VIDEO The Deepest Secrets

But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:10

The Bible is a human Book—every word written by someone—so we should study it with ordinary methods of interpretation, not turning everything into some kind of allegory but taking the literal portions of the Bible literally and correctly interpreting elements that are poetic or clearly symbolic. But the Bible is also a divine Book—every word given by God—so we must study it with the Holy Spirit as our tutor.

James M “Buck” Hatch, legendary professor at Columbia International University, taught that since the Bible is God’s Word, we must be His children to truly understand it, and we must be willing to trust it and obey it, praying in the spirit of Psalm 119:18: “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.”

In 1 Corinthians 2, the apostle Paul said that as we study the Bible, only the Holy Spirit can open our eyes to its deepest secrets (“the deep things of God,” verse 10). What a statement! Through Spirit-blessed daily Bible study, we can understand God’s deep and wonderful secrets. Approaching our study of God’s Word with meekness helps us learn and grow.

One must be continually submitted to the will of God to understand the Scriptures. James M. Hatch


God’s True and Complete Revelation (1 Corinthians 2:6-16)

Living on Purpose

Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

 

“We’re going on vacation!” my wife enthusiastically told our three-year-old grandson Austin as we pulled out of the driveway on the first leg of our trip. Little Austin looked at her thoughtfully and responded, “I’m not going on vacation. I’m going on a mission!”

We’re not sure where our grandson picked up the concept of going “on a mission,” but his comment gave me something to ponder as we drove to the airport: As I leave on this vacation and take a break for a few days, am I keeping in mind that I’m still “on a mission” to live each moment with and for God? Am I remembering to serve Him in everything I do?

The apostle Paul encouraged the believers living in Rome, the capital city of the Roman Empire, to “never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11). His point was that our life in Jesus is meant to be lived intentionally and with enthusiasm. Even the most mundane moments gain new meaning as we look expectantly to God and live for His purposes.

As we settled into our seats on the plane, I prayed, “Lord, I’m yours. Whatever you have for me to do on this trip, please help me not to miss it.”

Every day is a mission of eternal significance with Him!

By:  James Banks

Reflect & Pray

Have you ever been on a mission? How can you make life all about God?

Please give me grace to live for You, Jesus, so that I may one day hear You say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:23)

We Need To Trust and Obey

1 Kings 18:1-16

Faith and obedience are traveling companions heading to the same destination of pleasing and glorifying the Lord. They grow together simultaneously as they are practiced but wither if neglected. Therefore, God sometimes brings new challenges into our lives to strengthen our trust and submission to Him.

Elijah was a prophet who had proven himself faithful to the Lord. Even when he was told to appear before King Ahab who was seeking to kill him, he obeyed. Obadiah was another faithful servant of God who had rescued other prophets, but when Elijah told him to report his presence to Ahab, Obadiah feared for his life.

Fear short-circuits faith when we begin to doubt that God’s way is really best. If we allow anxiety to gain a foothold in our mind, we’ll respond by refusing to do what the Lord says. The result is a change of traveling companions. Instead of faith and obedience, we start walking with doubt and rebellion.

Great faith begins with small steps. When you follow God’s Word, an ever-increasing cycle of faith and obedience begins. Don’t let fear rob you of the blessings God has planned for your life.

Understanding the Management

“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.” (Matthew 25:14)

Several kingdom parables in the New Testament provide glimpses into two major principles: God’s provision and our management of His wealth.

In the parable of the talents found in Matthew, the “talents” (money) belong to the “lord of those servants” (Matthew 25:19), and he gave to “every man according to his several ability” (Matthew 25:15). Each steward had the master’s confidence and trust, and success of enterprise depended upon the servant’s productivity. Each steward received varied amounts of resources according to the master, and the reward was based on faithful use of those resources.

Luke’s parallel account (Luke 19:13-27) focused on the percent of return. In both cases, the stewards were essentially asked, “What did you do with what you were given?” Each had enormous freedom in his management and the opportunity to demonstrate his capabilities.

