1 Corinthians 8:3 But the man who loves God is known by God.
When I read this verse I think of Moses and the burning bush. The bush was on fire but it didn’t burn up. It caught Moses’ attention and in the midst of shepherding his sheep, he turned aside to see this strange sight. Once God saw that he had turned aside to look, He called to Moses from within the bush.
Moses responded and encountered God in a stunning way. It strikes me that in today’s verse, ‘the man who loves God’ is the bush and ‘is known by God’ is the burning part – the fire that doesn’t consume. This verse is there, like a bush on fire, that doesn’t burn up, with God waiting to see who will be attracted and turn aside.
There are other verses that have this same feature – this same element of mystery and attraction. They are there – waiting – to see if they will cause us to ‘turn aside’. James 4:8a says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” Stop and think about that. God is everywhere. He’s omnipresent. As Christians He lives within us. So what is He talking about when He says if we come near to Him, He will come near to us? Could He be talking about something more intimate?
Then in John 14: 21b Jesus says, “The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” This verse is explosive! The one who loves Jesus will be loved by His Father! But, doesn’t God already love us? Isn’t that why He sent Jesus? Is it possible that somehow, when it comes to the love of God, there is a whole lot more we can experience?
The Amplified Bible states the last clause of John 14:21 this way, “…and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]” WOW!!! This shouts that there is unspeakable treasure waiting for those who love God! Not in terms of things, but in terms of relationship and intimacy with our Lord God. All of this is there waiting for the ones who love Him.
These experiences are reserved for those who truly pursue loving God. It’s almost like God saying that when we first come to Him, as marvelous as our experiences might be, it’s only the ‘tip of the iceberg’. There is so much more of Him that only the ones who love Him will get to experience. The choice is ours.