Posts Tagged 'the words of Jesus Christ'

The Power of Scripture

JESUS SPEAKING

    So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you continue in my word then you are my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8: 31-32.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

   God, in His wisdom, has chosen to use language (words) to reveal Himself to mankind. The written and spoken words of God and of His only Son Jesus Christ are recorded within the pages of The Holy Bible. These words have the power to grant eternal life; to purify and to heal; to transform and to enlighten. The word of God can do so many things; but unless it is harnessed and utilized, it isn’t likely to produce any meaningful change. Daily scripture reading is essential for the growth of the believer; a dusty bible is a reflection of the heart of its owner.
   Francis A. Schaffer was a brilliant 20th century American scholar and theorist. As a young adult he had been eagerly studying the works of the Greek philosophers. In his quest for knowledge he had been exposed to many interesting questions; for which there were no answers (he was drowning in theory, speculation, and conjecture.) At this same time he was also attending a very liberal church on the weekends, which failed to provide him with the answers he desired (because they did not preach bible based sermons.) ‘He thought, “I wonder whether I should stop calling myself a Christian, and discard the bible?” Then he reconsidered; choosing instead to face the fact that he had never actually read the bible.’ In desperation he began reading the scriptures for himself; with every turn of the page, his amazement grew. He had finally found the answers to his questions. His curiosity had led him to a genuine faith in Jesus Christ. Francis Schaffer never stopped reading his bible. He chose to commit the rest of his life to helping others discover the truth that he had received from God.
   Nearly 130 million books have been written throughout human history. Every year 50,000 new titles are published. Yet in a sea of literary works, only the Holy Bible contains the truth. The bible transforms lives; it creates affection, produces kindness, and generates love; it relieves addictions, and delivers from despair; it can heal the sick and bring hope to the hopeless; it contains the answers to life’s deepest questions; it is a powerful tool; yet like all tools, it can do nothing unless it is put to use. Read God’s word and discover your purpose. Grab hold of the promises of God and never let go. Open His Holy Scriptures and you will neither stumble nor stray from the path of everlasting life.
    “Lord Heavenly Father, show us the importance of daily bible reading. May we cling to Your words as a dying man clings to his last breath. Instill in us the desire to seek You. May we be transformed through the power of Your word. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit, that we may be more like Your Son; may others see our lives and praise Your Name. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

The Fear of God

JESUS SPEAKING

“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12: 4 -5)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Today God’s love is preached with overwhelming supremacy; which often leaves little room for sermons that correctly emphasize the importance of fearing God. According to Jesus Christ, the fear of God and His potential judgements (including the sufferings of hell) are critical components of healthy Christian living. The fear of God produces obedience and adherence to His will. We read in Proverbs 9: 10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Thus we adhere to the commandments of our Savior because we love Him and He loves us; but also because we desire to avoid the pain of God’s correction and the anguish of hell.

According to historical documents and tradition, Saint George was a decorated military officer and a Christian serving in the Roman Army around 300 A.D. He was under the command of the Emperor Diocletian. In 303 A.D., the Emperor issued an edict of persecution against Christians, demanding that all of his soldiers offer pagan sacrifices as proof of their loyalty. Saint George promptly gave his belongings to the poor and presented himself before Diocletian, where he denounced the Emperor’s idols. When threats and promises could not move him from his steadfast confession, he was subjected to inhumane tortures, which he endured with great bravery. He was eventually beheaded because he feared and loved God more than man.

Like Saint George, our love and fearful reverence of God must never waiver. Because we are not of this world, we will endure persecution. And yet no matter how terrible the threats and punishments we might experience upon this earth, they are nothing compared to the splendor of heaven and the avoidance of hell. May we know the true fear of God and become wise; choosing those things which are above, rather than those things which are below.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we ask for an honest understanding of what it means to fear You. In the midst of our reverence, may we continue to feel Your love and affection. As we focus on the virtues that are eternal, may we never succumb to the fear of man. You alone Lord are worthy of all honor and glory. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You. And we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Things Old and New

JESUS SPEAKING

    Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”  (Matthew 13: 52)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

   The bible consists of two parts; the Old Testament and the New Testament.  The Old Testament contains prophecies, inspired writings, and recorded historical events and information dating from approximately 4004 B.C. to around 440 B.C.  God then chose to remain silent for 450 years, until around 15-30 A.D. when John the Baptist began preaching in the wilderness; announcing the near arrival of the Messiah; Jesus Christ.  Jesus soon appeared on the scene, completing God’s message and laying the foundation for the New Testament (the gospels, the apostles’ letters, and the book of revelation.)  Jesus often quoted from the Old Testament and added to it.  In turn, any scribe that understood the message would wisely combine the Old Testament and Christ’s words into one complete revelation from God.

    One day, while browsing at a swap meet, I made an interesting observation.  Many merchants were selling expensive antiques, which were highly valued because they were old.  Still others sold items that were completely new; it was their newness that gave them their value.  Things that are neither old nor new are extremely cheap; like VHS tapes; which aren’t new but are also not old enough yet to be valuable.  The wise retailers, like the householder Jesus was speaking about in this parable, got the most money for what they were selling because they sold items that were both old and new.  Similarly, God’s truth is not complete unless both the New and the Old Testament are combined as one.  The Holy Bible cannot be divided, altered, or added to in any way; it is a complete work.

   The Bible is filled with valuable treasures; gems of truth and nuggets of pure wisdom.  Jesus did not come to discard the Old Testament, but to combine the old and the new into a single masterpiece; a correspondence between God and man.  The world is filled with books, written by individuals and inspired by their own desires; and yet there is only one book that God Himself has written.  The Bible is a treasure chest that just begs to be opened; inside you will find every answer you have ever desired to know.  Open it and experience the fullness of the one true God.

   “Lord Heavenly Father, as we read Your Word, please give us a desire to dig deeply; to search for new insights and truths.  Guide us as we read, and speak to our hearts; make Your plan for us clear in our minds and in our souls.  We yearn to know the full, complete goodness of Your book; and therefore the complete knowledge of your affections for us.  We love You Lord, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you!


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