Our Critical Need
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When we wake up each day, we face a hodgepodge of intertwined and layered elements. We face the influences from our personal friendship circles, social media and the news about our nation and the world. We face our own personalities and unique responses to our environment. We face our emotions and our circumstances. We face a massive maze.
Jesus promises us clear vision to navigate the maze. He is the Light of the world! As we walk in His light, we can differentiate between what is pure and what is evil, between truth and lies. In His light, impurity fades, and the truth stands out starkly in our field of vision.
In 2020, we need clear vision more than ever. For us to be able to discern truth, it is critical that we abide in God’s Word with humble, willing hearts. To see clearly in a world where powerful, demonic ocean surges threaten to overtake us, our strength to stand and our clarity of vision rest in Jesus alone. He is Truth. The Truth guides us as we let His words saturate our minds and hearts.
We must soak in the words of Scripture and listen intently to the words of Jesus. All Scripture points to Jesus, the Messiah and Savior of the world. Jesus said to the religious leaders, “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life, and it is these that bear witness of Me.” (John 5:39)
We can listen to speakers and teachers; we can watch videos, read books and news articles; we can read wonderful snippets from daily devotionals, but if we are not saturating ourselves in God’s Word, we will not see clearly. We also risk succumbing to false teaching or following a trend that sounds good but is really a distraction, or worse, a ferocious wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Here is an example of false teaching that we would be protected from if we were daily searching the Scriptures: There is a popular teacher who says that all sickness comes from our sin. He provides ways to find out how you are “blocking” your healing. Although sin sometimes causes physical illness, this teaching is not based on Scripture. If we read John 9, we learn about the man born blind. Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he should be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned nor his parents, but it was so the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:2-3) The Scripture says nothing about the blind man’s faith, spiritual stature, or sin. He did not even know who Jesus was until he met Him later. The blind man’s healing was purely a result of God’s love and extreme kindness.
Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are truly disciples of Mine and you shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32) In other words, if we live in what Jesus says, we will see the truth clearly and be free from the polluting, often poisoning, influences around us.
The Hebrew word for disciple is talmid. A talmid is different than a student. A talmid learns from the rabbi (or teacher) who has chosen him/her. It was a great privilege to be chosen by a respected rabbi of God’s Law. The talmid would seek to imitate every word and action of the rabbi to become just like his master teacher.
Jesus said to His disciples, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit…” (John 15:16a) What a privilege to be chosen by such a Teacher – the Passover Lamb and Savior of the world! As Jesus’ disciples, we imitate Him by abiding in His word and following His teaching. We abide by remaining humble and willing to follow. Jesus said to the crowds while teaching in the Temple, “My teaching is not Mine, but His Who sent Me. If anyone is willing to do His will, he shall know whether My teaching is from God or whether I speak from Myself.” (John 7:17) Therefore, we pray with David the Psalmist, “Sustain me with a willing spirit.” (Psalm 51:12b)
If abiding in God’s word seems intimidating at first, I would love to give some simple suggestions. Currently, I am reading the book of John, so I will use this book as an example.
- Set aside a specific amount of time to read God’s Word. Rest, and do not hurry.
I like the early morning. Remember, you are spending time with your Best Friend, not accomplishing a task. (John 15:15)
- Read John, Chapter 1 in a good translation.
(You may click here refer to my study called HIS SIGWORK – Principle 8 of 10, Original Languages and Bible Translations) My favorite Bible for study is The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible – New American Standard Bible.
- Slowly read Chapter 1 again and underline words that stand out or speak to you.
I use a soft bright color pencil. Go back and read the underlined words over and over. Pray them. Ask God to help you understand. Thank Him for Who He Is and for what you do Ask Him why these verses were recorded, how they might help you pray, and what their implications are. Let the answers come in His time.
- The next day, read Chapter 2 and do the same thing.
Go over previous chapters to reinforce the truth. As your “saturating muscles” get stronger, add another portion of Scripture.
Disciples of Jesus and brothers and sisters in Messiah, let us sing together the chorus of a hymn by Thomas Obediah Chisholm (1866-1960):
O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee!
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art.
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fulness,
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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Shale Fragments™ - writings by Beth Ann Phifer is a division of Flower Girl Greetings, LLC. ©2020, All Rights Reserved.
Beth Ann thanks for this message. How much we need this at this time in our world. We truly need our eyes on Jesus our Lord and Savior with clear vision. We need to be reading His word. it is critical that we abide in God’s Word with humble, willing hearts. He is worthy of our praise, glory and honor.