~Proverbs 6:23 “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life”

Some of us who are older can recollect being spanked by our parents. [It’s a sad state of affairs today where children threaten their parents with reporting them to Social Services if they spank them!] With each spanking I received as a child, I learned that what I did was wrong – sometimes I learned quickly and other times not so quickly. But the key here is that I actually learned something from each spanking.

So it is with our Christian walk. Instead of parents, however, we have the Word and our Heavenly Father. God has given us the Word to intruct us. I love the way Proverbs 6:23says that the Word is a lamp and a light for us. It is not a deep dark secret with hidden messages only to be interpreted by a priest, pastor or rabbi. It is a light to the one reading and who is seeking God’s will. We all can know what the Bible has to say without depending on another for intepretation. I find it interesting that the Holy Spirit impressed upon Peter to pen the following verses:

~2 Peter 1:20-21, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (20) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (21)

It is not man’s interpretations that we should be seeking. We should be seeking the Holy Spirit’s interpretation because He is the One who wrote the Bible  – He used holy men who submitted themselves to be used by Him. These were not men who were living like the world. This is not the way I was raised. In fact, not once was I encouraged to read the Bible from the time I could reason to the age of 25. Instead, I was told to listen and obey my church leaders. I was told that this was true faith. Then why did I feel so empty inside?

Now that I am born again and can read and understand God’s Word on my own, I say that this was not true faith but sheer naivety on my part. I am the one who will personally be accountable before God for my actions – not anyone else but meSo then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12) No one can stand before me in a court of law today and give an account and take my punishment for breaking a law in the United States. No one! Why should it be different before God – the lover of righteousness? I cannot blame my actions on anyone else and, therefore, must take the punishment for my sins. Praise the Lord that Christ took that punishment for me! 🙂

The second thing I noticed in this Proverb was that reproofs of instruction were a way of life for the believer. Daniel Webster defines reproof as:

1. Blame expressed to the face; censure for a fault; reprehension.Those best can bear reproof, who merit praise.

He that hateth reproof is brutish. Prov 12.

2. Blame cast; censure directed to a person.

Why would God include this immediately after stating that the Word was a lamp and light to us? Clearly the Word has been given to us to teach us the right way to go. When we get off the right path and disobey that instruction, God then corrects us and sometimes must chastise us.

~Hebrews 12:6 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. (Proverbs 3:12) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Don’t follow man’s teaching blindly – no matter who that man is. It is good to listen to good preaching but it does not remove your responsibility as a born-again child of God to make sure that what you are hearing is in line with God’s Word.

~2 Timothy 3:15 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

When a man (or “church”) teaches something contrary to God’s Word, you must search it out for yourself. We will each be accountable to God for what we did in life. We won’t be able to blame another when we stand before God and give an account for believing what “the church” or “the preacher” taught us. The Word was given to each of us as a lamp and a light – it is clear that this is not a case of the blind leading the blind – the blind see no light. The born-again believer is no longer blind! 🙂

Therefore, God makes it quite clear that His Word shines brightly with His teachings and doctrine. For the believer, this is very encouraging because we are not left alone to our own devices.

~Romans 1:21-22, “But to the unsaved, you are without excuse. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (21) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (22)

Dont’ be a fool today. Study for yourself and receive the nuggets God so wants to reveal to you 🙂 Let the light of the Word shine in your heart and draw you to the cross where your burdens may be lifted!

~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!

~John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

Jesus spoke the words in today’s text.  He made it very clear that it was by His words that would pass judgment on man kind.  Those who reject Him and do not receive His words will be judged according to His words.  (John 1:1) Since mankind will be judged according to what is in the Scriptures, then it must be our final authority in all matters.

When we break the law of the land by speeding, we will be judged by a paragraph and section in the book of statutes for that jurisdiction.  The ticket issued lists the section of the code of law that has been broken.  I imagine Judgment Day to be the same.  The books will be opened and man will be judged according to the Bible book, chapter and verse which has been broken.

God’s words have been present amongst mankind for thousands of years.  God’s words were initially entrusted to the Jews and then to the Christians.

~Romans 3:1-2 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit [is there] of circumcision? 2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

Man’s argument is that the Bible was written by man.  But God knew this would be an argument and He included the Scriptures to refute them.

~2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.

One of the Holy Ghost’s tasks was to record God’s words in a book by working through men.  The mention of  God commanding to write things “in a book” occurs 12 times throughout the Scriptures. His words are important and are not only to be used to judge us when we die, but also to help us while we are living.

~2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture {is} given by inspiration of God, and {is} profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

We are to apply God’s words to our everyday lives in order to become more Christ-like in our walk.  It is the word of God that cleanses us and it should be our plumb line in our decision making. (Psalm 119:9)  I’ve been told by religious people who do not believe that the Bible is our final authority that I am interpreting my way. However, God’s word contained Scripture to refute them:

~2 Peter 1:20-21 (20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake {as they were} moved by the Holy Ghost.

