Tag Archives: God’s Word

The truth of Scripture

John 8:31-32 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

The Bible, God’s Holy Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105).  It’s breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). The Word is from God to man; His will, His plan, His love, all contained between those two covers.  It is not merely words on pages.

The Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believers (Romans 1:16).  It is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit (Hebrews 4:12).  Within the Scriptures are the words of life.  Apart from God and His Word, there is no life.

Jesus said if we abide in His Word we are truly His disciples.  By it we will know the truth and the truth shall set us free (John 8:31-32).  Apart from God there is no truth, for He is truth. There is no greater way to know the will of God than to know His Word.

God’s Word stands alone.  It is divinely inspired, containing no error.  All of the self-help books in the world could never compare to the Book that tells us we can’t help ourselves and offers hope to all mankind.

 

Study and do God’s Word

lightstock_15481_small_user_3963721Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

How are you doing at Bible study? Does that question make you nervous? I’ll be honest, I hate being asked questions like that because it implies that there’s this level to be achieved, like those who are doing really well are experts, and that makes me feel like a rookie. Maybe I’m the slacker in the room, but I’m willing to assume that many of you can relate.

There are lots of Bible study tools online and it’s not my intention to point you to all of them today, but my emphasis is this: context. To really study the Bible, it’s not about what other books or other people say about it. It’s about what the Bible says about itself. Did that make sense? If I’m studying a subject in Scripture and I have a question about what it means, it’s best to find other places where God inspired someone to write on the same subject within Scripture. We could all save ourselves a lot of trouble and false doctrine in our lives if we’d stick to this basic rule.

It’s also important that we follow the instructions of James in being “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22). It’s not enough to just study God’s Word. It’s not enough to just read and consume. It’s good to do so, but if we don’t put the Word into action, we’re missing the point. That’s precisely why so many Christians are unhealthy spiritually. They’re consuming and consuming without getting any spiritual exercise (we’ll talk more about that in a future devotion), becoming lethargic and spiritually flabby.

Study the Word and DO it!

Who, or What, Can be Against Us


“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) How often do we forget that promise? Perhaps it’s not forget in the traditional sense. After all we remember what the words are, and we may even utter them quietly to ourselves, searching for some sort of comfort when things start to get tough, but, when we look around, we have a hard time really and truly grasping not necessarily what it means but how it applies to our current situations. After all, if God is for us, should it really be this hard? Can’t it just be that much easier? Why can’t it be that much simpler than it is?

That’s the struggle though, isn’t it? It doesn’t come from God’s promises but from seeing how it is actually working in our lives. The words, they aren’t all that hard to understand, but how they apply, how they can possibly be true, that’s the real difficulty that we face. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” At times it just seems like pretty much everyone or everything and the burden, it is too much to bear as we search for the purpose and meaning in it all, as we seek the answers to why it has to be the way it is when the we know God is there, but we can’t figure out how He is there.

We’re not the first to face that question. What were the words of the Elisha as the army’s surrounded the city and it seemed as if all had been lost? “‘Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’” (2 Kings 6:16) In many senses we can all be like the servant who cried out, seeing the insurmountable odds, “Oh no! My Lord, what shall we do?” (2 Kings 6:15) We don’t necessarily see the army of the living God, standing there in front of us, we don’t necessarily see the miracle of His power and glory between us and our real struggle, our real adversity, because we are so focused on all the ways everything has or can go bad, on all the ways that it has or can go wrong. Yet, what we need to be focused on is faith. After all, if it is truly what is hoped for and yet unseen (Hebrews 11:1) then our salvation and our defense is truly at hand even when it is the least clear to us.

We are reminded by the words of the Psalmist, “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 118:6) More aptly we should be remember it is not just “What can mere mortals do to me?”, it is also a question of “What can this mere mortal world do to me?” No matter how many times it seems like it is there to knock us down, no matter how many times it may seem like it is there to break us, no matter how often the Devil may come to us, roaring like a lion that is seeking to devour (1 Peter 5:8) God is there to heal us, to strengthen us in the love afforded to us by His goodness and mercy. (Psalm 147:3) After all, if He so loved each us, if He so loved the world that He would not even withhold His precious son from us, (John 3:16) letting his precious blood be spilled for us and for our sins then what really will He let touch us, what really will He let destroy us.

Each step of the way, in all that we are and all that we face, God really is there to stand for us. Sometimes it just takes letting go of the things that we think we know, remembering God’s wisdom and understanding surpasses even our own, and letting His invisible hand take hold of us, rising from the places we cannot see to stretch over us to protect us, to ensure that nothing that really and truly can rob us of His peace and comfort if we trust in Him will overtake us. Yes, that is a hard leap of faith to sometimes make when everything seems to be going against us, but then it is a question of how much hope do you truly put in the Lord and do you trust the promises He offers unto you as an undeniable truth for your life.

Take a moment in your day today, look at the struggles and the challenges that are weighing on you. Close your eyes, and search for God’s love for your life. It is there, and it is ready to make you more powerful than you ever thought possible if you just let it. No matter what hardship or difficulty life may offer, they fall if you stand firm in the Lord. It just takes the strength and the power He has already given to you and that you perhaps aren’t yet aware that you have. Then will you rest easy in the blessings of His promises for you.

Meditation on the Word

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brothers, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

 

It’s not enough to just hear the Word.  Showing up to listen to a sermon each Sunday is only the beginning of Bible study because you can never get everything you need from a one hour (or less) message.

