“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe – and shudder!” (James 2:19).

In this profound statement the Holy Spirit, through the authorship of James, provides a distinction between a belief that brings salvation and a relationship with God and a belief that is simply an acknowledgment of the truth. It’s true that God is one, yet it’s clear from James that a person can understand this truth and yet still be far from Him.

Today, many of us who have grown up in the church know many truths about Jesus. We know the stories of his manifest power in healing the sick and casting our demons. We have heard the story of His death and resurrection countless times and know it’s an important event. Yet, for some, the question is not whether we know the truth, but whether we have submitted to it’s implications. Are we allowing the truth to change our thinking and our behavior? Are we growing in love for Jesus or just knowledge of Him?

Have we looked upon the cross of Christ and considered our own sin that led Him to that place of sacrifice? Have we read the story of the resurrection and rejoiced with great gladness because of what it means for our eternal life? Have we read the words of Jesus who said to “keep my commandments” and then made strides towards holiness so that we may fully “abide in his love”? Have we grown in our affections towards Jesus because of the truth we know or are we content just knowing true things about Jesus yet refusing to let them transform our lives?

As we begin reading through the New Testament as a church, let’s pray that God would stir our hearts with greater love for Jesus as we read about His life and ministry. May we not just be people who declare that we know about Jesus – but may we demonstrate with our lives a deep, abiding love for Him.