~Psalm 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Praise the Lord that His work in the born-again believer is never finished! Daily we find ourselves tempted and daily we fail. I am so thankful that God continues to work in my life for my benefit!

~Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

The Lord began a good work in me the day I was born-again! He continues to grow good works in me through His Holy Spirit’s convicting power. When I yield to His convictions, I grow spiritually. That is the reason a baby cannot be born-again at baptism as some religions claim. Babies cannot decide for themselves whether or not they will fall into sin. They are born in sin. They cannot choose to do right – not yet. That is why a child must get to the age where he knows the difference between right and wrong. At this point, he is able to understand the need for salvation.

~Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

We’ve all seen babies who cry the minute they are put down for a nap, yet the minute Momma picks the baby up, the baby stops crying. How true Psalm 58:3 is!  But can a baby repent?  Not just yet – he is totally dependent on his parents until he reaches an age where he can see for himself that he is sinning.  Once that child is born-again, then God begins that beautiful work spoken of in Philippians 1:6!

Thank you, Lord, for your continuing work in my life!

~Job 28:18 No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom [is] above rubies.

 

~Matthew 13:45-50 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. 47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. 49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I heard a message recently where the preacher said that there were three things that were precious in this world: pearls, diamonds and gold. I thought it would be nice to cover these precious items over the next three days and see what we can learn from these precious items, but from a biblical perspective 🙂 We’ll start off with pearls.

The first time the word “pearl” is mentioned in the Scriptures is in Job 28:18. Job is trying to explain the worth of wisdom. There’s a reason why a pearl is mentioned here for everything in God’s Word is there for a reason and that is to teach us.

Do you know how a pearl is made? As an oyster grows, the shell must also grow. Within the oyster is an organ called the mantle. It’s this organ that produces the shell from the food which the oyster ingests. The mantle produces the material called nacre – this is what lines the inside of the shell. When a foreign substance enters between the mantle and the shell, it causes an irritation in the mantle. It’s like having a pebble in your shoe 🙂 When this irritation occurs, the oyster tries to cover up the irritant with more nacre. Eventually, a pearl is formed 🙂 What a beautiful result from an irritant!!!

So what can we learn from the pearl? Do you have irritants in your life? We all do, don’t we? Those irritants in life are able to help us form the pearls in our lives 🙂 Christ gave us our first “pearl,” known as the pearl of great price (our salvation).

The rest are created by us. Just as the oyster is responsible for covering his irritants with his nacre, so are we responsible for covering our irritants with our own nacre, God’s Word 🙂 After our salvation, our lives can/should produce more “pearls” as evidence of our walk with the Lord, amen? Each time we experience an irritation and apply that “nacre” (the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, peace, joy, patience, etc.) to overcome each irritant, we are working on building beautiful pearls 🙂 We need to gain wisdom from God’s Word (that precious nacre) and allow it to speak to us and to “cover” our irritants. Each time we put another layer over our irritant, we are able to handle that irritation better than the time before – great or small!

So how many pearls will you end up “producing” in your Christian walk? Learn from the oyster and its nacre – use your nacre, the Bible, to help you cover your irritations in life 🙂 Tomorrow we’ll take a look at diamonds and see what we can learn from them!

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matt 5:6 (KJV)

It amazes me when I see sports fans (short for fanatics, and appropriately worded)! They know everything there is to know about their favorite team: the names of the players, their positions, their stats, etc. Oh my! Are we as excited about growing in the Lord as these sports fans? I haven’t met too many Christians who are – they are far and few apart.

As I was reading today’s text, I couldn’t help but wonder what the Lord Jesus Christ was trying to teach His disciples. As you walk your path in life, you come into contact with people who are searching for spiritual fulfillment. Some go the way of various forms of Eastern religions, such as Hinduism (which is on the rise in many forms today), Buddhism, Shintoism, etc. Others seek out religions founded on Christianity but are works based. In other words, one has to contribute something in order to “be saved.” Christ’s work on the cross is just not enough.

