It’s not what you know, but who you know

IMG_0717 It’s not what you know, but Who you know

I’ve done more reading in the last two years than I’ve done in the past 25 years put together.  At least it seems that way.  I’ve never been an avid reader, never gotten hooked on romance or adventure novels, and always found my relaxation in active things such as hiking or gardening. But this reading has been different. Wonderful. The reading has been part of my Master’s program in Ministry Studies and Women’s Leadership. I’ve been learning theology and ministry skills. I’m not in it for the academics, or to win contests in Bible Trivia.  I’m certainly not in it to impress others with my knowledge. I’m in it to know the God who has calls me His own.

I’ve read the philosophies and perspectives of people from many different walks of life.  It helps me to see how people think, and why.  In the end however, I come back to one thing: God has given us a wonderful book we call the Bible.  Its purpose is to show us who God is and what He is like.  It is the story of Him creating and cultivating a relationship with us.  Often we are rebellious, proud, self-focused and unthankful for all He has given us.  And still, He pursues us.

What’s my point here?

There are many opinions on how to approach Scripture, truth, morality, and human liberties.  I plan to continue that topic in another post.  But for now I want to say, “It’s not what you know, it’s Who you know.”  The Scriptures were written primarily for us to know who God is and How we may know Him.  Volumes and volumes have been written by men and women who have dedicated their lives to knowing God through His Scriptures.  It is a pursuit that is both the most satisfying thing a person can do, and the most intriguing. There is always more to discover because the Word of God is living and active.  It is able to weigh our thoughts and intentions, and it is able to lead us to know God.  In fact, I find that the more I study Him the more I want to study Him.  He is the ultimate pursuit.  The book of Hebrews tells us that we train ourselves to understand God by constantly using His Word (chapter 5:11-14).

I am ever thankful for the opportunity to know my Creator.  How?  Because He has revealed Himself in the Scriptures.  They have taught me that someone is higher than me, and is my authority.  Yet beautifully, someone is higher than me, and calls me to be His own. That’s the most fulfilling thing I know.  It’s why I value not what I know, but who I am getting to know better every day.  It’s why Christians say we have a “relationship with God.”  We have been trained to read His love letter to us.  And when we do (when we really do) we know Him even more.

I’ll leave you with a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that has meant a lot to me for a number of years:

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

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Lift Each Other Up

My last post was about building each other up. That topic and this one tug at my heart. As God’s children, we not only need to build each other up, we need to LIFT each other up. 

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Great leaders don’t rise to the top by stepping on the backs of others.  Great leaders are lifted to the top on the shoulders of those who follow them.  

Jesus’ theory was that whoever wants to be great must be a servant of others rather than promoting himself (Mark 9:35).  Of course, any theory held by Jesus wasn’t exactly theory; it was (& is) the very Word of truth.  In fact, Jesus demonstrated his theory in action when he humbled Himself to the point of death on the cross (Philippians 2:8).

We will never grow to be who God wants us to be by holding others back. We are at our best when we allow others to be at their best.  The family of God is placed together to create a strong body, and without every part of the body, we cannot function properly. God has put us together, “so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).    Mutual concern for each other makes us strong.

It’s on my heart to say this: Christian brother or sister I need you.  You are important and you are needed.  I cannot be at my best unless you are at yours.  How can I lift you up on my shoulders so that you shine as brightly as you can with the love of Christ? How can I celebrate the way God is using you as part of His kingdom? How can I step out of the way so that your light can be clearly seen?

Should we want to be used by God? Absolutely. But it’s deadly when we need to be. Being loved by God sets us free to celebrate whomever God uses.                                   –Mike Donehey,                    Tenth Avenue North

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Celebrating the achievements of others makes us all stronger.

Lord, Help me to celebrate others, their gifts and their achievements.  Show me how to give every opportunity for them to shine in your kingdom.  Like a forest set on fire with your truth, may our mutual flame be inextinguishable. May we bring glory to You together!