July 18, 2023

Enjoying God Personally

Series: Discipleship Scripture: John 15:11, John 16:23–24

John 15:11, "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full."

John 16:23-24, "In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."

John 17:13, "But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves."

“There has been a long tradition which sees the mission of the Church primarily as obedience to a command. It has been customary to speak of ‘the missionary mandate.’ This way of putting the matter is certainly not without justification, and yet it seems to me that it misses the point. It tends to make mission a burden rather than a joy, to make it part of the law rather than part of the gospel. If one looks at the New Testament evidence one gets another impression. Mission begins with a kind of explosion of joy. The news that the rejected and crucified Jesus is alive is something that cannot possibly be suppressed. It must be told.  Who could be silent about such a fact? The mission of the Church in the pages of the New Testament is more like the fallout from a vast explosion, a radioactive fallout which is not lethal but life-giving.” Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society (Grand Rapids, 1989), page 116.

While pastor of the Bethlehem Baptist Church, Pastor John Piper and his staff coined a vision statement that should be that of every Christian and every church: "We exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples."

The spreading of joy in God is the reason why missions exist. Piper went on to say, "Missions exist because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more.”

Pastor Sam Storms captures the thinking of so many Christians, myself included, when he wrote, "There was a time when I thought the verb “enjoy” and the noun “God” should never be used in the same sentence. I could understand “fearing” God and “obeying” God, even “loving” God. But “enjoying” God struck me as inconsistent with the biblical mandate both to glorify God, on the one hand, and deny myself, on the other. How could I be committed above all else to seeking God’s glory if I were concerned about my own joy? My gladness and God’s glory seemed to cancel each other out. I had to choose between one or the other, but embracing them both struck me as out of the question. Worse still, enjoying God sounded a bit too lighthearted, almost casual, perhaps even flippant, and I knew that Christianity was serious business.

"Then I read Jonathan Edwards (1703-58). Something he said hit me like a bolt of lightning. Edwards said, 'Now what is glorifying God, but a rejoicing at that glory he has displayed? An understanding of the perfections of God, merely, cannot be the end of the creation; for he had as good not understand it, as see it and not be at all moved with joy at the sight. Neither can the highest end of creation be the declaring God’s glory to others; for the declaring God’s glory is good for nothing otherwise than to raise joy in ourselves and others at what is declared.'

"'God is glorified not only by his glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it. God made the world that he might communicate, and the creature receive, his glory . . . both [with] the mind and the heart. He that testifies his having an idea of God’s glory [doesn’t] glorify God so much as he that testifies also his approbation [i.e., his heartfelt commendation or praise] of it and his delight in it.'"

"Edwards’ point is that passionate and joyful admiration of God, and not merely intellectual apprehension, is the aim of our existence. If God is to be supremely glorified in us it’s critically essential that we be supremely glad in him and in what he has done for us in Jesus."

  1. S. Lewis said, "Joy is the serious business of Heaven." The first Christmas was the occasion of God's opening the door of Heaven and allowing His joy to go public! Through that door the angel of the Lord appeared to a group of lowly shepherds and said, in essence, "This is it! I "gospelize you with great joy." I bring you the greatest news this world has ever heard ?? Joy to the World the Lord Has Come!" And suddenly the doors of Heaven where flung wide open and there was with the angel of the Lord a choir made up of a multitude of other angels singing, "Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace toward men with whom He is well pleased!"

Joy to the world still remains God's goal. The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (beginning right now!). Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:17c, ".... he gives us richly all things to enjoy." We will one day fully and finally enter into the joys of the Lord. Jesus came as a man of joy and accomplished His mission because of the joy that was set before him (Heb 12:2).  He said to his disciples, "My joy I leave with you." In John 17:13, "And now I come to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves."

