On Faith and Spirituality: What Is The Bible For?

Everything in our world requires a manual to understand it.

The Bible is the written evidence, and instruction book, to understand God.

Surely if there is a God, he’d impress on his creation to write about him, yes?
Some people believe in the Mystical forces of Nature communing with us.  Through ancestors, through nature, through the elements around us– why wouldn’t the Creator of the Universe whisper to the hearts willing to hear him?  Why couldn’t we attribute the callings and impressions to BE from that Creator?

The bible records several key moments when Man communed intimately with God, and God reached out to Man.

In recent centuries, Science and philosophy has done a number on drawing mankind away from the concept of God.  The need for God.

The bible is not a history book.  Or a science book.

It has one purpose.  That purpose is to study and understand the amazing, powerful El who has created all things, lives and breathes in all things, and to equip the followers of Christ with what they need to understand.

It is foolishness, Paul states in Corinthians.  It doesn’t make a lot of sense that we’re stuck here on the planet, with an invisible God somewhere across the Universe, watching over us.  And the only way to get to this God is by believing in Him and His son, Jesus Christ.
In the book of Job, that God, somewhere across the Universe, stands up and says WHO are YOU – little man – that you can know me?  ((Job 39-41))

Job was without the bible.  He had the oral traditions of his fathers, and his Faith.
For 6,000 years, people have been believing in God.  For 6,000 years they’ve been passing down the oral and written accounts of that God.  And in the early turn of a new Era, less than 2,000 years ago, it was decided that God’s word would be in the hands of the people.  He moved on the hearts of man, and together they decided which written scripts, carefully preserved through years and years of re-recording, would end up canonized to become what we call today, The Holy Bible.  The Word Of God.

One, CONSISTENT invisible being, after shedding the blood of his own son, gave mankind a book so they could learn about Him, get to know Him.  Understand Him-even if just a little-and come back to Him and his undying love.

His words are consistent.  Sin separates us from Him.  But following hard and fast after Him is enough to save our broken souls.

In our broken, hurting world, it’s obvious none of the religions we’ve established for ourselves are getting us anywhere.  Perhaps if we turned Religion aside, and just spend time studying the Bible, taking it at Face Value for what it is – the written account of the Creator of the Universe, and treated it as the Manual to understanding God, we could finally grasp a handle on Hope.  On what is Right, and what is Wrong.

Stop picking and choosing what you want to read, and contorting it into reasons why you DON’T want to follow God.  If you truly want to know, then read beyond the book of Dueteronomy.  Read the books of the prophets.  Read the New Testament.  Read the first four books of the New Testament.  Anybody can pick up a manual, read the first five chapters, and claim they understand the whole picture.

That’s not what the Bible was designed for.  The Bible was designed to study.  To cross reference.  To examine.  To underline.  To search.  To know.

And God says you don’t need more scripture beyond that book to know who he is.  Because HE established the writing of it.

 

Either you take it.  Or you leave it.  It’s a personal biography of a great and mighty God, who exists beyond the Universe.  And it’s there.  For you.
Don’t know where to start?  Start with Jesus.  Start with Ephesians.  Start with Romans.  Start with Proverbs. Start with someone you know.  Start alone.  Wherever you start, don’t let what you’ve already decided get in the way.
Read it for yourself.  God is so much more than the box Liberal America has Him in.
Discover it for yourself.  You never know what will come from opening the pages.

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Ascribe To The Lord What Is The Lords

He has carried our hearts, our pain and anguish.
He has done great things for us and instructed us in the ways we should go.
His staff protects us from the things that would hurt us.
In Him is life, hope, light and love.
Without Him these things cannot exist.
Because of His great love for us, He wrapped himself in flesh and came to the World to know us.
Because of His great love for us, He came to understand our pain, our heartache and our agony.

Because He stepped down from heaven, we have the freedom to come before Him and ask of Him anything we need, and He will provide according to how great our needs are.

Sometimes it’s just a gentle, “I’m here.”
Sometimes it’s the money to get by.
Sometimes it’s the hope that He’s got us covered and nothing is going to hold us back from the great things He has planned for us.

