To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not fully loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and fully loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us. – Tim Keller
We live in a time when it’s easy to project an image that doesn’t reflect reality. Facebook and Instagram feeds are often highlight reels of otherwise imperfect lives. Selfies and filters allow for the best angle and flattering lighting. Likes and follows may be comforting in the moment, but ultimately they fall short. Research has linked heavy Facebook and social media usage with increased rates of anxiety and depression. It’s heartbreaking.
Our world is hurting. God created us with a need to be fully known and fully loved – a need that He and He alone can fill – because He is the only One who truly, fully, wholly knows the depths of our souls and still chooses to love us.
Hebrews 4:12-13 says: “For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
He sees and knows the moments we’d rather gloss over. He sees and knows the sins we’d rather keep in the dark. He sees and knows the deepest motivations and thoughts and intentions of our hearts. Sounds a bit terrifying at first!
But rather than looking upon us, seeing our glaring sin and brokenness and misguided motivations, and letting us languish in them, restless and weary, He gave us His Word – His living and active Word – to allow us to see the depths of our sin. In His Word and by His Word we see ourselves for what we truly are – men and women created in His image but born sinful and broken and rebellious, born with a God-sized void in our souls. But He loved us so deeply and fully that He met us in our naked exposure with the only One who could remedy our shame: Jesus. And when we believe in Him, we get to clotheourselves in His righteousness. He actually makes us more like Himself through the reading of His Word and time with the Word Incarnate. He has the power to transform and soften the deepest motivations and thoughts and intentions of our hearts. Like clay in the hands of a brilliant potter, He begins to mold us into what He intended for us to be.
The Word of God is the most extraordinary love letter ever written.
The Word of God is nourishment for our being, fuel for our lives, and rest for our souls.
The Word of God is the means by which we know our Creator, ourselves, and our purpose in this world.
It moves. It stirs. It transforms. It is like no other.
But we have to open it.
In Cite Soleil, Haiti, you often see children who cannot afford food walking around with biscuits made from dirt. These may briefly quell hunger pains, but ultimately they provide no sustenance and will eventually lead to death.
The stuff of this world – the likes, the follows, the faux approval from those who don’t fully know us, the sin we cling to because we’re terrified to let it go – it’s all dirt biscuits. God has offered us a feast beyond compare. What are we waiting for?
Father, sometimes our sin scares us. We hide it from other people because we’re ashamed of it ourselves. Sometimes we don’t even ask you to reveal it to us because we’re terrified of what you might find. But you know us. Please reveal our sin to us and forgive us where we fall short. You know the depths of our hearts and in your extraordinary, infinite grace, because of Jesus, you love us just the same! Thank you! Please give us a deep craving for Your Word. Thank you for offering us rest through Jesus, and as we run to You for our rest, give us courage and boldness to point others to You as well. You are good and gracious and kind. Please make us more like You.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.