June 30, 2015

Women of the Word


This book is a great resource for those who would like to learn how to effectively read their Bibles.

The first thing that stuck out for me was the definition of 'disciple.'

Jen Wilkin writes here:

"Do you know that the word disciple means 'learner'? As a disciple of Christ, you and I are called to learn, and learning requires effort. It also requires good study methods."

Learner.

As disciples of Christ we should be continually learning from his Word. That's what helps us grow deeper and leave the childish things behind.

"When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things." 1 Cor. 13:11

"Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking,
 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,
 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious." 1 Peter 2:2

We must grow in the Word so that we may not fall for false teachings or be lead away by those who twist the Scriptures.

"Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;

and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,

as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen." 2Peter 3:14-18

AMEN!

What is the Bible about? We often wrongly think it's about us. When in actuality it's about God.

Jen says here:

"...the Bible is a book about God. The Bible is a book that boldly and clearly reveals who God is on every page. In Genesis, it does this by placing God as the subject of the creation narrative. In Exodus, it places Him in comparison to Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt. In the Psalms, David extols the Lord's power and majesty. The prophets proclaim His wrath and justice. The Gospels and Epistles unfold His character in the person and work of Christ. The book of Revelation displays His dominion over all things. From beginning to end, the Bible is a book about God."

This is something I've learned over the years of reading my Bible, and it has completely changed the way I read it.

Who is this God of the Bible? Let the Holy Spirit show you through the Word.

And who does God say He is? He says He is the great 'I AM'

We recently saw the new 'Avenger' movie and I normally enjoy super hero movies but this one was so disturbing in its message. One character called himself 'I AM' and it reminded me of how the spirit of this world really wants us to believe we are all, 'I AM' but the truth is, we are not. Only God is the great 'I AM'

...and the Bible is about Him.


Jen talks about Moses and when God used the burning bush to direct Moses to Himself, the great 'I AM'


She says here:

"For an entire chapter and a half of Exodus, Moses asks the wrong questions: Who am I? What should I do? Rather than answer him, 'Moses, you are my chosen servant. You are my precious creation, a gifted and wise leader,' God responds by completely removing Moses from the subject of the discussion and inserting Himself. He answers Moses's self-focused question of 'Who am I?' with the only answer that matters: 'I AM.'

We are like Moses. The Bible is our burning bush - a faithful declaration of the presence and holiness of God. We ask it to tell us about ourselves, and all the while it is telling us about 'I AM.' We think that if it would just tell us who we are and what we should do, then our insecurities, fears, and doubts, would vanish. But our insecurities, fears, and doubts can never be banished by the knowledge of who we are. They can only be banished by the knowledge of 'I AM.' 

We must read and study the Bible with our ears trained on hearing God's declaration of Himself."

She then asks, does the Bible have nothing to say about us? She wisely answers:

"The Bible does tell us who we are and what we should do, but it does so through the lens of who God is. The knowledge of God and the knowledge of self always go hand in hand. In fact, there can be no true knowledge of self apart from the knowledge of God."

This is something I think is so important when reading our Bibles. God always comes first. Always.

This has totally changed the way I was reading the Bible. And I can tell you that there is so much more joy in reading when you know it's about Him. Who am I that He would even bother to share any of it with me?

He, is the great 'I AM.' : )

Later she says this:

"If we want to feel a deeper love for God, we must learn to see Him more clearly for who He is. If we want to feel deeply about God, we must learn to think deeply about God."

I can attest to this. Since I started reading my Bible in this way a few years ago, I've grown to love Him more and also to trust Him more.

In chapter two she shares several unhelpful ways of studying the Bible. I admit I've tried some of these through the years and now just feel foolish for ever thinking they were a good way to read my Bible.

The one that stuck out to me was the 'open your Bible randomly and point to a passage and that's what God wants to speak to you today about' method. Oh how silly! I can't believe I did that for years!

