The End of Time Will Have to Wait Until I Get Organized

I really need to clean out my basement.  My dearest friend noted to me upon a recent lament of the trouble I have getting started on this project, “C.A., you’ve been telling me you are going to do that for ten years.  It’ll keep for another ten.”  And so it goes.  I find one excuse after another for not starting; my back aches today; I have a blog to write; I have to fertilize the lawn and I will be too tired after that; there’s going to be a comet tonight; now I will be working for the Census for a couple months; that last one should be good until September!

2020-07-18 ReadingAnother project is to organize my library, or as it currently is called, my stacks of books.  Since I could not find a book I was looking for now I have new excuse for not cleaning my basement – I have to find this book, and I may as well get the library organized in order to do so.

Today was going to begin a few blogs on end times, what theologians call “eschatology,” and what the rest of us call, “what in blazes is going to happen!?”  But then I went looking for a friend’s book, Zechariah by Dr. Ronald Gifford, and could not find it!  (Don’t you just love theologians’ sense of whimsy when they name their books!? 😉 )  This is the same friend who is suspicious of my ability to organize my basement.  (Okay, to be fair, the full title of Ron’s book is Zechariah: A Gift of Vision.)

The Gold Mine by Dr. James Christie is what inspired my desire to blog on end times.  In a recent email to Jim, I asked for information on how to get more copies of his self-published book:  “I just finished reading The Gold Mine again and plan to blog on some of its concepts in coming months.  However, I wanted to provide readers with a link to purchase the book, and the only one I could find on Amazon wants $920.99 for the one copy of the first edition available.  Any possibility of buying some copies from you for a little less?  There are about 10 people to whom I would like to give copies on my dime, but not at $921/copy!  No lie, that’s how it was listed, but they must have sold that copy to someone who thought it was about how to get rich.  How ironic. 😂

Well, The Gold Mine is not available in print, but you can download the pdf of the book here, which Dr. Christie has made available on the tag line, “the more readers, the better.” He simply believes that these ideas need to be noticed, and he told me he has updated some revisions in chapters four and five.

And I am reading Epicenter by Joel Rosenberg which is also about end times, and even though it was written in 2006 and updated in 2008, it still reads like newspaper headlines with what may happen very soon.  If you are not into his novels you can skip the first two chapters and start “Connecting the Dots” in chapter three.  Rosenberg’s analyses in his blogs are always insightful and captivating to read.  (The novels are reeeally good!)

Two other texts on end times are worth mentioning here before I start organizing my library: Approaching Hoofbeats by Billy Graham and The Apocalypse by Joseph A. Seiss.  Graham’s text is basically an extension of his mission of evangelism but he provided some easy reading and narrative that informs the reader of possible understanding of part of the book of Revelation.  Siess on the other hand is for intense study with careful theological analysis of the last book of the New Testament, not light reading by any stretch.  Though my link is to a free pdf of his lectures, you can order a hardcover from Amazon for $948.00 (??Really, does anyone believe this price?)

Well, while you check out these books, I’ll start organizing my library.  I just hope I can get this done and the basement cleaned out before it won’t matter any more.  And who knew that pdf actually stands for Portable Document Format?  Not me, until today.

The Choice of Ways So Small, The Event So Great

When I was a child the Good News of the Gospel was usually couched in fear that if you did not “get right with God” you would go to hell; basically, cosmic fire insurance.  We were told in no uncertain terms that we must repent of our sin, which seemed to mean to confess it to God (fortunately not to anyone else!) and He would forgive the bad stuff we had done.  Not very good for Good News.

These days the word “repentance” is hardly ever uttered from pulpits in America, so much so that I do not recall the last time I heard it in a meeting of the church.  (This does not mean it was not discussed; I may have missed it or be forgetting a sermon or two.)  The focus appears to be on the wonderful plan God has for your life and surrendering your will to His.  Just figure out what God wants you to do and allow Him to work it out through you.  Mostly this seems to come from one Dr. Z. Hodges of Dallas Theological Seminary who wrote in the 1970s:

“One of the most striking facts about the doctrine of repentance in the Bible is that this doctrine is totally absent from John’s gospel. There is not even so much as one reference to it in John’s twenty-one chapters… Since John’s Gospel omits the message of repentance, are we to conclude that its gospel is not the biblical gospel after all? The very idea carries its own refutation. The fourth evangelist explicitly claims to be doing evangelism (John 20:30-31). It is not the theology of the gospel of John that is deficient; it is the theology found in lordship salvation.”

