Word of God

The Perils of Personal Truth (Part I)

 

Whether people admit to it or not, everyone is hungry and thirsty for Truth. In the absence of Truth,  life is shaky and uncertain. Without Truth, people are like a ship without an anchor for their soul. Sadly, Postmodernism has stripped people of Truth, concluded objective truth to be invalid, and disseminated the lie that subjective truth is the way to a noble life. Hence its fruit has been instability in life punctuated with disappointment, loneliness, division, and strife. …

God’s Plans for His People… (Part II)

God spoke to Israelites in captivity through His prophet Jeremiah by giving them exhortation, instruction, and correction. The Lord told the people that His plans for them were not to harm them but to give them a hope and a future. The fruition of God’s plans were going to come through a process, and it required their obedience and cooperation. …

Hearing God’s Voice (Part I)

In the last series of devotionals, I shared about the benefits and the necessity of studying the word of God and learning God’s ways through His word. The word of God gives us tangible guard rails that help us to stay within God’s prescribed boundaries and protects us from the world, our old nature, and the attacks of the enemy. However, we need more in life to live a successful Christian life. We need to be able to hear God’s voice and sense His guidance every step of the way to ensure we are in step with His purpose!

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  John 10:27

In the book of John, Jesus declared Himself as the good shepherd! He then continued by telling the disciples that His sheep hear His voice! In the natural, the sheep follow their shepherd by listening to his voice. Can you imagine if sheep decided to go their own way and not follow the voice of the shepherd!? First of all, it would be chaotic and the shepherd would not be able to lead them or protect them. Secondly, the sheep can get lost or fall prey to various predators. It is critical for the sheep to hear and recognize the voice of their shepherd to stay protected from harm and get their needs met.

Similarly, we are in need of hearing Jesus’ voice clearly. Obviously, we need to read our Bibles, but we are still in need of hearing His voice to determine how to navigate the forks in the road. For example, if we are seeking an employment, we should have a sense if a position is the right job for us. If we just concentrate on the salary or the title, we may miss God’s direction. If we plan to move out of the area, we should give it time until we have a sense of direction from the Lord. We shouldn’t just move because we don’t like our surroundings or are looking for an excitement. The Lord has the answers, and He knows what is best for us.

Hearing God is not always easy. Sometimes, the Lord is silent because He wants to do something in us before He answers our questions. Consequently, He calls us to just follow Him for a while without giving us an answer. The best thing to do in those times is to follow the Lord joyfully and thanking the Lord for being the good shepherd. The Lord will not let us get derailed if we are following Him wholeheartedly.

How well do you hear God’s voice? What do you do when you don’t hear God’s voice right away?

 

 

 

told His disciples that His sheep know His voice. The sheep have learned to hear the voice

 

The Benefits of the word of God (Part IV)

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

We live in a world that is completely antithetical to the Kingdom of God. The spiritual battle is all around us, and it requires our focus, attention, and skill to overcome the obstacles on our path.  The above scripture tells us that not only the word of God establishes, corrects, and instructs us, but it also prepares us to live an overcoming life that is fruitful and pleasing to the Lord.

I have seen many Christians who thought they knew the word of God, but they didn’t! They assumed because they were around the Bible and the church that they knew the Bible, but in reality they didn’t have a practical knowledge of the word of God that helped them to live an overcoming and fruitful life. The scriptures are not meant to be just preached by a pastor or be heard in a Sunday school class. Christianity is a not a spectator sport. The devil does not engage only with those who want to engage with him. The scriptures tell us that he is like a roaring lion looking for whom he may devour (1 peter 5:8). That means whether an individual is engaged in the game or not, the enemy wants to win the battle over every person’s life! Nothing can replace our time in the word of God where the Lord uses the scriptures to equip us to live a fruitful and victorious life and learn how to fight in a spiritual battle waged against every soul! This requires every Christian to take their walk with God seriously and learn how to be equipped for living a God-honoring and fruitful life!