Jen calls it the Pinball Approach.

She says of the problem with the Pinball Approach:

"The Bible was not written to be read this way. The Pinball Approach gives no thought to cultural, historical, or textual context, authorship, or original intent of the passage in question. It does nothing to help us gain understanding of the text beyond our immediate context. 

When we read this way, we treat the Bible with less respect than we would give to a simple textbook. Imagine trying to master algebra by randomly reading for ten minutes each day from whatever paragraph in the textbook your eyes happened to fall on. Like that metal pinball, you'd lose momentum fast (and be very bad at algebra). 

A well-rounded approach to Bible study takes into account how any given passage fits into the bigger picture of what the Bible has to say, honoring context, authorship, style, and more."

I believe the Pinball Approach is not only an unhelpful way to read the Bible but a serious danger, because it sets us up to misinterpret God's Word.

For example, this past week, the Supreme Court ruled gay marriage into law in the United States, and I've noticed many Christians misusing Mark 12:31-32 to walk both sides and stay neutral. This is dangerous in our walk with God and a misinterpretation of His Word. We need to either take a stand for God, or against God, walk with other gods or with the great 'I AM', as Joshua encouraged us:

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

I can remember the first time I read the Bible in context. I sat down and read the whole book of Romans in one sitting and it blow me away (and this was not that long ago). I understood things I'd never understood before. Of course I give the Holy Spirit the credit, but I believe God wants us to read His Word diligently in context, that's when we will reap the benefits and find greater understanding.


In the next five chapters she shares what she calls the Five P's of Sound Study...

Study with Purpose
Study with Perspective 
Study with Patience 
Study with Process
Study with Prayer

She says here:

"Each of the five P's supports the others: we pray for patience to study well. Perspective and process are intertwined and rely on keeping purpose in view. Bearing in mind that all five P's are equally necessary and interrelated, we will organize our discussion of them by moving in an order from general to specific.

Each of these vantage points will help us begin to grow in Bible literacy, training us in the exercise of mind-before-heart, God-before-self."


This book is definitely worth a read and will be very helpful to those who are struggling with reading their Bible. I highly recommend it, both to women and to men.


"Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,

and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,

and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."  2Peter 1:5-8



Buy it HERE on Amazon


June 24, 2015

Dawn's Prelude


It's been too long since I've read a Tracie Peterson novel! And also too long since I've written a fiction post!
 
Tracie is a prolific writer in the christian fiction market and I believe has written over 100 novels.  Since I've only read about 5 or 6 I think I need to get busy. : )

All kidding aside, Tracie is a well-loved author, and is able to tell a great story, as well as intertwine the gospel message in a subtle, but powerful way.

In this novel, a young woman named Lydia, comes out of a horrific situation of abuse from an older husband she was forced to marry at the hands of her father. He not only caused her great pain, but caused the loss of several pregnancies due to his beatings. He has now passed away, but the scars are still very much a part of her life and his older sinister children are still very much alive and not happy with what she has inherited.

Lydia asks, 'Why would a loving God let me go through this?' 'Why didn't He protect me?'

The one thing that brings Lydia peace though, is her violin.

But, with the help of an understanding and kind aunt, who she goes to live with in Sitka, Alaska, she begins to learn to trust again.

I loved the setting of this novel, which takes place in 1870 on Baranof Island, in the town of Sitka, Alaska. The history of this town was so interesting, as it was first settled by Russians in 1799.

1870's drawing of Sitka, Alaska

But has also been inhabited by the Tlingit, a indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America, for many centuries, which Tracie lovingly includes in her story.


Tlingit canoes in Alaska, 1887

I really enjoyed this book and its characters. Great story, and I love that it continues into the next book eighteen years later...


 This is the first in a three book series and I'm looking forward to reading the last two as well. : )



Buy it HERE on Amazon

June 16, 2015

Elisabeth Elliot on Trusting God

I started writing this post last week, not knowing God would be taking Elisabeth a few days later. Her words really spoke to me and I wanted to share them here. I hope you take the time to read them. They are powerful and encouraging. And made me think more deeply about who God is.


