In the Air Force, it was repeatedly drilled into us: “The right tool for the right job.” That phrase stuck in my mind. Through the years I’ve been amazed to see guys (okay, especially boys) use screwdrivers (or a hammer) for just about every job when another tool would have been more appropriate. The right tool would have done a better job without collateral damage.
I greatly appreciate the focus on Scripture at our new church (Due to Covid our other services were shut down). The pastor teaches a class on hermeneutics (the science and art of interpreting Scripture.) The book we are using is Basic Bible Interpretation by Roy Zuck. As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are dependent on a correct understanding of the Bible in order to correctly apply it to our lives. If you have never read anything like this before, I highly recommend it.
Additional tools that will help in your Bible study:
- Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, James Strong
- An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, W. E. Vine,
- Nave’s Topical Bible, Orville Nave or The New Topical Textbook, R. A. Torrey,
- Matthew Henry’s unabridged commentary or a commentary by a conservative author,
- Olive Tree Bible software, which offers the above tools less expensively and all in one application.
Invest in good tools!
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
I greatly appreciated how Teri never complained about changing baby’s diapers. It sure wasn’t my favorite task! Over the years, that sweet wife of mine easily changed a minimum of 5,000 diapers per child. Considering eight children, she likely changed well over 40,000 diapers! The same cheerful attitude was exhibited while fixing over 50,000 meals (47 years of marriage) for our family.
What about us? Do we cheerfully fulfill our God-given responsibilities? Do we see them as acts of obedience to Almighty God? We are to cheerfully obey whether we are providing for the family, doing house and car upkeep, discipling the children, or leading the family spiritually.
“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king” (1 Samuel 15:22-23).
We live in Leavenworth, and it is known to be both a military and prison town. Fort Leavenworth’s primary function is training select officers through the Command General Staff College. Teri’s father was a career military officer, and we have known many fine examples of those committed to serving our country through their service. One thing is clear, the military differs greatly from a normal job. Those serving can be sent to their loss of life or limbs at the command of their boss. That is simply a part of their “job.”
“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Tim 2:3-4).
Stories can be shared of great hardship in the line of duty. (I have read war defined as “cruelty.”) Many don’t come home from an assignment resulting in his wife raising the children without a father. Or life is greatly altered by having a legless dad.
The Holy Spirit prompted Paul to liken those who profess to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ to soldiers of Jesus Christ. Brothers, as we read Scripture, do we read the commands, as commands to be obeyed, no matter what the cost? We are not asked if we like the command but simply told to do it.
(To be continued.)
Moses threw his staff down before Pharaoh, and it became a serpent (Exodus 7:10). If I was watching, I would have been impressed. Pharaoh wasn’t. He called in his magicians, and “they also did in like manner with their enchantments” (Exodus 7:11b). God could have prevented their magicians from doing the same, but He didn’t.
Could it be that in addition to using it to harden Pharaoh’s heart, God wanted Moses to expect in the future the dark side to attempt to hinder God’s work in lives? We aren’t to fear it, but we should anticipate it and be in prayer about.
Are you expecting your children to automatically receive Christ and live for Him just because they are living in your home? Being active in church is not enough either.
Is Jesus the love of your life, your purpose in life, and your joy in life? Do you love His Word, and are you in it every day, personally and leading your family in Bible time because of that love? Your children must see His power/life at work in you.
Live for Him my brothers with all your heart. Be purposeful in discipling your children, Satan wants them.
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
Let’s continue on last week’s theme of responding to the wickedness in current events. We want to pray for those who are suffering, and we want to teach our children to pray too.
Scripture is our guide and example in this. Notice when the man horrifically cut his concubine into twelve pieces (Judges 20:6), Scripture did not provide pictures or gory descriptions. That is why if you have a TV, this is a great time to put it out for the trash. Photos and details imprint on the brain, striking fear in hearts that just a statement of fact about a situation requiring for prayer shouldn’t (IE. Christians are being severely persecuted and desperately need our prayers). We don’t need details to pray effectively.
