I'm sure you know "The Book" is the Bible. In it are interesting contents of history, prophecy, poetry, philosophy, biography, and a host of other valuable and interesting subjects.
Its geography will take a person on an exciting trip from the Garden of Eden to Egypt, to Babylon, to Canaan -- and on "to the uttermost part of the earth." Quite a book! One can really get emotionally and intellectually involved with the stories about Adam and Eve, Joseph, Moses, Samson, Elijah and many other dramatic personalities and great events.
However, as interesting as the Bible narratives are, they have not been written merely for our intellectual entertainment. Actually, the Bible is God's autobiography, a revelation of Himself to those whom He created "in His own image and likeness." He wants us to know who He is.
It is possible to become so interested in the Biblical characters and events, that we may actually overlook that the Bible is God's word; -- it is God's clear revelation of Himself. If you wish to know who God is, and what He is like -- it is found in the Word, and is there for us to discover . As followers of God, we need to know more about Him.
Even though he knew the Lord, the Apostle Paul still cried out, "That I might know Him and the power of His resurrection" (Phil.3:10). What was he asking for? He wanted to know God better, -- because there was much more of Him to know. Moses, a "friend" of God, said to Him, "Teach me Your ways so I may know You and continue to find favor with You" (Ex.33:13). How well do we know God? Are we getting better acquainted with Him? What have we discovered about Him since we were saved?
During the Lord's ministry on earth young John the Beloved knew the Lord well enough to lay his head on Jesus' bosom. In his later years while a prisoner on the Isle of Patmos, he received an entirely upgraded concept of Christ when he saw Him in glory. In describing the Lord, he used terms that spoke of deity, of glory and power, such as he had not experienced before (Rev. 1:12-18).
The more we know about God, the stronger our faith and our love for Him will be. The Apostles taught the Church that it needs to know more about God. Peter said, "Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18). Paul instructed the Ephesian believers to submit to the teaching of their spiritual leaders: "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:11-13). Where will we get this knowledge about Him? -- Answer: In the BOOK!
When we read the Bible, what do we look for? Have we given attention to God's interaction with His people? Have we noticed His instructions? Have we become aware of His responses to those who obey Him, and to those who ignore Him? All of His actions and words reported in the Bible will lead us to a clearer discovery of Him as He truly is.
We MUST SEEK the LORD!
We may know some things about God, but we must eagerly seek to truly know Him. "If from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul" (Deut. 4:29). God often spoke to people who knew about Him, but He advised them, "Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13).
How can we get to know the Lord as we should? "Where shall I go to seek Him?" The answer is: In the Book! If we search for Him with all our hearts, the Holy Spirit will help us discover God. The prophet Hosea said, "Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord" (6:3). Jesus taught: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Mat. 6:33).
The Holy Spirit will help us to find God in fulness, when we diligently read His Word, -- the BOOK! (John 14:26; 16:13).
When we find Him -- we shall discover God to be:
1. A highly intelligent and powerful God. He is not like the dumb idols of the heathen who cannot speak or save their worshippers. "They (the idols) are upright as the palm tree, but speak not...they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good" (Jer. 10:5). They are gods "that cannot save" (Isa. 45:20). On the other hand, Isaiah declares, "Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding!" (Isa. 40:28). He is the Architect, Builder and Sustainer of the universe.
2. A holy, perfect, immutable God. He hates sin, evil and filth, and declares, "I am holy." Peter wrote: "He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation" (1 Pet. 1:16). He is the perfect One, "With Whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (Ja, 1:17). God said, "I am the Lord, I change not (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 1:12). He is "the same yesterday, today and forever" (Heb. 13:8).
3. A merciful and loving God. "He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities" (Ps. 103:10). Evidences of His mercy and love are plentifully found throughout the Bible. "For God is love" (1 Jn. 4:8).
4. A generous God. "O taste and see that the Lord is good" (Ps.34:8). "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Eph. 3:20). This characteristic of God should give us confidence to believe His promise: "Call unto Me and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not" (Jer. 33:3).
5. A patient and forgiving God. The Book discloses that God is long-suffering. Hear what David had to say: "Thou O Lord, Thou art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth" (Ps. 86:15). Peter wrote, "The Lord...is long-suffering, to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9).
6. A God who yearns for fellowship with us. It began before the foundation of the earth, but became clearly evident with mankind in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:8). Jesus expressed it with, "Abide in Me, and I in you" (Jn.15:4). Paul declares, "God is faithful, by Whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:9). Jesus promised, "I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (Jn. 14:3). In His "presence is fulness of joy; at His right hand there are pleasures for evermore" (Ps.16:11). He calls today, "Come unto Me!"
7. In really discovering God, we will find that He is worthy of our devotion, of our faithfulness, and of our constant praise. There is none like Him. He is everything anyone would ever want or need. He makes the difference between mere existence and real life.
God inspired His prophets to document events and experiences He has had with mankind and with other of His creatures. Inevitably, these reveal His personality and describe His character. He arranged to compile them into a book called THE BIBLE. Do you truly want to see Him as He is? know Him? understand Him? He's in this Book. Search for Him as you read it. As you search, you will soon discover more about Him, (perhaps just a little at a time), but it will bring His picture clearly into focus and will revolutionize your life.
Encourage your people to really discover God in the Book, -- and get a clearer picture of Him every time they read it. Bless you!