Many of you have probably heard of the story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot. Their journey into the Ecuadoran jungle and then the murder of Jim and four other men who went deeper into the jungle to share Jesus with the natives. You may have watched the movie 'The End of the Spear' which also shares their story.




It's a powerful story and not because of what happened or who these people were, but because it revealed a little more of who God really is.

The book in itself was a little drawn out for me and talked a lot about airplanes and trips in the airplanes and drops by the airplanes... : )

But I loved reading about how the couples met each other and how they ended up in Ecuador together. I also loved Jim and Elisabeth's attitudes and joy in what they were doing. They truly loved God and their enthusiasm is contagious.

What Elisabeth writes at the end of the book in her second epilogue - January 1996, was very profound. She talks about accepting God's ways above our own. About trusting God when we don't understand and leaving all to Him.

She says here:

"There is always the urge to oversimplify, to weigh in at once with interpretations that cannot possibly cover all the data or stand up to close inspection. We know, for example, that time and again in the history of the christian church, the blood of martyrs has been its seed. So we are tempted to assume a simple equation here. Five men died. This will mean x-number of Waorani Christians.

Perhaps so. Perhaps not. Cause and effect are in God's hands. Is it not the part of faith simply to let them rest there? 

God is God. 

I dethrone Him in my heart if I demand that He act in ways that satisfy my idea of justice. It is the same spirit that taunted, 'If Thou be the Son of God, come down from the Cross.' There is unbelief, there is even rebellion, in the attitude that says, 'God has no right to do this to five men unless...'

Those men had long since given themselves without reservation to do the will of God. So far as they knew, they were to be plain ordinary missionaries - Roj to the Atshuaras; Jim, Ed and Pete to the Quichuas, Nate to serve all the jungle stations with his airplane. But small things happen (Nate found some inhabited Waorani houses). Small decisions are made (he told Jim and Ed), which lead to bigger ones (they began to pray with new vigor for an entrance into the territory), and ultimately a man's individual choices become momentous. 

Plain, ordinary missionaries with wives and children whom they loved found themselves faced with a life and death decision. They were not looking for anything bigger to do, let alone for fame. The need of the Waoranis simply became the categorical imperative."

Later she writes:

"I believe with all my heart that God's Story has a happy ending...

...But not yet, not necessarily yet. It takes faith to hold on to that in the face of the great burden of experience, which seems to prove otherwise. What God means by happiness and goodness is a far higher thing than we can conceive."

Then she reflects on the massacre:

"The massacre was a hard fact, widely reported at the time, surprisingly well remembered by many even today. It was interpreted according to the measure of one's faith or faithfulness - full of meaning or empty. A triumph or a tragedy. An example of brave obedience or a case of fathomless foolishness. The beginning of a great work, a demonstration of the power of God, a sorrowful first act that would lead to a beautifully predictable third act in which all puzzles would be solved, God would vindicate Himself. Waoranis would be converted, and we could all 'feel good' about our faith. Bulletins about progress were hailed with joy and a certain amount of 'Ah! You see!' 

But the danger lies in seizing upon the immediate and hoped-for, as though God's justice is thereby verified, and glossing over as neatly as possible certain other consequences, some of them inevitable, others simply the result of a botched job. In short, in the Waorani story as in other stories, we are consoled as long as we do not examine too closely the unpalatable data. By this evasion we are willing still to call the work 'ours' to arrogate to ourselves whatever there is of success, and to deny all failure.

A healthier faith seeks a reference point outside all human experience, the Polestar which marks the course of all human events, not forgetting that impenetrable mystery of the interplay of God's will and man's (e.g. 'He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief'; 'Jesus was handed over to the power of men'; 'Thou hast set me free to range at will')."


