D.Caidery First, our reading of Psalm 100 caught our attention, verse 3 declares, “Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people: and
First, our reading of Psalm 100 caught our attention, verse 3 declares, “Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people: and the sheep of his pasture.” That last phrase in particular should cause us to deeply meditate! “The sheep of his pasture!” Our God (and surely his Son) have a “pasture” – this is an area where domestic animals graze! When we are his – he puts us, spiritually, in his pasture.” Let us meditate on the wonder of this – the reality of this.
This thought leads into what we read v. 3 in 1 Corinthians 8. “But if anyone loves God , he (or she) is known by God.” Love is, above all, an active quality; genuine love causes us to do things: it motivates our heart, and, above all thing brings us into a relationship – and that – awesomely – is a ‘two-way’ relationship..
When God, who sees all things through his spirit (Psalm 139 v.1-6) knows that our professions of love for him come right from our hearts – we are “known by God.” But this is more than a one sided sense of knowing, to truly know God results in a two-way relationship – as in the Psalm we quoted at the beginning.
A few days ago we read in Exodus, “Moses said to the LORD … you have said, ‘I know you by name … therefore if I have found favour in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you …” [Ch.33 v.12,13] Knowing God comes through knowing his ways; leading to the realization that we are “working together with him” [2 Cor. 6 v.1]. One of the wonders of this, as we will see in tomorrow’s chapter, is to realize that “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” [1 Cor. 10 v.13]
Many believers in Corinth were experiencing temptations to continue to enjoy the fleshly advantages of attending idol temples and feasting there on the food that had been offered to the idols. The idol worshippers saw this food as special because it had been blessed by Temple priests: we have seen this happening in Indian temples.
It is not difficult to see the modern equivalents, especially in prosperous countries in the things that the masses idolize. In Corinth athletic sports were idolized, it is no different today – people call them ‘Stars’ – reflect on how much idolizing happens -= virtually daily! .
Finally we noted Paul’s point – “Every athlete exercises self-control … they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable” [1 Cor. 9 v.25] Paul tells the believers, “So run that you may obtain it … I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” [v.24,27]
Disqualified! Can we imagine Paul being disqualified! Obviously he could! How can we safeguard against this ourselves? The ‘oil’ which ‘lubricates’ all our understanding and ways of thinking – should result in success for our efforts to “run” effectively! This is the reality of our love for God: fuelled by our reading of God’s word – and this provides the ‘lubricating oil’!: As a result we become more and more aware that we are “known by God.” Loving God creates our inner strength. How “real” is your love? God knows! Do we truly know ourselves?