For those of you who don’t know, my husband and I work in Singapore with the Four Seas College of Bible and Missions. Every year there is a Lectureship, where speakers from Singapore, Malaysia, and all over the world – including some who are graduates of the school – come to speak and be edified.
This year the topic during the day is “The Spirit and His Sword” – talking about the work and nature of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God – and at night the topic is “So Great a Salvation.”
Day 1 of the Lectureship is over, and I have already come away with some gems of wisdom and passages I want to think over and study more in depth. Since I won’t have time to write any original posts this week, I am going to share with you the highlights I have taken away from the various speakers. I hope you can learn something from them as I have!
“Moses bent under the pressure, became angry, and did something contrary to what the Lord asked. We need to be able to control our anger, or like Moses was not able to enter into Canaan, we will not be able to enter into the spiritual Promised Land.” ~ Andrew Carriaga, Be Angry and Sin Not
Anger is something that I personally struggle with. You may not believe it, but I have quite a temper. I told my husband when we first started dating, and he didn’t believe me… unfortunately I since have demonstrated that my warning was indeed valid. This was a good reminder for me, and this quote particularly stood out to me. What a vivid illustration! Moses’ temper kept him out of the Promised Land, just like my temper can keep me from the Promised Land, Heaven. This is why it is so important to learn to “be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).
“What’s written in this book will open the gates of Heaven and allow you to walk through. The Bible is the only way that we can get to know God, His plan and the heavenly home He has prepared.” ~ Tim Burroughs, The 66 Books
Tim started off his lesson by stating all the things that the Bible does for us when we apply it to our lives: saving homes, restoring lives, changing hearts, etc.. Though I can’t remember all that he said, I do recall the sentiment, and through experience I know what he said to be true. Whatever area we should wish to grow and improve in, the Bible has a way (2 Peter 1:3). Whatever problem we have, the Bible has a solution (Psalm 119:9). The more I know about this incredible Book, the more I fall in love with its Author, and I know it will do the same for you.
“By not listening to what God wants for us, we are saying, “What really matters to you doesn’t matter to me so much.”
“Feelings are subjective. They are changeable. Feelings are not authoritative. If feelings are our authority, then our feelings become our God.” ~ Philip Vanwinkle, The Bible: The Authority
As well as having everything we need in order to live right, the Bible is what we need in order to be pleasing to God. It has all things that we need for both “life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). The Bible is the only way that we can “know that we know Him, by keeping His commandments” (1 John 2:3). The Bible is God’s Word, breathed from Heaven (2 Timothy 3:15-17). If we each have our own standards, then God is an Author of confusion, which He is not (1 Corinthians 14:33). If God accepts different people on different grounds, then He is a respecter of persons, which He is not (Acts 10:34). If God is saying everything, then He is really saying nothing at all.
“When God armed us, His army, He sent us forth with everything we need to go into battle and be victorious. If anything seems difficult to me, I simply need to study some more… God has given His Word in its entirety. He has given us all that we need.”
“Can we understand the Bible alike? According to God, we can. According to God, we must.” ~ Tim Hayes, The Bible: Understanding It Alike
Is it possible that we can all understand the Bible in the same way? It would hardly be fair for God to say “you must obey my words” and then make a word that was too confusing to understand, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately many have accused God – through their mishandling of the Word – of being unable to accurately communicate, and therefore causing confusion. Any misunderstanding can be rectified, however, if we would simply apply the time needed to study and get to know His will better. When we read, we can understand (Ephesians 3:4). God expects us to understand and obey, so we must be able to understand it alike!
“Despite [Jesus’] weakened physical state, He remembered what His real need was – to obey God’s Word and use it to overcome His temptations. He remembered the spiritual was more important than physical bread.”
“Man’s ways and thoughts are imperfect, and so we cannot rely on ourselves to lead our own way. So how should we live? God’s way is the only sure way.” ~ Chui Hoon, Man Shall Not Live by Bread Alone
All of us have to eat, which means that to a certain extent we have to be concerned with physical matters. Because of this, it can be all too easy to let the pursuit of the physical to overcome us. We need to remember that if we follow God’s way, He will make sure that our physical needs are taken care of (Matthew 6:33). If we also remember that our needs are simply food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:8), then learning to rely on God for whatever we need becomes easier. If we neglect the spiritual, we will find ourselves trying to navigate through life without a compass. We cannot accurately direct our own way (Jeremiah 10:23).
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