Sunday, December 23, 2012

Picture the Word

Do you want to be counted wise, to be a repuation for wisdom? Here's what you do; live well, live wisely, live humbly. “It's the way you, not the way you talk, that counts” James 3:13
 
There's a close relationship between hearing the Word of God and seeing God's wisdom shown. Vivid Biblical word pictures help us visualize the truth of God. The Bible speaks about natural vision and the vision of our hearts.
 
The mind's eye or the eyes of the heart are spoken of in Scripture:
 
Ephesians 1:18 “May the eyes of (your) hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to His call, what are the riches of glory in His inheritance among the holy ones.”
 
Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes ti see clearly the wonders of your teaching.”
 
Isaiah 6:10 “You are to make the heart of this people sluggish, to dull their ears and close their eyes; else their eyes will see, their ears hear, their heart understand, and they will turn and be healed.”
 
Luke 24:45 “Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.”
 
Acts 16:14 “One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth, from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened, and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying.”
 
Acts 26:17 “I shall deliver you from this people and from the Gentiles to whom I send you, to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may obtain forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among thoise who have been consecrated by faith in me.”
 
2 Corinthians 4:4 “In whose case the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they may not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves.”

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pray the Word

All prayer is a response to what God has said. You can rea the Bible academically, study it lingustically, follow it morally, appreciate it artistically and enjoy it emotionally, but until you are moved to respond to God in prayer you have really heard the Word of God. Hearing the Word and prayer are inseparable. Together they mark our agreement with God's will. Prayer and the Word signal our realtionship with God. Through prayer we are given the opportunity to agree with the written Word of God.

Paul wrote that everything God created is good. However, it must be received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the Word of God and prayer (1 Tim 4: 4 – 5).

Prayer and the Word of God impact on one another in 2 ways:
  1. Praying the Word: Whenever you pray, you need to pray according to the Word of God

  2. Hearing the Word prayerfully: Through prayer you embrace the Wotd in your life. You allow God to speak, direct and guide you.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The importance of the Word for the believer II


2. Meditate the Word

unfortunately most Christians see meditation as new age practice when in actual fact meditation was given by God as a means of protecting the Spirit of man. The Word of God teaches us that only be meditation can our way be made prosperous. The trouble comes in where humanity meditates more on the negative as apposed to the life giving, Word of God.

Only what you meditate on can enter into the heart. To meditate on the Word of God is to hide the Word in your heart. The Psalmist said that he had hidden God's Word in his heart that he might not sin against God (Psalm 119:11), he meditated on God's precepts and considered His ways. (Ps 119:1)

As you meditate you allow the Word of Christ to richly indwell you, (Colossians 3:16). the more you meditate, the more you become enriched. As you meditate on God's Word you allow it to take deep root in your heart.

Meditating on the Word of God is not a private experience. You are never left alone to interpret the Scriptures on your own. The Holy Spirit guides you in all truth. (John 16:13). As you meditate on the Word of God, the Holy Spirit guides you into understanding and knowledge of the truth. Intelligent people can appear knowledgeable about God and emotional people can be passionate about God. People who spend time alone with God and His Word know that they have been with God. Instead of knowledge about God they have knowledge of God.

When you meditate on God's Word, instead of simply stating the truth, you identify with the truth. You own it, celebrate it and cherish it. In the deepest part of me I come into agreement with God's Word. I resonate with the message and take delight in God's Word. To open the Word of God, is to open your whole being to the will of God, from your innermost self to every aspect of your life.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The importance of the Word for the believer


The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts. I solemnly state this from the experience of the fifty-four years. The first three years after conversion I neglected the Word of God. Since I began to search for it diligently, the blessing has been wonderful. Great has been the blessing from consecutive, diligent, daily study. I look upon it as a lost day when I have not had a good time over the Word of God.” - George Mueller

There are ten life-changing ways to experiece the Bible:

  1. Eat the Word
    Eating involves chewing, considering the words of Jesus:
    'Then Jesus said to them: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”' (John 6:53-54)
Jeremiah was commanded to eat God's revelation (Jeremiah 15:16; Ezekiel 2:8-3:3)

Job said: “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12)

When we eat the word we digest in order for it to become a part of us. It provides sustenance to our spirit man and causes it to grow in the things of God. The natural food we eat perishes, but the Word of God that we eat endures for eternal life. Jesus said that He is the Bread of Life. (John 6:29,33,35). To eat of Jesus and His Word is to eat for eternal life.

