THE SWEETNESS OF THE WORD OF GOD

THE SWEETNESS OF THE WORD OF GOD

Meditates ~ hagah – to murmur or mumble “Meditation is to the soul what ‘digestion’ is to the body. It means understanding the Word, ‘chewing on it,’ and applying it to our lives, making it a part of the inner person.”

Have you ever heard the saying “Honesty is the best policy”? Probably been awhile since you have heard that, right? Take some time to research where that came from some time, some thing that we all need to work on. But you might be thinking, what does that have to do with today’s devotional. Well, that is a rabbit trail for another time perhaps, but for today’s lesson, we need to learn to be very honest with ourselves when it comes to taking care of us spiritually, and to do so, we are going to have to be honest with ourselves, REAL honest!

Like many of you reading, I do not do the best job of taking care of myself in the physical sense. I consume more sugar than I should, eat more bacon than I probably should, let’s not even talk about the coffee intake (oh yeah, be honest with ourselves, sorry), very little physical exercise, poor sleep, and the list goes on. Does that sound like someone you might know? Unfortunately, bad habits like these carry over into other areas of our lives as well, especially our spiritual ones, you know, the one that we are supposed to be spending time with God spiritual life. Strike a spiritual nerve, kind of like a cavity on a physical tooth? Yup, me too, and that is why we are going to talk about changing those spiritual habits today!

Let’s start by asking ourselves a simple honest question, again, truthful. By being truthful God will show us our sins and heal us as well as help be honest with others (okay, enough of that rabbit hole 😉

What was the main topic of the last sermon you heard? What were some of the sub-points of the main topic? Like many others, most of the time we do not remember or can recall, and if we do, it is not for a very long period of time. We might be more worried about where we are going to go eat after church, or rush home to catch up on the big game, or some other thing of the world that wants to distract us from God’s Word. This is why proper meditation is needed. You want me to do what? Bend into all sorts of crazy positions that will take a team of doctors to untie me from, no thanks! No silly, that is NOT Christian meditation, and sadly many Christian not only meditate in the wrong manner, but have brought the worldly type into the church!

Christian mediation is a verb, more specifically an action verb, and it means to contemplate, think deeply about, study, wrestle with, ponder. So why is this so important to our spiritual life? Well, if it is anything like our physical life, we are in deep trouble! You know when we eat a poor diet like lots of sugar or saturated fat, what do we feel like? Sluggish, sleepy, lethargic, lack of focus, etc. Yup, that is the same way we are going to feel when we take care of (or lack thereof) ourselves in the spiritual manner.

When we do not digest the Word of God, we might as well be eating dirt and gravel and try to get through sinful dark world! Look back in my life, I cannot tell you how many times I said things like “God why did you do this to me” or “why were you not there when I needed you” You know, blameshifted our problems on to God, just like our federal parents Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. In reality, it is all us (I know I know, honesty!), because we never give much thought, if any, to what we were spiritually fed.

Just as bad, we also have a problem on the other side of the same coin, and that may be we had a poor teacher. Oh sure, we have some preachers who have the latest tips on how to be a more hip, cooler Christian by getting fired up over the entertainment the service opened with, maybe a mention or two of God’s Word, and spoke with great passion and eloquence, but all it was was sugar. Like our physical selves, you are going to have a quick high, and then…. CRASH!

This is why it is important we have a solid diet of God’s Word, that we have some substance to chew on to get us through life, and those tough times, the trials we all go through, and God’s Word tells us about and how to get through them. When we have the solid Word of God in us, it stays there when we meditate on it, we we are praying it, when we are preserving in it. Sadly though, many churches do not give much meat of God’s Word, and worse, some barely give any milk, and what they give is not of much spiritual nutritional value and spoils quickly. But again, we can blameshift (which is a sin by the way) the situation to our church or someone else, or we can be accountable to God for the Word He Himself not only inspired to be written down, but allows this nation to be free to study and talk about Him, and we waste those opportunities too! Imagine how different this world would and could be if the over 200 million professing Christians in this nation were reading, meditating, praying over God’s Word!