But what was Christ referring to in today’s text? He did not say to seek after the ‘founder’ of a religion. He did not say to seek after someone who is smart or rich. In fact, the Lord said quite the opposite. He told us that we will be blessed if we hunger (seek) after righteousness.

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines righteousness as:

Purity of heart and rectitude of life; conformity of heart and life to the divine law. Righteousness, as used in Scripture and theology, in which it is chiefly used, is nearly equivalent to holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law. It includes all we call justice, honesty and virtue, with holy affections; in short, it is true religion.

Many claim to be righteous because they “do” most of what their religion requires. However, this is not what Noah defines as righteousness. Notice the purity of heart and rectitude of life – conforming the heart AND life to the divine law. The divine law is fulfilled in this:

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

This is where man’s religion fails. Religion produces “do gooders” but if one could see the heart, one would see sin. For all have sinned (Romans 3:23). So what must one do? First of all, one must repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 1:15). People tend to leave out the repentance part, therefore, they do not “seek or thirst” after righteousness and their lives are no different than before they prayed their prayer. (2 Cor. 5:17) I hope that makes sense to you because it is such an important part of the Christian’s life.

Proverbs 19:15 Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.

An idle soul will suffer spiritual hunger. The idle soul is busy with the day’s events and drama and does not care about seeking after righteousness. But to the Christian who desires to grow closer to the Lord Jesus on a daily basis, he desires to be filled. God’s word feeds us, convicts of our sin, and helps us to grow in His image. The more we are fed, the more we hunger for righteousness.

Luke 6:25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger.

You can’t fill a cup that is already full, right? Neither can a “religious” person be taught anything of spiritual value because his religion’s laws supersede God’s word. He is not seeking or hungering after righteousness but is “full” of man’s works. Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the Jews. They considered themselves righteousness (already full) and did not wish to hear that they were not as righteous as they thought they were.

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Are you fed today, Christian? Are you seeking, hungering, thirsting after righteousness? Do you hunger for it as much as you hunger for food? Are you conforming and rectifying your life to Christ’s divine law?

Romans 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

The Lord Jesus has promises for those of us who hunger after His righteousness.

Revelation 7:15-17 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Psalm 119:97-104

MEM
97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
102 I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.
103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

Journaling:

1. Find all the things the Bible will do for you
2. Find the things you are suppose to do with your Bible
3. Find the things the Bible is likened to

These verses are extremely controversial, aren’t they? Many “church” leaders tell their people that only they can interpret the Scriptures.  I came out of such a religion (Roman Catholicism).  Granted, the Catholic Church has backed down a bit and now allows its members to read the Bible, but this was not always the case.  But their permission comes with a “warning” that the layman’s interpretation may be wrong so they must double check with their priest to be certain.

This is quite different from what today’s verses state! Let me ask you, dear reader, a question.  Is God’s word true or isn’t it?  If you have not read yesterday’s devotional, take a moment to read it now before continuing then click on “Back” on your Browser.  John 17:17 says that God’s word is truth.  Jesus spoke these words and, furthermore, He states that the word sanctifies us – it sets us apart, but from whom or what?

The Psalmist confirms in Psalm 119:98-100 that by reading God’s word, and meditating on it, he can be wiser than his enemies, even his teachers and the “ancients” (his forefathers). These same “church” leaders will tell you that the “fundies” (fundamentalists) are incorrectly interpreting the Scriptures.  Others claim that we cannot have God’s word today because the “original autographs” are not here any longer. However, the word says in 2 Peter 1:20-21 that NO scripture is of ANY private interpretation.  Psalm 12:6-7 promises us that the word is preserved by God.  It is the Holy Spirit of God that impressed upon holy men as to what to write down.  To deny this truth is to deny the power of God!