This sounds all well and good, but the fact that John’s gospel does not mention “repentance” is hardly justification for eliminating this doctrine of historic Christianity.  In fact several points of reasoning show this “theology in lordship salvation” is erroneous and at times downright dangerous.  The result is people who attend church, sing the worship songs and lead in prayer, and then promptly go out and live as though God was not aware of them; at least, they certainly seem unaware of Him!

Repentance means “turning away.”  Plain and simple, it means stop doing what you are doing that is displeasing to God.  It is more than just accepting another plan; it is more than just remorse (Hebrews 12:15-17); it is more than just regret (Matthew 27:3-5).  This is not an attempt to bring back “fire insurance” salvation, but to balance the idea of Jesus’ lordship with the fact that we cannot honor Him as Lord and behave the way we did before.  We must be willing as C.S. Lewis says to go back to where we first left the path.  “Progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer.  If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.”

First, the Gospel of John is not the only book the apostle wrote.  Repentance is featured heavily in the Revelation where five of the seven churches of Asia are told to repent.  Ephesus (2:5), Pergamum (2:16), Thyatira (2:22), Sardis (3:3) and Laodicea (3:19) are each issued dire warnings if they refuse to repent.  Refusal to repent is justification for severe judgment in Revelation 9:20-21 and 16:9-11 for those outside the Church.

Further, in John’s letters, although the word “repentance” is again missing, its concept is not.  He goes so far as to say, “the one who makes a practice of sinning is of the devil,” and that one who is born of God “cannot keep on sinning.” (1 John 3:4-10)  Not abiding in the teaching of Christ is paramount to not having God at all! (2 John 9; 3 John 11)  The same can be said of John’s Gospel.  Just read John 3 and try to understand being born again without the repentance clearly called for in 3:16-21!

Furthermore, the argument from absence of “repentance” in John’s gospel is a logical fallacy based on an argument from ignorance, similar in informal logic to the argument from silence.  The Apostle John also never mentions God’s grace in the gospel.  Are we to conclude that we should avoid teaching about grace because of its absence from one book?   One could just as easily contend that because the word “love” does not appear in the Acts of the Apostles, it must not matter to fulfilling the Great Commission.

Lastly, the Gospel of John is one of 66 books in the mini-library that is the Bible (see January 25, 2015).  It is not difficult to do a word search for various words of significance to our relationship with God and find several books that do not mention any of them: justification, sanctification, love, grace, peace, joy, etc.  Our understanding of these themes must be developed based on the “whole counsel” (1 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-21) of the Scriptures.

The Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, and yes, even Jesus all began their service to the Kingdom with calls to repentance (Matthew 4:17).  Jesus said, “there will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine who do not need repentance.” (Luke 15:7)

Biblically, “repentance” that does not result in a change of direction is clearly not repentance.  John the Baptist commanded his listeners to behave in a way that showed they had repented (Luke 3:10-14)  It is not just a change of mind, but a change of mind that results in a change of action.  We will behave according to what we really believe. (See April 19, 2015, Do You Agree or Do You Believe?)

This is not written smugly as though I have found an answer to sin and if you do not, you can go to . . .; God help me if I ever forget the pit from which he brought me.  My heart is for you, dear reader, that you will find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16), strength from Outside yourself to be transformed by the renewal of your mind (Romans 12:2) that will result in a change of heart so that you will be able to worship Jesus as Lord without faking it (Acts 8:20-23).

Nearly they stood who fall;
Themselves as they look back
See always in the track
The one false step, where all
Even yet, by lightest swerve
Of foot not yet enslaved,
By smallest tremor of the smallest nerve
Might have been saved.

