I am doing a series of reflections for our church based on our theme of 40 days of change. I thought I might as well post them for any one who comes across our somewhat dormant blog.
I believe God is constantly shaping us to be like Jesus. For me, probably like you, that means changing some of my characteristics. Throughout Lent, each Sunday at our church we will look at a Bible character and try to learn something about godly character from him or her. This Sunday we will look at Abraham as a man of faith. The reflections this week think about different areas of our character that God might want to work on to make us people of faith. Here’s the first one for today, the first day of Lent:
10 February, 2016 40 days of change-Lent, 2016
Knowledge – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18
So often faith and knowledge are seen as mutually exclusive, but that is not true, for knowledge is a healthy ingredient to faith. Knowledge is information that can be objectively evidenced, determined or measured. If through experiment all doubt can be erased or as they say in courtroom drama, it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, then we assume what is left is factual knowledge. However, if there is still doubt, then we have the opportunity for the knowledge to be mixed with thought and produce faith. In our faith relationship with God, there is knowledge, such as we know there was a man who lived named Jesus; in fact there were lots of men named Jesus since it was a common first century name. We also know that quite soon after the first century, there was some life changing claims being made about a man named Jesus. Those two pieces of knowledge mixed with the right thought, can lead to the beginning of faith. The concern is that some of us think faith is all we need, so we don’t bother with knowledge. We wrongly claim that we don’t need to know anything, just believe. Without any knowledge, then our faith is quite rightly accused of being rather thin.
Jesus was a person of knowledge. At 12 years old he sat for three days and wowed the teachers with his understanding and answers to their questions. Repeatedly the gospels tell of listeners marveling because he taught like no other person taught. One assumes that it wasn’t just that he had really cool Powerpoint slides, but rather he drew from a knowledge base that was not of this world. It was his heavenly Father’s knowledge base. He admits to having an inside source when he says ‘I say what the Father tells me to say’. He had a distinct advantage over the rest of us. He was God and he had all the resources of God. But God has given us some resources by which we can build our own knowledge base. The individual mental resources may vary from one person to another, but if you are reading this sentence, you definitely have some ability to know. As well, knowledge is available through God’s revelation in creation, the Scriptures, people around us, and the Spirit of God, who guides us into truth.
Have you learned anything new about God recently? An opportunity for you to become more knowledgeable about God and the people around you studying the Bible’s claim that humans are made in the image of God? Today as you look around, see if you can recognise the image of God in people you come across at work or home. To do that, you have to be familiar with some of the attributes of God. That means a little bit of homework before you go out the door. Google attributes of God, jot them down on a piece of paper or in your phone and then go on a treasure hunt to see if humans reflect the God you know. You’ll become a changed person, one who is more knowledgeable about God.