The scriptures equip us in variety of ways. Some scriptures warn us on issues such as foolishness, jealousy, lust, deception, and corrupt speech. These scriptures take the weeds out of our lives, so we can be prepared for the good seed of the word. Other scriptures are seeds to help us grow and bear good fruit. For example, the word of God shows us that as we abide in Christ, we can develop the fruit of the spirit and grow in love, joy, peace, patience, self-control, and many other Godly attributes. There are other scriptures that protect us from harming ourselves and others. For example, forgiveness protects our hearts, preserves our relationships, and equips us not to get baited by the enemy.  In Ephesians 6, Paul gives a description of the armor of God that teaches us how withstand the attacks of the enemy and our old nature. It tells us about the helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, shield of faith, sword of the spirit, and our feet shod with the gospel of peace. All the elements of the armor are the equipment that the believer needs to be able to live a victorious life.

Without the knowledge of the word of God, we would not be equipped for battle and we would become a pawn in the devils’s hand. The word of God helps us to be alert, wise, and discerning. The better equipped we are, the better prepared we are to handle people and situations in a Godly manner and escape the corruption that is all around us.

Are you being equipped by the word of God? Do you put the scriptures to work in your practical day-to-day life? How well do you discern between your own ideas, the schemes of the enemy, and the will of God!?

 

 

 

The Benefits of the Word of God (Part III)

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

I am so glad that the Lord does not leave us to figure out the Christian life on our own, but He has provided us His instruction book to grow and learn from! While we are saved through the work of Jesus, the walk of righteousness requires us to know His ways. One of the benefits of the word of God is that it instructs us in living a life that is pleasing to the Lord and is peaceful and pure!

The Holy Spirit uses the word of God to become our teacher and counselor. Some of us have not had good Christian role models., so we do not know how to live the Christian life. The Bible gives us the blueprint for right living by teaching us about many topics such as integrity, love, work, finances, forgiveness, purity, patience, and many other useful principles.

There are some who have never seen a good Godly marriage. The Bible teaches us about love and respect in a marriage and gives us prescription for a good marriage. This doesn’t mean that every problem is solved right away, but it helps us to understand that if we want the victory God has for us, we need to remain on His narrow path and look for His provision, deliverance, and blessing as we walk with Him.

“Now therefore, listen to me, my children, For blessed are those who keep my ways.
Hear instruction and be wise, And do not disdain it. Proverbs 8: 32-33

It’s interesting that we have no problem taking courses that benefit our education or furthering our career! Most of us are very intrigued and interested in learning, growing, and keeping ourselves up to date and marketable. However, if we are told that we need to learn how to study the word of God, we can find many excuses not to take a class or attend a Bible study. Jesus called us to make disciples, but a person needs to be willing to put themselves in a position to be discipled followers of Christ, and that includes being instructed with His word! His word is a blessing to us, for by it we learn God’s ways and learn to walk in them. We cannot have Godly wisdom apart from knowing the word of God and obeying it!

Unfortunately, we have many people in the body of Christ that are illiterate when it comes to the word of God, but they assume they’re spiritually mature because they’re older. The problem is when someone corrects them on a view or lifestyle that does not line up with the word of God, they can get easily offended or feel judged. This leads them to even going further away from the teaching/instruction of the Bible and opens the door for the enemy to have a field day with them.

As believers, we are called to be life-long learners. It doesn’t matter if we accepted Jesus yesterday, or we have known Him for the last forty years. Also, it is not significant if we were a pastor’s kid or we’re in a position of authority in the church right now. We all have more to learn, and we need to remain teachable. When we remain humble before God and hungry for the word of God, the Lord will teach us and guide us with His truth!

Do you know how to study the word of God? How often do you study the Bible? Do you attend a Bible study? What are new truths from the Bible that you have learned recently?

 

 

The Benefits of the Word of God (Part II)

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

In the last devotional, I shared about the first portion of the passage that the word of God is profitable for it establishes us.  When the winds of various doctrines and false teachings blow, we can be firmly rooted and grounded in the word of God through being taught the scriptural doctrine.

Paul goes on to tell Timothy in the above passage that the word of God is also beneficial for reproof and for correction.

Definition of reproof (According to Strong’s Dictionary): a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested, conviction.

