Born Again, Blameless, Holy, Like Jesus

Is the Christian life a matter of personal choices, or does God set the pathway for us to follow? Too often we find that people subscribing to the Christian faith have a variety of ideas of how to become Christian and how to live as Christian. At times ideas could be mixed with the world’s view of religion and life. What we as Christians need to see is that the world and Christianity are not compatible. Just as you cannot mix water and oil (it is irreconcilable), so you cannot mix Christianity and the world … yet too many try to do this. They think they succeed, but all that is happening is they water down their Christian brand that eventually it is not Christianity at all resulting in them being Christianized but not Christian! Look at how the Bible says Christianity starts and continues.

The Bible Says You Must be Born Again

Jn 3:7 “You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.'”

One of the great controversies that has faced the church for many years is that of how salvation is obtained. Some believe in Baptismal Regeneration … that is, when an infant is baptised, he or she becomes a Christian. Others says they were born into a Christian home and therefore are Christian. Some believe that when people become Church members they become Christians. However, the Lord Jesus blocks all such attempts of easy salvation by declaring … ‘You must be born again.’

This teaching ran counterclockwise in His day and still does today. You see, man wants either an easy way of salvation or a works-shaped salvation. Jesus says … no! He teaches that a person must be born of water (the umbilical fluid), that is, born human and then experience another birth through the Spirit.

Only a human being can be born again. It happens when you admit you need to be made right with God because you are lost and in a hopeless condition … a condition that you cannot appear before God in. You realise that it is only through the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that you can be made right with God, have sin pardoned and be made a Child of God. This is received through confession of sin, repentance … change of life and submission to Jesus’ Lordship. It does not just happen. It must be sought and once it happens the soul comes alive. This is called being born again. Have you honestly experienced this?

The Bible Says You Must be Blameless

Leading out of being born again is a desire to live to please God the Father, living under Jesus’ reign. An intentional Christian life seeks to live in such a way that no one is able to accuse the believer of any form of wrongdoing. There will be times when we are accused, but the accusation is false. Blameless means no accusation of substance can be made. Before becoming a Christian we were not blameless. We were guilty of many wrong things (sin), but now as Christians we strive to be like our Lord, blameless is both deed and morals. Our motivation is:

Phil 2:15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.

We are to shine like stars (be light to the world) in this corrupt, wicked world by holding to (hold out) the Word of God (Word of Life), proving the Gospel and the effects of the Gospel real. Are you blameless?

The Bible Says You Must be Holy

To be holy is the twin of “blameless”, but they are not identical twins. The difference between them is that holiness implies sinlessness … or without sin! Blameless refers to whether people see sin and wrong in you and if they do, they accuse you. Holy represents our life and behaviour before God. Holiness means separated for God and from sin. Remember He alone sees the heart. He alone knows the inner thoughts and desires. You might say … “how do you know that?” Look at:

Ps 139:1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

When God chose a people for Himself before He created all things, He had a purpose in mind.

Eph 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

I have said that blameless is before the world and holiness in before God … but look at those last three words … “in His sight”. All shapes of sin in the mind (thought, desire, attitude, intention), in word (actual words and the way we express ourselves) and deeds (both in public and private) are seen by God. We live life in His presence and visions 24 hours of each day. He chose us out of the world and out of a sinful life to be holy in character, morality and deed. Are you holy?

The Bible Says You Shall be Like Jesus

When asking whether you are born again you must understand you cannot be blameless and holy without being born again. Are you trying, with the help of God the Spirit to be both blameless in public and holy in God’s sight? Yes, you do struggle in both areas. I do too … but we are called to persevere … to push forward. Saved we are in position and practice. Blameless and holy we are in position but not practice … but we will be!

1Jn 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Ron 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son

In the Land of Glory we shall be like Jesus … the likeness is that of holiness and blamelessness in position and practice.

Consider this … when you are born again, you strive to be blameless and holy because that is what God requires. We feel dirty (guilty) when we are not. We try and fail and try again … we push on spiritually towards heaven … because we know in glory we will be holy and blameless like the Lord Jesus Christ! Hallelujah!


O Lord my God, Your patience with me is so amazing and merciful. Graciously help me as I persevere in the faith. Cause me to drink heartily from the Fountain of Delight daily. Fill me continually with Your Spirit. Help me to trust and depend upon You to see me safely through this life all the way to Glory, to be like Jesus. Amen.

Crucified on a Tree

Maybe when you started reading my Notes three days back you were thinking, “what on earth is he doing writing about trees?” Well, we saw Adam and Eve hiding amongst the trees in the Garden of Eden after they fell into sin. Genesis 3 tells us what they did when God approached them after their fall … “they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.” Sin prevents one from wanting anything to do with God. Then we saw Zacchaeus up in a tree to get a good view of the Lord Jesus as He passed by. He had heard about Jesus and just through hearing wanted to know about Jesus and this led to his conversion. Yesterday we saw Nathaniel under a fig tree. Most likely he was sitting in the shade reading the Law and praying. Jesus knew exactly what type of man he was, sincere and serious about the things of God. He also saw where he was. After meeting Jesus, Jesus told him He had seen him under the fig tree … resulting in him identifying Jesus as the Son of God

John 1:49 “you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel”

and leading to his salvation.

