Monday, January 25 2016
On the surface, studying the Bible and reading the Bible may seem synonymous. I believe they differ. Let me explain.
How many people have you met that have said they have read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation? How many of these people that have read the scripture know how to explain doctrine? How many saints know the how of the Bible, but do not know the why? The Apostle Paul in writing to his spiritual son, Timothy, wrote:
II Timothy 2
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenæus and Philetus;
18 who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
As Christians, we are expected to be a "master of our craft". We need to know why we believe what we do. We will not accomplish this by simply attending a midweek Bible study or Sunday school. We must study throughout the week. When in college, you cannot expect to learn everything from the professor. There must be study time and homework. The Word of God should be treated with the same effort.
Solomon writing in Proverbs 25 states:
2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
There are many tools to study the Bible. Concordances, Study Bibles and Bible Dictionaries are a few tools that can be employed study the Word. You can also take notes of sermons and lessons taught at church. The list of Bible study tools is long, but the work is necessary.
In Acts 6, we can see the dedication of the Disciples to the studying of the Word:
1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
The Bible must be studied. If someone were to ask you...
...could you tell them? If you could not, you need to study the Word. Every Christian should know why and not just how. I encourage everyone to read the Bible. It is the life - changing Word of God. But if you want to become someone that see others lives change, you must be a student of the Word and study.
Wednesday, January 20 2016
In reading Proverbs 20 (because it is the 20th of the month), I came across verse 24...
Man's goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way? (KJV)
The Lord is the one who directs a person’s steps. How then can anyone understand his own way? (GW)
As a Christian, we are to put our complete faith in God to direct our path. It was Martin Luther King Jr. that said, "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
We use sayings such as "God is in control". but fail to give Him control.
God directs our steps. When we place ourselves in the decision process, we step off the path that God has directed. We will not know where we may be going or how God will use the situation that we find ourselves. Our position can be corrected by finding our life of prayer and studying the Word.
We will not understand the will or plan of God in our life, but that is by Godly design. God may give us a calling and a desire, but the path is uniquely His. Joseph went through his brothers selling him into slavery and prison prior to God placing him in a position to save his family. Daniel's lion den expereince brought revival to an empire and Jesus' death on a cross has given mankind an opportunity to be saved.
Trust in Him. Be faithful. God will order your steps in His Word. It may look bleak now, but hold onto Jesus and your future is bright.
Wednesday, January 13 2016
This morning during my morning devotional, I was reading from Colossians 3. The words penned long ago by the Apostle Paul are filled with wisdom for the first and twenty first Christians. He tells us to set our priorities by setting your affection on things above, not on the things on the earth. The Apostle continues in verses eight and nine to "put off" the old man. It is the following scripture that made me think:
We love him, because he first loved us.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
We must be willing to be sacrificial.