It goes without saying the greatest book or library of books is the Bible.God reveals Himself to man.Given by the inspiration of God,full of instruction,teaching,correction,direction and equips.2TIM.3:16,17.The Psalmist in Psalm119 describes its excellence.Love,read,meditate,sing,hear,keep and do it.Like water in a desert,a light in darkness and sweeter than honey is Gods Word.What is your favourite verse or passage??? It is always the last one God recently has spoken to me through.The one that stirs my spirit,grabs my heart,captivates my mind and fires a passionate delight for Him. As you walk with God there grows numerous favourites.
There are other books that have left an impression or made an impact on my life to some degree or other.The following I would recommend worth a read.The list is not exhaustive and does not mean I necessarily agree with everything the writer teaches or believes.Check them out…
THE NORMAL CHRISTIAN BIRTH David Pawson
THE NORMAL CHRISTIAN LIFE Watchman Nee
THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE Rick Warren
EXPERIENCING GOD Henry T Blackaby/Claude V King
DESTINED FOR THE THRONE Paul E Billheimer
THE HOLY SPIRIT IN YOU Dennis/Rita Bennett
THE RADICAL CHRISTIAN Arthur Wallis
VICTORY OVER DARKNESS Neil T Andreson
BECOMING A CONTAGIOUS CHRISTIAN Bill Hybels/Mark Mittelberg
TOUCHING THE INVISIBLE Norman Grubb
THE PURSUIT OF GOD A W Tozer
SURPRISED BY THE VOICE OF GOD Jack Deere
GODS CHOSEN FAST Arthur Wallis
THINKING FOR A CHANGE John C Maxwell
YOUR MONEY COUNTS Mark Lloydbottom
THE PILGRIM CHURCH E H Broadbent
THE NORMAL CHRISTIAN CHURCH Watchman Nee
SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP J Oswald Sanders
THE MAKING OF A LEADER Frank Damazio
RESTORATION IN THE CHURCH Terry Virgo
WHAT ON EARTH THIS KINGDOM? Gerald Coates
RAIN FROM HEAVEN Arthur Wallis
THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE BIBLE John Rea
UNLOCKING THE BIBLE David Pawson
THE SPIRITUAL MAN Watchman Nee
CHRIST THE HEALER F F Bosworth
WHAT WIVES WISH THEIR HUSBANDS KNEW ABOUT WOMAN James Dobson
THE SIXTY MINUTE MARRIAGE Rob Parsons
THE SIXTY MINUTE FATHER Rob Parsons
THE RAPTURE Richard R Reiter/Paul D Feinberg/Gleason L Archer/Douglas Moo
THE MEANING OF THE MILLENNIUM EDITOR:Robert G Clouse
REVELATION FOUR VIEWS : PARALLEL COMMENTARY EDITOR:Steve Gregg
During life at times we face situations in relationships,family,work,finances,church and ministry when we just do not know what to do.We either don`t know what choice to make or there is a lack of them.Sometimes we know what to do but questioning ourselves we end up being convinced we really don`t know what to do.So what should we do?
image courtesy of Stuart Mlies at FreeDigitalPhotos.com
Don`t panic,quit,run or hide.When in the dark reach out to God in trust.A child in uncertain surroundings slips their hand into their parents hand in trust.PSA.37:3,5 Trust in God….feed on His faithfulness….commit you way to the Lord.Trust also in Him.PRV.3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart.Lean not on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
We often focus on the problem of not knowing,over thinking it or we ask others including family and friends accumulating `opinions` BEFORE we ask God.Ask God FIRST.God does not want to keep you in the dark. JAS.1:5If any of you lack wisdom let him ask God who gives liberally.
3.DO WHAT GOD LAST TOLD YOU.
Do not let what you don`t know paralyse you from doing what you do know already to do.Whatever He has already revealed to you keep doing it.It is easier to steer a ship when it is moving. JAS.1:25 Don`t be a forgetful hearer.Be a doer.
