Born2Serve Ministries O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Ps 107:1

19Nov/11

A True Miracle

What are the true dangers of hindering the spreading of the Gospel?  What lies in hold for a person that proactively attempts to discourage someone from responding to the Gospel, or even to listening to it?   What is the consequence of placing Jehovah God in a lineup with a host of false gods?  The worst case scenario for each of these questions can be answered in chapters 36 and 37 of Isaiah.

In the beginning of chapter 36, we have the king of Assyria, who seemingly has offered himself to test and answer all of the above questions as he prepares to come up against Judah.   Remember, these are God’s people with whom he had made a promise to defend, deliver, and preserve back in chapter 31 and verse 5.

As in any battle, especially a spiritual one, the first thing that seems to be attacked is where one’s trust lies.  It is no different here with the king of Assyriaas as he directly attacked the LORD’s credibility and trustworthiness in v.5 and 7.    The second initiative in any war is to attack and harm the credibility and trustworthiness of the commanders in the field.   In this instance we take note that Rabshakeh, in error, attempts to fight against God’s chosen man in v.14 and 15.  And we see that he, just as satan always does, has mixed in a bit of truth, as he presents to the people that Hezekiah will  “not be able to deliver” (36:14) them.

As a continuance of attack on Jehovah God, we see in verses 18 thru 20, that He is cast into the same class with the same inabilities as all of there false gods.

In chapter 37 we see that Hezekiah pronounces the truth, and Isaiah, by the word of the LORD, confirms that the comments and actions which lead up to this point are blasphemous in nature.

Finally in chapter 37 and verse 35, as promised, God defends the city and the worst case scenarios for all of the above questions are realized with one swift miracle of God.

This world that we live in has no concept of the mercy that God is showing them at this very moment.

 

- D.C. Mills, Born2Serve Ministries - Feb. 17, 2004

 

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15Nov/11

How to Enjoy Reading and Studying Your Bible

 

Psalm 119:18, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law."

God's Word is a precious, eternal gift to us, and we should value it as such. It contains the mind of God, the way of salvation, and the blessed hope of the return of Jesus Christ. We should anticipate reading and studying it with great delight.  Have you ever heard someone say, "I go to church all the time, and I never get anything out of it;" or "the Bible is too hard to understand;" or "it has to many 'thee's and thou';" or " I don't remember what I read." These are just a few excuses people give that hinder them from receiving the full benefit of the Word of God. The heart of its Author is that we would be nourished, strengthened, and blessed by reading and studying His love letter to us. God alone can open our minds and condition our hearts to receive what He intends to give us.

If God opens our eyes, and we behold wondrous things out of his law, we will enjoy it, appreciate it, and gain from it that which is helpful and practical. We ought to follow the example of David the Psalmist, who was one of forty privileged men used of God to pen the words of the Bible. Even David needed to ask for understanding to know God's Word. Human intellect and understanding is not enough. We need God's help to understand the Bible. Notice a few basic helps that will maximize the benefit received from the time and effort you put into studying God's Word.

Be sincere as you study the Bible.  The word sincere gives the idea of being pure or unmixed. Approach God's Word without bringing your own preconceived ideas or interpretations. Receive all your light and teaching directly from the Spirit of God. As you read God's Word, allow it to read you. Acknowledge God's desire for inward sincerity as David did when he prayed, "Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part THOU shalt make me to know wisdom" (Psalm 51:6). "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (I Peter 2:2).Until we come to the Word of God sincerely, and as a simple child for instruction, we will not experience the growth and development God has for us through his Word. Are you approaching the Bible as a child to receive instruction or as an adult who knows it all? "Better is a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king who will no more be admonished" (Ecclesiastes 4:13).

Be serious about approaching the Word of God.  God's Word is called the Holy Bible for a very important reason. It is sacred, and should not be abused or misconstrued in any way. A sense of sobriety ought to characterize our reading and study of the Word of God. We are commanded to be sober and vigilant, because our adversary the devil seeks to distort, to disavow, to deny, and to destroy the Word of God. It requires a sober and focused attitude to receive the intuition, insight, and illumination God wants to give us through his Word. Do you casually consider the contents of the Bible, or do you seriously search and study it?

