I’ve Got to Get A Message to You – Look inside the Word to Find it! - Purity 622
Purity 622 01/07/2022 Purity 622 Podcast
Today’s photo of a foamy surf under blue cloud dotted skies at Sea Colony, Palm Coast Florida comes to us from a friend who shared this pic to wish all of his friends a Happy 2022 while on a mini-vacation to visit family and to see the new year in away from home.
Well it’s Friday and I am thanking the Lord God Almighty for the end of the work week more today than I have in the recent past because today I will be leaving work to be reunited with my loving wife immediately following my “9 to 5”. In a world complicated by divorce and its consequences, and just the demands on some people’s lives for other situations, some couples are married are but are separated from each other physically because they are required to, or choose, to maintain two households or are taken away from each other because for work reasons.
I knew of a couple who had a home in Columbia County where the wife kept house and took care of the kids but whose husband maintained an apartment in New York City and would be in the city that never sleeps from Monday to Friday and then head upstate to be with his family on the weekends. Word has it they lived this way for decades and were a stable couple and pillars of their community.
So although our families are wondering when TammyLyn and I will be living under one roof on a permanent basis, our situation is not as complicated or uncommon as many would think. The difficulties of having a blended family and trying to put all the pieces together caused me to doubt if TammyLyn and I would ever get together and had me thinking that in about 10 to 15 years things would settle in our lives where we could talk about marrying and living together, but the love we have for one another was greater than my doubts and we both decided to marry and deal with our respective situations united as man and wife.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and I can tell you that for me and TammyLyn that is true. But we are in daily communications with each other via Facebook messenger and Zoom and are there for one another each day even though we are separated by 45 miles of upstate NY real estate.
Our situation reminds me of how some people feel about God. Deists believe that God exists but doesn’t interact with His creation. In their view God just made the universe and walked away. Deists can point to the suffering around us and say that it is obvious that God is not involved because of all pain and evil in the world. They may believe in judgement day, the day of the Lord, the day Christ returns, but believe that until than we are separated from God.
A view like this can make us doubt if God does in fact love us. It can make us doubt that God cares. God isn’t sending us texts on FB messenger. He is not sending us any Zoom invitations. And sometimes when we pray, Deists and non-Deists alike, we don’t always see results for our petitions and sometimes we can feel that we are just speaking into thin air. Our prayer life can be discouraged if we don’t think that anyone is hearing us. It makes me wonder if a Deist would even bother to pray.
But I was reminded last night that God does provide a means to communicate with Him that gives us encouragement, hope, and direction on how we should live our lives. The Bible is God’s message to the people He created: that’s all of us.
The question is: Are you receiving His message, by reading the Bible?
Bible illiteracy is a huge issue in America.
Amy Watson shared the following about Bible reading statistics stating:
“A survey from 2021 found that 11 percent of Americans read the Bible daily. Trends in reading habits over four years showed that the majority of Americans never read the Bible, however in 2021 this number dropped to 29 percent of respondents.
Bible readership varies across each demographic, with Millennials most likely to have never read the Bible, whereas the most frequent readers were those aged over 70 years old. …
Although figures show that fewer people are reading the Bible, there is still a genuine desire to read the Bible amongst the American population, with 56 percent of those asked in 2019 expressing a wish to read it.” (https://www.statista.com/statistics/299433/bible-readership-in-the-usa/)
The statistics tell us that people aren’t receiving God’s message. They aren’t reading the Bible although 56% percent of Americans indicated that they would wish to.
The Bible is the inerrant word of God and one of the pieces of evidence for its truth is the lives that are transformed by the people who read it.
So I would encourage those 56% of Americans that
wish to read the Bible to decide that 2022 is the year that you will do it and
I would encourage you to read with an open heart and open mind, as your attempt
to communicate with God.
God wants you to know Him more and the Bible is the way we can hear His voice and know His will for our lives. By the way, the Bible will also assure you that God hears us when we pray.
Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV) says
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The word of God is living and powerful and it discerns the thoughts and intents of the hearts of those who read it. That tells me that when we read the Word, the Word is reading us. That’s two way communication! Not only is God sending His message to us through the words in the Bible, but He is also receiving what we are thinking when we read it.
So as we go into the weekend, if you are not reading the Bible already, consider getting a Bible app, an audio Bible, or just a plain old paper version to learn what God’s word says and to get to know the Lord.
For new readers I recommend and easier to read versions of the Bible like the New Living Translation (NLT), New King James Version (NKJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), the English Standard Version (ESV) , or the New International Version (NIV).
I also recommend that you read the New Testament first, staring with John’s gospel, and then going back to read the rest of the New Testament in order. The New Testament tells us all about Jesus and what we need to know as Christians in terms of who we are in Christ, how to live our lives, and where all this is going.
