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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Unknown word of God

Now that you’ve read the Bible for many years, what can you do anymore with it? The Scriptures has only 66 books within its covers; the New Testament has been searched through, forward and backward, for 2,000 years and the Old for 3,500. Isn’t it time to move on to something else?

This seems to be the common attitude toward the Bible today. Few pore over it anymore. Few find any relevance in it to 21st century life. The Word of God doesn’t appear worthy of further thought for multitudes throughout Protestantism. Sure it is dusted off and carried to church periodically. Some enjoy the Psalms or the old Gospels. And every Christian claims the Bible. But, the Psalms and Gospels are largely read like a prayer book; among those who read the Bible, essentially it is ignored almost in its entirety. “We already know all that stuff,” is the popular theme.

Because of that, other attempts are made to interest the multitudes in the Holy Word. Fictional works that include biblical persons, places, and things are conjured up; B-rated movies try to portray sacred history; Hollywood animates Bible stories that aren’t even close to 100% true, but are action-packed and noisy to grab the attention of the younger ages that feed on television.

All of these make the attempt to resuscitate the Bible from its grave. The ancient Holy Writ is considered to be obsolete, a needed thing only of the past. Now that civilization has moved into the nuclear and computer age, stories of sticks and stones and people dressed in mantles and semi-burkas and ephods cannot give us any guidance, even if they do come from something considered a holy book. Thus the word of God is set aside by the Christian world.

Protestantism, at one time, lived by and died for that Book. In America especially, the words of the Bible were heard so often in the ears of the populace, that we have, passed down to us, many idioms of our culture that use King James Version phrases built right into our every day speech. Few atheists realize they are quoting Scripture so often.

“Skin of my teeth” (Job 19:20), “count the cost” (Lk. 14:28), “the stroke” (Ez. 24:16), “the writing on the wall” (Dan. 5:5), “safe and sound” (Lk. 15:27), etc. just to name a few; not to mention expletives and some crude sayings. So far, I’ve counted 53 KJV secularized idioms. I found another one just the other day, “fell flat on his face.” It comes from Numbers 22:31. When Balaam, running after his reward for curses on Israel, saw the angel with a sword about to destroy him, “he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.”

So, what do we do with all this seemingly useless information that has been rehashed many thousands of times over? Can we squeeze more information out of the Bible? Or must we relegate our minds to gather dust and become antiquated and stiff from lack of use, because we have simply gone over the same old stories and verses again and again?

No, certainly not! The Bible is fresh and new every morning!

Let us meditate on what we’ve studied and let the Holy Spirit connect the dots for us. In our common every day lives, we learn interesting information all the time. We’re never bored, even though we see the same people, places, and things our whole life long. Why not? How is this? Because there are endless combinations of the data we have gathered which provides fuel for conversations that are ever new. The same idea works for the sacred Scriptures.

If a person knows 5 facts from the Bible, he can work them into 25 different thoughts and lessons for life. This is especially notable when realizing that the Bible characters were real people with real life situations just like ours today. Their lives were so much like ours! Nothing really ever changes. Human nature and the human plight have not changed; God has not changed, and neither has Satan.

So if you know 100 different principles and individuals and circumstances from your reading and study of the Bible over the years, then you have access to 10,000 (100 X 100) combinations, each one representing one biblical tidbit connected to another one. And you have 1 million (100 X 100 X 100) combinations if you start putting 3 scriptural datum together. The Bible admonition is to use 2 or 3 witnesses to establish every truth, anyway. And most people, even children, know at least 10 things in the Bible.

So let’s begin to harness the infinite potential at our disposal. The Holy Spirit will help us in the new exciting adventure. Let the information we’ve learned gel in our brains while we meditate on the word of God and allow His Spirit to make it become powerfully alive and practical, filling our minds full of wonderful big-picture concepts. Let us eschew the very dangerous practice called, Spiritual Formation, which teaches just the opposite of what the Bible says to do, leading its adherents to blank out the mind of everything except a few peaceful images, and then allows the devils to be channeled. This is becoming a new popular exercise in the Christian churches and religious institutions.

Instead, let’s let the Holy Spirit fill our thoughts with holy Scriptures of an infinite variety, connected and related in some fashion to create a deeper, fuller knowledge of God’s character, “for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.” (Rom. 1:17).

In the field of revelation are hid the unsearchable riches of Christ. As yet we have only come in possession of the most accessible treasures, and yet many have settled down, feeling that they are rich and increased in goods, and in need of nothing. Every part of the field of revelation is to be diligently explored, and searched with persevering effort, in order that precious jewels of truth may reward the diligent seeker, and may be restored to their proper framework in the plan of redemption. Let the shaft sink deep into the mines of truth. If you come to the searching of the Scriptures with contrition of soul, with a humble, teachable spirit, rich and precious treasures will reward your search. Signs of the Times, August 14, 1893.

Through His written word, loved and dwelt upon, you can “know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Eph. 3:19).

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