Thursday, November 30, 2023

A Biblical Accent?

"The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips."
Proverbs 16:23 (NKJV)

Over the years, I have met people from many different nations who do not have English as their mother tongue, but who do speak English as a second language.  Many of these people have an accent when they speak English, which is understandable, and some people have a more noticeable accent than others.  Sometimes the accent a person has helps you identify where they are from and what their first language is, but that is not always the case.

When someone speaks a language and they have an accent, it shows you that the language they are speaking is not their native language, but their native language and how they speak it influences how they speak their second language.  In the same way, we can have a biblical accent, so to speak, because we have God's Word in our heart and that is shown with what we say.  The best thing is if our speech is accented with biblical truth and it is apparent to other people that we spend time in God's Word. 

Just like someone who speaks English or another language as their second language can have an accent, because they are used to saying things a certain way, Christians should have a biblical accent that shows that we are used to saying things from a biblical perspective.  We do not have to walk around quoting Bible verses, but it is better if what we say is influenced by what we know from the Bible and our relationship with God.  A biblical accent is something that we should not want to lose, but something we should all develop.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Pointless Projects?

"Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.

Psalm 127:1-2 (NKJV)

What if you had a great idea, maybe about some project, or some aspect of self-improvement, but to accomplish this goal you had to have some tools for the project, or you needed some equipment or something else for the self-improvement idea?  If you needed something to help you successfully complete what you are planning on doing, you would need to have that necessary thing before you start.  If you try to do something without having what is necessary, you will not succeed.

We might have good ideas about something we want to do, especially as believers, and we may even have some good plans about how to bring those ideas to pass.  But the thing that is most necessary for us to successfully do what we are doing is to be sure that what we are doing is in line with God's plans and purposes.  We may have great ideas, but are they only our ideas, or is it also a "God idea?".  We can have great ideas and great plans, but if they are not in line with God's plans we will fail.

The Bible says that God is our Helper (Hebrews 13:6), but that does not automatically mean that anything and everything we do agrees with His will for our life.  Whatever idea we have, whatever opportunity comes to us, whatever direction we believe we have from God, must be checked with God's Word, His plan for our life, and the direction of the Holy Spirit.  If what we do is not in line with God's plans, then what we do will fail, and it is just a pointless project.  If God is with us in what we do, then we will be successful.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Faith Pleases God

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)

There are some things that people have said were impossible, but those things were only something someone had not yet done.  People said it was impossible for man to fly, to send a man to the moon, or to run a mile in under four minutes.  But there are some things that really are impossible.  For example, you cannot go swimming unless you are in some water, and it is impossible to flap your arms like a bird and fly into the air. Knowing what is possible and what is impossible is helpful to be able to see what can and cannot be done.

The Bible talks about how our goal should be to please God (2 Corinthians 5:9), and most Christians would say that they do want to please God.  But the question then is, how do we please God?  Is there something we can do that will please God, or is it just that we do are best in life and hope that this somehow pleases God?  Thankfully the Bible gives us the answer, it takes faith to please God. In fact, Hebrews 11:6 says that it is impossible to please God without faith. 

Hebrews 11:6 tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith, so then faith must be very important.  In Ephesians 2:8 it says we are saved by grace, through faith.  In 2 Corinthians 5:7 it says that we walk by faith and not by sight.  These verses show us the importance of faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God, so how do we get this faith that is so important?  The Bible tells us that faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God.  It is by our faith in God's Word that we please God and live the life He has planned for us.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Drifting Away From The Truth

"Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away."
Hebrews 2:1 (NKJV)

If you have a boat, there are things you need to do to take care of it.  One thing that is necessary with a boat, when it is in the water, is to have it anchored or tied to a dock, or something else.  If you do not use an anchor or tie up the boat, it will eventually just drift away.  No one would intentionally let their boat get away from them, but unless the boat is secured in some way, sooner or later that boat will be gone.  How far away the boat drifts depends on several factors, but without something to keep it in place, the boat will drift away.

It is good to hear God's Word and learn about who God is, what Jesus has done for us, who we are in Christ, and what God has planned and provided for us.  But it is not enough just to hear about this one time, this is something we need to hear about, read about, think about, and talk about again and again.  Making what we hear a part of our life is an important way to make sure that what we know and understand is more than just something nice that we have heard. 

As Hebrews 2:1 tells us, we need to pay attention to what we have heard, so that those things do not slip away from us.  If we hear the truth, but do not do anything with the truth that we hear, that truth can slip away from us.  The problem for many Christians is not that they have not heard and do not know the truth, but the trouble is that the truth they have heard has slipped away from them.  We need to not only learn God's Word, but we need to make it a part of our life so that it does not slip away from us.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Night Vision / Bible Vision

"while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:18 (NKJV)

If you have ever been outside in the dark, where there was not much light, you know that it can be difficult to see things.  Eventually, your eyes will adjust to the reduced amount of light and then you can see things better.  This does not happen instantaneously, but it is amazing how much we can see in the dark once our vision is adjusted.  There are also different devices available that can help us see in the dark, but just with our eyes adjusting to the lower light level, we can have a better view of things in the dark than we did at first.

Normally, and especially before we are Christians, we view things from a natural perspective, but as Christians, we need to have our "eyesight" adjusted to see things from a spiritual perspective.  If we do not get our "eyesight" and perspective adjusted to seeing things from the spiritual, and not the natural perspective, we will not only miss out on things that God is trying to reveal to us in His Word by the Holy Spirit, but we will live a life based on natural facts and not spiritual truth, and we will live below the standard that God has for us. 

The Bible says we live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) and that we do not look at, we do not focus on what is seen, natural circumstances, but what is unseen, spiritual truth (2 Corinthians 4:18).  When we look at things from a biblical perspective, at first it might be hard to do, but eventually it becomes easier for us as we adjust to seeing things based on biblical truth.  Just like having our eyesight adjust to different light levels, we need to adjust our perspective on how we view things, to go more from the natural to the spiritual.