VIDEO Ravenous for Revelation? – Devouring the Word

Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart. Jeremiah 15:16

Nutritionists warn that skipping too many meals can interfere with our body’s appetite and cause us to develop strong food cravings, especially for sugar and carbohydrates. The same thing can happen spiritually. If we begin skipping our regular time of personal Bible study, we might lose our healthy appetite and begin feeding our mind with mental junk food.

It’s normal for a healthy soul to crave a few morsels from the book of Proverbs, which are simple and easy to digest. Other times we need a long, slow, hot meal from Ephesians or Ezekiel. Are you ever hungry for the Sermon on the Mount? Thirsty for the worship of the Psalms? Ravenous for Revelation? 

The entire Bible—Genesis to Revelation—is a pantry for the soul. It’s God’s menu for our mind and heart, manna for every morning and bread for every night. When we hunger and thirst for Scripture, God richly feeds and sustains us with His nourishing Word.

Dear Father, teach me to hold fast to the Word of life. Give me a hunger for Scripture and fill me with discernment and understanding so that Your truths will shine light into my daily walk. Kay Arthur

Devouring the Word, Jeremiah 15 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

To Be Human

Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. Matthew 23:37

“Mr. Singerman, why are you crying?” asked twelve-year-old Albert as he watched the master craftsman construct a wooden box.

“I cry,” he said, “because my father cried, and because my grandfather cried.” The woodworker’s answer to his young apprentice provides a tender moment in an episode of Little House on the Prairie. “Tears,” explained Mr. Singerman, “come with the making of a coffin.”

“Some men don’t cry because they fear it is a sign of weakness,” he said. “I was taught that a man is a man because he can cry.”

Emotion must have welled up in the eyes of Jesus as He compared His concern for Jerusalem to the care of a mother hen for her chicks (Matthew 23:37). His disciples were often confused by what they saw in His eyes or heard in His stories. His idea of what it meant to be strong was different. It happened again as they walked with Him from the temple. Calling His attention to the massive stone walls and magnificent decor of their place of worship (24:1), the disciples noted the strength of human accomplishment. Jesus saw a temple that would be leveled in ad 70.

Christ shows us that healthy people know when to cry and why. He cried because His Father cares and His Spirit groans for children who couldn’t yet see what breaks His heart.

By:  Mart DeHaan

Reflect & Pray

In what situations in your life might you be avoiding grief? How can your faith in a Savior who cries (John 11:35) help you express your grief in a healthy way?

Father, please replace any cold illusions of strength I cling to with a growing understanding of the cares and concerns that break Your heart for children like me. 

Faith: A Fixed Focus

Genesis 39:1-20

Abiding in God’s will requires a steady, trust-filled focus upon Him. The life of Joseph is a good example.

Joseph’s brothers hated him so much that they sold him to a caravan on its way to Egypt. There, he became the slave of Potiphar, captain of Pharaoh’s guard. Despite all of his misfortune, Joseph performed his duties with excellence and as a result was promoted to oversee Potiphar’s household. Throughout it all, Joseph kept his gaze centered on the Lord.

Focus helps us choose godliness over temptation. Potiphar’s wife attempted to seduce Joseph, but he rejected her advances. When he refused to sin against God (Gen. 39:9), she falsely accused him, and her lies were believed. Ignoring Joseph’s record of hard work and faithful service, Potiphar imprisoned him. Had we been in Joseph’s place, we might at this point be asking our heavenly Father why this happened. However, Joseph endured and continued believing God had neither abandoned him nor lost control of the situation.

In stressful times, we discover how much we really trust the Lord. If doubt about His promises takes root in our thinking, it can lead us off His chosen path. But with steady belief, we can recognize God’s presence and persevere wherever we are.

The God Who Provides

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:13)

God’s provisions for the believer include far more than physical necessities. These are indicated by seven beautiful titles ascribed to Him in the New Testament.

The God of love: First of all, we need love, and “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Then “the fruit of the Spirit is love” in our lives (Galatians 5:22) because He Himself is “the God of love and peace” (2 Corinthians 13:11).

The God of all grace: God saves us by His grace, and then we need to “grow in grace” (2 Peter 3:18). This we can do because “the God of all grace…hath called us unto his eternal glory” (1 Peter 5:10).

The God of peace: He satisfies the need for peace of soul in the believer’s life, and He is called “the God of peace” five times in the New Testament (Romans 15:33; 16:20; Philippians 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:20).