Be submissive to what God reveals to you.  A sincere attitude and a serious approach should always result in submissive action to what changes God points out to make in our lives. If there is a stubborn resolve to remain as we always were, we will not behold the wondrous things or have our eyes opened. This book is like a well of springing water that will provide refreshing nourishment as we submit to it. Jesus pointed out the connection between obedience and understanding the Bible. "If any man WILL do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself" (John 7:17). There must be a willingness to submit to the will of God before He reveals it. Are you submitted to what God has revealed so far?

Many Christians find the forbidden fruit of the world much more attractive and appealing than black and white words printed on a page. Walking in darkness rather than walking in the light can be a result of having a dark understanding of God's Word and missing out on the light God desires to grant. When the light goes dim, we no longer enjoy the scriptures or their principles. When we have God open our eyes to their value, their practicality, and their purpose in our lives, we will enjoy spending time studying and reading it.

- Dr. Paul Kingsbury

7Nov/11

The Deep Things of God

I Corinthians 2:14, "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."

God is as complex as the creation He creates.  There is nothing simple about our God.  We will spend all of the future of eternity discovering God, yet we will never reach a full comprehension of His nature, His character, or His attributes.  Only the Holy Spirit can plunge into the depths of God's knowledge, for He searches all things, even the depths of God.  There is good news for those who long for a fuller knowledge of the deep things of God.  Through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God we can discover the depths of God!

"O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God? How unsearchable are his judgments, and his way past finding out! (Romans 11:33).  The word depth comes from the word 'bathos.'  It was the same word Jesus used when he commanded Peter to "launch out into the deep" (Luke 5:4).  When we launch the depths of our understanding of God, a few things will come to light.   We will discover the wisdom of God, the benefits of being a child of God, and the mind of Jesus Christ.  A deeper understanding comes with a great responsibility to God in a few areas.  There are three responsibilities to assume before we can discover the deep things of God.

Never accuse God of making a mistake.  God is the one and only know-it-all.  God never makes a decision without first having all the information.  He has all the facts, and He doesn't need to do His homework before intervening in our lives.  Ever questioned the providence of God in your life or thought God made a move that was out of line?  Whenever you face something that doesn't make sense or seems unfair, trust in His all-knowing character.  He has already told us in his word: "my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD"(Isaiah 55:8).  God never makes a mistake.  Never accuse Him of one.

Never make a decision without the help of God's navigation.  The Holy Spirit has promised to comfort us and to minister to us, but He has also promised to guide us.  He will bring all things to our remembrance, and we need Him to help us navigate through life.  God may allow a tragic event or a life and death situation into your life, and during these times we need clear direction from God.  He will navigate us to the proper response as well as toward the next step to take.  Our prayer ought to echo the heart-cry of the Psalmist: "Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face" (Psalm 5:8).  When we are experiencing the depths of God, we don't have to turn to the right or to the left to find God's leading because we are on the right path and heading the right direction already.  Is God navigating you directly ahead, making His way straight before your face?  Before you make a decision, make sure you are on God's path.

Never trade the deep wisdom of God for the shallow wisdom of the world.  People made foolish decisions, not because they are lacking intelligence, but because they are filled with the wisdom of the world, rather than the wisdom of God.  Worldly wisdom is destructive, and it will come to nothing.  It is temporary, and it is no substitute for the heavenly wisdom of God.  There is more going on in the world than what we can see, hear, and touch.  We cannot be ignorant of the wisdom of God and be successful in the spiritual war that is raging on every side.  Don't base your perspective on things you can see, rather than things you cannot see, or you will be trading the wisdom of God for the wisdom of the world.  We should pray for one another that God would give unto us "the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him" (Ephesians 1:17).

If we will seek after the deep wisdom of God, we will more easily recognize His navigation in our life.  As we learn to follow Him and obey every impulse, our senses will be exercised to discern God's workings in each situation we encounter.  This knowledge and experience of Him and His ways will help us never to accuse God of making a mistake.  All this and more is possible if we will make full use of the ministry of the Spirit of God in our lives.

- Dr. Paul Kingsbury