The gaps between knowing and believing + 1 John 4:16 Coloring Page in English and Spanish

I have these gaps . . . 

between what I know and what I, in fact, believe
Does God even like me? . . .  Am I not justified in judging this person?

between what I know and what I do
Why do I let anger get the better of me? . . . Why is talking to God such a struggle for me?

between what I know of Jesus and how much I am like him.
How can I have thought that way about another person mad in God's image?. . . Why is it so hard to put another person's needs ahead of my own?

Dallas Willard, in The Divine Conspiracy,** writes, "a great deal of what goes into 'training [us] to do everything [Jesus] said' [referencing Matthew 28:20] consists simply in bringing people to believe with their whole being the information they already have as a result of their initial confidence in Jesus--even if that initial confidence was only the confidence of desperation."

He writes, "To enter his kingdom, we believe in him. To be at home in his kingdom, learning to reign with him there,
we must share his beliefs."

The whole of our being testifies to what we truly believe--our actions, our words, our emotions, our thoughts, our desires, our will. There is no segmentation in the life of a disciple. It's ALL for Him. It's all fodder for surrender and growth and "taking up our cross."

If an honest look at these areas reveals your own gaps, be encouraged. Being a poor disciple doesn't make you not a disciple; it just means you have a lot of growing to do and need more training under the Teacher, and under other fellow disciples.

John writes about what it looks like to both know and believe: 
"By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen." (1Jo 4:13-20 ESV)
Verse 16 is what stood out to me in this passage (and is this month's coloring page). It reminds me that faith is both knowing and believing. We can know any multitude of things without putting trust in any of them. The word "know" in this verse is ginōskō in Greek and is used for coming to the knowledge or understanding of something. The word for "believe" is pisteuō and is used for putting your confidence and trust in something. 

John is clear in this passage that there's evidence if we know and believe God's love:
  • Are we like Jesus in the world? Then we know and believe God's love.
  • Do we fear God's condemnation and punishment? Then we don't fully know and believe God's love yet.
  • Do we hate our brothers and sisters? Then we don't fully know and believe God's love yet.

So many of my own "gaps," from my relationship with God to my relationships with others, stem from my not really believing God's love--for me and for others. 

But the news for all of us is GOOD: we can know God's love. God is knowable. He sent his Son as a person who lived a life that's beautifully recorded. And if you're reading this email, the book is even in your language (or one you can read). Know the Son; know the Father.

Additionally, we live in the power of the Holy Spirit, who makes God's love known to us on the most intimate level--our hearts.

In my experience, this is simple, but very complicated stuff. There are a lifetime of habits, based on our real beliefs, to rewrite. Some beliefs were written by our own corrupt hearts; some were written by others. But God is a patient, enduring author. Maybe before we're even aware of it, God writes another chapter, heals another gap between knowing and believing, and we are never the same. 

Today's printable Bible verse coloring page is from 1 John 4:16. Click on the images below to download in English or Spanish.

 


PRAYING the Word
Thank you, Lord, that in your mercy, you've taken me on as a student despite my small faith and slow growth! Thank you, Father, that you don't boot your slow-learning kiddos from the family. Your table is wide and bountiful and gracious. Help me to both know you and believe you and so be transformed to be like you in the world, living like you would the very life in front of me.

QUESTIONS to consider:
1. What are some of the "gaps" between what you and know and what you actually believe and live?
2. Why would truly knowing and believing God's love for you change everything?
3. What's one thing that knowing and believing God's love for you could change today?


*I'm so happy for you to enjoy my coloring pages and printables for your personal (not commercial) use! Use for Bible studies, church groups or events, and Sunday school classes are all fine! If you're in doubt, I'm happy to answer any questions. All artwork and photos are copyright Marydean Draws. If you share this, thank you (!), and as a courtesy,  please link back to this post and not the PDF file. 

**affiliate link. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


               

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