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Archive for the ‘Being A Disciple’ Category

Word of God

I have started many, through the Bible, reading plans and have failed on many, many occasions. Let’s face it, the Bible is not the easiest book to read. Parts of it can be hard to understand and other parts are downright boring. I can read the same passage a hundred times and get nothing out of it and a few months later, something clicks and I feel like I’m reading it for the first time.

Even through the difficulties, I stick with it. Why? Because the Bible is God’s handbook for living. There is wisdom for EVERY situation we could ever face and encouragement for times of trial. God speaks to us through the Bible. I learn life lessons through the imperfect people that God chose as role models for us.

Remember the most important reason that we need to study the Bible; it points us to Jesus. The Bible is all about Jesus. As you read, look for Jesus.

Studying the Bible works in two ways: 1. Filling our hearts and minds with God’s Word 2. Taking that Word out into the world.

Input

Psalm 1:1-3

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

Hearing- There are times when I can’t focus on what I’m reading and I will listen to a sermon instead and it really sinks in. The internet is a great source of online sermons on just about any topic or scripture. Many churches will upload their Sunday sermons to their websites, so the general public has access to those during the week.

I love to listen to my local christian radio station. Many Hymns and contemporary christian songs are based on scripture and I enjoy the snippets of Bible study and encouragement.

I’m sure that we have all watched a T.V. evangelist at one time or another. With Cable T.V., we can now watch sermons, Bible studies, Biblical history shows, christian movies, etc.

Going to church is, of course, still the ideal way of hearing God’s Word.

Reading- Like I said earlier, I have tried many, read through the Bible, plans. What it boils down to is discipline and sacrifice. I am reading through the Bible in a year now. It isn’t always easy and I tend to have a short attention span, but God is worth it and so I make the sacrifice.

The internet is full of Bible reading plans. Go through them and pick the one that works for you.

If you really feel that you can’t read through the Bible, word for word, then pick a book of the Bible and pick out the main characters and main events and read about them. Journal about the character, who he/she was, strengths, weaknesses, ways we can learn from this person. Same thing with an event. Write down what the event was, why it was important and what we can learn from this event today.

I am a voracious reader, so when I read my devotional or other christian based books, I will sometimes write a blog post on a scripture I have read. This allows me to dig further into that scripture and God’s Word really sinks in that way. I have learned things that I would not have learned otherwise.

Journal what you read. If a scripture jumps out at you, write it down. What about that passage spoke to you and how can you use it in your every day life? What has that scripture taught you?

Like Verse 2 above says, meditate on the law, day and night. We have to be intentional about letting God’s Word sink into our hearts. Remember that what goes in, will come out. Garbage in, Garbage out. The love of God in, the love of God out.

Output

James 1:22

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Luke 8:21

He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”

Matthew 7:24

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

God makes it abundantly clear that we need to put His Words into action. It does us no good, if we can recite the Bible backwards and forwards, but our every day life does not reflect that knowledge. This does not mean that we have to be Biblical scholars. Most of the 12 disciples were not Biblical scholars. They were fishermen, tax collectors and doctors. God just expects us to allow what we know of Him to make an impact on the world around us.

Love one another– John 13:34

Be kind and compassionate– Ephesians 4:32

Forgive one another– Colossians 3:13

I encourage you to look up other scriptures and find out how God expects us to act towards each other.

Part of putting action to God’s Words is serving each other. 1 Peter 4:10 tells us that we should use whatever gifts we have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace.

We are God’s Ambassadors on this earth. God tells us exactly how to treat others and He expects us to obey His Word.

*Challenge- find a Bible reading plan and get into God’s Word. Let it seep into your spirit and overflow into the lives of those around you. God says that we will be like a tree planted by streams of water and that we will not wither. That is an amazing promise! So, get in the Word!

God Bless!

