Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What Was I Looking For? …a continued thought

How I love God’s Word.  For years I have always considered, believed, counted on, and depended completely on God’s Word – every day for everything. Continuing from my posting yesterday, this year in my goal to “Seek” I have approached my Bible with a desire to truly search and seek God.  Of course at different stages of our lives, and through various paths along our journey as we read the Bible we seek different things, and we view things differently.

When I first got saved I sought truth and knowledge.  I wanted to be a good wife, and a good mother, a good church member – and I sought the Bible to help me to try to be all of those things. I wanted to know what the Bible said, and I wanted to learn the truth.  For many years I had an idea about who I thought God was, what I thought He might want, and viewed life on my own terms.  Sadly, I believe that many Christians view the Bible that same way – through their own terms.  More and more I find people searching for loop holes so they can adapt to this world instead of fully relying on the Bible and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead and direct their choices.
During the trials in my life I sought the Bible for comfort; and what a comfort it has proven and continues to be for me.  Over and over again the Lord met my needs through His precious Word.  There is not a person alive that could convince me that the Bible is not alive – for indeed the Bible is the Living Word of God! 

Now, while I know that the Bible was written for us – certainly God did not need to write things down to remember them – as He is all knowing, BUT – what I have realized is that I have always used the Word of God to see how it will benefit ME – even in my Bible reading I have remained self-centered.  In every Bible story I looked for what I could do to get the blessing, to get the success, to get the goods for me – rather than instead looking at all that God does, what He has done, how marvelous He is.

This year, as I seek the Lord, with every Bible story instead of looking at what this person did and what that person got – the Lord is showing me what He did.  Let me illustrate.  In the story of David and Goliath.  When reading and teaching that account, I always taught the kids about David’s faith in God – which is a good thing, but I believe instead I should have taught the kids to focus on the fact that God did that – God used a kid and a single stone to take down a giant!  When I face a crisis – instead of trying to be like David, how about I trust that God can do what needs to be done by whatever means He so chooses? I believe that honors the Lord much more than striving to do what other men have done.  Parents, I hope you will incorporate this thought as you teach your children - teach them to look for and seek Christ in every thing - not man.  Let's raise kids to have faith in God, and to seek Him for the answers.

In Romans 15:4, the Bible says “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”  This shows me that the Bible is written to teach me and show me my source of hope – The Lord, Jesus Christ.  Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”  John 5:39. Jesus made it abundantly clear that the Scriptures teach of Him and that in “all the Scriptures” we should be learning of Him in Luke 24:27, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

For me, at this point in my life, as we are church planting missionaries on deputation, as we plant churches, our desire is to point folks to Christ. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”  Jesus said this speaking of Himself, of His hanging on the cross, His death, burial, and resurrection – however, I believe that as we continue to lift Him up, He will draw all men to Himself.  It is our prayer to reach the lost in this world by giving them the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;…”  Romans 1:16

Have a Wonderful Day!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Who's It All About?

This year, 2016, my theme, my goal is to “seek” Jesus, the Lord, in everything.  Now, I know that I am a Christian and have sought the Lord for nearly 31 years.  I am thankful that through the years, I have grown closer to the Lord, and He has done so many amazing things in me, through me, and most especially FOR me!  This year, in my “seeking” the Lord has shown me what probably every other Christian knows and I have just been too self-focused to notice. 
I am sharing this because it has helped me tremendously and I pray that those of you like me that never “looked” at the Bible through this view may be helped also.  You see, for the first 27 years of my life, I was raised in a religion that never focused on the Bible at all.  It was something that I was never encouraged to read or study, and I was simply told what my religion told me I needed to know about it – and as long as I followed their rules, I would be “okay.”  Then, on May 9, 1985, I was born again.  I received the Lord as my Saviour after my loving friend, Corinne Turner and her husband showed me what the Bible said about salvation, going to heaven, and my sin condition.  I was so elated to know that I could go to heaven and that the burden of trying to get there was not on my shoulders – because that morning – that very morning, I realized that I was not going to be able to get there on my own merit.  I realized, I am sure because of the folks that were praying for my soul, that I would not go to heaven.  It was a fearful place to be to know the truth of my destiny without knowing the only remedy to change it.  You can only imagine how I felt to learn the truth – it indeed made me free! 

Then, you can further only imagine what I felt when I got home to receive a phone call from my husband’s dying grandmother telling me that she felt well enough that day to go out and that she was impressed upon to buy me a Bible!  Can you imagine getting saved, and then finding out that while you were asking the Lord to save you, that He was using an 80-year old, terminally ill grandmother to buy you a Bible?  Wow!

On that day, I determined that if God made it that evident that the Bible was important for me to have, that I would make sure to read it.  I still remember the first day I started reading a Proverb a day – it was May 20, 1985…I still remember that every time I read that Proverb.  God’s Word is so precious to me.  I have made it a point to read it cover to cover every year – at least once every year since that time.  So, you would think with all of that – this new epiphany in my life would have happened a long time ago!

So, what is it, who is "IT" all about? 
The Bible is not about man…it is about God, God the Father, God, the Son, and God, The Holy Spirit!  The story of creation is not about Adam and Eve – it is about how God created them!  The story of Adam and Eve’s fall is not about me – it is about God’s provision to pay for sin!  Noah and the Ark – is about showing us God’s mighty power!  Every story in the Bible is to show us God and His greatness!  Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”  John 5:39.
I hear people speak of doing things to gain favor, but Jesus was saying, was teaching here that while we are searching for eternal life – God is showing us the answer, the testimony of Jesus.  The whole Bible is a testimony of what Jesus has done!

I know that in most stories we will see a type of Christ, we will see a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection, but I still was looking at the men rather than the Saviour.  I would try to be like the men in the Bible so I could get the outcome that I hoped for.  The Lord has shown me, that each of these accounts, show what God can do.  In every person’s life – the answer was and is Jesus, and what He can do in spite of us.  In every biblical account – our awe should be in the realization that Jesus did that!

He created, He knows everything, He is everywhere, He is alone worthy to be glorified…I am saying things I’ve always said, but they have new meaning.  You see, now instead of looking at David and how he used a sling – it is God using a willing vessel to get His will done.  We are just so bent on looking at what we can see!  I know that sounds ridiculous – but “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Every account in the Bible is evidence of Jesus, that He is God, that He is the One that has the solutions!   
Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him. And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.”  Luke 8:38-40

 I stand amazed, I stand amazed;
Of the love that has sought me, saved me and bought me,
I stand amazed.

Read your Bible, and seek Jesus – you will find Him everywhere, in all things, and you will realize a greater love for Christ.

Have a wonderful day!