Reproof and correction go hand in hand. The word of God gives us the opportunity to know the truth. His word re-calibrates our conscience and brings it into alignment with the will of God. We begin to develop greater sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. The Lord uses His word to speak to us personally and,  at times, to convict and correct us. If we don’t know the word of God, we can easily get off course.  In addition, we may think we are doing just fine, but not be in obedience to God!

I was just speaking with a relatively new believer who said that he just wants to make God smile! I asked him, “How do you know what pleases God and what makes Him smile!?” He gave an example that when we’re generous towards other people, God is pleased! I explained that being generous is an aspect of pleasing God, but the Lord has a lot to say to us in His word that we need to know and obey. The truth is that we may sincerely think that we are pleasing God, but still be clueless about what pleases Him! It is like having a vision issue but not not knowing what we can’t see.  Only when we put on corrective glasses, do we find out how much we missed and how much more clearly we can see everything!

For example, Ephesians 4:29 tells us, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth…” When I read that verse, it causes me to examine my words and my recent conversations with people around me. If I have allowed gossip, attitude, half-truths, or disrespect come out of my mouth, the word of God will convict and correct me. He is telling me that if I want to please Him and reflect His love to others, I need to stop behaving in that manner. Now that I know this truth, making Him smile becomes more tangible and substantive rather than offer up a sweet little prayer and walk away feeling good about myself!

We have many people who claim to know God, but they do not know His word! They are just content with a short daily prayer making them think that they have a good relationship with the Lord. Praying is definitely an important aspect of a believer’s life, but it is the word of God that sets a plumb line for our lives, and it shows us God’s way of doing life!  His word corrects our course, so we won’t cause spiritual collisions for ourselves or others. Furthermore, the scripture tells us that when we pray according to the will of God that the Lord hears us, so we need to know what His will is in order to pray according to His will!

Make time for the word of God daily and allow it to build your conscience with His truth! Make room for the Holy Spirit to use the word of God to convict and correct you as you life your life!

 

The Benefits of the Word of God (Part I)

But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.  But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 2Timothy 2:13-14

We live in uncertain and fast-changing times. We are continually bombarded with onslaught of new information where many times, it is difficult to discern what is true or false anymore. Interestingly, Paul knew that these uncertain times would come, so he instructed Timothy by writing to him the value and the significance of the word of God. He first warned Timothy of the perilous times and perilous people who would have no regard for truth or godliness. He then expounded by stating that evil men and imposters will continue to increase. Paul stated that these individuals are deceived, and in turn, they will deceive others with false teachings and ideologies. Hence, Paul admonished Timothy in valuing God’s word.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

In the above passage, Paul reminded Timothy that the word of God is inspired by God. Men did not write the scriptures on their own, but they were led by the Lord to pen what He directed them to write. The word of God is alive and active, and it has the power to transform us! Since the scriptures are inspired by God, they are profitable for God’s people. Do we treasure the word of God more than silver, gold, or diamonds!?

Many people are looking for worldly profits by pursuing to make more money, get promoted, or win the lottery. They think if they can make it big, all their problems will be solved, and they can live life happily ever after. This thinking is also true for some believers. While they may speak of wealth, status, and promotion as not being important in life, but if you watch their lives and their choices, you’ll find that their priorities are not much different than the world’s except possibly attending church on Sundays!

God’s word is profitable because it brings order to people’s lives. It removes confusion and make the path of life clear and simple. The word of God gives us doctrine and foundational teaching about who God is and what He desires for His children. Being taught in doctrine is like laying a solid foundation for a house. It is not visible by others, but it is very important for the stability and the reliability of the building. When the winds and the rains come, a solid foundation allows the house to stand and not cave in to the pressure of the circumstances.

Similarly, doctrine establishes us and allows us to get settled and secure in our knowledge of God. Without solid doctrine, we can be like a ship tossed to and fro with every wind of teaching and doctrine that emerge in each generation. The scriptures give us a blueprint for who God is, what Jesus did for us, the role of the Holy Spirit, the problem with sin, Satan’s work in the earth, eternal life and judgment, and many other valuable foundational teachings.

Do you know how to study the scriptures? Do you find them profitable for your walk as a believer? Have you studied the various doctrines of your faith? Do you know the scriptures that back up your beliefs?