Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
Last Sunday our theme was the stages of Christian growth, as outlined in I John. 2:12-14. John speaks of little children, representing those who are new in their Christian faith and just coming to know God. The stage of youth embraces growing in the adventure of knowing and serving Christ more fully. The last stage, signified by “fathers” in the text, is that of spiritual maturity that comes from a lifetime of coming to know God and surrendering to God in ever-deeper ways.
Dr. Richard Halverson was a Presbyterian minister in the US and served a number of years as Chaplain of the US Senate. Once at a meeting of the National Association of Religious Broadcasters he told a wonderful story of when his son was a small boy.
His son was playing with some of his friends in their backyard. Dr. Halverson was walking by and overheard their conversation. The young boys were at the stage of life when then liked to brag about their dads, asserting that their dad is somehow better, bigger, stronger, smarter than the other’s dads.
Dr. Halverson heard one of the boys say, “My dad knows the mayor of our city!” That shows some clout. But then another boy said, “That’s nothing – my dad knows the governor of our state!” He just one-upped the first boy. But then Halverson’s son claimed the top spot as he replied, “That’s nothing – my dad knows God!”
Dr. Halverson reported that he slipped away with hot tears streaming down his face. He went to his study, fell on his knees, and earnestly prayed, “Oh God, I pray that my boy will always be able to say, ‘My dad knows God.'”
There could be no higher aspiration for all dads and moms than to live in such a way that their children would be convinced their parents know God. But that’s not only important for parents; that should be true for all of us in all our relationships – that people would conclude from the way we live and the way we treat them that we know God.
Wouldn’t it be great if the first thing that came to the minds of others when they think of us is that we know God? Not that we’re perfect. Not that we don’t make mistakes. But in spite of our humanness, we know God. That they would see in us the presence of God and the character of God because we have cultivated our relationship.
The only way people will conclude that we know God is if we really do. It takes work and discipline and dying to self, but what a great way to live. So wherever we are at right now in the continuum of spiritual growth, let us continue to know God better and better, experiencing the joy of a deep relationship with Him, and serving Him faithfully at every stage of our lives.
Grace and peace,