We can and we do have the ability to read God’s word, as a born-again Christian, and understand what we are reading without needing anyone to interpret it for us!  Why? Because the Holy Spirit of God resides within us and interprets to us what the words mean.  Look at James 1:5!  We don’t need to get our wisdom from man: In fact, man’s wisdom is foolishness to God – I Corinthians 3:19.  I will probably receive a few comments on this post from precious, deceived Roman Catholics, asking how I can account for so many different interpretations of the same verse by Christians. Let me answer these comments right here and now. Let’s look at the following passage and you will see how CLEAR God makes it for us:

~I Corinthians 2:10-16 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Who reveals the word of God to us?  I Corinthians 2:10 says that God, the Holy Spirit does. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God because man cannot do so (1 Corinthians 2:11).  Paul continues to tell us that the born-again Christian does not have the spirit of the world any longer but the spirit, which is of God (HIS Holy Spirit). Because we have His Holy Spirit living within us, I Corinthians 2:12 continues to say that He will give to us the wisdom – He will explain to us exactly what He meant. Furthermore, I Corinthians 2:13 says that He will teach us what we need to know so we can compare spiritual things with spiritual! Lastly, dear friend, 1 Corinthians 2:14 explains why there are so many different interpretations. The ones who interpret differently are considered “natural man” by Paul. The natural man, the unsaved man, cannot receive the things of the Holy Spirit! The Bible will sound foolish to them. Christ, through His precious Holy Spirit teaches the born-again Christian and gives us the mind of Christ. If you step into a church filled with true born-again Christians, you will hear the same interpretation of Scripture amongst them. It is only in the world that the Bible is misinterpreted. Why? Because it is being interpreted by those who do not possess the Holy Spirit – the unsaved!

God is the one who gives wisdom to His child (James 1:5).  He promises to give ample wisdom to those who seek it.  Wisdom comes from fearing (reverencing) God.  Read: Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7, and Proverbs 9:10.  When one fears God, he recognizes that he is a sinner in need of repentance unto salvation.  At the moment that sinner recognizes his sinfulness and need for Christ, he begins to receive wisdom.  That wisdom applied results unto salvation and, then, understanding followed.  Read Job 28:28.  Once we are saved, we run away from evil – that is our desire as I Peter 3:10-12 instructs.  Today’s “supposed Christian” mingles with the world and does not run away from evil.  That is why they cannot understand the Scriptures.  First off, they are not truly born again as II Corinthians 5:17 plainly explains.  That is the key to living a separated life unto Christ.  How can a Christian live by I Peter 1:16 except he have the Holy Spirit residing in him?  We are blessed with the ability and power to say “No!” to sin.  We have the ability to quote Scripture when in the midst of temptation and be able to overcome it (I Corinthians 10:13).

God loves His child and provides us with clear teaching as to how to find Him, receive Him, and to follow Him!  Any author can tell you that he/she is the best one to interpret their work because they wrote it.  Why, then, would God leave us at the mercy of someone else’s interpretation of His word?

Praise His holy name!!

~John 8:47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

The most wonderful event that happened to me when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour was when I opened my Bible and I could actually understand what I was reading! What a thrill it was to have God’s very words breathed on me! I didn’t feel lost or didn’t wonder what in the world I was reading! This is how it was before I was born again. The bible was dry reading and hard to understand. This was no longer true and my salvation blessed me with a fresh message from God every time I opened the pages of my Bible.

Are you able to understand what you read? Granted there are passages that are difficult to understand. There are even times when you can read verses in Psalms that are beautiful but they don’t really apply to your life at the moment of reading. However, when you read those same verses while you’re experience a trial, the words jump off the page as if they were written just for you! The born-again believer is so blessed! We do not need to Scriptures interpreted for us because God has given us His Holy Spirit to reside within at the moment we became His! Today’s text proves it out for us. Once we are God’s, we hear His words. We take what we read, His Spirit interprets the reading to us, and we hear what God has to say for us at that moment!

But today’s text also says that if you don’t hear His Word and you cannot understand His Word, then it is because you are not His. Think about this when you call yourself Christian. Is your “faith” in title only? It should be in your heart!

~John 16:13-14 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

When I hear people say that they don’t read the Bible because they need someone to interpret it for them, I am reminded of today’s verses. Why would God leave His words in a book if He did not intend for us to read it and understand it? It absolutely makes no sense!

