There is a big difference between “knowing” and “experiencing.”
For example, having been trained as an electrician in the Navy, I “know” a lot about electricity. Feel free to stop by the church sometime and I will tell you the things I know about current, voltage, impedance, resistance, capacitance and on and on – I will even tell you what I know regarding the things that happen to the body when a person grabs energized wires, using lots of words I learned in school to describe the sensation.
But trust me, there is a big difference between “knowing” what it is like to touch an energized circuit and “experiencing” it. Having been zapped more than once in my career I have from personal experience a deep appreciation and respect for electricity that enables me to teach with passion and commitment about safety.
I can give you example after example of this difference (for instance, Ross Fengfish “knows” music in a very technical sense which is way different than the way he “experiences” music on a Sunday morning); but let me bring it closer to home for some of you with the following real-life conversation that I have had many times:
- “So tell me, Jim, do you feel loved by your parents (spouse, children, etc)?”
- “Yes, Pastor, I know my parents love me. They provide a good home and great meals and nice clothes for me. And they tell me they love me all the time.”
- “That’s great, Jim. I am so glad they do those things. But that wasn’t my question. The question was not do you ‘know’ they love you, but do you ‘experience’ that love on a regular basis?”
- “Well, Pastor, when you say it that way, then no. I know they love me but I do not feel very loved.”
This Sunday we will embark on a most important journey as we begin “The Greatest of These Is Love” sermon series and associated Life Group studies. The first point in Pastor Dale’s message will be, “We love because God loves us.” I am confident we “know” that – but are we aware and have we “experienced” the full extent of His love for us? If we had our lives would probably overflow with a passion and commitment to loving others.
In preparation for our time of study this Sunday, let me encourage you to read the following verses:
- 1 John 2:7-17 – the Old Testament command to love comes alive in the person of Jesus Christ
- 1 John 3:1 – God has “lavished” His love on us; the definition of lavish is amazing and worth looking up
- 1 John 4:7-12 – “this is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us” – wow!
Please continue to pray with us that during the next seven weeks we will experience the full extent of His love!