Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Know AND Believe

I'm going through Kelly Minter's study, "No Other Gods" right now. Last summer, I picked up her Ruth study with a couple of friends. Loved it. This one has not disappointed. In one of the readings a few days ago, she led us to 1 John 4. I can't recall off the top of my head what she wanted us notice but what jumped off the page for me was in verse 16:

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.

Know AND believe.

I don't believe John was being redundant here. Instead, I think he was making a point. But first, what is "the love God has for us?"

Back up to verse 14: the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. This love is seen and proven in the Father sending his Son into the world to save it...to bear the heaviness of sin on the cross, burst the bonds of death in His resurrection, and breathe the Spirit into us with His ascension (because if He stayed, the Helper wouldn't come...(John 16:7). In short, God's love = the gospel.

So we have come to know AND believe...the gospel.

Many of us know the gospel. We can recite John 3:16 with the best of them. We would adamantly reject the belief that the gospel is really us modifying our behavior to be accepted by God. But here's my question, do we BELIEVE the gospel?

For me, it's all too tempting to "know" the love God has for me and not believe it too. Instead, I live my life as if I still have to earn it...as if it wasn't freely given and shown on the cross. Sometimes I live my life as if He has to prove His love again because I'm not trusting He has my good in mind.

There is a daily need to remind myself to not just know but to also believe.

Lord, help my unbelief!


23 comments:

E said...

Great post!

Chels said...

Thanks for sharing! this is something I needed to hear this week.

Geer Family said...

thank you for this post

Chesney said...

Wow, saw the link to this on twitter...SUCH a blessing to my heart today! Thanks for sharing!

Kelly said...

Awesome words! I feel like that is something I daily have to pray, "Lord I believe, but help my unbelief!" Thank you for the reminder :)

chair up said...

Wow, love this Holy Spirit -revealed insight! So so true.
Angex

Katie Orr said...

I just "discovered" this verse not too long ago as well. It is a prayer for my children! I don't just want them to know the gospel; the truths about God, sin, Jesus. I want them to BELIEVE that this great God loves them with a personal, specific, by-name love.

Kara said...

So true...
I'm in James right now...the tension between God's fully-free-final-freedom that has redeemed and then my reponse...now walk in the Spirit. Obedience.
My actions not adding to His work on the cross or earning His favor, but freely flowing in response to His love and sacrifice.
It's good to sift through the true motivations behind it all...
Thank you.

Adam said...

Thank you!

Mrs.Olson said...

Thank you for this reminder.

Mama Mandy said...

Hey Lauren, I met you a long time ago in high school and more recently when my husband and I were attending The Village. My name is Mandy Arnold Cauley, Glo Gaddis re-introduced us at a diner by the church. Anyway, a friend that is praying for us has you on her bloglist. We are currently in dire need of prayer for our daughter, Harper. Please read www.thecauleygirls.blogspot.com and pray accordingly. You may have to go back a few posts to understand. I also just did NOG study. So good!

Amanda said...

Thanks for that word! God has been taking me back to Psalms lately in showing me that I don't need to do anything to earn His love.

mairi said...

Thank you for making me think.

Soo said...

I love this post. God has gifted you with the right words for this post. Thanks for sharing, Lauren!

P.S. Would you highly recommend this study? My small group is just ending "Crazy Love" and we're looking for something new! :)

cal+claire said...

I have been in 1 John as well. For my Greek class (seminary) that's what we were assigned to translate and the more I read and work with it, the more I am convicted by it. Praise the Lord for conviction!

Natalie said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I had never heard of Kelly Minter, but just picked up the study on Ruth (and CD) and I am loving it. Also, continuing to pray for you and your family.

Shauna said...

Amen.

openid said...

this was perfectly timed for me to read today. i have been wrestling with the tension of that place where my prayers are basically "Lord I believe, help me overcome my unbelief." but while i will never understand it, i think that paradoxical tension is exactly what i should be living in. seeking trust rather than understanding...

The Hafts Happenings said...

I have been quoting Mark 9:24 A LOT the last several months!! Thanks for posting!

stacey said...

Your family has been such an inspiration to my husband & I. We too join you on the journey of an incurable cancer. My husband was diagnosed on December 20,2010. This is a link to his personal testimony. www.vimeo.com/brelandbooth/bradbooth
I hope it can be a source of encouragement to you!
Thanks-Stacey booth

Siesta OC said...

Ok - so with you on this one! I became born again again 3 years ago, but really broke free from my unbelief not quite a year ago. At Beth Moore LPL in Irvine she talked about always feeling like you are on probation. Your not in trouble, but it lingers. It has been a year of fighting still, but the Lord and I are coming up on our first anniversary of 'it is FINISHED!!' Hallelujah!

a likens said...

How encouraging. This has been a tough week and I had Psalm 85: 8-9 to help me through it.
"Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to His people, to his saints, but let them not turn back to folly. Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land." In the middle of hard times God is giving me ears to hear him speak peace through the gospel.

Mary Damian said...

i love reading your blog. May God bless your family!