Thursday, October 31, 2013

Reminding Yourself To Remember

"Beloved, I now write to you in this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior,"
2 Peter 3:1, 2 (NKJV)

Most people today lead very busy lives and because of that it can be easy to lose track of and forget things.  There are many ways you can remind yourself about appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates and events.  There are apps for smart phones that can remind you, reminders in your calendar, and other things you can do to remember what is really important.  What is true for our "natural" side of life is also true for our "spiritual" side of life, we need to be sure that we remember what is important and to do that we have to remind ourselves about those things.

The apostle Peter wrote two letters to believers and in chapter three of his second letter Peter mentions something very significant.  Peter said in both letters that he wanted to remind the people he wrote to about something that was very important.  Peter wanted to remind them to remember the things written in God's Word.  Peter said he wanted to stir up the minds of the believers to be sure that they would not forget what is really important, God's Word.  We too need to keep ourselves stirred up and remember what God's Word has to say about us and our lives.

In Hebrews 2:1 we are told to pay attention to what we have heard so that we don't just let it slip away from us.  It is easy to get so caught up in the busyness of life that we fail to keep our attention on what is really important and where our real source of strength and help comes from.  God has given us His Word to show us who He is and how He looks at us.  God's Word shows us what Jesus has provided for us and who we are in Christ.  We all need to be sure to have a regular time with God and His Word to keep ourselves reminded about all that God has done for us and revealed to us.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Best Bible Teacher Of All

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."
John 14:26 (NKJV)

Most Christians have a favorite Bible teacher.  It may be their pastor, a home group leader, a teacher in a Bible school, or some minister they have heard somewhere in person or on television.  But no matter who it is, it seems we all have a teacher that we always enjoy listening to and we always seem to learn something great from them.  We read in Ephesians 4:11 that the teacher is one of the gifts that Jesus gave to the Church, so teachers must be important.  In churches and Bible schools there are many great teachers today but we must realize that the best Bible teacher of all is the Holy Spirit.

While we may enjoy the speaking style some person has or the way they relate their topic to an everyday life situation, if we are learning something about the Bible while listening to our favorite teacher we need to understand that it is really the greatest teacher of all, the Holy Spirit, who is revealing the truth to us.  If we look to the Holy Spirit, the best Bible teacher of all, and not just to the person we may be listening to, we will receive the truth we need when we need it.  If we just get focused on the person that is speaking and we don't realize that the person is only a channel and a vessel that the Holy Spirit works through we may miss something.

Jesus said that He would send the Holy Spirit to us and that the Holy Spirit would help us by teaching us all things.  This is so wonderful because the Holy Spirit lives in us and He knows exactly how to teach us and reveal God's Word to us to answer the questions that we have and to help us deal with the situations we face in life.  We must learn to listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to us through the Word of God and expect Him to speak to us through the man or woman of God we are hearing in our church, home group, or wherever.  The Holy Spirit is the best Bible teacher of all and He will teach us what we need to know when we need to know it, and He can use a variety of people to do it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Our Greatest Source Of Problems

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."
Galatians 6:7 (NKJV)

Everyone will have some problems sometime in their life.  Some people seem to have more problems than others and some people have problems that they never seem to be able to fix.  While there can be many reasons that there are problems in our life, one of the biggest reasons we have problems is often overlooked.  Many times the greatest source of the problems in our life is us; if we want to know who to blame for our troubles we often just need to look in the mirror!  There are times we are in difficult situations simply because we are reaping the results of the things we have sown.

When we have problems we want to point a finger at other people, our circumstances, or even the devil; we want to blame someone for what is happening but we don't realize that sometimes we just need to be honest and blame ourselves for our problems.  We make a poor choice that results in something bad happening, or we get involved with a person who is not so right with God and trouble develops.  It can be true that other people, our circumstances, and even the devil can be a source of trouble but sometimes we will just have to admit that we may be the greatest source of our own problems.

While we can be the greatest source of problems in our own life we can also do something about our problems.  We need to use wisdom and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in every area of our life, everyday.  We must make it a habit to spend regular time with God in His Word and in prayer to know His plan and direction for our life and then follow it.  But even if we have caused our own problems, when we go to God He will be there to help us and guide out of the mess we have created and bring us back to the place He wants us to be.  There will always be problems and difficulties in life but by doing the right things we can chart a course that will avoid some of major problems that many people face in life. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Company You Keep Is Important

"After they were permitted to go, the apostles returned to their own company and told all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. And when they heard it, lifted their voices together with one united mind to God and said, O Sovereign Lord, You are He Who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything that is in them,"
Acts 4:23, 24 (Amplified)

There is a story in Acts 4 that tells about the apostles getting into trouble with the religious leaders in Jerusalem for preaching the Gospel message.  The religious leaders told them not to preach in the Name of Jesus anymore and they even threatened the apostles before they let them go.  What is interesting is what happened next, the apostles went back to the group of believers that they were already a part of; the apostles had their own group of people that they could go to for help in their time of trouble.

Who do we turn to for support when we face a difficult situation?  Who is it that we can rely on for help and wise counsel when there is a problem in our life?  The answer to these questions will go a long way to determining what the outcome of our situation will be.  If we have built good relationships with the right kind of people then we too will have our own godly group of people to support us and help us in our time of trouble.  If we do not have good relationships with people who can help us, the people we do turn to may only be contributing to our downfall.

Everyone has relationships with people like their neighbors, co-workers, or even family members who may not always be as helpful and supportive as they could or should be.  But, it is who we choose to build relationships with that is important.  We need relationships with people who will build us up and not tear us down when problems come, people like the apostles own group who turned to God for the answer and did not just focus on the problem.  If we look around and see that we don't have these kinds of friends then it is time to build some new relationships; we need to seek out good, godly people and build relationships with them.  The apostles in the Book of Acts had these kinds of friends, what about us?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Stay In The Word And You Will Know The Word

"Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
John 8:31, 32 (NKJV)

Our society today is all about everything happening quickly.  There are fast food restaurants that even have drive through windows, we have microwave ovens that heat and reheat food in minutes, and there are shortcuts and tips and tricks for computers and computer programs.  So much of what we have in life is designed to get things done as fast as possible to minimize the amount of time we have to wait to move on to something else.  This is all well and good but when we carry this same mentality over to God, His Word, and spiritual things we can get into trouble.

We often want to run to God's Word in a hurry and find just the right verse we need to apply to our situation and find a quick solution to the problem at hand and then go off to the next task.  But, in John 8 we see a different mentality.  Jesus said that if we truly want to be disciple, to be a follower of Jesus, we have to stay in the Word and this will allow us to know the Word.  Jesus did not say to take a quick glance at the Word or just to give attention to God's Word once and a while; the idea Jesus gave was that we would spend a significant amount of time with His Word.

Jesus said in John 8 that we need to "abide" in His Word, Colossians 3:16 says that we need to let God's Word dwell in us richly, James 1:25 tells us to keep looking into the perfect law of liberty, God's Word, and to then be a doer of it.  Many people have not taken the time necessary to really know God's Word and as a result it is not a reality in their life and the Word produces no fruit in their life.  We need to spend time reading and studying God's Word on a regular and continual basis and then apply it to our life.  By doing this we will know the Word and experience its powerful working in our life.