Archive for category Bible Study
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“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8,9
That sounds really spiritual, doesn’t it? Maybe that applies to you if you are a Jew – but certainly not if you are a Christian. Because if you are a Christian, then the Bible says that you have the mind of Christ:
“For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 2:16
Do you really think you can fulfill the Great Commission if your thoughts are lower than God’s thoughts and your ways are lower than His ways? If that were possible, then why would the Bible say that we have the mind of Christ? Why would we even need the mind of Christ? Praying and reinforcing the idea that God’s thoughts are higher than ours and His ways are higher than ours is a good way to try hard not to fulfill all that God has called you to do, as a Christian. Because God’s heart is for salvation, deliverance and healing for every human. So if He conceived that plan, only His thoughts and ways can achieve the fulfillment of these goals. If you don’t share His vision, think His thoughts and deploy His methods, there is no way to achieve these goals.
Maybe I’m preaching this to myself too, but if you want to fulfill the Great Commission, then the starting point is this:
- Learn to think (believe) like Jesus did; and
- Learn to walk (act) the way Jesus walked (acted).
That’s because the Old Testament saints – the Jews – did not have the Holy Spirit living inside of them. So they could not think or act like Jesus. But since we have the mind of Christ, and Jesus Christ and God the Father are one, our thoughts and ways are positionally the same as God’s. So the only thing we need to do is enforce that position in our lives. Once we get to doing that on a regular basis, we will be taking big strides to fulfilling God’s plan for our lives!
Are you on fire for the Gospel? Good, because you should be! Then here’s a blog post you might like and find useful: How to Spiritually Capture a City: Download MP3
The picture above is that of Gilbert Hill, Mumbai, India. According to Wikipedia, Gilbert Hill is a 200 ft (61 m) monolith column of black basalt rock at Andheri, in Mumbai (my hometown). The rock has a sheer vertical face and was formed when molten lava was squeezed out of the Earth’s clefts during the Mesozoic Era about 65 million years ago. If you are a practicing Christian, you might know that the Earth is not that old, but probably only about 6000-7000 years old. Scientists seem to have proven that all it takes for the Earth to cool down is a fraction of a second (Refer to Josh McDowell’s free ebook Reasons Skeptics Should Consider Christianity: http://www.josh.org/resources/free-book-downloads ).
Gilbert Hill is a national level prehistoric heritage site. Many people the world over might be thrilled to learn that the town they live in is home to a prehistoric site like this. I too was, until the Holy Spirit told me that every square inch of ground I walked on is a prehistoric site. It has always been existing since He created Earth! What’s more, He showed me another important fact – guess what it was – that I am a prehistoric site myself, being born again! And how? Of course, because as per the Bible, my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and the spirit of Jesus Christ lives in me. The Ancient of Days (God the Father – Jehovah) lives in me through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. So is not my body a prehistoric site? Yours too is, if you are a born again child of God through faith in His Son Jesus. Yet what a joyful irony, the Bible says that when you turn your life over to Jesus, old things pass away and all things become new and all things are of God!
It’s a challenging question, isn’t it? Maybe you can widen your choice to 3-4 books! One of my favourite books is the Gospel of John. It is really dramatic. “In the beginning was the Word….He came to His own and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children (sons) of God…” (John 1)
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
Carrying on from the previous post Why Satan Hates You, we can renew our mind to God’s Word by reading it, hearing it, studying it and doing it.
The word hearing in the above verse in the original Greek actually means rhema – the spoken Word of God. So when you give of yourself to God’s written Word, He speaks to you and confirms that written Word – the Bible – thereby helping you apply more of “the measure of faith” that He has already given you.
Remember, the Word of God is one the weapons in your spiritual armour. It’s the sword – you can wield it to defend yourself and others from Satan. You can also use it to attack and take the fight to the Enemy, because attack is often the best form of defence. But to be able to wield any sword effectively, you must practise using it. How much more, then, the Word of God! And when you practise enough, you will develop a reputation of being a ‘commando for Christ’ working for his Commander-in-Chief, the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ!
“…and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Nepal is probably the world’s only officially Hindu country. My India isn’t, as it is a multi-religious and non-theocratic State. Now this small country Nepal, with a population less than that of my hometown Mumbai (Bombay) is receiving the Lord Jesus…and how!
Greater Grace World Outreach (www.ggwo.org) has planted 18 churches in the Himalayan country, famous for the Mount Everest. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that many of Nepal’s believers actually live in mountainous caves, hours away from ‘civilization’. Recently, our pastor narrated the story of a Nepali pastor from the Praja tribe. This pastor is just 28 years or so and has a family to support. He cannot leave his family behind for years to attend Bible College. So he stays with his folks for a month and goes down to the city for a month. He will do this for the next 3 years, in order to get trained up in the Word of God and carry it back to his folks up in the mountains.