The book of Luke begins with John the Baptist leaping for joy in his mother's womb. The joy increases in the presence of a baby born in a cow stable and ends with joy at and empty tomb in the presence of a risen, living Lord. (Read Luke 24:52-53). Luke continues to unfold the goal of God in the experience of bringing joy to the world in the book of Acts. The disciples, filled with the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, were so exultant, so excited, so joy?filled, that the people accused them of being drunk with new wine!  The converts at Pentecost came together with "gladness and singleness of heart." Wherever the gospel came in power there was "great joy in that place." Paul writes, "Rejoice (i.e. literally,  celebrate!) in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice, celebrate." Peter writes about "joy unspeakable and full of glory."

A Bible teacher asked a young man in the catechism class, "What is the chief end of man?" To which he replied, "To glorify God and annoy Him forever!" Although the correct answer is to enjoy Him forever, Philip Yancey, after visiting churches around the world, said, "My impression is that “not many people in church look as if they’re enjoying God or them­selves.” What an indictment! By the way, if we don't enjoy Him, we do annoy Him! Puritan Jeremy Taylor said, "God threatens serious things if we will not be happy!"

William Tyndale described the Christian gospel as "good, merry, glad, and joyful tidings, that makes a man's heart glad, and makes him sing, dance, and leap for joy." Augustine said, "The Christian should be an alleluia from head to foot." Martin Luther said, "The Christian ought to be a living doxology." John Wesley said, "Sour godliness is the Devil's religion."

Where has all the joy gone?  How come so few seem to truly enjoy God" Beloved, isn't it time we ask the Lord to restore unto His people the JOY of His salvation?

Enjoying God Begins by Knowing Him Personally

Jeremiah 9:23-24, "Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD."

John 17:3, "And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."

Philippians 3:10, "That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death..."

What is the goal of the Christian life? What is our reason for being? Why should anyone want to be a Christian? Someone would say that it's for the sake of inner comfort and peace (no, but this is abundantly supplied). Someone else would say that it's for the sake of the power to cope with the demands, the petty hassles, the frustrations, or even the tragedies of life (no, but this is abundantly supplied). Someone else answers, "To miss Hell and go to Heaven when we die." (no, but this is a part of the salvation package). Another person suggests that it is for the sake of having a purpose, a reason for living (no, but this is abundantly supplied). Another says it's for the sake of the forgiveness of sins (no, although of course this too is essential and is abundantly supplied). None of these fringe benefits, which seem to have moved from the fringes into the center of things in the testimonies of too many modern Christians, is the central thing. What is it? Knowing God! This is life eternal to know the living God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Three little boys were secretly overheard by one of the Dads as they engaged in one of those, “my-Dad-is-bigger-and-better-than-your-Dad” type of conversations.

One little boy said, “My Dad knows the famous golfer, Jack Nicklaus!”

The second shouted, “Hey, that’s nothing, my Dad knows the President of the United States!”

The father of the third little fellow heard his son say, “Hey, that’s nothing, my Dad KNOWS GOD!”

The thought that it is possible to know God is mind-boggling! The testimony that one knows God personally and intimately through the Lord Jesus Christ is the miracle of all miracles!

What does it mean to know God? How does one come to know God? How well can God be known? Let's turn to God's revelation of Himself in His Word and find not just information but intimate involvement with God, our Heavenly Father.

The Experience of Knowing God is a Matter of Special Grace

What are the Ways in which we can Know a Person?

(1) Historically– (as an American, feeling like you know George Washington, Abe Lincoln, etc):

(2) Contemporaneously (such as a very popular, well-known person that you especially like):

(3) Personally (you have personally been introduced to this person):

(4) Intimately (you have spent time in this person’s presence and opened your heart up so as to become close friends).

Everyone knows God in one way, but not everyone knows God in a personal way! -- (Read Romans 1:18-21)

The voice of God in creation and in conscience is not sufficient to save us, but this knowledge does take away all excuses from all peoples in all times and places!

1 Corinthians 2:14, "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

Knowing God Personally and Savingly Requires a Special Revelation of God to our hearts, by His Spirit, from His Word!

(a) God’s knowing us implies personal affection and powerful communication – Galatians 4:9, “…But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God,...”

