ISSM Core Values: Encounter

(This is the third in a seven-part series outlining the core values of ISSM as represented by the acronym: P.R.E.C.E.P.T. The first ‘E’ stands for “Encounter.”)

Many believers understand that God loves them, but not a great many can say they have a deeply experiential knowledge of His love. This is no less than tragic! It is also unnecessary—given that God wants us to experience His love even more than we do!

Jesus said: “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about Me.” (John 5:39)

Every verse of God’s Word is meant to be a doorway into an encounter with God. Like the wardrobe in The Chronicles of Narnia, the Scripture invites us to step into a world of wonders called the Kingdom of God.

When I first met my wife Sandy in college, I was enthralled with her, and soon we were head over heels in love. Every moment we spent together it seemed I learned something new about Sandy that caused me to love her more. (Of course, when we got married, we each discovered things about the other that we didn’t like—but that’s a story for another time!)

We are now going on 45 years of marriage and we are more deeply in love with one another than ever. Even now I find myself noticing dimensions of Sandy that were previously undiscovered or heretofore underappreciated. She is the most amazing person I know!

What is the reason for our growing love? It is this: We have determined to make the goal of our relationship intimate connection. Through the challenges of life, we value our connection to one another more than anything else.

Similarly, this is what God desires from us— an intimate connection that is strengthened by numerous encounters with Him.

At ISSM we provide an atmosphere where students can strengthen their connection with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. In that connection, there are numerous fresh encounters with God.

The first time I saw the Grand Canyon it was overwhelming. I could have gazed at it for hours because with each passing moment something new came into view. The changing cloud formations, the angle of the sun, along with different points of view as we moved along the path—all provided a fresh experience, though the canyon itself did not change.

God is like that. We cannot know everything about Him—He’s too big! But we have a lifetime to explore and enjoy the vastness of His beauty.

Don’t you think it’s time for a fresh encounter?!

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