Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Bible Bingo

One day I thought I would do a little experiment.
And when I say one day, I mean a long time ago...
Sitting in front of my Bible I closed my eyes.
I then prepared my expectant heart for God to speak something truly revelatory to me.
With my eyes still firmly fixed shut I began too thumb through the pages, back and forth to make sure it was completely random. Then I when I was ready I lifted my index high, turned it down towards the opens pages of who knows where, and planted it firmly on a spot on a page.
When I opened my eyes I read this...

“Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.”  Hosea 1:2 NIV

At first I was a little freaked out.
But as I began to pray about this little experience my freaking out turned to laughter.
Maybe God was teaching me a lesson and helping me to see this is not how to have Him speak from His Word.

I want you to know today that God can and wants to speak directly to you from the Bible.
Scripture tell us that in its entirety it is spiritual food, God inspired, able to change us supernaturally.

Whenever you see mention of the word 'Word' in the New Testament, interestingly it comes from two different greek words. Logos and Rhema.
My very basic definitions of those words are:
Logos : something stated, said, communicated to inform and instruct in general.
Rhema : an utterance even a command, can be directional and defining, potentially prophetic in nature.

Here are some examples of them in action...
“Therefore everyone who hears these LOGOS of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:14 NIV

Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the RHEMA Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept. Mark 14:72 NIV

It is all God's Word too and for us.
But Rhema is God speaking something to us right now for a very specific reason. It is God's Word going from general to very personal.
So Good!

Can I encourage today to feed everyday on the Logos Word of God?
To read scripture to build yourself up along with growing your understanding.
But while you do that, I also want to encourage you to be ready for the Rhema Word of God?
Where something seems to leap off the pages, capture your imagination, where it looks and feels like God is really highlighting something in particular for you in that moment.
It will be God speaking to you!

Something to think about...

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Full Monty Bible

One of the tasks I love the most is helping people understand for themselves what is in the Bible and what it can mean to them. 
I absolutely love it!
It comes from a deep conviction that you need the Full Monty of Scripture to help you best follow Jesus. To get direction. To learn God's voice. To navigate life and faith well.

The Apostle Paul one day had a very pivotal moment with a group of people he cared very much for.
It is recorded that as he was about to board a ship for a place called Assos, that he called all Church leaders from Ephesus and gave them one final speech.

Here are a few lines from that speech to consider with me today...

18...You know how I lived the whole time I was with you...
20You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 
24...I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
27For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.
Acts 20:18, 20, 24, 27 NIV

Other translations help paint this picture even more clearly...

 I’ve taught you everything I could about God’s eternal plan and I’ve held nothing back.  Acts 20:27 TPT
For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Acts 20:27 ESV

I believe that we each need the whole or full counsel of God.
It will make all the difference to your walk with Christ. It will help you make the very best decisions. Help you discern truth from fiction. Help mature you.
Your theology will not be lopsided sometimes manipulated by popularity or mere ease.

The best platform for this and your personal devotion is via the Scriptures. I can not encourage you enough to read and read and read as often as you can!

Another strategy I use based on that foundation when I want to understand a topic or concept from God's perspective, is to look up every reference to it in Scripture.
Take love or giving or hope or faith, any word and do a word search like this example.
Then take time to read each reference carefully. 
Only then will you have the full counsel of God on that matter.

Go Full Monty on the Bible with me from today and let's each discover the whole counsel of God.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Are you surrounded by morons?

You might be reading this right now and answering yes?
Locky I am indeed surrounded by morons.
Or you might be reading this right now and answering no?
Everyone I surround myself with are awesome.
Or you might be reading this right now and simple thinking less of me for called anyone a moron...

Well beyond getting your attention I want to make a point!
I want to encourage you to do this with you life...
Surround yourself with the people you need not just the people you want.

As someone who considers himself a disciple of Jesus, the very best thing I can do in regards to who I surround myself with is to have the whole gamut of people and their various types.
To be all that God desires for to be I need to have the broadest selection of people interactions available.
I need the morons and the mature. I need the dorky and the dedicated. I need the bright and the dull. I need the supportive and the critic. I need the saint and the sinner.

Take a moment to consider Jesus life pre ministry and during it.
He interacted with a lot of different people. His family, temple leaders, the poor and the rich, the hungry, broken and lost along with the rulers oppressing his nation. Yes he gave valued time to his disciples and those seeking to follow him, but you never see Him restricting his interactions to one group alone.

I honestly feel challenged by this and I hope maybe you do too?
We need to be wise about who we walk with and who we give our best to. Scripture backs that up. But as salt and light I want my flavour and my shine to be before as many as possible, just like Jesus.

I wonder if you are reading this and realising your world only has certain people in it.
People you allow and no one else?
Maybe you avoid some who wind you up the wrong the way?
I would love to invite you to prayerfully consider surrounding yourself with a broader base. To surround yourself with the people you need not just the people you want.
Slowly broaden your world to include others you might not have considered before.
Don't run away from people, conflict and some drama too quickly. God might to use that to mature you or be of help. As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

Heres a great list to check.
Make sure you have these people in your life...

  • People to love
  • People to serve
  • People to lead
  • People to follow
  • People to friend
  • People to fight with
  • People to challenge you
  • People to give your very life for!

Something to think about...