The fourth tree to consider is not often seen by us as a tree, yet it was on a tree that Jesus was crucified. In Acts chapter 5, some of the apostles were arrested for preaching Jesus (the Gospel) by the high priest and his associates (5:17-18). That night whilst in jail an angel of the Lord freed them instructing them to preach the Gospel at the temple courts (5:19-20). After being found … we read:

Ac 5:27 Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”

29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men! 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

To the high priest’s repeated instruction not to preach “Jesus”, the apostles not only refused to obey, they literally preached the Gospel to the high priest in verses 30-31. They preach the resurrection, death, glorification plus the promise of salvation. More … they accuse the high priest directly for Jesus’ murder … on a tree … that is on a Cross. The Cross is made of a vertical and a horizontal beam of wood. As the wooden beams came from a tree and would have been a rough cut, constructed into a Cross, it’s easy to see how it could be labeled a tree. (Just as a reminder, the Cross, though called such, was actually a vertical beam planted in the ground with a horizontal beam fitted on top of the vertical beam. Its shape was that of a “T”.)

Peter who is the only apostle to be named in this passage also wrote to his congregation in 1 Peter 2 referring to Jesus’ death of a tree.

1Pe 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

It is not unlikely that the Acts 5 reference to a tree was Peter’s words for although he was one of the apostles, in the early Church he seems to be the leader. In 1 Peter 2:24, although worded differently, we see the same message given to the high priest. Why did Jesus need to die on a tree (Cross)? It’s easy to say “For our sins” without remembering what the Cross was all about. History tells us that:

The Assyrians were the first to publicly execute people, impaling them on swords. The Romans continued the practice by adding a crossbeam and nailing people to the cross by their hands and feet. Any empire that publicly executed people—Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian, Roman—did so to punish criminals and insurgents and to deter others from revolting. (thebanner.org)

Crucifixion was reserved for the worst criminals because it was the worst form of execution. The suffering was unimaginable … Jesus’ was the worst ever because of the 40 lashes minus 1 before His crucifixion. So did Jesus die on the Cross because He was a criminal? No! His death on that tree was subsitutional. He died willingly in the place of others. He was sinless and only His sinless perfection could be the perfect offering to appease God’s righteous anger and wrath for our terrible wickedness and rebellion.

Adam’s sin was subsitutional. He was our representative head and man needed to pay the sin price but yet because of sin this was impossible. A Holy God cannot receive an imperfect, sin tainted offering for the sin of the race. This is the reason for the virgin birth. No human father and no transferring of the sinful nature. Jesus as the sinless man–or rather, the Godman–would pay the sin price on our behalf.

But more than that … though the Cross (tree) was the worst form of execution, meaning Jesus suffered excruciating agony as the wrath of God was poured out upon His beloved Son, the greatest pain was the Father turning His face away. For the first and only time in all eternal existence, the forever bond between God the Father and God the Son was broken … that was the greatest suffering, the greatest agony … and for whom was it? The great agony of the “tree” was not for all the human race but for those who God chose before the creation of the world (Eph 1:4). That choice includes God’s sacrifical love:

Jn 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

All those who believe are those God chose to be His holy subjects!

Meditate upon the extreme cost the Triune God went to, to secure your eternal salvation. Consider His extreme love for you that He would go through such pain and agony to release you from the bondage and captivity of sin so that you might enjoy all eternity with Him in His glory! How does this translate into gratitude and service in your life? Never forget, salvation is totally undeserved … that’s love … Divine Love!

Dear Lord God Almighty, I stand humbled at Your love for those You predestined for eternal salvation. As a beneficiary of such love I surrender myself completely to love and serve You with joy and thanksgiving. Amen.

Under a Fig Tree

In considering four instances where trees are mentioned and the reason for this in the Bible, we saw Adam and Eve hiding amongst the trees in the garden and Zacchaeus up the tree for get a view of the Lord Jesus as He passed by. Today I want to look at Nathaniel who was seen by Jesus under a fig tree. Jesus who was recruiting disciples, moves towards Galilee, finds Philip and calls him. Philip finds his brother Nathanael testifying that he found the long awaited Messiah. Noticed that as soon as he believed whom Jesus was, he went and shared his faith … although infant days, he shared the Gospel. Please read:

Jn 1:43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”

44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

“Come and see,” said Philip.

47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.”

48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”

50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Nathanael hears what Philip has to say and demonstrates immediate skepticism. Look at the pin pointed accuracy of Philip’s testimony … “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Philip was saying prophecy has been fulfilled … yet Nathanael comes up with a question … “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?”

You and I might see this as a huge insult, even blasphemy … but look how he phrases his question … “Nazareth!” Nazareth was southwest of the Sea of Galilee. It held a small community of people … less than 500. Being so far from Jerusalem and such a small town with no major cities close by, it was the very last place anyone would expect something interesting happening there.

