When I want to save something to remember, I will write things on my hands or take photos with my phone. As well, I am a frequent user of sticky notes on my computer. Doing these things keeps me on track to remember what needs to be remembered.
The Bible speaks a lot about remembering God’s commands. Long ago, the people had their own ways of remembering Scripture. Even their culture was built upon remembering what God had done, as they continued to meet for prayer. They invested time in passing down the sacred text. Even during meal time, they remembered.
Today, we need to be intentional when it comes to guarding God’s Word. We need to keep it ever before us, not so as to protect the Bible but to drown ourselves in His Word and treasure it. To have God’s Word written deeply in our hearts, we must be constant in the Word. Wake up reading it. Go to sleep reading it. Have it posted and spoken around our home. Have it playing in our ears. Today, ask the Spirit how you can write the Word deep within your heart, where it will be a source of life and a treasure everlasting.
“Obey My commands and live! Guard My instructions as you guard your own eyes. Tie them on your fingers as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.” – Proverbs 7:2-3 [NLT]
When it was time to leave, Marci wasn’t finished with her bone. I knew the drill. If the bone was out in the open, Max would take it. The temptation is too much for him just as temptations can be too much for us to handle if we are not armored up. I thought I was clever and I put Marci’s bone under the love seat, her special hiding area, so it would be safe. When I came home I realized the temptation was still there for Max; he moved the love seat across the room and got the bone. He’s very food driven so the temptation was huge!
God’s Word shows us clearly that we can use passages of Scripture when faced with temptation. Each time Jesus was tempted in the wilderness what did He do? He quoted a verse. We can do the same thing. Nonetheless, there are temptations that are more dangerous for us than others. For each person this varies, but when there are these types of temptations that are ones we struggle with the most, it is a good idea to avoid them if you can so as to not put yourself in that position. God gave us the way to combat temptation, but He doesn’t necessarily want us to put ourselves in these situations just because He has given us the power to overcome them. When we open ourselves up to tempting situations, we give Satan a gateway.
If you have a problem with alcohol, why go somewhere if you know everyone will be drinking? If you have a problem with lust, why put yourself in a situation that could cause you to sin? Don’t hide the bone under the love seat. At the same time, never forget the power of God and His Word. God’s Word is powerful. God’s Word can be used whenever you feel tempted and you can overcome through Christ Jesus.
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13 [NLT]
There are so many diets people are using to be healthy or to lose weight. Pastor Rick Warren has revealed the Daniel Plan. There are diets focused on carbohydrates. There are diets focused on point systems. There are gluten-free diets. The list goes on and on.
Jesus reminds us that we are not to live by eating only bread. This can be interpreted as food in general. Sometimes many of us are overly concerned with what we put in our mouths, yet we neglect what Scripture tells us. Yes, a healthy diet is important. I’m not going to say which diet is better than another. However, Jesus reminds us that what we each are to live by includes “every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
There’s a word that I don’t think is emphasized enough. Every. Every word. We often need reminding about this EVERY part. There are moments we get caught up with particular passages of the Bible and we neglect others. Every word. I believe that greatly highlights the need to be reading God’s Word daily. How else will we be able to put every word to heart? If you want to truly live, be intentional with your relationship with God. Start by opening up His Word each day. The best diet is the Every Word Diet.
“But Jesus told him, ‘No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. ‘’” – Matthew 4:4 [NLT]
My daughter always gets me laughing. One day we went to get some ice cream from the local Dairy Queen and I barely could leave the drive thru area. My daughter read the cup and it said, “Flip over.” This was some sort of marketing thing Dairy Queen did where they flip over the cup for a moment to show that the Blizzard is made properly.
My daughter took the ice cream and turned it upside down. My son found it hilarious and took out his phone to take a quick photo and my daughter; oblivious to what could happen, she posed for the photo, continuing to hold the ice cream upside down. The drive thru attendant stared puzzled. I was concerned that the ice cream I just purchased was going to spill all over the interior of the car. What was she doing?
My son soon told my daughter that she misunderstood what “flip over” meant, that you aren’t supposed to just hold it like that so long. The workers do a quick flip over. We all had a good laugh. It took awhile to leave the area because I couldn’t stop laughing. It provided a good laugh but also a warning of caution. It is so easy to read something and take it one way, when it is meant to be taken another way. This is true for many things including God’s Word. It is important to read Scripture in context and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You may find yourself flipping over a cup, when you should simply turn it around.
“But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.” – 1 Corinthians 2:14 [NLT]
Water is essential for life. Water is needed for bodily functions. About 60% of our bodies are water. A person can only survive a few days without water. These are things that we all understand. No sane person would argue that a person could survive without water.
Jesus offers us “living water” that if we drink, we shall not thirst again. This water is something we can only receive through Him. Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38 NIV).
After a good workout, when it’s a hot day, or after a night of sleep, we typically reach for a refreshing drink. Without a drink for too long a period of time, we experience some symptoms of dehydration. We have a dry mouth, dry skin, a headache or even lightheadedness. We also experience symptoms when we are walking without Jesus. We try to fill the void. We worry and doubt. We feel alone.
