For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17
I grew up in Bible-believing, Baptist churches.
They taught me that the words etched on the pages of Scripture set the foundation on which I should live. I learned that obeying those words pleases God and earns His blessing. The other half of that equation filled me with dread: disobeying those words brings judgment. I determined early on which side I wanted to fall on.
But as I grew to know more of God’s Word, I made an uncomfortable observation. I didn’t know anyone whose life looked like the one God described. Mine certainly didn’t. Which led me to the only obvious conclusion. Either God’s Word was a sham, or I was missing something.
We all were.
Then one sleepy afternoon in my living room, God shattered my pretenses with a question, “Do you love Jesus?” I almost brushed the question off. Of course, the answer was obvious. I’d been going to church my whole life. I knew the Bible stories. I had memorized Scripture.
But that day, God wouldn’t let me hide behind religion. That day, I encountered the Truth that changed everything.
I finally encountered Jesus.
And from that encounter, I was able to see what the enemy had kept hidden from me for 26 years. God Himself. I didn’t love Jesus. I didn’t even know Him. And without love, we gain nothing (1 Corinthians 13:3).
I had been guilty of the Pharisees’ sin.
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” John 5:39-40
Beloved, we can know Scripture backward and forward and not know Jesus. And if we miss knowing Him, it will cost us everything. Jesus said so.
“And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3
Do you know Him, dear one? Has your heart collided with His in a glorious encounter that changes you? Because an authentic encounter with Jesus will change you. We cannot enter into the transforming love of God and remain the same. He is a restoring, life-giving God who leaves His mark. But He will never force Himself on us. Instead, He pursues us and invites us to respond to His love.
That’s what the cross is really about, dear one. Jesus died so you could know the Father’s heart and allow His love to flow through you.
So, why don’t our lives reflect God’s glorious promises? Because we have closed off our hearts to love. We’ll try to use God’s words to earn His blessings, but we simultaneously reject His heart.
Recently, John 1:17 came alive to me in a fresh revelation.
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
I had always equated God’s law with His Truth. They were synonyms, additional ways to describe God’s Word.
But here, God makes a clear distinction between them.
Law does not equal truth.
Truth brings something more, and it arrived on the scene with Jesus.
Beloved, law reveals God’s words and ways. Truth carries His heart behind it. If we receive God’s words but reject His loving nature, we render those words powerless.
Think of it this way. Luke 8:11 describes God’s Word as seed. That perfect seed carries the full potential to bloom into its spoken purpose, but the seed itself won’t blossom without water to activate and grow it. God waters the seed with Himself, the Living Water of His own Spirit. Galatians 5:22 describes Him.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…
God Himself activates the power of His Word, dear one, and God is love (1 John 4:8). That’s the Truth Jesus brings. He came as a glorious expression of the Father’s love and kindness toward us, and that love alone can empower us to fulfill the law.
Do you want to live the promises, beloved? Open your heart to love. Tell Jesus you want to know Him and invite Him to reveal Himself. He will be faithful to answer that prayer and lead you on a journey into resurrection power.
The deceiver has used religion to keep you from God’s promises. Let’s break religious shackles and enter into love. Perhaps God is stirring this question in your own heart, “Do you love Jesus?”
Don’t be afraid of the Truth, beloved.
“…and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32