It’s like asking … “Can anything good come out of Benoni?” The answer is yes … Charlize Theron! To be known as or called a Nazarene would be like calling someone a “country bumpkin or a hillbilly”. It’s like saying Nazareth could not produce anything of worth. No one would think that Messiah would come from there. It’s unimaginable. Philip does not leave it there … he had told him his belief … and now says … “Come and see.” Fine you don’t believe me … come and see for yourself … and he does.

As Nathanael nears Jesus he hears Jesus saying … “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.” What a great tribute. Nathanael was a man of character … Godly character. He is authentic. He is the right material for a disciple of Jesus … though he is not selected and designated as one of the twelve (Mark 3:14-19).

Nathanael questions this Man who tells him all about himself … “How do you know me?” He is flabbergasted! Jesus then points out exactly where he was … even before Philip told him about Messiah and asked him to “come and see” Jesus for himself. Jesus said … “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

In hearing this, Nathanael is convinced, declaring … “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” How could anyone know where he was and what he was doing at such a distance? Surely this man must be Divine … Messiah! He calls him “the Son of God … the King of Israel” correctly. Jesus is God and as God He is King … over far more than just Israel.

Because he took Jesus at His Word … “saw you under the fig tree” … he had saving faith … and Jesus then tells him that because he believed he would see even greater things than Jesus pin pointing where he was when Philip testified to him. When Jesus says:

Jn 1:50 “You shall see greater things than that.” … 51 “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

The word “you” “changes from singular to plural where Jesus now addresses all with Him. The answer to what the “greater things” are is found in Genesis 28 when Jacob had his “ladder experience”. It refers to God the Father’s supernatural help, care and ministry to His Beloved Son whilst on earth … and by implication, God the Holy Spirit’s ministry to believers after Jesus’ return to glory.

We are not told what Nathanael was doing under the fig tree. Various commentators suggest prayer or the study of the Law. We don’t know … but what we do know is that our God sees all things. This is encouraging and comforting but it is also challenging and scary. The encouraging and comforting part is that we are never alone, irrespective what our circumstances are. Our Lord knows where we are and what we are going through all the time. He feels for us His people.

This is why prayer is so important. Without minimizing the trauma and pain you might be going through, without rubbishing you being at the end of your resistance because of no money, no physical strength, no emotional energy … all alone with no one to turn to … you may pray to God because He knows your present experience. He has said, “never will I leave you nor will I forsake you.” Trust Him. The challenging and scary part is willful sin. After what He has done for us at Calvary, when we sin knowingly, we surely stab His heart, hurting Him terribly. We are all guilty here and need to be intentional about ceasing sin.

Lord, thank You for knowing where I am and what I’m going through. Help me to trust You through prayer. Amen.

Up in a Tree

We started looking at a few trees mentioned in the Bible yesterday. The first one was a tree to hide behind. Here we saw Adam and Eve hiding amongst the trees after they had sinned. Today I want to look at being up in a tree, searching to get a glimpse of the Lord Jesus.

His name was Zacchaeus. His profession was being a Tax Collector and he was based in the City of Jericho. Tax Collectors were hated and detested, not because of the profession but because of their thieving ways of exercising their duty. The Roman State placed a levy on every transaction (each time a person passed through a certain pay point, whether the person was alone or had others with him, had an animals and whether that animal carried a load … and what that load was). Although similar to our eToll system, the operators (tax collectors) had the liberty to increase these fees far beyond a reasonable reward for their labours for their bosses and themselves. It was nothing short of day light robbery.

Although those who secured tariff collection in a specific region were Romans, they delegated the collection pay points to “managers” (chief tax collectors) who employed his staff. The managers and staff were Jews. This is the reason the Jews in general (citizens) hated the Jewish Tax Collectors so much because they were seen as robbing their own kind. The whole Old Testament encouraged fair play, help and support and classed any form of robbery (stealing) as a sin and criminal offence.

Zacchaeus was a manager … a chief Tax Collector. He knew what his staff were doing and condoned it. Notice at the end of verse 2 that he was a wealthy man. This means he secured his riches from robbery. He stole from the people he was part of. He broke the commands God placed over His people. He was a greedy, covetous man. Money was his god. Wealth controlled him. Together with all others in this profession, he was labelled as a sinner on the same level as a Gentile (pagan). Please read this passage

Lk 19:1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’ ”

8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

Wherever Jesus went, crowds followed Him hoping to experience a miracle of some sort. He used this as an opportunity to teach these crowds what the Word of God said … and in particular, what it said about Him. Not only were the masses interested to see this man “Jesus”, Zacchaeus was as well. His problem was that he was a small man … very short in height. Being a businessman, he could put together a plan quickly. He ran ahead of the crowds and climbed a sycamore-fig tree for a perfect view of this man who stimulated his interest.

As Jesus came walking by, the unbelievable happened. He stopped. Looked up at Zacchaeus in the tree and commanded him to come down, out of the tree because He, Jesus needed to stay over at his (Zacchaeus’) house that day. Something was stirring in Zacchaeus’ heart. He firstly needed to get a glimpse of this man Jesus and now Jesus was going to stay at his house! Verse 6 says more than meets the eye. It’s like Zacchaeus had a work of the Holy Spirit taking place causing more than just a casual interest in his heart.

