1999-09-29 - Do I Know You?
Luke 13:25 (NLT)…Then you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Lord, open the door for us!' But he will reply, 'I do not know you.' 26 You will say, 'But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.' 27 And he will reply, 'I tell you, I don't know you…
If you are a fan of the National Basketball Association (NBA), you might be impressed if I told you that I know Grant Hill of the Detroit Pistons. You may be even more impressed to know that when he attended Duke University, I once ate dinner next to Hill, his mom and his dad. I have even had a meaningful conversation with his mom. You might just call me crazy to know I named my Dachshund after him. I really like Grant Hill, his family and the values that they seem to have. As the commercials say, "I am a BIG FAN!" If you were to run into him and ask, "Hey Grant, do you know that guy David in North Carolina, who writes devotionals?" he would have no idea whom you are talking about. The real question is "does he know me?" No, he does not know me, but I do know him well. But I am a fan, not a friend.
Some of us grew up in a church or we have been studiously studying the Bible for years. We can quote the books of the Bible in order, we know all the stories about Jesus, we know His miracles, and we know the story of His birth, life, death and resurrection. Some of us know a lot about Jesus. The question is: Are we merely fans of Jesus, learning all we can about Him, or are we friends of Jesus? Is there a bona-fide relationship going on between us? My worst nightmare is to die and hear Jesus say to me, "sorry, I don't know you." Ouch.
I have a homework question for you. I hope this will help you discern between knowing about Christ and really knowing Him. This question was once posed to my Tuesday morning men's Bible Study group and the result was very telling and interesting. The assignment is simply to write down on paper, your story about when you came to faith in Christ. That's it. You don't even have to share the story with anyone. Now some of you are thinking, "easy one, David. On June 23, 1969, I broke down and finally gave my life over to Christ." Some of you will say, "oh that's easy; let me go get my certificate of Baptism, Confirmation or Church Membership out of the family Bible." Several men in my Bible Study group, who grew up in a church, confided that they could not even begin to write their story. They never had a "lightning bolt" experience with Christ. They don't recall when they let Him in their life. Are you like that? Some people get really hung up with hearing people quote the exact date and circumstances they can recite about "crossing the line" between being a believer and a nonbeliever.
Now watch this: Suppose I ask you, "when did Christ first start to have an impact on your life? When could you see that changes were being made in your life?" Hopefully you can answer that. No you don't need a specific date, but generally you know when things started changing. And that was the beginning of when you went from being a fan, to being a friend of Christ.
Well, that's it -- a simple little message today -- but one I pray you will take to heart. Try to answer the homework question. Write down your story and track your growth. Are you more a friend of Christ now than last year? Are you more intimate with Christ now than a year ago? If so, great -- if not, something needs to change.
Father, help some of us move from being just a fan of Christ to being a friend. Help others of us to move from a casual friendship to a more serious relationship. Increase in us our hunger for your Word and our hunger for intimacy with Your Son. In His name, Amen.