God’s word –the Bible- is the Christian’s foundation for life. Yet too often lack of knowledge keeps us from experiencing God’s best. Hosea 4:6, Is. 5:13, Prov.1:29 all stress the importance of knowing and doing what the Bible says. (I’m purposely only giving the scripture references in hopes that readers will look them up and thereby begin to apply truth to their lives.)Ps. 11:3 tells us that if our foundations are removed, we accomplish nothing; hence the strong attack against the Word of God, the Bible.
Mt. 7:24-27 tells us a wise man builds on the rock. It also tells us Jesus’ words are our rock. John 1:1 goes further and says Jesus is the Rock-our foundation.
Let’s look at some scriptures that tell us what we have without the Word, without the Rock, without our Foundation:
Jer.1:12- no word, no performance from God of what He says.
Is.55:11- no word, no accomplishments.
Mk. 16:19-20- no word, no confirmation, no signs, no wonders
1Pet. 1:23- no word, no true salvation
1Jn. 5:13- no word, no assurance
1Pet. 2:2- no word, no growth
Rom. 10:17- no word, no faith
Rom. 1:16-17- no word, no power to get saved or to walk in your salvation
Heb. 11:6- no word, no pleasing God
Rom. 5:1-2- no word, no justification, no peace, no hope
Eph. 6:14-17- no word, no armor or protection against the enemy
Jn. 15:7- no word, no answered prayer
1Jn. 5:14-15- no word, no confidence toward God
Jn. 17:17- no word, no sanctification
Ps. 119:111- no word, no heritage
Ps. 119:11- no word, no protection from sin
2Pet. 1:4- no word, no escape from corruption of the world
Jn. 16:13- no word, no guidance
Jn. 8:31-32- no word, no freedom, no discipleship
Acts 20:32- no word, no building up, no inheritance
Jas. 1: 21-23- no word, no renewing of the mind (saving our soul)
1Cor. 2:16- no word, no mind of Christ
2Tim. 3:16-17- no word, no doctrine, no maturity
Is. 33:6- no word, no stability
Jn.15:4- no word, no fruit or production
Ps. 107:20- no word, no healing
Matt.8:16- no word, no healing or freedom from demonic
The admonition to preach or herald the word of God is as vital today as it was in the time of Paul and Timothy. 2Tim4:2-5.
As a young man growing up I remember going to graduations, school assemblies, and civic events. They began with a local clergyman or Rabbi praying for the function or school or those involved in the event. It was customary and it truly honored America’s faith and her clergy and churches or synagogues. We would say the pledge of Allegiance and the words, “One nation under God” would sing out throughout the auditorium or football field. It is also worthy to note that many of these event were held in schools or high school football stadiums. There was never any concern of offending anyone and separation of church and state wasn’t a problem.
Fast forward just 40 years and I am attending, a high school graduation, an eighth grade graduation and even a kindergarten graduation and two college graduations from very large prestigious schools in Arizona. My sensibilities were rocked. There was no mention of God or even a higher intelligence, no opening prayer and no benediction. No man had eliminated God completely. I am reminded of the poem Invictus, by William Ernest Henley, where in the last two lines we read:
I am the master of my fate
I am the master of my soul.
Finally man has come to a place of being in charge. We worship now at the altar of man, or education, or government anything other than a creator God.
The Word of God speaks to man and tells us what we are when we say there is no God. It is found in Psalms 14:1:
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.
Yes we have become fools according to God’s word. I also think that we get another glimpse of where man has come and it is found in 2 Timothy chapter 3 verse 7:
… always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
When God considers man’s wisdom and intelligence he declares this in 1 Corinthians 3:18-20:
Don’t fool yourself. Don’t think that you can be wise merely by being up-to-date with the times. Be God’s fool—that’s the path to true wisdom. What the world calls smart, God calls stupid. It’s written in Scripture-He exposes the chicanery of the chic. The Master sees through the smoke screens of the know-it-alls. (The Message)
I know that those who think man is the answer to all of life’s ills would disagree with my findings. They might think me quite infantile and probably call me a religious fanatic.
I want all to know I PLEAD GUILTY to being a follower of the Source of all intelligence and His fool, the One who truly is the master of my soul.