He obeyed the instructed to come down out of the tree and note what follows … “welcomed him gladly”. It seems as though there was great interest in this man Jesus … an interest that would lead to repentance and faith for salvation. Knowing who Zacchaeus was, the crowds were disappointed in Jesus going to his house. Look how they muttered (whispered, gossiped) amongst themselves:

Lk 19:7 “He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’’’

How careful we need to be when we see “sinners” going to Jesus. We must not pre-judge their motives! To their horror, this sinner, this chief tax collector exercised public faith and repentance in Jesus and the message He brought! Just look at what he says to Jesus (to the Lord):

Lk 19:8 “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

This is true repentance and faith. He is admitting he cheated people by over taxing them, committing himself to repay them four times the amount stolen. But there is more … to prove his repentance real he commits to giving half of his wealth to the poor. When you take half of the estate plus paying back four times what was stolen, he would land up being close to penniless! But then, that is true repentance. Jesus, who knows and reads the heart declares this man a true convert (v9) followed by declaring the reason for his visitation to planet earth:

Lk 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

A few closing thoughts:

1) Jesus knows where you are all the time. You might chose an unobvious place (like sycamore-fig tree) to gaze at Jesus from. You might want to keep a distance … yet He knows where you are all the time. Nothing is hidden from His eye!

2) Repentance must be costly! Nowhere are you required to give your wealth away … but you need to make right where you have done wrong. This might be hard, challenging and uncomfortable, but it proves genuine repentance. You cannot hang onto and keep your old life and its benefits without making right. Genuineness of salvation is proved by real repentance.

3) Where there is true repentance there is real faith. When Jesus sees this, He declares you saved. The Spirit witnesses to your heart that you are truly God’s!

4) Righteous people don’t need salvation … sinners do. That is why Jesus came … to save sinners like you and me. Praise the Lord.

Dear God, thank You that You know where I am all the time and that You know where to find sinners in their hiding places. Thank You for Salvation. Amen.

A Tree to Hide Behind

You may know that Jenny and I love the “Bush”. Apart from the mountains, animals, birds, insects, wild flowers and open fields, there are trees and shrubs and often long grass. One of the fascinating things about the bush is that during the summer the trees and shrubs are all green. You can’t see through them. Maybe I could say … “the thicket is dense”. That’s the bush at its very best. During the winter much of the leaves dry and fall off. Then visibility is far better. As I was thinking about the bush and trees, I thought of four specific trees mentioned in the Bible that I would like to consider over a few days in a pointed and applicatory manner.

A Tree to Hide Behind

This is very easy to picture. You don’t even need to be in the bush. Trees can protect you from being seen by others. Hiding away, behind a tree, be it playing “hide and seek” or for protection is easy to picture. There is another way a tree can be used as a hiding place and that is hiding because you don’t want to be seen or caught because you did something wrong. Take Adam and Eve. You’ll recall how God gave Adam that Probationary Command

Ge 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

The command was not to eat for when you do you will die. Man was created to live forever in God’s company, doing His will and exercising full obedience and submission. The Creator dictates the relationship because He knows best. Then, God’s enemy, the serpent (the devil), approaches Eve. Remember the Probationary Command was given to the man not the woman because the man was created first and was functionally head over the woman. The serpent knew that if he could trick (deceive) the woman, she would be his agent to cause the man … God’s appointed head to fall. Look at his subtle deceitful approach

Ge 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

The enemy got the woman to undermine God’s authority and Lordship saying to the women … “you will be like God”. She influenced her husband to sin, and his sin became the force that caused original sin … and guilt. Once they had eaten … once they sinned by following the enemy … the Probationary Command was broken and the promised results would follow!

Gen 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Their sin made them aware of rebelling against a holy God. They now lost their innocence … they knew there was such a thing as sin … now they knew they were naked … now they were afraid … one of the first fruits of sin. They made clothes to wear to hide their nakedness … from each other, from the enemy … but especially from God, their Father and Creator! Wearing clothes was because they knew what would happen:

Ge 3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

God would visit them (most likely in the shape and form of a theophany … God visiting man in the form of the Angel of the Lord or the Pre-incarnate Christ). They knew He visited and they expected His visit and soon they heard someone (God) walking in the garden.

His walk would be so different in sound to that of the animals. They hid amongst the trees. They hid from God. They hid from their Creator, their Lord, their Owner. Where before the intimate fellowship was sweet, longed for, exhilarating and needed … now they could not face God. Why … because they knew they sinned. I don’t think they realized the magnitude of their sin. For Adam he became the representative sinner. He substituted in the place of all humans. He sinned in our place and his sin affects all humans born. The filth he felt, the degradation he experienced, the fear, the guilt … was so huge, so wicked, so devilish … that trees became the maize to prevent God from getting to them. The trees became their hiding place … so they thought!

Ge 3:9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

As God, He knew exactly where they were and what they had done. Yet He extracts information from these sinners … calling out … “Where are you?” Look at Adam’s response … “I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” He knew he had sinned … he tried to hide amongst the trees and could not! God is omniscient! He sees and knows all things! Nothing is beyond His penetrating x-ray vision.