Nearly they fell who stand,
And with cold after fear
Look back to see how near
They grazed the sirens’ land.
Wondering what subtle fate,
By threads so spidery fine,
The choice of ways so small, the event so great
Should thus entwine.

Therefore oh, man, have fear
Lest oldest fears be true,
Lest thou too far pursue
The road that seems so clear,
And step, secure, a hair’s
Breadth past the hair-breadth border
Which, being once crossed forever unawares,
Denies return.
the Guide in Pilgrim’s Regress by C.S.Lewis

Why Go To Church Meetings?

Why should we go to church meetings?  Well, there is the obvious: the Bible commands it.  Hebrews 10:25 says we should not neglect meeting together, and that this becomes increasingly  important as we see The Day approaching.  But there are two major reasons for going to a meeting of the church and a bunch of other ones (that I will not dare to call “minor!”).

We used to sing a song, “I Don’t Know What You Came To Do” that attempted to answer this question back in the ancient times of the 70s.  The words of the original were very simple:
“I don’t know what you came to do,
I came to praise the Lord.”
Then there would be a bridge with “Allelu, allelu, allelu-u-ia.”
A creative alternative to verses in a church meeting I attended once had additional verses, but all centered on worship:
“Some people come just to show off their clothes,
But I came to see the Lord.”
This was followed by:
“Some people come just to talk to their friends,
But I came to hear from the Lord.”
And a couple other verses that followed this theme.

IMG_5417.JPGSo one of the beneficial reasons for gathering with other followers of Jesus Christ is to worship him in corporate fashion.  There is something tremendously uplifting to hear an anthem choir sing, whether it is patriotic songs, Broadway show tunes or love songs.  But when the object of that anthem singing is a friend and lover, a savior and healer, one who loves you more than His own life, prestige, privilege or comfort . . . and when the anthem in sung from the hearts of a large group of people, there is something overwhelming in it.  It lifts you into a preview of Revelation 5:9-14!  Beyond that are times of corporate prayer, either led by someone or simply everyone joining together to talk with the Lord.

There are two major reasons, though, for gathering with a meeting of the church.  The first is simply because sometimes I need the encouragement of others struggling with the same things with which I struggle.   They may at times be further along than me in following Jesus and can tell me how to listen more carefully to His voice, what He is teaching them in their conversations, and what “the Spirit is saying to the churches”  (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 12, 22).  Their “ears” are simply better attuned than mine.

Along with this is solid Bible teaching from scholars who study the history and cultural contexts of the Scripture’s human authors.  Their insights can often make a difference in how I understand certain passages of the Bible.

An example of this is what Ron Gifford once explained about loving our enemies.  Proverbs 25:21-22 instructs us:
“If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
for you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward
you.”
Paul reiterates this instruction years later in his letter to the Romans in 12:19-21:
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Now when I was a kid, I heard this expressed as a wonderful way to make an enemy suffer!  Like the old adage, “Smile; it’ll make your enemies wonder what you are up to,”  my understanding of these verses was that by being kind, my enemy would wonder what I was scheming and would become suspicious, always looking over his shoulder for when I would get even with him; his life would become a constant misery because I had been nice!

However, when a historian explained this in its cultural context, I realized I had a lot of growing up in Christ to do!  You see in the times in which Solomon and Paul lived, they did not have matches or automatic lighters.  Fire was actually a precious commodity, especially for cooking or staying warm in cold months and for light at night.  When someone lacked a fire he could not cook his food, warm himself or light his path!

Coals of Fire on Their HeadsA common way of transferring fire was to put the hot embers in a large bowl and since heat rises, it was awkward to carry it in front of your body, so the bottom of the bowl would be wrapped and placed on ones’ head.  I learned from those wiser than me that my heart had some adjusting to do to come into line with what the Scripture actually taught about loving my enemies.

There is a second major reason for going to a meeting of the church.  Sometimes others need the encouragement I can offer because I have overcome some of the struggles with which they are struggling.  I may at times be further along in following Jesus than some others and can help them listen more carefully to His voice as He is teaching me stuff in our conversations.  My “ears” may be better attuned at times, and if I do not offer how God is guiding me, it reflects a selfishness that is less than Jesus wants from me.  This includes sometimes sharing insights that I have learned in Bible study . . . or from Ron 😉!

