As I mentioned last week, I’m going to do a little series to focus of the passionate love God has for us as Holy Week draws near. While doing this, I’m personally going to try to dissect 1 John 4:13-21 over the next few weeks and you’re welcome to read, and even more, share your thoughts on these verses in the comments at the end.
“This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.” (1 John 4:13-15)
As a mom, I want to think of myself as a “know-it-all” when it comes to raising our kids… or I confess I at least try to make myself appear that way to them. But honestly, I know for sure I’m not a ‘knower of all things’. No way near. They know I don’t know everything about numerical expressions or am able to have a conversation speaking fluently in Spanish with someone like they can and do, but it’s true I am older and hopefully a little wiser than our children when it comes to knowing some things about life. I simply hope I can instill some of what I do know to be true in their hearts and minds.
Speaking of knowing and wisdom, a few weeks ago I was reading and studying 1 John 4 coupled with the wisdom of those verse from Tim Keller. One of the questions he asked was, “Why are personal knowledge and personal acknowledgement of God’s character essential to knowing him?”
I started thinking about that. I got out my notebook and jotted down my answer: “Knowledge is the fact or state of knowing. Acknowledge is to admit to be real or true. We must know His Word which is the Truth and must admit we believe His Word is true.”
I then read Tim’s answer to his question: “Knowledge of God includes the acknowledgement of God: who He is and how we are to respond to Him.” Well said.
Then, I closed my journal and went on my way to check things off my to do list. When I got back home, I had a little time before my daughter got home from school and began writing a post for SMCW. Somehow, the phrase “turn the blind eye” came to my mind but I honestly needed to look for the definition of it to make sure I was using it correctly (which I wasn’t, by the way.) “Turn the blind eye” means “to knowingly refuse to acknowledge something which you know to be real.”
Wow. Isn’t it so amazing how you can read something in the Bible in the morning and then later in the day, out of the middle of nowhere, something that relates to that verse un-expectantly ambushes you? I was just reading about the difference between knowledge and acknowledge earlier that day and a few hours later, a phrase just “pops in my head” so I look it up and the definition of it includes both of those words!
Then I stop in my tracks and think: When have I turned my blind eye in my life? When have I chosen not to acknowledge God and His Word even though I know it’s real? I was too embarrassed to speak my faith out loud. I feared what other’s might think of me. I took the praise from people of a personal accomplishment instead of giving credit to God. I think “Oh, I know what’s best – I’m in control of my life” and ignore the Spirit that’s saying, “Only God is the One who knows all things. You knowingly refused to acknowledge Me even though you know I’m real.”
Passio. Passion. Christ suffered on the cross because of the times I’ve refused to acknowledge or ignore Him. This I know.
I’ve learned there’s such a huge distinction between knowing and acknowledging. To acknowledge God and His Word is way different from knowing some stories in the Bible you’ve heard and read. Acknowledging is admitting and proclaiming: God you are God. God, You gave me Your Spirit. God, I testify that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to be our Savior.
When we read, say and believe God’s Word and ask His Spirit to dwell in us, that is when God lives in us.
As we’re approaching the week that leads up to Jesus’ crucifixion, I’m acknowledging that He selflessly and passionately sacrificed Himself for us - simply because he passionately loves us.
He loves us with passion.
Acknowledge God for who He is; don’t just know about Him. Daily take time to acknowledge and tell Him and others that He is Who He says He is and that He is good.