The Word of God is a seed, and like a seed, has within it the potential to produce the faith needed for any situation. A seed must however be sown in order to produce.” Ps. T Wolmarans

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Why we study the Bible - continued


In order to understand the Bible, the condition of the heart is crucial



  • You must belong to Jesus
    You must have a heart makeover...a change of heart

Your spirit man was be alive and receptive to the unction of the Holy Spirit

Your natural man does not receive the things of the Holy Spirit of God according to;

Romans 8:7 “The natural man caanot know the spiritual and must be spiritually discerned.”

1 Corinthians 2:14 - words of the Bible are the spirit and life

John 6:63 – thins of the Spirit is follishness to the natural man

  • You must be hungry
    Matthew 5:6 “those who hunger and thirst for the righteousness will be blessed”
    Jesus promises to feed those who are truly hungry
    Promise is not extended toward those looking for casual snack
    We must desire pure milk of the Word like newborn babies – (1 Peter 2:2-3)
    As you feed on the Word you will begin to grow spiritually
    God rewards those who diligently seek Him – (Hebrews 11:6)
    Not every norn again believer studies the Word of God because they are not hungry
    Hunger causes true believers to search out the Scriptures
    Pure spiritual milk must be a craving
  • You must be humble
    One needs humble willingness to obey God's Word
    We are to be obedient servants waiting for our master's instructions willing to put the Lord's instructions into practice
  • You must be passionate
    The Word must be lived not just read
    The Word should not depart from your mouth
    You should meditate in it day and night
    Look out to abey the Word – (Joshua 1:8)
  • You must want to obey
    God gives commands in the Bible
    Obedience must stem from inspiration and not obligation
    For it to benefit us we must appropriate the truths and not just believe it
    Obedience is the basis of knowing the blessing and favour of God
    The Lord wants you to abey Him – (1 Samuel 15:22)
  • You must be willing to learn
    It is impossible to learn what you think you already know” - Dr Mike Murdock
    The Bible allows us to see living flesh and blood illustrations. The Bible is filled with mentors, learning from men and women of God, will allow us not repeat their mistakes: good behavior or bad behavior – (1 Corinthians 10:6)
    Those you do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it” - George Santayana
  • Take the right approach
    There are 2 approaches to studying the Bible:
    • Read it like any other book written by any other author
    • Unlike any other book, responding to its commands, heed its warnings and apply precetps to our lives

You want to be encouraged by its promises, correected by its admonitions and transformed by its amazing truth.

  • The Bible is a miracle
    It's a compilation of 66 books, written over a period of 1600 years by more than 40 authors from different social backgrounds, yet the message is the same. Written on 3 different continents: Africa, Asia and Europe, in 3 different languages: Hebrew, Greek and Aramiac. It deals with subjects such as the origin of the universe, the existence of God, the origin and ultimate end of eveil and the purpose of life...

Monday, November 19, 2012

What should be our approach to the Bible be?

Our approach should be the same as the American flight school's strategy
"It's not what you know that's important. It's what you do with what you know when you're being shot at that makes all the difference"

Jesus gices us help - approach the Bible:

Matthew 7:24 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But evveryone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them ,will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the flodds came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was the fall."

  • We need to distinguish between: Studying the Bible and applying what has been learned
  • We can become intoxicated with Biblical knowledge - and be reckless - full of pride
  • We must guard our hearts against pride
1 Corinthians 8:1 "Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up."

  • Knowledge about God - transformed into knowledge of God
  • Goal od studying the Bible - not simply observation or interpretation - it is application
  • Point - not to uncover a new piece of knowledge
  • Point - not to explain the precise definition of a Greek word
  • Joy comes - applying the truth to our own lives

Monday, November 12, 2012

Why we read the Bible


What is the Bible?

This question has been answered by so many experts, but what it boils down to it this; it is the greatest book ever written:

Just as a product is proof of a manufacturer and a book is proof of an author, so creation is proof of a creator” - Anon


God Himself speaks to men. We conclude then that it being God's standard – no man could have written a standard this high.

This is a book of divine instruction – it offers comfort in grief, guidance in confusion, advice for your problems, rebuke for sin and daily inspiration for our every need, it is our magna carta, which serves as a gaurantee of our basic rights.

The church sees this as their “Declaration of Indepence”

Simplified the Bible is an owner's manual, a road map to life.

God's Word is also refered to as the light to all who believe. Like a prism refracting light into a rainbow, God's Word splits the light of thruth into a multimedia presentation of:

  • clear prose
  • true stories
  • passionate poetry
  • powerful visions
  • precepts, and
  • engaging parables

BE WARNED – The Bible poses some dangers!!!

IT ENDANGERS OUR OLD WAY OF LIVING!

  • The Word – hammer – shatters – rock of pride and complacency Jer 23:29; Ps 19:7
  • The Word – fire – shut up in your bones Jer 20:9