Life is messy and faith is messy. We should never put our trust in either of them, but in God alone.

"My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him."
                                      Psalm 62:5

Elisabeth closed with this:

"It is not the level of our spirituality that we can depend on. It is God and nothing less than God, for the work is God's and the call is God's and everything is summoned by Him and to His purposes, the whole scene, the whole mess, the whole package - our bravery and our cowardice, our love and our selfishness, our strengths and our weaknesses. 

The God who could take a murderer like Moses and an adulterer like David and a traitor like Peter and make of them strong servants of His is a God who can also redeem savage Indians, using as the instruments of His peace a conglomeration of sinners who sometimes look like heroes and sometimes like villains, for 'we are no better than pots of earthenware to contain this treasure (The revelation of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ), and this proves that such transcendent power does not come from us, but is God's alone' (2 Corinthians 4:7, NEB).

We are not always sure where the horizon is. We should not know which end is up were it not for the shimmering pathway of light falling on the white sea. The One who laid earth's foundation and settled its dimensions knows where the lines are drawn. 

He gives all the light we need for trust and for obedience."


When things don't turn out the way we think they should we may question God or even hold some resentment against Him, but that doesn't change who God is or how great His love is for us.

As Elisabeth said, 'God is God.'

Do I think it is a coincidence that I would start writing this post at this time? No, I don't believe in coincidence. Everything has a purpose and maybe that was for you to read Elisabeth's words today.



"Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;


In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths."


                                   Proverbs 3:5-6


Buy it HERE on Amazon


June 11, 2015

What did Jesus mean by 'the world?'

"Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” 
                                                                                                                                           John 18:36



I thought this graphic was super cool, but it is not what Jesus meant when He talked about 'the world.'


I recently finished Andrew Murray's book 'The Secret of Spiritual Strength' and was surprised at how a little book of 90 pages, written over a hundred years ago could have such an impact. It helped me understand not only what Jesus meant by 'the world' but gave me a better understanding of the true meaning of the Cross.

Andrew Murray says here:

"The Cross, with its foolishness and weakness, its humiliation and shame, is the everlasting sign of the victory that Christ has won by mighty weapons that are spiritual, not carnal.

"But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 2 Cor. 10:4

It is also the symbol of the victory that the church and every servant of Christ can continually win as we enter more deeply into the character of our crucified Lord, and, in this way, yield more fully to Him."

This verse is key to seeing the natural man as a sinner and one who does not understand the things of God. The natural man (humans in their fallen state) is the world.

Andrew Murray explains here:

"The meaning of the word world, as Christ used it, is simple. He used the expression to describe mankind in its fallen state and its alienation from God. He regarded it as an organized system or kingdom, the very opposite and mortal enemy of His kingdom. A mighty, unseen power, the 'god of this world' rules it.

"...whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them." 2 Cor. 4:4

 and a spirit, the ' spirit of the world', pervades it and gives it strength."

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God." 1 Cor. 2:12

Our sinful nature is against God. We are the world and we were blinded by the god of this age. All of us.

That's why Jesus came, to set us free from 'the world.' To show us what He freely offers and wants to give us. It is His desire for us to be free from our fallen state and free from the 'spirit of the world.'

"Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

They answered Him, 'We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free?'

Jesus answered them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.

And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." John 8:31-36

Do you hear what Jesus is saying? We are all slaves to sin until He makes us free. Then we are free indeed!

 
Later Andrew Murray talks about Paul and how he felt about the Cross:

"In Galatians 6:14, we see how clearly Paul recognized the enmity between the Cross and the world, and how boldly he proclaimed it:

"God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Gal. 6:14

He identified himself so strongly with the Cross that its relationship to the world was also his. 

The Cross separated Paul from the world.

The Cross is the sign that the world has condemned Christ. 

Paul accepted this; the world was crucified to him, and he was crucified to the world. The Cross is God's condemnation of the world. Paul understood that the world is condemned and under the Curse. The Cross forever separated Paul from the world in its evil nature. 