Ge 3:11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

Caught; Convicted and Condemned!

Amongst what trees are you hiding from God? Why are you hiding? Have you done something wrong? Have you sinned? Are you trying to prevent God from finding out or seeing what you did or where you are right now? He knows who you are. He knows what you did. He knows where you are. And that’s a good thing. You cannot hide from God. There is no place … think of Jonah! The fact that you feel guilty and even rotten is a good thing. This means your conscience is working well. You are under conviction. The dirty, filthy feelings … the guilt … means you know and are aware you have sinned against a holy God and need to come clean so that instead of doing what He did to Adam (expulsion from His presence), He might forgive you and cleanse you and make you His very own. And if you have backslidden … through repentance He will pardon and receive you back, lovingly!

Dear God, thank You that You see everything, even my hiding from You. Mercifully pardon my sin. Restore me. Lord, if someone reads this Note and realizes their desperate need of salvation, please save their soul. Amen.

Turning to Jesus (Part 2)

Yesterday we started a two-part Daily Note to assist us as God’s people to prove our conversion true. We have considered three steps to help us pursue the Gospel life more successfully so far. These help us to start the Christian life correctly; that we confess Jesus openly and publically and that we study the Bible continually. As we continue today we pray without ceasing, serve the Lord Jesus, and give generously.

Pray Without Ceasing

1Th 5:16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

You will see sandwiched on either side of verse 17 is “joyful always” and “giving thanks in all circumstances”. Prayer needs to be seen in the context of joy on the one side and thanks on the other. The emphasis here is relationship. The Christian in prayer is one who has a happy, intimate relationship with the One he or she is praying to.

The joy is because of the greatest miracle in the life of a believer … that of pardon of all sin and guilt, deliverance from the evil one, made a child of God and granted eternal life with God in His heaven to be enjoyed once passing through the gateway of death. This joy continues because you now know God loves you (John 3:16) and that you have the ear of your Heavenly Father who hears your prayers and answers your prayers. This joy proceeds forward to after answers to prayer where there is a continual attitude of thanksgiving … not just because of answers to prayer but because as a Christian you trust and depend upon God.

In talking on the phone today to a man who was suicidal, I pointed out that if he is a true Christian (as he said he is), then God hears his prayers and answers his prayers. He agreed with this. God might not answer immediately, but confidence that God hears and answers is comfort to the soul and that comfort is translated into thanksgiving.

Verse 17, like verses 16 and 18, is an instruction. Be joyful is a command; give thanks is a command … and pray continually is a command as well. Because of this special union between you and God, you are instructed to prayer all the time. This does not mean kneeling in prayer all day long. It means as you have an attitude of prayer throughout the day … and should you awake at night you would desire to pray. As an intentional Christian, your attitude throughout the day would be one of prayer.

Serve the Lord Jesus

It might be a cliché, but “saved to serve” is an accurate statement of the person who is saved through grace. You are not only saved for a better personal eternity. You are saved to serve Jesus. Many people confuse the true meaning of worship to be Sunday Church services, yet worship is our daily life … which includes us serving the Lord Jesus. Read through Matthew 25:14-30 and in particular see:

Mt 25:21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Mt 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

Industrious, diligent, hardworking and willing service needs to be given to the One who now owns our souls. John put it like this:

Joh 12:26 “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

Serving Jesus must be serving Him His way … hence we “follow” all the way to glory. Part of following is being the hands and feet of the Lord Jesus … read Matthew 25:31-40, especially:

Mt 25:37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”

Never forget … Christianity is not an idle force … it is an active force. As God is always busy, so His subjects need to be busy.

Give Generously

One of the greatest drawbacks to the advance of the Christian Church is that many of God’s people are reluctant to tithe. Perhaps some think that putting something into the offering bag fulfils their financial obligation to the church, yet God’s Word is precise when is says

Mal 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

This instruction comes in the context of an interaction between God and His people:

Mal 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings.”

Compare this with 2 Corinthians:

2Co 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Why give generously? So that the Work of God (the glorious Gospel) might penetrate the furthest part of the world to reach lost souls for Jesus.


Recapping … we have to make certain that to enjoy a solid, continuous, healthy walk with the Lord we need to (1) start the Christian life correctly; (2) confess Jesus openly and publically; (3) study the Bible continually; (4) pray without ceasing; (5) serve the Lord and (6) give generously to the work of God. You can do the spiritual accounting to see how you match up. Maybe you are not there, but these six pointers are to be aimed at.

Dear God, help me to explore the depth of this great salvation I enjoy by being intentional about You and Your Cause to reach this lost, dying world for Jesus, as I follow You in faith for Your glory. Amen.

Turning to Jesus (Part 1)

Many turn to Jesus for a variety of reasons. Some are genuine and intentional about a lifelong commitment, however there are those who struggle through their “Christian life and commitment” without any visible signs of fruit, sincerity and real proof of conversion. I want to suggest a few steps that will result in pursuing the Gospel life more successfully today and tomorrow.

