October 18, 2015
As I have been thinking about I John 1:1 (I’ll talk more about that in my sermon today), I was reminded of Psalm 34:8, “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” In both places the writers invite us to know for ourselves, to experience in our own lives the reality and existence of Jesus and of God. It is an invitation that I want to extend to you too.
John tells us in his letter that he and the other apostles proclaim what they have experienced personally. In other words, they know what they are talking about. That is the reason he is writing this letter we call 1 John. He is telling us what he experienced so that we can experience its reality too.
The writer of Psalm 34 extends a similar challenge to us, taste and see for ourselves. He knows that the Lord is good and he wants us to know it too. In both cases the message begins with a personal experience. It starts with ME before it can be spread to others. What has been YOUR personal experience with God? In John’s words, have you reached out to touch Jesus?
For some of us, we need to think back to times when we have indeed tasted God’s goodness to us. He answered prayer. He brought us through hardship and trouble. He guided our steps with almost miraculous timing and intricacy. He gave us wonderful gifts that we did not deserve and did not appreciate until we looked back later in life. How long has it been since you have looked back on your life and noticed God’s hand in it? If it has been too long, take time this week, maybe in private, to savor again the taste of God’s goodness, to feel again His touch.
For some of us, we have no experience upon which to look. We have not tasted of God’s goodness, we have not touched His presence. If that is true of you, then I would issue this challenge… ask God to touch your life, ask Him to show you His goodness.
But I need to give you a warning too. When you ask, ask with humility and with sincerity. Ask, not because you deserve such a taste. Ask not because you dare Him to touch you. He is the creator of the universe. You cannot order Him around like some kind of spiritual servant. He knows your heart. He sees your motives. If you will humble yourself, if you will sincerely desire Him to work in your life, then open your heart and ask for His work. Ask that you, like the writer of Psalm 34, might taste for yourself His goodness.
After you ask, open your spiritual eyes and be ready. I do not know what the Lord will do, but I suspect He will surprise you. In fact, you may never be the same.