Archives For Bible Reading

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“My dad read the Bible ten times, and I want to do it in my lifetime. But it’s definitely tough getting through.” Pamela Anderson

Well Pamela…I hope you get to do as you have spoken. It will be the greatest thing you have ever done. Just saying.

The Word of God is a mirror for your life. God’s word will show you what needs to stay, what needs to go and what needs to change.  The Bible is the only book that is the perfect life adjustment tool that is infallible.

The Bible is not primarily about you and me. The Bible is about God and His glory alone. The privilege and blessing of reading the Word of God is that we may become more like Him, thus reflecting His glory to the world around us.

The Bible gives us eyes to see ourselves as we truly are and what we can actually become. The Bible also gives us eyes to see the Gospel beyond the pages of scripture.

Martin Luther once said, “God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”

What worth is the Bible? I would sacrifice every page ever written for just one page of God’s Word. Yes, it is that valuable because its words are forever and eternal.

Let me close by asking you a few questions today.

What place does the Word of God hold in your life?

Do you read it daily?

When you read it, do you allow it to  read you?

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Is your devotional time with God in a rut? I once heard a preacher say, “ A rut is just a grave with both ends kicked out.” In other words, a rut is a grave of death. Ruts can be hard to get out of, but you can escape. Change is necessary in life, and when it comes to your devotional life, change is necessary from time to time.

1. Set a time or reset a different time

Spending time with God takes time. You must set a time or reset a time you already have as part of your daily routine. For example, if your devotions are in the morning and they have become routine so that you are not feeling connected on a deep level-then change the time you do your devotions. If you have devotions in the morning, move them to the afternoon or evening.

2. Change the location

Change the place you do your devotions. Changing the time and place will make a big differences. I once moved my devotion time to a park, and it was amazing how God would speak through His word to me and at the same time show me things about people all around me. I felt connected to both God and humanity.

3. Don’t be random

Have a plan for you devotions. Pick a book of the Bible to work through. Add a devotional book to your time with God. Add a good Christian discipleship book to your devotion that will challenge your faith in a strong way. You might want to check out my book, The Descent to Compassion.

4. Record your thoughts and what He is speaking

Write down what you are thinking as you are having your devotional time with God. You can even use a smartphone to record your thoughts to a voice memo. You would be amazed how well this works to keep you engaged in what God is trying to speak into your life.

5. Pass on what you can

Share with others what God is speaking and doing through your life. After all, a relationship with God should and must be shared. Not only should you share some of the things God is speaking to you, but also you should walk out works of kindness before the world so they will know you have been with Jesus.

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As a Christ follower, I’m sure you read your bible. However, allow me to ask you a question. Do you permit your bible to read you? There is a difference between reading the bible, and permitting the bible to read you.

 

The scripture teaches us in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Did you get all that Hebrew 4:12 speaks?

1. God’s word is LIVING and ACTIVE

2. It’s SHARP and PENETRATES the SOUL, SPIRIT, JOINTS and MARROW

3. It JUDGES THOUGHTS and ATTITUDES of HEART

When we just read the bible out of habit, it becomes a mere devotional journey. However, when you allow the bible to read you, it corrects and changes your direction. When you allow the bible to read you, it will shape your belief, which is vital, because what you believe matters, because what you believe determines how you will live.

So, how do you permit the bible to read you?

1. Pray before you open the Bible and pray that your Bible opens you.

2. Don’t read the Bible trying to make your belief fit it. The Bible forms belief in you.

3. Picture yourself in the stories of scripture. How would you have answered Jesus?

4. Embrace the truth that God is speaking directly to you

5. Allow the Bible to love and convict the ugly side of you. We all have an ugly side.

6. Let the Bible inflame your heart and not just inform it.

Sex Was God’s Idea

October 12, 2012 — Leave a comment

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One of my favorite places in the Bible is Genesis 1:31 “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” When God creates anything, it’s good, it has design, and it has a purpose. There is just no way around that beautiful truth.

