Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Just Read Your Stinkin' Bible

We recently finished a 14 week study through the book of Ephesians. Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus is encouraging and very challenging. He spends the first part of the letter reminding those who follow Christ of all the blessings that they have received in Him. He talks about being called by God and the inheritance that is ours as saints. He then goes on to challenge believers to live differently in light of the blessing and calling that they have received. As the letter comes to a close, Paul talks about relationships. He begins with husbands and wives and then goes on to address parents and children and slaves and masters. Right after this discussion on relationships, Paul reminds his readers that they are in a battle. I find the placement and timing of this very interesting. It's like he is saying "You are children of God, abundantly blessed by the Father. Be sure to live as His children, loving and serving one another. And by all means don't forget that you are in a battle."

You are in a battle. Did you realize that?

It's easy to forget that as we go through our daily lives, there is a spiritual battle raging all around us.  

When was the last time you heard someone say "God has a wonderful plan for your life?" Now let me ask, when was the last time you heard someone say "the devil has a plan for your life?" Whether we realize it or not, he does.

Paul implores his readers to put on the full armor of God so that they can take their stand against the devil's schemes. He has a scheme. He has a plan. We must be ready. Paul begins his discussion regarding the armor of God by saying that we must "stand with truth like a belt around your waist."

We are bombarded day in and day out by lies. They come at us from all sides and from various sources. Commercials tell us what we need in order to be happy. Some parents tell us we are not good enough. Friends tell us what we need to do in order to be accepted. We are either too fat or too skinny, too tall or too short. Lies, lies lies.

There is only one way to combat the lies that we are inundated by, and that is with truth. We must stand with truth like a belt around our waist. The belt was the thing that held the armor of a Roman soldier together, it was essential. Our belt is truth and truth is found in the Word of God. We must know God's truth in order to take a stand against the lies of the enemy.

 Here is just some of what God says about the importance of His Word:

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105 

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

"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12 

"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 

“Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified." Acts 20:32 

"Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth." (John 17:17) 

God has given us His Truth so that we can combat the lies that come against us in our daily lives. Do you have the truth inside you so that you can take a stand against the devil's schemes?  The devil has a plan and he would like nothing more than to destroy you, your marriage and your family.  God has a plan and he has given us everything we need for life and godliness. However it is up to us to take full advantage of all that is available to us.

Read God's Word daily. Let it be your food and the Truth that helps you to stand!

As one guy put it, "Please, just read your stinkin' Bible!"  I think that says it all.  :)

For His Kingdom


p.s.  Just read this by A.W. Tozer and thought I would add it to this post:

"Any wrong idea of God is bound to give us a wrong idea of ourselves.  We can know ourselves only as we know God. If our theology is false, our anthropology must be false.  If we are wrong about God, we will never know who, what or why we are where we are."  

Another reason why we must read our stinkin' Bibles  ;)