Daily Encouragement: Year 2, Day 90

From Handbook to God’s Promises


The Person God Knows
Read 1 Corinthians 8:3

“Christian” cults are not new to the present age. Church history is littered with the records of groups who thought they had gained special insight into the mysteries of God. Within just the first 500 years of the church’s existence, battles over orthodoxy were held with the Gnostics, Quartodecimanists, Montanists, Monarchianists, “Puritans” (not the post-Reformation Puritans), Arians, Monophysists, Pelagiasts, and Nestorians. Whew! There is no end to “creative” thinking in the realm of theology.

Whereas many of the early cultic groups focused on fine points of theology, many then and since have been characterized by lifestyle beliefs. And once we enter the domain of behavior and lifestyle, we are able to apply new biblical tests of orthodoxy.

The profiles of cult leaders almost always betray a lack of the characteristic that is most godly and was most profound in Jesus Christ: love. Over time, the presence of love, or the lack of it, in a religious leader will indicate whether that leader knows God. Many Scriptures lead us to this conclusion. First, love is an evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Jesus said that if we love Him we will obey Him (John 14:15) and that our love for one another indicates whether we are His disciples (John 13:35). John the apostle said that those who do not love others do not have God’s light in them (1 John 2:9–11) and that anyone who willingly and continually sins is not a child of God (1 John 3:9–10). All of which brings us to conclude that whether or not we love God is evidenced in our behavior toward others and our attitude toward sin. If we do not love God, we do not know God. If we do not know God, we are not known by God (Galatians 4:9).

So whom does God know? Only those who love Him. Our calling is not primarily to determine who in church history, from the far distant past to the present, knows or is known by God. Rather, it is to determine whether we know and are known by God. He has called us first and foremost to be known by Him.

God’s Promise: If He knows you, it is because He knows your love for Him.

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