Tag Archives: God’s Word

June 19; Avoiding God

Psalms 49, 83, 91; I Kings 1:2-18, 3:1-3, 22:47-49; 2 Chronicles 20: 35-37

God, through the prophet Elijah, asked King Ahaziah, “Is it because there is no God in Israel for you to consult that you have sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?”

I think God is probably asking the same of us. Is it because there is no God in the USA for us to consult that we have to consult psychologists, scientists, historians, intellectuals, government officials, the media, and send out surveys to determine our direction and define our truth?

Ahaziah died because of his attempt to avoid God.

Just saying.

May 27; Gold, Silver, Rubies, and Wisdom

Proverbs 2-4

Yesterday I realized that Solomon’s wisdom, as extraordinary as it was, has nothing on the wisdom that is ours in the pages of God’s Word. What a privilege is ours to have access to God’s wisdom every day!

In Proverbs 3:13-15 Solomon reminds us that, like gold, silver, and precious rubies, wisdom comes from digging. He continually encourages us to “get” wisdom, or “find” wisdom. These and similar phrases tell me that just reading a few verses every day cannot produce wisdom.

In order to receive what God has available to His children, we have to ingest his Word, read it then read it again, think on it, pray about it. Understanding something requires effort.

Has anyone really ever learned a foreign language by playing a recording while they sleep? Let’s just say, I doubt it. Because if that were true, schools would be equipped with bunkbeds and earphones instead of desks and computers.

Learning takes effort. Gaining wisdom takes effort. Mining gold, silver, and rubies takes effort. And what we have in the pages of God’s Word is so much more valuable than metal and stone.

May 20; Living In His Embrace

Psalm 50; Song of Solomon 1-3

There is so much imagery here in the love poem Solomon wrote. I hope you’ll read it with your relationship with your Savior in mind. Today, I am filled with praise for the great love God has for me, and for the privilege of being His.

Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my lover among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love. Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love. His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me. (2:3-6)

That’s where I want to be living. I want to rest in my Savior, to be strengthened and nourished by reading His Word to me, because I love Him so much. I want to be living in His embrace.

He wants that for me, too.

April 25; Choosing Our Thoughts and Feelings

I Samuel 30:1-31:13; I Chronicles 10:1-14; 2 Samuel 1:1-27, 4:4

When you read the Bible chronologically you can’t help but see that there are two different accounts of the events surrounding Saul’s death. I know I’ve addressed it in years past, but let me just say here that what we read is what God said happened to Saul, and we read what an Amalekite said happened, believing he’d get a reward.

In the past I have tried to meld both accounts into one. Like maybe Saul fell on his sword and lay dying. His armor-bearer, assuming the king was dead, falls on his own sword. Then, while Saul is slowly bleeding out and begging for an end to his suffering, the Amalekite hears and obliges the king by dealing the final blow. I’ve even seen the irony in the fact that it was an Amalekite who killed Saul, considering that years earlier God had told Saul to eliminate the Amalekites completely, and Saul disobeyed.

But I am so thankful God is still growing me, still teaching me after all these years. Today He seems to be pointing out the fact that, as the Author, He can speak for Himself. What He said in Scripture is that Saul killed himself that day. So why do I think He meant something different?

Sometimes I am guilty of trying to figure out what Scripture means, when God just wants me to just look at what it says. I’m learning He’s pretty good at saying what He means. And if I read things into it, I’m not reading what He wrote. Yes there are times when I need to dig deep in order to understand some things. But I don’t want to be guilty of putting words in God’s mouth.

Actually, I wrote much more on that than I intended. What really spoke to me today was how David reacted to the news of Saul’s death. Saul had made David’s life miserable for years. Yet David was truly grieved over Saul’s death. There was no victory party. David went into mourning.

In fact, he even wrote a song to remember all the good Saul had done, never mentioning the awful way Saul had treated him. David chose to let some things go, and concentrate on the good.

We have the ability to make that same choice every day. We can choose bitterness, hate, jealousy. We can think about and hope for a measure of satisfaction, or revenge. Or we can choose love. We can choose forgiveness. We can choose to see ourselves and others through God’s eyes.