So among the many reasons for attending a meeting of the church: fellowship, Bible study, worship, friendship, mission sharing, etc,  there are two major reasons for going;
Sometimes I need it; Sometimes I am needed.

 

He Is! – 5. Disciplines of a Spirit-Led Life: Bible Reading and Study

Here is a man, Rear Admiral Barry Black, who knows God’s word.  This discipline is evident in his knowledge and delivery of Biblical truth in a very challenging setting: a National Prayer Breakfast, attended by many of different nationalities, different religious systems, different political parties, different world views.  Yet, he unapologetically affirms Who is in charge of kings’ hearts.  Here is a man who knows This Man in God’s word.

If you do not have 27 minutes for the entire sermon, listen at least to the last three and one-half minutes.  Scroll to 23 and tune in!

The exploration of the Bible is a life-long endeavor.  Talk to an old saint in a church who has a living relationship with Jesus and he or she will be able to tell you of new discoveries made in recent weeks in reading and studying the Bible.

Recall, the Bible is not just one book , but a small library of 66 books, most of which are very short.  The longest ones (except for Psalms) can be read in just a few hours in your “heart language,” that is the language in which you dream.

A more challenging project, but well worth the time and effort, is to read each book at a single sitting.  This takes some planning, because longer books such as Numbers or Isaiah may take a several hours due to unfamiliar content or length, but in my NIV, Numbers is just 55 pages and Isaiah is only 108 pages.  Many of the books are just a few pages long.

The point of reading each book (except for Psalms and Proverbs) at a single sitting is to get a clear overview of what the text says.  This can help avoid taking verses out of context and misusing the Bible to “prove one’s point of view.”  It allows the Bible to establish “the view” and lines us up with it, rather than coming to the book with a point of view and trying to establish that by forcing it on the Bible’s book.  Psalms and Proverbs are special exceptions to this idea, because of their content and organization, which makes reading each at a single sitting less valuable than reading these “devotionally.”

I have addressed Bible reading and study more thoroughly in previous blogs listed below, and introduced one of them with this caveat: “A Man (or Woman) of God will live a life Marked By Bible Reading and Study.  Be sure and understand, knowledge about God is not the same as knowing God.  This is an important distinction to make because far too many people think that because they can quote volumes of Scripture or name all 66 books of the Bible or discuss theology like a . . . well, a theologian, that they know God.”

So begin now, reading each day just three chapters of the Old Testament and one of the New Testament, and you can easily read the entire library of the Bible in 2017.  Along with this, plan for 66 times sometime during this year, to read each of the books at a single sitting.  And consider setting some time aside to really study some of the Bible’s literature.  It has some of the most exciting adventure stories, better than Marvel comics or Star Wars!  It’s love stories put Danielle Steele to shame.

Okay, some of it can be boring, like reading catalogues, but study of it can make even these parts come alive, when you realize what God was doing in the course of history!  So get a good commentary (free online!), and some literature helps and dive into a book that can give you eternal life, because it will testify about Him.  You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.”  (John 5:39)

See January 25, 2015, April 6, 2015, April 12, 2015, about this same subject, as well as April 26, 2015,  and May 17, 2015 and its following blogs on the Reliability of the Bible, ending with June 28, 2015.

So if you want to know “This Man” of the Bible, read it, study it, memorize it, meditate on it, live it, and get to know Him in times of prayer.

Next week, February 12, 2017, we’ll look away from these inward disciplines, to begin to view some of the outward Disciplines of the Spirit-led Life.

Marked by Love (Part 4 – to love an enemy)

It is important when considering LOVE as the Mark of a Man or Woman of God to remember that “it is not a mushy feeling or sentimental emotion.”  This is especially critical when considering the third aspect of this agape (uh-gop-ae) love which is offered to an enemy.  Loving one’s enemy is not easy!  Sometimes it means giving up our “rights,” sometimes it means giving Tough Love.  But it is the only way to change an enemy into a friend.  “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  MLKing, Jr.

