Thought For 12-17-2018

christmas! (1)

 

 

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Should We Take The Bible Literally?

The Bible is a tapestry of God-inspired stories, parables and thoughts that can be taken literally. To those who do not have the Holy Spirit living inside them, though, this can be confusing.

If we do have the Holy Spirit, He will lead us into the deeper truths of the Bible. The Scriptures are filled with hidden meanings.

Names, such as Noah, have meanings that add to the story . Noah means rest. Zacchaeus means pure one. Peter means rock.

Numbers also have meanings. Twelve is administration. Seven is completion. Eight is new beginning.

Even within the stories themselves, we find hidden meanings. For instance, the story of the woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8:43-48). She suffered twelve years. She represents the church. Women in Bible stories represent one of two things–the church or Israel. By church, I am referring to the entire Body of Christ not individual groups gathered in brick and mortar buildings.

She use rags to soak up the blood. If we look in the original Hebrew in Isaiah 64:6 where it says “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags,” we discover that they are the same rags that the woman with the issue of blood would have used.

These rags represent self-righteousness. This woman is a picture of the church hemorrhaging because of their own self-righteousness.

She only found the healing she so desperately needed when she went to Jesus. When the Body of Christ comes to Jesus and focuses on what He provided for us at the cross through His death and resurrection, we too will be healed and experienced the same peace that the woman with the issue of blood did.

In this seemingly innocent story about the woman with an issue of blood, we find truths relevant for today.

There are many stories in the Bible, which we think are cute, but that have important morals to them.

Jonah, for instance, didn’t want preach in Nineveh as God told Him to because he knew that if he did, God would spare the people of Nineveh.

Jonah tried to run away from God, but he couldn’t. God saw when Jonah boarded a boat bound for Tarnish (Jonah 1:3). God saw the storm (Jonah 1:4) and how Jonah’s shipmates threw him overboard (Jonah 1:15). God saw when a great fish swallowed Jonah (Jonah 1:17) God saw Jonah spend three days in the belly of that great fish (Jonah 1:17)..

The moral here is that we cannot outrun God and His assignment on our lives. God knows where we are at all times.

What about Esther? She became queen because she found favor with a king who ruled from India even unto Ethiopia (Esther 2:17). She learned of the plot to kill her people (Esther 4). She wanted to ignore it, thinking she, as queen, would be spared, but the man who raised her, Mordecai, pointed out that she might be mistaken (Esther 4:13). He advised her that maybe she might have been brought to power for such a time as this in order to save her people (Esther 4:14).

Esther went into the king (Esther 5). If a person went to the king uninvited and he did not held out his sceptre, that person would be killed. However Esther did just that. She went into the king uninvited, and by the grace of God, he held out his sceptre to her (Esther 5:2). She had his attention. After inviting him to two banquets, she finally told him of the evil man Haman’s plans to destroy her people and to hang Mordecai (Esther 7:3-10).

The moral here is that in spite of the danger, we must stand in the face of adversity, hold our chins up high and do our destiny because who knows how many lives will be spared physically and spiritually in the process. We also learn that God is on our side and will not let us down if we believe Him.

The three Hebrew children, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, refused to bow down before the king of Babylon. They risked being thrown into a furnace, but they did what was right. They did not bow, and they were thrown into the fiery furnace, but God delivered them. He didn’t let it harm them (Daniel 3).

The moral is that no matter how bad the circumstances look, God will come through for you…if you believe Him.

Throughout the Bible, we read the accounts of what happened to real people. God included these people’s stories to show us what to do and not to do in our lives.

Throughout the Bible, we see the intertwined message of hope and redemption of our God. Even though, the children of Israel disobeyed God and found themselves in dangerous situations many times, God came through for them every time through countless delivers, such as Moses, Samson, Gideon, Esther, then finally our Messiah, Christ Jesus.

Though we fall, though we fail, it is not the end for us either. God has a plan, and He will do whatever it takes to help us accomplish that plan.

We see how God had planned to send His Son to save us way back in the Old Testament. The prophets of old prophesied of Him. Isaiah even spoke of Jesus’ death in Chapter 53 of Isaiah, indicating that God intended to save us way back then.

Whether we take the Bible literally or dig for deeper truths, we will find one main theme in the Bible. The relationship God, our Father, wants to have with us. He is a relational God. He enjoys spending time with His children.

Even though Moses represents the law, we see in the story of Moses how God had a relationship with him. Moses spent time with God, just standing in His presence, because Moses wanted more of God.

Most of us don’t have a good relationship with Him because we don’t spend time with Him. We pray hurried prayers, read a verse here or there, but then we ignore God the rest of the day.

