What I Love to See

Powerful effect

I love to see a well-used Bible—worn cover, key passages marked, and with lots of hand-written notes in the margins.

Even more so, I love to see believers whose lives are shaped by the Scriptures. They not only know the Bible, but far more important, they live it.

This is exactly what God intends (James 1:21-25).

God’s word is a guiding light (Psalm 119:105), nourishing food (Matthew 4:4; 1 Peter 2:2), and a sharp-two edged sword that pierces to the very core of our being (Hebrews 4:12).

Powerful Cause

When applied, the Scriptures can transform vile sinners of all stripes into those whose lives reflect the Christ they now serve (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

How can the Bible’s transforming power be explained in any other way than by its divine origin?

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The Question

Jesus’ challenge

On several occasions in interacting with the hostile chief priests, scribes, elders, Pharisees, or Sadducees, Jesus countered them with this question: “Have you not read…?” or “Have you never read…?” (Matthew 12:3, 5; 19:4; 21:16, 42; 22:31).

In each case He referred them to a specific teaching in their Scriptures (the Old Testament).

From this we may conclude….

Jesus placed tremendous importance on the Scriptures as the authoritative word of God.

Jesus expected people to be familiar with the Scriptures.

He demonstrated that religious error should be challenged by the Scriptures.

Why would it be any different today?

“Have you not read…?”

Good question!

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Now Don’t Forget!

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Misplacing the car keys is a nuisance. Forgetting an appointment can be costly.

But what can compare with forgetting God?

Peril

It happens when we receive blessing upon blessing, but forget to thank Him.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits . . . who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; who satisfies your years with good things . . .” (Psalm 103:2-5).

It happens when we worry ourselves sick and forget to pray.

It happens when we get our priorities turned upside down—devoting our energies to what cannot last.

Prevention

How we need reminders! Reading Scripture helps bring great truths back to the forefront where they belong.

“Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God . . .” (Deuteronomy 8:11).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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The Day the Dog Came to Church

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Eager to enter

One morning a large dog tried to come into the church foyer as one of our members entered. She kept him out.

Moments later when the door opened again, in he came. We helped him back out.

Though Bible study was not on his canine mind, I did appreciate his eagerness.

What if everyone were as anxious to attend Bible class as that dog wanted in?

Eager to learn and do

The people of Berea “received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily . . .” (Acts 17:11).

Bible study is, of course, not an end in itself. It is doing what the word says that blesses (James 1:22-25).

We didn’t have an obedience class for that dog, but we do have one for people—every Sunday morning at 9:30.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Even More Dangerous

The danger

The computer spell-check thought I meant “terrorist.” But “errorist” is what I intended.

Oxford English Dictionary defines “errorist” as “One who is inclined to error; one who encourages and propagates error.”

Satan uses both terrorists and errorists to hurt the church.

Before his conversion, Saul of Tarsus was a violent terrorist (Acts 8:3; 9:1-2, 13-14; 22:4-5, 19-20; 26:9-11; Galatians 1:13; 1 Timothy 1:13).

Terrorists work from the outside; errorists from within. Satan has been much more successful using errorists.

Errorists corrupt the truth. People then believe the lie and are lost (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

Countering the danger

The best safeguard against errorists is to truly love the truth, search for the truth, and compare teachings we hear with the standard of God’s word (Acts 17:10-12).

Beware of errorists!

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“Open My Eyes”

What we can’t see

With the Aramean army surrounding them, Elisha’s servant cried, “What shall we do?”

“Do not fear,” Elisha assured him, “for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

Then “the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:14-17).

Believers today cannot now see the wonderful things being done for them behind the veil (Hebrews 1:14; 4:14-16; 7:25; 12:22-24).

What we can see

But we can say with the psalmist, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from your law” (Psalm 119:18).

Because Christ’s new covenant far surpasses the old, we have greater wonders available to us than the psalmist had under the law.

“Open my eyes . . . .”

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Seeing Yourself in Scripture

Convicted

Have you ever read a passage that really hit you between the eyes? You saw yourself in it because it convicted you (Hebrews 4:12).

For example, we read what James teaches about the tongue (James 3:1-12) and realize we need to work on this.

Or we may identify with Peter who claimed he would die with Jesus but later denied knowing Him.

Equipped

Positively, God’s word equips us. It shows us how to deal with an unreasonable boss (1 Peter 2:18-21). It gives us reason to rejoice when unbelievers badmouth us (Matthew 5:10-12).

In these and so many other passages we can connect with what we read and take new heart.

If we haven’t seen ourselves in Scripture lately, maybe it’s time to take another look!

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