2 Peter 1:5 – For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge. (NIV)
When I first became a Christian over thirty years ago, all I thought that I had to do was believe in Jesus for the rest of my life. I was quite content to be saved, and for the first time in years, I felt a peace inside of me. I didn't know then that I needed to grow in goodness and knowledge. I thought that once I became a member of the church, my life would settle down and everything would work out.
But as I travelled the spiritual path of being a pilgrim, I soon realized that there is more to the Christian life than faith. Belief in Jesus made me want to share the good news with other people, but in order to do that, I soon discovered that I had to know my Bible. If I just went out into the streets to share my own experience, then I would be preaching the gospel according to John Stuart. I needed to know more about God. I had to understand more about who Jesus was and what He was still doing in the world.
So I started to really read the Bible, but I ended up with more questions than answers. I liked some of the Old Testament stories because they reminded me of Sunday School, but there were some cruel passages that I couldn't understand. The Gospels were really easy to take in, but when it came to Paul's letters, I found him too severe and narrow-minded. And then, when I started to read the Book of Revelation, it really spooked me. Images of wicked dragons and monstrous beasts, powerful archangels and cataclysmic disasters kept me awake at night. I couldn't understand, and it frightened me. I felt no better than I did before I gave my heart to Jesus.
Then I started to go to a Bible Study on Sunday nights. Donnie, the pastor, used his knowledge to explain some of the passages I couldn't fathom. Slowly and surely, I began to see God's plan for salvation spreading out across the entire Bible. It was a wonderful time of discovery and realization. It restored my faith and brought back my peace in Christ.
Ever since then, I've tried to grow in knowledge about the Bible, and I love to share what I've learned with other people. I would recommend to everybody who reads or listens to these messages to become part of a Sunday School class or a Bible study group. It's a beautiful way to learn more about God; it's a wonderful opportunity to grow in faith, goodness, and knowledge.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, believing in You is the best decision we can ever make in our lives. But as well as giving us the gift of belief, You want us to learn more about who You are, what Your mission is, and what purpose You have in store for our lives. Help us to find and join a study group or class that will increase our knowledge about God's mighty acts and Your work of the Gospel. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.
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