being-more-like-christ
Philippians 1:21 – For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain.

Shouldn’t this be our goal as Christians? Isn’t that what a disciple is all about? I dare say that I fall short every day 🙁 Just how does one go about seeing Christ in the mirror instead of our own reflection?

1 John 2:6 – He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Walking in Him … Walking in the Saviour’s steps – in His path. What is His path? Psalm 119:105 has the answer for us. It is His Word that guides us and molds us into His image. If you think you’re going to grow in Christ and “look” like Him with only five minutes in your Bible per day, you’re sadly mistakened.

Galatians 2:20 – I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Christ is our example – His Holy Spirit is our Teacher who point us to that example!

Read, Christian – READ!

Gleaning Gold:

~Matthew 13:23  But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Nuggets of Truth:

I love how Christ used word pictures, don’t you?  His teachings were always very clear because they appealed to the senses.  Everyone of His day knew how to garden or had someone at home who knew how to garden.

Good soil just does not happen.  It takes nurturing by the gardener: weeding, cultivating, fertilizing, etc.  As we cultivate our hearts, we need to remove the weeds which can overtake us.  Worldliness is the weed in the believer’s life.  Fertilizing our hearts with God’s Word will most assuredly bring good soil and will most assuredly yield bountiful fruit.

We are exhorted to read and study God’s Word many times:

~Matthew 21:42a  Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures,

~John 5:39  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

~2 Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

~Acts 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.

~Romans 15:4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Why do you think it is so important to read and study the Bible?  First, it is there that you will find eternal life!  That’s the foremost reason.  Secondly, it is in the Word that we learn how to apply its teachings to our lives.  The Word provides everything we need for day-to-day living and how to deal with each trial and circumstance that comes our way.  We receive comfort, patience, peace and in turn we have hope.  Thirdly, the Word provides us with a foundation for our beliefs so we are able to recognize false doctrine when it is presented to us.

Refining the Gold:

~Luke 24:45  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

~2 Peter 3:16  As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

God opens our hearts at the time of salvation by giving us the Holy Spirit.  It is He who gives us understanding of the Scriptures.  The unsaved cannot understand.  In fact, they “wrest” the Scriptures, meaning they pervert the Scriptures.   Our last two verses make it quite clear as to why this is so.  The believer receives understanding of the Scriptures because God is the one who opens their understanding.  The unbeliever does not possess the Holy Spirit and, therefore, pervert the Word of God and twist it to mean whatever they want.

God’s Word is final.  ~Psalm 119:89  LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

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Gleaning Gold

~Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Nuggets of Truth

The Apostle John exhorted the believers not only to read this “difficult” book of the Bible but also to hear what God had to say.  Moreover, he did not stop there. He added the little word keep in the latter part of the verse. We can’t just read and hear but we must keep and not part with what God has taught us. Noah Webster defines the word “keep” as:

To hold; to retain in one’s power or possession; not to lose or part with; as, to keep a house or a farm; to keep any thing in the memory, mind or heart.

Anyone can read and anyone can hear. But not just anyone can keep in their hearts the Scriptures they have learned. Keeping denotes an act of hanging onto the doctrine that we have learned and not departing from it.  When we keep, or hang onto a doctrine we have learned, it means we are practicing it.  You’ve heard the old saying, “You can’t just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk!” A person who puts into practice what he has been taught is truly a disciple of God’s Word. That is why it is important to study the Bible and get the meat that God wants us to grow by.

This is so important that God speaks of it twice in Revelation:

~Revelation 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Refining the Gold

We don’t have much time left. Read, hear and keep what God has given to you as you do your Bible studies. What are you doing with those verses that you are reading or hearing preached? Do you apply them to your heart? Are you abiding by what God has taught you? This is how the believer grows in Christ.

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