The only way to know the Word of God is to open the book and read for yourself. For when you look you will receive. And as you read, you will learn. For the Bible is the infallible Word of God…it says what it says and means what it means. And as you learn you will gain insight and moral discernment in order to live out the Word in your life. Psalm 119:27 goes on to say, “Let me understand the teaching of Your precepts; then I will meditate on Your wonders.” But the only way to understand God’s Word is to first get into God’s Word for yourself.
Jewish fathers were instructed to teach their children… recounting the miracles and mighty deeds of God their Deliverer. This handed down oral history was necessary as we see in Deuteronomy Chapter 11 because the children had not seen or experienced the miracles of God. So the fathers were instructed to, “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:19) Sadly, every time a precious saint of the Lord dies, so does a bit of oral history, that can never to be retrieved. So I would encourage you today to share with the younger generation exactly what the Lord has done in your life…for Psalm 71:18 tells us, “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare Your power to the next generation, Your might to all who are to come.”
Paul had a way of cutting through the flowery language and being brutally honest about who he really was without Jesus in his life. He was one miserable human being… spiritually dead and separated from God. But in the next breath, Paul speaks of being eternally grateful that Jesus Christ had set him free and liberated him from the law of sin and death.(Romans 8:2) For in reality we can only serve one master…we can either be a slave to sin, or a slave to obedience. (Romans 6:16)
This was a Shunammite woman who had made a small room on the roof of her house for Elisha to stay when he was traveling in the area. The prophet Elisha was very grateful and wanted to reciprocate, so he asked his servant Gehazi, “What can I do for her?” Gehazi replied, “Well, she has no son and her husband is old.” So Elisha prophesied to the woman that God would give her a son…and He did. But a few years later the young boy fell ill and died in his mother’s arms. The grieving Shunammite woman then set off looking for Elisha and found him at Mount Carmel. But God did not divulge the reason to Elisha, for the Lord wanted him to live in the moment with her, experience her emotions, and meet her where she was at. Similarly, In I Samuel 1:15, the Priest Eli saw Hannah deeply troubled in prayer in the Temple but thought she was drunk and didn’t realize the truth until he spoke to her. If God shrouds things from us it’s for a specific reason. ..we may not need to know the details in order to help/pray for the person, or He may want us to just share in the emotion of the moment.
Be careful not to misquote this Scripture, for it doesn’t say that money is the root of all kinds of evil, but rather, the love of money that will cause a frenzied lust and crazed passion in a person, blocking out their better judgment. When we allow ourselves to become a lover of money and not a lover of Jesus Christ…when we take Him off the Throne of our heart, mind and soul and place obtaining wealth there instead, we set ourselves up for every kind of forbidden and unrighteous action to take place. And in the end, we may think we’ve acquired our heart’s desire…but at what cost?
“Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.” (Psalm 147:5) He alone is God…He alone created everything out of nothing. So it should be without question that everything is God centered. Or as Romans 11:36 tells us, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.”
Paul’s salutation here was to the Churches in Galatia, a province of Rome, and/or to Believers of Gallic heritage. (Both ideas have been debated.) Either way, his salutation could easily address today’s modern Church and Body of Believers for nothing much has changed. Sin still rules the world, with Satan, the author of all evil in the world, still at work deceiving and enticing those towards moral and spiritual wickedness. But we are not to lose hope, for Jesus Christ has overcome the world. Or as Romans 4:25 tells us, “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” So Paul’s words still ring true today… in the end, the Will of God always wins out…and His divine plan and purpose will forever be done for His glory. Amen and Amen.
Here we see two different types of prayer. Isaac interceded on behalf of his wife, asking the Lord to bless her with children. In other words, he was standing in the gap of the broken down wall (his childless wife) in order to make it whole or complete.(a pregnancy and successful birth) But early on in this pregnancy Rebekah began to experience new and frightening movements of the twins within her…the pushing and shoving so bad that she sought the Lord herself. What Rebekah was asking was strictly between her and God, for no amount of relaying her concerns to her husband could get Isaac to fully understand what was really happening. And God answered her prayer in verse 23 when He told her, “Two Nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” In our Prayer life both types of prayer are necessary and vital…one focused on others, one focused on our self.
The original meaning for the Greek word for “things that cause people to sin” is a trigger on which the bait is placed so that when an animal touches it the trap swings closed on its victim. Jesus is telling His disciples here that such sin is bound to happen in a world filled with depravity and wickedness, but deplorable and wretched is the person who would intentionally entice another to fall into such moral and spiritual ruin. So in other words, that person was the trigger of the trap…the cause of another’s stumbling… with devastating results for both.
The city of Sardis was a very wealthy and prosperous place…and the same kind of apathetic arrogance that characterized the city was also very evident in the early Church there. Its members had become complacent, and self-satisfied with the status quo…resting on their laurels of past importance among the early Churches…which led to a spirit of smugness and opened the way to sin. The Church of Sardis had drifted into spiritual unconsciousness…or as it’s called today – nominal Christianity. Quite simply put…it’s someone who professes faith, but has no fruit to show for it. John’s letter to the Church of Sardis is a cautionary tale for many a Church today if they’re banking on what they once were, and not on what they’ve become. What’s needed John wrote is a moral reorientation of hearts and minds, and a turning back to Jesus and our first love.