Thursday, April 5, 2012

do we know about Jesus or know Jesus?

There's a difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus.

I spent many years learning about Jesus, about who He is and what He said...but I seem to remember more about obeying a bunch of rules that showed people I knew Him/loved Him.

You know, checking things off the list of do's:
-go to church every Sunday
-read the Bible and memorize a lot of Scriptures
-have my quiet time every morning

And then the list of don'ts:
-don't cuss
-don't smoke or drink
-don't gossip

It seems everyone had their top five to six favorite defining rules...

And then the rules were passed on to others through our religious statements. ”Well, if he were a real Christian, he wouldn’t do that,” or "You can tell she loves Jesus by what she wears." Really?

Religion measures "knowing Jesus" by following the rules, not by forming a relationship.

If we learn more about Jesus, learn more about the Word, gain more knowledge of Him-and it's not changing the way we love God completely, ourselves correctly, and others compassionately-we're just gaining more knowledge.

Knowing more about Jesus-information without transformation-is just religion and pride.

According to the Great Commission, everything we read in the Bible should lead us to, " the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind", and to "love our neighbor as ourselves."

That means that knowledge should cause us to love God completely (Upward), ourselves correctly (Inward), and our neighbors compassionately (Outward). It's about relationships, not rules and religion.

And the more we know Him, the more we become like Him and allow Him to live in and through us...
we realize all of life is worship;
we connect with others because we realize how much He loves us and we want others to experience that love;
we serve one another, not expecting others to serve us;
we live lives of generosity; and
we live a life that invites others to experience His love.

Let's not be known for how much we know about Him, but for how much we reflect Christ through the way we love God completely, ourselves correctly, and our neighbors compassionately.

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