Hopefully I have given you much to think (meditate) upon and that you will work on changing your spiritual diet! We ALL have room for improving upon and growing in maturity in the Word of God. He is not going to force us to do it, but we also need to take accountability for ourselves and what we eat, just like we do physically. The question is, will you?

#ToGodBeTheGlory

LOOK ALWAYS TO THE SCRIPTURES

LOOK ALWAYS TO THE SCRIPTURES

We must especially watch and pray against the sins to which we are inclined. The written word of God is the surest rule of a Christian’s life, and by this rule we are commanded to be holy every way. God makes those holy whom he saves.

Matthew Henry

Remember when we were kids and and the cartoons and movies we watched many times presented characters that were good and evil, and just about every time good was always victorious. Too bad in the spiritual realm it is not that way, not yet any way.

I had a difficult time trying to figure out what to call today’s devotional, so I say we “Look always to the scriptures”.

As Christians, we must be different from the way, WAY different. We are supposed to think differently, act differently, speak to others differently, etc. Why? Because if we truly are Christians, we are filled and endowed with the Spirit of God! We are commanded to put off the old man, crucify the flesh, and put on the new man. Why would God save us from our sins and then expect us to stay the same? Granted, He could easily have some way of completely transform us into glory right here and now on earth, but He wants us to grow slowly, learn to be dependent on Him, trust Him, and praise and glorify Him. That is why we always need to be in the scriptures, studying, praying, seeking, that we would be less like the world and more like Christ.

When you study God’s Word in diligence and seek Him much in prayer, you will start to see  a chasm if you will, where the good and evil start to divide, you start to understand about comparing your life and contrasting it to the Word of God. 

James the author of the book of the same name, who was the half-brother of Jesus says it in a metaphor about looking into a mirror (which is the Word of God) seeing our sin, and then goes away and immediately forget what he (gender neutral) immediately forgets what he saw. One the other hand is the Christian, who intently looks (meditates upon) the law (Word of God), and to not only hear, but do what it says. The Bible is full of compares and contrasts, especially in the book of Psalms and the book of Proverbs.

If we are reading or hearing only, and not applying and growing, one of a few things is wrong. 1) The church you attend is not teaching the Bible, rather they are teaching the opinions of man. 2) You are not preparing yourself to receive the message that God wants you to hear. 3) You are not applying what you heard. These are the 3 basic, yet major things we as Christians need to be fed every time we gather as His elected people.

So remember, always go to the Word for all of your daily life needs, for God cannot lie and will always steer you to absolute truth, which is what this world desperately needs!

#ToGodBeTheGlory

WHO DO YOU TRUST?

WHO DO YOU TRUST?

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.

Corrie Ten Boom

Suffering is not fun! I know suffering, because that is what I was doing before that nice lady rescued me from my demise. I was neglected, malnourished, unloved, no one cared. All I was good for was to be raised for money for drugs and eventually be sold into slavery of being a bait dog for dog fighting.

Christians were made for suffering! Rather we like to believe that or not is between you, God, and His Word. If Christians were not made to suffer, we would have the good life with no problems whatsoever. Snap our fingers and God would give us our hearts desires. Glory be to God that He does NOT operate that way as so many false converts make Him out to be.

This mornings readings were in the books of First and Second Peter, and boy you want to talk about some suffering! We are even told beforehand that they will come in and during our lives. Now these words the Apostle Peter was writing to the persecuted Jewish, but is for our benefit as well. For we are one people under one God.

1 Peter 1:6 – In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials.

More importantly, we are not to be worried or focused upon these trials and tribulations (some say easier said than done), this is why we need to daily be dependent upon God for ALL things! We need to be in is Word, we need to be in prayer, we need to be seeking always to do His Will and honor Him, and we cannot do this if we do not fully trust God.

Many people struggle with this concept because they are trusting in who they might refer to as a “someone” or a “something” because they d not see God, they do not audibly hear God, and they may not be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. When one comes to faith, these are the things, the signs they do trust God, because they are given peace and hope by the Holy Spirit, words that comfort us that we do not have to worry anymore. We learn to trust a Savior who suffered far greater than any of us ever will. If we cannot trust in God, then there is no hope for us some day.