Today, make sure you are drinking plenty of water—and be sure to seek Him who can offer you living water, and you will not thirst again.
“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water.’ And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'” – Revelation 7:17 [NIV]
When my daughter came home from school yesterday, she gave me this little comic drawing of a coffee cup. On the back she wrote that I was as sweet as coffee. My daughter never tasted coffee and she did not realize that coffee has a bitter taste unless sugar is added. She simply sees me drinking it and assumes it must taste good because I drink it often. Therefore she developed this false impression of the taste of coffee.
The same can be said of the Pharisees in the Bible. People observed them walking around holding people to the Law. People assumed that the Pharisees, being educated in the Scripture, were more knowledgeable and understanding of God and what He desired from us. It was quite a false impression, something that can be seen so easily when the Pharisees are called white-washed tombs (Matthew 23:27). They looked great on the outside but on the inside things were not so great. Just like the coffee looks nice and sweet because I’m drinking it each morning, but it is very bitter without some sugar.
God tells us that He desires our love, and Paul wrote that whatever we do, if it is done without love it means nothing (1 Corinthians 13:3). The Bible says that God can see our heart, our true heart (1 Samuel 16:7). He selected David because of what He saw in David’s heart. Our aim should be to have a pure heart, a heart that loves God first, and loves others. There should be no false impression, no confusion as to the appearance of our heart and our motives if we are living our lives with an outpouring of God’s love. The same love that God shows us, we can show others (1 John 4:7).
Today, look at your heart and see what is there.
• Do you love people like Jesus?
• Are you carrying around bitterness and unforgiveness?
• Where are areas for improvement in your life?
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” – 2 Timothy 3:16 [NLT]
Learning God’s lessons for our lives includes:
1. Bible Reading
My kids come to me all the time, asking me questions that I do not know how to answer at the moment. My daughter will ask me how many people live in Africa. My son will ask me the name of the 23rd president. I never frown upon them asking me questions, even the ones I cannot answer off the top of my head. I will openly admit that I Google it. I have even applauded my children for taking initiative to search on Google for items, because I want them to seek information when they have questions.
When I was younger and I had questions, I would go to the library, look through the card catalog, and find books or encyclopedias on the subject. I would read till I found the answer. Now today we have the Internet, and with the ease of a search engine, we are able to have information at our fingertips. Sitting in front of a computer screen, with fingers on the keys, you can feel like you are the smartest person in the world. Click, click. You know the answer. Click, click. Easy solution.
Life isn’t filled with easy solutions though. God left us with His Word. Some people call the Bible an instruction manual. There are people who believe the Bible should be consulted over any important issue. I am one of those people. I read my Bible daily, and if something arises in my life where I am lost, I pull out my Bible. Reading your Bible daily is a great habit to get into, and I doubt you will complain about it later.
Now when you are searching on Google for answers, there are chances that you may get the wrong answer. You have to look at the site you are led to and make sure it’s reputable. You wouldn’t want to look up medical information on a site about race cars. Just as you would talk to a car mechanic regarding your car, you hopefully would desire to seek a well-known medical source base for an answer.
You may be asking yourself why I am bringing this up at all. If we are looking for a reputable source, and we are considering the Bible our life manual, then it should be cut and dry. We read the Bible; we have our answers. I’m not going to argue about reading your Bible. I encourage reading. I challenge the interpretation. I challenge whether you are allowing the Holy Spirit to move within as you are reading.
Some people read the Bible for what they want. I know people who are sinning, who look for a verse that says what they are doing is not so bad, or is forgiven, and then they are satisfied. They got what they wanted. They feel better. They misinterpret or twist Scripture so that everything is okay. I have even witnessed some people saying they will find out what they need to know by paging through the Bible, and where they stop— that is what they are supposed to read. It’s like the Bible itself is not sacred, and the great Book doesn’t hold anything but some random verse on some random page that some higher power stops you at as you play Bible roulette.
The Bible can and should be consulted over any life matters. I recommend getting a reputable translation you are comfortable with for your better understanding. I have my preferences with translations; however, I don’t want to force you to side with my favorite translations. I am partial to the New American Standard Bible, but I usually recommend the New International Version. Most scholars point to the N.I.V. translation. I find it’s important to look at the publisher as well. Zondervan has a stellar reputation. And no, I am not being paid for an endorsement; Bible scholars will agree that they are founded on providing the best.
My main issue, is not necessarily the translation of Bible being used, but how the Bible is being read. The Bible is not just any book– it is THE BOOK. It is not to play games with or to be looked at for the meaning you want it to have in your life. The Bible is God’s Word. He left us His Word to read, to remember, to teach, and to guide. We cannot handle it like a Google search and pick and choose links. We cannot say we like a verse that says we will be blessed, but we don’t like a verse that says we are to give our life as an offering. It’s not selective reading.
Finally, when we read, it’s okay to consult commentaries and other references; however, it is vital that we consult the Holy Spirit above all. We were left the Spirit to guide us– allow the Spirit to do just that, and you will find that the Bible is such a great gift from God. You will not get all the answers, or even some of the answers you were seeking right away; however, continuous Bible reading and communication with God (prayer) is important and it is transforming.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17 [NASB]