by Pastor Tim Burt
One Sunday I met a young woman who introduced herself to me in our Visitor’s Center after our service. Her name was Angela and she had never been to any church in her entire life. This was her very first time. I told her that I didn't even know what that felt like since I had been going to church the majority of my life. I asked her what it was like. She had difficulty explaining what she felt. She was trying to find the words to tell me that she could feel something special and that she was very excited to come back. She had tears of joy running down her face.
I asked her if she understood who Jesus was and what He did for her. She knew who He was but had not made the connection of what He had done for her. I asked her if she knew what would happen if she were to die that day? She didn't really know. She hoped she would go to Heaven. I asked her how hold she was. She told me she was 23. I asked her, Do you know you’re 23 or do you hope you’re 23? She gave me a strange look and said, I know I am 23! I asked her what city she lived in. She told me. I asked her, Do you hope you live in that city or do you know you do? Wondering where this was leading, she again said, I know I live there. I asked her name again. She told me. I asked, Do you know your name is Angela or do you hope it is? She said, I know it is.
I asked Angela, Do you see the difference between knowing and hoping? You don’t hope your age. You know it. You don’t hope your address, you know it. You don’t hope you name, you know it. There is a huge difference between hoping and knowing. I then told her, Jesus didn't come to be born in this earth, set aside His deity, and live a rejected life to be falsely accused, beaten, tortured, crucified, and go into Hell so that you would HOPE you go to Heaven. He did this so you could KNOW you are going to Heaven.
I opened a Bible and took her to 1 John 5:13 and read her this verse: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may KNOW that you have eternal life…” I told her, God inspired these written words so that you would KNOW, not HOPE, you have eternal life. Jesus paid the price for your sins and He offers to wash them away and make you His child cleansed from all sin and prepared for Heaven. Wouldn't you rather know that than hope that? She did want to know that. I asked her if I could lead her in a prayer of salvation—accepting Jesus as Her personal Savior. Then she would know! She wanted to and together we prayed. Tears flowed down her face as Renee, my wife, and I held her hands and led her in a prayer.
Today, I want to leave you with this thought: Faith is in the knowing, not hoping! Hope will draw our heart and emotions to the throne room of God’s grace. It is important for that reason. But, hope is not knowing. Faith believes in God's promises to us knowing that they still reach into each of our lives today! Faith is knowing and knowing in faith will usher God's promises into your life.
Matthew 22:29 Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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