It amazes me that the religious crowd can adopt their church’s traditions as their final authority but yet they cannot read 2 Peter 1:20-21 in context.  These verses are not difficult to understand. The fact of the matter is that those who do not hold the Bible as their final authority are those who are afraid of what it contains.  The exhortations in Scriptures put man-made laws and religious works in the light in which they should be viewed – evil and from the devil. Man-made religion does not want its followers to read the Bible because they will receive God’s words and HE will expose religious heresies!

~Hebrews 4:12 (12) For the word of God {is} quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and {is} a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

God promises us that none of His words will return empty and fruitless.  There is power in His words and they have the power to draw one to salvation despite of man-made religion. (Romans 1:16)

~Isaiah 55:10-11 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: (11) So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper {in the thing} whereto I sent it.

As well, those who do not believe in the Bible as their final authority also do not want their followers to search the Scriptures because their false doctrine will be exposed.  The Scriptures lead us to see our sin (the Ten Commandments) and they also lead us to salvation.

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

The Bible says that we must be born again, plain and simple.  Not born again at birth (John 3) but born again to a new life.  When one says they are born again after their physical birth when then they are baptized, they are ignorant of the word of God.  God says that we must repent and have faith.  (Acts 20:21) A baby cannot repent of its sins and have faith.  This is the corruptible seed of false doctrine which results in religion that does not hold the Scriptures as their final authority.

~1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

David knew the importance of God’s words.  He realized that there was nothing that could refute what God had spoken. God’s words are forever settled.

~Psalms 33:8-11 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was [done]; he commanded, and it stood fast. 10 The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. 11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

~1 Peter 1:24-25 For all flesh {is} as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: (25) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

~Psalms 18:30 {As for} God, his way {is} perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he {is} a buckler to all those that trust in him.

Nothing will supersede the word of God: not government’s laws, not man’s laws, not your church’s traditions, not your parents’ religion … nothing! God’s words are eternal and will be what is used to judge all mankind.  I don’t know about you, but if I am going to be judged by something, I would want to know what it was. I keep the laws of my State because I know most of the laws.  However, I will still be judged and held accountable for those laws which I don’t know.  For example, it is against the law in my State for someone to spit on the sidewalk.  Just because I didn’t know about it when I spit on the sidewalk, does not mean that I am exempt from that law. Absolutely not! I am accountable because I am a citizen of that State.

We will be held accountable according to the words of God written in our final authority, the Scriptures. You can’t hide your head in the sand and say you didn’t know.  It won’t matter because God gives everyone an opportunity (especially today when there’s a Bible in every household) to know His word.

~Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.


Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Peter 5:8) As I was meditating on this verse this morning, I thought of ways I could be sober and vigilant to avoid temptation. Truly, the only way to be able to do this is if I stay in God’s word. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:11) The more we are in His word, the more we will be able to be sober and vigilant. We’ll have Scripture fresh in our minds and available to meet our spiritual need of the moment. We’ll have filled our mind with spiritual vitamins to strengthen ourselves.

James says that it is our own lusts that entice us to sin. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (James 1:14) If a believer has been in the Bible and is drawing nigh to God, he will be able to be sober and vigilant when the devil comes as a roaring lion. But even when our defenses are down, our Heavenly Father pities us and knows what we are going through and He promises to help us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (Psalm 103:13) God knows what we need and is able to deliver us. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations… (2 Peter 2:9) Because He knows and is able to deliver us, He goes to great lengths to help us. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13) (Emphasis mine)

Oh Christian, we don’t need to wallow in sin like the world. We have the ability to ward off temptation. Each time we are in the Scriptures drawing nigh to God, we are building up our defenses. Each day we should start by asking the Lord to protect us against the day’s temptations. Christ taught us this in His model prayer. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:13)

As I am being sober and vigilant, I find that I am not so easily led astray. I’m aware of my surroundings and I do not place myself in situations where I know I will be tempted. I will not be quick to go out with unsaved acquaintances because I know that they will not have my spiritual interests at heart. Instead, I will ward off temptation and steer clear. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (2 Peter 3:17)

My Morning Manna from God’s word prepares me to be spiritually fueled for the day. I feel like I have armor on and am ready for battle. My thoughts are filled with the Bible and what I have gleaned. My thoughts are not on my troubles of the day because I’ve already shared those with the Lord and left them with Him. I also find that when my thoughts are not on myself, I am not easily tempted. There is nothing like a good pity party to get one focused on self and everything we lack in life. The lust of the flesh is aroused and bang! The roaring lion pounces and we are tempted to sin. But do not be discouraged, my friend, Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4) What lovely words those are! Thank You, Lord!

Dear God…
Please make my Morning Manna
Spiritually filling for today
Protect me from fleshly lusts
As I walk along the way

~Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. 

