9.4.19 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Knowing Jesus vs. Knowing OF Jesus

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Have you ever met someone famous? The temptation to talk to them as though you’re the oldest and bestest of friends is right there. If you ever saw the movie, “Notting Hill,” there’s a scene in that movie that perfectly captures such a moment—“I absolutely and totally and utterly adore you and I think you’re the most beautiful woman in the world and more importantly I genuinely believe and have believed for some time now that we can be best friends. What do YOU think?”

Fan girl much??

We can read all the bios we want to of a certain celebrity… we can watch their interviews and feel confident that we know who they are… That degree of study may make us feel justified to say upon meeting, “We can be best friends. What do YOU think?” But the truth is—there’s a difference between knowing OF someone and actually knowing them. Oh, and that famous person will likely have an awkward laugh and they will probably (definitely) think you’re crazy.

Let’s take this to Scripture. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21 ESV). 

Gulp. It’s a prime example of those who know OF Jesus, but don’t know Him. 

He went on to say, “And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’ (Matthew 7:23 ESV). And honestly, I think those may be some of the saddest, most heartbreaking words in the Bible. 

So many know who Jesus is but they haven’t invested in knowing Him. They may know the stories, the parables, the words… they may be familiar with His death and even believe in His resurrection. But do they know Him? Do you know Him?

The thing is—of all the people in the world you could ever meet, saying to Jesus, “We can be best friends. What do YOU think?” would make Him smile and nod along in enthusiastic agreement! He WANTS to be your best friend. And He’s willing to be the best friend you ever had. But He wants you to have a relationship with Him—not just have superficial knowledge about Him.

Peter wrote, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18 ESV). He wrote these words to conclude a letter that advised the reader (including us) to stay close to Jesus. To know Him so well that we will recognize Jesus’ voice above the words of false prophets. And to stay committed to our respective walks with Him. 

In other words, to stay committed to our friendship with Jesus and let that relationship grow. To not just read what others say about Him but read it for yourself… pray to Him and talk to Him… Learn His voice as He speaks to your heart.

To know Him. Not just know of Him.

Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for His friendship. Ask Him to speak to your heart and if you’re not sure that you really know Him on a personal level, ask Him to be your friend and Savior. He will always say yes to a sincere request, no matter who asks.

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