One of our fifth grade teachers this year asked her class, “What does God require in order for us to be saved?” One student answered, “You have to believe in God.” The teacher said, “But the Apostle James tells us that even the demons believe there is one God, and they tremble in terror” (James 2:19). As the discussion continued, she led her class to consider the words of scripture that explain what it means to place complete trust in Christ. They talked about what He did for us on the cross, paying the penalty for our sin that we might know Him and be with Him forever.
This raises an important question. What is the difference between knowing about God and actually knowing God? This question centers on the difference between God’s general revelation in nature and God’s special revelation in His Word. Everyone can know about God just by being alive and paying attention. It’s hard to get out of bed in the morning without running into God. We walk through this world surrounded by a universe that “declares the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1-2). But if we want to know Him personally, we need something more than our five senses and the evidence of nature.
This is why God gave us His written Word. He decided from the very beginning that He would reveal the deeper things about Himself through thoughts and words. If we want to know Him, we must know His Word. If we want a personal relationship with Him, we must have a personal relationship with His Word. This requires discipline and skill in language and thinking in order to understand the words and thoughts of God.
During middle school chapel last month, I asked the students if they could remember a Bible passage that tells us the value of meditating on God’s Word. A hand slowly went up on the back row, and a seventh grade boy said, “I think it might be Psalm 1:2-3, but I’m not sure how it goes.” So I helped him with the first three words, “But his delight….” Immediately the boy continued, “…is in the law of the LORD….” I expected him to continue on his own, but a few other voices joined him, “…and on his law he meditates day and night….” Then more voices joined in, “…He is like a tree planted by streams of water….” And suddenly, the entire assembly grew into a loud chorus of student voices, “…which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” As those inspired words settled upon our ears, there was a brief moment of silence as the teachers and I looked around the room, a little surprised by this spontaneous recitation.
Later, it occurred to me that one of the great opportunities of Christian school education is to bring students continually to the great treasury of God’s Word, and for it to be so deeply embedded in the culture of school life that the public recitation of God’s Holy Word is naturally accepted and esteemed among peers. When you think about it, there is really no greater purpose for education than this — that it should bring us into a fuller knowledge of God, His world and His Word.
When God sent His Son to this earth 2,000 years ago, it was to fulfill that very purpose, that we might know Him more perfectly. He has removed every barrier that stood in the way so that we can experience life to the fullest by knowing Him.
As you consider opportunities for giving this season, please consider the work of Immanuel Christian School not only in the lives of hundreds of students every day, but also the continuing influence of ICS upon thousands of alumni around the world. We need your help to continue to prepare young people with all the tools they will need, not only to know about God through the wonders of His world, but also to know Him personally through the wonders of His Word.
In Him Who is the Creator of the world,
the Author and Perfecter of our Faith,
Stephen E. Danish
P.S. As we move forward with planning for next fall, we are preparing to add a third kindergarten classroom. There are many additional expenses and facility improvements in anticipation of that change. This will allow more students and families to benefit from an Immanuel education. Your support through prayer and giving will be a great help to many students and greatly appreciated by our parents, staff and teachers.