“You can only love and be loved to the extent that you know and are
known by somebody.”
This week our topic is, at Cross-Work Church we will know others and be known. Our reason for this is because we are known by God.
In “The Guardians of the Galaxy,” there is a funny scene where Peter Quill is trying to talk his way out of a sticky situation with Korath, and he tells Korath that he might know him by his other name, Star-Lord, and a confused Korath responds with, “who?” It was a scene in the movie that provided a pretty good chuckle, but he was in a place that he wasn’t allowed to be, and it was about to cost him his life. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus paints a scary picture where, like Star-Lord, wretched sinners will stand before a holy God, and they will have all these different reasons God should know them, but God never knew them. We are not saved because of anything that we do, but simply because Jesus loves us and gave his life in our place.
I know what you’re thinking, “wow! You’re just gonna punch us right in the teeth like that?” And yes, I am because the foundation for knowing others and being known is that we are first known by God. Being known by God should motivate us to want to make God’s name known. In 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 Paul says, “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” In 1 Peter 3:15 we’re told to “always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” We must be in relationships with people that don’t know the God that we serve, and we should pray that those people would come to know him.
At Cross-Work we have ten questions we use to evaluate how well we are doing in this area.
1. Am I living to fulfill Jesus redemptive mission to the Glory of God?
2. Am I aligned with Jesus mission to seek and save the lost?
3. Have I rejected the idea of church attendance as a measure of my commitment to Christ?
4. Do I seek to be Jesus to everyone everywhere?
5. Do I function as a missionary where I live, work, and play?
6. Do I care for spiritual and physical needs of others?
7. Do I embody the gospel to those in the culture around me? (exemplify, represent, personify, demonstrate, explain)
8. Am I committed to following Jesus? (loving, obeying, serving, honoring, sacrificing, giving, and living like Jesus)
9. Am I committed to the truth of God’s word?
10. Am I discipling someone?
I want to follow this up with, you can’t, and I would never say you have to follow these to be saved. That’s salvation by works, and I would never teach that. However, if you have no desire to follow Jesus and to make his name known, I would be very worried that you don’t understand what it means to follow God, and that you are in danger of Jesus saying, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”