Listen to and Accept Instruction

Listen to and Accept Instruction

We’re taught by the Word of God to listen to the Word and to obey it.  We’re also encouraged to accept instruction from our parents, our elders, and wise counselors.  Most human beings find these instructions challenging—at least some of the time!

But the Bible reminds us repeatedly that blessings, wisdom, and long life will be given to us if we listen to and accept instruction.  Let’s look at some Bible verses:

Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.  (Pro 4:10 NIV)

Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold . . . (Pro 8:10 NIV)

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.  (Pro 19:20 NIV)

Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart.  (Job 22:22 NIV)

This verse in Job recommends that we memorize the Scriptures to make it easier to meditate upon them.

And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.  (1 Thes 2:13 NIV)

The more that we memorize and meditate upon the Word–as well as obeying it–the more powerfully the Word will work in us and transform us into the image of our Savior and Creator.  God bless you.

Who Knows the Things of God?

Who Knows the Things of God?

Who can know the mind and heart of the Lord?  Who knows God’s thoughts?

For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.  (1 Cor 2:11 NKJV)

The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord that sheds light on one’s inmost being.  (Pro 20:27 NIV)

Oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?  (Rom 11:33-34 NASB)

The Spirit of God is the only One who knows the thoughts of God.  Even as we humans are the only ones who can know our own thoughts.  No one else can know them unless we share them verbally or in writing.

The Lord has given us His Word in the form of the Bible so that we may know Him better and learn all about His personality, His virtues, and His ways.  We can come to understand His thoughts much more clearly by studying and memorizing His Word.

The Bible teaches us that God’s thoughts are far higher than ours and they are also very different from ours.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
 (Isa 55:8-9 NKJV)

The Bible also reveals to us that God thinks about His people constantly:

But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks upon me.  (Ps 40:17a NKJV)

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  (Jer 29:11 NKJV)

The good news for us is that God thinks about each one of us all of the time!  His thoughts include planning a good and peace-filled future for each one of us.  Glory to God!

Allow God’s Word to Lead You

Allow God’s Word to Lead You

If we obey the Bible, it will lead us and guide us in wisdom and truth.

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?  By living according to your word.  (Ps 119:9 NIV)

Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.  (Jos 1:7 NIV)

Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  (2 Tim 2:22 NKJV)

From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures that are able to give you the wisdom you need for salvation through faith in the Messiah Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good action.  (2 Tim 3:15-17 ISV)

The Scripture passages that I have shared above demonstrate the wisdom of obeying the Bible, and the benefits that we receive from doing just that.

Obedience to the Bible will give us:

  • A righteous life,
  • Success in life,
  • A pure heart,
  • Wisdom, and
  • Training in righteousness.

God bless you and guide you.

What’s Your Delight?

What’s Your Delight?

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  (Ps 1:2)

Do you find delight in the Bible?  This Psalmist declares that he delights in the word so much that he meditates upon it and thinks about it all of the time—literally!

Most of us can find delight in our children; or in a certain sports team; or a wonderful movie . . . even a favorite meal.  But have we trained our appetite in such a way that we derive great pleasure from reading the word and meditating upon it?

We can prime ourselves to love and rejoice in God’s word by drawing closer to God.  That can be achieved through prayer, praise and worship, and simply quietly listening for His voice and His wisdom to be imparted to us after we have spent time in the word. 

After accustoming ourselves with the word, and receiving answered prayer because of praying according what we know the word says, then we will definitely begin to have a deep appreciation for God’s word.

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  (Ps 37:4)

As for the saints who are on the earth, “They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”  (Ps 16:3)

As Psalm 16:3 says, God delights in His saints and God notices when we delight in His word and in Him!  When we delight in Him, he gives us the desires of our heart.

Note:  This is a copy of our blog article dated 05/18/2017.

Taught by God

Taught by God

As followers of Jesus Christ, we can’t forget that Jesus came, in obedience to His Father, in order to save people and to reconcile them back to our Heavenly Father.  God is constantly ready to forgive and to save all who believe in Jesus.

Today we’re concentrating on Scriptures that tell us that all of our children shall be taught by the Lord. 

