Thursday, January 28, 2021

Not Far Away

"For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off.
It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?'
Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?'
But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it."
Deuteronomy 30:11-14 (NKJV)

There are some things that are near to us and some things that are far away.  For example, the ground we walk on is obviously very near to us.  On the other hand, the moon is very far away and only a few people have ever been there.  If something is near to us, it is easily accessible, but if something is far away, it is not as accessible and not so easy to get to.  If you needed something, it would be good to have it nearby rather than far away where you could not make use of it. 

People have a lot of different ideas about who God is and how God speaks to us; some people think it is all very mysterious.  Some people think that God is too distant and uncaring to interact with us and it would be extremely rare to actually hear from God.  But God has given us His Word, the Bible, and we have it available to us in so many ways.  This is really great news for us!  The God who created the universe has given us His Words to read, study and learn from.

We don't have to wish some angel would come down to us from heaven with God's Word, we already have it!  We don't have to find some explorer to go over the ocean or search through the deepest jungle to find God's Word, we already have it!   There is no need to climb a mountain or cross the desert to find God's Word, we already have it!  Yes, thank God, we have the Holy Spirit and God has given us men and women who are great teachers and preachers of God's Word, but thank God for His Word, the Bible, that is available to each one of us.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

The Right Question

"Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know."
Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV)

If I was interested in what the temperature was, should I ask someone if it was raining?  If I did ask someone if it was raining, should I be surprised that they did not tell me if it is hot or cold outside?  If I said to someone, "What time is it?", when I really needed to know what the date is today, should I be unhappy and frustrated when they do tell me the time?  If we have a question, and we want the right answer to our question, we would of course have to first ask the right question.

One thing I have seen over all the years I have been a Christian, and in the years I have been teaching in Bible schools and churches, is that many believers are frustrated and living below the standard that God has for them.  God has provided so much for us through Jesus, and God has a great plan for our lives.  As we find and fulfill God's plan and purpose for our life, we will experience the abundant life that God has promised us and that Jesus talked about in John 10:10, but we must put God and His Kingdom first (Matthew 6:33).

God tells us that if we call on Him, He will answer us, and show us things that we don't know.  But we first have to ask and we also need to be sure we are asking according to God's will.  Our first question should always be, "Heavenly Father, what is your will for my life?" rather than, "God, how can I fulfill my dreams and plans?", or "God, how can I have all your blessings?".  As we ask the right question about God's will for our life, we will find the answers to the other questions that we have about the details of our life.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Walking In Love - How Hard Did You Look?

"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;"
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NKJV)

When you lose or misplace something, you usually look for it until you find it.  How hard you look for something depends on how much you want to find it.  For example, one time I misplaced my passport.  If I am not carrying my passport with me, there is one place I usually keep it, and when I could not find my passport, I looked as soon as I could, every place that I could, until I found it.  But, if I had lost an old pen, I would not bother looking for that, because it has no real value to me.

In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul talked about what real love is and how love acts.  One characteristic of love is seen in 1 Corinthians 13:5 where it tells us that loves "does not seek its own".  In other words, love does not seek what it wants, love seeks what others want and need.  If you are really walking in love and displaying the love of God towards someone, you are not focused on what you want, you are interested in what the other person is interested in and you are looking for the things they are looking for.

In the area of walking in love, how hard do we look to help others and meet the needs of others compared to our own?  Are we only seeking what benefits us, or are we considering others and seeking what is best for them, regardless of our own interests?  If things were reversed, how much would we want others to help us find what we are looking for?  True love helps others find what they are looking for; this is an area that we can all develop in.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Take That Step

"So he, trembling and astonished, said, "Lord, what do you want me to do?"  Then the Lord said to him, "Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
Acts 9:6 (NKJV)

Most people like to have things figured out in advance.  Some people are more spontaneous than others and are willing to take a step without knowing what the next one might be, but almost everyone likes to have a plan where they know what is going to happen next and what needs to be done to be successful.  For many of us, the more information and details we have, the more willing we are to do what we need to do.  But whether we know one step, two steps, or three steps we need to take, we still need to take the first step.

Paul, who was formerly known as Saul of Tarsus, did great things for God once he met Jesus.  Many people admire the Apostle Paul and desire to do great things for God like he did, but they don't know where to start.  The good thing is, that anything we do for God starts with the first step.  And, we can learn a great lesson from the life of Paul, we need to take the step we know to take, no matter how many steps after that we may or may not know about.

In Acts 6, we see that Paul wanted to know what God wanted him to do, and all Paul got was a first step.  What if Paul had not taken that first step, would he have ever known the next step and done the things God wanted him to do?  What if Paul had said he was going to wait until God gave him some more information before moving?  If that was the case, Paul would never have moved.  We need to be like Paul and take the step we have now.  As we do, God will give us more steps, and lead us step by step into His wonderful plan for our life!