“The commandments of God were to be an affair of the heart, and not merely of the memory” – Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch, classic Old Testament scholars, on Deuteronomy 6:6.
I recently read that when I was studying through the book of Deuteronomy and this stopped me right in my tracks. Immediately, I felt remorse, conviction, and shame.
God doesn’t just want me to know more things about Jesus, but instead He wants me to know Him more. I can know certain facts about my fiancée Ariel (i.e. loves the show “This Is Us”, dislikes sushi, has bad taste in music, etc.), but those facts are just knowledge about her, but actually knowing her is where I truly get to understand her. It’s the same way with Jesus, but I don’t always live it out.
I sometimes feel content about my relationship with Jesus because I have Bible verses memorized, I’m decent at random Bible trivia, and I can even haphazardly read some Biblical Greek. But all that’s meaningless, if I don’t actually value and prioritize my relationship with Jesus.
I encourage you to not think you have a relationship with Jesus based on anything other than the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Our salvation isn’t secured by how many Bible verses we’ve memorized, how much money we give, our church attendance, etc. Instead, our salvation is secured by the completed work of Jesus.
Jesus didn’t die and raise from the dead, so that we’d just settle for knowledge about Him. Instead, Jesus wanted us to have a relationship with Him.
So, let’s live in such a way where we honor Jesus by appreciating Him more, working with Jesus instead of working for Jesus, and, finally, focusing on what Jesus did instead of what we have done.
Don’t just settle for knowledge about Jesus. Strive after a personal relationship with Jesus and continue growing closer to Him through that personal relationship.