply trust God when these hard times surface. And, the best way I know to trust God is to get to know MORE of His character by investigating previously neglected sections of God’s Word to see how trustworthy He really is.
So, at Wildwood in 2022, I want to take our Sunday sermons and have a stated goal. I want us to get to know Jesus better this year. Collectively. As a church family. Get to know Christ more, and get to know Him in a way that will impact the way we trust Him, the way we live our lives, and the way our community is impacted in a positive way as a result. I want us to stare at the awesome greatness of our God together, until the glow of His redeeming Light reflects off of us into a dark and dying world.
The tool we will use to this end will be looking at the oft-avoided, yet awesome book “The Revelation.” This last book of the New Testament is a book written with a promised benefit, “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. (Revelation 1:3)” But it is also a book that unveils Jesus for us, reminding us of who Jesus truly is. Too many look at Revelation as a veiled, symbolic confusion … but that is not fair or accurate. In fact, the Greek Word that gives this book its title, actually means to “make something appear” not to bury it. And what appears when we read its pages? Jesus Christ. After all, Revelation 1:1a begins and tells us that this is – “The revelation of Jesus Christ…” It is a book about Him, not just charts, graphs, and end-of-world events. Jesus is the star of the show. If we want to get to know Him, we need to look at this revelation.
This Sunday, January 2, 2022, it is going to be cold outside. And you may even be a little bleary-eyed from New Year’s Eve festivities. But don’t let those reasons keep you from joining with us at Wildwood in one of our 3 Sunday morning services: 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00. We will be looking at Revelation 1:1-8 in the first message of our series on Revelation, as we continue to get to know Jesus better as individuals and as a church family. Hope to see you Sunday … and bring friends!!