22 JANUARY (PREACHED NEW YEAR’S EVENING 1770)
‘And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.’ 1 Chronicles 28:9
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Jeremiah 23:23–24
You must know the Lord before you can serve him, and you will serve him if you know him. You are as Solomon: the means by which God is known are afforded you. To these you must attend. In the knowledge of God is eternal life—and you must know Christ as the way, for none knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. You are not called to attempt this by your own power. O that you could be sensible of your inability, then a great point would be gained. He has revealed himself in his word, yet still you need the Spirit of his Son.
What is it to know God?
(i) To be duly impressed with a sense of his awesome majesty and greatness—such a sense as may abase us before him, and teach us to fear him.
(ii) To know the way in which he holds communion with sinners. If you think of him as One who can suffer you to approach in any way but by faith in Christ, or who will afford you any pardon or spiritual good but through the atoning blood, you know him not aright.
(iii) To conceive of him as the only desirable portion of your souls, who alone is capable of making you happy.
(iv) To know him as reconciled—as your God and Father, who has accepted you in the beloved. This is the knowledge which brings peace into the soul and gives strength for his service.
FOR MEDITATION: ‘And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent’ (John 17:3).
SERMON: 1 CHRONICLES 28:9 [2/5] [FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE]