Thursday, August 27

Effective Living: Cultivate Knowledge

God's Word is critical for effective living.

When we are saved we are to cultivate knowledge. It takes tilling the soil of our lives. It takes watering. It takes God's Spirit. It takes time.
"God's Word gives clear instruction in both precepts and principles. Examples of a precept would be no sexual immorality, do not repay evil for evil, pray without ceasing, in all things give thanks. Principles are judgement calls. The Bible doesn't mention cards, makeup, movies or tobacco. The more you know about God's Word, the better judgment calls or decisions you can make."

Chuck Swindoll
Read: 2 Peter 1:3-9
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

When we are saved we are to act like we are in the light ... because that is our story. We are saved from the kingdom of darkness and transferred into the kingdom and light of Jesus Christ. We are new creatures. We used to be darkness but know we are light in the Lord. And so we are called to act like it.

As we do this we are to add to our faith knowledge. We need to begin to understand the precepts and principles of the Bible. Peter says we need to get to know the will of God for our lives. As we said yesterday, anyone can be "good" for a time but to live effectively we must go beyond this and grow in knowledge.

There are 2 different words used for knowledge in the passage. One deals with a true knowledge of a person ( in orange above) and the other deals with knowledge about things (in blue above). If you will take a minute to reread the verses above the context will reveal this difference.

What's the point? Peter says that growing in knowledge about God will facilitate knowing God personally. Knowledge of God's will introduces us to Jesus. Book knowledge can actually lead to intimate knowledge of our Lord Jesus. It is a critical part of the 7 Habits.

These believers would study the Old Testament, sit under teaching by those who knew Jesus personally, read the letters of the apostles, do life together enough that they would hear what God was doing in others lives, actively see God use them as they shared the good story of Jesus with others.

Sounds like a formula for personal time in the Word, being active in a local church, being in a small group and watching God work through you. All these can build a knowledge of God and how He works.

Add to your faith knowledge. This is another place we can short circuit our effectiveness. If we neglect this important step we will stagnate.

It is amazing how much of the Bible we actually know and still there are many adventures in the Book that are yet to be explored! I pray you will have a hunger to know the Lord and that this hunger will drive you to the Bible and to seeking out God in the highways of life. Add to your faith knowledge.

Do you have a Bible reading plan?

When was the last time you went outside and looked at the stars? There is knowledge in creation ... it is the handiwork of our God. I think I am done writing now. I am going out on the deck with my dog to look at the stars. There is more knowledge out there than in front of the Xbox anyway.

DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.

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