Know God #280

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3)

Knowing God and His Son, Jesus Christ, is essential to eternal life. Knowing God certainly involves faith, without which no one can please God (Hebrews 11:6). Since faith comes from hearing the word of God, we cannot know God and be saved apart from knowing His word (Rom. 10:17). Knowing God also involves obedience to God’s word (without which, faith is “dead”, James 2:20). Knowing God, then, involves much more than a desire, a feeling or an experience. John also wrote, He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 Jno. 2:4). Commit yourself to knowing God the way He wants you to know Him; by living a faithful life of obedience to His word.

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Wisely Use Knowledge #279

Wise people store up knowledge, but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction. (Proverbs 10:14)

Amassing knowledge for its own sake is not the counsel of this proverb. Pride is invariably the result of that endeavor (1 Cor. 8:1). Wisdom uses one’s knowledge properly, beneficially, godly. Therefore, without a storehouse of knowledge, one’s wisdom is necessarily limited. As we remember the terrible events of 9/11 this day, knowledge helps us honor the fallen and wisely protect ourselves from future attacks. The spiritual application is even more important. The fool refuses a knowledge of God and His will. careless faithlessness, the day of eternal destruction is hastened. Be wise today. Know “the only true God, and Jesus Christ” whom He sent to the world (Jno. 17:3). Here is how knowledge and wisdom combine: “By this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 Jno. 2:3).

Are You Listening? #278

1  Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2  For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3  how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4  God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? (Hebrews 2:1-4)

Having already stated that God has spoken to us by His Son in Hebrews 1:2, our inspired author now returns to his point in chapter 2:1. We must not neglect what God says to us by His Son! The word He speaks to us by His Son Jesus Christ is so certain that no one who refuses His word will escape a just judgment. His apostles continued to speak what the Lord Jesus began to speak. Their word is validated by the miracles that attended their preaching of the gospel (Mark 16:15-20). In other words, what they said is true. Are you listening to God? You are if you are reading, learning and living the apostles’ words. That is what the first Christians did (see Acts 2:42)! The apostle Paul said, “the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37). God is speaking to you today through the writings of the apostles. Are you listening?

How God Speaks To Us #277

1  God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2  has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds… (Hebrews 1:1-2)

Many people believe God has spoken directly to them, giving them some personal message of warning or assurance. Some claim God sends them an experience that comforts them. Others, that an angel appears to them. Still others, that Jesus spoke directly “to their heart” — and on it goes. These claims do not harmonize with the Scriptures. There is only one verifiable, reliable, objective way God speaks to all of us today: by His Son Jesus Christ. Christ speaks to us all by the gospel message He sent His apostles into the world to preach (Matthew 28:18-20; Hebrews 2:1-4).Jesus said, “He who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me” (Jno. 13:20). To know what God expects of you, you must spend time reading the Scriptures. There is no new revelation today. God is not going to say something to me but not to you. God speaks to us all in the same way. Listen to what Jesus is saying to you today by spending time with His New Testament. Then your faith will be in Him and not in the emotions, distractions and distortions of men.

The Beginning of Wisdom #276

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)

To fear God means to have reverential respect for Him. If you fear God you dread displeasing Him. He is high and holy, and you tremble before Him (Psalm 111:9; Jer. 5:22). Until one fears God he cannot possess true wisdom. He may be “street smart”, but failure to fear God leaves him foolishly in sin. (Read the striking contrast between worldly wisdom and heavenly wisdom in James 3:13-18). Do you want to be wise and understanding? Start by respecting God and holding Him in honor. Listen to His word and follow His will. You will not gain wisdom by choosing to sin; you will only increase sorrow and death. Instead, choose to be wise: “fear God and keep His commandments” (Eccl. 12:13).

Salt of the Earth #275

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. (Matthew 5:13)

You Christian, must be an influence of righteousness in a world of sin and death. Your words and actions must stimulate those around you to greater, better things for God. That is why you must guard yourself from sin, for it will destroy your good influence. As contaminated salt loses its usefulness for flavoring food and so was cast onto the foot trails (lest it destroy fertile soil), the Christian who loses his godly influence becomes ineffective, even destructive, to the cause of Christ. Protect your influence as you follow Christ, and season the world with goodness and holiness.

Bear One Another’s Burdens #274

1  Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3  For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (Galatians 6:1-3)

Spiritually mature disciples of Jesus help other Christians who are overtaken by sin. Restoration of the soul and life in needed, and the stronger Christian gently helps rescue the fallen loved one in Christ. Through the patient and prayerful work of exhorting, rebuking and correcting (using God’s word), the fallen one can be turned back “from the error of his way” and saved from spiritual death (James 5:19-20; Acts 8:22-24). The “spiritual” one knows he can also be tempted, too, and so he considers himself while helping his fellow. Christ expects us to be mature and help others when they are overtaken in sin. This is how we “bear one another’s burdens” and “fulfill the law of Christ.” Is there someone in your life who needs restoring from sin? Reach out and help them today.