REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought is a reprint of Kate Moon’s blog originally posted on May 8, 2014. Kate continues to serve the Lord in E. Asia.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“The Telling Sign of Someone Who Truly Knows God”
“To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.  They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”
1 John 2:4-5
“Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.  But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them . . .”
What does it mean to claim to know God but deny Him by one’s actions? How can our actions reflect whether we truly know someone?
One common theme among romantic comedies today has become the “fake marriage” or “contract relationship.” Two people pretend to be in a relationship for mutually beneficial purposes, and a point of suspense for the rest of the movie becomes, “Will they be found out?” The relationship is tested in various ways, often revolving around the question of how well these two people really know each other. A girl claiming to be in love with the lead singer of a band (and therefore presumably his biggest fan), for example, begins to be suspected when she doesn’t seem to know the lyrics of one of his most popular songs. Her actions belied her confession.
With us and God, the test of whether we really know Him may not come down to whether we know His favorite color (preferences) or have His number in our cell phones (communicate frequently), but the Bible does say there is a way to tell: our obedience. But would obeying someone and knowing someone be connected?
Two thoughts come to mind: 1) I would obey someone if I knew that person was in a position to reward or punish me based on my actions, and if I trusted that person to judge fairly. 2) I would obey someone if I knew that person loved me and knew that whenever that person asked me to do something, it was with my best interests at heart.
God, in being perfectly righteous and perfectly loving, is all of these things and more, yet why is it that we still disobey Him? Although we know those things about Him, perhaps there is a part of us that doesn’t really experientially know Him as this kind of God.
If we are having trouble obeying God, feeling frustrated in a struggle with a particular sin, could it be that the solution is not more willpower but more time with God, trying simply to truly know Him more?
Prayer: Lord, I want to know you more / Deep within my heart, I want to know you / Oh, I want to know you and / I would give my final breath / To know you in your death and resurrection / Lord, I want to know you more / Lord, I want to know you more Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 58
Lunch Break Study
Read Titus 1:1: “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness—”
Titus 1:16: “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him . . .”
Titus 2:1-9: “You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.  Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect . . .  Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live . . .  Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children . . .  Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled . . .  Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them . . .”
Questions to Consider
- Titus 1:1 and 1:16 serve as bookends for this first chapter. What common theme do you see? What should Christian “knowing” lead to?
- In chapter two, what does Paul go on to talk about? Look again for the running theme. What do you think is the relationship between the “sound doctrine” he mentions in 2:1 and what follows in 2:2-9?
- How do the above observations challenge you in terms of your own godliness? How seriously do we try to apply the things we learn on Sundays, during Bible studies, or in our own quiet times?
- When we know the truth, it should affect the way we live. Knowledge of the truth should lead to godliness; knowing God should lead to obedience.
- In chapter two, Paul expands on the theme he has introduced in chapter one by giving specific examples. Sound doctrine is the “knowledge of the truth” from 1:1, and the specific instructions on living that follow are examples of the “godliness” that the sound doctrine should effect in people.
- See number 1 above.
How were my actions today? Did they reflect a denial of God or an acknowledgment of Him? On a scale of 1-10, how obedient was I today?