Posts Tagged ‘Word of God

12
May
17

Those Who Teach

Good Friday morning to you! James gives a warning to those who teach the Word of God. They are held to a higher standard. He writes:

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. – James 3:1 (NIV)

The teaching and preaching of God’s Word is so very important to the life of the church and followers of Jesus Christ. Those who handle it must do so with great care. Not only are we to be concerned with the Word itself, but those who hear it and who sit under our teaching. Hebrews says that the Word of God is sharper than a sword. Many have had their faith cut to pieces because the Word was handled incorrectly and wielded recklessly. May God have mercy on those of us who teach. May God give wisdom and discernment to those who sit under our teaching. May we all honor God and obey His Word faithfully until Christ returns.
25
Apr
17

Choosing Spiritual Amnesia

Have you ever looked in a mirror in order to check your hair or the fit of your clothing, walked away and forgotten how you looked? James says that when we hear the Word of God and fail to do what it says, it’s as though we forget what we look like. This is what he wrote:

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. – James 1:23-24 (NIV)

The Word of God was not meant to just be heard or read. It was meant to be lived out each day. When the Word says to do something, we are expected to do it. When the Bible says to not do something, we are expected to not do it. Otherwise, we are guilty of choosing spiritual amnesia. We cannot claim ignorance. We’ve heard the Word. We’ve got the Bible in our homes, our churches, our hotel rooms and on our phones. It is up to us to obey it.
24
Jan
17

Watch Out!

Good Tuesday morning to you! One of my greatest fears is leading people astray when I preach and teach. I don’t want to be a false prophet or teacher. I want to make sure that I am handling God’s Word correctly and with great care. Jesus said:

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. – Matthew 7:15 (NIV)

As followers of Jesus, we must be on our guard against those who are false prophets and teachers. There are preachers and teachers who will manipulate God’s Word and God’s people to make a buck or to feed their egos. The best way to guard against false prophets and teachers is to know your Bible. Spend time in God’s Word and listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. You’ll be able to discern between the truth and false teachings much easier. You will not be as likely to be led astray. False teachers and prophets will come and go, but the Word of God stands forever.
11
Oct
16

Do You Lack Judgment?

In Proverbs 7, Solomon warns about the adulteress.  He uses the story of a “youth who lacked judgment.”  I think back to my younger days and the lack of judgment I showed on many different occasions.  I think about my current days and though I show better judgment now, I still have times where I lack discernment.  This is why it is important that we follow verses 1-3:

My son, keep my words
and store up my commands within you.
Keep my commands and you will live;
guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart. (Proverbs 7:1-3, NIV)

To take God’s Word and write it on the tablets of our hearts (and no, Solomon didn’t mean an iPad!).  He was referring to a stone tablet.  We need to etch God’s Word on our hearts.  1 John 1:1 calls Jesus the “Word of life.”  May He be etched on our hearts today.  This way we will know His teachings.  We will follow His commands.  We will obey Him and our hearts will beat in tune with His.  Let us show discernment and good judgment as we etch God’s Word on our hearts today.

PRAYER: Father God, etch Your Word on my heart today. May I know Your Word. Help me to obey it. I want wisdom, knowledge, discernment and understanding. Thank You for Your Son and Your Word, amen.

22
Mar
16

Hanging On His Words

Luke 22:47-48 (NIV)
Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. 48 Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.
 
I wonder how they did it.  Luke makes it clear that the chief priests, teachers of the law and religious leaders in Jerusalem were looking for a way to kill Jesus during the week of Passover, but they could not do it.  Why?  Because the people “hung on His words” (Luke 22:48, NIV).  They were captivated by Jesus.  He did not teach like the teachers of the law, but instead taught as One with authority (Matthew 7:29).  His words were filled with grace and truth.  His words were filled with compassion and mercy.  His words were challenging and powerful.  The crowds of people could not get enough of Him.
So how did the religious leaders of Israel convince these same crowds to cry out, “Crucify Him!  Crucify Him!”?  This was a punishment reserved for the worst of criminals and now the people were demanding it for Jesus.  How could this be possible?  What did He do?  What crime did He commit?  He did not lead an invasion against the Romans.  He led an invasion into the hearts of people.
He is still leading this invasion to this day as people all across the globe discover that Jesus holds the words of life (John 6:68).  We trust in His words to give us hope and eternal life.  We still hang on His words.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, thank Your merciful plan of salvation.  It cost Jesus His life in exchange for mine.  Thank You for the words of eternal life that Jesus spoke.  Help me to hang on His every word that I may have hope in Him.  Amen.
09
Nov
15

Laying Under The Broom Bush With A Prophet

1 Kings 19:1-9 (NIV)

 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.

