As we grow up into Christ, as the New Testament puts it, we grow in faith, hope, love and joy. It seems to me the nourishment for this growth comes from the rich soil of God’s great love for us. As our roots sink down into that, we draw all the nourishment we need to produce the fruits of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. These fruits grow into plump, delicious aspects to our lives that cannot be nourished without our roots set deep into God’s love. God’s love is most purposefully communicated to us through His Son Jesus. He died for us. What greater love is there? This great love is written down for us in God’s love letter to us, His Word, our Bibles! As we grow to know it better, we will be constantly drawn to the rich depth of love from the sweetest well in the world. It’s the well from which flows the living waters of life.

When Paul writes to the Philippians he suggests that as our love continues to grow as we grow to appreciate God’s love for us more and more, along with the growth in love comes a growth in knowledge. He writes in chapter 1, verse 9, “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment.” But in Colossians 1:9, Paul makes it clear that the knowledge he’s praying for is an in-depth understanding of God’s Purpose for our lives. He says, “…we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will…”

As we learn more about God and His plan and purpose for our lives, and grow in our comprehension of His great love for us, we are moved by the Holy Spirit to let that knowledge control us. I like what Anders said in his commentary on this passage. He writes, “God’s will is not a spiritual Easter egg he hides from us. No, God wants us to know his will and so clearly reveals that will in his Word.” We’ve been talking about God’s purpose for our lives for several weeks now. I’ve tried to grasp the Biblical instructions in three words; Love, Learn, and Live. Each of these words contains three actions. In Love we believe in God’s love sent to us in His Son, Jesus and we return God’s love in worship. To “Learn” we must first belong, because that’s the second part of the greatest commandment. We must love God, but we must also love each other. It’s only in community that we can truly “Learn” about God and Life. Through His Word applied in community we grow! Then the Love and Learning is put to practice in our lives as we fit into the body and use our “shape” to serve others and are will to “go” make disciples of all nations by sharing our faith with those around us.

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18