Bible Reading: John 11:18-46
Biblical faith is not just acknowledgement of truth (“I know this is true.”)…but belief in a person. God doesn’t want us to just know some facts about Jesus. He wants us to believe in Jesus, personally.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
Okay, I’m going to describe something that is very, very important to you and you tell me what it is. Here we go. It is made up of…
Come on! I know that you can get this. It’s easy. It’s a piece of cake. Well, no, it’s not actually a piece of cake. But a piece of cake may actually become part of it. Give up? Here it is. It is you. That is the chemical composition of your body. What does that mean? It means that your body is made up of those chemical elements…and in those proportions. Cool, huh! 96% of your body is made up of the first 4 chemicals. There are a few more chemicals in your body that I have not shown (60 in all)…but the rest are in such small quantities that I’m not going to even list them.
Now, let’s say that you knew those exact amounts of chemical elements that make up a specific person…but you have never met that person. I’ve got a question for you: How well would you know that person? I’ll tell you, not very well, at all. You know some facts about them…but, you don’t know them. You know that they are made up of 65% oxygen and 0.0032% Zinc, but…
- You don’t know if they like blue, or yellow.
- You don’t know if their favorite food is ice-cream, or pizza.
- You don’t know if their hair is brown, or red (or green for that matter).
- You don’t know if they laugh a lot, or cry about everything.
- You don’t know if they are kind, or mean.
You know some facts about them…but, you don’t know them.
Years ago, there was a popular song and its words were, “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you.” To really know someone, to really know all about them, means more than just acknowledging some facts about them. You have to know them personally.
Jesus had a friend whose name was Lazarus. Lazarus had two sisters, Martha and Mary, who were also His friends. One day, Jesus received word that Lazarus was sick. Before Jesus arrived at their home…Lazarus died. While He was still a short distance away Martha met Him and told Him that she “knew” that if He had arrived before Lazarus had died that He could have prayed to the Father for him to live and he would have. Jesus told her that Lazarus would rise from the dead. Martha thought that He was talking about the resurrection that takes place when a dead person goes to Heaven and she said that she “knew” that. Jesus then made a startling statement. He said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” What did He mean by that? Jesus was telling Martha that it is not enough to just “know” things about Him, or even to “know” and agree with the fact of the resurrection. You must believe in Him and believe that He is the cause of the resurrection. It isn’t belief in the fact of the resurrection that matters…but, it is belief in the One Who causes the resurrection that matters.
You see, there is a danger that we may know (and even believe in) facts about God, but not believe in God. God doesn’t want us to think of Him as some kind of power, or force. He doesn’t want us to think of Him as a genie-in-a-bottle, or a star that we make wishes to. He wants us to know Him personally. He doesn’t want us to be able to just give a list of His characteristics (like the list of chemicals that make up the human body). He wants us to know Him personally. And when you know Jesus personally, when you believe in Him personally as your Savior…whether you die now, or whether you are alive when He returns…you will live with Him forever in Heaven.
So, how do you get to know God personally? You spend time with Him. You pray. You read the Bible. When you do those things…then you will get to know all about God and you will learn how to trust Him with everything in your life.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,