Chapter 10—A Knowledge of God

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God uses many ways to make Himself known to us and bring us close to Himself. He uses nature, which is always speaking to our senses. If we have open minds, we shall see God’s love and glory in the things He has made. If we listen, we shall hear and understand the lessons God is teaching through the things of nature.

Green fields, tall trees, and flowering plants invite us to know God. Clouds and the glories of the heavens speak of Him. Falling rain and running brooks turn our minds to the One who made them all. They invite us to know Him.

Nothing will strengthen the mind more than study of the Scriptures. No other book can lift the thoughts as does the Bible.

Our Saviour taught precious lessons using the things of nature. Trees, birds, and flowers reminded the people of these lessons. Hills, lakes, and the sky helped them to remember the truths He taught. They thought of His lessons even when they were at work.

God wants us to enjoy what He has made. He wants us to delight in the simple, quiet beauty of the earth. God loves beautiful things, and more than the beauty of nature, He loves a beautiful character. He wants us to grow in purity and simplicity—two things that make flowers lovely.

If we will listen, God’s created works will teach us precious lessons of trust and obedience. The stars follow their unmarked way through the sky year after year as they obey God’s laws. The smallest bit of created matter also follows the same laws of God.

God cares for everything He has created and provides what each needs. He holds the worlds in space, even though there are more than we can count. At the same time He cares for the smallest bird that sings its humble song without fear.

Our heavenly Father tenderly watches over all of us. He sees us as we go to work and hears us as we pray. He sees us as we lie down at night and when we rise in the morning. He knows when a rich man feasts in his palace. He watches as a poor man gathers his children about his table with only a little food on it. God notices all the tears and sees all the smiles.

If we believe that God cares, we will not have needless worries. Our lives will not be as filled with sorrow as they are now. Everything, great or small, will be left in God’s hands. He knows how to solve our many problems, and He is strong enough to bear all our worries. We may enjoy peace of mind for the first time.

Our senses delight in the beauty of this earth. Think, then, of the world to come that will never know the sorrow of sin or death. Nothing will grow old or die. Think of the lovely home of the saved that will be more glorious than we can imagine.

In the many gifts of God in nature we see only a little of His glory. The Bible says, “No mere man has ever seen, heard or even imagined what wonderful things God has ready for those who love the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 2:9, TLB.

Poets and people who study nature say many wonderful things about its beauty, but the Christian enjoys nature most. He sees his Father’s work and love in every flower and tree. He looks on the hills and rivers and seas as ways that God shows His love for the human family.

God speaks to us in the way He directs our lives and through the influence of His Spirit. We may find precious lessons in what happens in our daily lives if our minds are open to understand them. As David thought about the scenes of nature, he wrote, “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” Psalm 33:5, KJV. “May those who are wise think about these things; may they consider the Lord’s constant love.” Psalm 107:43.

God speaks to us in His Word, the Bible. Here He tells us some things more clearly than through nature. He tells us about His character and how He deals with people. He explains to us that He has redeemed us. The Bible tells us stories of great and good people who lived long ago. Each of them was “the same kind of person as we are.”James 5:17. We see what hard times they had. They suffered as we do. They sinned as we have done; but they did not give up. Through God’s grace they were able to overcome. We look at these people, and we are encouraged to keep trying to live as our Saviour lived. We read of the wonderful way God led them and of the light, love, and blessings they enjoyed. They were able to do a great work by God’s grace. We desire to be like them and to walk with God as they did.

Jesus said of the Old Testament Scriptures, “These very Scriptures speak about me!” John 5:39. His words are even more true of the New Testament. The Scriptures tell of the Redeemer, who is the center of all our hopes of eternal life. The whole Bible tells us about Christ. The first book of the Bible tells about Christ the Creator. “Not one thing in all creation was made without him.” John 1:3. The last book promises, “I am coming soon!” Revelation 22:20. As we read the Bible we learn of His work and listen to His voice. If we really want to know the Savior, we will study the Bible.

We may fill our hearts with the words of God. They are like springs of water for the thirsty. They are like bread from heaven. Jesus said, “If you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in yourselves.” Then He told what these words meant. “The words I have spoken to you bring God’s life-giving Spirit.”John 6:53, 63. Our bodies are built up from what we eat and drink. It is the same with our spiritual lives. As we spend time thinking about the words of Christ, we will grow strong spiritually.

Heavenly angels want to understand more of why Christ gave His life to redeem sinners. The redeemed in heaven will study about God’s gift of His Son. They will sing the song of redemption through all time to come. Should we not think carefully and study about these things now? The infinite mercy, love, and sacrifice of Jesus are subjects for deep thought. We should think about the character of our dear Redeemer and His work for us as our High Priest in heaven. We need to consider the work of Him who came to save His people from sin.

Our faith and love will grow stronger when we think about heavenly things. Our prayers will be more pleasing to God because they will be more and more mixed with faith and love. We will pray with more understanding and have greater confidence in Jesus. We will daily feel His power, which is able to save all who come to God by Him.

When we spend time thinking of our perfect Savior, we will want to be changed. We will hunger and thirst to be pure as He is. The more we think about Him, the more we will speak of Him to others and the better we will show the world what He is like.

The Bible was written for everybody, not just for well-educated people. The great truths that tell us how to be saved are as clear as noonday. No one will lose the way except those who follow their own judgment instead of the way God has plainly shown.

We must not accept the word of any person as to what the Bible teaches. We must study the Word of God for ourselves. If we allow others to think for us, our minds will become weak, and we will not be able to do hard study. But if we study the Bible for ourselves, our minds will become stronger. We will be able to understand the deep meaning of God’s Word.

Nothing will strengthen the mind more than study of the Scriptures. No other book can lift the thoughts as does the Bible. If God’s Word were studied as it should be, people would have broader minds and more noble characters. Bible study helps a person to have a purpose in life.

Not much good can come from a careless reading of the Bible. We may read the whole Bible through and not see its beauty or understand its deep meaning. It is better for us to study one verse of Scripture until we understand what it means and what it tells us about the plan of salvation. This kind of study will help us more than reading many pages without any real purpose.

We should keep the Bible with us. Whenever we have time, we should read it. We may read a verse and think about it as we walk, fixing the words in our minds.

We cannot understand the Bible unless we study it carefully and pray for wisdom. Some parts of the Bible are so plain that anyone can understand them. But other parts need deep study, with some verses being compared with others.

Careful Bible study and prayer will be richly rewarded. A miner digs deep into the earth to discover gold. So also must a person search the Word of God as though he were searching for hid treasure. He, too, will find riches of the greatest value that are hidden from the careless reader. The words of the Bible kept in the heart will be like streams of water flowing from Christ, the Fountain of Life.

We should pray as we study the Bible. Before opening its pages we should ask the Holy Spirit to guide our minds, and our prayer will be answered. When the disciple Nathanael came to Jesus, the Savior said, “Here is a real Israelite; there is nothing false in him.”

Nathanael asked, “How do you know me?”

Jesus answered, “I saw you when you were under the fig tree before Philip called you.” John 1:47, 48. Jesus also sees us in our secret places of prayer. He will help us to know what is truth if we ask Him. If we humbly ask for help, angels from heaven will be with us, guiding our thoughts.

The Holy Spirit uplifts the Savior. His work is to show us the purity of Christ’s righteousness and how Christ will save us. Jesus said, “He will take what I say and tell it to you.” John 16:14. The Holy Spirit is the only true Teacher of divine truth. Think how much God loves us! He gave His Son to die for us, and then sent His Holy Spirit to be our teacher and guide.

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