When we hear something, we personalize what we hear. Next time someone tells you of a dentist appointment with painful work that was done on their teeth, notice how you run your tongue over your teeth. The more details, the more we picture that happening to us. How easy for a child who hasn’t grown in real love for Christ, or maybe not even saved to think, “I’m never going to be a Christian if that is what might happen to me.”
God didn’t lead Israel to Canaan through the land of the Philistines because they weren’t mature enough to handle what they would face even though it was much shorter (Exodus 13:17). We need to be careful what goes into our children’s minds.
Brothers, our suffering brothers and sisters need our prayers. Pray appropriately and with your family. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
I recently heard from others about the terror beginning overseas. What a heartbreak. Through the ages, the ground has been soaked with the blood of violence, and often the innocents pay greatly. Soldiers understand they fight and might pay with their blood and limbs. But oh how our hearts ache for those helpless who are caught in the middle.
Our children need to hear truthful answers from God’s Word regarding these horrors. God is not the author of evil, Satan is. We hate sin, and our hope is in the Righteous and Holy Judge of all the earth. Jesus Christ is the only solution for sin.
I recently said to a dear Brother how anxious I am for the Lord’s return. He said, “But when He comes, it ends the possibility for salvation of those not saved yet.” May we be faithful in proclaiming Christ.
“Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths” (Isaiah 59:7).
God forewarned Joshua that any remaining nations would affect the Israelites. Their influence would divert the Israelites’ love and worship of God to the other nation’s gods.
The same is true today as professing Christians fall in love with what the people of our world worship. Few will go to the extreme to deny Christ as they know that would clearly be sin. However, they don’t think about the tears of remorse they will shed when standing before Christ empty-handed. Each will give account for all the wasted hours that were devoted to completely worthless, but exciting, entertainment idols.
“That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them: But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day” (Joshua 23:7-8).
“That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you;” – We must live in the world, but what we embrace is a choice.
“neither make mention of the name of their gods,” – Seems like the number of idols today are endless. It all becomes the topic of our speech and the love of our hearts.
“nor cause to swear by them,” – They become a person’s identity.
“neither serve them,” – With your precious time
“nor bow yourselves unto them:” – They are devoted to them.
“But cleave unto the LORD your God,” – Be joined with God, and pursue Him hard with all your might.
When things go wrong, people want to blame someone. As an example, just a few hours ago I heard a casual acquaintance blame God for something. The reality is that usually we, ourselves, are to blame by making bad choices that lead to painful consequences.
We can avoid much grief for our families if we will read and heed God’s Word.
“Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left” (Joshua 23:6).
“Be ye therefore very courageous” – Brothers be resolute, unwavering in your commitment to follow Christ. This isn’t about a mere preference.
“to keep” – Retain, treasure and mediate on His Word.
“and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses,” – Praise God we have more than just the law of Moses. We have it all. Read, my Brothers. Love it, and live it.
“that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left” – Be narrow-minded when it comes to His Word. Inhale the Word, exhale in obedience.
Brothers, know the Word, live it, and then there will be no reason to blame anyone. It doesn’t mean things will always be without difficulties, but there is peace in following the Savior. (Continued)
There is something that every time I hear it, my heart groans. I believe when it is said, it is meant for good, but it still troubles me. What is it?
When something happens for good and a person wants to give God the credit, he says it was a “God thing.” You might scratch your head and wonder how that could ever trouble me. Well, my God is holy and righteous. He is the Almighty God of the universe. If mankind were to see Him, we would die because of how holy God is.
Yet, when people use the above expression, it brings God’s name down to something common. There is no reverence, awe, or respect. The Jews didn’t even say God’s name because it was so holy. “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain” (Exodus 20:7). Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance expands on the word “vain” to include these words: emptiness, nothingness, and vanity emptiness of speech.
May we give God proper respect and glory. He is worthy of our praise. “Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you” (Leviticus 22:32).
When you have a discussion with a Brother at church, what generally do you talk about? Is it the weather, sports, activities, or the things of the Lord? Is your conversation empty or edifying? “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another” (Romans 14:19).