Tag Archives: God’s Word

How to be Sagacious in a Topsy Turvy World

bible study 2tim3Genesis 3 -5  Have you a constant struggle with the adversary Satan?  It may be 2019 and our new year like newly fallen snow looks beautiful but if you look beneath you will see all of the dirt and grime that is hidden from sight. Truthfully, today like any other day is just like that dirt and grime and with ups and downs which began so very long ago all because our first parents were not being sagacious (prudent, discerning) before the serpent or as we might call him, the Devil and the devil he is!  Jesus told us that we are to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. Believer, the wisdom that the serpent has may seem mind-boggling but is not omniscient because it lacks the fear of God. It is as James tells us earthly, natural, demonic. It seeks to glorify self, not God and to deny the penalty for self-gain and self-aggrandizement. Satan has one goal: to take back what he thought was rightfully his because deep down he believes the bumper sticker: “The one with the most toys wins.” His first encounter with these newly created beings of man and woman was with great shrewdness:  “Is it really true?” causing Eve to doubt. James warns us of this when he said: “he who doubts is like the wave of the sea blown and tossed about with the wind.”

Every day we face the seeds planted in that garden. But not all is lost for God’s grace and mercy provided the redemption that Adam and Eve needed and He does the same for us as well. He does that because He is not willing any should perish but all come to repentance.

Are you facing what seems a constant struggle?

Do you have your armor on? Go read Ephesians 6 about the armor if you have no idea what that means. 

Start the new year right by meditating on the Word of God and hiding it in your heart so you are ready to give an answer to the adversary. He may question but God’s Word has the answers!


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

James 4 mirror2If you are not too old you  remember the fairytale story of Snow White  depicting good and evil. The evil part is played by, you guessed it, a prominent queen, much like Queen Athaliah of OT fame; obsessed with beauty and power. To be sure she was always the most beautiful she would stand before the magical mirror each day and ask: “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” and would hear “Thou, O Queen art the fairest of them all,’—that is—-until the day it responded: “Snow White is the fairest of them all.” Immediately her false façade was shattered and her pride was revealed.  The reader sees the real queen, beautiful on the outside but ugly on the inside. Both the fictional queen and the real queen Athaliah were intent upon proving the mirror wrong, Both set out to destroy their rivals.

Sometimes we are like the queen. When God’s mirror,  His Word,  reveals our true person,  we seek to cover our warts, scars. and imperfections because we don’t like what God’s Word reveals. We do not want to admit our imperfections and we seek to cover them through works without faith much like the Laodicean church.  But, the fact remains, we still have imperfections, called sin,  because God’s mirror does not lie. He still sees us as we truly are.

On the one hand we say, yes I am a believer but we live as if we are not. But if we want the mirror to say we are ‘perfect, wanting nothing,’ then we must submit to God and stop saying we haven’t sinned.  To say we have no sin is essentially saying God is a liar for He hath said: “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”   Could that be a reason God does not answer our prayers?  Could it be that our motives and our inner person  are like the queen’s? We want to hear we are the fairest of them all  but fail to admit our shortcomings and change our ways.

God’s mirror answers who is the fairest of them all. It is the ABC’s: One who admits their sin, believes that God’s plan for sin redemption is through His son and confesses their sin seeking forgiveness and cleansing from God.

The question remains: Are you like the queen or Snow White? What is God’s mirror revealing about you?

“Pearls of Wisdom”

ImageIn studying scripture and doing homiletics one is encouraged to be succinct. Homiletics is a tool to help you analyze a passage in scripture. It incorporates a succinct outline, succinct divisions and succinct biblical truths. One of the most challenging are chapters like Proverbs 10 because of its many pithy sayings. These provoke us to think about how to practically apply what each says in our daily lives. Look at this chapter as God’s oyster filled with His pearls of wisdom. Just as the diver seeks to find the best pearl in the oyster so we must dig in His Word to find His pearl for each day.

One question that arises is why did the Holy Spirit not arrange this chapter or any of the following chapters so that we could study one topic in full? But, perhaps the answer is found here: “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” [Is 28:10] Thus we learn best when we take in a bit, meditate upon it and then find that same tidbit further on which brings that same truth to light but given differently. For example:

Prov 10:1 says a wise child makes a father rejoice and Prov 23:15 says if your heart is wise then your heart will be glad. Same principle but written in a different way.

As you read Prov 10, look for the pearls of wisdom that the Holy Spirit will use to instruct you so that you might grow up and in turn instruct others. Let these words sink into your heart with the goal of applying 2Tim 3:16: all scripture is profitable for gaining wisdom in teaching (doctrine–biblical principles), reproof (rebuke), correction (challenging us to walk uprightly) and training in righteousness (that is the way of God) so that we may be capable and equipped for every good work.


Storing up God’s Word

ImageThe idea of “storing up” is found both in Prov vs 1 “ My child, if you receive my words, and store up my commands within you,” and in Prov vs 7 “He stores up effective counsel for the upright,”

What might be some reasons that we would need to store up God’s Word and when would God take from his storehouse to counsel his own?  Some ideas come to mind: keeping us in strong in times of spiritual famine, keeping us alert and ready to fend off the evil one just as Jesus did in his temptation.

David wrote: Psa 119:11 In my heart I store up your words, so I might not sin against you.

God prepared Amos for such a time of spiritual famine: Amo 8:11 Be certain of this, the time is coming,” says the sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land – not a shortage of food or water but an end to divine revelation!

Joseph is a prime example of someone who faced a “famine” of the Word. Sold into slavery, unjustly imprisoned all Joseph had to glean was his faith in God at a time when he had nothing else. Listen to his words: “So how could I do such a great evil and sin against God?” It was then that Joseph drew out of his storehouse of knowledge, his understanding of God, the words he had been taught and was able to withstand the temptation of Potiphar’s wife. Joseph drew out of his storehouse of counsel that he had learned in a time of plenty at the feet of Jacob.

Think of Daniel and his three friends, taken captive to Babylon. Surely the words of Amos were true. There was no temple, no priests to teach them, and it was a time of spiritual famine. But, listen to Daniel: “But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself” and “We won’t find any pretext against this man Daniel unless it is in connection with the law of his God.” Both times Daniel drew out of God’s storehouse the counsel he needed because he had stored it up in a time of plenty.

Both Joseph and Daniel are examples of men who stored up God’s Word and when the trial came God took from his storehouse and brought it to their minds just as Jesus promised Mat 10:19 Whenever they hand you over for trial, do not worry about how to speak or what to say, for what you should say will be given to you at that time. And Joh 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, …will cause you to remember everything I said to you

This would be a perfect time as we are just 17 days into the New Year to start memorizing God’s Word so that you are prepared. We never know when we may enter a time of spiritual famine, or be tempted by the evil one. We need to store up God’s Word so we are armored for the battle: “And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” [Eph 6]