"And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins..." (Luke 1:76-77 ESV)
"And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jeremiah 31:34 ESV)
There is no true, saving knowledge of God apart from personally experiencing the forgiveness of our sins. The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah foretold that knowing the Lord -- knowing, as in trusting, loving, and obeying him -- would come about only when sins were forgiven. The priest Zechariah (Luke 1) prophesied of his son, John the Baptist, that he would give people the knowledge of salvation in the forgiveness of sins.
Forgiveness. There is surely more to knowing the Lord than being forgiven, such as learning of his ways, studying his attributes, obeying his commands, and giving thanks for his providence over us. But it is never less than forgiveness, and we cannot really know him until we realize our rebellion and lostness, and turn to his Son, the Lord Jesus, for the forgiveness he purchased at great price upon the cross. We must be humbled to know ourselves and our need before we can see God clearly. No amount of knowledge, of good behavior, of prayer, of earnestness, of education, of virtue will reconcile us to God that we might truly know him apart from forgiveness. It will all amount to self-righteousness or despair in the end. We must know his forgiveness, first and always. Of this we shall always be reminded, for the Lord Jesus will forever bear his scars in the new creation.
There is no true knowledge of God apart from knowing the forgiveness of sin.
Media. "Each of us must learn to preserve higher pleasures by revolting against lesser indulgences." (Tony Reinke) It's not just the bad stuff, but stuff in general. You may know some of these dangers, but perhaps not all:
Read 10 Things You Should Know about the Danger of Media
Vitro babies. "We have not yet considered the hidden costs of our desperate pursuit of children through artificial reproductive technologies." This is a topic that a young wife recently reached out to me about. She and her husband were devastated by the process of IVF. It's a discussion that needs to be heard.
Reading: The Abolition of Man, by C. S. Lewis. (I've read this before, but I have found that it is better to read good books more than once, rather than merely reading more books.)
Audio-book: How Should We Then Live, by Francis Schaeffer.
Music: Hymns, Vol. 1, and Hymns Live, by Shane and Shane.
Writing with: Franklin Christoph FC-03 Iterum + Pelikan Blue-Black ink.
Journal: Artist's Loft black lined, $5 at Michaels. (Well-made, excellent paper for fountain pens.)
Do you know Nathan W. Pyle? I so enjoy his cartoons.
"Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way." (Booker T. Washington)
"The cross of Christ triumphs only in the hearts of believers over the devil and the flesh, over sin and wickedness, when they lift their eyes to behold the power of the resurrection." (John Calvin, A Little Book)