The Cross alone could be their meeting place and reconciliation. It was for this reason that he gloried in the Cross and preached that it was the only power that could draw men out of the world to God."

The world was already condemned under the Curse, but in God's mighty love, He sent His Son to set us free from it. John 3:16-19 explains this:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

The Cross tells us we must humble ourselves before Christ, who willingly died  for us.

If the world is in us we will always fight against our need for God. We will always think highly of ourselves, even view ourselves as gods. And until we surrender to Christ, the world will always be in us.

The Cross is the only way for us to be able to separate ourselves from the world. No spiritual practice will do it, no good deed will do it, and no mantra will do it, only the Cross can crucify us to the world.

Andrew Murray says here:

"It is the Cross, with its victory over sin and the curse and death, with its love and life and triumph, that alone is the power of God."


He goes on to talk about the 'spirit of the world' penetrating the church:

"If anything of the spirit of this world is found in individual believers - or the church - then, to the same extent, they will be incapable of seeing things in the light of God. They will judge spiritual truth with a heart that is prejudiced by the spirit of the world that is in them.

No person, no matter how honest his intentions are, no matter how earnest his thoughts are, no matter how much intellectual power he has, can understand and receive God's truth any farther than the Spirit of Christ and the Cross has expelled - or is truly sought after to expel - the spirit of the world in him. The Holy Spirit, when He is carefully waited on and yielded to, is the only Light that can open the eyes of the heart to see and to know what is of the world and what is of God."

What is happening in our world today is beginning to make sense to me. The world (unrepentant sinners, which we all once were) causes havoc in their fight against God's kingdom. The kingdom Jesus talked about in John 18:36. It starts in the sinful heart of each man and woman, the spirit of the world in every fallen person. We have all rebelled against a Holy God.

We all need the Savior. The Savior of love. The Savior who went to the Cross.

I found this next quote from Andrew Murray sad, but true. Even today, after 100 years, some Christians are still teaching falsehoods about the Cross.

"Some Christians speak as if the Cross of Christ has taken away the Curse and the power of sin in the world in such a way that the believer is now free to enter into the enjoyment of the world without danger. They believe that the church now has the calling and power of appropriating the world - of taking possession of it for God.

This is certainly not what Scripture teaches. 

The Cross removes the Curse from the believer, not from the world. Whatever has sin in it, has the curse on it as much as ever. What the believer is to possess of the world and its goods must first be 'sanctified by the word of God and prayer' (1 Tim. 4:5)...

...nothing except the spirit and power of the Cross animating us, separating and freeing us from the spirit of the world - can keep us so that we are in the world but not of it. It cost Christ His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He sweat blood; His awful struggle with death; and the sacrifice of His life, to conquer the world by the Cross. 

Nothing less than a full and wholehearted entrance into fellowship with Him in his crucifixion can save us from the spirit of the world."

Powerful words.

As I was convicted by much of this book, my heart also welled up with thankfulness.

Who I am that God would care to know my name? That He would chose to light my way? That He would reveal His truth to me?
 
It's not who I am or what I've done, but who He is and what He has done...

What He did on that Cross two thousand years ago.






Buy it HERE  on Amazon


June 2, 2015

Worship the Bible?

I've read and heard online, Christians accusing each other of worshiping the Bible. It's not always pretty, and so I thought I'd share my two bits here.

Is there a danger of worshiping the Bible? Yes, but not if we abide in Christ. Let me explain...



Jesus accused the unbelieving Jewish religious leaders of thinking they had eternal life in doing the work of searching the Scriptures.

"And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.

But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.

You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.

But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life." John 5:37-40

They were reading the words of the Scriptures, but lacking the power of the Holy Spirit who brings light to them.

The One the Scriptures were talking about, was standing right in front of them and they did not see Him.

