Monday, August 13, 2012

Knowing God -- the Right Way

"One Year Bible" New Testament Passage (for Mon., Aug. 13)
1 Corinthians 8:1-13

1  .... Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him. I Corinthians 8:1-3 (NKJV)

As a preacher and teacher of the Word of God, I am a proponent of knowledge. I think we ought to know more and more of God's Word. The Scripture says in II Timothy 3:15 that we are to "Study to show yourself approved, workmen who need not be ashamed." This is a foundational value. 

But there is a danger here. Knowledge (and particularly religious knowledge) can lead to pride. The more we know the more we want people know how much we know.   We can get offended when people do not recognise our advanced understanding about a particular topic. We can jockey our place in a conversation so that we talk while others listen. "Knowledge puffs up."

Our knowledge of Scripture must be tempered with humility. We remember that now "we know in part" (I Co. 13:12). So, it is not a matter of how many facts I can accumulate. It is a matter of how much I can KNOW God in TRUTH. All my learning is aimed at something: KNOWING GOD. 

Paul says that in order for this to happen I must become excellent in LOVE. If my Bible knowledge is devoid of God's love, it is sterile information. It does not carry LIFE. But, if our knowledge flows out of a heart of love for God and man, it brings great benefit. 

And, in the final analysis, it's not even how much I know about God. It is how much He knows me. The center of the universe is relationship. And the greatest relationship -- the greatest knowledge-- is God TOWARD man!

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