As disciplers we must be tender-hearted, tough-minded and thick-skinned.
Tender hearts are needed to listen with understanding and compassion to the problems and struggles of those we are discipling without being judgmental or impatient. People need to feel cared about and safe in sharing details of their personal lives.
At the same time, we need to be tough-minded in speaking truth to the disciple, even when it is not what they want to hear and when they are resistant to what is being said. We need to remember that it is God’s truth that will set them free and not compromise the message.
Tough skin is needed if a disciple becomes angry or rejecting in the discipleship process. Being discipled requires change and change is often difficult and uncomfortable, even when it’s change in a good direction. Remembering this helps us not to take the anger or rejection personally and to continue to “speak the truth in love.”
Are you encountering any difficulties today? Does it seem like problems are arising moment by moment? Are you ready to scream!
Today we are facing rising gas prices, loss of a so called ‘secure’ job, a foreclosure, bankruptcy, hearing the doctor say the word ‘cancer’ or experiencing the grief that comes from losing someone. Where do you go, what do you do, who do you talk to when you need help?
I have been reading a devotional called ‘Jesus Calling’ that has been a lifeline for me during trying times. I would like to share one with you that I think hits the nail on the head when
dealing with problems and difficult situations. They are written in a very personal format as if Jesus is speaking to you.
Thank Me for your problems. As soon as your mind gets snagged on a difficulty, bring it to Me with thanksgiving. Then ask Me to show you My way to handle the situation. The very act of thanking Me releases your mind from its negative focus. As you turn your attention to Me, the problem fades in significance and loses its power to trip you up. Together we can deal with the situation, either facing it head-on or putting it aside for later consideration.
Most of the situations that entangle your mind are not today’s concerns; you have borrowed them from tomorrow. In this case, I lift the problem out of today and deposit it in the future, where it is veiled from your eyes. In its place I give you My Peace, which flows freely from My Presence.
When frustration, anxiety, fear, or confusion control you in the midst of your problems, run to the Lord! Live out your faith by being completely dependant on the One who is the source of your strength, joy and peace. The world encourages us to be self-sufficient. God encourages us to rely on Him. Thanking God for the difficulties in life can provide protection from the idolatry of self-reliance. Thanking God for who He is and all He has given you will eliminate anxiety and build trust in the One who controls all of life.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Hold onto the truths found in these two scriptures as you face any problem God allows in your life. He will give you peace. He will guard your heart and mind. He wants you to repent of your fears, talk to Him about your concerns with an attitude of thanksgiving and trust Him for tomorrow. Your faith in God will grow and your relationship with Him will become sweeter!
Have you ever heard someone who claims to be a Christian say things like, There are many ways to heaven and Jesus is just one, There are many paths to heaven and Jesus is just one, I believe in Jesus but I don’t think people will go to hell if they never know about him, after all what about a jungle tribe that has never heard, would God send them to hell?, I would not have an abortion but it needs to be the woman’s choice. There is nothing wrong with living together before marriage. I don’t believe that the Bible is really God’s word after all doesn’t it contain contradictions and error?
I have heard all of these and many more. It truly boils down to believing what God says about a topic and then living your life accordingly. This is why I am passionate about biblical worldview and biblical discipleship. He called us to be disciples not just believers. A disciple goes much deeper than a belief system, they in fact know why they believe. They have studied the text and made it a part of their life.
Let me share some scriptures that will answer some of the statements I have made.
There are many roads to heaven not just Jesus. Jesus’ answer:
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
People who never hear about Jesus surely won’t go to hell. The Bible answer:
20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20
I would not have an abortion but it is the woman’s choice. The Bible answers:
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. Psalms 139:14-16
There is nothing wrong with living together before you marry. The Bible’s answer:
Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex. The Message
I don’t believe that the Bible is God’s Word, after all doesn’t it have contradictions and errors? The Bible answer about itself.
14-17But don’t let it faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk! There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. The Message
The Bible says we must study to show ourselves approved
15Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth. The Amplified
The Bible further states that we die for lack of knowledge. The answer to being a healthy productive Christian is to learn God’s word and then live it out.
Let me challenge you to a life of being discipled and then as Timothy find others and disciple them.
May God richly bless you on the road to maturity.