Perhaps a more modern term than revelation -- which means to reveal something -- is the word communication. Communication suggests someone approaching us, coming close to us, speaking to us, telling us about himself, opening his heart and mind to us, giving us what he has, telling us what he knows, asking for our attention and getting our response to what he is communicating. This is exactly what God has done in His Son, the Word that became flesh! The word is the communication, the in-fleshing of the heart and mind of God. This is what He does in the person of the Holy Spirit who calls and communicates to our hearts the desire to both will and do of the Father's good pleasure.

John 10:27, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me."

Romans 8:29, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren."

When God says He knows His people, He’s not referring to specific information that He has about them, but instead to specific intentions and special affections for them. The Old Testament word for knowing God is the same one used for describing sexual intimacy -- Genesis 4:1, "Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain,…" To foreknow is to fore love, to be affectionate toward.

(b) God’s knowing us requires redeeming, communicating, regenerating action on His part

Galatians 1:15-16, "But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, (16) to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood."

Matthew 11:27, "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."

When Paul says, “we are known by God,” and that it "pleased the Father to reveal His Son in him," he is declaring that the grace-work of God had come in His loving, redeeming, choosing, calling, communicating, persevering way, and brought him and all who come to Him into a lasting, love relationship with the Father. Without this work of special grace, we would never know God.

Knowing God is a Matter of Seeking His Face

  1. One can know a great deal about God without a real intimate knowledge of Him.

Knowledge to a Westerner is about getting information and using our minds. However, in the biblical conception, knowledge is not essentially or even primarily rooted in the intellect and mental activity. Rather, it is more experiential and is embedded in the emotions, so that it may encompass such qualities as contact, intimacy, concern, relatedness and mutuality.

We must allow the Spirit of God to turn the information (truth) we learn about God into meditation before God with, which results in involvement in prayer and praise to God. Meditation is activity of holy thought con­sciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God as a means to communion with God.

The reason why so many Christians have such a superficial relationship with God is because they do not seek His face but His hand. Instead of coming to Him as Father, most believers approach Him as though He were the Chairman of Relief and Welfare.

  1. Knowing God Intimately begins with a Sense of Personal Relationship ?? Psalm 63:1a, "O God, thou art my God ?? (Elohim, Eli?? O thou Ever?Awesome One, my Strong God art Thou.) David said again in Psalm 118:28, "Thou art my God, and I will praise thee; thou art my God, and I will exalt thee."

To “know God” is to have a vital relationship with him, one characterized by faithfulness, and rooted in love, confidence, and profound, enduring regard. Trust and knowledge are integral and inseparable aspects of such a relationship.

  1. Knowing God Prompts One to Forever go on Seeking Intimate Companionship with Him ?? Psalm 63:1b,"early will I seek thee."
  2. Finders become Seekers ?? early will I seek thee

The word early carries three ideas, early, earnestly and eagerly. Hebs. 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

Psalms 34:10, "... But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing."; Psalms 105:4, "Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!"; Psalms 119:2, "Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart!" ; Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

Knowing God is a Matter of Individual Pace

What we love most intimately, we long for the most passionately. In Psalm 63, we learn that David sought God personally in the morning ?? v 1; publicly in the daytime ?? v 2; and privately in the nighttime ?? v 6

Those who have once caught a glimpse of the glory long for more to be made manifested. ?? Psalm 63:2

Moses had been in the presence of God for 80 days, and yet after having seen and experienced so much, his request to God was, "Show me thy glory! Moses knew and was known by God, but the taste that he had been given only served to whet his appetite to know Him more dearly and clearly, so he cries out in Exodus 33:13, "Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight."

Paul, after having known Christ for thirty years declares that his heart's desire is in Philippians 3:10, "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,…"

We know as much of God as we want to. All true Christians know God, and all know Him on different levels, all based upon their heart hunger for Him and not their intellectual hunt for theological facts. It's passionate lovers of God that long to know Him in an ever-increasing manner.

