"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
When we read God's Word, it is not just that we are reading it, but also, the Word is reading us! The Word of God exposes who we really are.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. ... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:1-2, 14).
Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. Jesus knows our thoughts and our intentions for everything. So we should not read the Word just for the sake of being "religious" or to gain more knowledge, which can lead to arrogance. We should read it to grow closer to Christ. Let's not study the Bible to try to find verses that seem to "justify" our lifestyles that might be contrary to God's Kingdom lifestyle. Let's study the Bible to see how God wants us to live in this present world until we see the return of Christ and see all things made new. God chose different people to write the Scriptures that comprise what we know as the 66 books of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation the Scriptures ultimately point to the Messiah, Christ Jesus.
To study the Bible right, we have to consider why God gave us His Word. God gave us His Word to teach us about Himself. God gave us His Word to teach us about the world we live in. God gave us His Word to enable us to live godly lives. God gave us His Word to facilitate a relationship with Himself. God gave us His Word to show us how and why Jesus has been exalted to the highest place. God gave us His Word to prepare believers in Christ for our God-given mission of working with Him in His mission to redeem humanity.
Let's not come to the Bible with our own agendas, trying to find verses that support what we want to do. Let's come to the Bible humbly, allowing it to shape our hopes and dreams. Every time we study the Word of God we should gain more and more understanding about our mission on earth. Let's ask ourselves, "How can we take part in what God is doing in this world?" To read the Bible in a humble way, you assume the role of a student. It is backwards to search the Bible to find agreement with views we already hold. Instead, we should recognize that we know nothing.
Let us never forget what the Bible is: God's Word. It is His words to us. Let's be mindful of God's authority as He conveys His purpose and will to us. Francis Chan once wrote, "When we read the Bible we are hearing the voice of God." Let the Word of God be what transforms your view of not just some things, but everything. When you truly receive the Word of God with your whole heart and let it encourage you, convict you, rebuke you, correct you, and guide you, your whole heart has got to change.
My sins and your sins were nailed to the Cross. So all you have to do (if you have yet to do it) is to simply receive Christ. Receive Christ into your heart and life as Savior and as Lord. This is the Gospel (the good news): God came down to Earth as a man, lived a sinless life, died, and rose again to reconcile man to God. Jesus: fully God and fully man. Only God can take on sin and fully deal with it. Jesus paid our ransom. Only the Way, the Truth, and the Life knows what the price of a life is. Jesus died in our place and rose again so that if we receive Him, we wouldn't have to face the second death: the lake of fire. Jesus died in our place and rose again so that if we receive Him, we would have a right to the tree of life (Revelation 22:14). ... Death cannot not stop Life.
We must “teach all nations” (Matt. 28:19) because God wants us all to be in His will. He wants those who do not know Him to know Him. It is not enough to just know about Him. We should want to know God in an intimate way. On the day of Judgement, Christ will tell many people, "I never knew you: depart from Me..." (Matt. 7:23). What's interesting is that whenever a couple in the Bible had sex, it says the man so-and-so KNEW his wife. For example, in Genesis 4:1 it says, "...Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived..." God knows us inside and out. He wants us to pursue Him so much to the point that we feel so close to Him the way a man should feel close to his wife. The Church body is the bride of Christ.
The question is how close are we to Christ? Believers in Christ, are we really being the Church He called us to be? Are we serious, or are we playing games? Are we committing spiritual adultery by cheating on God by putting other things before Him? Are we working too much and not keeping the Sabbath? Are we putting too much time into leisurely activities? Are we focusing too much on how much money we have? Are we helping others only if it benefits us in the end? That's not how it's supposed to be.
Nothing should be put before God. God is infinite. He is the biggest thing since eternity. And He always will be the biggest and greatest being. We should be making time to rest in God and keeping the Sabbath. Simply finding time to rest was something I struggled with for a long time. But now I think I am in a place now where I can finally begin to make times/days to rest. Sometimes I work too much and sometimes I can be downright lazy. We have to have balance in our lives to please God. Money is not really an issue for me. I am not greedy for it, and I love to help others, regardless if I get some kind of benefit in return or not.
