Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for…Knowledge

By Shelly Burke, Editor and Author, Home is Where the Mom Is; A Christian Mom's Guide

The Bible tells us that God’s knowledge is omniscient—He knows all things (Psalm 139), including the “secrets of the heart” (Psalm 44:21b) and “the thoughts of man” (Psalm 94:11) As the saying goes, “knowledge is power” (usually attributed to Sir Francis Bacon). I enjoy learning new things and frequently  check out books from the library that cover topics I know nothing about—like caving—or that explore in depth issues like lying, memory or the science behind cooking. There’s no end to the interesting things to learn in the world!

Our most valuable knowledge, however, comes from knowing God, His Word, and His will.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
Prov. 9:10

In the context above, the word “fear” can be translated “standing in awe” or “reverence”. How can we be reverent of someone, or in awe, if we do not know them? Through Bible Study we learn “knowledge of the Holy One”, which provides insight as to how we should strive to live. Of course we will never be all knowing, as God is, but through the Bible we see that He is fair, just, compassionate, and so on. We also learn that He never compromises what is right, for what is “easy” or “popular.” As you read the Bible, consider marking or writing down passages that give you insight into the characteristics of God.

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Phil. 1:9

Here Paul is speaking to the Philippians, telling them of his prayer that they will, among other things, have knowledge and discernment of what is pleasing to Christ. When we have knowledge of Christ we can discern what is pleasing to Him, what is excellent, and how we can live for Christ. Again, the Bible is our source of knowledge of just what that is.

Many people say that the Bible cannot be understood, that it’s just a story for people of long ago and doesn’t apply to our lives today. Study of the bible, however, will show you that it is clear about what is right and wrong, and the principles laid out in the Scriptures thousands of years ago do, indeed, apply today. (Some of the practices laid out in the Old Testament—sacrifices, for example-- do not apply to us today, but it is no mystery why not—the Bible clearly tells us that through Christ’s crucifixion He took away the need for those sacrifices.)

Rather than reading self-help books, which often mislead (even some so-called “Christian” books and Bible studies are not Biblically sound), I challenge you to spend time reading…your Bible. Consider a study Bible, which has notes that will clarify passages and give insight as to cultural practices and other factors and deepen your knowledge of Scriptures. Be sure to choose a literal translation (which
is a literal word-for-word translation from the languages it was written in, Hebrew and Greek). Tools like a Bible dictionary, maps and commentaries will give you additional knowledge.

Finally, ask God to give you the desire to read, study, and understand the Bible, so that you can gain the most valuable knowledge-- of Him and His Word.

Lord, please create in me the desire to read and study Your Word. I want to gain knowledge of You, so that I can live in a way that is pleasing to You. Please bless my study of Your Word. Give me insight and understanding. Amen.

I’m also blogging at Home is Where the Mom Is. Today’s post is also about “knowledge” specifically how to talk with your kids about the importance of knowledge and knowing God.

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Shelly is also the author of the book “Home is Where the Mom Is; A Christian Mom’s Guide to Caring for Herself, Her Family, and Her Home. Click to find out more!