I have loved this verse for many years now. The Lord first gave it to me when I was going through some very difficult trials in my life. When God would speak to me through the Pastor’s messages, I did not like what I was hearing. I did not want to follow the guidance the man of God was clearly preaching. What he was preaching was too hard for me and I felt that it was too much to bear. Sometimes we look at our trials as a whole and get discouraged. This is what I did. I would look at the big picture, hear the preaching and think to myself that God didn’t know what He was asking me to do! Was I ever wrong!!

When the Lord gave Psalm 119:165 to me, it was as though He had reached down and hugged this child. He spoke to me through His word and said that if I love the Scriptures, nothing in it will cause me to fall or stumble. He would not ask me to do anything that would be bad for me. So, I obeyed the Lord through the preaching and did what was asked. The end result was one of great peace. All the fears I had of what might happen, never happened. I feared the unknown and feared what God would have me to do – all for nothing. The Bible assured me peace if I followed it and it was true!

I pray that you would glean from that testimony and apply it to your own life. I pray that you will see this verse as one that will bring life changing results to you. Let’s look at it and pick it apart this morning. The Greek word for “offend” is

H4383
מכשׁל מכשׁול
mikshôl mikshôl
mik-shole’, mik-shole’
Masculine from H3782; a stumblingblock, literally or figuratively (obstacle, enticement (specifically an idol), scruple): – caused to fall, offence, X [no-] thing offered, ruin, stumbling-block.

Noah Webster also defines the word in the same manner:

6. To disturb, annoy, or cause to fall or stumble. Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing shall offend them. Psalm 119.

What a blessing this is. God’s word will never bring you harm, my friend. You may hear some hard preaching and refuse to apply it to your life because you feel it is too hard or it will create problems. But God’s word says otherwise. The Scriptures are not offensive. He would never give us something that would cause us to stumble – It only promises peace.

You may be thinking that you already know this. But let me ask you this. Have you heard a message recently where the Pastor says “A Christian should not be  _______!” (fill in the blank)? Were you guilty of whatever it was he said you should not do? If you were guilty, did you stop doing it? Or did you shrug it off. If you shrugged it off, you are sinning. And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3:15) God’s man has been given to your church to feed you from the Scriptures so you can grow in knowledge and understanding, my friend. The Holy Spirit cannot do a work in you if you are not going to respond to the message God has laid on his heart. The ‘guilty’ feeling you have inside is the Holy Spirit acknowledging that what you have heard is an area that God wants you to work on. When your Pastor brings your name up before God in prayer, is he able to do so with joy or with grief? If it is with grief, the Bible says it is unprofitable to you.

We all have an area in life where we struggle. Why do we think that ours is unique and is just too great to give up? Don’t be angry with the Preacher for preaching God’s word. If you are, Psalm 119:165 cannot be a verse you can claim. Instead, submit to the preaching and allow the Holy Spirit to do a work in you. There is nothing that you are experiencing right now that you cannot overcome, my friend. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

God promises peace and He gives peace. The only thing we have to do to obtain that peace is to be in His word. How hard is that? D.L. Moody once said, “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” If things are going wrong and you are overwhelmed, look at your Bible life. I have met Christians who are going through tremendous trials but I would never know it. These Christians are in their Bible and applying it to their lives as they glean God’s peace.

Why struggle when you can have that sweet peace that only God can give His children? He waits to give it to you. Why ignore Him? Spending time in the word of God and yielding yourself to it produces that peace. Your trials may not go away but the Lord will give you that peace which is beyond understanding! (Philippians 4:7) These negative people seem to enjoy living this way – constantly defeated. Do you actually enjoy the unrest in your spirit? Do you actually want to continue to live with such a dark cloud over you? Maybe you are the kind of person who loves the attention you get because of it. Believe me, the only attention you are getting is from people who are in the same situation as you are. You are like a person who is drowning – you are looking to others who cannot swim to help you. Instead, you should be looking to others who can provide you with a life preserver!

You can turn yourself around, you know. Sure it will mean setting aside time to read the Bible and study it. Sure it will mean that you will have to apply what you learn and give up those sins that God places on your heart. Sure it will take an effort on your part, but wouldn’t it be worth it? If you’re miserable, Christian, it’s because you choose to be miserable. The sad thing is that you bring down those around you, too. You will have much to account for when you stand before the Lord. Wouldn’t it be easier to submit to God’s word today? Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psalm 119:165)

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3)

LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us. (Isaiah 26:12)

Elvina Hall was born in Alexandria, Virginia on June 4, 1822 and died July 18, 1889, in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. There is not much information on her but what I did find said she married Richard Hall of Virginia. After he passed away, she married a Methodist minister named Thomas Meyers.

As I listened to this hymn today and meditated on its words, it was evident that Elvina truly knew her Saviour and she knew her Bible. No one can pen these precious words and not have been in the Word!

Jesus Paid it All
Elvina M. Hall

I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Refrain

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim,
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

Refrain

And now complete in Him
My robe His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.

Refrain

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.

Refrain

When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.

Refrain

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down
All down at Jesus’ feet.