As we instruct our children, so does God. We would not give our children misinformation nor would we keep them in the dark about what our wishes are for them. God is the perfect Father and has provided His own Spirit to live within the born-again believer. My friend, if you open the Word of God and it is dry as day-old bread, then something is wrong. If you don’t understand even the Gospels, then something is wrong.

Notice what happened in the account of the eunuch:

~Acts 8:30-31 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

~Act 8:35-38 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

The eunuch knew that as an unbeliever he needed someone to interpret the Scriptures for him. So what did Philip do? He preached Jesus Christ to the eunuch! As a result, the eunuch was gloriously saved! He no longer needed someone to guide him. He now was able to interpret the Word of God himself.

When we question what is going on around us, let’s remember to turn to the Word of God first so that we may hear from His “mouth” what He wants us to learn. The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to teach us the truth – not some man’s opinion or interpretation. I have been approached by some who tell me that when I personally read the Bible, I am interpreting the Bible in my own way and not the way God intended. That is their support for depending on another for interpretation. Again, today’s verses prove those skeptics wrong.

First of all, God carefully chose His words when He called the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Truth. As God’s born-again child, how can I read His words and interpret wrong? Granted there will be verses that I do not understand just yet but in due season, He will reveal to me their meaning. But on the most part, I can open the Bible and read and understand what God intended because I possess the Spirit of Truth!

Furthermore, the Holy Spirit will guide me into all truth and will show to me what I do not understand. James penned it beautifully:

~James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Before you go to someone for guidance, turn to God’s Word. It is the ultimate guide!

There are different opinions on how one can worship God. Some worship God only if they are in a church “building.” Others worship God by kneeling and praying. Even yet more worship Him by singing or through the actions of their deeds. While all of these are good, one must not neglect what the root of true worship really is. Let’s go to God’s Word to see what He says:

~John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

There are two steps to worshiping God:

  1. Worship Him in spirit
  2. Worship Him in truth

To be able to worship God in spirit, one must have the Holy Spirit residing within him. How can we have the Holy Spirit residing within us? Jesus said that we must be born again.

~John 3:5-6 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Once one is born again of water and of the spirit, one receives the Holy Spirit. The water does not reflect baptism here. The water reflects the water of life, the Word of God. God gives us the Holy Spirit at the time we acknowledge our sinful nature to Him and become born again – with a new attitude toward sin.

~2 Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

~Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

~Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Our Heavenly Father desires that we worship Him in spirit and in truth. The only truth we can count on is from Him. God left us His Word, the Bible, to read and learn exactly what the truth is. People today are distracted by man’s words and cannot worship God in truth.

~John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

~John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

~John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

~1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

One can only worship God if one is born again! It is at this point that we sealed with the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, who testifies of Jesus Christ and gives us understanding of His Word through the bible. There is no other way to worship God. Any efforts to worship God in any other way are futile.

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Who/What should be our teacher? Your rabbi? Your priest? Your pastor? The popular commentaries of today? Who? What? How does the Word of God respond to that question? (Jas 1:5) If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

My friend, upon being born-again, I received the Holy Spirit and He became my Teacher. (Eph 1:13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Since He wrote the Bible, He ought to be my main source for learning.

Use your logic today. God gave you a brain – exercise it! If you want to know all about plumbing, you go to a plumber, correct? If you want to learn how to rewire the electrical in your home, you would seek the help of an electrician. If you want to know about God’s Word, go to the One who wrote it! It’s as simple as that. The born-again believer receives the Holy Spirit the day he is saved. The Holy Spirit’s job is to teach (Eph 1:13 above) and, therefore, go to the Teacher! He speaks the same thing to all His children. Granted, we may not all learn at the same pace, but once He has taught us a certain doctrine, it will be the same thing that all other born-again believers have learned about the same doctrine.

For example, I learned about tithing around the fifth year after I was saved. Before I learned about it, whatever I heard on the subject didn’t really stick with me. When God saw that I was ready to learn this subject He saw fit to teach me. But until I learned it, I had the wrong “concept” and thought it was only for the Jews. Of course, once He taught me, I learned what God’s Word actually said on the matter. He later confirmed what He had taught me at home with a message the Pastor preached one Sunday evening. I knew then that I had learned what God had wanted me to learn. Why are there different “interpretations” today? It is only because of man’s laziness to study the matter out. God is not man that He should lie. He will not teach you one thing on tithing and then teach me something totally different on the same subject. That is not consistent with His character.

