Friday, October 24, 2008

Addictive Natures

I have an incredibly addictive nature. I've always been that way. If I find something that makes me feel good, something I enjoy, I take it to the extreme.

Even good things in excess can be sinful. So how much worse is being excessive in those things which are flat-out bad to begin with.

Well satan only needs the most tiny of footholds in your soul to completely devour and destroy you! You think he wastes time trying to convince you to murder and rape? Doubt it. He knows our weaknesses. He knows that all he needs to get us to do is take that one extra piece of cake when you're full, to have that one single beer or cigarette with a friend, to watch just one episode of that funny television show, to watch that one popular movie, to read that one worldly book.

It's not the type of the sin or the size of the's the fact that you made a conscious decision to forsake Christ and go your own way. And having made that decision, you kick the Spirit out of your heart and invite satan and his demons in.

In your own mind you think the battle has just begun, that you've opened the door to a battle of willpower against the devil. That you won't have any more after this one. The truth is that the moment you think the battle is starting, you've already lost. It's the little things that are so vital to the Christian walk.

God help me with the little things!

The Secret to a Blessed Life

This is the simplest principle I can possibly imagine.

"And the effort to bless others will react in blessings upon ourselves." - Steps to Christ, p.79

In the margin I have written: The key to living a blessed life. Noticing any blessings? Make sure that you are BEING a blessing.

The most important things are the easiest to understand...isn't God great!!

God's Word, Don't Stop

The Bible is suited to every level of intellect! And perfectly suited, no less.

"The Bible unfolds truth with a simplicity and a perfect adaptation to the needs and longings of the human heart, that has astonished and charmed the most highly cultivated minds, while it enables the humblest and uncultured to discern the way of salvation. And yet these simply stated truths lay hold upon subjects so elevated, so far-reaching, so infinitely beyond the power of human comprehension, that we can accept them only because God has declared them." - Steps to Christ p.107

And yet, it is this very fact that has discouraged and caused me to stumble with my Bible study. There would be portions of Scripture that I just could not grasp the meaning of. This caused me frustration which lead me to spend less and less time in the Word.

I was in this state of mind, not really reading or studying the Bible, when I began to flip through the book "Steps to Christ" and found some precious jewels of wisdom that I had forgotten about.

"To acknowledge that we cannot fully comprehend the great truths of the Bible is only to admit that the finite mind is inadequate to grasp the infinite; that man, with his limited, human knowledge, cannot understand the purposes of Omniscience." - Steps to Christ p.108

Next to the passage I have written: It's OK, keep reading the Bible EVERY day! You'll never understand it all, that's the beauty of it.

God made it that way, so that we can be ever searching out His character and yet never exhaust the beautiful discoveries yet to be made about Him.

"While 'the secret things belong unto the Lord our God,' 'those things which are revealed belong unto us.'" - Steps to Christ p.108 (1 Cor 2:10, Deut 29:29)

"A certain pride is mingled with the consideration of Bible truth, so that men feel impatient and defeated if they cannot explain every portion of Scripture to their satisfaction...they are unwilling to wait patiently until God shall see fit to reveal the truth to them." - Steps to Christ p.108

Since God's character is revealed in His Word, and even more specifically in the Holy Ten Commandment Law, we can begin to experience the joy of heaven now, by using our time on earth to learn of Him.

"In Him are 'all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.' God intends that even in this life the truths of His word shall be ever unfolding to His people." - Steps to Christ p. 109 (Col 2:3)

These are some of the passages I have underlined and some of my thoughts on them, I hope it helps someone out there to feel less discouraged about Bible study.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

God's Love

How does God show His love? Does He come down and say "I love you", or send a Hallmark card? Nope. Of all the millions of ways the Creator of the Universe could choose to show His love, He He lets you and I become His instruments of love and blessing to others.

"God is the source of life and light and joy to the universe. Like rays of light from the sun, like streams of water bursting from a living spring, blessings flow out from Him to all His creatures. And wherever the life of God is in the hearts of men, it will flow out to others in love and blessing." - Steps to Christ p.77

So we see that the mark of a heart truly given to Christ is the love and blessings of God flowing out through us to all His creatures. And surely not only to those who we feel "deserve" it, but instead to all men. Just like God, who has no partiality.

I don't remember where I heard it, but recently someone made a point about how, from God's perspective, the distance between the "greatest" of humans and the "worst" of humans is virtually nil. Mother Teresa, EGW, Abraham Isaac and Jacob, David, John the Baptist...Hitler, Dahmer, Osama, you truly think the former are so much better than the latter? I am starting to think we're all the same. Accordingly, Christ offers salvation as a free gift to all...and the only real difference between any two humans is whether or not we have accepted the offer. The only difference between any of us is whether we follow Jesus or not. What do you think?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Perhaps you've thought something like this: "I wish I could go help someone in a third-world country. I wish I could go on a missionary trip to build a church or a health clinic and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those who have never heard.

Unfortunately money is tight right now. In fact, money has been tight for years now. But I'm working my way up the financial ladder and once I finally feel secure then I'll go. I'm not one of those people who can dedicate their whole life to introducing others to Jesus. I have a career and a family to think about. I need to keep clothes on our backs, food on the table and a roof over our head. You understand, I'm sure."

And yet...there is that passage:

Matthew 6:25-34, "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

That is such a beautiful promise. God says if we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, He will provide for us abundant life. He will meet our needs, whether they be for food, drink, clothing, shelter or whatever else we need. It seems like the world has it backwards (like everything else), for we try to provide for ourselves first, and only after we're secure do we start truly seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

This passage of the Bible often seems like it's speaking directly to me. And I'm sure that, through God's Spirit, it really is. I hope it speaks to you too.

Can you imagine what would happen if we all decided to stop worrying about our own lives and started worrying only about spreading the Gospel of Christ?! How amazing it would be to see the Latter Rain poured out on the Church and watch them finish the work!