6 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Samuel 13:1-39
John 17:1-26
Psalm 119:81-96
Proverbs 16:6-7

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

John 17:3 (NLT): “And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Imagine that I looked you in the eyes and asked, “What does it mean to be saved?” What would you say?

Some would say: “It means that I’m forgiven of my sins.”

Others would say: “It means that I get to go to Heaven when I die.”

And, in modern-day, watered-down Christianity, that might be the extent of it. Too many believe that salvation simply means that we get cleaned up and get a free ticket to Heaven when we die.

But, in the verse I have chosen for today, Jesus said something profound. He tells us precisely what salvation is (a.k.a. eternal life).

John 17:3 (NLT): “And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.”

According to Jesus, eternal life (a.k.a. salvation) is being invited into a relationship with God the Father and God the Son.

The word “know” in our verse for today is interesting in the original language of the New Testament (Greek). It’s the Greek word “ginosko” and it never simply means head knowledge. It always speaks of heart knowledge. It refers to an intimate, heart-felt relationship.

We know the difference, don’t we? As a young boy, I was walking through a cow pasture. I came upon a fence with a live wire running through it to keep the cows inside the perimeter. I knew (head knowledge) that touching the wire would give me an unpleasant jolt. But, curiosity got the best of me. I reached out my finger and touched it. The shock I received was quick and powerful, and I yanked my hand back. Suddenly, I didn’t want to touch that electrified fence again because I knew (heart knowledge) that it actually hurt.

Head knowledge is knowing the facts. Heart knowledge is coming into an experience with those facts.

Regarding our relationship with God, head knowledge is knowing facts about Him. Heart knowledge is actually coming into a meaningful relationship with Him where we can truly say that we are experiencing God. He’s not just a God “out there somewhere.” He is a vibrant, meaningful part of our life.

Jesus has told us in the verse I have chosen for today that salvation is an invitation and a growing experience (a heart knowledge) in our relationship with our God.

So, what about you, friend? Is your knowledge of God simply a list of facts? Or are you enjoying Him when you listen to Him as you read His Word, and talk to Him when you pray, and live the moments of your day with an awareness of His presence with you?

He wants you to experience so much more than the knowledge that your sins are forgiven, and you are on your way to Heaven. He wants you to experience Him. After all, that’s what salvation is all about.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash