“Secrets Known to No One”

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29 “The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions. — Deut 29:29 NLT

Mark Twain once said “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”.  How true!  We are accountable for everything we understand about the Bible and we are accountable to learn and understand everything we can about the Bible.  We are also accountable to teach those truths to our children.  God has given us the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth.  As Paul directed Timothy, we are to study and work hard so we can present ourselves to God for His approval.

15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. — 2 Tim. 2:15 NLT

Ephesians 1:9 tells us that God has revealed to us “His mysterious plan regarding Christ” and in 2 Timothy 3, He tells us what that mystery is:

16 Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith:  Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced to the nations. He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory. – 2 Timothy 3:16

There are still mysteries to be revealed at a later date, but there is enough revelation available to us now to keep us busy learning, understanding and telling it to the world.  That is what we will be held accountable for and that is our mission. If we do this, God will get the glory and that is our purpose in the world — to give God the glory.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Only Then Will You Prosper”

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8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  — Joshua 1: 8-9 NLT

In verse one of this chapter, we read  “the Lord spoke to Joshua”.  So the instructions for Joshua to study the Books of the Old Testament that Moses had written came straight from the mouth of the Lord.  The Lord says that “only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do”.  God gives us the same instructions about studying the whole Bible.

15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.. — 2 Timothy 2:15 NLT

The King James version says “study to show yourself approved unto God”.  How much time do we spend meditating on God’s Word?  How often do we go out into the world unprepared because of a lack of studying the Book of Instruction that God has given to us? Is it any wonder that we are so often defeated when we haven’t given God time to speak to us before we enter the fray?  How often do we go naked into the battle instead of being dressed in the whole armor of God?  Is it any wonder that we walk so timidly when God has commanded us to be “strong and courageous”?  Our courage and our successes come after we have read and meditated on His Word, not before or in the absence of allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us and to explain God’s word to us.  God has not changed, so, yes, He still speaks to us today.  He speaks to us through His Word, through His people and yes, He speaks to us directly if we will be still and listen.  Jesus said  “my sheep know my voice” (John 10:25-30).  To know someone’s voice, it would be necessary, at some point, to have actually heard that voice speak.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Whose Approval Are We Seeking?

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18 When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them. – 2 Cor. 10:18 NLT
We live in a world of almost total deception.  We are taught that other people’s opinions of us are based on externals.  To win friends and influence people, all men must have six-packs and all women must look like professional models.  We must dress in the latest styles and wear the brand names or we will become outcasts in our society.  Our self-worth has become based on popularity and what others think about us.  If that is how we come to determine our self-worth, we are headed for a lifetime of misery and big disappointments. We need to be sure that we understand that the one Person we need to approve of us is Jesus.  Jesus, the one who thought we were worthy of His death, is the one we need to impress. And we can only do that, if the internals are right.  Our hearts and our mindsets must align with the Scriptures and not the latest fads.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. ​
 — Psalm 51:10-12 NIV
We can stress ourselves out everyday chasing the latest and greatest things that the world throws at us to be popular and we will end up worried, tired and unhappy. Or we can choose to live lifestyles that commend us to Jesus, put our feet on the Rock, rest in His arms and live a life filled with joy and peace.
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 06-21-2018

Childish or Childlike?

even-smaller-bug-light12 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said:“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. — Matt. 18:2-5 NLT

As adults, we can become like children in two different ways.  We can make decisions based on our wants and feelings with no knowledge or concern of what the consequences might be.  This happens when we want to  exercise control or when we make decisions that are based on what we wantt and not what is good for ourselves and others.  An example is not sharing with others as we should and beoming angry when we are asked to do so.  Another example is being disobedient. This is being “childish”.  The other way we can become like chiildren is to live our lives with the innocence of childhood, accepting others without question, being humble and being obedient to parents and authority figures.  This happens when we base our decisions on knowledge and when we consider the outcome of our decisions.  An example of this is to do what is best for the family and/or those around us regardless of what our desires and wants may be.  The best example is that of Jesus and that is to love without conditions and without expecting anything in return. This is being “childlike” and that is the attitude that Jesus says we must have to enter the Kingdom of God. If we are childish, we seek to satisfy our wants and we seek the approval and praise of men.  If we are childlike, we humble ourselves before God, do His work and seek His approval.
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. —- 1 John 3:17, 18 NLT
Post 01-25-2016