Many Christians are thirsting for miracles and manifestations ?? for one spine?tingling experience after another. But Jesus is jealous for us to seek Him for Himself. He is looking for His Bride, not just someone who "dates" Him on weekends! He is looking for hearts that allow him to feel at home, and not for hearts that offer Him motel service for a couple of weekend love?affairs. He is seeking for passionate worshippers, not dutiful workers. Many have turned Christianity into a history lesson instead of a never?ending love?affair with Jesus.

How does one get to know God more intimately?

In the Bible, we discover different figures that explain, expand and explore how and what it means to know God.

  1. A Father/Son relationship -- To know the Father requires, loving the Father, learning from the Father by obeying Him, and living to fulfill Father's purposes -- to see His kingdom come more fully, His will done more completely, and His name revered pervasively!
  2. A wife knowing her husband -- With God as the Husband and Christians as the wife, we must seek intimacy, practice fidelity, live in transparency and openness, and cultivate union and communion.
  3. A subject knowing his King -- God is the King, we are the subjects. In this relationship there is serving and obeying, bowing freely and fearing His authority, and honoring the request of the King.
  4. A sheep knowing it’s Shepherd -- From this analogy we see a relationship thought of in terms of following or obeying, trusting our Great Shepherd.
  5. The Exploits of Those who Know their God

Daniel 11:32, ‘Those who do wickedly against the covenant He shall corrupt with flattery, but the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.” One translation says,  “These people shall stand firm and take action.”

What does it mean to know God? How does it translate into daily life?The people who know God have great energy for God -- "These people shall stand firm and take action" (Daniel 11:32)

Hebrews 11:33 -35..."who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection." 

One could sum these verses up by stating that those who know God have backbone or courage!

Those who know God have great thoughts of God

Our God Large and in Charge! He is Completely Righteous, Inexhaustibly Powerful, Absolutely Truth, Eternally Unchangeable, Gloriously Holy, Infallibly Wise, Infinitely Loving and Personally Joyful -- and by grace I can say I KNOW HIM! Hallelujah!

Those who know God show great boldness for God

Men who fear only God and who perceive that He rules over every detail of their lives do not quit because of the odds against them, nor the dangers around them, because they know the God above them has their times in His hands!

The disciples must have been shocked when the Lord commissioned them to make disciples of all the nations.  That assignment was nothing short of overwhelming.  It was a case of eleven men against the world, eleven relatively ignorant men of the most despised nation under the sun against all the power and wisdom of the world.

"Impossible!" they thought.  "Utterly impossible!" they reasoned.  "Unthinkable!" they felt.

Their Commander knew their thoughts, but His thoughts were infinitely higher.  Said He in effect:  "Did you in your own strength confide, your striving would indeed be losing.  But remember that you are not alone.  I, the man of God's own choosing, am on your side.  Lord Sabaoth is my name.  Mine are all authority and all power on earth and in heaven.  Yes, even Satan and all his host cannot so much as stir without my permission. With this confidence they strode into every part of the know world confronting demons, diseases, and moral and spiritual darkness, announcing Jesus is Lord!

Those who know God have great contentment in God

Oswald Chambers, in commenting on the Hebrew men about to be cast into the fiery furnace in the book of Daniel: ‘These Hebrew children committed their case to God and graciously and peacefully and calmly and quietly washed their hands of the consequences.”

The famed trapeze artist Rodleigh gives us a glimpse of what goes on between the one suspended in air, hurtling through space, and the one waiting for the right split second to grab him and kept him from falling. He said, "When I fly to Joe I have simply to stretch out my arms and hands and wait for him to catch me and pull me to safely over the apron behind the catch-bar …You see the worst thing a flyer can do is to try and catch the catcher… Don't try to grab him; he will grab you. Just stretch out your arms and hands and trust, trust, trust!" Nailed pierced hands are stretched out to you -- but if you're hands are full, clenched into a fist, are wrapped around yourself, or even grabbing for someone to catch you-- you'll keep falling! Stretch out your arms in trust and say nothing in my hands I bring -- take me Father, I am yours and your alone!