Refrain

I would love to be able to write poetry like Elvina Hall wrote. She must have had hundreds of verses committed to memory to be able to write a hymn that so closely attached itself to verses from Scripture! In each one I was able to think of a Bible verse to go along with it.

I hear the Savior say: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. (Psa 66:19)

“Thy strength indeed is small: If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. (Pro 24:10)

Child of weakness, watch and pray: Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. (Mar 14:38 )

Find in Me thine all in all: And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. (1 Co 15:28 )

Jesus paid it all: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Rom 3:25)

Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow: Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isa 1:18 )

For nothing good have I: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64:6)

I’ll wash my garments white, In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb: And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev 7:14)

And now complete in Him: And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: (Col 2:10)

Close sheltered ’neath His side: Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. (Psa 57:1)

Thy power and Thine alone: For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. (Psa 86:10)

Can change the leper’s spots: And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. (Mar 1:40) And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. (Mar 1:41)

My ransomed soul shall rise: In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Cor 15:52)

Jesus died my soul to save: For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. (Mat 18:11)

Shall rend the vaulted skies: For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Mat 24:27)

And when before the throne: After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; (Rev 7:9)

I stand in Him complete: And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: (Col 2:10)

I’ll lay my trophies down, All down at Jesus’ feet: The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, (Rev 4:10)

Are you not blessed by the amount of Scripture that can be thought of while reading her writings? I surely was blessed by it all. I consider this type of hymn to be the epitome of hymns because it points to the Word of God and focuses on the Scriptures! I hope you were as blessed with today’s hymn as I was! Praise the Lord and Amen!


My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, … Hosea 4:6 (KJV)

There’s no lack of knowledge in today’s world, that’s for sure! Like Babel (in Genesis 11:4), the people wanted to make a name for themselves. But this is not the knowledge that Hosea speaks of in Hosea 4:6. These people have a lack of knowledge. God tells Hosea that because His people have rejected the knowledge of His word, He will reject them. It is God’s word that brings salvation! The only way to be rejected of God is to reject Him – to reject His salvation. Sadly, man has grown so ‘full of knowledge’ that logically he finds no need for God. Man’s logic is all that is needed for them and the things of God are considered weak! There is no weakness in the Scriptures!

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb 4:12 (KJV)

God’s word is judgmental, strong and righteous. The Holy Spirit knows our every thought – every intention that the heart could possibly conceive. There is nothing hid from God and His word is certain to draw the secret thoughts of every man into the open. (Matthew 10:26) It is His word that reveals all truth. It is the Scriptures that convict and set us apart, sanctifying us and molding us into the likeness of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:12 is not a “feel good” verse. Division, cutting, and molding is the topic.

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. John 17:17 (KJV)

To the Christian, it brings encouragement that through God’s word, we are being taught and trained to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). To the religious and unsaved, it brings judgment.

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Tim 3:15-16 (KJV)

Do not be deceived by your religious leaders, friend! It is God’s word that lives forever and is the source of our salvation. Religion is corruptible but God’s word is not.

23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. 1 Peter 1:23-25 (KJV)

It is a sad day when man rejects the Bible and puts traditions and the ‘church fathers’ ahead of God’s word! It is this same word that will judge each one of us. Were we born again from it? If yes, spiritual growth lies within its pages. If one is not born again from it, then one will be judged according to all that is contained within. The same Bible that mankind has rejected (knowledge) will be exactly what is used to judge them!

He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. John 12:48 (KJV)

He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. John 12:48 (KJV)

What does one do when the Scriptures say something different than what we have been taught? We have been taught all our lives that our church fathers and church traditions are as inspired as God’s words so we must obey what the church says in order to be “saved.”

The Bible, however, says differently. Jesus’ own words in John 12:48 say that God’s word, the Scriptures, will be what shall judge us in the last day. Jesus’ words, recorded in the Bible, will be what is used. Just as the laws of the land judge a criminal, so will the Scriptures judge each one of us.

So put aside religious affiliation for just a moment and read what God says in His word about this topic. We all know that God is not capable of lying, but man is.

God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. Romans 3:4 (KJV)

Since God is incapable of lying, it stands to reason that His word contains the truth. We are to obey His word – above any words of man.

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29 (KJV)

If man says, “I have found ancient documentation which says we must follow church traditions” but yet church tradition contradicts God’s word. How is a person suppose to handle this? Will church tradition and church fathers be the ones to judge us come Judgment Day? John 14:28 says that we are going to be judged by God’s word, not man’s words or traditions. Therefore, if tradition contradicts Scripture, it stands to reason we would obey the truth found in Scripture.

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? Gal 3:1 (KJV)

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? Gal 5:7 (KJV)

Paul had the same problem with the Galatians. Those wishing to follow traditions were leading others astray. Paul exhorted them to get back on track and obey the truth of God’s word! It’s important, friend! It will make all the difference in whether you heed what you have been taught all your life or heed God’s word. How important is God’s word?

