Words and learning


TaketheGospeltoAllIn the Bible, there are many words. None quite as omnipotent as believe although faith comes in really close. Depending upon which term that you look for or even which translation you are using, they will show up more in one or less in another. My point is this: the words that we should be using and allowing to help us to grow our relationship with Jesus are not important.

The real clincher is your attitude in your relationship with Him! Do you take it seriously? Do you take the Bible seriously and as the Truth? Finally and most important, do you believe that the Bible is the Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit to be written by men? If your belief in God’s Word and it’s inspiration by the Holy Spirit is strong and you have your faith in Jesus as the Son of God and your Savior then go out and tell the rest of the world!!

The time that we live in is filled with those who deny that Jesus is the Son of God and those who deny that the Bible is truly the Word of God. Yet, nearly seventy percent of Americans claim to be Christian in their faith. If that were true, why do so many churches have so few people in them on Sunday morning?

There are many studies about the decline of churches and church attendance in America and around the world. One startling outcome is that America is actually behind India and China in attendance! What happened? At the beginning of the 20th century there were 27 churches for every 10,000 people in America, now we are down to 11 per 10,000. And those eleven aren’t full on Sunday morning, so what has happened?

While it is true that the book of Revelation speaks of a falling away in the faith by the faithful, I don’t believe that this is happening at this time. It seems that we need fresh ideas in the church to draw more people to church, but most importantly we need to get back to the Bible and study in it’s wisdom. Teaching our congregations more thoroughly about Jesus and His Father. We don’t need social media nights or fireworks or “eating meetings” to bring people in because the Bread that they need to be digesting is the Word of God! The Bread of Life itself!!

Bible school and teaching teens about Jesus is wonderful and it should be done during the summer. But, we should also have a night or two during the week to teach parents and grandparents about Jesus, not just during one twenty-five minute sermon on Sunday morning. After all, they are raising or helping to raise the next generation coming into the church, so they need to learn just as much or more than the young people do.

Is it possible to teach parents and grandparents about Jesus and God and the wisdom found in the Bible? Of course it is, if they will attend and come to learn. The churches are becoming sparse and many people in the next generation won’t be coming or even be a member of a church if we don’t teach them more about Jesus and why He came to save us! He didn’t do it because it was going to be fun, He came because He loves each and every person on Earth so deeply that He was willing to give His life for each of them!IamtheWay

The human equation


If you have ever read the beginning of Genesis in the Bible where it says “Let us make man in our image”, then you have likely wondered about what God was thinking at the time. I have. There are many who have likely had this reaction and thought “why would God, the Creator of everything, make mankind in His Image? Why not do as the “evolutionists” say and use an ape, a gorilla or chimpanzee, as the model for His crowning creation?

I believe it is because God wanted us to be totally unique in the world. Even though He gave the apes and some cetaceans a marvelous way of communicating, as well as interacting with each other, we are unique in all of Creation because we are made in His image. Still, I ask myself and sometimes I ask Him as well…why? Maybe that is the reason. Because we question things to search out the answers, to find out how something works, to find the reason behind a disease or some problem which needs to be fixed. Although, sometimes our questions are aimed at God Himself and we question Him and His motives, particularly in regard to the rules which He set down in the Bible.

We have an independent streak, a stubborn streak, even before we are old enough to know what those words mean. We rebel against our parent’s authority and our teacher’s authority and we also rebel against God too. We may not do it when we are very young, but as we get older it tends to show up more and more. Submitting to God’s rule in our life is not something which we do automatically, it is something which is brought on by the Holy Spirit touching our life and our heart. Telling us that we need God in our life by showing us or our spirit that we have been without Him for long enough.

We are unique in that we are like God in that we have a body, a mind and a soul. We are triune beings just as He is. It seems that this part of us and God is something which people have a hard time with, especially regarding Him. The early part of the Bible or Torah, Genesis, was dictated to Moses by God while he was on the mountain with God. No, the Bible doesn’t say so but how else could Moses write the history of Creation since he wasn’t there when Adam and other early patriarchs were around?

Do I believe that God’s Word is Truth and accurate in all of its words and meanings? Yes, I do. I don’t try to read into the book of Genesis that it was a book which was made up by someone in the ancient world. The creation story and the history of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were written by Moses and he was given that information from God because it was at least one thousand years or more prior to Moses’ birth when all of this happened. Some of it may have come down by word of mouth, but I believe that it was given to him by God. It just makes sense that it was written and given to him this way because God was there and Moses was not.