Therefore, if there be any deviations, it is because man has brought his own ideas into the matter due to laziness. He has not studied it out and allowed the Holy Spirit to speak to him – or this man is not born again and does not possess the Holy Spirit of God in his life. God says we can have wisdom – all we have to do is ask Him (James 1:5 above) and He will give it to us liberally and won’t withhold any of it. Why would He promise that if He could not fulfill it through the Holy Spirit? What the Holy Spirit teaches us on a daily basis will be confirmed in the preaching of the Word of God when you go to church services. The man of God will speak that which the Holy Spirit has given to him for your benefit. If you do not agree with what you hear, dig into the Bible and find out whether these things be so. The Bereans did that and were commended for doing so. (Act 17:10) And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. (Act 17:11) These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Why would God compliment the Bereans here for searching the Scriptures daily to confirm what they had been taught by Paul and Silas? These Bereans did not even take Paul and Silas’ words for granted. They did not assume because Paul was a church leader that his words were gold! No – absolutely not. They searched the Word and made sure that they were being taught according to the Word of God not man’s!

Over and over in the Word of God, we find the phrase “teach me.” Repeatedly we see that God’s Word is to be followed. That is God’s desire for us. (Num 23:19a) God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: He will not cause us to believe one thing and then lead someone else to believe another. It is not His nature to do so. This verse says that He will not repent. If the Holy Spirit taught you that you should tithe 10% and taught me that I don’t need to tithe at all, He would have to repent. That goes against this verse! Therefore, all of us who are in Christ will be taught the same thing through His Holy Spirit. Again, we may not all learn at the same time but we will eventually be taught the same things in time. Whether we learn it and apply it to our lives depends on whether or not we grieve the Holy Spirit.

Let’s look at the following verses. I hope that they will open your eyes if you think it is OK that learning from a man supersedes what God has written in His Word.

(Psa 25:4) Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.The Psalmist didn’t want to learn someone else’s ways. No, his prayer was that God would show him His ways. He so wanted to be taught by the Lord. What a humble heart! He says it again in the following:

(Psa 25:5) Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

(Psa 27:11) Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.(Psa 86:11) Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

(Psa 119:12) Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.

(Psa 119:26) I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.

(Psa 119:33) HE. Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.(Psa 119:64) The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.(Psa 119:66) Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.(Psa 119:68 ) Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.(Psa 119:108 ) Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments.

(Psa 119:124) Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes.

(Psa 119:135) Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes.

(Psa 143:10) Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

Is it any wonder that David was the apple of God’s eye? He so desired to learn God’s Word and to be taught by the Master Teacher!

(1 Cor 2:13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Cor 2:14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. No wonder there are so many different “interpretations” of God’s Word today! Man has given way to being taught “man’s wisdom” rather than the teachings of the Holy Spirit. Instead, they use as their defense that the born-again believer’s interpretation is his “own.” Again, they limit the God of Glory, the Almighty! They say that He cannot possibly give us His Word today. It must be given to us through church leaders and if the church leaders change it or add to it, it’s OK because they have extra unction from above!

(1 John 2:26) These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. (1 John 2:27) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. The Apostle John did not mince his words here. He boldly states to the believers that they should not be deceived because they have the Holy Spirit revealing to them His Truths! The One who anoints us at the new birth is there to teach us – He is not a liar so He will not teach us different things but will teach us all the same way as we grow in His grace.

Don’t be caught up in a religion of works which teaches you that you can be saved through Christ plus anything else. This is a false Gospel. It is salvation through Christ plus nothing. Period. No church tradition – no baptismal regeneration – no purgatory – no Joseph Smith – no Allah – no Buddha – nothing!