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george mueller

George Mueller was an amazing man of God, prayer and faith. It has been 115 years since his death and his life is still used as an example of true christian living. The book “George Mueller Of Bristol And His Witness To A Prayer-Hearing God” written by Arthur T. Pierson, is a must read for every christian. I have read it twice and will be reading it again. The book looks into every area of George Mueller’s life and faith and gives us a boat load of practical practices to implement in our own lives. Below are some of the characteristics the George Mueller embodied that led to his spiritual success:

1. Missionary Spirit- He was willing to follow God wherever and whenever God led. Mr. Mueller was a pastor, opened orphan houses that provided homes for thousands of children, and he traveled in his later years as an evangelist. He never had a “stable” income, trusting God for provision.

2. Renunciation Of Self- He was always analyzing his spirit for any signs of the flesh coming through. He was diligent about putting his agenda aside and focusing on what God wanted him to do.

3. Taking Counsel Of God- Mr. Mueller always consulted God first. In every situation, when a decision needed to be made, when provisions were needed, George was on his knees in prayer, asking God to reveal His will.

4. Humble And Childlike Temper- George was a role model of humility. He never thought of himself first, always thinking of the other person. He was known for his patience, love, kindness and compassion.

5. Cutting Loose From Man- Mr. Mueller did not ask any man for financial or any other type of support. He went to God alone to provide what they needed. He trusted God to work in the hearts of those He chose to provide for the needs of the ministry.

6. Satisfaction In The Word- He knew that the Bible was the Word of God. He found peace in knowing that God provided His Word as a guide to daily living.

7. Thorough Bible Study- He knew the Word inside and out. He was a lifetime student of God’s Word. He not only studied the Word, but applied what he read to his life.

8. Freedom From Human Control- George did not allow himself to be controlled or manipulated by humans. He did not seek the approval of humans, only the approval of God.

9. Use Of Opportunity: Approaching Others As To Matters Of Salvation- George was always open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. He was always open to the opportunities to reach out to others with the Gospel of Jesus.

10. Knowledge Of The Second Coming- Mr. Mueller was aware that Jesus is going to return at some point. Every one of of his ministries was used to prepare the world for the second coming of Jesus.

11. Waiting On God For A Message- Mr. Mueller never acted of his own accord. He waited on God in all things. There were many times when God’s answer did not come until the very last minute. He never acted in disbelief. He always trusted God for an answer to his prayers.

12. Submission To The Authority Of The Word- God’s Word was the final authority in everything that Mr. Mueller did. He did not make any decisions without seeking God’s will through the Word. He would research the Bible inside and out until he found what God’s will was on a particular issue.

13. Surrender Of All Earthly Possessions- He did not consider anything he owned as his. It ALL belonged to God. If someone was in need of something that he had, he would give it freely.

14. Habit Of Secret Prayer- George spent hours on his knees in prayer. He prayed in isolation, using the time to focus on God and discern God’s will in daily matters.

15. Guarding Of His Testimony- George was very careful to make sure his reputation and testimony were not tarnished by sin. His daily goal was to live a righteous life as an example for others. He did not want anything that he did to become an obstacle in another person’s walk with God.

16. Organizing Of His Work- Mr. Mueller always maintained that the ministries he ran were not his, but God’s. If they ever ceased to glorify God, he would have closed them down immediately.

17. Sympathy With Orphans- Mr. Mueller had a God-given passion for orphans. I believe that this passion was extended to those who were “orphans” in their sin, as well as, children. God does not wish for any to be lost. George was a shepherd, in the truest definition of the word.

18. Allowing Himself To Be Molded By The Potter- He never stopped being a student of God’s. He was always seeking God’s guidance in matters of the heart. He was always seeking a revealing of any characteristics that were not Christ-like. Even in his later years, he still allowed God to mold his character.

19. Simple Living- George lived very simply. He only prayed for his basic needs to be met. If God blessed him with a surplus in resources, he would give the surplus away.

20. Giving Generously- He gave generously of any surplus resources he had. He believed in giving to those in need and did without himself, so that others would not have to suffer.

There is so much that we can learn from George Mueller. I really try to live these characteristics out in my daily life. It is an ongoing journey and I don’t always live up to the standard Mr. Mueller set.

I encourage you to read the book. It would be a great book for a group Bible- study. There is so much more wisdom and guidance from the life of George Mueller in the book. READ IT!!!

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