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. Psalms 138:2 (KJV)

God magnifies His word above His own name! How important is that??? Is it any wonder God’s word is attacked today? It is the word of God that cleanses us – it leads us to salvation in Jesus Christ! (Psalm 119:9) The born-again Christian keeps himself clean by heeding God’s word! We set ourselves apart by heeding God’s word.

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. John 17:17-19 (KJV)

Is it any wonder that the devil would distract mankind with religion? It is not religion that saves. It is Jesus Christ (John 14:6) that saves – it is His word that we must obey – it is according to His word that we will be judged. Wouldn’t you rather obey God rather than man so that you are certain rather than obey traditional religion and not know for certain? (1 John 5:13)

I hope you can see this photo clearly.  I took this of the beautiful California Redwoods.  Can you see the two vertical trees that have grown from the horizontal branches of this Redwood?  Isn’t that magnificent?  They are all part of the same tree!  I was simply amazed and in awe of the Lord’s handiwork.  In all of creation, there is an object lesson.  This particular picture brought today’s post to mind.

~1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

~Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

~1 Thessalonians 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

~1 Thessalonians 2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:

Who does one follow when it comes to the things of God?  Does one follow church leaders?  Does one follow the Bible?  What if the Bible says one thing and the church leaders say another? What does one do?

Some churches say that their church’s traditions and church fathers’ writings are additions to the word of God and more recent. Therefore, they must follow these traditions. Some believe that God’s word is the foundation only and traditions and church fathers’ writings are building blocks which must be obeyed. Hmmmm! That ought to be a red flag! (Proverbs 30:6 and Revelation 22:18)

Paul wrote several times in today’s text that we should follow God – and if we follow a church leader, that church leader must be following God and what His word commands.  In other words, we should not be following after a leader who goes against the scriptures.  The scriptures are our measuring stick.  If our church leaders say one thing and the Bible says another, we are to follow the scriptures.  Paul had the opportunity here to tell us to follow leadership even when they are wrong or even when they make up doctrine that goes against Scriptures.  However, Paul emphatically stated that we are to follow after leaders who follow after God – and God reveals His will in His word! Many churches are extremely against following the scriptures only. (Jeremiah 23:32, Matthew 22:29, Hebrews 3:10)

Read these verses and ask yourself if the church you attend falls under these guidelines.  There are fundamental beliefs in Scriptures that cannot be compromised – salvation is one of them.  What does your church leader teach about salvation?  Read your Bible – compare the two.  If there is any difference, your church leaders are not heeding Paul’s exhortation.

~Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

I came across this picture and chuckled to myself! What a funny looking tree, huh? I truly believe that there is a lesson from God in every piece of His creation. When I was in grade school Science class, we did an experiment on this very topic. We planted a bean in a cup filled with soil. We watered it, put it in the sun and watched how much it grew from day-to-day. We all know that all plant life grows toward the sun. When you shade a plant, it stunts its growth and slows the process. If the plant finds the smallest speck of sunlight, it will grow toward that sunlight. The tree in today’s picture doesn’t seem to have had a shade problem and I’m not certain why it’s so crooked, however, I think you see my point.

I wondered at how much our own spiritual lives are reflected in this picture! What circumstances would cause a new Christian to grow up crooked? Today’s text indicates that that the new believer is easily tossed about with wrong doctrine. He is easily deceived and sucked into false doctrine. Paul exhorts the Ephesians not to be like children! The only way to spot false doctrine is by knowing the true doctrine … by studying one’s Bible! Don’t study to be a man pleaser but study to show yourself approved unto God! God will reveal Himself and His doctrine to you if you are studious!

~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.

There are thousands of people on this planet who are preaching wrong doctrine. Just turn your TV set on and watch on any given Sunday. It is so sad that people are sucked into this spiritual vacuum and fall prey to these charlatans! They fall prey because they have not studied for themselves! It is easier for them to let someone else do the studying and they just follow! Letting someone else do your studying does not exempt you from studying for yourself! You will be accountable for your own actions. It may be easier for you to follow after someone else but you can be certain that you will be tossed about and carried away with every wind of doctrine, as Paul said.

Following after Christ is not easy. Christ never promised that being His disciple would be filled with good things and that you would prosper in wealth and in health. He did promise that you would prosper spiritually and that you would inherit eternal life, however! If wealth and health are in the future of every believer if they just believe, then Foxe’s Book of Martyrs is clearly a record of spiritually lacking people who have died and not prospered in their lives. It’s a sham to tell people this – it’s a money-making business! If people took it upon themselves to study for themselves, they would easily see the truth and the truth would set them free! Jesus said that the pathway to destruction is a wide path and many go through it. The Christian’s path is narrow but it is straight if he stays on it and reads, studies and applies what the Holy Spirit teaches him!

~Matthew 7:13-14 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: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Rejoice with me this morning! I was searching for a particular verse to share with someone that contained the words “thou art my.” To my delight, the Lord blessed me with these verses that describe my God!! I pray they bless you as much as they blessed me!!

~Psalms 16:2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;

~Psalms 22:10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.