God funds His work through His people. The funding of the tabernacle building project (Exodus 35) is a good example. The Israelites were recently freed slaves who had all been given gold by the Egyptians until there was more than enough.

The funding of the temple during David’s reign (1 Chronicles 28 and 29) is another excellent example. The leaders gave vast amounts of wealth and building materials, setting an example for the rest of the nation. Though they did not actually build it, they had the vision for it, and their children eventually did it. God works no miracles to meet critical needs except through the miraculous giving of His willing people. HMM III

Trap of Cheap Salvation

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.

—2 Corinthians 4:2

 

Here again is seen the glaring discrepancy between biblical Christianity and that of present-day evangelicals, particularly in the United States….

To make converts here we are forced to play down the difficulties and play up the peace of mind and worldly success enjoyed by those who accept Christ. We must assure our hearers that Christianity is now a proper and respectable thing and that Christ has become quite popular with political bigwigs, well-to-do business tycoons and the Hollywood swimming pool set. Thus assured, hell-deserving sinners are coming in droves to “accept” Christ for what they can get out of Him; and though one now and again may drop a tear as proof of his sincerity, it is hard to escape the conclusion that most of them are stooping to patronize the Lord of glory much as a young couple might fawn on a boresome but rich old uncle in order to be mentioned in his will later on.   BAM017

Lord, don’t let me fall into the trap of offering a cheap salvation. Remind me often that redemption which cost the life of Your Son should never be so cheapened. Amen.

 

Flowers and Fruit Do Not Grow in Thin Air!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.

—Galatians 5:22-23

 

I would like to be able to ask every Christian in the world this question: Are you really interested in God’s producing in you the beautiful fruits and fragrances of the Holy Spirit?

For every affirmative answer, I would quickly recommend: Then look to your own willingness to be regular in the habits of a holy life—for flowers and fruit do not grow in thin air! They grow and come up out of a root and “the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit” (Proverbs 12:12).

For every beautiful garden that you see, whose fragrance comes out to welcome you, has its roots down into the hard earth. The beautiful flowers and blooms will grow and appear and flourish only when there are deep roots and strong stalks. If you take the roots away, the blossom and flower will endure perhaps one day. The sun will scorch them and they will be gone. WPJ015-016

What is the special likeness of Christ that He would reproduce in me? What are the features of His life that He calls me to imitate? What pattern would He set before me in my work, my circumstances, my difficulties? What are the inspirations of grace that He would urge me to cultivate and cherish? JAS188

 

Hidden in Plain Sight

John 14:6

The truth is often hidden in plain sight; so close, yet so very far away. It can’t be discovered in debate. It can’t be realized in religion. It must be mastered through a personal relationship.

The first space walk actually occurred on Mars Hill. Stoic and Epicurean philosophers walked there every day, cogitating, ruminating and speculating about the truth. You might say they were spaced out on Mars Hill! Theirs was an impersonal God, out there, somewhere.

A foreign force, a remote ruler, a distant deity. They had even erected an altar with the inscription, “To The Unknown God.”

Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said: “What you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you… in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:23, 28).

Paul is saying, “The truth is right there within your grasp. Come down to earth and enjoy a personal relationship with your Creator.” Some elected to continue their lonely space journey while others “joined him and believed.”

Pilate looked Christ straight in the eye and said, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). That’s a legitimate question. We all struggle with it.

Lenin said, “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” A brilliant scholar said,

“God is dead.” The Beatles said, “We are more popular than Christ.” A well-known religious leader said, “I am the Messiah!” What is truth?

The truth was standing directly in front of Pilate in plain sight, and yet he couldn’t see Him. Why? Because he hadn’t experienced the Truth personally. Paul was standing before King Agrippa witnessing to the power of a changed life, and yet Agrippa could not see Him. Why? Because the Truth cannot be known through persuasion; He must be experienced personally.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Christ never hides. He is always in plain sight calling, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Knowledge in this context requires an intimate personal relationship, one that is guaranteed to bring great joy and fellowship. He doesn’t have to remain hidden. And that’s the truth!

Joe Noland, A Little Greatness