The Word of God says if you believe that there is more to salvation that you are wells without water – you are in darkness. (2 Pet 2:17) These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. (2 Pet 2:18 ) For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. (2 Pet 2:19) While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. (2 Pet 2:20) For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. (2 Pet 2:21) For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (2 Pet 2:22) But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. These people once believed the truth but they corrupted it and believed the truth “plus something more” – They now are under bondage again – leading others to hell along the way.

(Pro 14:12) There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.(Pro 16:25) There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.(Mat 7:13) Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: (Mat 7:14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

You know what, my friend? I would rather follow the Berean’s pattern and know that it was the right pattern because God complimented their diligence in studying the Word! Also, I would rather do that which pleases God than to do that which man says I must do. If a conflict arises between God’s Word and man’s word, God’s Word will win, hands down!

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(Psa 119:33) HE. Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. (Psa 119:34) Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. It is the Lord God who provides us with understanding. He is the One who does the teaching through His Word. The Psalmist recognized this and it is no wonder that he was considered the apple of God’s eye! When a person desires to learn God’s Word, you can be certain God will teach him. The Psalmist did not go to a teacher or to the high priest, he spoke to God and asked God to teach him – to show him – to give him understanding. What did the Psalmist want to do with what he learned? The answers are found in the second half of both verses: “and I shall keep it unto the end” and “I shall keep thy law.”

Does this not bless you, Christian? It is God who does the teaching when we seek for wisdom and knowledge through His Word. Jesus Christ’s words pack a wallop when He said, (Joh 14:16) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; First of all, the Spirit will abide with us for ever!! Praise the Lord! We do not have to walk in darkness, not knowing the way that Jesus would have us to go. Christ’s Holy Spirit was left behind for the believer and He has many functions in our lives.

Here are just a few of the roles of the Holy Spirit in our lives:

1. He anoints the soul winner and will teach you what to say when you need to say it:
(Mat 10:20) For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

So why are worried about what to say when you talk to someone about getting saved? The Lord Himself tells us that the Spirit will do the speaking, through you!

(Luk 4:18 ) The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

2. He will comfort the believer:
(Joh 14:16) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

The Holy Spirit is here to stay in our lives. He will not leave us or forsake us but is here for ever!

3. He will lead us to truth and will put God’s Word in our hearts:
(Joh 14:17) Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
(Joh 16:13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

We learn that the unsaved do not understand the things of God because they do not possess the Holy Spirit – He is not residing in them. They cannot know the truth without Him.

(2 Co 3:16) Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. (2 Co 3:17) Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

When we are born again, the vail is removed from our eyes and we are no longer blinded. We now are free from condemnation and have the beautiful and precious liberty of knowing that we have eternal life in Christ Jesus. I remember when I first got saved and opened the Bible for the first time. I was amazed that I immediately understood God’s Word where just a few weeks before, it was as dry as dirt!

4. He testifies of Jesus:
(Joh 15:26) But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

It is the Holy Spirit of God that reveals the truth of salvation through Jesus Christ. Without accepting this truth, we cannot be saved. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals it and then He comes to dwell within us and continues His role as Teacher and Comforter. Praise the Lord for the Spirit in our lives! We are not left to fight alone!

5. He seals our salvation for eternity:
(Eph 1:13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (Eph 1:14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
(Eph 4:30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Amen and amen! We do not bounce in and out of salvation if we are truly born-again. How can we know if we are? The Word says in 2 Cor. 5:17 that we are a new creature and that old things are passed away and all things are become new! The repenting sinner that comes to Christ will continue in Christ. Just like the Parable of the Sower, the Gospel seed fell into good soil and grew. There is no question as to what the outcome of a growing seedling is. It produces something – it just does not die – it grows. The true born-again Christian grows – maybe slowly but he grows none-the-less. His old lifestyle dissipates and you can tell that he is changing. The one who says he is born again and yet is unrepentant and goes on with his sinful ways is not truly born again.

6. He sanctifies the believer:
(1Co 6:11) And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

The Holy Spirit sanctifies the believer – He sets us apart and molds us spiritually so we can represent Christ and we can reflect His image. Because of the Spirit’s sanctification in our lives, we become less like our old nature and more like Christ’s nature. His job is to convict us and discipline us when we stray from the path.