All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.  (Isa 54:13)  We are drawn closer to the Lord by submitting to His teachings.  Our relationship grows deeper and stronger the more we read, meditate upon, and study the teachings of the Bible.

It is written in the Prophets, and they will all be taught by God.  Everyone who has listened to the Father and learned from Him comes to Me.  (Joh 6:45 CEB)  All who receive the internal, spiritual illumination concerning Jesus Christ, the Savior, is drawn to God and to the teaching that comes from God through His Word, His Spirit, and His ministers.

The Spirit will bring glory to me by taking my message and telling it to you. 15 Everything that the Father has is mine. That is why I have said that the Spirit takes my message and tells it to you.  (Joh 16:14-15 CEV)  The Holy Spirit is our helper and our teacher.  He gives us wisdom, insight, and illumination into the teachings of the Bible.

Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another . . .  (1 Thes 4:9 ESV)  This is a confirmation by the Scriptures that those who belong to the Lord are taught by the Lord and are influenced daily by what they have learned.

All those who are taught by God (those who accept and act upon what they learn) will always turn to Jesus and receive Him as their Savior and Lord.  And once they have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, they will continue serving Him and obeying His leading and guiding through His Word and through the Holy Spirit.  We are not only the servants of God, but we are the children of God. All glory to God most High!

Don’t Choose to Oppress Others

Don’t Choose to Oppress Others

Today we’re looking at the wisdom of God’s Word, as well as the grave importance of choosing to be on God’s side at all times.

Do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways . . .  (Pro 3:31 NKJV)

An oppressor is also known as a “man of mischief”—a person who is an evildoer and who is destined to reap the eternal harvest of his wickedness.  That harvest of wickedness often begins to unfold while the oppressor is still on earth.

Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them . . .   (Pro 24:1 NKJV)

This verse warns us all to recognize that there’s nothing whatsoever to envy in those who are evil.  At times when evil men seem to succeed, we may become jealous of them, and then want to be with them.  The type of evil this proverb is discussing is associated with troublemaking and violence.  The Lord knows the end from the beginning, and He knows what torment awaits these cruel people. 

If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them.  (Eccl 5:8 NKJV)

In this verse, we are told not to marvel over the fact that in a certain province [district, municipality, county, or state] there is a person or people in authority who practice violent perverting of judgment and justice, and who oppress the poor under rule of law, backed with power. 

God is higher than the highest of officials. God has set other people in higher levels of authority who oversee the province where evil is being done.  If those higher officials do nothing to correct the situation, rest assured that God wields his own hierarchy of power.

There is a realm of angels who are employed by divine justice to protect the injured and to punish those responsible for harming the poor.  Our Supreme God in heaven demands that oppressors answer to Him.  And they will certainly do so, and they will not escape God’s judgment. So in all of your trials and tribulations, trust the Lord to rescue and to deliver you.  God bless you.

Wisdom is Proven Right

Wisdom is Proven Right

In the real world, in everyday living, a wise person is one who follows Biblical standards in their personal lives; and in consequence, experiences startling results. 

I’m describing a person who lives out their faith in Jesus Christ daily, moment by moment.  They extend their help and friendship to those in need; they share the love of Christ with all those who cross their paths; and they even make decisions on practical and political matters based upon their faith in Jesus Christ and in God’s Word.

Yet Wisdom is shown to be right by what its followers do.  (Lk 7:35 CEV)

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”  (Mt 11:19 NIV)  This verse is talking about Jesus being called a glutton and a friend of drunkards and sinners.  However, Jesus was wise in obeying the plan that Father God had for His live. 

Jesus knew that these were the very people that He had been sent to redeem.

Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.  (Hos 14:9 NIV)  As this verse reminds us, wisdom understands that the ways of the Lord are righteous and the just person walks in those ways.  Only the rebellious trip over them and end up struggling through life.

Do you want to acquire wisdom? 

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  (Jas 1:5 NKJV) With all sincerity of heart, ask the Lord to give you His wisdom today. He will certainly hear and answer your prayer, dear reader.