The God of all comfort: Our God is called “the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort,” because He “comforteth us in all our tribulation,” thus enabling us also to provide comfort to others “by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

The God of patience: We do “have need of patience” (Hebrews 10:36), and this need also is supplied by “the God of patience and consolation” (Romans 15:5).

The God of glory: It was “the God of glory” who first called Abraham (Acts 7:2), and through the Word we also “are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

The God of hope: By His Spirit He fills us with joy and peace, with power, and abundant hope—blessing us “with all spiritual blessings…in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). HMM

Holiness and Worship First

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;… That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. —Titus 3:5, 7

To teach that the filling with the Holy Spirit is given to the Christian to provide “power for service” is to teach truth, but not the whole truth. Power for service is but one effect of the experience, and I do not hesitate to say that it is the least of several effects. It is least for the very reason that it touches service, presumably service to mankind; and contrary to the popular belief, “to serve this present age” is not the Christian’s first duty….

The primary work of the Holy Spirit is to restore the lost soul to intimate fellowship with God through the washing of regeneration….

God wants worshipers before workers; indeed the only acceptable workers are those who have learned the lost art of worship. It is inconceivable that a sovereign and holy God should be so hard up for workers that He would press into service anyone who had been empowered regardless of his moral qualifications….

Gifts and power for service the Spirit surely desires to impart; but holiness and spiritual worship come first.   TIC036-037

Oh, Lord, where has the hunger for holiness gone? Remind us of the priority of holiness and spiritual worship. Amen.

Who Is Praying?

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought. —Romans 8:26

The spiritual quality of a prayer is determined not by its intensity but by its origin. In evaluating prayer we should inquire who is doing the praying—our determined hearts or the Holy Spirit? If the prayer originates with the Holy Spirit, then the wrestling can be beautiful and wonderful; but if we are the victims of our own overheated desires, our praying can be as carnal as any other act.

Two examples are given in the Old Testament, Jacob and the prophets of Baal. Jacob’s wrestling was a real exercise, and at first it was not Jacob’s doing….The wrestling [became] of divine origin, and the blessed results are known to every Bible student.

The other example does not turn out so well. The prophets of Baal wrestled also, much more violently than Jacob, but they wrestled in the flesh. Their writhings were born of ignorance and superstition and got them nowhere….They were wrong in spite of their zealous praying….Only the Spirit can pray effectively. TWP016-017

This is the spirit of prayersincere, humble, believing, submissive. Other prayer than this the Bible does not requireGod will not accept. DTC155

Hot Saints

Revelation 3:15-16

Hot saints have such a halo round about them that they reveal—make manifest sins in others. They do this by contrast. “What fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). The light of God flashed from a hot saint onto the dark consciences of sinners makes them feel their sin.

A dark soul cannot dwell in the presence of a soul full of light without either repenting or opposing; if it does not submit, it will rebel. It was under the hot blaze of this light that the Jews round about Stephen “were cut to the heart, and gnashed upon him with their teeth” (Acts 7:54 KVJ). When intense spiritual light and darkness are brought in contact, their innate antipathy makes them reveal each other.

Heat cleanses, purges away dross. The burning fire of the Holy Spirit purifies the soul which is filled, permeated with it, hence, hot saints are pure. They purify themselves, as He is pure. They keep themselves “unspotted from the world”

(James 1:27 KJV). They improve the moral atmosphere wherever they go.

Heat burns. Hot saints set on fire the hearts of other saints. They singe the consciences of sinners, melt the hearts of backsliders and warm up those who have left their first love.

Hot saints are mighty. The fishermen of Galilee produced more impression on the world in a few years than all the learning of the Jews had done in centuries, because they were hot in the love and service of God.

Hot people are not only able to work, but to suffer. They can endure hardness, suffer reproach, contend with principalities and powers, fight with wild beasts and hail persecution and death!

To be hot ensures opposition, first from the Pharisees. A formal, ceremonious, respectable religion they do not object to; but a living, burning, enthusiastic Christianity is still Beelzebub to them. To be hot ensures opposition from the world. The world hates hot saints, because they look with contempt on its pleasures, set at naught its maxims, trample on its ambition, ignore its rewards, and live altogether above its level. To be hot also ensures opposition from the devil.

Let me remind you, in conclusion, that to be hot ensures God’s special favor, protection and fellowship, and final victory. “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10 KJV).

Catherine Booth, Practical Religion