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Knowing & Growing

July 19, 2023

Knowing & Growing

Philippians 1:9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.

When you hear the word “zebra”, what’s the first thing that pops into your head?  For me, (and I bet I’m not alone) I immediately think about that old school Fruit Stripe gum! It’s hard to forget that red/yellow/green striped zebra dancing on the packaging, the small collectable tattoos inside, the colored gum sticks, and of course, the explosion of delicious flavor that sadly disappears within 30 seconds of chewing! That short-lasting gum is a good metaphor for the fickleness of our emotions. Emotions are not bad. God gave us emotions as a gift to help inform us of our perception, but we should be careful to not be led by them. One of the reasons we might have difficulty trusting God is because we have based our relationship with Him on our emotions.

A few years ago when a suffering season came to my life, my emotional connection to God was as short-lasting as that Fruit Stripe gum. Why? Because I had made my relationship with God about catching the next emotional high during worship experiences and encouraging sermons. I had all the heart-felt zeal for the Lord but I had been neglecting loving Him with my mind. My emotions did not sustain me in tough times.

Jesus commands us in Luke 10:27 to love Him with our hearts AND our minds. Paul prays in Philippians 1:9 that his readers would have abounding love for the Lord that is rooted in knowledge. How do we grow in knowledge? We go to the place where He makes Himself known- the Bible. His character is revealed in every passage. We must go to the Word for ourselves and not just rely on a podcast, pastor, or parent (or worship songs!) to tell us who God is. Engaging the Lord with our minds in His word through repetitive reading, intentional studying, memorization, and meditation is key. Once the Lord opened my eyes to the importance of loving Him with my mind, I realized how depleted and starving I was for His Word. And praise God, that hunger led me to a deeper level of knowing Him AND loving Him.

Our zeal must be paired with knowledge. In hard times, it will be the truth embedded in our hearts AND minds that sustains us and helps us trust Him more. God, help us love you with our hearts and our minds. I pray that my love for you overflows by growing in knowledge about you through your Word.

Jessica Bearden, Wheatful Wednesday Devotional Author

Jessica Bearden works as a Licensed Professional Counselor in The Woodlands, TX.  She is passionate about providing a judgement-free, hope-focused environment for her clients.  Jessica enjoys theatre, traveling, theology, and teaching the Bible!   You will catch her drinking coffee every single day to keep up with chasing after her twin girls and toddler boy!  She hosts Abide Bible Study retreats in TX to guide women to study Scripture with intentionality and passion.

Connect with her on Instagram! @jessica_bearden If interested in counseling services, you can contact her and the True North team at www.truenorthtw.com (must be a Texas resident to receive True North services).





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