Posted in Hiding His Word

Thy Word Have I Hid in My Heart – 2 Timothy 1:8

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“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God” ~ 2 Timothy 1:8

2 Timothy is Paul’s last letter written before Nero executed him. He gave Timothy final instructions to continue fighting against false teaching and to remain strong in his faith. In this verse, Paul encouraged Timothy to never shy away from proclaiming Jesus, even under threat of persecution. Paul was to willingly suffer for the Gospel, just as Jesus did and he wanted Timothy to do so as well. He trusted fully that the Holy Spirit would help them both endure.

If we are true believers, we are called to a life of mission. We cannot just sit on the sidelines and let the Pastors, Evangelists or any others be the only ones doing the work of the ministry. We are all called to witness and minister. When we do though, we will be persecuted. The devil especially likes to target people that are effective for the Kingdom. But we are not to shrink back. Jesus said that we would be despised and rejected because of Him. Nevertheless, we are to take up our cross and follow Him.

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Oh Lord, I lift up to You all of those I know that are building up Your Kingdom and are suffering as they do! Touch them, strengthen them, empower them today to keep on pressing and shining Your Light! Help me Lord, today and always to be a witness for You in words and deeds. Help me never to hesitate but to share the Gospel boldly. In times of persecution and adversity help me to endure in a way that honors and glorifies You. It is my desire to look like Jesus to this dying world…not only in Word and deed but also in attitude – in my heart. Create in me a clean heart Oh God and renew a right spirit within me. I ask this in Jesus Holy and precious Name. Amen!

Posted in Hiding His Word

Thy Word Have I Hid in My Heart – Proverbs 21:16

I sure do miss the weekly radio program and the opportunity to release some of what is shut up in my bones.

I read a sobering Bible verse yesterday morning. It hit me so hard and felt like such a warning. To me? For sure! To others? Likely. I wrote it all down and carried it with me Sunday as though I were headed to the radio just in case God gave me the opportunity to share what He had laid on my heart. It is now Monday, and one thing is for sure and that is I have not moved on. It burns! Not sure you can feel that through a blog but here it is.

The verse –

The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.” – Proverbs‬ ‭21:16‬‬‬

The warning – DON’T WANDER!

If you aren’t challenged by this verse yourself or stirred in any way to warn others…look at the definition of the word “wander” below and then read it again – every single word!!! Don’t leave even one word out or change it in any way to suit your own life!

Wander – verb (used without object)
• to ramble without a definite purpose or objective; roam, rove, or stray.
• to go aimlessly, indirectly, or casually; meander.
• to extend in an irregular course or direction
• to move, pass, or turn idly, as the hand or the eyes.
• (of the mind, thoughts, desires, etc.) to take one direction or another without conscious intent or control
• to stray from a path, place, companions, etc.
• to deviate in conduct, belief, etc.; err; go astray
• to think or speak confusedly or incoherently.

The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.” – Proverbs‬ ‭21:16‬‬‬

How important is it to avoid wandering? Straying away? Well, this verse doesn’t say that wandering aimlessly from time to time for a short while is okay or that straying just a short distance is okay. It says that the man that wanders away from the way of understanding SHALL REMAIN in the congregation of the dead.

Don’t allow yourself to wander from God and His Word or from His people! Don’t allow yourself to get off the path He has placed you on. Most of us do not intend to go astray; we wander into unrighteousness or sin. The results are the same though whether deliberate or not. If you get yourself off track and you never get back onto the path the Lord had you on; if you never get your eyes back on Jesus in your walk – you will end up remaining in the congregation of the dead. In other words, you will remain in eternal hell.

Listen let’s be honest, we all get discouraged and sometimes feel defeated on the path God has placed us. Sometimes we get frustrated and annoyed by petty things. Sometimes we don’t want to wander, we want to run away. Sometimes we feel invisible and wonder who would notice if we wandered anyway; who would care. Jesus cares! He cares a lot because there is an eternal consequence. If you have deliberately or inadvertently wandered away from the Lord, His Word, His people even a little bit in the physical or maybe even more importantly in your heart… get back where you belong!

And can I say one more thing that you can agree with, disagree with, but I feel it strongly this morning? I am preaching to myself first and foremost and I will end it here.

If someone in the body of Christ can wander away – and you and I don’t care enough to send a note, make a call, or get on our knees for them — you and I need to check to see if we have not wandered ourselves.

 

Posted in Hiding His Word

Thy Word Have I Hid in My Heart – Hebrews 10

We are studying Hebrews in Sunday School. It has been a challenging book but the Holy Ghost has been faithful to guide our teacher week by week. This week we were looking at chapter 10. I like to study along before and after the lessons. I usually write out my notes in journals but I am working to put them on the blog to preserve them for later use and study. So these are just some notes from my study time….and one of my favorite worship/prayer songs at the end.

Hebrews 10 – Notes on the Perfect and Better Sacrifice of Jesus Christ

(in contrast with the imperfect sacrifices offered under the old covenant).

Why was the sacrifice of Jesus Christ better?

1.Christ’s sacrifice takes sin away

Man had need of a better sacrifice. While at times the Jewish people permitted their sacrifices to become empty rituals, many people were sincere in their offerings to God and were blessed. But the very nature of the old covenant sacrifice still made them inferior.

Animal sacrifices could never completely deal with human guilt. God forgave but the guilt was not removed from the hearts of the people. The nations sins were covered but they were not cleansed.