His hand stretches to the end of the universe, He put them there.
He greatness is more than we could imagine, and His plans are better than ours could ever be.

Ascribe to God what He does, don’t mistake His Will for yours, stand firm in righteousness and never, never let go of the Promises He has made to you.

What is the core of Doctrine in Christianity?

That Jesus Christ was the son of God, who was wrapped in flesh to be born of a virgin to walk on the earth with mankind, establish the New Covenant and die on a cross for the redemption of ALL Creation, and HE is the only way to heaven.

Every evangelical denomination will hold to this core teaching.

There are many other “Doctrines” in Christianity today.
From the “Core Doctrine” to the “Lesser Doctrine” of the Baptist churches, the sixteen fundamental truths of the Assemblies of God, to five point Calvinism, EVERY evangelical denomination will claim they believe Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and He is Lord over all creation.

But, the Values of the Bible, the Teachings of Christ, the books of the Prophets, Apostles, Moses and the Jewish Law, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the work of the Spirit, whether or not God speaks, the Redemption of Israel, the Tribulation, THE BIBLE ITSELF, have all been misinterpreted, taken out of context, and twisted into heretical opinions and teachings.

With so many voices screaming around us, and so many different opinions flying through the air, what do you believe?  Who is right, and who is wrong?

How do you tell what is “of God” and what is not in a time when the Body of Christ is divided against itself?

I am non-denominational in my “church” standings.  I lean towards the Baptist denomination, because they’re the ones that have it the most “right”.  They don’t have everything right, but they believe the Bible is the authority of Mankind, even if individual churches don’t believe everything in it to be true.  Like Calvinists, they are REALLY good at using the Bible to back up all of their points.  Which is awesome!  I Timothy 3:16-17  “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

But what I’m having trouble with is the legalistic, close-minded approach many individual congregations take to the Scriptures.  Everyone has their own “boxes” they fit God and the Spirit into.  What I find in many churches (especially some of the fundamental, traditional Baptist churches, Bible churches, and some other denominations) is that they go BY the bible, and only the bible.  The Spirit doesn’t have the freedom to move inside of the church and create a broader spectrum for Believers to grasp and understand.

Just because God saw to it that the Torah, the Jewish Chronicles and Histories, the Hebrews Psalms, the writings of Solomon, the books of the Prophets, the accounts of Christ, and the letters to the Churches were all bound together in a canonized book, so there would be no more confusion and carpal-tunnel from faithful scribes recording the letters over and over again…..  Just because God saw fit to give mankind these things in ONE book, He did not negate His right to move in the Spirit and reveal even greater things to the World.
Now, I don’t want to sound like a Universalist here, I believe FIRMLY that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to Salvation (John 14:6) , and the Holy Spirit is the Seal of our Salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14).
However, I do believe that there is more prophecy, beyond the Bible, that God has for America, Australia, New Zealand…. If you haven’t noticed, the Cradle of Civilization was all in the Middle East.  All of the Old Testament prophecies are in relation to the coming Messiah, and the Nations surrounding Israel.  (Save for Daniel and Ezekiel, which have prophecies marking the end of days, and do include the rest of the world at times. E.g. the vision of the statue made in different materials, which was fulfilled through the Egyptian, Greek, Persian, Roman, and British empires, and still today with the bits of clay here and there.  And Ezekiel where the wars and rumors of wars are prophesied about that will take us into the end of days… and beyond, when every man in Israel will have a job for the next thirty years after the War of the Lamb [in Revelation 19], during the 1000 year reign where Jesus comes down to rule the earth)
I believe that there are SO MANY THINGS God has to say to individual believers.  And the reason why He says we need two or three prophets in the Church to agree and affirm a Prophecy given to one of them (I Corinthians 14:29) is to test whether the Word is from the Spirit.  Based off of the Consistency of God lined out in the Scriptures, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can know whether or not a Word from a Prophet is true.