The trouble then, is not with God, but with humanity. Mankind has a history of taken what God has created and set purpose to and messing it all up. We have a way of taking good things and making bad things out of them for our own pleasure and purpose. When we do that, we are making an idol of self to worship, instead of worshiping only God.

Okay then! Let’s see a show of hands. Who out there likes sex? Wow! I knew it, that’s a lot of hands up. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed. Sex is awesome. God created it, and therefore, it is very good. However, the key to keeping it good is to keep it pure in the context of God’s given standards. When sex is taken outside of God’s blessings, it becomes damaging.

Sex was meant for marriage

Sex in marriage was God’s idea. To debate with that truth is to only be arguing with God. If you want, go for it, but know this…you’re not going to win. Scripture declares to each of us in Proverbs 16:25, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” That’s pretty straightforward. I’ve often said, “What you believe matters, because what you believe determines how you will live.” You are either living in God’s will or outside of God’s will. There is no middle ground.

When God created sex it was to populate the world. In other words, it was for procreation. Adam and Eve were told by God to “be fruitful and multiply.” The way you multiply is to have…wait for it…wait for it….SEX. Another benefit of sex was that Adam and Eve could experience intimacy the way God intended for intimacy to truly be. Please make a note in you heart at this point that sex was placed in the context of one man and one woman. Sex was placed in the context of marriage.

Allow me to throw in a few side comments the bible speaks of. (You can read them on your own)

1. God’s word says to flee sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18)

2. God’s word says not to commit adultery (Exodus 20:14)

Sex was meant for marriage because it’s the way God has set it up. It has been said by many that God’s purpose and design for sex are impossible to be achieved outside of marriage. I would fully agree with that summation.

The damage of having sex outside of marriage can be both physical and relational.

1. Sexually Transmitted Diseases

2. Unwanted Child

3. You place a wedge between you and God.

4. You damage your testimony

5. You will carry memories of sex outside of marriage into marriage. (Can be a colossal problem)

So what if you have messed up already?

1. Take it to God and ask Him to forgive you.

Repent of your sin and turn your back on it. He is full of mercy and grace. He took all your condemnation on the cross.

2. Move forward without guilty in your walk with Christ

In my book, The Descent to Compassion, I deal with the Woman caught in adultery. Jesus forgives her and then tells her to, “Go and sin no more.” I love that! He calls it sin, and then gives her grace and mercy.

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Life is complicated and therefore brings stress often to the doorstep of the Christ follower. Stress is part of the human condition but God has the answer for that condition. God is the author of our life. He knows the beginning and the end and will give us peace that passes all understanding as we submit and trust Him completely. When stress dominates our walk; you can bet that somewhere along the way our trust in God has faded just a little.

Stress often attacks us with circumstances that are out of our control. Stress comes in all kinds of forms, but no matter what form it takes, trusting in God is a major key to winning the battle. Don’t misunderstand me…living a stress-free life isn’t easy to obtain. However, there are a few things you can do that will keep you heading in the right direction when you feel stress staring to take over.

Here are a few tips that have helped me over the years

Practical Tips

1. Get in a bar fight (Okay, that’s not true. Just wanted to make sure you were pay attention)

2. Sleep (You must get enough rest. Make sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night)

3. Take a look at your diet (Are you eating healthy? Is your weight were it should be?)

4. Exercise (You don’t have to go crazy but walking after your evening meal will do wonders)

5. Work and Family (Do you work more than have family time? Change that NOW!) (Balance it!)

Spiritual Tips

1. Prayer (Give your stress to God by telling Him all about it. Then, leave it with Him. Trust Him)

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus

2. Praise Him (God inhabits the praises of His people. Sing to Him and watch what happens. Try it!)

Praise will take your mind off of self, and refocus your mind on God.

Psalm 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.”

3. Stay in the Word (Read God’s Word and let it read you)

Matthew 11:28-30
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”

What are some ways you have found to be helpful? Leave a comment.