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Monthly Archives: February 2016

Scriptural Rx: REST

 

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We now live in a fast-paced world. It looks like riding a train picking up passengers which I would like to compare as technological advancements from computers, iPhones, iPads, tablets, etc. The train also picks up new strain of viruses and bacteria. It also includes stresses at home, work, church and other civic organizations aside from our own personal issues. We are constantly pulled in different directions.

I know it’s quite inevitable at this time and age but we are not made to be on the go everyday with little rest.

So how do we rest?

1. God said, “Six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you shall  cease from labor.” (Exodus 23:12)

2. On the seventh day, we should observe a holy day,  a sabbath of complete rest to the LORD.  (Exodus 35:2)

3. God’s presence shall go with you and He will give you rest. (Exodus 33:14)

The 3 pointers could be summed up in having one-day-a-week of rest for ourselves and at the same time a holy day for the Lord by giving him praise and worship in the church. If you are spending time in the Lord’s presence, you will immediately feel refreshed for His Word doesn’t come back void when spoken. It has a spiritual power of giving us rest for our souls. God said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

You see the Bible has a lot of promises and covers everything that you are facing with. You just have to spend time with the Word and talk to him in prayer for your Father in heaven is not only interested in the big issues but in every detail of your life. He is open 24/7, and all He’s waiting for is for you to act.

 

 

 

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What Fills You Up

What fills you up? Is it money, fame, prestige, sex and other material stuff? How do you expend your energy on a daily basis? What motivates you to wake up in the morning and what’s your primary goal everyday? If they are all worldly possessions, then your life is on sinking sand.

Solomon prays dedicating Temple

I will introduce you to King Solomon – the son of King David of Judah – who was the wisest and richest king that has ever lived.

By wealth, I mean over twenty-five tons of gold every year, in addition to the taxes paid by the traders and merchants. Solomon made two hundred large shields, each of which was covered with about fifteen pounds of beaten gold, and three hundred smaller shields, each covered with about eight pounds of beaten gold. The king also had a large throne made. Part of it was covered with ivory and the rest were covered with pure gold. Six steps led up to the throne, and there was a footstool attached to it, covered with gold. There were arms on each side of the throne, and the figure of a lion stood at each side. Twelve figure of lions were on the steps, one at either end of each step. No throne like this had ever existed in any other kingdom.

All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were made of gold and all the utensils in the Hall of the Forest of Lebanon were made of pure gold. He had a fleet of ocean-going ships sailing with King Hiram’s fleet. Every three years his fleet would return, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys.

King Solomon also had four thousand stalls for his chariots and horses, and had twelve thousand cavalry horses. Some of them he kept in Jerusalem and the rest he stationed in various other cities. He was supreme ruler of all the kings in the territory from the Euphrates River to Philistia and the Egyptian border. During his reign silver was as common in Jerusalem as stone, and cedar was as plentiful as ordinary sycamore in the foothills of Judah. Solomon imported horses from Musri and from every other country.
(2 Chronicles 9:13-28)

In wisdom – The queen of Sheba heard of King Solomon’s fame, and she traveled to Jerusalem to test him with difficult questions. When she and Solomon met, she asked him all the questions that she could think of. He answered them all; there was nothing too difficult for him to explain. The queen of Sheba heard Solomon’s wisdom and saw the palace he had built. She saw the food that was served at his table, the living quarters for his officials, the organization of his palace staff and the uniforms they wore, the clothing of the servants who waited on him at feasts, and the sacrifices he offered in the Temple. It left her breathless and amazed.
(2 Chronicles 9: 1-4).

temple_herod_03Solomon also wrote the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon.

In relationships – He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. (I Kings 11:3).  He had a total of 1,000 women. Just imagine that.

He really feasted on the lust of his eyes and body.

Just think about living the high life to its utmost maximum.

But do you know what he said about all these things?

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher,” completely meaningless!”

What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again. The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.

History merely repeats itself, it has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new.

We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.

I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless – like chasing the wind.

What is wrong cannot be made right.
What is missing cannot be recovered.

I said to myself, “Look, I am wiser than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. I have greater wisdom and knowledge than any of them.” So I set out to learn everything from wisdom to madness and folly. But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind.

The greater my wisdom the greater my grief.
To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.
(Ecclesiastes 1: 2-18)

You see, if earthly possessions are what you are working and occupying your mind for, then what you have is worthless. It is all vanity – for it will soon pass away – and the only thing that will matter is what you have done for the Lord’s Kingdom.

What will ultimately count, is if you have accepted Jesus as the Lord and Savior of your life and what you have done with the gifts that He has given you to further His Kingdom. Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

 

 

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How to Study the Bible

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Reading the Bible is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Just imagine being able to commune with God, know his heart and mind and most importantly, know what his plans are for your life. Can you think of any other book that is alive that speaks to you whatever your situation is and gives you relief and peace after reading it?

The Bible is more than a book. It is Christ himself for John said, ‘In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.’ (John 1:1).

Reading a book for leisure or for knowledge information is good but reading for transformation is something else. The Bible is the only qualified book to transform a person inside and out. It is a living and powerful book that is sharper than the sharpest double-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. (Hebrews 4:12). It is not only a book that you read but one that actually reads you. It’s like a mirror that can send back a reflection of you and how you measure up according to God’s standard. Don’t worry the Bible is not there to judge you but to inform you of how much you’re dearly loved by your heavenly Father even though you don’t feel the same way he does. He loves you anyways, nonetheless.

There is no certain right way of studying the Bible but there are some basics that you can follow to make the most out of your study.

First, set a preferred location in your house as your private space for quiet Bible study where you’re relaxed and comfortable. Be it in the morning or evening is a good start.

Second, getting a Bible in a translation that speaks to you is the most important thing. There are many translations in the market and what I personally use is the New Living Translation (NLT). I’ve found this easy to understand for the words are somewhat in our modern english just like in our day-to-day conversation but any translation is fine.

Third, getting a concordance to find out what the words mean in the context and where they’re found is also an asset. This could be purchased at a later time though.

Fourth, you can start reading from beginning to end starting from Genesis to Revelation or you can read any book in the Bible that is to your preference. To have a good grasp of God’s Word, you can also try reading Genesis first followed by Deuteronomy, John, Acts then Romans. You can also do the 1 year reading plan.  Again, there are no set rules just some suggestions. The bottom line is to get you started then build momentum as you go along.

Bible reading is like an exercise where you build spiritual muscles as time goes along. There will be times when you don’the feel like reading just like with exercise, but don’t give up for this is one activity that will give you tremendous rewards and dividends later on.

If you encounter difficult subjects or verses in your study, don’t stop.  Just keep on reading and studying for these verses will come to light with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Having a journal to write down truths that you have learned is another way of remembering verses and putting to mind what the Lord has revealed at that particular time.

Fifth, listening to Christian TV stations and reading Christian books is also a big help to your study. Jack Kelley is the site that I subscribe to that gives good and comprehensive information about different topics in the Bible. I highly recommend looking into this.

And finally, make it a habit to pray first and ask for God’s guidance and wisdom as you read His Word and to reveal what he wants to say to you. Have an open mind and receptive heart to whatever He wants for nothing is more noble, and worthy than following the Master who has our best interest at heart. Letting Him lead our lives daily bring blessings more than you can possibly imagine. Always remember that.

P.S.

Dr. Charles Stanley is giving a free one year Bible reading plan. If you want to order, go here.

 

 

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