Since controversies arise in relation to the Gift of Prophecy and the active calling of Prophets, (as well as what I call paranoia of False Prophets) most believers (especially again the fundamental traditionalists, who claim the Bible is *all* we need from God) will deny the existence of it, and use I Corinthians 13:8-9 as an excuse to ignore they exist.  (They also use I Corinthians 13:8-9 as a reason to cut down the gift of Tongues.  But they haven’t exactly studied it to put it into context either.  I have a study on it that I will be posting later)
If God really did end these gifts, then why does He go on, through Paul, into Chapter 14 to tell the Believers how they should use Prophecy and Tongues?

These practices remind me of the Amish and their way of shutting out the World to keep from straying from God.

Should a Christian box off their mind and God, telling Him that He can only work the way THEY want Him to, or should they believe that God wont give them more they can handle, and slowly stretch their Faith in Him?
I didn’t come to believe everything I did in one night.  God stretched me, grew me and gave me understanding a little at a time.  Jesus grew in Wisdom and Stature, little by little.  I mean, He was Jesus – He already KNEW everything because He was Deity wrapped in flesh, but even so, the writer of Luke says even Jesus grew in Wisdom.

I promise you God wont lead you astray.  If the Bible is His Word, written as Holy Men of God were carried along by the Holy Spirit (I Peter 1:20-21), then He isn’t going to act outside of what has already been Established by the Old Testament, and the Gospels of Christ.  Jesus HIMSELF quoted the Law and the Prophets again, and again.  They already knew the Truth, because they’d been told generation after generation the stories of the people who had gone before them, and the great and wonderful things God had done for the Children of Israel.

If God incarnate, wrapped up in flesh, did not try to lead the people astray in His own teachings, but re-established God’s Word again and again, then wouldn’t the Holy Spirit do the same with you?

Don’t let Fear hold you back from serving God the way He designed you to serve Him.

*I* worship God in Nature, in Worship, in Dance… With the Elements.  I don’t worship the Elements, I worship and serve the Creator of the Created things 🙂
I don’t hinder the Spirit, and I go and do where He leads.  I speak as He prompts, and I trust that His Word will not return to Him void. (Isaiah 55:11)

Only the Lord knows the hearts of Mankind (I Samuel 16:7), yes?  Let your heart trust and rely on a God who has remained the same from the Beginning of Time until now.
The One that will never Leave or Forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6)
The One that Knows the Plans He has for you (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
The One that give you Strength when you can’t go on (Isaiah 40:29)

Stop relying on the teachings of Man, only capturing pieces of the Word of God.  Study it for yourself and let the Spirit guide you into the Truth that you seek.  Mankind was given the responsibility to spread God’s Word.  They’ve been doing it for over 2000 years now.  Since it was given to Humans, Humans have contorted Scripture to say what they will it to.  Human teachings have created controversies in the Church and division among the Body.

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15 NASB
Another version translates it into “Carefully Study”.
Either way, ask, seek and knock, and the doors will be open to understanding deeper what so many choose to never look for at all.

Three Wisemen In Search Of A King

Do you know, the Wisemen did not find Jesus until “the Child” was about two and a half/three years old?
They’d been in pursuit of the star for a really, REALLY long time before they made it to the King of Kings.
On top of that, they /followed/ this star.
These Wisemen were magicians ((magi is short for the word we translate into “Magician”)).
In bible times that meant that they were stargazers. They studied the heavens and kept continual watch over what was going on in the night sky.
They could tell you everytime a star moved, everytime a star vanished, how the planets moved, charted eclipses, watched the moon phases… and they probably figured out the earth was round before Galileo. But anyway.
So these wisemen one day notice something really special happening on the heavens. A star has appeared, and it’s greater than all of the other ones.
They get together, discuss it, and search to find out what it means.
Prophecy after prophecy is uncovered and suddenly!!

……………..

……………..

……..They find it!!

A King is born, peace on earth, Angels sing.
They chart the skies, buy gifts and set out to follow this star.

And they follow it.

…..and follow it.

…..and follow it…….

One of them turns to the other and asks, “Is it just me or does that star keep moving?”
They agree it is, slightly frustrated I’m sure…. but they keep following.

Imagine what it must have been like traveling for two years, following a star, in search for a baby king?
Can you grasp the concept of what people might have thought of them?
But they PURSUED despite the desert, the heat, the winter… until their faith was rewarded and they found the toddler, and his parents in a small house, living as a quiet family, raising the Savior of the World.

