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in Faith

God Knows Us

By Megan Evans

I’m really forgetful. I forget to take my medicine, I forget to give people back things I’ve borrowed, I forget to return phone calls – the list could go on and on. But I’ve been learning lately what I am most forgetful of and it’s the most worrisome of them all.

I forget who God is. 

I have all this head knowledge of who he is and could easily spout it out to you like familiar song lyrics. But do I really and truly believe who it is that I’m speaking to when I start to pray? When I worship? When I tell a friend what he is doing in my life? Or do I let routine rule my heart?            

I needed and will always need a reminder of who God truly is and how he cares for his children. Thankfully, he has revealed everything we need to know of him on this side of glory in his living and active Word.

The God Who Sees

So she named the LORD who spoke to her: “You are El-roi,” for she said, “In this place, have I actually seen the one who sees me?” (Genesis 16:13 CSB). 

Hagar was a woman weighed down with her circumstances. She was pregnant with Abram’s first son, Ishmael, and Abram’s wife was hateful toward Hagar and mistreated her because of it. While we could dive into a lot in this story, what is important to notice is what happens when Hagar runs away from these circumstances. I don’t know the exact thoughts going through her head when she ran away, but I can assume that she was filled with dread, fear, and worry of the future. She had just run away from everything she had ever known, a slave pregnant with another woman’s husband.

But God sees her.

It says in verse 7 that “The Angel of the Lord found her.” God comes to her in the form of an angel and talks with her. He meets her where she is and lets her speak what is on her heart. Because of this, Hagar calls him “El-roi” or “God Sees Me.” The ESV says “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”

I forget that God sees me and looks after me. Often when I pray, I feel like I’m praying to the air or saying words aloud to myself. I have to reshape my thoughts and heart, remembering people like Hagar, to remind myself that I am praying to a real, living God who not only hears every word and thought, but cares to. He sent an Angel of the Lord to Hagar and he sent his only Son to die for me to prove it.

The God Who Knows

Lord you have searched me and known me.

You know when I sit down and when I stand up;

you understand my thoughts from far away.

(Psalm 139:1-3 CSB)

Where can I go to escape your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

(Psalm 139:7 CSB)

We all have a desire to be known. We want our parents to notice us hit our first t-ball. We want our best friend to watch us slide down the slide for the first time in the park. We want to be a part of the homecoming court so everyone in school knows our name.

No one has to teach us how to want to be known. God knows us in a very different, intimate way though. He knows every thought. He is able to search our hearts.

We can’t escape his Spirit or his presence and we don’t want to. God’s presence in our lives today is a very real person that walked on this earth, Jesus Christ. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose for us to be with him again one day, it was to bring us into relationship with the Father.

The gap that sin created was fully taken on Jesus’ bloodstained body. When God looks at us, he sees his Son, so we no longer have to fear that he sees our guilt and shame but can rejoice that he sees a perfect Savior. 

I can convince myself that there are a lot of things in this world that can fully know and see me, but each leaves me broken and empty. I’ve convinced myself that my boss’ approval at work is the way to be seen. I’ve convinced myself that people on social media know who I am through my posts.

I’ve convinced myself that buying enough clothes and things will get people to notice me. I’ve convinced myself that sex outside of marriage was how to get someone to fully know me.

I have forgotten and will continue to forget who God is. 

But praise the Lord that he has not forgotten me. He sees me and allows me to have a relationship with him, just like Hagar, no matter my shameful past. He has searched me and known me, just as David spoke of in his psalm. He has seen me at my worst – apart from him. Yet he still wants a relationship with me and has graciously given me that chance through his Son. 

He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 CSB)

Thank you, God, for becoming sin for us through Christ. Thank you for giving us your righteousness.

Posted by Megan Evans with
in Death

2 Ways Christians Should Think About Death

By Brandon Smith

Death is inevitable.

This sentiment is often used to comfort the loved ones of the deceased. It’s just the way it is, we say. It’s a part of life, we assure them. It is sad, yes, but we expected it. That old Grim Reaper comes for all of us.

The truth is, death is never easy. Even in the long, excruciating, expected death of a loved one, it still hits us like a truck. So we create coping mechanisms to comfort our souls. Prayer. Scripture. Community. Denial. Detachment. Some of these routes are good. Some can be destructive.

Death is inevitable. That is true. Yet instead of dealing with it head on, we often pump it full of sugar like a liter of Dr. Pepper. It tastes good doing down, but it’s not good for us in the long run.

If you Google “Bible verses about death,” you’ll run across countless articles about how Scripture comforts us when it comes to death. Scripture has much to say about death, but it’s not the blind comfort we sometimes seek. Here are two ways Christians should think about death.

1. Death Is Unnatural and Worth Mourning

Mankind was not created to die. We were created to live forever as God’s image-bearing, glory-unveiling agents on Earth. When Adam and Eve sinned, they were separated from God and the tree of life, introducing death to the human race (Gen. 3:22-24). Death is inevitable, but it’s not natural. It’s the most unnatural thing in the universe. 

We shouldn’t be pie-in-the-sky about death. Even Jesus, upon hearing about the death of Lazarus, wept (John 11:35). He didn’t tell Mary and Martha, “Aw shucks. This is what happens.” Instead, he mourned with those who mourn (Rom. 12:15). Death is so unnatural, so heinous and disgusting, that Jesus himself died to eradicate death–in its physical and spiritual form–once and for all.

Yes we grieve, and it’s right and acceptable to do so. But we do not grieve like those without hope (1 Thess. 4:13). Death does not have the last word.

2. Death Does Not Have the Last Word

Paul told the Philippians, “For me, living is Christ and dying is gain” (Phil 1:21, HCSB). Because Christ sent death to the grave where life once laid, it no longer holds power over us. Death is inevitable, but through Christ, so is life. His resurrection leads to our resurrection (1 Cor. 15:21-22). Paul knew that if he lived, he would live for God’s glory. And if he died, he’d be with him for eternity.

God is a God of life. As soon as Adam and Eve sinned, he didn’t leave them for dead. Expulsion from the Garden was the consequence, death was inevitable, but in his grace, he still clothed them (Gen. 3:21). And as Genesis unfolds into the rest of Scripture, we see God working to make all things new.

One day, death will not be inevitable. It will be defeated once and for all. It will be thrown not into a hole in the ground, but into a lake of fire with its father, Satan. And through Christ, we will stand on New Heavens and New Earth with the tree of life, feasting on its life-giving leaves forever (Rev. 19-22).

Posted by Brandon D. Smith with