We are made to know


“Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”

How simple is that? Connections. Relationship.

There are so many times the bible is complicated, the meanings hidden, the verses obscure, the truth something to be interpreted, sifted, sought and refined. So many times the words are well-known, fully understood, been there done that got the t-shirt. And then there are moments like this for me:

“If you connect with someone I live within – you connect with me within. And if you connect with me within – you connect with God.”

How much is there to understand? It is how we make friends very day. It is how we love each other every day. It is how we are made to interact and hook-up! And then the kicker:

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Money … mouth … acid test … faith AND action … love each other as I have loved you. So simple. So rejected. So we really do know better.

When we decide that this or that excludes. When you or you do not believe what you should believe. When this group or that group really cannot enter. Excluding and dividing even as we say the words over the communion table:

“All are Welcome.”

John 13 is where these verses are found. John who can wrap God up in such lyrical language I stop and stare! The same John brings simplicity.

Beautiful simplicity!

I read and hear many look for evidence. Many who challenge the facts. Many who seemingly enjoy “winning” an argument with others about the very same God in each other. Every time that stings. Every time that hurts deep inside.  Why?

Because Love is not always saying “yes”. But Love is about not treading on another sacred soul. And Love knows I am a sacred soul as well. So Love never treads on me either. Therefore, Love walks with rather than against. And Love walks alongside rather than in front. Because Love cares and is kind. So the evidence for love is everywhere:

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

And when we rip into each other. When we rip into others “not of us”.  When we attack each other. When we patronise. When we tolerate. When we gang up on others (from our own safe places) …

“By this everyone will ALSO know” because we are MADE “to know”.

We can sniff out duplicity and bullshit.  We can divine sincerity from acting.  We know real from pretend.  Because that is also all around us!  We are experts at “knowing”.

And what do we “know”?

Something happened to these ordinary dusty confused peeps. Their Master was taken from them. Their Master was hung up to die. They saw. They believed. Just as they saw Him alive again.  Amongst them again.  And they changed. They changed enough to heal, to preach, to grow, to unite even as individuals. They truly got …

“Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”

They changed enough to walk to similar voluntary deaths – even in the face of that eternal escape clause: deny Him and you will live.  Something had changed them – because that was not even an option worth considering.  And if we “get it” as they got it – just what is different for us?  If we also are indwelt by the same Holy Spirit – is it a different “Holy Spirit”?  A watered down version of God … ?

So why do we still look for evidence? Why continue the good fight (amongst each other)? Why demonstrate our love for each (as He loved us) by sniping at those who tick us off? Why gather in a building and shut the doors to focus on worshipping Him? And why (still) does “All Are Welcome” so often have tagged onto the end “If you believe what we believe” (obviously unwritten and unsaid – but in reality “known” both inside AND out)?

The disciples truly got it. Simply by being possessed of the Holy Spirit. They got it. They got that it is simple.

So what then is different about us? Why is it that we know better? Why is it that we must make it complicated? Why must we gather together in our little clans? Why do we divide each other from each other? Why do the shepherds still lead the sheep – and the sheep still expect to be led by the shepherds? Why make it so “passive” – so “distant” – so “intellectual”?

If we can all “get” Love – why do we all “make God” so complicated?

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14 thoughts on “We are made to know

  1. “If we can all “get” Love – why do we all “make God” so complicated?”

    So true. Love and God are all about simple connection. We complicate it with all our “buts.” It’s the voices in our head that argue against that simple love. We put our own issues in the way. Sometimes I think discipleship and growing in Christ is more about unlearning than learning.

    Blessings. Love you brother. It’s great “connecting” with you. 🙂

    • “Sometimes I think discipleship and growing in Christ is more about unlearning than learning.”

      Wow, Mel! That comment sparks a spiralling train of thought! You and He have just “connected” in a very powerful way! Thank you!!

      Unlearning …. now that is Neat!! 🙂

  2. I like that “unlearning.” It makes sense. Life teaches us some things that just do not go along with our perceptions about God that were formed early on. Religion gets in the way of how God deals with each of us on a very personal level. While there are universal truths that are core disciplines to Christianity, I believe it is very important that I am open to God’s personal messages to me through scripture and signs. And I never really believed in signs until Brandon died. It had to happen to me before I actually believed. God did that. His patience is remarkable.

    Grace is just not a complicated matter but mankind certainly made it so. I think it must be part of the “fall.” You know? Your post, Paul, has brought so many things to mind. Hugs from across the pond.

    • “It had to happen to me before I actually believed. God did that. His patience is remarkable.” Dale, how often we talk about faith and dismiss the “doubters” as not having enough. And yet so often it is how we all do things. It’s just that we either forget – of don’t like to admit it.

      “Grace is just not a complicated matter but mankind certainly made it so.”
      As we do with so much!!

      Thank you Dale
      ((hugs))

  3. “love each other as I have loved you. So simple. So rejected.” And “If we can all ‘get’ love…,” but we have to allow it in to ‘get’ it. Because if we allow love in, it WILL change us. And for some, that is quite a frightening prospect. For some, holding onto lifelong beliefs and following laws and rules is safe – safer – than allowing transformation into the unknown, even if the unknown is into the heart of Jesus and into the arms of our Father.

    • Safe. That wonderful word. The one we confuse with so much of living and loving. I recall a conversation here ages ago – about “outriders”. Those who never seemed to “fit”, always seemed to be on the edges. It was either then or later that what became clear is that “outriders” are necessary. Simply by moving from the safe centre they allow others to feel safe moving away from the centre. And those outriders (the same and different) must always be on the fringes. Always allowing others to look beyond the middle and know it is safe to step out.

      That for me is safe. Knowing the stepping out, the moving forwards, the breathe of life is safe, the being as one of one in one – that is safe..

  4. Pingback: Hearing Jesus | Church Set Free

  5. Paul, I continue to pray for your friends and know that whatever the outcome that God’s wisdom and love prevails. Now, I have a request of you and others who are prayer warriors who come by this post…please pray for my husband who is having hip replacement surgery next week. He has other health issues that are bothersome, as well. We could both use prayers at this time. 🙂 Thank you, Friend! Love and hugs…Dale, Brandon’s Mom

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