In a span of 8-9 days he won the hearts of a busload of preachers. We were visiting the Holy Land, and the personable man was our Jewish tour guide. Each day he greeted us with his wonderful smile, clever sense of humor, and incredible knowledge of Israel. From the story of Abraham and Isaac to the account of Jesus’ resurrection our guide had it all down. Yet as the week went by, ministers began to ask, “Is he a believer?” Sadly one day a couple of us asked him directly and received the answer of “No”. He knew the Bible better than a lot of us. He daily walked where Jesus had been. He had been giving tours to Christians for years. But he didn’t know the Messiah. He knew the story of Jesus better than we did, yet we knew Jesus and he did not.
Reader, could that be your situation? Could you have a knowledge of God and His Son Jesus in your head but not in your heart? It is not all that unusual. In a previous church where I served as pastor a man, having been ordained as a deacon in another church years before, was asked to serve as deacon in our church. As I spoke with him about his testimony and conversion experience, he got real quiet. Then he said, “Pastor, all these years I have thought I was saved but recently the Lord has convicted me that I am not. I sure know a lot about Jesus but I really don’t know him”. That afternoon he made sure of his salvation by coming to God through His Son Jesus in repentance and faith. He stood up in the church house the following Sunday and told the church he had been living a lie. We later baptized him in the river behind his house. He knew the Bible stories. He knew the plan of salvation. He had ministered to people in Jesus name. BUT he didn’t have an intimate relationship with God.
Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” – Matthew 7:21 (NIV). What is the will of Father God we must do? Jesus also said, “This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life.” – John 6:40 (The Message). Claiming Jesus is our Lord is not enough. We must trust Jesus for who He is – He is God’s Son sent to earth to be our personal and eternal Savior. We must trust Jesus for what He did – He gave His life in death on a cross to pay our sin debt to God. That trust will include trusting Him with our sins (repentance) that He gave His life to forgive. We must also align ourselves with Jesus – by trusting Him with our lives so He can control them as He sees fit. That is what is necessary for us to go from a head knowledge of Jesus to a heart experience of Jesus. That is what is needed for us to move past a knowledge about Jesus to a personal, real, and intimate relationship with Jesus.
Have you trusted Jesus? Or is your knowledge of Him in your head but not your heart.
—- Pastor Steve