March 20, 2012
“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” — 1 John 2:3-6 (NIV)
Jane lives with and cares for her elderly father, a quiet man who doesn?t like company.
However, he did permit Jane’s pastor to visit him now and then. Each time, the pastor would pull up a chair and sit right next to where the bed-ridden man lay.
The two would strike-up a conversation, which eventually led to spiritual matters. The father eventually trusted Jesus as Saviour, and one day, he asked about the subject of prayer.
“Prayer,” the pastor said, “is talking to God, like we have been conversing.”
After the pastor left, the father asked for the chair where the pastor sat to be left in the same position. He also gave instructions for Jane not to come into the room unless he called.
One day the elderly father did not call for Jane for a long time. Afraid that something may have happened, she went in anyway.
What she saw shocked her. The father was slumped over the chair next to his bed. And he was dead.
Jane called the pastor. When the latter saw the old man he exclaimed, “He died on Jesus’ lap.”
Puzzled, Jane asked for an explanation. Her father conversed with Jesus daily, explained the pastor, with the latter “seated” on the chair. Her father would then talk with Jesus like how he had talked to the pastor. He didn?t allow Jane to enter the room for fear she would think him strange.
And that final posture was because he had mustered all his strength to take that intimate position with Jesus.
The apostle John spoke of intimacy with Jesus. Interestingly, John was not referring to the amount of time we pray and read the Scripture. Rather, he was referring to knowing God and obeying Him.
John said, “…we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” Knowing God means we do what He says in His Word. On the contrary, if one “does not keep His commandments, that person is a liar…”
The word “know” is not a casual word, like getting acquainted. Rather, it refers to recognition and understanding of a person. That would lead to a relationship with the person. Of course, in this case we are referring to people getting to know God.
John went on to say “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” From this passage we learn that when one knows God, two things must happen:
1) He must abide in God
2) He must walk as Jesus walked
The question remains. What evidence is there that you abide in God? How have you walked in obedience to the Father, as Jesus did?
When Jane’s father knew God, he wanted to wait patiently on God. And since prayer is one way he can connect with God, he prayed. His intimacy with Jesus was displayed in an unusual way. How is your intimacy with Jesus shown?
Thought For The Week (TFTW) is contributed by Dr Koh Siang Kiang, Associate Professor (Christian Education) at the Singapore Bible College (SBC). She graduated from SBC and Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), USA, and has served in various ministries for more than 35 years, including teaching at DTS. Dr Koh has been with SBC for the last 10 years, and has a passion for people and teaching the Word of God. She also loves to make the Bible come alive by leading tours to the Holy Land, and has led 12 such trips. To help her relax, Dr Koh likes to cook and cross-stitch.