Those who know God have great enjoyment in their true identity!

The basis of our identity is of utmost importance. Most people try to answer this question by what they do for a living, where they go to school, how lovely their family is, what they own, etc.

If God is to love you, what must He give you? He must give you what is best for you. What is the best thing He can give us. The best thing in all the universe is God. If He were to give you all health, best job, best spouse, best computer, best vacations, best success in any realm, and yet withhold Himself, then He would hate you. And if He gives you Himself and nothing besides, he loves you infinitely.

If you had been granted an interview with John, the disciple, and asked him, "Who are you? What is your primary identity?” He wouldn’t have replied, "Why I am a handpicked disciple and apostle of Jesus Christ. I traveled in the elite circle with Peter and James. I'm an evangelist and pastor of one of the great churches of the New Testament -- the church at Ephesus. I'm also the author of the books of John and Revelation, as well as having three personal letters published in the Bible. Listen to how he identified himself:

John 13:23, "Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. John 20:2 , Then she runs and comes to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them,; John 21:7 , Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter; John 21:20  Then Peter, turning about, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following;"

Pay close attention: "Define and declare yourself radically as one beloved of God. God's love for you and His choice of you constitutes your worth. The basis of my personal worth isn't in my possessions, my talents, my relationships with significant others in my life, my reputation or the esteem of others, not kudos of appreciation from parents and kids, not applause and appreciation and everyone telling you are to them. You must stand anchored in God, before whom you stand naked, with nothing to offer him but my own wicked, deceitful heart -- this God, my Father tells me "You are my son, my beloved one. You are worth Jesus to me because that's how much I paid for you!”

Accept that Jesus loves you as you are and not as you should be, for none of us are as we should be! Let the truth "that Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so," become the most important thing in your life.

You say, "Oh, I know God loves me, but." The late Brennan Manning issues a warning that we must heed, "When God's love is taken for granted, we paint Him into a corner and rob him of the opportunity to love us in a new and surprising way, and faith begins to shrivel and shrink. When I become so spiritually advanced that Abba, (the term of intimacy and endearment) becomes old hat, then the Father's been had, Jesus has been tamed, and the Holy Spirit has been corralled, and the Pentecostal fire has been extinguished. "

What image do you project of the God of the Bible? What does God think about when He thinks of you? One Christian lady said, “Pity, because I am pathetic!” One man said, “Disappointment and anger, because I have let Him down big time and many times!” When God opens His mouth to speak of you, what does He say? He rejoices in you and sings over you with inexpressible joy!

Zephaniah 3:16, "The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."

The following is a "free" translation of 3:17 by Dennis Jernigan, whom the passionate Lover pursued, captured and delivered from a lifestyle of homosexuality, and so liberated him to life that he is now happily married and the father of nine children!: "The eternal self-existent God, the God who is Three in One, He who dwells in the center of your being is a powerful and valiant warrior. He has come to set you free, to keep you safe and bring you to victory. He is cheered and He beams with exceeding joy and takes pleasure in your presence. He has engraved a place for Himself in you and there He quietly rests in His love and affection for you. He cannot contain Himself at the thought of you and with the greatest joy spins around wildly in anticipation over you... and has placed you above all other creations and in the highest place in His priorities. In fact, He shouts and sings in triumph joyfully proclaiming the gladness of His heart in a song of rejoicing! All because of you!!"

Truly what manner of love is this?!" Listen as God speaks again in Isaiah 62:4-5, "You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”

The Bible isn’t a book of rules, rituals and regulations to aid religion, but a passionate love story of God with His people. It isn't the revelation of an outraged Judge who reluctantly shows kindness to criminals he finds despicable. It reveals the Relentless Pursuit of the Passionate Lover who pursues His people and treats them as a Bridegroom who promises to maintain honeymoon intensity, pleasures, energy, excitement, enthusiasm, and honeymoon enjoyment. He rejoices in them and sings over them. He pursues passionately -- 2 Chr 16:9  "For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His."  In Luke 15, the Father sees the lost Son coming back from the far country runs out to me him and shocks him with his emotional and extravagant reception and restoration.

