Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Magic Pill

"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

What would it be like if you had to go to the doctor and they told you that you had a medical problem, but there was a pill you could take for that problem and you only had to take the pill once?  If that was the case you would probably be very happy, but unfortunately there is no magic pill that you can take one time for anything.  Normally, you have to take a pill or some kind of medicine repeatedly to get the desired results.  The same is true with most things, just taking something once or doing something once will not get the same results as doing it repeatedly will.

The thing that is true in the natural world is also true in the spiritual world, frequent repetition is important.  While you can do something over and over again just as a ritual, there is a spiritual truth behind the concept of doing something on a regular, repeated basis.  For example, Romans 10:17 does not say that faith comes by having heard, it says faith come by hearing, and hearing.  Romans 12:2 talks about our being transformed by the renewing of our mind, which indicates a continual process.  Building faith and renewing our mind is something that is not just done at one time. 

Sadly, many Christians don't spend the necessary amount of time learning, meditating on, and practicing God's Word to get the desired results.  Too many Christians are looking for some magic spiritual pill, so to speak, that will solve all of their spiritual issues.  Some believers go from meeting to meeting looking for someone to pray for them or give them a "special word" from God to do what will only come through repeatedly reading, studying, hearing, and practicing the Word.  Don't be a "magic pill" Christian, make it a regular habit to spend time in God's Word building your faith, renewing your mind, and developing spiritually.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Gerbil Wheel Christians

"Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: "Consider your ways!
You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but you do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.
Thus says the Lord of hosts: "Consider your ways!"
Haggai 1:5-7 (NKJV)

Have you ever seen a pet gerbil and the little wheel that people have for the gerbil to run on?  The wheel is there for the gerbil to use and supposedly get some exercise.  The gerbil can get on that wheel whenever they like and run, and run, and run.  The only thing is, even though the gerbil is doing a lot of running, they are not going anywhere.  There is action taking place, the gerbil is moving their legs, and energy is being used, but nothing is really happening.  And even though this could happen day, after day, after day, the gerbil will still get on the wheel and run some more.

Even though no one really has a giant human wheel that they run on like the gerbil wheel, there are a lot of people, including Christians, who are doing the same thing as the gerbil.  These people have a lot of activity going on, they are busy, and they are using a lot of energy but they are going nowhere in their life.  In the case of a Christian, they go to church, they even read their Bible and pray, but their spiritual life is stagnant.  One reason for this is the same thing that God spoke to Israel through Haggai about, that Israel had been spending time building things in their own life without building what God desired. 

Haggai compared the lives of these people of Israel to a person who did a lot of things that brought no real results, all because their priorities were out of order.  In the same way today, some believers have seemingly been doing all the right things but seeing no real results because their first priority is always what they want and not what God wants.  We can have all the right activity, but will not get the right results if we have the wrong priorities.  To really move forward in life, we not only have to do the right things but we must be sure that what we are doing is a part of God's plan for our life and not just our own goals and desires.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

It's Just A Book

"Sanctify then by Your truth: Your word is truth."
John 17:17 (NKJV)

Over the years I have had many people talk to me about some book they read or heard about, some movie that is being released, or some current thing going on in society that is ungodly, unbiblical, or that mocks God and His Word.  Often these people are upset and they first ask me if I have heard about this thing and then they want to know what I think about it and what should be done.  Usually I don't pay much attention to these kinds of things so I don't always know what the people are referring to.  But once I do know what they are talking about I usually give them the same answer: "It is just a book", or movie, or whatever.

While I do realize that we need to take a stand for the truth of God's Word, and that there will always be some unbiblical things that come around, we can't allow ourselves to get so concerned about them; it is just a book, movie, or whatever and it does not change God's Word.  We need to know the truth of God's Word, live according to the truth, and be ready to share the truth with others.  But we must be careful that we are not dragged into debates and arguments about some false teaching.  When some wrong teaching or thing comes along remember that is it just a book, it is no comparison to the truth of God's Word.

When Jesus prayed for His disciples in John 17, He did not pray that God would give them wisdom to root out all the false teaching and be able to debate well with others.  Jesus prayed that His followers would be sanctified, set apart to God, by the truth of God's Word.  It is the application of the truth of God's Word in our life that will build us up spiritually, give us the answers we need for ourselves and others, guide us in our life, and help us do whatever we need to do for God.  The most important thing we can do is to be firmly established in the truth and not allow ourselves to be swayed by the latest ungodly thing that comes around.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Glancing Or Searching?

"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
Acts 17:11 (NKJV)

There are different ways you can look at something, you can take a long, hard look or you can just glance at something.  Recently I was in a museum where there was a lot of art work.  As I passed through the museum, I noticed a person who was sitting in front of a certain painting just looking at it.  While I had seen the painting and appreciated the work that the artist had done, this other person was taking a much longer and more in depth look at the same painting.  By doing so, this person was going to be able to notice more things than I had and have a better overall understanding of the painting than what I had.

There are different ways we can "look" at God's Word.  We can read and even study it to get a basic view of it.  By doing this we learn more about who God is, what He is like, and how He wants us to live.  But, as with the story of the people in Acts 17:11, we can also search through the Scriptures to get a thorough view and an even better understanding of what God has said to us.  Too many people take a more casual approach to the Bible and they do more glancing at it than searching through it.  But rather than just taking a glance at God's Word we need to spend the time searching through it.

In the same way that someone can take a few moments to get a general appreciation of a picture, we too can have a general view of God's Word as we take a little time to read over it occasionally.  But, in the same way that someone could take a longer time to view and study a picture, by having a more regular time to read and study the Bible in depth we will not only gain a greater knowledge and understanding of God and His Word but we will be better prepared for the things we deal with in our life.  We need to become skilled in searching God's Word and have a thorough comprehension of it.