 

So while you listen, take notes.  Write down the things that strike you, the passages that grab your attention.  Throughout the week, take another look at what was taught.  Take the time to actually think about the Scripture and the application you can make into your own life.  How can you live out this message?

 

This is so important because merely hearing something does not mean it’s going to stick.  Understanding begins with hearing, but it’s got to be meaningful beyond the moment you hear it.  God’s Word is so powerful it’s for all times.  In any and every circumstance you face, it’s good to think about what God has to say.  Move beyond hearing and begin thinking, pondering.  Take the time to meditate on all God has revealed of himself.

 

 

 Look for this and other devotions like it in Matt’s newest Devotions for Disciples book, available soon!

Hearing the Word

Romans 10:17  So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

 

It all starts with hearing.  No matter where you’re at in your faith journey, you likely began by hearing the Word of God.  Maybe it was a friend sharing a Bible verse.  Maybe it was a biblical truth that you weren’t even aware came from the Bible.  You could have even just overheard something that spoke to you.

 

God’s Word does something powerful in our lives when we hear it being spoken.  Sermons, podcasts, even songs are so effective at moving us when we experience the Word of God.  Faith begins here as the Holy Spirit stirs our souls up and we move toward responding to His calling.

 

God’s Word is so powerful that He says it will never return empty; it will always accomplish His purpose.  That’s something when you think about how misused and misquoted Scripture is.  Even when we mess it up, God uses His Word to bring about His purpose.  It should help us feel a little less intimidated to share the gospel because whether or not we get it right, God works out what He wants worked out.

Where Is Your Bible Hiding

If it really is God’s word then why don’t we use it more?

2 Peter 2:1-3, 13-15  But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves.

2  Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. 3  In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.

13  Their destruction is their reward for the harm they have done. They love to indulge in evil pleasures in broad daylight. They are a disgrace and a stain among you. They delight in deception even as they eat with you in your fellowship meals. 14  They commit adultery with their eyes, and their desire for sin is never satisfied. They lure unstable people into sin, and they are well trained in greed. They live under God’s curse. 15  They have wandered off the right road and followed the footsteps of Balaam son of Beor, who loved to earn money by doing wrong.

2 Peter 3:3-4  Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 4  They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”

Do you see your Bible as a valuable asset? It is a very useful tool that will help you to avoid many dangers as you navigate life. Chapters two and three of Second Peter give us two good reasons to be in God’s word everyday:

So that you won’t be deceived by the false prophets and teachers.

Peter warns us all about false prophets and how you can easily spot them, he spells out exactly how they behave, he also gives us plenty of warning to steer clear of this group so that we won’t share in the judgment that is waiting for them.

So that you won’t deceive yourself and become a scoffer or a mocker.

What a danger to become one that ridicules the things of God, this may be a person that is led astray on their own or it could be somebody that fell for the lies of the false teachers. The best way to know God and be wise about the things that are important to him is to study his word every day. He has revealed as much about him as we need to know, for now, through what is revealed of himself in scripture.

It is amazing that our creator gave us an instruction book for life, a book that has proved it’s worth, and yet we don’t rush to it so that we can benefit from the instruction that God gave us.

I will stay in God’s word everyday so that I will be pleasing to him.

Thank you Lord for showing us how to be pleasing to you and warning us of the destruction of following after false teachings and ideas that we dream up about you.

The authority of God’s Word

A disciple

2 Timothy 3:16-17  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

What directs the steps of a true follower of Christ?  To know God’s will, a disciple must know God.  And to know God, the disciple must read His Word.  But the way we view the Word has a huge impact on what we get from it.

If we simply view the Bible as stories, suggestions, or even as a rule book, we miss the full impact of God’s self-revelation to us.  But if we view it as the very words of God spoken to man, as inerrant, as infallible, as sufficient, we have everything to gain.

God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet, it directs our path.  When we seek God in the Scriptures, we find Him there.  He speaks to us from the pages, from the Word that’s living and active, hitting us right in the heart with His message.  A disciple loves God and so he/she loves God’s Word with a passion.  It’s our spiritual nourishment so we should feed on it every single day.

Study the Word

A disciple

Romans 12:2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

If you fully surrender your life to Christ, how do you know that what comes next is His will?  How can you even know His will?  What if you think God’s telling you to do something but you are wrong?  Step 1 – Start with the Word.

An essential truth for any believer, but especially new believers, is that God reveals Himself in His Word, the Bible.  There is, within the pages of Scripture, sufficient information about God.  We can know His character, His love, His plan for salvation, His power, and His glory.  Everything we need to know right now in this moment has been revealed through the God-inspired words of the Holy Bible.  Start there when you’re searching for truth or for direction.  Not sure what God would want you to do in a particular situation?  What does the Bible say of His character as it pertains to this?

Following God is not all about feelings or signs.  Knowing what God wants you to do is very much about knowing who God is.  He’ll never ask you to do anything that contradicts who He is.  He won’t ask you to sin, He won’t tell you to give into a temptation.  That would go against His nature.  But to know His nature you have to study His Word.

The Bible isn’t some rule book handed down from on high.  It isn’t a collection of fictitious stories.  It’s God’s story of redemption for mankind through Jesus Christ.  All of it.  Old Testament, New Testament, every word is part of the overall story.  We WANTS you to know Him.

How do you live for God?  Fully surrender to Him and constantly be transformed by the renewal of your mind.  By knowing God more and more.