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Reading the Bible

Amidst this devastating and life changing global pandemic, we find ourselves isolated from the normal way of life that we are accustom to. We are seeking innovative ways to stay busy and active while also adjusting to working from home or temporarily having no work at all. 

As Christians, yes, we can find blessings within these difficult times…one being the opportunity of “spending more time” in the Word of God (the Bible). The reading and studying of the Bible is vital to our faith and journey through life. So I share with you words of godly wisdom that I have received over the years from spiritual mentors in my life.

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).

Paul, who knew the benefits of God’s Word as well as anyone short of Jesus, told Timothy that if he wanted to get the best out of life, he should do his best to study the Word.    Believers who ignore the Bible will certainly be ashamed at judgment—thorough study of God’s Word is important; otherwise, we will be lulled into neglecting God and our true purpose for living.        How exactly does the Bible, an ancient book written thousands of years ago, reveal God’s way to us today? As we are reading the Bible, there are several key questions we must ask that will reveal the answers we are seeking concerning God’s will and a blessed life…    

Is there a command to obey? The Bible is filled with divine commands for you and me to obey; there is no question what God’s will is in these areas. Our obedience to His commandments leads us exactly into the center of His will. *For example, “Do not get drunk with wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

This is clear-cut. Non-negotiable. Black and white. There is no doubt what God’s will is in this matter. His (will) will always be found within the boundaries of obedience to His commandments.

Is there an example to follow?                                                               

A major portion of the Bible is written in story form (narrative and bibliographical literature): the first (17) books of the Old Testament are narrative; the first (5) books of the New Testament are bibliographical and narrative. These historical books contain the lives of real people who followed God.   Their godly lives are recorded as an example for us to follow. As we imitate their lives, their walks of faith reveal God’s will to us. Take Daniel, for example: this exiled prophet placed a higher allegiance on obeying God than obeying the Babylonian government. Daniel’s life reveals God’s way for us today. When we are confronted with a similar tension between the earthly and the heavenly, we must choose to obey God, not men—Always.

Is there a promise to claim?                                                                                               Just as an earthly father’s will governs the management of his family and his estate, so too is the Bible filled with promises from God to His children: to bless, to enrich, to satisfy.                                                                                            God’s estate is a massive reservoir of spiritual riches able to meet all the needs of our life. Charles Spurgeon once compared these divine promises to blank checks issued by God to His children. Already signed by God, they are to be cosigned by His children, brought to heaven’s treasury, and drawn against the limitless wealth of heaven’s account. For example, Jesus says, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name that the Son may bring glory to the Father (John 14:13). Ask according to God’s Will and His Character; He will not grant requests contrary to His nature or His will.   Just think about the large inheritance that Christ desires to share with us; the key is praying in Jesus’ name—praying for those things which honor and glorify His name.

Is there a sin to avoid?                                                                                          

The Bible holds before us sins that must be avoided at all costs…they are clearly out of bounds. For example, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality…” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). God’s will is always found where sexual purity is maintained; this is a no-brainer. Any step toward immorality is definitely out of bounds and off track.

Is there a principle to follow?                                                                                                   A principle in the Bible is a timeless truth firmly stated. It is a short, concise, practical statement of truth drawn from a passage and used to guide our lives. Principles are broad statements of truth that universally apply to every situation we face. For example: Joshua led the children of God in a march around the city of Jericho, giving a shout of victory as they trusted God to fight for them.   The principle is that we should worship before we do anything else. We should praise God in the face of the impossible and watch Him act on our behalf.   Clearly, the better we know God’s Word, the better we will know His will for us.

I pray these words will be useful while reading the Bible and seeking God’s will in your faith journey through life.

Pastor Steve  

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