Tag Archive | “It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone

Don’t neglect to replenish!

Our bodies and our spirits are both created with a need for replenishing. In order to function properly physically we must find time to feed ourselves and also find time to rest from activity. In order to function properly spiritually we must find time to feed our spirits and also find time to rest from activity. Both are essential. As the body needs food so the spirit needs spiritual food, the Word of God. Jeremiah 15:16 NIV   16 When your words came, I ate them;  they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty.

Matthew 4:4 NIVJesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

 It is an essential ingredient in our walk with Christ if we want to remain sound. It is through the Word that we are able to receive God’s message of love, mercy, grace reproof  and encouragement. It must be a mainstay in our spiritual diet if we want to walk in peace and joy. It doesn’t do us good to gorge on the Word one day and then neglect it for weeks. It must be a daily meal.  When we neglect to feed our spirits with the Word of God, it doesn’t take long before we are basing our joy and peace on the temporal. This leaves us vulnerable to living on an emotional roller coaster and virtually makes us unfit for service.

If we are living based on our emotions we will not be able to carry out the things God has called us to do. Instead we will always be waiting for a better time to do things. A time when we feel happier, more generous, kinder, more giving etc. As followers of Christ we are not called to live by our emotions but to live by the truth of the Word of God. A truth that never changes, unlike our emotions. Can you imagine Apostle Paul dealing with shipwrecks, beatings and all the persecutions he suffered for Christ if he lived by his emotions? I think we can safely say he would never have reached the world with the gospel the way he did!

Just as we need to replenish our spirits with a daily meal of the Word of God, we also need to know when to rest. By rest, I don’t mean avoid doing anything but instead rest in the presence of Christ. Rest in His arms as we lean into Him with our prayer requests. We can turn to Him and lay before Him all our needs, the needs of others and whatever burdens we may be carrying. We can lay them at His feet and rest knowing He is more than capable of taking care of them all!

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

1Peter 5:6,7 NIV Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

Phillipians 4:6,7 NIV Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

When we find ourselves feeling overwhelmed, defeated, discouraged or far from God, we need to replenish our spirit with both the Word of God and time resting in His presence. Neglecting both will cause us to stumble very quickly. Both must be part of our daily routine. If you are not in the habit of reading the Word, start today. Pick a time to spend at least 10 minutes reading your Bible. Ask God to open your eyes and heart to receive the Word into your spirit. Ask Him to help you hide His Word in your heart! The same with spending time in prayer. I have found Monday to Friday, I can spend wonderful time in prayer in my car as I drive into work in the morning. It’s quiet and I don’t have any interruptions. I don’t recommend closing your eyes however! 🙂  Just make sure that you do  find some time every day  in the presence of God. Once you get into the habit of doing both daily, you will begin to find yourself growing spiritually and will not become easily depleted! You will have the energy to carry out whatever service Christ has called you to do!

Father God, I pray that You will give me the discipline and desire to both spend time in Your Word and in Your presence daily. Forgive my neglecting both Lord. Keep me close to You and keep my spirit sensitive to Your Holy Spirit so that I may accomplish great things for Your Kingdom in my daily walk.

I ask it all in the precious name of Jesus Christ,

Amen

 

Profitable words from Proverbs 4

I am so grateful for the mercy and grace God has given us who believe in and choose to  follow His Son. We are blessed! When Christ died on the cross for each of us, He died willingly. When we turn to Him and confess our sins, acknowledge Him as Lord and follow Him, we inherit all the blessings of the children of God. It took me so many years to finally understand that works will never make me more like Christ. I must believe that the work He did on my behalf on the cross was complete. Trusting in Him and allowing Him to now work through me through the power of the Holy Spirit is the way I choose to live my life. I don’t ever want to forget the wonderful mercy and grace that has been extended to me and to everyone that chooses Christ as Savior and Lord. I know longer have to strive to feel accepted. I am accepted.

Knowing who we are and what we have inherited as children of God should give  us the heart and confidence to extend the good news to others. It should also cause us to want to reach out and demonstrate His love to those in our lives and those He brings into our lives. So how do we do this without stumbling ourselves? How do we keep moving forward in our walk? As I make my way through the book of Proverbs I see so many awesome words of wisdom to help us in our walk with Christ.  Today I want to focus on Proverbs chapter 4 verses 18-27.

Proverbs 4:18-27 NIV

18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, (we are able to be the love of Christ in a dark world!)
    shining ever brighter till the full light of day. (until HE returns in all HIS glory!)
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
    they do not know what makes them stumble. (sin blinds)

20 My son (or daughter), pay attention to what I say;
    turn your ear to my words.  (the scriptures)
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
    keep them within your heart; (learn them, memorize them)
22 for they are life to those who find them
    and health to one’s whole body.   (Matthew 4:4 NIV Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”)
23 Above all else, guard your heart, (do not let anything come before your relationship with Christ)
    for everything you do flows from it.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
    keep corrupt talk far from your lips. (in a day where perversity and corruption abound!)
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you. (keep your eyes on Christ!)
26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet (don’t get caught up in the various snares of sin)
    and be steadfast in all your ways. (keep moving forward!)
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;  (as Paul says in Phil. 3:14 “We must press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.)
    keep your foot from evil.

There are so many encouraging words found in this Proverb to help us victoriously live as followers of Christ.

