Do I Really Know The Lord?

Jon Burgess

15But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king!
Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink.
But he was just and right in all his dealings.
That is why God blessed him.
16He gave justice and help to the poor and needy,
and everything went well for him.
Isn’t that what it means to know me?”
says theLord. Jeremiah 22:15-16

The prophet Jeremiah is contrasting the life ofJehoiakim with his father Josiah and it's not a pretty picture. Rather than helping the poor King Jehoiakim is taking advantage of them and using them to build himself a palace. God's whole point is that when we prioritize what matters to Him He will take care of all the other matters. When Jeremiah asks the question, "Isn't that what it means to know me?" it stopped me in my tracks. According to these verses, the proof that I know Christ, not just mentally but relationally is seen in how I treat those around me.


My Dad used to tell me that if I wanted to know how I was treating the Lord all I had to do was look at how I was treating others. This was such a profound paradigm shift because I thought to myself as a young man, "well, of course, I love the Lord." Then I followed my Dad's litmus test and looked at how I was for caring for those around me and realized that I didn't know Jesus as well as I had thought. "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (James 1:27)It's not enough to simply sing about my love for God or talk about it to others. I must live out my love for God in loving those who have been overlooked and taken advantage of. I love my wife and I know that she loves coffee in the morning and in the afternoon at around 3. So, the proof that I know her is that I bring her coffee at these times. No one has to ask me to do this. I want to do it because I love her and seek to bring her caffeinated joy. How much more so should I not have to be told to care for the broken and needy but instead seek for opportunities to do so because I know my Father's heart and He loves it when I love those who have no love in their lives.


Lord, I pray that I would grow ever more in love with You. As I grow closer to Your heart that Your heart for others would grow in me. I also pray that I would not make the same mistake King Josiah did. He showed Your love to those who were in need but never passed this on to his son Jehoiakim. Help me to be intentional in how I pass Your heart for others on to my boys so they can know You as well!

Devotions for August 16

2 Kings 24
Jeremiah 22
Psalms 112
John 18

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