In His Word 12-28-09

Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him"— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 1 Corinthians 2:6-10
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. "For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:14-16
But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? 1 Corinthians 3:1-4
A wise old man once called himself an infant. At first I didn't see his point. Take into account that this man was 70 some-odd years old. He had been an evangelist who traveled around on the mission field, speaking the wisdom of God for many years. He was in church almost from birth. This man came from a family in which most of the men and women went into some sort of ministry. Yet, he called himself an infant in the Lord.

The man went on to say that as we think we have gained so much knowledge, we really know nothing. You know, it's kind of like the old saying, “the more you know the more you know that you do not know.” We really know nothing in comparison with the Holy Spirit in us. If it were not for God imparting this gift of a comforter to us, we would not gain the understanding needed to progress in our Christian walk. We sure can't trust all of the teachers in the world today to tell us the truth. We have to be able to pick up our Bibles and read for ourselves.

There are many good teachers out there, but there are also many teachings that are off base. Yet we are all trying to achieve the same thing, life in Christ eternally. Aren’t we? Or are we? Some teachers out there today are looking to make a living at preaching. Others are living to preach. Some Christians are living to serve Christ, and others are serving to live in Christ.

Am I confusing you? Think for a moment - are you living to learn more each day and share the Gospel, or are you living to get rich? Are you serving God because He will make you get ahead in life, or are you ahead in life because you serve a living God? It is all a matter of perspective.

As we begin the new year ahead we can have a new perspective on our lives. We can start out new with plans for healthy habits, saving money, cleaner houses and better lifestyles; but what about God? What is His place in all of this?

As a home schooling teacher I am looking ahead to the next 6 months of school and recalculating what work there is to do. I am checking where we are ahead and were we are behind. Then I will set up my plan for the rest of the school year. As a Christian I am to look ahead to see what God plans to do with me. Or more correctly, what I can do for Him in this new year, new month, new day. It is not a matter of the number 2010, it is a matter of perspective. What am I to do with what the Lord has put before me? What shall I do with what He has given me?

If you are a planner or a goal setter, instead of making a resolution this year why not try to ask God what to do with the year He has given you. You can plan to read your Bible in a year with the Pastors and other leaders at your church, but what will you do with what you have read? Will you keep it inside? Or do you even pay attention to what you are reading?

I have to admit there have been days when I read through my Daily Bible and did not actually soak in the words I was reading. My mind was elsewhere. We can read through the whole Bible in a weekend if we try. One of our pastors has done this. But do we really grasp what we are reading in that fast read? Sure, you might get something if there are no distractions.

This year let’s start out by praying that God will keep the distractions away from our Bible time. Then let’s add some salt and light to that. Let’s ask Him to bring the Word to life in our hearts and minds. Ask that we will see the characters in our mind's eye and hear what they are saying, so we can understand what it is that God wants to tell us.

Then let's take it up a notch. Let's ask him to give us meat! No longer milk but good, thick, chewy meat of the Word. We need the kind of stuff that takes a while to chew, and then a while to digest. We need to take a while to think on these things. When we drink the milk of the word, it is good, smooth and cool going down, but it's gone in an instant. Meat takes time.

We have been given a gift, the mind of Christ, that we may grow into a deeper relationship with our God and Father. We should not have to wonder if we should follow this man or that woman, we should know His word for ourselves. We should follow after God’s plan for us, not follow what a man tells us we should follow. Don’t get me wrong, we need to listen to the pastors and leaders the Lord has put before us. But we also need to take the Word and read it for ourselves. Let’s not get lazy because we have overhead Bibles on a screen at church. Take the time to decipher the Word each day. Take time on your own to read the scriptures the Pastor gives in church. Check it out and see what God has for you to learn. Sometimes two people can sit beside one another and get a totally different sermon. What does God have for you today?

If you choose one thing to do this year that you did not do last year, I would ask that you choose to get a deeper relationship with God the Father. Get the deeper relationship that Christ came to give you. Know the heart of God through Him, growing closer as you dig deeper. Dig deeper in the Word and really read. Pay attention to what you read then swallow it to digest it. Digesting is thinking on it for a while.

The Word of God tells as about getting the meat of the Word for a reason. He wants us to think about it for a while - a long while. Meat is there to give us strength, to fill our needs, to help us grow. I am speaking of the spiritual food now, so go take a big bite and chew on it for a while! Get ready for the year ahead and if you fast, be sure not to fast from the Word of God.

Dear heavenly Father, help us to chew on your Word today. Give us the meat of the word and help us to digest it in Your time. Draw us nearer, Holy Spirit, that You may fill us with Your power, with Your peace and with Your understanding. In Jesus' name, amen.

Suggested readings: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; 1 Corinthians 2:1-16; 1 Corinthians 3:1-23; Psalm 139:1-24; Psalm 117:1-118:29.