Friday, October 19, 2018

“Ought To Know”

"Ought To Know"


     God doesn't always explain His reasons for what He does.  Full understanding of our Lord's whys and wherefores transcends our ability to 

(a repeat from 2011)

"Someone To Thank"


     What if there was no one to thank?  The thought occurred to me several years ago when Frances and I sat on the shore of a beautiful lake in north Alabama.  The sun was shining, a gentle breeze wafted in the trees, birds sang, and the first cool air of the season brought its sweet blend of rest and invigoration.  It's hard to imagine a venue or circumstance that could bring a greater sense of blessing from the One who bestows "every good gift and every perfect gift" (James 1:18).

    What if there was no one to thank?  The very heart would be stolen from moments of blessing.  We might still enjoy them in an emotional awareness of the pleasant and the enjoyable.  However, the only personal aspect of the experience would be the sharing of the moment with fellow human beings, either in being with them as it occurs, or in telling others later.  This is a nice thing to do, of course, and being with Frances made the blessing infinitely more joyful than it would have been without her.  I also enjoy telling you about it.

    Again, however, what if there was no one to thank?  If a mindless and heartless universe somehow brought us to that lake, that breeze, that sunlight, that togetherness, and that sense of goodness as merely a random occurrence of fate or chance, I wouldn't be writing these words.  Honestly, I wouldn't care enough to do so.  I have no interest in writing just for writing's sake, even about nice and pleasant things.  No, if there is no one to thank, there is little or nothing to report.  There are merely descriptions of random occurrences that will all too soon flee away as dry leaves in the whirlwind.

    There is someone to thank.  The Bible declares, "He giveth to all life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25).  The old hymn echoes, "Out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again."  Our hearts know deeply within that the very existence of our capacity for gratitude presupposes the existence of Someone from whom we receive every good and perfect gift. I wouldn't want to exist if I didn't believe and know such Truth to be true.  I know you share this gratitude for the capacity to be grateful.  Oh yes, there is Someone to thank, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Life is not life unless we consistently recognize His gracious generosity, and our need to not only receive, but to realize and give thanks.

"Oh Lord my God, I will give thanks unto Thee forever!"
(Psalm 30:12)

Weekly Memory Verse
    "I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being."
(Psalm 104:33)

 .  We will all at times feel as did Agur, in the Proverbs...

    "Surely I am more brutish (stupid) than any man, and have not the understanding of a man" (Proverbs 30:2).

    Such honest acknowledgement of our limitations notwithstanding, we can all likely know more than we do of God's ways and His whys.  "Call unto Me and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not" (Jeremiah 33:3).  Can any of us say that we have full devoted ourselves to knowing our Lord and His truth?  The Apostle Paul answered the question for us: "If any man knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know" (I Corinthians 8:2).  Paul informs us that we "ought to know" more than we do.  This includes every believer.  Thus, when our Heavenly Father works in a manner that challenges our comprehension, the issue may involve God's ways being greater than our mental capacity.  However, we may also need to acknowledge the possibility that we could understand if we had better availed ourselves of the tools and opportunities He provides to consistently grow in our knowledge of His ways.

    "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9).
    "He will teach us of His ways" (Isaiah 2:3).

    We cannot know all.  But we can consistently know more.  We must know more of God and His ways in order to avoid unnecessary consternation in times of challenge when our Lord's workings defy the understanding of the simple.  An open Bible, a prayerful heart, fellowship with like hearted believers, and expectation of God's involved presence in every aspect of our lives will prepare us to "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18).  We "ought to know" more than we do.  Today offers the possibility for significant advance in our understanding of God and His ways.  No excuse exists to not avail ourselves of Light offered and Light beheld by those who acknowledge that we could and should know more than we do.

"Seek His face ever more."
(Psalm 105:4)                                                     

Weekly Memory Verse
    "I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being."
(Psalm 104:33)


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