Start Right

In all walks of life we have heard of people “jumping onto the bandwagon”. This is also true in Christianity. The parable of the soils (sower) and its interpretation is self-explanatory (Matthew 13:3-9 & 18-23). Some think Christianity is a quick fix to their problems. Often this is the fault of Churches preaching a prosperity Gospel or offering miracles, healing and the like. The Gospel’s intent is to deal with man’s sin problem and when people are coerced through false motives or when they come looking for quick solutions to life problems, they come for the wrong reasons. Look at what John says:

John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Note the receiving and the believing.

Many don’t receive Jesus for whom He is. Jesus is the Second Person of the Triune God. He is God incarnate. He came to earth for a specific purpose. The Nicene and Apostle’s Creeds are great expositions of the Gospel’s purpose. Although life in Jesus is easier than in the world because the magnetism of the world is less, Jesus came to rescue you from the devil, sin and its effects, the flesh and the world. You have to accept Jesus as He is.

Believing in His name means that since you accept Him for what He is, you accept Him for what He came to do. Believing is all about the Cross, the Blood Sacrifice, the Substitutional Offering, the Payment for sin and a life on earth dedicated to His glory and purpose and a life in heaven with Him forever. That is what it is to start right. When a hundred meter sprinter gets into the wrong lane, he is disqualified from the medal podium. That is true for anyone starting the Christian life in the wrong lane. May I be bold and ask whether you have started right? Are you in the correct lane?

Confess Jesus Openly

I’ll never forget a great president of our country saying his religion was a private matter. Christianity is not a private matter! I could offer many examples of this statement, but let me share just one. Look at the Great Commission:

Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Take note that once disciples are made, there is baptism. Whether you follow Paedobaptism or Believers-Baptism … it is public. The basis to it is aligning oneself with Jesus, revoking all other past religions (gods) and committing oneself to follow Jesus. Coupled to this verse 20 speaks of teaching the new coverts the whole counsel of God. This too is public. Note the words “disciples and them” in verses 19 and 20! Christianity is a community whether they are assembled or disassembled. We are community and as community we are called to live our lives in private and public revealing Jesus in us through our morals, ethics and behaviour. Yes … and sadly so, we will still sin and at times this sin might be in public, but we need to be bold and not attempt to excuse the sin but confess the sin, for we carry Jesus’ name. Never forget those riveting words of Jesus:

Mt 10:32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.”

May I be bold and ask whether you willingly and openly, proudly confess Jesus?

Study the Bible

Too many say they are Christian, yet cannot quote a Scripture (even without the reference). Why do we as Christians make so many wrong decisions and choices? Why do we tend to walk on the thin dividing line between holiness and sin? Why are we so uncertain about who we are, where we come from, what happened to us, to whom we now belong and where we are going to? Together with a multitude of other questions the answer is … “we don’t study the Bible!” At salvation you enjoyed “tasting” that the Lord is good. You were so happy, delighted and relieved that Jesus died to save you from sin and hell! Now you are a spiritual baby and need feeding.

1 Pet 2:2 “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

Peter uses the word “crave”. A baby cries for milk and although humorous, pushes his mouth towards where he thinks the milk source is rather frantically until he finds the nipple or teat and then hungrily sucks away greedily. We have all seen this in action. That is how Peter wants not only new born believers, but all believers to “crave” the Word of God. That is the picture of study. Craving the Word means effort, energy, time, dedication, commitment … the more input the more knowledge and wisdom from God will be at our disposal to choose right from wrong, righteousness from unrighteousness and holiness from un-holiness … and to discern false teaching from Biblical Truth.


Let’s do some homework by asking “have I start righted; do I confess Jesus openly and do I study God’s Word?”

Dear Lord, help me to piece through my Christian commitment to ensure that I comply with these three steps today. Where I lack, please expose this to me so that I may correct things to get on track for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Freedom

In South Africa we celebrated Freedom Day to day. It is a national Public Holiday to commemorate “political emancipation” from the evils of “Apartheid”.

Freedom Day is the commemoration of the first democratic elections held in South Africa on 27 April 1994. These were the first post-apartheid national elections to be held in South African where anyone could vote regardless of race. The first democratic elections gave birth to our constitutional democracy. For the majority of South Africans who had never voted before their dignity was restored and the country transformed to a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society. Prior to this, during apartheid, racial segregation which was enforced by the National Party prevented any kind of inter-racial activity. South Africa is the country it is today because of their countless sacrifices and that of many other South Africans who fought tirelessly to overcome the brutal apartheid system. (www.gov.za)

A comment on that extract from www.gov.za is needed. In the third line “race” is used in the context of there being various races of people. Further on the term “non-racial” contradicts the previous use of “race”. Biblically speaking, there is only one race and that is the human race. Evolutionists might follow the thought or belief that various races evolved … but the Word of God teaches that all come from Adam and Eve through Noah and his sons. Like it or not, there is only one race.

However, 27 April 1994–27 years ago–was a wonderful forward push towards equality, dignity and the eradication of past hurt, pain and suffering. In the early years it appeared as if we were on our way towards what Nelson Mandela called a Rainbow Nation. Very sadly we seem to have back peddled as a nation, not achieving the desired freedom that political freedom intended. Further to this, across the planet we do not enjoy true freedom. Too often in marriages, families, work places, schools, sporting codes to mention only a few, there is a visible lack “freedom” in that bullying and dominance plaque so many relationships that intended freedom is non-existent or eroded!