As we have described in the previous blogs, it is clear that we should love our God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind.  This simply means considering our Heavenly Father in every decision in life, and talking with Him about everything and including Him in the processes.

Loving our families or spiritual brothers and sisters really should not be too much of a problem, assuming this is a mutual love in a family, and that our brothers and sisters accept many of the same precepts by which we live.  There will be differences and arguments, but we have a foundation of faith that we share that becomes the bedrock for building our relationships in love.

But what of the enemy we are commanded to love?  Jesus’ command in Matthew 5:43-44 bears repeating, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you!”  Does He expect us to allow an enemy to harm us, take advantage of us, even kill us?

There are some practical considerations to loving one’s enemy that must be considered or we can actually wind up disobeying other commands Jesus gave, such as Matthew 7:6, “Do not give that which is sacred to dogs; do not throw your pearls to pigs.”

There is so much on this topic that it certainly cannot be fully covered in a 1000 word blog, so I encourage you to use this blog as a prayer stimulus, to ask Father for wisdom and clarity on how to love your enemies, but we cannot ignore this clear command of Jesus and claim to be loving the Anointed One (John 14:15-24; 15:10).

I offer two scenarios for consideration: 1) when you are the target of an enemy, 2) when someone for whom you are responsible is the target.  Again, in real time and circumstances, these situations will call for more wisdom than can be gleaned from a brief blog.

1) When Jim Elliott and Nate Saint flew their tiny plane to visit the Auca Indians in South America, this fierce cannibalistic tribe was to be feared, so they carried long rifles.  But as they left, Nate’s son asked if they would kill the Indians if attacked.  Nate’s answer was profound: “If they kill us, we will go to Heaven, but if we shoot them, they will go to hell.”  He explained they were carrying the rifles only to scare the Indians if attacked.  It did not work.  Jim and Nate and their coworkers were murdered by the Indians, but the long story of it is that almost all the Indians came to accept the Gospel because of their heroic actions and unwillingness to dispatch their enemies to hell!

2) However, in Paul’s description of agape love, he says it “does not delight in evil . . . , always protects . . .”. In Esther we see this in the lives of the Jewish people who had been targeted for genocide by an enemy, but in an ironic twist of “fate” the Jews were provided an opportunity to defend themselves against those who would attack them.  Note, it was not a carte blanch permission to kill their enemies, but to defend themselves if attacked, that is to protect their families from their enemies (Esther 8:11).

For further consideration, let me encourage you to read some Scripture pertinent to loving one’s enemies.  From Exodus 23:4, the Jews were instructed to treat an enemy’s possessions the same way they would treat a brother’s; Job 31:29 suggests it is sinful to rejoice over an enemy’s misfortune or to say bad things against him; David spared his enemy’s life, not once, but on two occasions when he could have killed him and claimed it was the LORD’s provision (I Sam 24:10-19; 26:8-21).

On the other hand, Jesus, the epitome of LOVE, made a whip of cords and overturned business tables in the Temple!  Was he hateful or was it Tough Love? (John 2:13-22); Paul warned not to have fellowship with pagans (I Corinthians 10:20-21) and to have nothing to do with enemies of his message (Ephesians 5:11; II Timothy 3:5).

Finally, remember, as Lane Martin said, “Nothing happens to a Christ-follower; filtered by His love, it only happen for us.”  Your enemy has no power except what the Creator has allowed (Luke 10:19) and the issue is never on whose side God is, but rather on whose side are you? (Joshua 5:13-14).

You were once an enemy of God, but now He has made peace with God possible by His love (Colossians 1:21-23).  So “if it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with all men” (Romans 12:18) and remember Proverbs 16:7: “When the LORD takes pleasure in anyone’s way, He causes their enemies to make peace with them.”  Ezekiel gives us the last word on the Creator’s attitude toward His (and our) enemies:  Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?”  (Ezekiel 18:23).

Love the Creator, Love your family, Love your friends, and LOVE your enemies.  Let your life be Marked by LOVE.

