Posted by Shofar/Liz
This is a repost (8-23-12) to challenge us in diligent Bible study this New Year of 2014! The focus is on the importance of God’s Word for our lives and why we must study it.
I have posted up to Chapter 2 and will be posting Chapter 3 in two parts. Chapter 3 is a very important chapter because our faith in God, our relationship with Him, and everything we need to know about God and His plan and purpose for our lives is based on our understanding of His Word.
Below is the TABLE OF CONTENTS for ‘Sounding the Shofar- Exhortations for the End Times‘ published Jan. 2012. You can read a description of the book by clicking ‘Sounding the Shofar eBook‘ on the BLOGROLL in the sidebar or preview it on amazon.com. I plan to share the entire STS eBook with you over the coming weeks. (SEE TAB BAR ‘SHOFAR EBOOK’ TO READ ENTIRE BOOK)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- INTRODUCTION- Why I wrote the eBook and its purpose.
- Chapter 1 God Is Faithful- God loves us and desires fellowship with us.
- Chapter 2 Pleasing God- We please God by loving Him, loving His Word and obeying Him. And He blesses us.
- Chapter 3 The Power of God’s Word- God reveals Himself to us through His Word which builds our faith; the importance of the Word of God
- Chapter 4 David, A Man After God’s Heart
- Chapter 5 Worship and Praise
- Chapter 6 Kingdom of God Mysteries
- Chapter 7 Watchmen on the Wall
- Chapter 8 The World and Church Today
- Chapter 9 How God Feels About Us
- Chapter 10 Choosing to Please God
- Chapter 11 Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done
- About the Author (Read my ‘Home’ and ‘About’ in top bar)
(Note: Bold and CAPS are added for emphasis in some scripture verses.)
THE POWER OF GOD’S WORD
Love God, Love His Word
God’s Word is the expression of Himself, of who He is, what He is to us, who we are and what we mean to Him. It gives us the parameters by which to live and to enjoy His blessings; it tells us what these blessings are and how to appropriate them. The psalmist knew His God and about the importance of maintaining a relationship with Him, so much so that he extolled God’s laws by delighting and rejoicing in them, speaking of them in Psalm 119, the Psalm of the Word of God. This is what God says about someone who loves him with his/her whole heart:
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name (has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness- trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no never). He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation” (Psalm 91:14-16 Amplified Bible).
God’s Word Builds Faith
In Matthew 4:4 Jesus said,
…”Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”.
The amount of time we spend meditating on God’s Word and learning of His blessings and promises will determine the degree of good success (Joshua 1:7) we can experience in our lives. Regular Bible reading builds our faith because “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). As Wyman teaches, “faith is our currency to receive from God.” Whatever our needs are today, God is able to meet them. But we need to exercise faith, and faith comes from knowing God’s Word. If we don’t know much Word, we will not have much faith; BUT, and if we know more of God’s Word, we are likely to have greater faith.
Hebrews 11:6 says…
“without faith it is impossible to please God, for he that comes to God must believe that He is God and a Rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
In the book of Joshua, God says at least 7 x’s, “don’t be afraid”, “be strong”, “I will be with you”; “I will not fail you”; “I will never leave you, nor forsake you;” “be strong and of good courage.” We can face any obstacles when God is with us!
God’s Word on FAITH
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 New American Standard Bible)
The Bible tells us,
“FAITH comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17)
Our righteousness before God must be a righteousness based on believing God’s Word to us, i.e., a righteousness which is of FAITH. The Amplified Bible says this righteousness is of God, and refers to us being in right standing or a right relationship with God (Romans 10:6).
The apostle Paul also said,
“The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELIEVE in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:8-10, 13).
Verse 14 states,
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they BELIEVE in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
FAITH comes from hearing and learning from Holy Spirit-inspired teachers of the Word of God, and from the Holy Spirit Himself! FAITH IS REQUIRED TO RECEIVE ANYTHING FROM GOD, whether it is salvation, answers to prayers, healing, deliverance from oppression, etc.
Hebrews 11:6 tells us,
‘But WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must (necessarily) BELIEVE that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him (out)- ( Amplified Bible, caps are mine)
God’s Word must be faith building or it is preached in vain.
“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being MIXED WITH FAITH in them that heard it.” (Hebrews 4:2)
Knowledge of the Word only is just head knowledge when devoid of of faith and is of no benefit, and “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). This FAITH is all about believing that God’s Word is True; God is who He says He is; He says what He means and means what He says,
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen’ (Hebrews 11, the Faith chapter)
STUDY GOD’S WORD!
Why We Need to ‘STUDY’ the Bible
In 2Timothy 2:15 Paul says,
“Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”.. This is done by “correctly analyzing and accurately dividing (rightly handling and skillfully teaching) the Word of God” (Amplified Bible).
It is by STUDYING, not just by “Do your best” (NIV), which is not specific enough to mean learning and understanding God’s Word. God commanded Joshua to meditate day and night on His Word (Joshua 1:8). STUDY IS REQUIRED in order to have God’s APPROVAL AND NOT BE ASHAMED BEFORE HIM, also before man, by our ignorance or lack of understanding of His Word.
Psalms 1:1-2 (Amplified Bible)
“BLESSED, (HAPPY, fortunate, PROSPEROUS, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly (following their advice, their plans and purposes), nor stands (submissive and inactive) in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down (to relax and rest) where the scornful ( and the mockers) gather. But his DELIGHT AND DESIRE are in the law of the Lord and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.”
We Should Study the WHOLE Bible
We need to STUDY THE WHOLE BIBLE, both Old and New Testament.
2Tim 3:16-17 state,
“EVERY Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, and for training in righteousness ( in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action). So that the man God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (Amplified Bible)
The reason we should learn about the O.T. history of the Hebrew people is explained in 1 Corinthians 10: 11:
“Now all these things happened unto them for EXAMPLES and they are written as WARNINGS for us, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.”
As an example and warning, consider what the apostle Peter wrote:
“For if God did not spare the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an EXAMPLE unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.” (2 Peter 2:4-7)
(To be continued- THE WORD OF GOD AS OUR WEAPON)
Tags: Examples and Warnings, Faith and the Word, faith in God, God's Approval, Hearing the Word of God, Noah, Pleasing God, Power of God's Word, Sodom and Gomorrha, Studying the Bible, The Blessed Person in Psalm 1:1-2