However, there is another freedom that must not be overlooked or missed. It’s the freedom anyone may enjoy being in union with the Lord Jesus Christ! Often what we forget is that we who are followers of the Lord Jesus were once in bondage and captivity. Satan held lordship over us. We were so deceived that we followed he who is our bitter enemy blindly. We were ignorant. We knew no better. We could not help ourselves. But then, God’s elective grace kicked in and by grace we were saved. Read this exhilarating passage which describes what we were and what took place … and who we now are:

Eph 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Don’t you just love that little “connecting” word but as verse 4 starts? God redeemed us from the spiritual slave market. He set us free, delivering us from captivity … removing us from bondage and placing us in His glorious Kingdom where we are free in Jesus Christ to be everything that God wants us to be as His Children. This is glorious truth. Spiritual emancipation took place at Calvary at a huge price to our God.

Never forget this love that cannot be expressed … only felt in the soul of a grateful believer! Starting from the model and example of the Lord Jesus … when the Gospel is preached truthfully, freedom is offered to all prisoners (souls is spiritual captivity).

Lk 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

That year of the Lord’s favour has not ended for as long as it’s gospel time, souls have the opportunity to experience the Lord’s favour … spiritual emancipation! Once this freedom in Jesus Christ is experienced … there is the continual need for freedom from sin, wrong paths and slipping away from the safety net of freedom in Christ and a return, not to devil ownership but to sinful ways. To counter this we need to learn from the Psalmist:

Ps 119:45 I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.

Daily we need to feast on manner from heaven by taking up God’s Holy Word and seeking Truth and Wisdom so that we can “walk about in freedom”. So that we can walk through the day without returning to the oppression of the wicked one’s ways. But this “walk of freedom” is not selfish. It needs to be shared with other followers of Jesus. We need to seek the best for all members of the Kingdom … especially the new and perhaps weaker believer.

1Co 8:9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.

As an illustration … I don’t use alcohol. I did before conversion. There is nothing wrong or sinful with a beer or glass of wine, but for me personally I refrain because of the weaker brother or sister. We need to constantly review who we are with and what we do because new believers and weak believers might stumble spiritually if they see us doing what they deem to be sin. And remember, you can’t lose your salvation but you can lose freedom if you abuse your freedom in Christ by engaging in some “small sins of the past.”

Gal 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Remember:

SS 2:15 Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.

It’s the little sins that cause us to forfeit our freedom In Jesus Christ. Lord, please help us to understand our freedom in Jesus and what it means so that we live upright, godly lives, cherishing what we have in Jesus and avoiding a return to the bondage of sin. Amen.

The Effects of the Bible

Continuing with the theme of “how should a believer use the Bible”, I want to consider the effects of the Word of God when it is used wisely from being preached to the impact upon the soul and life in the Kingdom of God.

First, the Bible needs to be preached! There are many ways to preach the Word … I want to suggest three ways today.

(a) Preach it from the pulpit. By “pulpit” I am referring to a pastor / teacher (or lay preacher) who uses every opportunity to proclaim the Word of God.

2Ti 4:1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

Proper preparation is required. Working the text to understand it before declaring it is vital. Note the instruction for those called and gifted to preach … “be prepared in season and out of season” … be ready and be eager … and note the triplets … correct (error doctrine), rebuke (false teaching) and encourage (the people of God with true doctrine … with food for the soul). We need to pray intensely for “preachers”, ordained or lay, to be faithful and proclaim truth in a world where so many pulpits are entertaining and even deceiving the flock.

(b) Preach it in the house. Like it or not, the head of the home is the husband / father. His duty is to “preach” the Word of God to His family.

Deut 6:7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

(Context Deut 6:4-9.) We desperately need a revival of godly leaders in our homes for the task of winning the children for Christ rests upon the father (or mother if the father is not a believer or the home is a single parent home). The Church (Sunday School’s) duty is firstly not evangelism but spiritual education. We therefore need to pray for godly dads who accept responsibility for their children’s souls. Consider the glorious change to society, schools, neighborhoods and homes when our children are won for Jesus at an early age!

(c) Preach it through the way you live. Not all are called to preach and teach the Gospel … but all are called to walk the talk … to live intentionally for the Lord Jesus Christ because we have a world out there watch us.

Mat 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Second, the Bible needs to produce faith. Why does God call men to be preachers and teachers of the Word? As they proclaim the Truth of God, the objective is that people believe the very Word they proclaim. Look at what John says:

Jn 20:30 “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

John was firstly speaking about his gospel, but this also applies to all of the Bible as the Gospel can be preached from the Old as well as the New Testament. The object of the teaching and preaching … as well as one reading the Bible is to generate faith … saving faith.

Third, the Bible needs to be practiced! What do you do with Sunday’s sermon? What do you do with the Bible Study teaching each week? Do you absorb it and live it? Do you practice what you have been taught?