You might think the person who is making your life miserable doesn’t deserve your forgiveness, that they deserve to be hated by you. Did Saul deserve David’s forgiveness? Wouldn’t Saul have deserved it if David hated him even after death?

Did the Jews deserve Jesus’ forgiveness? Wouldn’t Jesus have been right to hate them instead of dying for them?

Don’t think you can’t help what you feel. You absolutely can. You can choose every day to be joyful, forgiving, loving, encouraging. Or not. Maybe being forced to live in a cave, running for you life for years would have been too much for you. I think it would depend on what you told yourself about that.

Maybe your circumstances today are too much for you. But I think it depends on what you are telling yourself about it. Because your circumstances might be too much for you. But they are not too much for your Father.

How often did David say that his circumstances were crushing him, that he was frustrated and discouraged? And how often do those psalms expressing his deep pain end with the declaration that He trusted God anyway. That’s the choice I hope all of us make when our circumstances seem unbearable.

I honestly believe that when we get our eyes off our circumstances, and off our selves, when we think about the ways God has blessed us in the past, when we meditate on His attributes, our feelings change.

The Bible tells us so.

 

February 24; Road Trip

Leviticus 24-25

Many moons ago, children, if you were going on a road trip, and if you belonged to AAA, you could go and get what we called a TripTik. An agent would sit down with you, map and highlighter in hand, and help you plan your route.

He or she would look into their files and even tell you where you might run into road construction and delays. He or she would re-route you around busy city streets, tell you about tourist attractions you might want to see. And when it was all said and done, you would walk out with a highlighted map, books on restaurants, motels, and sites to see, and the spiral-bound TripTik itself, including fold-outs with detailed city maps.

You can’t know how fun and how satisfying it was to turn a page after the first 50 miles, then another, and another as your trip progressed. Guess you had to be there. But trust me, glancing at your phone is just not the same.

I read today how Moses, when an Egyptian/Jew blasphemed God, had the young man put in prison until God told Moses what to do. The law was plain about a Jewish person who blasphemed the Name. You stone him to death. But there was no specific direction for a guilty half/Jew. So Moses waited until he got the word from God.

I’ve often considered my Bible a roadmap. But when you think about it, it isn’t really. It’s not like a TripTik that gives you inch by inch directions, including detours. Warren Wiersbe tells us the Bible is more of a compass. It keeps us going in the right direction while we, “…walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) (Be Holy; Published by David C. Cook; 1994; page 143)

My Bible is not a road map. But in its pages are everything we need for our journey. Everything we face in this life is addressed in Scripture. Every decision you need to make has a parallel in the Bible. But you have to know what the Bible says.

It takes a bit of maturity to recognize the treasure that is ours in the Bible. It’s not a quick-fix. It’s not a step by step instruction manual. It’s much more than that. It’s the living Word of God.

We have got to be prayerfully in God’s Word every day, listening to the direction God wants us to hear. It takes patience and intentionality. We may be detoured occasionally as God points out other truths He doesn’t want us to miss. But if we read it, if we use it, it will get us where we are going on this road trip called life.

And we’ll enjoy the journey!

 

 

 

February 7; Miracle Food

Exodus 16-18

Did you eat breakfast this morning? I sure did. I can skip lunch, and an occasional dinner, not so much breakfast. Even if it’s just a bowl of cereal like this morning. I’ve been known to say my motivation for getting out of bed is breakfast! And if you see me in a restaurant that serves all-day breakfast, you’ll most likely see an omelet and bacon on my plate. What can I say. I love breakfast.

The chapters we read today introduce us to manna – the miracle food God provided for His people very morning while they were on their way to the Promised Land. Every day the people received exactly what they needed for the day at hand. Not too much. Not too little. And they could not live on the manna they had collected the day before. If they wanted nourishment, they had to gather the manna every morning.

Did you read your Bible today? It’s the miracle food God has provided for His children. The thing is, some of us are malnourished because we partake only occasionally, or not at all. We put ourselves on a spiritual diet and expect to be fed once a week by a preacher behind a pulpit. We are starving our souls.

Now I don’t believe morning is the only acceptable time for believers to read God’s Word. The Jews ate manna for lunch and dinner, too. But if you are like me, days can get busy. Schedules are interrupted on a regular basis. And often, time alone with God’s Word is the first casualty.