What Jesus was saying to them was that they did not have the word of God abiding in them and therefore they did not have eternal life.

But I see, even in his rebuke, He was offering them eternal life!! Telling them, they just needed to be willing. That's because He is gracious, loving and kind. : )

Jesus is that Word. And we must abide in Him, and He in us.

"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me." John 15:4

If Jesus abides in you then you are not worshiping the Bible, but Him, as you read, study, learn and grow in His Word.

"Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed." John 8:31


A.W. Tozer discusses this topic in his book 'The Dangers of Shallow Faith: Awaking from Spiritual Lethargy.'

He says here:

"...have you noticed that there are whole generations of so-called Christians who are drilled in the catechism, who know the doctrine, who can recite the gospel as well as the law and still never manage to break through to the new birth? They never come through to that shining wonder of inward renewal.

The reason is, they are taught that the power lies in the words (of the Bible), and if you get the words right, you are all right. Whereas, Paul says, the kingdom of God does not lie in the words at all. 

The kingdom of God lies in the power that indwells those words. 

You cannot have the power without the words, but you can have the words without the power, and many people do.

The gospel is the power of the Spirit operating through the Word."

"For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake." 1 Thessalonians 1:5

Tozer continues here:

"The Holy Spirit is an absolute necessity in the Church. I am grieved in the Holy Spirit because there is a power in the Spirit to expose sin and revolutionize and covert and create holy men and women, and nothing else can do it. Words will not do it. Instructions will not do it. Line upon line, precept upon precept will not do it; it takes the power of God to do it."

When the power of the Holy Spirit illuminates the Word of God something beautiful and powerful happens. Here is an example...


I recently finished reading a book called 'Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus' by Nabeel Qureshi, and what God has done in his life shows that the power does not lie in the words but in "the power of the Spirit operating through the Word."
 
After many years of struggling with who God really is, coming from a Muslim background he opened up his Bible and read in the book of Matthew:

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

(This was not the first time he had read the Bible. He had read much of it as a Muslim.)

He then says:

"The words were like a current sent through my dead heart, electrifying it once more. This was what I was looking for. It was as if God had written these words in the Bible two thousand years prior specifically with me in mind.

It was almost too incredible to believe. To a man who had seen the world only through Muslim eyes, the message was overwhelming. I am blessed for mourning? Why? How? I am imperfect. I do not perform to His standard. Why would He bless me? And for mourning, no less. Why?'

I continued reading fervently. 'Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness?' Not 'blessed are the righteous?' but 'blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness?' I hunger and thirst for righteousness, I do, but I can never attain it. God will bless me anyway? Who is this God who loves me so much, even in my failures?'

Tears flowed from my eyes once more, but now they were tears of joy. I knew that what I held in my hands was life itself. This was truly God's word, and it was as if I was meeting Him for the first time...

...I could not put the Bible down. I literally could not. It felt as if my heart would stop beating, perhaps implode, if I put it down. I ended up skipping the whole day of school, but I really had no choice in the matter. The Bible was my lifeline."

God's Word is life when His Holy Spirit brings it to light for us. Then we see that...

His Word is divinely in-breathed, infallible, inerrant and authoritative.

It is a love letter from Him to you. It's about Him inviting you into His story. Sharing who He is and how much He loves you.

Joni Eareckson Tada says here:

"Our testimonies won't really reach - or even change - the life of the reader. Only the Word of God can do that."

I really believe this. God uses us to lead the way, but it's the Holy Spirit, through God's Word, that reaches people.

"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

You can read more stories of how Scripture, empowered by the Holy Spirit, has changed lives in my post...                                             
                                                                     'The Power of Scripture'


And HERE is one more great story from Charles Spurgeon.

*Note - Joni Eareckson Tada's quote was found in the forward of the book "The Hardest Peace" by Kara Tippetts.


Buy The Dangers of Shallow Faith HERE on Amazon

Buy Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus HERE on Amazon



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