John 8:37 No Room For His Word

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“I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word.” John 8:37

Jesus had just finished telling the people that anyone who sins is a slave to sin. It is only through the Son that a person is set free. Now He tells them that they are out to kill Him, because they have no room for His word.

Not every person likes to hear the truth. When the truth is spoken, there are times that it cuts to the heart of a person and reveals things that are not wanting to be exposed.

When someone is speaking the truth, others try to divert the person by bringing up another subject. They do not want to hear the truth or allow others to hear the truth. Often they try to bring up something from the speaker’s past, or bring up some other subject to get away from the real truth.

At the time Jesus spoke, the Pharisees and other leaders did not want to hear what He had to say. They tried to make Him out to be the bad person and needed to be killed. They did not have any room for His word in their lives, because it was painful and condemning.

Any believer who really wants to serve God, will be willing to hear what God has to say. He will know that God is only speaking the truth.

Some in the church will not read the bible, or portions of the bible, because they see portions speak out against their lifestyle. They do not feel comfortable.

Others will refuse to go to a church, or get mad at a pastor for speaking a sermon that cuts to the heart. They feel as though they are being condemned.

It is not condemnation, but it is conviction of the Holy Spirit against sin in the life.

Every day you must be willing to take time to hear what God is saying. He will speak through the bible, by His Holy Spirit and through others. God only has your best interest in mind. He does not want you to be a slave to sin, but be free to love God and love others.

As you go through your day, make room in your life for God’s word to make the needed changes. Don’t shut God out.

I pray today that you will read and listen to God’s word; that you will not fear God’s word; that you will allow God’s word to change you; and that you will live for God.

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First Time Through!

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When God laid it upon my heart to start this daily devotional blog in 2014, I started out with the New Testament. I wanted to go through each book, chapter by chapter, seeking what God has to say. As I was going through the New Testament, I encouraged everyone to read the entire chapter and book that I was in.

In each chapter I would look at it and seek what God would have me to say about a verse or two. Some chapters I would use several verses in more than one blog post. Other chapters, I only used a single verse, or none at all.

I went through the entire New Testament, and then went through it again. Once I had gone through it twice, I started on the Old Testament. It has taken over a year to complete through the Old Testament. With going through the New Testament and then the Old Testament, it has taken nearly four years, but it has been accomplished.

I trust that as you read these daily devotions each day, you had read the chapter the verses were in. God’s word is alive and sharper than a two-edged sword. It can and will change your life.

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If all you have read of the Bible is what I posted on my blog, then you have missed the purpose of this blog and missed a lot of what God has for you. This blog is just to help guide you and help you focus on God’s word. It helps you to look at the verses and ask some questions about them and how they can apply to your life today.

Many people struggle with reading many parts of the Old Testament, but if you have read my posts, you can see that no matter where it was, there was something for a believer. All of God’s word points to God and to Jesus. God has given His word so that you may know Him and have a relationship with Him.

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I am looking forward to the days to come as I start over with the New Testament. I know that God will open up some new verses to be talked about. He has new things to show you and me to help us be more like Jesus and have a better relationship with Him.

Thank you for following or stopping by to read my daily devotionals God has laid upon my heart to write. I trust that you will open the Bible today and everyday and read what God has for you. Don’t just take my word for it, but see if what I say is really in the Bible. God can and will show you more than just what I write about, if you are willing to read His word.

May you grow closer and more like Jesus everyday. May you know and understand God and His word more each day. And may you grow to hunger for more of God and His word every day.

Choices And Resolutions

 

New Year ResolutionsEvery January, as the new year begins, many people start to make some resolutions. They think about what they want to accomplish in the new year. The resolutions that people come up with are as varied as the number of people on the planet.

Most resolutions are about health and relationships, although there may be others about finances, housing, jobs, schooling or other things.

The older people get, the more people realize the importance of good health and good healthy habits. People choose to lose weight, work out more, or eat healthier food. All of these are focused on being a better person or living longer.

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While all of these resolutions can be good, they are only temporary fixes. Regardless how healthy a person eats or works out, there will come a day when he will die. Since the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden and sin entering the world, people die.

I am not saying that eating correctly or working out is bad. Over the years I have learned to try to eat a little bit more healthy. I still continue to struggle at working out to keep in good physical shape. Probably half the reason I am in as good of shape as I am now, is because I spent a number of years in the Army where I had to work out physically everyday. It started me out on the right path, though I when I got out, I was not one to go to a gym and work out at all, though I have tried at times.

While the physical eating and working out is good, there is something that is more important. My spiritual health is more important than my physical health. I have to work out and grow more spiritually to have true life and one that will last for eternity, regardless if I die or not on this earth a physical death.

