“. . .you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God” (Galatians 4:9)
The world is more connected than ever. Technological advancements have made constant connectedness possible. In mere seconds, you can email a co-worker, text a family member, or make a new “friend” from across the globe.
However, we as a culture are realizing that people are lonelier than ever. There’s even a name for it now—”The Loneliness Epidemic.” Psychology Today reports that, in the past 50 years, the rates of people who feel lonely have skyrocketed. In a survey of 20,000 Americans, nearly half admitted to having regular feelings of loneliness and isolation. Across the Atlantic, the United Kingdom faces a similar situation. The British government has gone so far as to appoint a Minister of Loneliness to manage this epidemic.
Look past the bleak statistics and government programs for a second, and you’re touching the raw nerve of mankind’s deepest and most fundamental need—the need to be known, understood, and loved as we truly are. Technology and social projects, as helpful as they may be, are not enough to satisfy the innate human desire for this kind of intimacy and belonging. Such a desire can only be met in the loving embrace of the triune God. In its most personal aspect, the Gospel testifies to us that we are fully known and intimately loved by the Father and the Son through fellowship with the Holy Spirit:
“And the LORD said to Moses, ‘. . .you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.'” (Ex. 33:17)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. . .” (Jer. 1:5)
“. . .your heavenly Father knows [what] you need. . .” (Matt. 6:32)
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. . .” (John 10:14–15)
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Rom. 8:26–27)
Dear Christian, do you ever feel worried and fearful about your future? Or exhausted and fed up with life? Perhaps you’re feeling like many Americans do—lonely, unloved, and misunderstood. If so, let me remind you that you are not alone.
There is a God who knows you, loves you, and understands you.
You have complete favor in His sight.
He knew you and ordained your steps before you were conceived in your mother’s womb.
He knows your needs better than you yourself know them.
He is your Good Shepherd who calls out to you in a voice that you can recognize and follow.
His Spirit is searching your heart to intercede for you when you’re too weak to pray as you ought.
Yes, this is the triune God who offers you His heart right now as you read these words. Moreover, this is the God whom we will gather to worship on Sunday morning. Amidst the congregation, you are not merely “another face in the crowd.” Instead, you are a treasured member of His family—a son or daughter who is known by name and dearly loved in His presence through the witness of the church and the ministry of the Word.
J.I. Packer reminds us that “What matters supremely. . .is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact that underlies it—the fact that he knows me.” This “larger, underlying fact” is the all-defining reality of your life as a Christian and the sole basis of your relationship with God. Being known by Him, He has met your greatest need and fulfilled your deepest desire in way that nothing else can. Do you understand what He is offering? Will you receive it and claim it for yourself right now?
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Cor. 13:14)
Set List for Sunday, October 14, 2018
The Lion And The Lamb (B. Brown, B. Johnson, L. Mooring)
This I Believe (The Creed) (M. Crocker, B. Fielding)
Living Hope (B. Johnson, P. Wickham)
How Deep The Father’s Love For Us (S. Townend)
Jesus Lifted High (A. Ivey, M. Dawes)