Take the Word of God and turn with me to Philippians 4:10-13
Years ago I heard a message on sin, hell, and salvation. That Easter Sunday I realized I was a sinner bound for hell, unless I repented and started a personal relationship with God’s only begotten son Jesus Christ. When I did, I received forgiveness for my past, present, and future sins, but most importantly I would enter heaven when I died. My life has never been the same. God led me and my family to Rough River Baptist Church where we joined and started learning about the Lord. After awhile my Pastor was preaching a message on being doers not just hearers of the word and what it really meant to have a fulfilled Christian life serving the Lord. Well, something clicked that Sunday and I went to the altar and told the Lord that I was his to do with as he saw fit and would serve Him faithfully. From that moment on I made a commitment to be faithful to our church and to the Lord. My life changed from I have to go to church, giving and reading my bible, to I want to go to church, give as the Lord has given to me and having a desire to read and study my bible. 2 Timothy 2:15 says “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” God also says in Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” God’s word will help you grow, build your faith and give you strength as you study. I also had a desire to give as God commanded in his word. It was a little scary in the beginning because my faith was weak, but when I committed to tithing our 10%, by faith I knew God would provide and boy has He ever. I would never go back to using 100% of my money when we live so much better on 90%. I can’t explain it but God says He will bless you and by faith I believe it.
My church means so much to me to me and my family. As I have grown in the Lord, I have a desire to be in church. There is nothing better than getting together with all of my brothers and sisters in Christ fellowshipping, singing hymns to the Lord, and hearing our Pastor preach the word of God. As a result of this, I have seen both of my children saved at this church. What a blessing that was from God.
All of this is the very least that I could do after all, Jesus Christ gave everything for me. I thank the Lord every day for what he did on that cross. Amen!
The Lord is not done with me yet, as He continues to humble me so that I may serve Him better. He continues to surprise and bless me each and every day. I am thankful that he has given me an opportunity to serve Him as a Deacon of His church. I pray as He leads me in this next step in my Christian walk, I will be receptive to His will in my life and the needs of my Pastor and church family.
Finally, I would like to say that I, as a man, am weak and could not ever do any of these things on my own, so I like to read my life verse in Philippians to remind me of where my strength comes from. Philippians 4:13 has been my life verse for many years. (Read the verse). You see with Christ I am ready for anything. He fills us with the Holy Spirit so we can overcome the things of this world and also to do the things that God has commanded us to do, such as sharing the Gospel with everyone that we meet.
Brother Larry asked me to pick a favorite hymn (now that is pretty hard most times as I have a lot of favorites), but as I was thinking about what to say today, one of my favorites came to mind. It is “Little Is Much When God Is In It”. The song reminds me that the little bit we usually put into the things we do is so much more when we put God into it. It is such an honor to serve the Lord, and I know through my faith that He will give me the tools that I need to be a good servant for Him and His ministry here at this church. I am truly blessed to have such a great family, as well as a great church family.
This is my first attempt at writing a Wednesday night devotional, I was told it was pretty good. Let me know what you think.
The Bible Should Be Read and Studied
As time permits I would like to share 3 things about the bible that God has laid on my heart. 1st that we should study the bible, 2nd that the bible is the infallible word of God, and 3rd that God gives a stern warning to those that mess with his word.
Now take your bible and turn with me to 2 Timothy 2:15;
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
God commands the believer to study the scripture.
AStudy to shew thyself approved unto God@ is a command. You can find this command throughout the bible, but I have selected the 119th psalm to show another verse that commands you to study the bible.Turn with me to Psalm 119 1-11 1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. 2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. 3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. 4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. 5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! 6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. 7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. 8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly. 9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. 10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. 11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
This is just a glimpse of the various ways this psalm talks of keeping this command, so now that we have established this to be a command, lets talk about the bible. As you study the bible you will discover that it does not just contain the Word of God, but it is the Word of God.
Look with me at Psalm 68:11 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.
And then at Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
So keep that in mind as you study.
The bible contains the words of God, as well as the words of Satan, Demons, Angels, and Man.
Turn with me to Matthew 4:1-11
1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
Here we have Satan speaking with Jesus trying to tempt him. Next we will see a demon speaking to Jesus in the Gospel of Luke chapter 8:28-31 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. 29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) 30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. 31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
Angels have been visiting man throughout the bible I have listed one of many accounts in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 1:20-21 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Throughout the bible you read words of good and bad men. God is truth and cannot lie, we are told in the Gospel of John chapter 8 verses 44 that Satan is a liar and the father of it. Man is natural and is therefore limited and does not always speak the truth. Turn with me to Matthew chapter 22:15-46 15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. 16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. 17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? 19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. 22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
23 The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, 24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: 26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. 27 And last of all the woman died also. 28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. 31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of JacOB? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. 33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine. 34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. 35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. 41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. 43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? 46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
In this portion of the scripture we have the words of Jesus, of the Pharisees, the Herodians, and the Sadducees. The Pharisees, Herodians, and Sadducees were trying to entangle Jesus in his teachings, that they might accuse him of breaking God=s law. Their words were spoken with evil intent, revealing the thinking of the natural man, along with the words of God that came from the lips of Jesus. As you study the bible ask yourself who is speaking, who is he speaking to ( Isreal, gentiles, church, men in general, or the individual), and then how can I apply this to my life to make me a better Christian.
Now I have shown you that it is a command to study the bible and one way to study it, but is the bible the word of God?
Turn with me to 2 Tim 3:16 it says 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
AAll scripture is given by inspiration of God@. By inspiration we mean that the Holy Spirit exerted his supernatural influence upon the writers of the bible. Therefore the scriptures are God inspired word for word. The writers did not write by natural inspiration, or act of the human will. 2 Peter 1:21 says
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
David said this in 2 Sam 23:2 The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.
So we see that the author of the bible is the Holy Spirit, man was the instrument, and the results are the infallible word of god. Therefore the bible is free from error and absolutely trustworthy Psalms 119:89 says Forever, O Lord thy word us settled in Heaven.
Matthew 25:35 says Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Now we see that we should study the bible and that it is the word of God, but we should also remember that God has also given a strong warning concerning his words. Satan has been busy through the centuries trying to keep the word of God from Christians. In today=s time we have to be on guard from all the different translations, many of which are taking things out of the bible such as the blood, the deity of Christ, the virgin birth and the list goes on and on. In the revised standard version
Isaiah 7:14 says therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
The King James Version says this
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
You see they have taken virgin out and put in a young woman, this is a very different thing, because if not for the virgin birth Jesus would have been tainted by the sinful bloodline of man. I could list a lot more from other new age versions, but I will not at this time. Now lets see what God says about these new age bibles.
Turn with me to Revelations 22:18-19
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
That=s strong words from a Holy God!
Brothers and Sisters
The Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are Holy its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable.
Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to sustain you, and comfort to cheer your weary heart.
It is the traveler=s road map, the pilgrims staff, the soldiers sword, and the Christians charter.
Christ is its subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its ultimate end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.
We should read it daily.
In closing remember to study to shew thyself approved. the bible says in 2 Tim 3:16-17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.