From the moment Adam and Eve left Him for someone else, God has come crying. The cry in the Garden "Adam where are you?" was not the police-type-call of a wrathful Judge, but the heartbroken cries of a Wounded Lover!

He pursues patiently and powerfully. He provides joyously and satisfyingly. Jerm 32:41, "I will rejoice in doing them good." Dt 30:9, "I will delight in prospering you."

The Security the Lord wants us Rejoice In

The people of humble faith are commanded in 3:14 to sing, shout, and rejoice or be glad. Great enthusiasm is suggested by the threefold call to sing, shout, and be glad. “Sing, — it is the thrilling, trembling burst of joy; shout, — a yet louder swell of joy--like a trumpet blast; and then too, deep within, be glad, — the calm even joy of the inward soul; exult, the triumph of the soul which cannot contain itself for joy; and this with the whole heart, no corner of it not pervaded with joy”

So put aside all pride and boasting in self today. Take refuge in the name of God. Bank your hope on the righteousness of Christ and not your own. And let yourself awaken to the wonder that the Lord, the King of kings, rejoices over you with gladness and exults over you with loud singing.

What pleases God more than anything else? The prophetic word spoken to widow Marjory Kempe in 1667 remains ancient but ever new and true: "More pleasing to me than all your prayers, works and penances is that you would BELIEVE THAT I LOVE YOU!"

The only acceptable response to love is to receive and reciprocate it. Julian of Norwich: "The greatest honor we can give the Almighty is to live gladly because of the knowledge of His love."

Can you imagine what it would be like if you could hear God singing? And even more staggering, is the revelation that He's singing over me. He is rejoicing over my good with all his heart and with all his soul (cf. Jeremiah 32:4l)!

Are you a Christian, a true believer and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ? If so do you really believe that God is outrageously in love with you? Do you believe this? Can you feel the wonder of this today? That God is rejoicing over you with loud singing? Faith means that you want God and want to want nothing else!

God wants to remove all doubt, hesitancy and excuses for not believing His love for you.

The chief end, or the reason for man's being created is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever, beginning right Now! God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him!

Let this prayer of Dr. J. Sidlow Baxter become yours: “Oh, God, I want to know You heart to heart so that when I see You face to face You won’t be a stranger to me.”

Oh, the wonder of it all! Just to think that this Majestic God will condescend to allow us to know Him in an ever-increasing depth of intimacy!

Our response should be to see the love of God, not as a benign action but a consuming fire. Poet John Donne cries out for the heart of all who have tasted and seen that the Lord is good: "Take me to you, for I -- except You enthrall me, never shall be free, nor even chaste, except You ravish me."

Dr. Sam Storms never spoke truer words than when he said, "The one thing that gives us hope, that conquers despair, and brings strength for the struggle is the assurance that no matter how bad the problem, God loves us. Pain becomes bearable and tomorrow no longer terrifies us when your soul is touched with the reality of God's delight in you. Not only does He love you, now and forever, but He is delighted to do so. He is ecstatic in His affection for you. His joy over you is almost too much to bear. He sings and shouts with uninhibited happiness … over you!"

When the night is falling,
And the day is done,
I can hear You calling, “Come.”
I will come while You sing over me.

When the night surrounds me,
All my dreams undone,
I can hear You calling, “Come.”
I will come while You sing over me.
When the night would hide my way,
I will listen until I hear You say…

How I love you, child, I love you.
How I love you, child, I love you.
How I love you.
How I love you, child, I love you.
How I love you, child, I love you.
How I love you.

When this life is over,
And the race is run,
I will hear You calling, “Come.”
I will come while You sing over me,

How I love you, child, I love you.
How I love you, child, I love you.
How I love you.
How I love you, child, I love you.
How I love you, child, I love you.
How I love you.
–Dennis Jernigan

Enjoying the joy of being Enjoyed by God is the only thing that makes life livable!