There is a difference between knowing and believing.
1 John 4:16 – And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Before diving into today’s Second Miler, allow me to us a personal to establish a truth that we may not often consider. Open your mind to this simple truth. Often, when I stand to minister, I share this point, especially if there are many people present who would say they “know who I am.” I will ask, “How many of you know that I am Beechard Moorefield?” Many people will raise their hands. I will then challenge their response. I will ask, “Do you know that I am Beechard Moorefield, or do you simply believe, though it may be strongly or emphatically, that I am Beechard Moorefield?” That gives them pause for thought.
You see, if you do not know something to be true of false, but you still take a position on its truth or falseness, you believe. A jury can only believe, or not believe, in a person’s innocence. They defendant can know, and those who witnessed the action that is on trial can know, but anyone else can only believe. The evidence may be so strong as to apparently eliminate all doubt, but knowing only comes from actual experience. Now examine our Text for Today once more.
Concerning the love of God, John writes that he has both known and believed the love of God. He both believed and witnessed (knew personally) the love of God in Jesus and through Father. While it is not likely that most Christians have seen Jesus in the flesh, the same is true. I first believed the love of God. Having believed, and having held fast to that belief, to that application of faith, I personally experienced the love of God manifest in my life. At that point, the love of God for me went beyond belief, or the application of faith, and became a personal knowing. So, I can boldly declare that I have both known and believed the love God has to me.
But though I can truthfully declare that I have known the love of God because I held fast to my belief (faith) in the love of God, that in no way relieves me from my responsibility to continue to believe in that love, and in fact, to believe more strongly than ever. You see, the Bible does NOT say, “without knowing it is impossible to please God.” However, it DOES say, “without faith (believing) it is impossible to please God. You see, I know that I am Beechard Moorefield. You, the reader, can really only believe that. Only through believing can you and I develop a true relationship. But through that believing, I can prove my integrity to you to the degree that you, too, can know that I am Beechard Moorefield. Apply that principle to your walk with God. Believe Him. Get to know Him. Then believe Him even more intensely. Watch the development.
Manna for Today – 1 John 4:7-16; 1 John 5:14-16; John 7:29; John 10:38; Philippians 3:10; 1 John 2:3; Hebrews 10:30