Thursday, February 28, 2019

Lack Of Knowledge

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge ..."
Hosea 4:6 (NKJV)

Recently, I took a flight to an airport where I planned to take a bus to another city and then a train to my final destination.  I decided to buy a ticket from the machine and not wait in line to buy the ticket at the counter.  As I went through the process of buying my ticket, I pushed the button for the city I was traveling to.  But I was surprised a while later when my bus arrived in a different part of the town than where I had planned, so I had to take another bus to the train station.  Because I did not really know the bus routes my trip took an extra hour and cost me more money, all because of what I did not know.

God has given us a wonderful, supernatural book that we call the Bible.  The Bible is God's Word to us and it is filled with many, many things that we need to know about so that we can have a great relationship with God and know how to live a successful, fulfilling life following the plan that God has for us.  But, as wonderful and marvelous as all of this is, if we don't know what God's Word has to say, we are not only at a disadvantage but we can have some serious problems due to our lack of knowledge and understanding of what God has said.

Too often Christians have problems and it is not the devil that is hindering them, it is their lack of knowledge of God's Word.  Yes, there can be times that we are in a storm or trail while we are completely in the will of God, but this is not always the case.  Over, and over again, I have talked to people who were having problems and suffering in their life because they did not know what God had already said, so they were not acting on it in their life.  The solution to a lack of knowledge is a simple one, take time to read and study God's Word; that is the best way to be sure that we are not struggling simply because we do not know what the Bible says.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

A Seed Needs Water

"I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase."
1 Corinthians 3:6 (NKJV)

Most people have planted something at some time in their life.  One thing that everyone who has planted something knows is that the seed you planted needs to be watered.  Watering a seed is not a one-time thing, it is something that is done over a period of time.  You don't water the seed you planted just once, it is a continual process that can use a lot of water.  If you only plant a seed but you never water it, then the seed you have planted will never grow; without water the seed will die and your efforts will be wasted.  A seed that is planted needs water.

Paul preached the Gospel he had received by revelation from God (Galatians 1:11-12), of how we are saved by grace through faith and not through our works (Ephesians 2:8-9).  We need to learn about and fully understand these Bible truths, as well as many others, which is why we need to have things repeated and hear them again and again.  This is what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 3:6 when he said that he planted and Apollos watered.  Paul himself traveled to some of the same places more than once to further help the people he had already taught, he was watering the seeds he had sown. 

In 2 Peter 1:12, Peter said he was reminding the people about something, even though they were already established in that truth.  There was something that they already knew about, but Peter said it was important for him to remind them of it, Peter was watering the seed that had been planted.  Peter, just like Paul, knew that we all need a continual reminder, a continual process of hearing the truth, the watering of the Word of God, to grow and develop in our faith.  We need to see to it that we have a regular time of reading and studying God's Word to plant it in our heart and continually water it so that it grows and develops.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Wishing Well

"And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
Matthew 21:22 (NKJV)

A "Wishing Well" is something that was probably seen more in the past than it is today.  A Wishing Well was some type of a well and the idea was if there was something you desired, some wish you had that you wanted to come true, you could go to the Wishing Well and toss in a coin while you made your wish.  Supposedly by doing this it became more likely that you would be able to have your wish fulfilled.  Most, if not all, people knew this was not a way to actually bring a wish into reality, but it was a nice way for people to dream and wish for something in their life.

For some Christians, prayer and faith are like the experience of a Wishing Well.  There is something they need or desire in their life and all they have is a wish that someday, somehow, that wish might come true.  Because some believers do not know what God has said in His Word, they have no basis for faith and they really do not believe that what they are asking for will actually come to pass.  It can be a very sad thing to see someone in their time of need only wishing for a solution to their problem and the answer that they need.  But this is not faith or how a Christian should behave.

We need to learn through the Word of God all about what Jesus did for us and what God has provided for us through Jesus and then put our trust and confidence, our faith, in that.  When we face a challenge in our life, when we have a need that must be met, when we have questions about what to do in our life, God has an answer and will help us as we ask in faith.  As we take a stand in faith on God's Word, we can know that we will have the answer that we need.  We can do more than just wish for our needs to be met, by faith we can believe and receive the things that we need.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

"X" Marks The Spot

"So they said to Him, Where do You want us to prepare?  
And He said to them, Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters.  
Then you will say to the master of the house, "The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?"  
Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room; there make ready."
Luke 22:9-12 (NKJV)

Did you ever see a movie where someone was looking for something of value using a "treasure map" of some kind?  Often the map had an "X" on it to mark the spot where the treasure was hidden.  But what also often happened was that the person had to follow a series of clues or directions that led them to the spot where the treasure was.  While the "X" may have marked the spot, its location was not always so obvious or easy to find for any casual observer.  The treasure could only to be revealed to the person who followed the directions to the right location.

The story in Luke 22 of where Jesus had the Passover meal is one that I find to be very interesting.  It starts with the disciples asking Jesus where they should prepare for the Passover.  Jesus did not just tell them to go to a certain address in a certain city; Jesus did not directly identify the place that they needed to go to, but He told them how to get there.  It would seem like Jesus should have just told them exactly where to go instead of running them around in circles.  But there are some valuable lessons we can learn here about how God will guide us.

God knows exactly what we need, where it is, and what we need to do to have what belong to us because of Jesus.  So why doesn't He always just give us a straight path to what we need?   The answer is faith, we live a life of faith and if everything we needed was just laid out for us we would not be living a life of faith we would just live by our senses.  We need to develop in our relationship with God and learn to trust Him and follow His direction.  This will not only lead us to the answers we need today but it will also help us develop a greater trust in our heavenly Father to take bigger and bolder steps of faith in the future.