After you are done with the New Testament, you can read the “Prequel” The Old Testament, and see how God revealed Himself to man from the beginning of our existence and how He had a plan to redeem us that worked its way throughout history and culminated in Christ.
God wants you to know that He loves you and that He cares about you. That’s why He sent Jesus! And He also wants you to talk to Him and hear what He has to say to you by reading His word.
So pick up the Bible and read it and keep walking and talking to God.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Romans 8:1-2 (NLT2)
1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
I love these verses. Verse 1 is my life verse and Verse 2 tells us that we have indeed been set free from sin and death. But I do prefer the NKJV that says:
Romans 8:1-2 (NKJV)
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. How can the NLT leave that out?!?!? That’s why I advise people to read the NLT and then move on to the NKJV, our use the NKJV as guide to see what the “easier to read” NLT may be rewording.
No condemnation means that all the negative thoughts that we put on ourselves or are being whispered into our ears by Satan are no longer true about us if we are in Christ and are walking according to the Spirit, A.K.A following Jesus.
So if you are beating yourself up as someone who disappoints God or is incapable of leaving your besetting sins behind, read Romans 8:1 & 2 believe what it says about you.
If you are in Christ, you are God’s child and not only do you have freedom over death because of the eternal life that faith in Jesus provides, you also have the power over sin and have already been forever changed.
The battle is to believe these verses and to show our faith in God’s word by dismissing any condemnation that is brought to your doorstep as a lie of the enemy and by choosing to believe that you have your freedom and just need to lean on the Lord to walk it out day by day.
So fight the good fight of faith by just believing in what the Lord has done for you that is described in these verses and know the joy that comes from knowing there is no condemnation for you and that you have been set free.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we continue sharing from Chapter 3.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Neil Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work.
EXPOSING LIES AND AFFIRMING TRUTH
A lady wrote, “Going through The Steps to Freedom has been the most exciting part of my Christian walk.” She had struggled with voices and screaming in her head, nightmares and apparitions in her room, and strong deception through lies and condemnation. She said, “I have been unwilling to take responsibility for my own thoughts. I have wanted some kind of help from the outside without being willing to do the necessary work myself.” In a letter she wrote to Jesus, she said, “I confess my unbelief, my selfishness, my obsessive thoughts. I renounce the lies that would destroy and incapacitate me. I ask Your forgiveness and forsake all thinking that would destroy the truth that is in me.” Attached to her letter were six typewritten pages of lies she had believed, accompanied by Scripture verses she found that exposed those lies and affirmed the truth.
The same woman wrote this letter after going through The Steps to Freedom in Christ:
As I’ve thought about and weighed what happened in God’s presence in your office, I am awestruck at the reality that not only has Christ completely severed the spiritual bond between myself and all the others I was involved with, but that He also touched the deeper issue—a place where I have held the belief that I actually became the slut, whore, adulterer, the “evil one,” the “witch” that mom and dad had always said I was.
Facing the reality of that truth—or rather the lies that I have believed about myself—has been more than I ever believed God could make clean or redeem. I could not escape the embarrassment, nor could I forgive my willing participation. The violations were easier to renounce because I was not choosing them for myself.
Is it possible that as I’ve continued to renounce both the sexual acts themselves and the beliefs that I became the embodiment of the evil I participated in, that the Lord would expunge the record...and change my life...that I am no longer identified by the names my earthly father gave me, but I am truly a new person in Christ...that I am as you said, “clean as a hound’s tooth?” I have always thought of myself as a slut and an adulteress who was just taking up space in the Church, but who could never take a position of responsibility or ministry because my past is so evil. It’s like God has taken a giant sponge to the battered and bloody portion of my life that has been a major stronghold, absorbed all the blood, all the pain, all the lies. And as He took all this away, He left me new and free and clean in Him. I don’t have to contend with the weight of that sin because it’s forgiven, nailed to the cross through the blood of Jesus.
I have known all the lies in my head and have wanted to believe that God’s Word was true; today I know it in my heart and spirit. As I renounced these things, I thought, How can these words set me free? Yet how could they not? They are the power of God.
Today, I don’t just believe God is cleansing me; I know I’m clean! I don’t just believe God will free me from my past; I know I’m free! I am no longer my father’s daughter, his sex toy. I am no longer another man’s mistress. I am no longer the embodiment of the evil I participated in. I am a child of the King, called and chosen by Him. Cleansed, forgiven, made new to live in His family forever. Free to love and give and enter into relationship with Him and the Church, to be the person He has called me to be. Praise His name!63
56. John 8:31, 32 (NKJV)
57. Ephesians 6:14
58. Psalm 51:6
59. Psalm 32:2
60. 1 John 1:6, 7
61. John 8:44
62. 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9
63. 2 Corinthians 10:4, 5
64. 1 Timothy 4:1
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship