Can you imagine a husband checking off a marriage list at the end of the day that included items like told her I loved her, kissed her, bought flowers, warmed her car …. The very nature of a relationship defies a checklist. It is intimate, deep, and abiding. And, while you can gain knowledge about your spouse, it is the application of that knowledge in your marriage that makes it a good relationship.
So it is with God. Knowledge of His Word is not the end but only the means to an end. It is what we are doing with that knowledge that makes all the difference.
I. John 5:36-40. Knowing the Bible isn’t the same as knowing God. This is what Jesus tried to get the Jews who were seeking to kill Him to understand. He does not refute that their Bible study was diligent. Nor does He dispute that in the Scriptures can they find the way to eternal life. Their struggle was in application. They refused to obey to know God (1 John 2:3-6), live them out, and recognize that they testified about Him.
II. Matthew 7:21-23. Bible study is the means to an abiding relationship with God. Since Adam and Eve ate the fruit and became like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:6-22), we have had to perceive the world through knowledge. Animals have instincts; we must be taught. This has many downfalls, but the biggest one is believing that if we are doing for God, then He knows us. In our attitudes towards worship, attendance, serving, prayer, and His Word, are we “doing His will”?
III. Hebrews 4:12-13. One of the reasons they, and we, refuse to come to Jesus to have eternal life is because we don’t like the double-edge on the Sword of the Spirit that cuts back on us as we try to wield this knowledge on others. Neither do we like our deeds exposed by the light (John 3:19-21), so we keep from applying knowledge of God’s Word from becoming obedience. We do not commit to an abiding relationship with God and so live in a state of quasi-light and quasi-darkness.
Many books have been written about how to have a better marriage, and these are people’s best guesses at situations that vary from spouse to spouse. But, only one Book has been written by God Himself that helps us have an abiding relationship with Him. Do you study it to love Him more?