We need to get out of ourselves, our mindsets, our thoughts and learn God’s will, and yes, we will suffer, some greater than others. But when we think of suffering, we always think of the worst right away, but when we realize it is for our benefit and God’s glory, it is worth it. Say for a (bad) example, we quit using media. The suffering would be withdraws at first, but the benefits would be more time with God and less stress of the things going on in the broken world.

I leave this with you today. I highly encourage us all to read all of the book of 1 Peter, and ask God to show us how to live for Him, honor Him, suffer for Him, glorify Him. Ask Him to purge the things, the cares, the concerns of this world from us and that we seek to do His will and walk in the ways of holiness we are called to do in 1 Peter.


#ToGodBeTheGlory

OBEDIENCE IS A MUST

OBEDIENCE IS A MUST

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"If you don't plan to live the Christian life totally committed to knowing your God and to walking in obedience to Him, then don't begin; for this is what Christianity is all about. It is a change of citizenship, a change of governments, a change of allegience. If you have no intention of letting Christ rule your life, then forget Christianity; it's not for you."
Kay Arthur - Christian Author

Romans 5:18-21 – Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So I see my new masters decided to write about me recently, but don’t tell them that I made my own profile… It will be our little secret 😉

Can I be honest with you, one unruly part of creation to another? I sometimes do not like obedience, do you? C’mon, let’s be real with ourselves! After all, God already knows our hearts and our desires, so nothing is truly being hidden from Him, so we should not try and hide it from Him, especially when He has our best interests at heart.

Ever since it all began in the Garden of Eden, when Satan tempted Eve, who in turn tempted her husband Adam, and both fell, disobedience against God, and act of great defiance by His only two children, who believed the lie of Satan that they would become like God – Genesis 3:4-5. Ever since then, man continues to not only be disobedient to God, but greatly increasing in that disobedience.

Like my obedience to my earthly masters, so should your obedience be to your heavenly Master. Obedience is a MUST! NOT and option! Why? Because God knows what is best for us, just like I trust my earthly masters know what is best for me. Many people love dogs, think we are cute, especially when we do little tricks and all, but they don’t like when we jump on visitors to the house, chase the mailman, be mean to the cat. What a bunch of no fun fuddy-duddies! In the same way, God does not like it when we do not act obediently. One of the greatest ways we can show obedience to God and all that He has done and continues to do for us, is spend time with Him daily in His Word and prayer.

James 2:17-18 says it this way – So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

The Bible clearly states that not only is it not possible for us to have faith apart from works, but if faith does not have works, it is a dead faith. Part of the good works is obedience in that God not only expects of His children, but by grace and power of the Holy Spirit to be obedient, and that obedience comes by knowing the love of God. Many have either not been taught the doctrine of obedience, or possibly an abusive form of obedience.

1 John 4:18-20 – There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Now think about this from the standpoint of me (Calvin) and my masters (my owners). Sure, when I do something wrong or act in disobedience, they can swat me with a paper (spank) or some other harsher form of punishment or abuse, but I would only be corrected in fear, and not love. In fact, doing so may make me more resentful and aggressive, not only to them, but to others as well, and that is not a good thing. But because they want me to be a good, kind, loving member of their family, they want to not only want all of us to be happy, but more importantly that God is happy.

I am still a very young puppy, full of energy, curiousity, and some mischievousness in me I am sure, and that is how many new Christians are as well, but sadly, there are many older Christians who have not grown Spiritually in Christ because they do not spend time in God’s Word. When we are disconnected from our creator, we many times go into us being the boss and ursuping His authority over our lives. That is why a true Christian submits to the Godhead (Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit) as Lord and Master. That is where our faith resides, in the Godhead, and without faith, we cannot and will not be able to walk in obedience in the flesh.

Well, I better get off the computer now… This is about the time one of my masters gets me outside. 

Don’t forget… If you are not spending time with God, you are not walking in obedience and need to repent. He loves when His children depend on Him in all things, in our faith depends on obedience in Christ, and our obedience to Him increases our faith.

#ToGodBeTheGlory