Thursday, October 20, 2016

Our Responsibility with the Word

II Timothy 2:15 (NASB) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
Chances are that if you’ve been in the church for a while, you’ve heard some variation of this verse. My concern is that we’ve gotten so accustomed to it, that we don’t really focus on what it’s saying anymore. We’re throwing around opinions and politics like they’re gospel, while the word of truth is being perverted and misunderstood. We have gotten so good at cherry picking the parts of the Bible that we want to beat people over the heads with that we’ve forgotten the pieces that we’re violating on a daily basis.
We are guessing and supposing, rather than seeking God for His divine revelation. The Holy Spirit is available to help us understand and interpret how to apply the verses that we have abused. By reading and studying the Scriptures in context, we gain a better and more thorough understanding of what they mean. We have a responsibility to handle the Word of God accurately. There are people looking to us for spiritual guidance and help with applying the bible to life. We cannot hastily interpret Scripture without properly studying and praying. It doesn’t work that way. There is no magic formula; it takes time in the Word with prayer and meditation.
When you know better, you do better. I am doing better. If I’m not sure, I research, study, pray, and ask questions. Our opinions are not going to hold water at the pearly gates. We have to rightly divide the word of truth (as the King James Version puts it). There are even suspect things being said across sacred pulpits. Preachers and evangelists are humans; mistakes are made. Don’t take anything at face value. Look it up, research, pray, meditate, seek God for the answers. By all means, don’t agree with something if you aren’t sure. Saying “Amen” is your agreement. The last days are approaching, and we need to be diligent about sharing our faith – and sharing it accurately.
I challenge each of us to hold the other accountable. If you catch me using Scripture incorrectly, call me on it. I don’t want to cause anyone else to stumble. We owe it to the Kingdom to do our best to represent it well. We can’t afford to be the reason someone falls away from the Truth. Jesus Christ died for all of us and each of us, and we owe Him our best. Let’s encourage one another to do and be better. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Follow Directions

Leviticus 10:1-2 (NLT) Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu put coals of fire in their incense burners and sprinkled incense over them. In this way, they disobeyed the LORD by burning before him the wrong kind of fire, different than he had commanded. So fire blazed forth from the LORD’s presence and burned them up, and they died there before the LORD.
Just because something is good in your eyes, doesn’t make it what God asked you to do. Don’t tarnish your anointing with disobedience. When God has anointed you for a certain task, it is yours to perform (not alter, assign, transfer, delegate, etc). Your anointing comes with specific instructions.
Nadab and Abihu had a particular job in the Tabernacle. They took it upon themselves to alter that job, and it cost them their lives. Somehow, we think that God’s instructions don’t apply to us either. We insist on doing things our own way, no matter what God has commanded. Particularly in the church, we do things that are pleasing in our own eyes. We are so consumed with filling seats and offering plates that we don’t always stop and seek God’s will.
We assume that since we are doing good work that God is okay with our methods. That isn’t necessarily true. Every good thing might not be a God thing. John 4:24 states that those who worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth. In spirit and in truth means God’s way. We can’t just throw anything at God, and expect Him to take it as a worthy offering. God is holy, and He must be approached in the way He has commanded.
We have it so much easier than the Levites. We have Jesus Christ. We can hide ourselves in His righteousness, and allow Him to consume our fleshly faults. We can be holy and acceptable to God through a relationship with His Son. The Holy Spirit is a free gift that we obtain with that relationship, and He helps us daily to fulfill our calling. He will keep us if we choose to allow Him. We don’t have to be guilty of burning the wrong kind of fire before the LORD.