So ask yourself, "How close am I to Christ? Am I closer to Him today than I was yesterday?" I hope you are. And I hope I am getting closer and closer and closer to Him each day myself. =)
There is a village in Nicaragua filled with hunger and despair and fear. A village where the children sift through the local dump looking for something – anything to eat. A village where people live in fear of dying from disease and starvation.
On Saturday April 5th, we have an opportunity to help these children and their families.
My church, New Horizon Church, in partnership with Servants With a Heart, will host a food packing event where we hope to provide 100,000 meals – enough food to feed this village for an entire year. We can’t do this without hundreds of volunteers. It’s not back-breaking work. The food consists of rice, dried vegetables, soy protein and vitamins. Easy to transport, cook and digest.
Please click the link below to register:
And click here to learn about Servants With a Heart:http://servantswithaheart.org/
Thanks! God bless!
There's nothing like some nice cold water to drink to feel refreshed! It's like encouragement, it makes you feel good! Ever tried to drink a cup of sand? I would hope not, but if you did, you would be so dry, parched, and super dehydrated. (I've gotten sand in my mouth before, and it is not fun in the least bit!) Well that's kind of how discouragement feels. It leaves you feeling so dry and bad. So let's try to make sure we are giving people glasses of cool water and not sand. Let's put away the rude remarks, comments, and gestures, and instead let's offer godly words and actions to people that can build them up and encourage them to obey God. God bless!
If you want friends, go and show yourself to be friendly. Sadly, we see so much discouragement from people nowadays. Studies show that for every one time of encouragement, there are 6 times of discouragement. We can see our homes, communities, and places of work become less toxic as we encourage one another daily.
So my #ChallengeOfTheDay is: Help 5 people with your resources, by giving them your time/energy, or by simply encouraging them this week. When you refresh others, you yourself will get refreshed.
Be who God made you to be. Don't try to be something you were not meant to be. Ask God to show you what your gifts and talents are. Trust me, at the right time they will be revealed. When you understand who you are, you can understand what capacity you possess. Understand what YOU can do. Understand what positive difference you can make in your church, at your job, in your community, in your sphere of influence. There is no need for anyone to be jealous of another's talents and abilities. God gave each of us our own set of gifts for a reason. We just need to use our gifts, talents, and resources to bless and help others.
My faith is not a passive faith, it's an active faith. I am active in using my faith because I have hope. There are some things in life I am looking forward to. Hope says there is an expected end. Without hope, faith has no job.
For example, if you have the hope of being in business (whether it will be a "brick-and-mortar" type of business or an online business) some day, faith says "Go get a building or get a website up and running." You can say you want a business, but if you don't actually step out on faith and go talk to that real estate agent or go find out how to set up that effective website, you won't see your "expected end" realized.
So many people are sitting still, waiting on God to make the first move, when in reality God is waiting on people to step out on faith. When God says in Scripture, "Be still and know that I am God..." He is not saying just be still physically. What God is saying is you don't have to worry. Be still in your soul, knowing that God will move on your behalf as you please Him by faith and that He will be exalted. The Kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force (Matthew 11:12). You can't be sitting still and be taking something by force at the same time; it just doesn't work that way. It doesn't mean we have to be mean and hurtful in taking what we want. But it does mean that we've got to be active with an aggressive attitude, not taking no for an answer, unless God Himself is saying "No" for a particular reason to show us something.
So where are all the violent believers at? Where are the Christians who are not going to settle for less than God's best? Don't settle for less than the best just because you don't feel like paying the cost for a certain life process that is actually worthwhile. So as you step out on faith, keep hope alive!