In order to be spiritually fit, I must work my spirit in the right way. It begins with knowing God’s word. I must take time daily to read God’s word. Not only must I read it, I must take time to understand it and apply it to my life. If I read the Bible all the way through and can explain all of it very well, but do not apply it to my life, it is worthless. If I do not live by God’s Word, it is no good to me. My spiritual health will decline.

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One of my resolutions this year is to get into God’s word more and apply it to my life more. This means reading it, memorizing it, and applying it to my life daily.

Another part of being spiritually fit, is to spend time with God. This is taking time to talk to Him and listen to Him. Prayer.

Many people find prayer very boring and seemingly worthless. They pray, but do not see immediate results, so they give up. Some feel as though God is not listening or does not care about them. Others feel as though they are praying the same boring prayers all the time and never getting anywhere.

This can happen in communication with anyone. Couples who have lived together for 20 years grow apart because the communication is broken down between the two. For one or the other it gets boring and worthless.

God hears yours and my every prayer. He wants to spend time with me to help me get to know Him better. Paul said that we should pray without ceasing. I need to always have a prayer on my lips or in my mind. Open, continued communication with God at all times.

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My second resolution is to make more time for talking and listening to God. He is there to guide my every step. I won’t know that step if I am not talking and listening to Him.

The other thing that God wants for His people is for each one to be His witness. He called every believer to be a witness of the gospel of Jesus. His whole purpose in sending Jesus to the cross was to save the entire world.

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I have been given the greatest gift a person can every receive–forgiveness and eternal life. This is not a gift that is for me alone. It is also a gift that the more I give it away, the more I have.

If I have such a great gift I must not hoard it to myself, but be willing to share it.

Along with being a great gift, it is also a warning to the people. The world is on a track heading for death, unless they switch tracks. They do not see the warning signs that there is only death ahead. I need to love them enough to warn them of the coming death.

My last resolution is to be a witness to as many people as possible. This starts with my own family, leading them to Christ Jesus, then it works out to my co-workers and people I know. Finally it reaches out to the world, those I don’t know, but come into contact with.

I want to be spiritually fit for God and others in this world. So my resolutions are:

  1. Reading and applying God’s word more
  2. Talking and listening to God more–prayer
  3. Being a better witness in this world

As I do these three things, everything else will fall into place better. God will guide me in what to do to be in better physical shape.

As you make resolutions this year, what do you want? What is your desire in this life?

I pray that God will guide you in the resolutions that you make and will help you to achieve each one. I also pray that God will draw you to Him more and make you more like Jesus in this new year.

Jeremiah 36:23-24 No Fear Or Remorse

Whenever Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king cut them off with a scribe’s knife and threw them into the firepot, until the entire scroll was burned in the fire. The king and all his attendants who heard all these words showed no fear, nor did they tear their clothes. Jeremiah 36:23-24

Jehoiakim was the king of Judah and had been leading the people into sin against God. Through Jeremiah, God had been telling the people that destruction was coming because of their actions. Some of the people heard the words and believed them. When it was reported to the king what was being said, he requested the scroll be brought and read to him.

As the scroll was read, he would tear out section by section and burn it in the fire. When the entire scroll was read it was destroyed and there was no fear of God in what was said, nor did they turn and repent of their sins.

Very few people today would purposely burn the Bible if they were given one, even though even fewer would take time to read any of it. There are many people who go to church each week and hear the words of God read from the Bible. Instead of burning the Bible, they ignore it. Most people ignore most of what the Bible says.

The world likes to pick out the verses that God loves them, all believers are to forgive, and that there will be peace and happiness some day. When it comes to the verses talking about turning away from sin and coming judgment, most people ignore them.

Ignoring God’s word is no different than the king burning the scroll. It is actually better for one to burn the bible than to ignore it. Burning it, shows one has no fear of it or remorse for sins. Ignoring it gives the appearance of accepting it, while the heart is far from God.

Think about when you hear or read parts of the Bible. What are your thoughts on what you hear or read? Do you strive to apply those words to your life?

Do you respect and honor God’s word or do you ignore it and go on with your life?

Do not burn God’s word today, they are words of life, abundant, eternal life.

I pray today that you will find life in God’s word; that you will desire to know God’s word; that you will apply His word to your life; and that you will not ignore what God has to say to you.

How To Read The Bible

Reading the bible is something all believers know they should do and all new believers are told to do. When it comes to reading the bible, very few people actually do read it. When they pick it up and begin to look at it to read it, many thoughts start to enter their mind as to how to read it.

