….giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.” (From II Peter 1:5).

We can be told a lot about someone. We may even be able to read his or her biography. We may be able to view a movie version of his or her life. We may communicate with someone via E-mail or maybe by phone and/or letter. We can learn so much about an individual that we feel like we really know him or her. However, we really don’t know them until we live with them, work with them, study them, listen to them, learn about them first-hand and learn from them. This is how we come to learn about Jesus. People tell us about Him. We read up on His life, in the Gospels. We may read books or view movies about Him. We may think on or about Him and on what He said and taught. Nevertheless, only when we open our lives to Him, enter into a relationship with Him, spend time with Him, listen to and learn from Him, and follow His instructions, do we really come to know Him. When we gain this kind of knowledge it really strengthens our faith. Grace brings us salvation through faith (Ephesians 2:8). Faith is nourished by virtue (Divine enabling; energy), and experiential knowledge of Jesus expands and strengthens (supports) our faith. What a plan! “Grow in the Knowledge of Jesus,” a hymn by Flora Kirkland, speaks about this knowledge: “To grow in the knowledge of Jesus! O, wonderful and beautiful thought! Lord help me to learn of Thy Spirit the marvelous things Thou hast wro’t. But more than Thy marvelous workings O help me to study Thy Life! Thy beautiful calm self-denying that met even Calvary’s strife. The treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Jesus my King; He only is wisdom’s true Fountain, my homage to Him I will bring. The sages bowed low at His cradle; the learned ones heard with surprise the words of the Child in the temple, the Child Who had come from the skies. His lovliness passeth all telling! His mercy enfoldeth the world; His banner of love never changing o’er all who repent, is unfurled. O, Spirit, enlighten our darkness! Interpret the words we have read and help us to grow in the knowledge of Jesus our Captain and Head. O, to grow in the knowledge of Jesus! To grow!….to grow!….O. to look on the heights of His beauty, from valleys so far below.” Selah! “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).    Ron

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