The blood of bulls and goats could not take sin away, but God provided a better sacrifice. It was God who provided the sacrifice, not man. The sacrifice provided was Jesus, His only Son! Jesus came to do the Father’s will. This will is the new covenant that has replaced the old covenant.

The better and perfect sacrifice was effective. Believers have been set apart or sanctified by the offering of Jesus body ONCE for ALL. No old covenant sacrifice could do that. An old covenant worshipper had to be purified repeatedly but a new covenant Saint is set apart, finally and completely!

2.Jesus’ sacrifice does not need to be repeated.

The ministry of the priests in tabernacles and temples was never done and never different. The fact that Jesus sat down after He ascended to the Father is proof that His work was completed.

Sat down – Psalms 110:1

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”

Believers are complete in him – Colossians 2:10

“And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:”

An old covenant worshiper could not say that he had no more conscience of his sin. New covenant believers can say that their sins and iniquities are remembered no more.

In the new covenant there are no more offerings for sin and no more remembrance of sin. When a sinner trusts Jesus Christ, his sins are all forgiven. The guilt is gone and the matter is completely settled.

3.Christ’s sacrifice opened the way (for us) into the very presence of God!

No old covenant worshipper could enter the Holy of Holies but the death of Jesus Christ tore open the veil and opened the way into the heavenly sanctuary where God dwells.

Holy of Holies – The inner sanctuary of the tabernacle where God dwelt.

In Verses 19 – 25 we are given an invitation to enter the Holy of Holies. The invitation was:

  •  Let us draw near
  •  Let us hold fast
  •  Let us consider one another

The priests went in only once per year but we are invited to dwell in the presence of God always.

Dwell – to live or stay as a permanent resident; reside

Let us draw near

  •  Prepare
  •  Come with a clean heart
  •  Fellowship with God demands purity

Let us hold fast

  •  Hold fast the profession of hope.
  •  When a believer has hope fixed on Jesus and relies on the faithfulness of God, then he will not waver.

Let us consider one another

  •  Fellowship with God must not be selfish. Fellowship with God must also include fellowship with others in the local assembly.
  •  Emphasis is not on what believers can get out of the assembly, but what he can contribute.

Sobering Words of Exhortation

Hebrews 10 ends with some sobering words of exhortation.

It tells us that one who drifts from the Word will soon start to doubt the Word. He will become dull toward the Word and lazy in his spiritual life. This will result in despising the Word. The evidence of despising is willful sin.

Under the old covenant there were no sacrifices for deliberate or willful sin. The people were generally executed. God does not always take the life of willful sinners, but He will always deal with them.

Are you sending willfully and deliberately? If your answer is yes, He will deal with you. Have you grown dull toward the Word? Turn to God for mercy and forgiveness!

One of the themes of Hebrews is this – God has spoken, how are you responding to His Word?

 

Posted in Hiding His Word

Thy Word Have I Hid in My Heart – Amos 8:11

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Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. ~ Amos‬ ‭8:11-12‬

The prophet Amos warned that a day would come when there would be a famine in the land for the hearing of the words of the Lord.

Israel had repeatedly rejected God’s message and warnings and now they would get what they asked for. God would not send anyone to challenge them, warn them or even encourage them; they would receive no Word from God from His prophets. In other words, whenever they looked for God’s guidance during the coming calamity, they would find only silence.

There is no judgment worse than God giving a person over completely to his or her own sinful desires – and the consequences. When this happens, a person is left to fall deep into the corruption of this world.

We can see an example of God giving the Gentiles over to their own sin in Romans 1. The term in verse 24, “God gave them up to uncleanness” means that God allowed them to completely go their own way, experiencing the full effect of their sin.

Why would God give them over? I believe He has two purposes for giving them to their own sinful ways:

1. Judgment – To allow sin and its consequences to increase as part of his judgment on them.

2. Salvation – To bring them to a point of realizing their need for God’s mercy, forgiveness, and a right relationship with him.

Truly if you think about it though it is all for Salvation. Jesus wishes that none should perish but that all should come to repentance. Read it in 2 Peter 3:8-10!!! He wants us to believe in Him but when we do that He then wants us to know Him. We do that by knowing His Word. We show that by obeying His Word.  One day it will be too late to repent and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. It will be too late to take up our cross and follow Him.

If we continue in our sin James 1:13-15 speaks of the ultimate consequence of  sin:

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

How important is hearing the Word…Life and death are in the balance.
Now, it is also worth noting that the famine Amos spoke of is not a famine of speaking God’s Word – but hearing it. Today we are blessed with many ways to hear the Word of God. We can get on the radio or television, we can get on the computer, on Facebook or YouTube, and have thousands of sermons at our disposal. There is preaching and teaching of the Word, Godly encouragement through songs and hymns and quotes; prophecy. People are out there speaking the Word. And these things are all good and serve a great Kingdom purpose. When people share what they have received from the Word or from God they are built up. In addition, when we listen prayerfully to God’s chosen vessels we are built up too – changed from glory to glory.  Truly, hearing changes you and plants the Word in your own spirit so that you can fight temptation with that Word. I believe that speaking it then “seals” that change!!!

BUT to just casually listen to what someone else received from the Word, whether it is in person or through browsing Facebook or even casually browsing the Bible isn’t the same as digging deep for yourself, hearing for yourself and laying the foundation of your own life upon God‘s Word. Dig deep – it will make a difference.

May God bless your time in the Word today as He has blessed mine!