“But if any man love God, the same is known of him.”
~ 1 Corinthians 8:3 ~
May I ask you, the reader, a very important and somewhat personal question…
What is known of you?
What do people, not simply think about you or have heard about you, but do they “know” of you? It’s not a matter of importance of what people think of us, but rather what is fact, what is known is truly important.
Upon reading this passage this evening, I began to think about what it actually says and not what I might want it to say. Notice how there are two statements included in the one…
First: “…if any man love God…” What exactly is Paul saying? He makes it clear that his readers know that he does not refer to anyone specific, but rather “any” man. There is no one special here mentioned, no one by name, just a generalized statement. Then he goes on to refer to the affection of any one person toward God, not from God. Paul’s statement refers to how a person feels about God. So many say today, “I know God loves me, no matter what you say,” however Paul here makes it clear that it is an important thing regarding how we feel about God. Many claim to love God, claim to follow him, claim to serve him and so on, yet the next statement is the “tell on you” part.
Second: “…the same is known of him…” What? You mean it will be able to be seen? You mean it’s possible for people to be able to know that I love God? Why of course!! “How,” you ask? Well, let me ask a few questions to try and help you, the reader, figure this out:
1) How do you respond to trials?
2) How do you respond to evil doers?
3) How do you respond to those who have hurt you?
4) How do you respond to the word of God, when your convicted?
5) How do you treat God when all “seems” to be lost?
Answering these questions may help you figure out if you love God…really, because the person who loves God:
– Does not give up!
– Does not fight with the brethren!
– Does not gossip/rumor about the brethren! (or believe them)
– Does not blame others for where they are!
– Accepts where they are is by divine planning!
– Understands that there is a greater purpose in all things!
– Actually believes the bible, instead of simply telling others what it says!
Loving God is not easy sometimes, because it’s not when things are going well that it’s known of you, rather it’s known when the chips are down. It will be known of you when the world, your family, your friends seem to have forsaken you. It will be known when it seems that even God is nowhere to be found. You see, that’s where Christ was on the cross. His family, with the exception of his mother were not there. His friends, with the exception of John, had deserted him. The self-righteous were there, but only to scoff and mock him in his hour of need. Then, from the cross they heard him cry, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Afterwards he would say something that many have preached and taught, yet very few (honestly) understand and practice. He said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” I’ve often wondered, did they really not know what they were doing? The answer is no, and two-fold: 1) they truly did not believe Jesus to be the Messiah, therefore they actually did not know what they were doing and 2) they were so filled with anger, wrath and hate they could not see the truth of who he was.
Many today do not have the testimony that they love God, simply because they are harboring ill feelings toward the brethren. Whether it is one or many, it doesn’t matter. Within that, there has been a bitterness and resentment growing and becoming a raging fire within. It brings about a canker upon the heart, exposing the weakness of the flesh. Through this, the love for God is not known of them. In order for the love for God to be known of us, we must be willing to be like Christ…merciful, gracious, loving, forgiving, forbearing and etc. It’s not nearly as important to God of how much we love an unregenerate sinner, as it is that we love one another. Understand…God NEVER commanded saints to love sinners, but he DID command saints to love saints…no matter what.
In conclusion…I ask again, “What is known of you?” What do people “know” of you and about you? Before you can ever step out of where you are, you must first recognize where you are and accept it. Then and only then may you be freed from that prison and free to truly love God.
In His service,