The most common way to read the bible is to think of it like any other book. How does one read a book? He starts at the beginning and reads through until he gets to the end.

One of the great benefits of reading the bible this way is that you can see how God’s plan for mankind unfolds, little by little. It starts with the creation of the world, and ends with the destruction of the world and the creation of a new heaven and earth.

The hardest part in reading the bible this way is when a person gets past Genesis and Exodus. The next two books, Leviticus and Numbers, come up presenting a great challenge for a new believer or one beginning to really read the bible. These books are very long on lists. One lists the genealogy of all the people, while the other lists all of the sacrifices required.

For most people these kinds of lists are very boring and many wonder why God put them in there. Many people stop reading the bible once they get to that point out of boredom. Only once a  person has been a believer for a while, does he begin to understand the value in those lists and reasons why God may have put them in His word.

Other people begin reading the bible by reading the New Testament. It is common to hear of a person who has read the New Testament several times, but has never read the Old Testament.

The New Testament is where God’s love, grace and mercy is really shown for what they fully are. Life is offered in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Open talk about heaven and the future is presented. Practical ways on how to live for God is shown in the letters of Paul to the various churches.

While reading the New Testament is great, one must not forget to read or ignore the Old Testament. The Old Testament gives the background as to why Jesus had to come and die on the cross. It shows what His death on the cross means and why it was so important.

Another benefit of reading the Old Testament, is that it shows many people who followed God, but also made mistakes in their lives and, yet, God used them in mighty ways. It shows how many times Israel walked away from God, but as soon as they turned to God, God took them back. One can see the love, mercy and grace of God through many different stories.

You can also see how God had a plan to bring about salvation to all people from the beginning. One can watch as God unfolds His plan of salvation, as the entire Bible is read.

The first important thing about reading the Bible is to actually read it. Get into in and read it and see what God has to say.

As you begin reading the Bible, do not read it just as another novel, full of good stories. Each chapter you read, think about what it is saying and what it can say to you today. What message does God have for you in the passage being read?

The Bible is written in simple, plain everyday language that anyone can understand, if they want to. Some may try to say that you need to be able to study it in the original Greek or Hebrew, but that is not true. When Jesus walked on the earth, He spoke in the language of the people He was with, not some strange foreign language. In the same way, God speaks to you through His word, the Bible, in a language you can understand.

There will be passages that may not always make sense right away. Do not let that stop you from reading. Pray and ask God for wisdom each time you read His word. Trust that He will open your eyes to what He is saying in His word.

As you apply these few principles that I have given here, God’s word will come alive to you. The Bible is alive and active today. No matter how many times you read it, there will be more to learn.

Each time you read a certain passage, God may show you something different in it. You will begin to see new things about God and how He works as you dive into His word.

The best way to read the Bible is to actually get into it and read it. Do not keep putting off reading it. If all you do is read a few verses each day, that is more than nothing and God can do something with it.

Take time each day to read the Bible and learn from it.

Job 28:28 Wisdom And Understanding (Part 2)

And he said to the human race, “The fear of the LORD–that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” Job 28:28

The author had talked about how mankind can find many different things, but was unable to find wisdom and understanding. Those things are hidden from natural sight. God is the One who sees and understands everything. He is the One who is in control of everything. God then tells every person that to fear the Lord is wisdom and to turn from evil is understanding.

People can read and hear about God and the ways He does things. Reading the Bible gives a lot of information about God. The history of how God works in the lives of many people can be found in the stories in the Bible. The characteristics of God can be found in the Bible.

Reading the Bible alone and doing nothing with it does not have any real value in life. There are people who study the Bible because they see it as a great piece of literature, not as God’s Word and how to know God, and how to live and please God. Outside of a literature book, it means nothing to them.

When a person reads the Bible, he can get to know who God is and what God wants. This is where the fear of the Lord should begin. Fear, in this case, is not one of being afraid, but of extreme respect. Respecting God for who He is and accepting that He is in control. Accepting these things is wise.

Once a believer has a proper fear of the Lord, it should make him want to turn away from evil. He will realize that God does not want him to sin in any way. Turning from evil is understanding who God is and what God wants for his life.

Understanding how things work in this world is good, but will not help you for eternity. Being wise in how to apply the understanding of things of this world may help some in this world, but, again, will not save you for judgement.

The only things that really matter in life, is knowing and understanding who God is and what He wants. You need to have a proper fear of the Lord in your life. Then you must turn from all sin and serve Him.

Do you have wisdom and understanding?

I pray today that you will know who God is; that you will understand what God desires; that you will know God’s plan for your life; and that you will turn from all sin.