4.MAJOR ON YOUR STRENGTHS.
What are you good at and what do you enjoy?God has given you talents and gifts that are unique to you.Spend your time on your strengths.Follow the 80/20% rule.Spend 80% of your time on your top 20% activities-John Maxwell.1COR.12:7,11 The Holy Spirit has given each of us gifts. Everything made has a purpose.The way you are is for the why you are. Eph.2:10 You are His workmanship and He has works prepared for you.
5.LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE.
Did I face this situation before?What worked?What mistakes did I make?Broaden your experience by learning from the experience of others.Receive insight from those who are a stage ahead of you.Learn from others successes and from their mistakes.John Maxwell-Make it a goal to find people who will add value to you in areas that are important to you. PROV.27:17 Iron sharpens iron. There are two types of people.Those who take and learn from instructions and those who have to learn by making their own mistakes.I would rather learn from others and their mistakes.
6.INCREASE YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF GODS WORD.
Knowledge is power-it increases options,possibilities and the ability to make choices.Know nothing=nothing.How strong is Gods Word in our lives?Read,speak,sing,study and meditate on Gods Word.JOSH.1:8 msg.Don`t for a minute let this book of revelation be out of your mind.Ponder meditate on it day and night making sure you practice everything in it.Then you will get where you are going then you`ll succeed.Without answers you will stay in the dark. PSA.119:105 Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.2TIM.3:16 All Scripture is God breathed profitable for showing truth,correcting
mistakes,providing training and instruction in living Gods way.My dad always said that the Bible was the best Citizen Advice Bureau.Kingdom answers for everyday life.Col.3:16 Let the Word of God dwell in you richly.
7.GET TO KNOW GOD.
Spend time in His presence getting to know God,His nature and heart.Intimacy with God.Worship Him.As you spend time in His company the Holy Spirit will form His character in you guiding you in making decisions.Similarly as a couple get to know each other they become `one flesh` and even when one alone faces a situation they often will know what the other would do in it.The Holy Spirit who is in you will search the deep things of God and teach you. 1COR.2:9-16.Often a married couple will know by the `look` in the eye of their partner what they are saying without them speaking a word.Psa.32:8-9 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.I will guide you with My eye.
God created the heavens and earth.He created the earth not to be empty but inhabited full of life.God spoke and it came into being.The Word created all things.He was pleased with what He created and saw it was good.The finished product He said was very good. Why? When a artist paints,a writer composes or a craftsman makes it reveals a little about them. What God created revealed His nature.It came from the imagination of His heart.Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.Gods heart unlike mans is good and pure.God speaking out of His heart created the heavens and earth.By Him all things were created.It was good,pleasant,beautiful,excellent,delightful,precious and just right.How often have you looked at scenery and commented “Isn”t that beautiful?”.God is full of life and goodness.His glory is His goodness.His Word is the brightness of His glory.Jesus is the Word in flesh.When we look at creation on the earth and in the heavens we are struck with awe and wonder of its beauty and goodness.Remember it speaks of Him.What an awesome good God we have.
YOU CANNOT DECLARE THE LAW OF GOD WITHOUT THE DEMONSTRATION OF THE LOVE OF GOD.
Preachers often declare Gods Law pointing out right from wrong and the consequences.In some parts of the world we try to legislate right standards to deter us from evil doing and make us a better person or country.The Law is good but it doesn`t make us better,it shows us we fall short and fail.Even when we try to do good we don`t and what we don`t want to do we do.We need rescued from ourselves and then also there are the consequences for breaking the Law.The good news is there is hope.God loved us even while we failed Him and sent His Son Jesus Christ to take our punishment for breaking the Law..He gives us a new life.He forgives and rescues us when we turn to Him in faith.The Law is not and end in itself but it leads us to Christ,We need Him.Just to declare the Law of God without the demonstration of Gods love in Jesus is only half the truth.The love of God in Jesus gives us a new life with a new nature having a desire and power to obey and follow Gods ways. ROM.3-8 ; GAL.3.
