The subject of the last letter ‘You must read’ begs the question “Why?’. Most of us know the answer. We may read for knowledge, comfort, encouragement, edification, enlightenment or just for pleasure (or or not for so much pleasure if it’s for an exam the next day!). But I marveled at the Lord’s timing when my next daily reading, based on the passage above, was an outline of why knowledge is important (Morning and Evening by Spurgeon, 4th August).
Quoting Spurgeon: “Every believer understands that to know God is the highest and best form of knowledge; and this spiritual knowledge is a source of strength to the Christian.” He goes on to say that firstly, knowledge of God strengthens faith. We can hardly trust someone we hardly know. The more we know God, the more we trust him and the more our faith grows. Faith can stagnate without a growing knowledge of God.
Secondly, knowledge strengthens love. When we know Christ more we love him more. We cannot love a Christ we do not know. The more we see how much he has loved us, what he has done and what he is doing for us, the more we love him.
Thirdly, knowledge strengthens hope. We can’t hope for something we don’t know about. A clear knowledge and understanding a what God has in store for us for all eternity strengthens our hope for it. And related to this, fourthly, knowledge strengthens patience. As we realize that our trials are sent by a loving father who perfects us for heaven, we patiently bear up underneath them, knowing that our suffering is not in vain.
I’m sure that knowledge of God strengthens many other aspects of our christian character, but this brief outline at least gives us some food for thought and prayer as seek to grow in the knowledge of our Lord. The sure Word of God is of course our ultimate source of the knowledge that strengthens. However, we will gain much more out of everything we read if we see that its purpose is to know God more and thus strengthen faith, love, hope, patience and more.
Housekeeping: My recent technical problems with Windows led to my having to reset my computer. Most of my documents were retrievable, but it seems that my back-order list is not complete. I have a pile of Message of Acts by John Stott (more than I would usually order) and I can’t for the life of me find any correspondence or hint of who they were meant for. If you have placed an order for this book, please let me know.