Lord, help us to always remember that we are to bring Your light to a dying world. Help us to demonstrate that light by living in close communion with You today. Help us to keep our hearts and lives free of the snares of sin by keeping our gaze fixed on You Jesus.  We love you Lord and desire to keep moving forward until we see You face to face!

In Your precious name,

Amen.

Yes knowledge is power!

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

I am convinced that as followers of Christ, our greatest struggles are in the  areas where we have not learned or decided to apply the Word of God. We often compartmentalize our lives. There are those areas we easily yield to God and there are areas we keep to ourselves. Areas where we still go by sight and areas we allow our faith in Christ to direct us. It is a type of schizophrenic Christian walk. The Word of God tells us that we are to yield every area of our life over to God. We are to trust Him in all things. We are to abide in Christ daily and without reservation.  Proverbs 3:5,6 NIV Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him,and he will make your paths straight.  

So why then do we hold back from doing this? Perhaps for some it is rebellion. They just don’t want to yield to Christ just yet. They feel there is still lots of time to get things right. For others though, I believe it is a lack of knowing just what the Word of God says on matters. When we are ignorant of the scriptures we are open to being lead astray. We also lack confidence in the power and authority of God in many areas of our lives.

As Sir Francis Bacon once said, “Knowledge is power.” In this instance, I’m not referring to academic knowledge but rather knowledge of God’s Word. As we delve into His Word we become transformed by the renewing of our minds. We begin to see things as God sees them. We begin to see our faith grow. We begin to trust Him, knowing that many before us have trusted Him and He has not disappointed. We begin to apply the authority and power we have received through Christ into our lives and are thereby able to make a difference in this world we live in! His Word is life changing! It is supernatural! It is powerful!

Hebrews 4:12 NIV 12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Romans 10:17 NIV 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

Matthew 4:4 NIV Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Isaiah 55:11 NIV 11  So is my word that goes out from my mouth:  It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Too often we struggle because we do not read the Bible  and therefore don’t apply it to our lives! We live by sight more than by faith.

I personally believe there is a new thing happening in the body of Christ. I am excited with what I am seeing. Many believers are hungry for more of Christ in their lives. They are turning to the Scriptures for guidance, for knowledge and to hear the voice of the One they love. Worldwide, there are discipleship groups rising, new and old followers of Christ wanting to spend more time in the Word and growing into the disciple makers Christ has called us all to become. There is no doubt that as we grow in our knowledge of the Word of God, we will grow in our authority of the Word. We will begin to apply the Word of God to all areas of our lives! This is how we will be able to fulfill each of our own parts in the  great commission.  By knowing the Word, believing the Word and obeying the Word. By doing what Jesus told each and every one of us to do in Matthew 28:16-20 NIV 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

Are you armed?

I was reminded today how important it is that we study the Word of God. I was sharing with someone how I had heard a guest on a Christian talk show suggest something to non believers watching the show  that was definitely non scriptural.  I had to hear him say it twice before I realized that that is indeed what he said. I don’t share this to disparage him or the host that should have corrected him, but to emphasize to every one of us that it is critical we stay reading our Bibles. We live in a time, that the Bible warns us, where strange doctrines and a different gospel are also preached. 1 Timothy 4:1 NIV 4 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. We need to be able to discern the truth from the false and the only way of doing that is to know the truth in the first place.  We who live in a time of Bibles being readily available to each and every one of us ( in the free world), have NO excuse.

Our studying of the Word should be taken seriously. We can’t count on tv evangelists, our Pastors, teacher etc. to be the main source of our studying. They are all a blessing and offer us guidance, protection and  leadership but we alone are responsible to God for how we handle His Word in our life. After all, if you don’t know the Word of God, how can you tell if a leader is leading you off track?

We are accustomed to having knowledge readily available to us. We can search the internet for just about anything today and have a response within seconds. We need to be careful that our spiritual growth is not dependent on the same type of quick answers. We need to study and meditate on the Word of God for it to be hid in our hearts! It will not come from just listening to sermons, or watching Christian tv shows.

2 Timothy 2:15 KJV 15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

In order to ensure we are not deceived by strange doctrines, or another gospel we have to study God’s Word. There is no shortcut. There are no excuses. It is not our mother, our brother, our Pastor or our grandmother’s sole responsibility for our spiritual growth. It is ours.  There are many verses in the Bible that show us just how important it is.

Jesus told us in Matthew 4:4 NIV “It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Hebrews 4:12 NIV12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Romans 15:4 NIV For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

Paul warned us in the book of Galatians of the dangers of being deceived.  Galatians 1:6-12 NIV I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

As time passes, I believe we will see more and more strange doctrines and other gospels! Without personal study of the Word of God, we leave ourselves very vulnerable to deception. Challenge yourself to read the Word of God daily. Write it out, meditate on it, hide it in your heart so that you won’t sin against God, as the Bible tells us to do.  Psalm 119:11 NIV 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

The best way to protect ourselves from being deceived is to know the truth! As Paul wrote in Ephesians, the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. It is a necessary defense weapon in our walk with Christ. We can’t take it up and use it if we don’t know it!

Ephesians 6:10- 17 NIV 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

We all want  to be victors when we come before Christ!  Let’s arm ourselves with the Word of God so that we will be!