As we grow up into Christ, as the New Testament puts it, we grow in faith, hope, love, and joy. It seems to me that 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 of 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.” People find purpose in life in the Bible. They find significance, meaning, and something to believe in greater than themselves. When Paul prayed for the Ephesians, he specifically prayed that their roots would sink down deep into God’s love so that they might know the magnitude of God’s love for them in all of its glorious dimensions. When he writes to the Romans, he tells them that God doesn’t just say he loves us. He actually demonstrates that love by dying on the cross for us while we were yet sinners. Peter encourages his readers to “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” It seems that when Paul prays for his readers to have knowledge. He’s not speaking about general information. He’s speaking specifically about God’s love. Whitlock is right, “A firm knowledge of God’s love and of one’s place in His family motivates the self-sacrifice necessary for Christian life.”[1]

[1] Whitlock, Luder G., R. C. Sproul, Bruce K. Waltke, and Moisés Silva. 1995. The Reformation Study Bible: Bringing the Light of the Reformation to Scripture: New King James Version. Nashville: T. Nelson.