Let me suggest that you take the time every morning to open your Bible and hear God’s voice, read the words He wrote to you before you jump into your busy day. Even if it means setting your alarm fifteen minutes earlier. The Jews gathered the manna every morning, then used it throughout the day. Doesn’t that seem like a good pattern to follow when applied to time in the Word? Gather its treasure in the morning, then use it throughout your day.

I’m glad you are reading this post today. It humbles me to know you are taking time to read it. I know there are lots of great blogs, and books, and articles that enhance our understanding of God’s Word. But, dear one, there is no substitute for God’s Word. I’d rather you stopped reading what I write, if you use it instead of reading the Bible. Don’t live on snack food.

God’s Word is that miracle food that will give you exactly what you need for today. Don’t neglect it, don’t try to substitute it, don’t even nibble at it. Devour it. Every. Day.

January 1; Oh! That’s How It Goes.

Genesis 1-3

I bet many of you either gave or received a gift this year that required assembly. And if you didn’t, I imagine most of us have had to put something together at some time in our lives. And I would further imagine that there were times when we just knew we could do it without reading the instructions. After all, we’re not stupid. How hard can it be?

If you’re like me, you get started with the project pretty easily. Maybe you even get it almost done, only to find that that last piece just doesn’t fit. Or you wind up with an extra piece and have no idea where it could go. Or it’s together, but you wouldn’t want to sit on it, or let a kid play with it for fear of having it fall apart.

Then finally, with no-one looking, we pull out the instructions and read what the manufacturer says to do. Oh! That’s how it goes.

I hope you had a Christmas blessed with family and friends as you celebrated the birth of our Savior. And I trust you had a good New Year’s celebration, and ate all that food that will supposedly give you “good luck” in 2019. I found out yesterday that you aren’t supposed to do laundry on January 1 because that means you’ll just have to work all the harder in the new year. What?

I’m excited about my time in God’s Word this new year. As I shared before, I’ve decided to read through the Bible chronologically in the NIV. I’m kind of like a kid with a new toy, even though I’ve read these words over and over. I love how God can speak to me every time I read what He inspired so many men to write so long ago. This book is God’s love letter to me. And I never get tired of hearing what He says.

So I read it this morning and thrilled at how God created the heavens and the earth. I don’t know HOW He did it. The Bible only tells me that He DID.

Then this afternoon I was having a conversation with some friends and all of a sudden someone said he read someone found the fossil of a horse that is 400 million years old. I said, “Well, we know that’s not true.”

Someone else reminded me that a day to God is like a thousand years, so why can’t creation have taken billions of years to happen? “Well,” I said. “How much Hebrew do you know?”

Ken Ham tells us that the word for “day” used in the original Hebrew text of Genesis 1 is “yom.” And when it is accompanied by the words, “evening” or “morning,” it specifically means a twenty-four hour period. The word “yom” accompanied by a number also indicates a twenty-four hour day. In the creation account, God is qualifying times four, a twenty-four hour, six day creation:

There was EVENING, and there was MORNING, the FIRST DAY.

I appreciate what Ken Ham has to say about this. For instance, in one of his videos he reminds us that the whole of 2 Peter 3:8 says:

…With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

Kind of ruins that argument, doesn’t it? Besides, Ken Ham asked a question I hadn’t thought about before. Why is the “day” in Genesis the only “day” we question? Why don’t we question the days Jonah was in the belly of the fish? I’ve never heard anyone speculate that Jonah was in there three thousand years. It’s the same word, “yom.”

(Millions of years with Ken Ham, YouTube Video; Ken Ham’s Foundations: In Six Days, YouTube Video)

We can try to figure things out on our own, we can go to other scholars, or scientists, or friends and get their input. But that’s like trying to put together that Christmas present without looking at the instruction manual.

I figure I will always let God’s Word be the final authority. He invented life. He created this world. And when I finally go and look at what He says about it, I say, “Oh! That’s how it goes.”

It does matter what you believe about creation. I pray that you will let God’s Word speak to you, let Him be your final authority. When you read the creation account as He inspired the writer, you will be in awe of this great God who loves you so much He died to save you. That God. That Creator. That Savior.