 

Sometimes life’s circumstances are too much for us to handle.  In 1 Kings 18, Elijah is strong.  He taunts the 450 prophets of Baal as their god would not answer them.  His faith and confidence in the Lord Almighty was at an all-time high.  He knew that God was going to answer his prayer.  He had seen God’s miraculous hand in action. Yet, when the wicked queen Jezebel had heard about what had happened to the prophets of Baal, she was furious and vowed to kill Elijah.  Elijah knew that she meant business, so he fled in fear.  He had been so bold and now he was so afraid.  He was tired.  He laid down under a broom bush and as he fell asleep, he began to pray.  The man who had once prayed fervently for it not to rain and for the sacrifice to be consumed, now prayed with resignation as he said, “I have had enough, Lord.  Take my life…” (1 Kings 19:4, NIV).

Sometimes we come to the broom bushes of our lives.  We feel overwhelmed by life’s circumstances.  We worry and we fret over relationships that are failing and finances that are running out.  We get stressed out over our jobs, our children, our friends and everything else under the sun.  We’ll sometimes feel like we’re on top of a mountain and so close to God.  Then, before we know it, we feel like we’re in the Grand Canyon and God feels a thousand miles away.  What do we do when we’re laying under the broom bush pining for God to end our lives?  We listen to the Word of the Lord.

1 Kings 19 says that the word of the Lord came to Elijah and said to get up and eat.  He laid down again.  The word came to him a second time and told him to get up and eat because the journey was too much for him.  Let’s face it, the journey is too much for us.  We can’t make it on our own.  We need God’s Word and God’s Spirit to give us strength for the journey.  When we are at our weakest, Jesus makes us strong.  When we are in the midst of depression and fear, Jesus calms our hearts.  When we are overcome and overwhelmed by the pressures of life, Jesus eases the burden.  I pray that if you’re laying under the broom bush today that God’s Word will come to you and strengthen you.  The journey may feel like it is too much for you and it probably is.  That’s why God is there.  He knows that it is too much for you and He wants to strengthen you and lead you on the journey home.

PRAYER:  Lord God, this journey is too much for me to take by myself.  Please go with me today that I might be strengthened by Your presence and by Your Spirit.  I can’t make it without You.  I need You.  Amen.

21
Apr
15

Words That Don’t Mean Anything

The more the words,
    the less the meaning,
    and how does that profit anyone?​ – Ecclesiastes 6:11 (NIV)​

Solomon could have been writing to our media in 2015.  Everywhere we go there is a hunger for information and words.  How much news can we absorb?  There is CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox Business, CNN Headline News and CNN International.  Those are just some of the 24 hour networks.  Then there are the local news channels.  What about the daytime talk shows?  The late night talk shows?  “Everybody’s talkin’ at me.  I can’t hear a word they’re sayin.” (Harry Nillson)
There’s a problem, according to Solomon.  The more we talk, the less our words mean.  Words have lost their meaning in a cacophony of sound bites.  We pull things out of their context and use them to support our own ideas and thoughts.  We see politicians do this every year with political ads geared to sway voters.  Because of the many words people use, we are less inclined to trust them.  We believe (oftentimes correctly) that people are manipulating words to get what they want and so we don’t trust them – the people and their words.
But there is a Word we can trust.  He is Jesus – the Living Word of God.  According to John 1, Jesus is the Word.  He is trustworthy.  He never lies.  He never manipulates.  He is not a sound bite.  He is the Truth.  You can trust Him and He will bring meaning to your life.  Don’t fall for the profitless words of man.  Put your faith in the Word of God.
Ecclesiastes 6:7-12 (NIV)

Everyone’s toil is for their mouth,
    yet their appetite is never satisfied.
What advantage have the wise over fools?
What do the poor gain
    by knowing how to conduct themselves before others?
Better what the eye sees
    than the roving of the appetite.
This too is meaningless,
    a chasing after the wind.

10 Whatever exists has already been named,
    and what humanity is has been known;
no one can contend
    with someone who is stronger.
11 The more the words,
    the less the meaning,
    and how does that profit anyone?

12 For who knows what is good for a person in life, during the few and meaningless days they pass through like a shadow? Who can tell them what will happen under the sun after they are gone?




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