How do you view the Word of God? As the commands and revelation of the Creator of heaven and earth or is it merely “interesting” to you … one more opinion in a list of options for making decisions and solving life’s problems? Or is it the standard by which you weigh everything?
Before you answer … you might ask yourself if, when talking about some Biblical command or principle, you’ve ever said:
- I tried that, it just didn’t work.
- Well, I just believe …
- I know what the Bible says, but …
- This is almost 2017.
- We live in a different world.
As my husband says, “Amen” or “Oh! Me!”
Hosea 9 & 10
3 John 1-14
The Word of God … Cafeteria Style
Rejecting the Revelation of God
Even though Scripture tells us that everyone has enough revelation of God through His creation to recognize there is a Creator and to cry out to know Him (Rom. 1.18-23), many people live in ignorance of the written Word of God.
Sadder still, is to be given the amount of special revelation Israel was given as a nation, and to ignore or reject it.
“I have written for him the great things of My law, but they were considered a strange thing” (8.12).
God so desired to reach the heart of His people that He gave them prophets to proclaim the truth to them, but instead of heeding God’s warning, they ridiculed them, calling them fools … insane (9.7).
Little has changed, even though, we live in a day when the Word of God has free reign. He has revealed Himself to us through His Word and the prophets who wrote it. And He has blessed us with pastors and teachers and others who can help us understand His written Word.
There is such an abundance of good spiritual resources available and, yet, so few take advantage of them. Most people are content to come to church on Sundays thinking they have their ticket punched for heaven and to live life their own way the rest of the time.
The Word of God is “interesting” to them and they like hearing a nice message, but they don’t acknowledge it as God’s written revelation and command to them. It’s optional, depending on whether or not they “agree with it”! They take the Word of God as a suggestion, not the Word of a Holy Sovereign God.
We don’t get to decide whether or not we “agree” with God. Do we really understand what it means in Romans 10 when it says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10.9)? It is the person who confesses that Jesus is “Lord” who is truly saved! Lord, means “Master”—the One who has the right to tell us how to live—what is right and what is wrong! His Word is to be the sole authority in our lives!
God’s Word is true, if it’s not “working” for us, we better go back and look at our own hearts. It’s not a philosophy or a system of beliefs. It’s not a cafeteria where we get to choose the entrees we find tasty! It is the Word of God! We are His subjects and He is our King!
Yet, we are not to obey out of fear or in our own strength. We shouldn’t have to do it with a grit-my-teeth attitude, but in “grace obedience”—calling on God’s strength and empowering, asking Him to give us the desire and the power to do what is pleasing to Him (Philippians 2:13 NLT).
The amazing thing is that He knew we would struggle and fall short, yet He loved us so much, that He sent His Son to die for us. He sent His Holy Spirit to live in and empower us and He gives us the grace to live in faithful obedience if we will but ask and rely on Him. He wants to save us, to forgive us, to bless us, and to work in us, but He is still God and we are not!
If you have rejected God’s truth in some area of your life … repent … turn from going your own way, turn back to God. Don’t reject God’s counsel, His truth. Get sold out to living life His way! You will never regret it!
Today’s Other Readings:
Made in Secret
What a beautiful passage about the sanctity of life from conception! Verses 15-16:
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
Servants or Sons
“He who pampers his servant from childhood will have him as a son in the end.”
Matthew Henry in his commentary talks about the relationship between the body and the soul as one application of this verse. Our bodies are meant to be “servants” to our souls, but if we pamper them, we’ll find that they demand to be sons instead of servants.
No Greater Joy
2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
As the Christmas season heats up and we all get busier and busier, where do you find your joy?
Is it in the gifts? Or the perfect celebration?
Is it in managing to get it all done: the shopping, the baking, the decorating?
Or is it in Christ and the opportunity to bring Him glory in this season of His birth?
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you … (1 Pet. 3.15).
Getting ready for 2017
The holidays are just around the corner and the new year will be on us before we know it. What will you do to make Bible reading an ongoing habit in the coming year? I’d like to encourage you to set a goal to read through the Bible.
And I hope you’ll sign up for my daily email. It can serve as a gentle reminder to stay on track. I try to make comments that are relevant to the daily struggles and questions that I hear in my counseling and discipleship ministries.
Start today so you can begin the habit and it will be a regular part of your day come January.
You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Google+. Just click on the social media icons. But nothing replaces having the daily devotion pop up in your inbox each day. It, usually (once in a while life gets in the way), goes out at 3 a.m. MST, so it’s there for early risers no matter what time zone you’re in.
So will you join me and, possibly, encourage someone else to do the same. (Why not email or call them right now?) Let’s get ready and grow in our relationship with Him together.
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