Information has never been so freely available. We have become a society of know-it-all’s! Those of us who have access to the internet can ‘Google’ anything and a multitude of relevant answers pop up instantly on our computer screens. Our problem lies with our level of belief and obedience to what we know. We know to eat correctly, we know to exercise, we know all the right things to do…but unfortunately knowledge is not enough.
How many of you KNOW that God loves you? However, if the love of God is to impact your life you need to know AND BELIEVE that He loves you personally. On numerous occasions in his writings the disciple John describes himself as ‘the disciple that Jesus loved’. It is so funny! In John’s Gospel we read: Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. (John 13:23) When Mary Magdalene found Jesus’ tomb empty John writes: Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” (John 20:2) There are two more references you can look up in John 21:7 and 21:20. Now why would John refer to himself in this way? We know that God’s love is impartial. He has no favourites. The difference was that John KNEW & BELIEVED that He was loved. In the first epistle that John wrote he explains: And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. (1 John 4:16) This is a very important revelation for each one of us. The difference between knowing and believing is the difference between night and day. Knowing is HEAD KNOWLEDGE but believing is HEART KNOWLEDGE. I really enjoy helping people but there is nothing more frustrating than trying to speak into someone’s life and they reply before you have finished with, “I know”. The point is not whether they know but whether they are acting upon what they know. Sadly our level of knowledge generally far outweighs our level of obedience. My challenge to you is to begin doing what you know you should do. Quit procrastinating. Take a step of faith.
Listen to the words of Jesus as He prayed to His Father before He was crucified: Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.(John 17:7,8) This passage reinforces the importance of going beyond knowledge into the realm of receiving and believing.
By faith, I want you to begin referring to yourself as ‘the one Jesus loves’. Declare each day: “I am the apple of His eye”. Begin speaking of God’s great love for you and as you do you will begin to respond to His marvellous love. The disciple Peter was quick to say how much HE loved Jesus but he was the one who denied Jesus. In contrast, the disciple John was quick to tell others how much JESUS loved him! John’s revelation of Jesus’love for him caused him to love Jesus more. John did not deny Jesus and he was the disciple at the foot of the cross with Jesus’ mother and he brought comfort to Jesus in His hour of agonising suffering.
No-one loves you as much as Jesus does. Has anyone died in your place? Has anyone taken the punishment you deserve for your sins? Has anyone promised to never leave you nor forsake you? Has anyone pleaded your cause day and night before God the Father? Has anyone offered you the gift of eternal life? Babies are loved by their parents long before they come into this world. Scans are examined in great detail. Loving hands are laid on the growing tummy. In a much greater way, God has loved and known you before you were in your mother’s womb. Surely you can know with your head and believe with your heart that He loves you with an everlasting love? There is nothing you can do that will make God love you more or love you less. He loves you. Your part is simply to tell Jesus, “I believe”.