~Psalms 31:3 For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.

~Psalms 31:4 Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.

~Psalms 32:7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

~Psalms 40:17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

~Psalms 44:4 Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob.

~Psalms 71:3 Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.

~Psalms 71:5 For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.

~Psalms 71:7 I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.

~Psalms 89:26 He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

~Psalms 119:57 CHETH. Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words.

~Psalms 119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

Now receive a blessing and put your name in place of the word “my.” Enjoy 🙂

~Galatians 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

Why is it so hard to find a “seasoned” Christian anymore? They are truly far and few apart. Many Christians start out well and are on fire for the Lord. But when the trials and tribulations of the Christian life set in, they are easily discouraged and give up. Some don’t give up until many years later. Why is that?

It is tribulation that seasons a Christian. As we experience each trial, we lean on the everlasting arms of Christ and we are able to see His hand in all of the details. We rest in His care and rely on Him to carry us through each one. We know that one day our trials will be over and our faith will be made sight when we see Jesus face-to-face!

~Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

When someone gives up and stops following Christ altogether (without ever coming back), one must question whether or not his profession of salvation was true. God does not treat His children differently – He gives them all the same care and helps them all through their trials. What makes this person who has given up different from the believer? Paul states in Galatians 5:7 that they were side tracked by false teachers and, therefore, did not obey the truth. Just what is the truth? Jesus said,

~John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

God’s Word is truth and the believer needs to feed himself daily with it! When one finds himself struggling spiritually, it is because he has not delved into the Word of God and fed himself. The average Christian would not miss a meal for fear of starvation. Why then would the average Christian consider going a day without God’s Word? Is not spiritual starvation worse?

It is God’s Word that fills the believer. It is God’s Word that guides us in all truth and reveals those deceivers to us! When wrong doctrine comes along, the Christian who is daily in the Word of God will spot it immediately. He will recognize wrong teaching as counterfeit and will steer clear from it.

~Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Don’t dismay, Christian! Keep running the race and don’t give up! Don’t let daily life get the best of you. These distractions are a ploy of Satan to discourage you! There are a lot of false teachers out there. Learn to recognize counterfeit religion by comparing it to the Truth!

God’s Word saves us from eternal life in the Lake of Fire:

~1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

God’s Word increases our faith:

~Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

God’s Word cleanses us as we mature in Christ.  By this, I mean that His Word challenges us to live more righteously with each passing day:

~John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

God’s Word sanctifies us for His use. Through His Word, we are cleansed and regenerated by being born again. Christ’s righteousness now covers us and all the Father sees is His precious Son’s righteousness over us. That is the only way we can be found holy and without blemish because we are all sinners (Romans 3:10) in need of salvation.

~Ephesians 5:26-7 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

God’s Word is so important! It is necessary for salvation. It is necessary for the believer to grow more Christ like. It is necessary to encourage the believer as he walks on his journey! Thank You, Lord, for Your Word!!

Deu 30:10  If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
Deu 30:11  For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
Deu 30:12  It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
Deu 30:13  Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
Deu 30:14  But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

~Deuteronomy 30:10-14  If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.   For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.   It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?  Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?   But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

God’s Word has been given to us to read.  It has been in written form for thousands of years.  To say that today’s Bible is outdated or has been corrupted is to say that God is not able to preserve His Words.  That puts limitations on God and we all know that God has no limitations.  God’s Word is final – settled both here and in Heaven.  His Word is true from the beginning of time and will continue to be true forever!

~Psalm 119:89  LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

~Psalm 119:160  Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
It would be cruel for the Father to leave us to our own devices when our hearts are so wicked.  Instead, He has left us with the Bible to teach us through His Holy Spirit and to bring to knowledge the wonderful plan of salvation that the Father, through Christ, has provided for us!
~Jeremiah 17:9-10  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?  I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
The Word of God leads us to salvation and teaches us all about Jesus Christ and His ministry.  His Holy Spirit guides us and feeds us through the everlasting Word of God.

~Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Just how important is God’s Word in our lives? If we take Luke’s passage, it seems that it must be very important because Luke says that we should live by every word of God. Who would know better than a physician like Luke? People today trust their doctors and follow their instructions impeccably. Why won’t they trust the Creator of the Universe’s words? It stands to reason that our all knowing God would know what to teach us, how to guide us down the paths of life, correct?

Let’s allow the Bible to speak to us today. The Word has been in written form for thousands of years. Scrolls and parchments were kept and preserved through the generations. Just reading the history of what Scribes had to go through to copy the Torah, one sees how it is not by chance and mistakes were not made in the Bible’s preservation. God spoke and man wrote down what the Holy Spirit told man to write.

Here’s what God’s own Word has to say about His words:

~1 Samuel 9:27 And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on,) but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God.

~1 Kings 12:22 But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying,

~1 Chronicles 17:3 And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,

~Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

~Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

~Luke 3:2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

Luke 5:1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

~Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

~Luke 8:21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

~Luke 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

~John 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

~Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

~2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

~2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

~Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

~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.

~Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

~Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

~1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

~1 John 2:14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

~Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Jesus Christ came to earth to speak His Word to us and to teach us about His Father’s great love. His Holy Spirit lives with believers and teaches us from the words that He moved men to pen. The Word of God has power to transform lives if we allow the Spirit to change us.

Those who do not believe that the Bible is God’s own Word miss out on one of the most wonderful experiences Christians have on a daily basis! It amazes me still to this day that I can ask God a question and He gives me an answer in His Word! His Word is living – it never changes – it is eternal.

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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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~1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

I have been writing devotionals for quite some time now. In those years, I’ve discovered that the arguments I get are mostly from intellects. They quote from philosophical writers, church fathers, books on traditions, catechisms, etc. Rarely, however, do they quote from the Scriptures.

God has written all that we need for salvation within the pages of His Holy Word. It is our source of spiritual life, if you will. When Christ was in the world and being tempted by the devil, He said:

~Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

God, Himself, instructed us to turn to His Word when we are under attack – undergoing temptations, trials, etc. God, in the flesh, used this method and, therefore, would know exactly what His children need. If Christ needed it, all the more should we!

Those caught in philosophy like to complicate the simplicity of the Scriptures. The Word is a guide and leads us down the path to Christ. Philosophers love to make it complicated so man will look at them in awe as though they are the only ones who can understand spiritual matters. Then you have those who try to combine science and philosophy to distract the lost with palm reading, ghost hunting, etc. These are smokescreens and distractions which lead the lost into more darkness. The Word of God sheds light and opens our eyes.

What is so simple? God loves, God provides, Christ came, Christ died, Christ arose, Christ lives! It is all about Jesus Christ and not about us. It is all about what Christ did for us and what we cannot do for ourselves. Plain and simple.

~John 3:16-19 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Therefore, it is not Christ who condemns us. It is the one who chooses not to believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven that condemns himself!

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

There is no other way to Heaven. It is not for man to decide the many ways to Heaven. It is, however, for man to accept that God is the one who provides salvation, not man. Therefore, man has to accept God’s way, not his own. God says that Christ is the only way. The devil would have man to be distracted from the beautiful simplicity of the Gospel. It’s easy to understand why there are hundreds of religions and belief systems in the world!

“We are not called to proclaim philosophy and metaphysics, but the simple gospel.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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Is your faith based on religious beliefs or on a real relationship with God? Is God just God to you or is He your Heavenly Father – your Abba Daddy? As you read today’s Psalm, does it mean something to you or is it just dry reading? To the true born-again believer, these words are like gold – they are precious and full of meat. The born-again believer reads, studies, gleans and applies God’s Word to his life. Is this true of you, dear catholic?

~Psalm 1:1-6 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. (1) But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (2) And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (3) The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. (4) Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. (5) For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (6)

Examine your own heart, my friend. Can you sit here truthfully and say that you meditate in God’s Word and you delight in it? Or have you allowed your religious leaders to guide and direct you? How do you know what they teach you is from God’s Word? How can you be certain? Do you double check to make sure?

~Nehemiah 9:34 Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.

How can one be certain that he is being taught the truth? You can’t just “hope” that you are being taught the truth, my friend. You, alone, will be held responsible for your own spiritual condition.

~Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

What would seem right to a man as it relates to his spiritual condition? I believe that this means that a man’s religion seems right to him but God warns that his religion is the way of death.

What is religion according to God’s Word? The word “religion” is only used five times in the Bible. The number five represents grace in God’s Word. How appropriate it is that God’s grace saves us from religion!

~Acts 26:5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

~Galatians 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

~Galatians 1:14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

~James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

~James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Wow! Even Paul, being in the strictest sect of Judaism (a Pharisee) considered his religion wrong. Surely the Pharisee fulfilled James 1:26-27! However, something was different in this born-again “religion.”

Do you keep yourself unspotted from the world? How can one possibly do this? In the flesh, one cannot. As an unsaved person, one cannot fulfill James 1:27 because he is dependent upon his own works to do so. For example, as a catholic I fulfilled visiting the fatherless and widows but that did not save me. Why not? Because I also did not keep myself unspotted from the world. I did as the world and then went to confession. These were my own works and they did not bring peace. I was depending on myself, not on Christ’s complete work on the cross!

The Word has all that we need to guide and instruct us, my friend.

~Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

The born-again believer desires God’s Word so that he may learn and grow spiritually. This desire draws him closer to God.

~James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

As a catholic, I was desirous to grow close to God. However, the way that I was taught to do so only drove me further from God. What was I doing wrong? I was not cleansing myself through the Word. I was double minded in my religious beliefs. I believed what the catholic church taught me but I never once opened the Bible to find out whether these teachings were of God. God will teach us. God will “spank” us when we are doing wrong. We do not need the penances of the catholic church.

~Psalm 94:12 Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;

The catholic church has made God’s law void. They want the poor catholic members to rely on the church rather than rely on God’s Word.