7. He can be grieved:
(Eph 4:30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Grieving the Holy Spirit is to prevent His direction in our lives. In other words, when you are under conviction and you ignore it, you are grieving the Holy Spirit of God in your life.

8. He will punish those who trod under foot the Son of God:
(Heb 10:29) Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? Who would call Christ’s blood as unholy and do despite unto the Holy Spirit? Right off the bat, I can think of catholicism. They offer Him in sacrifice every day through the mass – His first and only sacrifice of the cross is not sufficient. Not only catholicism, but all the other cults out there that diminish the work of the blood of the cross!

(Jas 1:5) If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. In closing, God’s Word promises us wisdom if we ask God. He has left us with the Holy Spirit, the Teacher, the Comforter and the One who has our salvation sealed unto the day of redemption! Who better to teach us than the One who glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ!

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It is no wonder that Christ would leave us with His perfect Holy Spirit to reside within us. I love the fact that we don’t have the Spirit hovering over us in a cloud as the Jews did in the days of the Old Testament. No, instead we have Him right inside us – He’s there all the time, wherever we go! No wonder Christ could say that He would never leave us or forsake us!

I have heard messages preached on the fruit of the Spirit, but as I was searching out about the work of the Holy Spirit I discovered that there were seven different works that the Holy Spirit does for us. As the number seven symbolizes perfection, we can see that God’s work is meant to be perfect – it is man’s sin that stands in the way. We will lack nothing from God as His work is perfect. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (Deu 32:4)

Let’s take a look at how the Holy Spirit of God works in our lives. Rom. 8:26-27, Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (26) And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (27)

1. He helps our infirmities: The Holy Spirit helps us and carries our burdens. In this case, He helps us with our weaknesses, both physically and mentally. Not all are to be physically healed (as in the cases of Paul, Timothy and Gaius) but all can be spiritually healed. I absolutely love the verse: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Mat 11:29) Christ promises rest for the soul (salvation) in this verse. The Holy Spirit draws us to Him and the result is help for our sin – salvation through Christ and the promised rest for our soul is given to us.

2. He makes intercession for us: Noah Webster’s definition of intercession absolutely blesses the heart!

INTERCES’SION, n. [L. intercessio, from intercedo. See Intercede.]

The act of interceding; mediation; interposition between parties at variance, with a view to reconciliation; prayer or solicitation to one party in favor of another, sometimes against another.

Your intercession now is needless grown;

Retire and let me speak with her alone.

He bore the sin of many, and made intercession

for the transgressors. Isa 53.

Compare Noah’s definition with Merriam Webster’s definition:

Main Entry: in·ter·ces·sion
Pronunciation: “in-t&r-‘se-sh&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin intercession-, intercessio, from intercedere
1 : the act of interceding
2 : prayer, petition, or entreaty in favor of another

Is it any wonder that the believer does not receive the blessing he would receive if he were to look up the definitions intended at the time the King James Bible was put into English? I glean so much more from the Word when I take the time to read the definitions as they were intended.

The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us, my friend. He mediates to the Father for us. I can see Him tell the Father, “Father, Kate really needs a new winter coat. I don’t think it’s a good idea to give her a mink coat but I do believe that second-hand wool coat would provide her with great warmth!” Can’t you see Him saying that? The Holy Spirit “interposes between parties at variance, with a view to reconciliation” – We are at variance with the Father until we come to Him through Christ. The Holy Spirit draws us to Christ with the goal to reconcile us to the Father! He prays to the Father in our favor, and sometimes against our favor. When we are praying for something the Spirit knows is not to our benefit, He will approach the Father against our favor. How beautiful a picture of praying in God’s will. The Holy Spirit sees to it that our Heavenly Father is approached with the right kind of prayer on our behalf. How can we go wrong?