Marked by Bible Reading and Bible Study (Part 1)

IMG_2557

A Man (or Woman) of God will live a life Marked By Bible Reading and Study. Be sure and understand, knowledge about God is not the same as knowing God. This is an important distinction to make because far too many people think that because they can quote volumes of Scripture or name all 66 books of the Bible or discuss theology like a . . . well, a theologian, that they know God.

IMG_7072But you could just as easily read all of Genghis Khan’s biographies, become an expert in the history of Mongolia, explore all the archeological digs, and become the world’s foremost authority on Genghis Khan, and you would still never know the man. After all, he is dead and gone, and all we can know is about him. You can never look into his eyes, share a meal together, talk over the day’s events, or know him by experience. In the same way, there are theologians who know much about God, but do not know Him. Be careful in reading and studying the Bible that you do not become like them.

Sugar BabyEven an infant knows his mother or daddy, though he cannot even speak their names. That is why we talked about prayer before Bible study. It is more important that you know the Creator than it is to know about Him. And He made this possible by revealing Himself through Jesus, the Christ, or Anointed One. He that comes to God “must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) All it takes to know Him is to “call on His name.” (Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21) And we will address later His name, but for now, just call on Him as you understand Him to be, Father, Creator, God, Jesus, Lord.

A man or woman who wishes to be a man or woman of God must read and study the Bible. One who does not read and study the Bible will be like a baby that never gets out of his crib nor learns to eat solid food. How sad when we see an adult, who because of mental disability remains an infant, always dependent on a caretaker to feed, bathe, clothe, and nurse him.

In John 4:32 Jesus told His disciples, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Paul later lamented about the Corinthians (I Corinthians 3:1-2), as did the writer of Hebrews, that when they should be eating solid food, he had to feed them with milk like babies (Hebrews 5:12-13). This leads us to recognize that milk is predigested food. This is what you are receiving when you attend a church where a pastor/teacher “feeds” you; he has fed on God’s word, eaten it, digested it, and now gives you milk. It is what you are receiving when you read this blog, or any other Bible scholar’s work; or when you attend conferences to learn from teachers.

Then what was Paul wishing he could give the Galatians as “solid food?” He wanted to give them assignments to do to expand God’s kingdom on earth. The author of Hebrews wanted them to be teachers instead of just hearers. Jesus “food” in John was that He was doing His Father’s will, accomplishing the things He was sent to do.

We begin to grow in grace and knowledge as we read the Bible (II Peter 3:16). It is God’s written word. His “markings” left for us to follow so that we can understand as much about Him as we are capable.

IMG_2559The Bible is NOT one book. It is a collection of books, most of which can be read aloud in less than four hours, more quickly if you read silently, some of which might take only a few minutes. This means that with good planning you could read the entire library we call the Bible in 66 days, reading just one book per day. In any case, if you plan your day for your job, your family, your responsibilities, your recreation, why not include some time to read the Bible? A few minutes a day will take you through the library in a year. Whether you read it aloud or silently, and whatever version or language you read, simply set aside some time so that a year from now, you will have read the entire Bible.

There is no particular order for reading. I recommend the “easier” books first, such as New Testament books about Jesus and letters to disciples. Then skip back to history books of the Old Testament (Joshua to Ester), and then the Wisdom Literature (Psalms to Ecclesiastes) and the Prophets. Finally, you can approach the books of the Law, Genesis through Deuteronomy as some of the more difficult passages. We will talk more in future blogs about times, methods and order of reading the books of the Bible.

Bible Study is another matter. There are many guides available in bookstores or online that can guide you in methods of study (of which there are several), and details of cultural and historical accuracy that will enhance your understanding. You may wish to study alone or with a group, but your activities should change with Bible study. If you only study for knowledge you run the risk of becoming “a blind guide for the blind” (Matthew 23:24), knowing more and more about Father, but knowing Him less and less.96

Study should be to develop a taste for the meat of the word, the assignments He will give you to share His word with unbelievers, with “new-born” disciples, and to serve others. Like newborn babies, desire the spiritual milk of the word so that you may grow up, and someday teach others (II Peter 2:2). Look for Bible reading and study to reveal more about Father to you, but more importantly, allow it to get into your spirit so you know Him better.

See April 6, 2015 for Part 2.