".....make every effort to add to your faith. . . . .”
1. Do we really need to understand things or do we accept it all by faith? Faith is all that's necessary. So much of this sounds good and yet we may be short selling ourselves if we shift our minds into neutral when it comes to our faith. (U.W.C. professor and scandal)
a. We are admonished in the scriptures to "study to show ourselves approved unto God." (II Timothy)
b. Proverbs tells us that "It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way." (19:2)
c. Faith itself is based upon the knowledge of God. As our knowledge of Him grows then so would our faith.
2. When we assume that faith is all that is necessary then we can develop some other possibly erroneous tendencies.
q A tendency to test God. The Devil tempted Christ in this way. He asked him to throw himself from the pinnacle of the temple.
q A tendency to circumnavigate or to go around established truth. It's somewhat like asking your parents to do something for that they already have made clear that they will not do.
q An inability to relate to the world because of the lack of knowledge.
3. How do we go about adding knowledge to our faith?
a. Reading. Most people don't read today. It is so much easier to be spoon fed through the TV. As much a discipline as running.
b. We gain knowledge through practical experience.
c. We gain knowledge through interaction with others.
4. What are the areas that knowledge gain should be evidenced?
q In our knowledge of the heart of God. This is paramount over all other forms of knowledge. The man who knows God well will be much more equipped to face the complexities of life. Note the reactions to the disciples when they were taken before the San Hedrin. They perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men but they marvelled because they had been with Jesus.
q In our understanding of the dynamics of interpersonal relationships. Knowing people. Let's face it! There are a good number of people who either don't know or just don't care about getting along with others. If your life tonight is marked by fractured relationships then please ask God to begin to help you to do something about it.
q In our understanding of the current thought in the world. (I Chronicles 12:32, Esther 1:13) If you are to relate to this world, then you must have an ability to understand prevalent thought patterns of the day.
3. Denial: Why is self-control such a necessary addition to the faith? Remember the principle of the slight edge. Those people who change the world are those who excel over the masses only slightly.
How do you develop positive habits?
How do you break bad habits?