Monday, November 24, 2008

Knowing the scriptures

Good morning. This is a devotional for single adults from Parenting Solo, but the message also applies to single adults without children who may one day marry a single parent and be a step-parent. Feel Free to forward it to a friend.

Scripture: John 7:16-19 (The Message) Jesus said, “What I teach comes from the One who sent me. Anyone who wants to do his will can test his teaching and know whether it’s from God or whether I’m making it up. A person making things up tries to make himself look good. But someone trying to honor the one who sent him sticks to the facts and doesn’t tamper with reality. It was Moses, wasn’t it, who gave you God’s law? But none of you are living it.”

Jesus had been teaching in Galilee during the Feast of Tabernacles, an annual event with the Jews. The people were arguing over whether Jesus was genuine or a fraud. The talk ranged from “He’s a good man” to “He’s selling us snake oil.” (vs. 12, 13) Jesus heard the quibbling and defended himself. The key to his defense was that he wasn’t trying to puff himself up, he was simply telling the truth from the Word Moses. Jesus was upset that few seemed to be living up to the law.

This is an apropos message for any pastor or teacher: Stick to the truth and don’t strut around promoting yourself, trying to make yourself look important. A humble teacher is the best kind in God’s eyes. Teachers and pastors who spend hours studying the word and looking for new and creative ways to teach pleases God. You don’t have to teach in front of an auditorium full of saints and sinners to honor God. Leading a Bible study in your living room is pleasing to God.

There is a simple way to determine if a pastor or teacher (or anyone for that matter) is using scriptures accurately. Does his message line up with what the Word says? Whether lessons come from the Old Testament or New Testament is irrelevant. What matters is that lessons agree with what scriptures say. The message must line up. One thing we can count on with the Bible is accuracy and consistency. Everything Jesus taught came from the teachings of Moses and the prophets. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can add the life of Christ in the New Testament to our studies.

The only way to know if someone is using scriptures accurately is to constantly be in the Word. That’s why God wants us to read and meditate on the Bible daily. With study comes wisdom and reverence for God. Reverence for God requires us to know scripture. A good, healthy Bible study necessitates people sharing their own knowledge. While it’s OK to say “This is what I think it means,” what is more important is what the author meant or God meant? Applying God’s word to our daily living means obedience, which is what God expects from us.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, help me to honor you with knowing what scripture says. Help me open your Word every day and study it. Help me to know you more. Amen

Doug Mead
Parenting Solo

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Vol. 3, No. 161

This week’s reading plan can be found at http:/

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