Jas 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

James shows us the negative … the one who hears and refuses to apply the teaching. He also shows the positive … the one who eagerly uses what the Bible teaches for spiritual maturity. The word “intently” in verse 25 carries with it the desire to learn and change through application. Practicing the Word is not always easy … but there needs to be “trying” because after trying a few times you succeed.

Fourth, the Bible needs to produce spiritual growth. The Bible is preached to produce saving faith. Then the Bible needs to be practiced to the point where it is productive … developing spiritual growth … causing adult faith that leads to intentional living.

1Pe 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you. 2:1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

See that? Your use of the Scriptures must result in you … growing up (grow up verse 2). God’s intent is that we be adult Christians, digesting solid foods (healthy Biblical diet) which will produce maturity in Christ.

God did His part … He gave the Word. The preacher does His part proclaiming the Word. It’s now your turn!

Dear Lord, our glorious Father in Heaven, By Your Spirit show us how to develop a hunger for and a better use of Your Word so that we attain the spiritual maturity You desire for us as we travel towards our eternal home. Amen.

How We Should Respond to the Bible

Today and tomorrow I want to spend some time thinking through how we as believers should use the Bible, the Word of God. Some churches are able to teach their members how to read the Bible because in their context it tends to be easier for people to gather more than just at the Sunday gatherings whilst many churches find it more difficult to gather their people outside of the normal Sunday Worship times. This might be a cause for some of the beloved in Christ to use their Bible but not achieve the desired of maxim results to benefit the soul. It is with this in mind that I write this note today hoping it will be of benefit to some of the Body of Christ. We took the previous two Daily Notes to see what the Bible says of itself. Now let’s see how we ought to respond to it.

First, as God’s people we need to meditate over the Bible.

Ps 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

A definition of meditation in the Bible is generally to “mutter or speak quietly”. Christian meditation is the act of filling one’s mind with Scripture, and dwelling on God and all that He offers to us through His Word. It can be summarized as to “mutter, speak and ponder” to oneself the words of Scripture so that we are constantly meditating on what God has spoken to us. This produces not only knowledge of the Bible, but also, heart transformation. Too often we tend to read a passage of the Bible and a devotion or commentary and neglect personal application. Meditating on the Word is personal application. It’s thinking through what the Bible passage says and how it applies to me personally in the age in which I live. (This could be different to the people who received that part of the Scriptures originally.) Psalm 1:2 is a good insight into meditation. When you “delight” in God’s Word you will want to make it your own so that it will grip your heart, influence your conscience, capture your will and change your behaviour causing deeper trust in God’s Word and Promise to you.

Second, as God’s people we need to pray over the Bible. Next to meditation, praying over the passages of the Bible you read does good to your soul. There are many verses in the Psalms to read … but take the following as examples.

Ps 119:12 Praise be to you, O LORD, teach me your decrees.

Here the Psalmist pleads with God to teach him His Word. You can hear the Word, you can read the Word and you can discuss the Word … But God the Spirit needs to teach you God’s Word so that you know it experimentally! Consider:

Ps 25:4 Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; 5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Ps 86:11 Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

Ps 143:10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

Each one of these verses show us that the Psalmist is praying to God to “show, teach, guide and give” him God’s “ways, paths, truth and will” which are other ways of expressing a desire to follow God faithfully according to Hs Word. Such praying changes the heart to be intentional (undivided) so that you will revere God’s holy name in all areas and aspects of life. Praying this way coupled to meditation grabs God Word and lodges it in the heart so that when wisdom and guidance are needed and decisions made … the Word, already in the heart directs a Biblical response to whatever confronts you.

Third, as God’s people we need to treasure the Bible. Job went from being the “wealth magnet” … the world’s richest man, who lived in luxury, to living in total poverty and sickness with friends whose counsel was wrong. Yet he would say:

Job 23:12 “I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.”

He is saying the volume of his loss cannot be compared to the true wealth of God’s Word. He treasured … prized God’s Word. Jesus tells us something counter revolutionary compared to our materialistic and secular society.

Mt 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Where are our real treasures? Heaven. Where do we learn about heaven, how to get there and what is heaven all about? The Bible teaches us this … therefore we need to treasure the Bible. Did you know that the Word of God is eternal? We will always have it as believers!

1Pe 1:25 the word of the Lord stands forever.

Taken from:

Isa 40:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.

If the heart is filled with the “treasure” of God’s Word, we will more and more desire to be in the place of eternal treasure.

In every discipline there is a need to put into practice or action to achieve the desired result. Take a long distance runner as an example. You can have the best Nike Running Shoes; the coziest socks, shorts and running top. You can take all the additives to help with muscle strength and endurance … but unless you actually get out on the road and run you will not achieve the required intention of the running code. Similarly, you can have the Bible and commentaries explaining the Bible. You can have a quiet place and a note book and pen … but unless you use the Bible you will never achieved the Bible’s desire for you to grow in gospel maturity, knowledge and wisdom. The great challenge is to make time to use God’s Word and then to apply it to your soul.

Dear Lord God Almighty, please grant us your people a desire to use the Bible willingly, eagerly and intentionally. You have provided the material to prepare and shape the soul for holiness. Bless Your Word to our hearts. Amen.