Now about food sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge [concerning this]. Knowledge [alone] makes [people self-righteously] arrogant, but love [that unselfishly seeks the best for others] builds up and encourages others to grow [in wisdom]. If anyone imagines that he knows and understands anything [of divine matters, without love], he has not yet known as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God [with awe-filled reverence, obedience and gratitude], he is known by Him [as His very own and is greatly loved].1 Corinthians 8:1-3 AMP
Knowledge about God acquired alone for one’s own edification puffs people up with pride. Pride occurs when we play the comparison game. When we think we are in competition with others instead of cooperation.
Knowledge applied is wisdom. This is worth more than silver or gold. Knowing how to live correctly in God’s eyes will open every door of blessing that you need. Read that correctly. God will take care of all your needs if you walk in wisdom, also known as obedience. This is not the prosperity gospel. God doesn’t want you rich, He wants you to be faithful and generous. This life isn’t about us. It’s about serving others.
Love builds up. That simple truth is my key to discerning someone’s heart. Observe a person. What do they do? What do they say? Are they trying to help others? Do they encourage people to grow in their knowledge of and obedience to God? If so, that person is probably motivated by love.
I say probably, because there are some great pretenders out there who know all the right answers, do all the right things out of a religious motive, thinking that if they do the right things, God will give them favor. You can discern how true they are by inspecting their fruit. Do they have joy? Do they have peace? Do they have self-control? If not, they’re not fully acquainted with God, yet.
Don’t get me wrong, none of us are perfect, except for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We’re on a journey to Christlikeness. We will sin. We will make mistakes. Sometimes we forget the basics in moments of suffering, persecution or distress. Let’s withhold judgment, but let us also use wisdom.
My message is love. First, God loves you. He loves everybody. He unselfishly wants the best for everyone. Jesus is the living proof and verification of that love. Second, I love you. Whether you are a friend, an enemy, an associate or a stranger, I want God’s best for you. That starts with knowing God and I’d be happy to get the two of you introduced. I want my life to be living proof of God’s love.
Finally, I encourage everyone to live in God’s love. The teachings in the Bible will show you how to do that. Live by God’s Word and Spirit, and you will fulfill your ministry. Be an agent of God’s love in this fallen and sinful world. Don’t be a spectator, get into the game of life. Don’t worry about how the game ends. Just play every down according to the rules. Follow Jesus. Share His love.
If you follow Jesus, He will make you a fisher of people. If you share the love of Jesus, you will unselfishly seek the best for others. It’s a beautiful life. Really, it’s the only way to live. Go against the tide. Be an example. And live the good life of faith.
May God bless you in your walk with Him. Amen.