The `laying on of hands` in the Bible was an act to impart something from one to another.In my part of the world to `lay hands on someone` meant giving them a `hiding`,beating them up and doing harm.Thankfully in the Bible it has a different use. Here are some examples outlining the purpose for the`laying on of hands`.
1.To place the sins of the people on to the sacrifice offering.Aaron laid both hands on the head of the live goat,confessing over it all the sins of the people,putting them on the head of the goat.LEV.16:21,22.The burnt offering would be accepted as an atonement for the people.LEV.1:1-5.This foreshadowed Jesus who came and God laid on Him our sin-He became the sacrifice for the sins of the world taking the punishment we deserved.ISA.53:4-6 ; HEB.9;10.
2.To confer a blessing.Jacob laid his hands on the sons of Joseph and blessed them.The firstborn who usually received the greater blessing was blessed with the right hand. GEN.48:14. Aaron lifted his hand towards the people and blessed them.LEV.9:22. Jesus laid His right hand on John blessing him with encouragement and strength. REV.1:17 ; ISA.41:10 .Jesus led His disciples out as far as Bethlehem lifted up His hand and blessed them. LUKE24:50. Jesus laid hands on little children,prayed and blessed them. MATT.19:13-15 ; MARK10:13-16.
3.For the healing of the sick. Jesus laid hands on everyone of them and healed them.LK.4;40 ; 13;13. These signs will follow those who believe….they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.MARK16:17,18. Through the hands of the Apostle smany signs and wonders were done among the people Saul received his sight when Ananias laid hands on him. ACTS9:17 Continue reading THE LAYING ON OF HANDS
In my late teens speaking to a church group in Tilbury, East London I remember outlining valid ways in which to express praise and worship to God.I gave Biblical examples of singing,shouting,clapping,lifting hands,playing musical instruments,bowing,dancing and leaping for joy.Afterwards an elderly woman approached me and commented,`Son it was good to hear Scriptural encouragement to express praise God in various ways but….` and I waited for the `but`….she continued`when you are in love with Jesus you will automatically express praise to God in those varying ways anyway.`It hit me ! I was trying to encourage and justify ways to express praise to God.I learned a lesson not to forget `Worship flows from a love relationship`.You do not have to encourage or prompt `the Kop` at Anfield to sing,shout and clap for Liverpool.The fans do it because they are passionate about football and their team.When you fall in love with someone you want to be in their presence,praise and show acts of kindness towards them.No wonder Jesus taught that the greatest and most important commandment is `to love God with all your heart,soul and mind and to love others` Matt.22:37-40 Deut.6:5 Acts of worship are to be carried out from a heart of desire and not out of duty.Believe in Jesus?The love of God has been poured into your heart. Rom.5:5. Love Him passionately and a life of worship will follow.Worship flows from a love relationship not a routine ritual.It is easy to respond to the love of someone and God loves you with an unmeasurable , unending and unmerited love.I love Him because He first loved me. 1John4:19. Jesus desires His people to open up their hearts and have fellowship with Him. Rev.3:20 ; John14:23 In a husband and wife relationship there are planned times to be alone together and to show affection but those spontaneous intimate moments are even more special.So too in our love relationship with God there is both a place for planned and spontaneous worship.It is not about our performance but our passsionate love for Him.He is the centre of our affections.Delight in the Lord.
When God created mankind He saw that it was good.Man soon however turned from God to Satan and sin.Creation fell but God out of love purposed in His heart to redeem and restore man.He made a New Covenant to establish a New Creation-a chosen people for Himself who would populate a New heaven and earth.Those who turn from Satan and sin to faith in Jesus Christ Gods Son are `born again`.Old things pass away and all becomes new-they are a New Creation.As with new born babes who grow up into maturity so too believers are to grow up.Gods intent is that as individual believers and corporately as His people we become like Jesus Christ mature filled with His fulness.These series of blogs look at that journey or process.