~Psalm 119:126 It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law.

The Bible promises that God’s Words will not go out void, however. That is why I have dedicated my life to this blog so I can reach the dear catholic who has depended on his church to save him.

~Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

My friend, God’s Word is never ending. He has not left us to our own devices. He has provided us truth in the Bible. He has provided us instruction in righteousness and truth. Christ, the Word of God, has given Himself for us. He removes all doubt – He removes all debt – He replaces it with eternal life!

~Psalm 119:142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.

Turn to the Bible today and read it. Let Christ show you salvation as He intended it to be. God wants to set you apart from the world. He wants you to be different. He wants you to be born-again, not the words spoken when you were baptized as a baby. Born-again is a newness of life – no longer following after the works of darkness. Search the Scriptures whether these things be so, dear catholic!

~John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

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Where do you stand as it relates to God? As a catholic, can you say that you can read your Bible and walk away with the same spiritual satisfaction as David did? You can, you know. Read these precious verses from Psalm 119. Note David’s heart,

~Psalm 119:162 I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.

~Psalm 119:164 Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.

~Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

David loved God’s Word like someone who had found a precious treasure! Is God’s Word a treasure to you? Do you treasure God’s Word in the same manner as David? When you open your Bible, do you turn each page believing that what you are about to read is worth more than a treasure? If not, why not?

David praised God seven times a day because God’s judgments are righteous. Everything that God does is holy and righteous. He provided a holy and righteous Son to take on our death penalty, my friend. Jesus Christ is our Saviour – He alone provides complete and total salvation. It is no wonder that David wrote the 165th verse! The person who loves God’s Word to this extreme will have great peace and there will be nothing that will cause them to stumble because they have the Word to guide them.

~Psalm 119:102-105 I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. (102) How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (103) Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. (104) NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (105)

So dear catholic, can you say you live by these verses? Do you let God’s Word teach you or man’s words? If you are the same kind of catholic I was, I dare you say you don’t. If you are the same king of catholic I was, you don’t even open your Bible but you depend on your priest to interpret the Scriptures for you.   It is not man that will teach you without error but you can totally depend on God to teach you without error! The catholic church has its members convinced that only the priest can accurately interpret the Word of God. But David was not a priest yet he penned these verses. David was not a priest yet he had God’s heart according to Acts 13:22. David was not a priest yet God taught him (~Psalm 119:102), God’s Words were like honey to him (~Psalm 119:103), God’s Words gave David understanding (~Psalm 119:104), and God’s Words gave David clear direction (~Psalm 119:105)!

If you are the typical catholic, as I was, these words are like a foreign language to you. They are foreign because you choose to listen to a priest instead of opening the Bible and reading for yourself. What harm can come to you if you read your Bible? If the catholic church is the same today as it was when I was a member, you are told not to read the Bible yourself because you will misinterpret it. God says differently in Psalms, doesn’t He?

How very sad indeed! Christ desires for us to have this kind of relationship right here – right now – this very moment – on this earth! Won’t you open your Bible and read? The Holy Spirit of God will enlighten you if you do!

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Galatians 6:7 warns us, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked.

I wondered if the phrase be not deceived appeared elsewhere in the Bible. Much to my surprise, I discovered that it appears five times (five is the Bible number representing grace).

God, in His mercy and grace, dictated what He wished us to beware of in His Word. He has not left us to chance – He has not left us to wonder what to do. So what are these five areas of which God wants us to take heed? Let’s take a look:

1. He warns us against deception:

Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; ~Deuteronomy 11:16

We are warned not to be conned into worshipping or serving other gods! God’s Word says that God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5) and does not want any other gods in our lives. There are many gods out there – many that most people don’t even realize are gods. Anything that you worship or put ahead of God is a god in your life. Is it a religious god, like Mary, Muhammad, Joseph Smith? Is it gambling? Is it alcohol? Is it your job? Anything that takes our eyes off the God of Glory and consumes our thoughts is a god in our lives.

2. He warns us of false Christs (anti Christs):

And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. ~Luke 21:8

I can hear some saying now that we could never be deceived by false or anti-Christs. But there are some who preach a false gospel – they are just as bad. They preach just enough truth but the rest is deception. Remember, there is no need to warn someone when the false preacher teaches open and blatant heresy. It’s the cunning lies and the cunning deceptions that one must be concerned with. The false teachers will appear to be Christ. Look at Satan – he is called the “Angel of Light.” He will strive to deceive even the elect [For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. ~Matthew 24:24 ]

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is plain and simple: He is the Son of God, He came down to earth in the form of man, born of a virgin, died on the cross to pay our penalty for sin, three days later He arose from the dead, then He ascended into to Heaven and now sits at the right hand of God awaiting His return. Salvation is only through Jesus Christ and no other. We have nothing to do with salvation. It was provided by God through Christ (For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. ~Ephesians 2:8-9). Anything else that is preached is a false gospel.

3. He warns us of who won’t enter the Kingdom of God:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor ~adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 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. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

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