To Be Known by God
There is a brief update on my cancer
treatment at the end of this message.
Thoughts ABOUT God should be at the heart of our individual and corporate worship OF God. In his 1973 classic, KNOWING GOD, J. I. Packer presented a wonderful tutorial for Christians on what it means to know God (not just to know things about him). This week’s WORSHIP QUOTE focuses on the fact that this Person, the amazing object of our reflection, devotion, and worship is, in fact, the God who thoroughly knows you and me. These are sobering and lofty thoughts for the beginning of a new year.
TO BE KNOWN BY GOD
What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it--the fact that HE KNOWS ME. I am graven on the palms of his hands. I am never out of his mind. All my knowledge of him depends on his sustained initiative in knowing me. I know him because he first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when his eye is off me, or his attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when his care falters.
This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort--the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates--in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me.
There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that he sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow humans do not see (and am I glad!), and that he sees more corruption in me than that which I see in myself (which, in all conscience, is enough). There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, he wants me as his friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given his Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose. We cannot work these thoughts out here, but merely to mention them is enough to show how much it means to know not merely that we know God, but that he knows us.
— J. I. Packer, KNOWING GOD. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1973, Text Americanized and completely retypeset in 1993, pp. 41-42. ISBN 0-8308-1650-X
MORE GREAT WORSHIP QUOTES FROM J. I. PACKER
HEALTH UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST
FOR CHIP STAM, CANCER PATIENT
Dear praying friends,
New photos and longer cancer journal updates are located at www.caringbridge.org/visit/carlstam. Thanks for the encouraging notes that many have left in the "guestbook" area of that site. Your faithfulness in love and prayer has been a consistent and tangible part of God’s care for us.
My PET scan (Positron Emission Topography) was on Sunday afternoon, 12/30/07. They gave me a CD containing all the images. Of course, those are fascinating and almost meaningless to my untrained eye. The radiologist will read the images by Wednesday, 1/2/08, and get the report to my doctors.
Chemo #5 (of 6) was yesterday, 12/31/07. Doris and I got there at 8:30 A.M. and were finally finished at 3:00 P.M.—a very long day. Today I am not feeling great, but am able to eat small portions of things that don’t taste very interesting. I will go in tomorrow (Jan. 2) for a NeuLasta injection and will see my oncologist on January 7. There is nothing new to report on the compression fracture.
HOW TO PRAY
Please pray that the Lord will continue to strengthen me for the "job" of being a good cancer patient. We are praying that the most recent PET scan will show that my body is clear of the lymphoma.
The Lord continues to show himself to be both great and good. He is our strength and our portion (Psalm 73:26). Knowing that so many people are faithfully praying for us is a comfort and a joy. We are immensely grateful for your important role in our journey.
Trusting and resting in Him,
Chip and Doris Stam
Have a great week!
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
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