“But grow in the grace and knowledge
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”
(2 Peter 3:18)
Christianity is a relationship before it is anything else. This is highlighted by the facts that, as Christians, we become the sons and daughters of God, that the Church is referred to as the bride of Christ and that,
“Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:22-23)
To grow in our knowledge of Christ and the grace of God we need to get to know as much about Him as possible and get to know Him personally ourselves – not just through the eyes or words of others.
The first step is to read one of the gospels which tell us His story. Then read it again to find out what it say about Him personally. Read it a third time to note and receive His teachings and instructions. Then read it a fourth time to find out what His teachings, actions and instructions say about Him. Record your impressions of Him and to Him as you go along.
As you do this begin to talk to Him about what you are reading and discovering. It is one thing to learn about someone and quite another thing to talk to them personally. Learn to chat to Him throughout the day. Jesus has not hidden Himself away from us but has made some exciting promises,
- “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (John 14:21)
- “Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23)
“I will show myself to him” and “we will come to him and make our home with him.” Jesus is talking about a relationship that is real and experienced, not just the knowledge that comes through a book on a bookshelf. To know God is quite different from merely knowing about Him. It is when we take Him seriously that we begin to discover just how important we are to Him.
Peter is encouraging us to grow in a relationship with a very real and very loving Saviour. As does James.
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (James 4:8)
Read God’s word and allow it to form your knowledge of Him.
Holy Spirit, please lead me into a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus, and open God’s word to me and open me to His word. Amen.