I cannot wait to see this film! I think it will challenge people and make people really think about our need for God. God created for us a special purpose and so with that in mind, how could God be dead? Now of course, God cannot die, but usually what that "God is dead" phrase means to some people is that they feel like God is somehow no longer relevant in our current society. Or they'll ask the question, "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?" or, "Why does God allow evil in the world?" or they'll say, "We don't need God, we have science and the theory of evolution."
The truth is that one of us are good on our own. Our own righteousness is like filthy rags, according to Isaiah 64:6. We need the righteousness of God. We are sinners who have broken God's laws and are in desperate need of a Savior. His name is Jesus. He is the Messiah who came to die on the Cross for all of our sins. He rose again three days later with all power so that we could be reconciled back to God. Jesus fulfilled the Law, so we don't have to worry about struggling to fulfill all the points of the Mosaic Law. We just need to be saved and abide in Him.
Why does God allow evil? When we sinned against God in the Garden of Eden, the earth came under a curse and certain things must be fulfilled before Christ returns and ushers in a new heaven and new earth, where there will "be no more curse" (Revelation 22:3). In the mean time, know that times will get worse and worse before the return of Christ because of sin. (Look at 2 Timothy 3:1-5.) However, John 16:33 also lets us know that even though we will see times of tribulation, we are to be encouraged because Christ has overcome the world. If we abide in Him, we can live as overcomers as well.
As for science, humans did not evolve from monkeys. Every species of animal was created separately for a purpose by God. Like begets like, one kind of animal begets the same kind of animal. The heavens, rain, mountains, valleys, rivers, oceans, plants, flowers, various types of minerals, elements, gases, insects, other planets, galaxies, and everything else that was created by God scream out that there is a very intelligent Creator who loves us and created what He created for His glory.
I think this movie, God's Not Dead will get at the hearts of people. It will encourage those who already believe in God and His Son Jesus Christ, who sent the Holy Spirit to comfort us and abide with us. And it will prick the hearts of those who do not believe in God and send a sense of conviction; it's the kind of conviction that says they need to invite God into their lives in a personal and real way. I pray this movie does very well not only in sales, but also in the number of people whose lives are changed because of it.
Time for the Mid-Week Snack! (based on the message "Life App: Rest" by Pastor Dwayne Sayre of New Horizon Church)
Scripture References: Psalm 46:10; 1 Kings 19:1-9; Matthew 14:22-23
Here are some key points to consider:
Resting is so important and it is very biblical.
We can hear from God better when we are resting in Him.
One of the Ten Commandments talks about rest. Keep the Sabbath.
It's harder to resist temptation when we are not resting in God.
Don't just be hearers of the word, but be doers of the word (James 1:22).
Tension: Busyness vs Rest
We need to slow down and organize our lives in such a way that we can hear from God.
We can become busy with jobs, family, activities. If we are not careful, busyness can keep us from sitting at the feet of Jesus.
There was a conflict between Elijah and false prophets.
1 Kings 18:1-40 (It was a busy day for Elijah!)
1 Kings 19:1-3
Elijah was afraid for his life after killing 450 people?
V. 4 Elijah felt like he had enough
God knew exactly what Elijah needed because the journey ahead was too great for him.
We talk about prayer, fasting, and devotionals, but not enough about resting.
The Kingdom of God needs a rested and charged-up you and me, not a burned-out you and me.
According to research, the #1 thing kids wished for was that their parents were less tired and stressed.
"Your life moves to a better place when you move at a sustainable pace."
When we get too busy, it can be easy to forget about spending time with Jesus.
Tip 1: Take a sabbath. (Stay off of social media or other things you are deeply tied to for a whole day.)
Tip 2: Start each day reading God's Word and praying.
Tip 3: Go on dates with your significant other.
Think about this: what do you do with your time? What are you pursuing?
Are you trying to build your own kingdom? Or are you helping to build up God's kingdom?
Be intentional about keeping your eyes on Jesus.
I just want to encourage and inspire as many people as I can for Jesus Christ.