Don’t Seek the Dead

Don’t Seek the Dead

The Bible gives believers important instructions and guidelines for living a life of faith.  One point that is very important is that we should never turn to mediums, wizards, or fortunetellers for information about our future

Wisdom teaches us to place our trust in the Lord, knowing that He loves us and has plans to give us a blessed and meaningful future.  We already know that we will spend eternity in heaven with the Lord, and we may surely rejoice in this truth.

And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?  (Isa 8:19, emphasis added)

Note, this passage asks: “Should not a people seek their God?”  This is a hint from the Holy Spirit to us that it is only the Lord, Himself, who is capable of knowing the future.  And He is the only Being who has the power to change the future! So, we must turn only to the Lord Jesus when we are grieving, sad, or uncertain about what is to come.

And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people.  (Lev 20:6)

In the above Scripture, the Lord warns us that He will be in opposition to anyone who puts their trust or hope in mediums or soothsayers; and that He will cut such a person “off from their people” which is actually a sentence of death upon that person.

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.  (2 Pet 2:1)

2 Peter 2:1 states plainly that believers who turn to false prophets have brought upon themselves SUDDEN destruction.  We must avoid this at all costs! 

We are called to turn to the Lord Jesus for direction and guidance in the course of our daily lives.  As believers in Jesus Christ, we must jealously and conscientiously protect, defend and cherish our relationship with our Savior.  It is the most important aspect of our lives. May God surround you with His love and wisdom.

God Knows Those Who Trust in Him

God Knows Those Who Trust in Him

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.  (Nah 1:7)

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.  (Joh 10:14)

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.  (Pro 18:10)

But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.  (1 Cor 8:3)

Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”  (2 Tim 2:19)

Our God is full of power, wisdom and knowledge.  He knows when a person turns to Him with love, and when a person has put their trust in Him.  To such people, God is a fortress, a good shepherd, and a place of safety.

God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.  (Isa 64:4)  What a magnificent promise!

All who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior have been given many promises in the Bible.  Here are just a handful of such treasures:

  • Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.  (Deu 31:6)
  • The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence.
    I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.
      (2 Sam 22:3-4)
  • “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”  (Joh 10:28-30)
  • The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  (Ps 23:1-5)

Let me reassure you that God knows your heart.  He knows that you love Him, trust Him, and turn to Him in times of need and trouble.  He will not fail you nor will He ever forsake you.  He will meet your needs and fulfill His promises to you.  What joyous facts to know! Hallelujah!

God’s Counsels

God’s Counsels

Our Lord has given us His counsel and wisdom through His Holy Word.  We can’t enjoy these benefits of salvation if we don’t pay attention to the Bible and obey it.

O Lord, You are my God.  I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, for You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.  (Isa 25:1, emphasis added)

So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, to walk in their own counsels.  13 “Oh, that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways!  (Ps 81:12-13)

So that your trust may be in the Lord; I have instructed you today, even you.  20 Have I not written to you excellent things, of counsels and knowledge, 21 that I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send to you?  (Pro 22:19-21, underscoring added)

It’s a dangerous thing when man is permitted to walk in his own counsels, according to Psalm 81:12-13, above.  Counsels means advice, guidance, assistance, direction or warning. 

God’s counsels are blessings in our lives, and we need to recognize this truth.  We need to hunger and thirst for His counsels. 

The Bible says that God’s counsels are faithfulness and truth. (Isa 25:1)   What beautiful and blessed encouragements that the Lord, our God, bestows upon His people!

Faithfulness means truthfulness, reliability, loyalty, and commitment.  Truth means reality, integrity, and honesty.  What precious blessings these qualities are to all believers who pursue them and desire them! 

Only as we obey the Word and fill our hearts with passages from the Bible will we come to know and understand the counsels of God.  As we memorize and meditate upon the Word of God, our faith will be strengthened and we will grow in wisdom.  We will become qualified to answer with words of truth when people question us about our faith, or about the Bible.

As we honor and obey God’s word, by diligent search and study of God’s Word, we will sow God’s precious counsels into our own lives and hearts.  And the longer we walk with and serve the Lord, the more evidence we will see of this taking place in our lives.  And we will grow in wisdom, mercy, and understanding.  God bless you!