Thursday, June 28, 2018

What Kind Of A Book Is It?

"and he said to them: "Set your heart on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe - all the words of this law.
For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life, and by this word you shall prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess."
Deuteronomy 28:46-47 (NKJV)

For as long as I can remember, I have always liked books and reading them.  Today, I own many books that cover a variety of topics.  There are some books that I mainly use for research and information, I have many books that focus on different Bible topics, some books that are historical in nature, and other books that are filled with pictures about different places in the world.  Of course, not every book is the same kind of book.  Knowing what type of a book you have will help you to get the most out of that book.   

People have many opinions about what kind of book the Bible is.  Some people think the Bible is just a historic book, recounting the lives of people who believed in God.  Some think the Bible is a rule book that was given to us so we would know right from wrong.  Others think the Bible is a book filled with great ideas that can help us to be wise and successful in life.  The truth is that the Bible is all of these things and much more!  The Bible has been given to us by God to help us know Him better, understand the significance of everything that Jesus did for us, recognize our purpose in life, and give us guidelines for successful living.

When Moses related to the people of Israel all of the things that God was saying to them, Moses emphasized that God's Words are not just some trivial, vain thing; God's Word is our life and it will help us in every area of life.  God's Word can counsel us (Psalm 119:24), revive and strengthen us (Psalm 119:25, 28), guide us (Psalm 119:105), give us understanding (Psalm119:130), and much more.  God's Word is really God speaking to us.  The more we know and understand the Bible and put it into practice in our lives the better things will be.  What kind of book is the Bible?  It is the best of all books.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Proof Of Purchase

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, though the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
2 Peter 1:2-4 (NKJV)

Normally when you go to a store to buy something you will get a receipt.  Once you have paid for the item it is yours and the receipt is the proof of purchase.  It could be that what you bought was expensive, like a phone or a computer, and it was something you had wanted for a long time, so at first it is almost too good to be true that it is yours.  Someone could stop you outside of the store to question you about what you bought, but no matter what they said you know the item is paid for and you have the proof of purchase to show it is yours.   

In the Bible we learn about all of the things that God provided for us through Jesus.  Through His death and resurrection, Jesus paid for everything we would need to live the abundant life that He came to bring.  When you learn about what Jesus did it might not seem real to you, like it is too good to be true, or someone may tell you that it does not really belong to you for some reason.  But, with God's Word showing us the proof of what Jesus purchased for us we can know what belongs to us, this is why it is so important for us to read and study the Bible.

If you are not sure something belongs to you, or if you do not have a proof of purchase, someone could claim that thing was theirs or convince you that what you had really belonged to someone else.  When you know something belongs to you, then you will not only ignore anyone who tries to tell you otherwise, but you would even resist any attempts of someone trying to take it away from you.  As we grow in our understanding of everything that Jesus provided for us we grow in faith and our confidence of what belongs to us.  The Bible is our proof of purchase for everything that God provided for us through Jesus.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Building On Our Foundation

"For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building.
According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it.  But let each one take heed how he builds on it.
For no other fountain can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 3:9-11 (NKJV)

When I was a child, I would build what I called a "fort".  Either I would put some chairs together, draping a blanket over them, pile up some cushions from the sofa, or in some other way make an enclosure that was my special place to be.  In my mind, what I had created was a wonderful thing, but what I had built was not really very stable.  Because I was creating this "fort" in our house I had a good foundation to build on, but my flimsy structure would not have withstood anything.  Even though I had built something with good intentions on a good foundation, I had not built with the right materials. 

Paul talked about being a wise master builder who laid a foundation.  Paul went on to say that Jesus was the foundation that was laid.  Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Christian life and Paul spent his life telling people about Jesus.  Paul then helped people learn the significance of what Jesus did to help those same people build on the foundation of Jesus Christ.  Once we receive Jesus as our Savior our foundation is settled and then we build our life on what Jesus has done for us.  But, as Paul said, each person has to be careful how they build on the foundation.   

Just like Paul said, there are many things we can use to build with, but is what we build in our life based on Jesus and what He did for us?  Some Christians struggle in life because while their foundation is secure, they have never spent the time to get to know God through His Word and what they have built their life with is contrary to the Word.  What we believe, do, and say in our life must be based on what Jesus did for us, which is revealed to us in the Bible.  If we build our life using something else, we will not build a truly successful life.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

It May Happen Different Than We Think

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

The end result of something is always more significant than the process itself.  For example, you may have a task to accomplish and it turns out that you find a way to do it that was different than what you had done before, but you still achieved the desired result.  Or, when you are taking a trip to some place, the route you travel is not as important as reaching the destination is.  If in the process of doing something we find ourselves doing something we did not expect, or traveling down a road that we originally thought we would not be on, would it matter if we had the right result and reached our intended destination?

Some people have the idea that God somehow controls everything so they just say that God will always work things out, some way or somehow.  However, this is not entirely accurate, because God is not some great puppet-master in the sky controlling every detail of our life.  But, God is actively working in our lives and no matter what may come our way He will help us and guide us to what we need to have and where we need to be.  We can be sure that God will help us work everything out, but that does not mean that things will always work out the way that we think they will.

What often happens when we face a difficult situation is that we begin to think about what the answer might be and how we can we can work things out.  But, we either do, or should realize, that we do not know everything.  With our limited knowledge and understanding it will never be possible for us to figure out everything and know exactly what to do and how to work things out each and every time.  This is where we must put our trust in God and allow Him to direct us and show us what to do to find the answers and solutions that we need, which may not at all be what we had expected.