1 Corinthians 13:8-13 (ESV) - Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
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What does it mean to love to the point of knowing and being known? We've already discussed this week about how discipleship is best lived out in relationship together and how discipleship is dependent on living on mission for God. They are one and the same. Today we are going to go a little deeper.
In North America, many times as Christians we struggle living for the sake of those around us. We are driven by so much more we make more important in our lives. We are driven by professional success, meeting and eliminating the needs and wants of ourselves and our families, and all together living the "American Dream." However, is that the life God has called us to? Is that what living on mission for God looks like?
If we ever decided to love our neighbors to the point of knowing and being known, it would not be easy and it would come at a cost. We would have to ask ourselves the question Would the price we have to pay be worth the souls of the people we see every day who are dying and going to hell without understanding the true gospel of Jesus Christ and without ever really seeing it lived out in front of them? If we say that we love God and want to live ultimately for His glory but do not live devoted for the spiritual sake of those we come into contact with each day, then we are we living and speaking like the scripture reference above, spiritual children.
If we want to grow to know God and to be known by God, we must live for what brings Him the most glory. Christ did not come to live to accomplish great and mighty things in the eyes of the world or to live for the safety, provision, and protection of the ones He loved the most. By most earthly standards, He came to do the opposite. One thing He most assuredly did however, He came to know and be known. His entire life was predicated on giving the opportunity for people to know Him and in doing so, to know the Father. He also lived to know them, to share life with them. How would our lives look different if we did the same?
God has plenty of grace to meet us where we are. There is no limit to His forgiveness for us or to what His grace can still teach us and do in us. Now is the time to act, now is the time to love, to know, and to be known.
- Where does God and making His name great fit into the priorities of your life?
- What are some things you could do to practically begin sharing the love of God with the people you come into contact with on a daily basis?
- What would it cost you to make a point to live more to know and be known?
- Pray that we become a people who want to know and be known as we seek Christ-centered relationships in our lives more than the "American Dream."
- Pray that we explore ways to share God's love with people in our lives through actions, and things like sharing our testimony, Bible stories, and more.
- Pray for the missionaries around North America who have given up so incredibly much to live their lives for God's name to be made great!