How many of you would suffer two years of travel and ridicule in pursuit of Christ?
They stopped in to King Herod, thinking that Herod might know of a baby prince. When Herod did not, they kept looking…

…and when they found Him, they rejoiced together and declared the King of Kings had come to save the world, and then they went back to their home lands.

Funny end to that story.
Pursuit for two years, and then they go home.What happened to them is a mystery left to the veil.

But what about you?
When you connect with the awaited Christ, what will you do about it?
And if you already have…. are you telling everyone?

The Image Of God

“How long, O you sons of men, will you turn my Glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood?” Psalms 4:2

After living and relishing the lies that I wasn’t good enough for so many years, and loving and embracing the feeling of worthlessness, God has begun to wake up my sleeping, broken heart to tell me who I am and what I am expected to become.

This verse was the first that God took me to when I pulled out the new NKJV bible my mom recently gave me.

Did you know that as a human being, you ARE the Glory of God?
And every time you treat yourself with contempt, you shame that Glory.
Every self-inflicted burden, every self-inflicted lie, every self-inflicted pain…. anything that makes you feel inferior is shaming the Glory of God.
YOU have been made in His image, and because of that, you HAVE worth, you HAVE a purpose, and you have a reason to live.
The Lord has set you apart for Himself, and He will hear when you call to Him, because you are important.

How do you love worthlessness?

I am a pain addict. I revel in worthlessness and feeling like I’m not good enough. I’m very prone to inflicting myself with emptiness and filling my emotions with depression and things that will make me feel less and less like a human being, and more like a vapor that will disappear and no one will notice.
Sometimes I seek the people or things that will feed me the lies to encourage my worthlessness.

But I am the image of the Glory of God!
“Male and Female, in His image, He created them.” Gen. 1:27
In Genesis 1:26-27 He said “in [my, our, His] Image” three times.
We radiate the Glory of God, and every time we degrade ourselves, we put the Glory of God to shame!

“Do not call unclean what the Lord has made clean.” Acts 10:15
Because of the bloodshed of Jesus Christ, the deity whose image WE bear, we have been made Holy. So why do we live in worthlessness?
Why do we crave the emptiness?
Why do we desire to be hopeless and broken?

When Pain Becomes Too Hard To Bear

What words are there when no one knows what to say?

Someone will always crack a comment.  One that will sting.

Someone will remark with something unfeeling, heartless, or even just plain apathetic.

Someone will try to be sympathetic, but fail to say what everyone is wanting to hear.

Another will see it as an opportunity to preach about how we don’t know our hour, and we need Jesus – when we don’t even know if the one we’ve all come to mourn made it to heaven.

Maybe no one will cry.

Maybe no one will even remember.

But regardless, it will effect all of us the same way.

What makes people so hateful?  What makes them hurt so much that they take it out on each other?  What makes them think they are any better than the one that sits next to them in class?  If we all live, we all hurt.
But we don’t all deal with it the same way.

Little girl, I am sorry that it hurt so much that you couldn’t handle it anymore.
I will cry, and I will remember.  And I will do what it takes to not let another soul go without knowing that somebody cared.

When life becomes so hard that somebody takes their own life, the blame game is easy to get into.

Blaming yourself for not caring enough.

Others saying they deserved it.

Blaming God for not caring enough to stop it.

Blaming yourself for not doing anything to stop it.

At first the emotion is numb.  You don’t know what to feel, you don’t know what to think… all you can do is soak in the shock.
If you’d only known… but how could you?

If you’d only seen… but seen what?

What was the last straw?  How many had there been before?

Why do people have to hurt each other so much?

It doesn’t matter now what happened, the point is it did.
What are you going to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again?

There is Love.  We must share it with those who hurt.
There is Hope.  We must give it to those longing for it.
There is always a way out.  Are you willing to be the one who will make a difference?

Jesus said, “There is no greater love than this, that a man would lay down his life for his friends.”
If you call each other friends, how can you lay down your life, so they don’t give up theirs.