No, we must make Him an integral part of our lives. We should talk to Him throughout the day, spend time just sitting in His presence, reading and meditating on His Word. We need to spend time just sitting in His presence, enjoying Him as we would our spouse, colleague or best friend. Just sitting there listening to Him speak to our spirits about the things we need to know.

Whether we read the Bible literally or dig deeper, there is always something more for God to show us. Ask Him to open up the Word to you today!

#Bible #Christ #Jesus 

How Do I Commit My Cares To God?

How do I turn my worries and cares over to God?

For years, God would speak the same message to me: “Cast your cares upon Me.”

My lack of trust in God surfaced as the real underlying issue. I didn’t know if He would come through for me, if He would care enough to perform on my behalf in every situation.

I don’t know where your lack of trust in God comes from, but mine came from a lack of trust in my Dad, the earthly man whose DNA flows in my body. The one who raised me with my Mom for most of my childhood.

He is a functioning bi-polar. We put this label on anyone who has mood swings, but my Dad has the highs and lows that come from being a clinical manic depressive. Living with those types of mood swings can make any person lose trust in human beings.

I transferred the relationship I had with my Dad over to God, my Heavenly Father.

I didn’t trust God to do me good. I saw those movies and television shows where God struck people down who made mistakes.

However I re-shifted my thinking about God. I learned that God loves me. He wants to do me good. He has good plans in store for me. He wants to bless and prosper me. He wants to heal, save and deliver me.

He loved me so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for me. Jesus paid the price for my sins–past, present and future. He did that for you too. He loves you as much as He loves His Son, Jesus. Think about that for a moment.

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? – Romans 8:32

God loves me, and He loves you too. He didn’t design you to carry stress. He didn’t design you to carry burdens. He wants to make an exchange. Your burdens for His promises. That is a wonderful deal. He takes your worries, fears, anxieties, sickness and disease. In exchange, you receive peace, joy, health and wholeness and yes, even prosperity. It is a more-than-enough deal by a more-than-enough God.

If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of giving your cares to God, if you feel that you never could fully relinquish them to God, I know exactly how you feel. I have felt that by keeping my worries, I was doing my part. If I stopped worrying, I was sure something bad would happen. I made myself out to be the center of the universe. I made myself out to have control of every thing around me, and I don’t.

I had to learn, and am still learning, to hand my cares over to the One who is in control–God. Only He can handle what worries me. Only He can deal with all the problems and situations of an individual’s life.

It isn’t easy to relinquish the things that you have been carrying close to your heart all these years over to God. It isn’t easy to let someone else handle your problems, even if it is the God of the Universe.

Casting your cares on God requires absolute trust in Him to take care of what concerns you. As humans, we like to be in control. We enjoy being, in our minds, the center of the Universe. Being out of control scares us.

It has been a struggle to learn to cast my cares. I took a basket and filled it with all my cares, which I committed to God. I’ve also written them down in a computer file or in a journal. I also tried tacking them up on a big make-shift paper cross on a bulletin board.

One of the more effective ways that I have tried, though, is to commit them to God. Then when the devil torments me to say, “I’ve already given that to God. According to [insert Scripture], I am [insert whatever you need the outcome to be].

For example: “I’ve already given that to God. According to I Peter 2:24, by Jesus’ stripes, I am healed. Therefore I am healed.”

I have found that when you give your care over to God, then start standing on a word from the Bible, that you can practically cast your cares.

God’s Word is the final authority in our lives. It tells us everything that we can have through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.

As children of God, we can stand on the Word of God concerning anything in our lives. God’s Word is the Ultimate Truth. Everything else is facts, and facts can be, and will be changed, to the Word of God.

For instance: let’s say that you are sick. You go to the doctor, and he gives you a dismal report. You can either believe that doctor or the Word of Almighty God that says you are already healed because Jesus took stripes on His back for your healing.

All facts must eventually line up with the Ultimate Truth–the Bible, if we stand on the Word.

Every time satan comes at you and says, “God won’t heal you,” you can counter him with the Word of God. You can say, “No, satan, I choose to believe the Word of God that says by Jesus’ stripes, I am healed.”

You must do that every time satan comes to you with that lie. The more you do it, the better you will become at it.

When we rely on the Word of God, we are resting in God and His promises.

He never called us to carry all the cares and worries of this life. He told us to give them to Him. Until we do, we will be burdened down, dejected, disappointed and dispirited. We are taking control of too much. Cast your cares of the Lord.

Find a Scripture to stand on and hit the devil with it whenever he comes against you. That Scripture is your title deed, your claim ticket to your inheritance, through Christ Jesus.

 

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