A word of encouragement from a sojourner for Truth

Archive for February, 2011

Struggles

Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD ‘s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 
Under attack. Sick…n working on taxes. Computer was hacked yesterday…people in church sick n dealing with sin, suffering, sorrows n trials. Just overwhelmed. Glad his arms are strong n his heart is open to our prayers.

Moving from observation to interpretation

Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
As we study the obvious, with an open book, open heart, observing the text, we must let context rule. Reading the bible for all its worth involves investigation. What is going on in the passage, the chapter, and the book matter deeply. The section must be read in the historical cultural setting. The type of literature is important as well. The audience and the speaker matter. The type of language used, historical context etc. can affect the meaning. A comma can change meaning. For example, let’s eat grandpa without the comma has an entirely different meaning with the comma. Let’s eat, grandpa. So read with observation carefully in context as we move to interpretation.

Problems studying

II Peter 3:15-16 ….Paul…hath written unto you;….some things hard to be understood….
Several problems arise as we begin to study the word of God. First, just reading the book presents quite a hurdle. Second, reading with understanding stands in our path. Our tendency is to scan it and then jump to application. However to read with understanding requires a methodical approach. Thus we need to observe the text asking ourselves, what does it say. Take down notes and ask lots of questions about the text. Who, what, where, when and why.

An open heart

How should we study?
Open heart
Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia,….which worshipped God, heard us : whose heart the Lord opened….
Not only do we need a readable bible, and an open book to study, we need an open mind. Here Lydia heard the word of God read and God opened her heart to its truth. Pray for Gods leadership as you study the Bible.

A readable open book

II Kings 22:8 And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

How should we study? First we need a readable book open book. In this example we find that Hilkiah the priest found the word of God where it had been lost. He took it up and gave it to Shaphan the scribe who read the word of God. Are you reading the word of God? I even challenge those who might disagree with the Bible to read it in context and systematically before you claim disagreement. And if you believe, you should read it so you may learn what it says. Too often we have our own ideas about God without even searching it out in the first place.

Read it and heed it

Luke 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it

Do you read your bible? Many people readily argue against the word of God yet most have never studied it. Others who deeply believe in the word of God argue over which version of the bible is correct yet many have not studied it carefully. Over the next few days I will give a simple plan on how to study His word. If you do not believe in God and argue against it but have never read it all I challenge you to read it before you attack it. If you do believe but have never studied it completely I challenge you to read God’ s word. Who wants to stand before God and have to admit that you never have read His book.(notes from seminary and Dr. Howard Hendricks, Living by the Book.)

The agony of waiting for answers to prayer.

Psalms 27:13 I had fainted , unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Psalms 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

A dear friend and mentor, Dr Alan Henson gave this advice in a sermon once: When answering prayers: sometimes God says no; the request is wrong. Sometimes he says slow; the request is right but the timing is wrong. Sometimes he says grow; the request is right but people involved need to grow. Sometimes he says go; the request is right and the timing is right. Therefore may God grant us patience to wait for His timing and His answers.