WHAT FAITH IN GOD IS ALL ABOUT
(This was the theme for a series of lessons I taught in Adult Bible Class in January 2016, ending with a sermon on the topic of Faith, Hope and Love this past Sunday, 1-31-16. This and forthcoming posts are excerpts and editions of my teachings.)
#1 LEARNING GOD’S WORD AND ENCOURAGING BIBLE STUDY IN 2016
Our focus for this New Year is about drawing closer to God and His Word, and increasing our Faith. God reveals Himself and His plan for our lives in the Bible, the Word of God. The BIBLE can be summed up as a study manual for those who believe in Jesus Christ as:
Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth
Believer’s Instruction Book for Life Eternal
We’ll be learning about FAITH:
Forsaking All I Trust Him
Forsaking All I Take Him.
Many pastors live by FAITH IN GOD in the Philippines. They have no contract for a salary and/or housing and car allowance and comfortable life as most of their American counterparts. In many churches we’ve been to in Northern Luzon, there were meager offerings. God provides for the pastor with gifts of fish, chicken, rice, eggs and prepared meals from church members. On the mission field one can expect good Christian hospitality and native meals, but in only one church I preached at did I ever have an offering given to me, which I tried return unsuccessfully. It was a 500 pesos note or about 10 U.S. dollars. We know of folks who pray, ‘Give us this day our daily bread. . .’ We were more blessed than the people we went to bless because we saw them LIVING their faith, one day at a time. One Filipino pastor said:
FAITH is Food Always In The House! AMEN!
THE BIBLE IS MORE THAN JUST A BEST SELLER BOOK!
A BLUE PRINT– The BIBLE is the BLUE PRINT of God’s Plan and Purpose for Man. It is revealed within the pages of Genesis to Revelation. It is the history of man’s beginning and his ending. God is the Master architect and builder in whose hands are the details of His Eternal Kingdom that He is preparing for all those who choose to be a part of it.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 1Cor 2:9-10
A MAP- As a MAP, A MASTER MAP, the BIBLE connects where man originated and migrated with races and nations of people, tracking them to the present day on current geo-political maps. The Bible is as current as today’s world news, so that careful study of the prophetic books and warnings of Jesus Himself tell us exactly what is happening in the world. Briefly, the Bible describes the breakdown of society and man’s leadership; what is yet to come; the location of the final world war and line up of nations that will side against Israel, and where the largest world assembly will be held at the end of man’s rule (Zech 8:3; Micah ch. 4:1-2).
A COMPASS AND GPS (Global Positioning System)- The BIBLE serves as our COMPASS to point us in the right direction. It is important to know how to read a compass correctly or you will get lost! When I was a teen, our family went on a cross-country trip in the U.S. Shortly after we started out we went 100 miles off course because of not holding the map right and having the compass needle pointing to True North. A compass is needed to show the way to our destination. Making wrong choices will result in wrong turns, dead ends, obstacles and getting into strange and/or dangerous situations. So the compass works together with the map to get our bearing 1)to see where we are, and to know which direction we’re headed to get where we want to go.
The GPS of the modern age of technology allows us to use our car or iPhone to follow a route to a desired location. The GPS game, ‘Geo Caching’ that is played all over our island and world-wide is a fun, hide-and-seek game of treasure hunting. Our family has had a lot of fun going to unusual places all over the island of Oahu to find some of the treasures by following clues from the Internet. God’s COMPASS/GPS are very exacting, essential for going on a treasure hunt, looking for the blessings and rewards He has for those who love and obey Him. Our clues are found in the Word of God, the Bible. It is God who sets the standards and we have to go by His game rules. The wonderful thing about the Bible is that as a map and compass and GPS, it helps us to find our way to God and eternal life. Without the Bible, we would all be lost!
We need to not only READ, but also STUDY the Bible to meet God’s approval, and not be ashamed of lacking understanding of God’s expectations of us.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2Tim 2:15
Do you want to be BLESSED? Then read your Bible and meditate on the scriptures!
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Psa 1:1-2
GOD BLESS YOU! Next Lesson- ‘WHY GOD’S WORD IS IMPORTANT’