Listen to these beautiful words the Lord spoke to Israel:
Your people shall be consistently righteous (Isaiah 60:21) the branch of My planting so that I may be glorified. To give them (Isaiah 61:3) a diadem of beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a heavy burden, that they might be called the strong oaks of righteousness - - the planting of the Lord - so that I may be glorified.
Does this just apply to Israel or is there a principle there for us? Consider this: Except a grain of wheat (John 12:24) fall into the ground and die, it abides alone, remains just one grain, always alone, forever lonely, and its shell gets harder and harder. But if it dies it produces a harvest which alters the whole landscape.
Where are you? Where am I? Wherever we are it is where God has planted us for the purpose of a God-glorifying harvest. Unless of course we refuse to obey – be planted – die. I don’t have to tell you that this does not refer to physical death. It means death to personal ambitions and preferences, death to selfish desires, death to everything in me that was never in Jesus.
Oswald Chambers - Turn away for one second out of obedience and darkness and death are at work at once.
Peter tells us (2 Peter 3:18) to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. How can we grow in such knowledge? How can we obtain (Romans 11:33) wisdom and knowledge of God? How can we know (Ephesians 3:9) the mystery of His will? How could we grasp (Ephesian3:19) the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge?Dr. David Jeremiah – Your relationship with the Lord Jesus will be pretty much the same as your relationship with His Word.
We have many commands (2 Timothy 2:15) to read and study the Bible daily and to (Colossians 3:16) meditate on it continually. The Bible with no Jesus doesn’t make sense. Jesus with no Bible doesn’t make sense. But the written Word as the background of the Living Word makes glorious sense – the only true sense. If we want to love Jesus more and have deeper intimacy with Him we’ll find Him in the pages of holy Scripture. And the Holy Spirit will be our wonderful loving Teacher.
If you don’t read and study God’s Word daily, why not? I don’t have time, that is not true – I have the same 24 hours everyone else has. You don’t know my schedule and I have to have some time for myself. If my schedule and recreation are more important than obeying God – they have become an idol. Every day I take time to eat nourishing food for the health of my body. Why would I choose to limp around with a malnourished soul? Spiritual growth and fellowship with the holy Trinity is not possible without feasting daily on the eternal Word of the living God.
When the Israelites were observing the Feasts and offerings there were 17 nations in the world. The Jews failed in God’s purpose that they would represent the world and teach the nations. There are many more nations now (193 in the U.N.) and our commission is clear (Matthew 28:18-20) to teach the Gospel to all nations. What about me as an individual? If my heart and mind are not filled with what I continue to learn from Scripture – how can I never be at a loss (Colossians 4:6) to know how I ought to answer anyone who asks a question about the Bible? How could I be ready (1 Peter 3:15) to give an answer to anyone who asks about my assurance of salvation? These are commands and it is very serious to disobey by being unable to give Truth to a questioner.
If I neglect to grow in my knowledge of the Scriptures, where will I turn when I face illness, shock, tragedy, etc. and God is almost a stranger? I know people in that condition who claim to be Christians.
We cannot divide our lives into spiritual and secular –
Bishop Benson – To the Christian, everything is sacred, nothing is secular except SIN.
Let’s choose the better, no, the best way – the Bible our never-changing Authority.
Psalms 119:105 – a lamp to my feet and a light to my path
2 Timothy 3:16 – it is profitable
Hebrews 4:12 - sharper than a 2 edged sword
Mark 13:31 - it will NEVER pass away
John 14:26 - the Holy Spirit is our Teacher
Job 23:12 - treasured more than necessary food
Psalms 119:11 - hid in my heart so that I might not sin against Thee
There are hundreds more in the treasure chest we call the Bible.
The world has nothing to offer that could even come close to comparing with deepening intimacy with Jesus.
Daniel and his 3 friends were 900 miles from home and in the largest city in the world. In Babylon there were 1000 temples to various gods. But these 4 believed and trusted God’s Word which they had learned from the prophet Jeremiah. Babylon changed everything for them, even their names. But for all their trying, Babylon could not transform them to the Babylonian culture. Why not? Daniel 1:8 determined in his heart. In fact – God used them to (Daniel 4:34-35) transform Babylon. How different would it have been if they had not known – trusted – resolved to obey God’s Word? What about us? Are we grounded – growing – trusting – obeying eternal TRUTH or are we missing glorious opportunities?
Psalms 16:11 - In thy Presence is fullness of joy and at Thy right Hand there are pleasures forever more.
Philippians 3:8,10 - The surpassing greatness – the precious sweetness – the privilege of progressively knowing HIM.
Do you know Jesus? Do you love Him? If you wake during the night is your first thought of Him and by faith you reach out for His nail-pierced hand.
For by His hand (Psalms 139:10,24) He leadeth me.