I could claim to be a close and personal friend of Kobe Bryant. I could share stories about when we first met, basketball games we played in together, times I’ve visited his home for gatherings, parties, etc. I could even go so far as to show photos of us during a championship celebration, and text messages we’ve sent back and forth. I could be so convincing that you may believe that Kobe and I are the best of friends. If you, however, stumbled upon Kobe Bryant one day and told him you knew a close friend of his and gave him my name, he’d probably say “who?” At hearing Kobe’s response and seeing his facial expression, you would know with certainty that I spent a lot of time fabricating evidence and that my claim was a bold face lie. You’d probably not believe anything else I had to say.

The truth is Kobe probably couldn’t pick me out of a line-up of six people on the first attempt; he doesn’t know me from Adam because we’ve never met. If this is clear and easy to understand, consider the words presented in 1 John 2:2-6 (The MSG). 2-3Here’s how we can be sure that we know God in the right way: Keep his commandments. 4-6If someone claims, “I know him well!” but doesn’t keep his commandments, he’s obviously a liar. His life doesn’t match his words. But the one who keeps God’s word is the person in whom we see God’s mature love. This is the only way to be sure we’re in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.

In other words, saying we’re Christians and that we know God is a flat out lie if our actions prove that we ignore Christ and act like we’re God. Many people claim to have a personal relationship with God but their lives don’t support the claim; on the contrary, their gatherings, parties, photos, text messages, etc. may be evidence that the opposite is true; they don’t know God at all! Re-read the above passage giving special attention to the thoughts underscored and judge yourself accordingly, that is, if you claim to be a Christian! Keep in mind that others may not believe anything you have to say if they find you to be a liar.

MD (2/6/12)