Notice how verse 26 goes on to say “for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” The charismatic groups use this in defense of speaking (praying) in tongues. However, the verse says “which cannot be uttered! The word utter means:

1. To speak; to pronounce; to express; as, to utter words; to utter sounds.

You’ve been there in your prayer life – a prayer request that you just don’t know how to put into words or even how to pray for. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in. It does not mean that you are now going to speak or pray in an unknown tongue because verse 26 says that it is not “spoken, pronounced or that sound is not made.” The Holy Spirit’s work here on our behalf is to put into words to the Father what we are not able to do for ourselves. He prays it just right for us.

3. He searches the heart: The Holy Spirit searches our hearts for the reasons behind our prayers – our motives – He investigates every aspect and knows all there is to know. I picture Him with a flashlight going through the dark recesses of my heart where He finds what He is looking for. He is the ultimate investigator. He strives to prevent us from fulfilling this verse: Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (Jam 4:3)

4. He teaches us: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. (Luk 12:12) He is our teacher. He will put God’s Word in our minds and hearts when we need it so that we know what to say when we need to say it.

5. He comforts us: But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (Joh 14:26) Why would the Lord use the word “Comforter” in this sentence instead of Teacher? Have you ever been led to a verse in the Word when you were down hearted and it brought to you the comfort you needed desperately? I know I have. I think of Psalm 121 and how many times I have turned to that chapter in desperation only to walk away uplifted and encouraged. I can see why the Lord use the word Comforter here. The Holy Spirit brings to our memory the Word of God, where to turn to in the Word, what to read in the Word and what to glean from the Word. He knows exactly what we need, when we need it. There’s no greater comfort, my friend, than to possess the Spirit of God within us – the Spirit who stands ready to give us exactly what we need.

6. He draws us to Christ: To deny the Holy Spirit’s calling is serious business. He draws us to Christ. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. (Mat 12:32) A person who says “no” to the final calling of the Holy Spirit for salvation is damned for all eternity. My Pastor stood by a dying man’s bedside and absolutely begged him to get saved. This man kept saying, “I just can’t”! He had denied Christ too many times that he had reached the point that he just couldn’t be saved. If someone who is reading this devotional today is not saved, please keep this in mind. You can say you’ll get saved “some” day. But that day may come and it will be too late for you. Please don’t wait. (For he saith,
I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) (2 Cor 6:2)

7. He testifies of Christ: But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (Joh 15:26) The Holy Spirit verifies that Christ is the Son of God – the Second Person of the Trinity. How can He do this today? By the written and published Word of God – through witnesses beginning with the Apostles and those who saw Him in person! He can also use the Christian to witness to what Christ has done in his or her life. Noah Webster defines the word testify as:

TEST’IFY, v.t. To affirm or declare solemnly for the purpose of establishing a fact.

We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen. John 3.

1. In law, to affirm or declare under oath before tribunal, for the purpose of proving some fact.

2. To bear witness to; to support the truth of by testimony.

To testify the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20.

3. To publish and declare freely.

Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20.

How blessed we are to have the perfect work of the Holy Spirit directing our path! It is complete – it is perfect – it is thorough! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Faithful

Lord, You’ve been so faithful in
those times I’ve cried to You.
You’ve answered so many prayers,
and made wondrous dreams come true!

You’ve always been there to guide me
when I wasn’t sure what to do.
You gave me strength when I was weak,
and Your light came shining through.

I thank and praise You for Your gentle touch,
of reproof when I’ve gone astray.
You promised You’d never leave my side,
and You’d walk with me every day!

Kate Plourde

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I remember that day like it was yesterday.
I realized I was doomed, pretty hopeless I’ll say.
But The Comforter entered and brought me such peace.
I knew I was different, that burden released.

Those tears just kept coming, His Love could it be?
How precious and sacred that time was to me!
He washed me and saved me from sin and despair.
I was heading for hell, it seemed no one did care.

But my Heavenly Father loved a wretch such as me.
That He sent His Dear Son to shed blood on a tree.
He took upon Him all my sin and my shame.
That some day with Him I would be able to reign.

Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow.
How wonderful these words which bless my soul.
Too great for me is this Act of Great Love.
Provided by my Father from Heaven Above!
Thank you Lord for saving my soul!

Kate Plourde

1981

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