004 Order! Order!
April 5, 2017 | Permalink
There’s lots of disorder in the world and we try to do our own ordering – often, even mostly, without the direction of the Lord! For me, when I read Genesis chapter 1, I see lots of order. Day 1, day 2 etc. Orderly, right? I see that each day finishes with the description, “there was evening and there was morning.” If it were my own ordering, let me be candid: I’d say, ‘there was morning and there was evening.” But that’s not how God sees it, nor orders it. Instead, the retelling of the story notes that there was evening and there was morning. Maybe God sees it better to go from darkness to light than the other way around. Who has the right order?
As you live out your life, how’s the order going? I truly hope it follows the Lord’s order. How will you know? Pray, read His Word… those are the key connections. And, if you are in that phase of life where things are, well, disorderly, I empathize. I really do. Question remains though, doesn’t it, ‘how can your life be ordered better, or even at all?’ I think it’s the same answer: pray, and read His Word. Let Him give you order, and let Him guide you through whatever disorder your are experiencing. Not always an easy journey, but better to walk with the One who knows the best order!
003 God has Control over the Darkness
April 4, 2017 | Permalink
God is in control!
When God said, “let there be light” we can note that He thought of it as good. We can also note that He separated the light from the darkness. I’m personally glad that light and darkness are separated, and that God has the power to do that. For me, the fact that God has control over the darkness is very comforting. Like you, I’ve faced dark times. I’m glad that God can separate for… He deems the light good.
002 Life Change
April 3, 2017 | Permalink
An ancient scholar wrote about higher level education, he said, “People say to me, ‘How can scholarly knowledge facilitate the understanding of Holy Scriptures?’ My answer is, ‘How does ignorance contribute to it?’”
More recently, a new friend of mine said, “I don’t just want to understand a few Scriptures here and there. I want to understand the context of that Scripture. That means I have to read a whole Bible book, and sometimes over and over until I start to understand. To do that, I use the guidance of the Holy Spirit and a good Biblical dictionary!”
Jesus Himself said: “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11) The purpose of the teachings wasn’t that they would simply attain excellence, rather, that His joy might be in them and that their joy would be full!
Educating the mind is a good thing. But having joy stir the heart – a better thing! Understanding and joy are both part of what God has for us. We should have joy in our hearts, and we should exercise our minds. From these, I believe flow healthy obedience! As we are educated by Him in our study, as we experience His filling, as He stirs our affections, I am sure that you’ll find yourself having a new motivation for obedience; a real life change. Trying to be obedient without a stirred heart is a very difficult burden. But when we gaze upon Him and see how much He loves us… we are truly captured. Not only that, in all likelihood, you’ll find yourself wanting to share the joyful truths that have changed and transformed you. What kind of servant might we be like? We’ll be like the Servant of the Lord in this sense… we will be taught “to know the word that sustains the weary” (Isaiah 50:4).
I know it’s hard to be obedient, we get weary. But He and His words will comfort us, refresh us, and sustain us.
In the days ahead, I’ll be posting some helps on study. In the meantime, enjoy your study! Experience His transforming work in you, and share that with others!
001 Love discipleship
April 1, 2017 | Permalink
If you research the term “disciple” you’ll likely find it means more than just “student” or “learner.” A disciple is a “follower,” someone who holds completely to the teachings of another.
A disciple will have a rule of life that is in agreement with the one they follow. If the Lord asks us to obey Him (Rom. 12:1), then I think that’s what we should do. Likewise, a disciple will have conduct that is in agreement. If the Lord asks us to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel (Eph. 4:1), then I think we do so accordingly. For such a rule of life, and such conduct there is a cost for living in such a way. “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). Furthermore, “Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’” (Matthew 16:24).
To be a disciple, I believe is about rule of life and conduct, but I think it is even more than that.
If we are to truly be a disciple, we are to love Him.
“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)
What is interesting to me is that if you read the report of the Ephesian Church in Revelation you’ll find something striking.
Those in Ephesus within the church community were hard working, they were those who persevered, they had even endured hardships for Jesus’ name. Indeed, they were so obedient, Jesus commends them “for you have not grown weary.” They sound like model disciples, don’t they?
However, Jesus then adds: “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love” (Revelation 2:4).
I think that we can be dutiful, have a rule of life that is good, even have a conduct that is worthy, but, alas it can fall short if there is not love.
My hope, for myself and you, is that we would be enthused by God’s love (1 John 4:19) which would then stir us to following Him who directs the true rule of life, the true way of conduct. If there be no love in our discipleship, then what kind of discipleship would it be?
“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19).
Love discipleship, as I titled this post, is more than us loving discipleship, its about discipleship that is rooted and stirred by His love. Follow Him, the One who loves us.
Thank you for reading this post. I pray this truly helps you in your walk!