The salvation story and all of the prophecies concerning the birth of the Messiah begins in Genesis and continues on up until the birth of Jesus. The gospels of the New Testament carry on the story of Jesus and His atonement for us on the cross and then the continuation of the prophecies carry on up through Revelation. God lives outside of time and space, so He can see all of time from beginning to end in our history and the history of the cosmos itself.

God loves each of us, but the lives that we live without Him and our choices to do as we please instead of pleasing Him, He doesn’t like that at all. Seek Him in all that you do, pray to Him and ask Him to show you what He wants in your life. The prayer of a sinner who is genuine in asking for God’s forgiveness will not be turned away. A prayer in jest or without a sincere heart behind it could bring worse punishment into your life. Be careful how you approach the Creator, He doesn’t sling lightning at you but other consequences can happen which would not happen otherwise, so be warned.

The name “Lord” appears how many times?


The word or name “Lord” appears far more in the Bible than many would believe. According to some counts, it is in the Old Testament (KJV) 7234 times. There are other interesting number counts on this page and it depends upon which translation that you use regarding how many times a specific word is mentioned, but it is an interesting page.

Why did I bring this up today? Because, many people seem to wonder about some words in the Bible and how many of them there are. Why does that make a difference? It may not, really, but for some people it may make a bit of a difference. God’s Word does say many things and it is good to know what and why it is said. The only reason that you would need to know this is because you won’t be fooled into believing something which is not in there if you have read it enough to know what is found in it and what is not!

God inspired the writers to write His Word down not because He couldn’t remember, but because we can’t always remember the exact words which He said to us about certain things and why. Which is another reason why each of us needs to read it and study it. Taking a verse or two out of context renders them useless because some of Psalms and Proverbs has no meaning unless you read the whole chapter and verse. Taking any verse on its own renders it unable to be understood in its entirety because the paragraph before and after may lead you to a different understanding of it than just the verse itself.

The shortest verse in the Bible which was written about a sad day in Jesus’ ministry, even though He had told His disciples about what was happening, is: “Jesus wept.” Unless you read the before and after verses, that small verse doesn’t mean much except that it shows how Jesus felt emotions just as deeply as the rest of us. He wept because his friend had died, not because He couldn’t save Him from death but because He had to bring him back from Paradise to live again. It was necessary to do so for the people to see that He had the power to do it even after four days. Not for bragging rights, but to show Who He was and Who He is!

Give your heart to Him, seek Him in the Word and learn more about Him and in that way, one chapter or two every day, you will get to know our Creator and Lord better than you ever have before.

Small things, big changes


What can you do in increments that will make a big change in your life? Cut down on calorie heavy drinks like energy drinks and latte’s, walk up a flight or two of stairs instead of taking the elevator, park on the far side of the lot so you have to walk a bit more to get to your car, all of these are good ways for getting in better shape physically and would be applauded by your doctor in America today.

So, what could you do to help yourself spiritually? Just small things, nothing huge. Like…read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation at least once this year. Most people would say, “Hold on! That is NOT a small task!” I said read the Bible in a year, not in a month. Begin by reading two or three chapters every day, starting at the first chapter of Genesis, by the end of a month you will be in the book of Exodus reading about Moses getting the Israelites out of Egypt.

See, it doesn’t take a lot of reading or time. Two or three chapters every day only takes maybe fifteen minutes or so, but you are learning about our Creator and why He does the things that HE does. Pray about what you read, either before or after reading so the Spirit can teach you about what you have read. Why do I know this works? Because, when I became a pastor in 2011, I began reading God’s Word every day, just a few chapters a day. I have read through it at least six times now, and I find something new, something different, each time.

The first time I was rushing it, I wanted to get through the Bible FAST! I read the whole Bible in three months, but that was HARD! Some days I had to read ten or more chapters and it’s hard to find the time to read that much in a morning or evening while you are working too. So, unless you are just reading and not really intent on understanding (which you won’t by going that fast), I don’t recommend that reading plan.

My point here is this: God gave us His Word, the Bible, to read and to learn about Himself and about the Messiah, Jesus. The only real way that you can learn about the voice of God and His intentions for your life and your purpose is to get to know Him better, so what better way to do that than by reading His Words? God loves us and His Love is expressed in His Word and by getting to know His Voice through reading the Bible, you will be able to tell the difference between His small voice and your small voice when you are trying to listen to Him!

We speak to ourselves in our mind or maybe Satan does, trying to throw us off the track of following God’s lead. Many times, people talk themselves out of following Him by listening to the wrong voice, their’s or Satan’s. Reading God’s Word gives you an inside track on knowing what He would say and what He would NOT say. We are in the beginning of the last days, not the Tribulation yet but leading up to it, so make sure that you know Who it is that is speaking to you and what is being said.