This may not sound too difficult to do. Except when you consider that:
• To reach the city, he climbs down the mountain on a 9-hour journey on foot.
• He climbs down the mountain on which he lives, then climbs up the next peak, then down it, then up the next and then down that one too.
• Along the way, he crosses a river – crossing it 17 times, at its various bends.
• In the rains, the river gets flooded chest-high. So the young pastor wades his way across the river, holding his bag up in the air, as it contains his Bible, books and clothes.
• After his 9-hour descent, he reaches the highway.
• He changes into a dry pair of clothes and takes the bus to the city, which is another 8 hours away.
• He will stay there in the church building with a dozen other pastors in the same room, until better facilities are available.
• He will go back up the same way he came, after investing a month in formal Bible study…
• …all this, to carry the Good News to people just like you and me, so that if they accept Jesus, they will continue to live in Heaven even after they die physically on earth.
The conditions are so tough, that some tribal children have probably never even seen a car. If they want to see one, they must walk their way down to the highway, which is 9 hours away. Pastor remarked that one day, when we get to Heaven, we will probably see a spirit shining like a star; and when we ask Jesus who it is, he will tell us it’s that tribal pastor from Nepal, who labored – and not in vain.
Andrew Wommack is one of my favourite tele-evangelists. I have begun to appreciate his teaching even more since I began using the free stuff put up on his website www.awmi.net.
You can check out teaching material in text and audio formats. The audio teachings probably run into hundreds of hours, covering topics like “A Better Way to Pray,” “Revelation Knowledge” etc. Don’t miss the 4-part series on healing, titled “God Wants You Well.” Those 4 hours of solid teaching have actually opened my eyes in many ways.
There are doctrinal differences with the church I attend. But I believe that there really is only one doctrine – the doctrine of Jesus Christ as taught by the Holy Spirit. Andrew Wommack teaches boldly yet without sensationalism. I’d suggest you go check out his website and get built up!
“Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!
Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.” (Psalm 100:1, 2)
All-time great Christian oratorio ‘Messiah’ was composed by Germany-born composer George Frideric Handel in the summer of 1741. Here’s the story behind it, as told by my pastor last Sunday at church:
It took just three-and-a-half weeks for Handel to compose this song, written by Charles Jennens. He decided to invest 3 weeks in the study of the life of Jesus Christ. The result of this investment was amazing – Handel decided he would never again compose secular music; instead, he would dedicate his talent to glorify the LORD! Although the song did not become hugely popular until his later years, today millions of people around the world play and listen to this song every Christmas.
The lesson in it for us, said the pastor, was to consider investing 3 weeks of this year in prayer and Bible study, with the aim of getting a vision from the Lord for the year ahead. If God could do it in such a powerful way for Handel 250 years ago, he sure can do it for you and me today; because, as the bible says in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Say Amen to that!
Christians are like a jungle tree, said our pastor one evening at a mid-week service. You might think that’s crazy, but it’s not. He went on to show why:
When a fisherman wants to build a boat or a barge, he looks for wood. He chooses a jungle tree and not a tree from his backyard. The jungle tree has weathered many a storm and passed through several tests. It is tough and can survive attacks. But a backyard tree cannot.
If you are a born-again Christian, following the Lord Jesus Christ, you are not like a tree in the backyard, but like that jungle tree, which has survived in spite of forest fires, storms, strong winds attacking it. That’s because your roots are strong, deep and wide, founded on the Word of God – the Bible. You have been exposed to attacks from people, situations, the devil and his army…but you have come out a winner through the Blood of Jesus!
Consider this: out of a total of 6 billion people worldwide, only about 700 million people are born-again Christians. That’s only 11.66% of humanity! God has definitely chosen you to act as a blessing for the other 5.3 billion – or 88.34%; has He not? So your knowledge of the Bible and its application needs to be real strong. As James rightly says, “…be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22; Also read Luke 6:46 and Romans 2:13)
Study the Bible every day – it acts like food for the spirit. Even if your roots are strong, deep and wide, they need to stay that way lifelong! True, sometimes there is not even some time. But try to make at least some time!
Purchase a Study Bible from here, if you do not have one. You can buy a version that suits your needs, but I suggest you buy either the Open Bible (New King James Version) or The Thomson Chain Reference Bible (King James Version). The NASB/NIV versions are good too.
The question we want to ask ourselves before going to bed is:
“Have I opened my Bible today?”
Studying the Bible is as important as praying. In the early days of my Christian faith, I was taught that we speak to God through prayer, while God speaks to us through His Word – the Bible.
– Foundation Course in the Bible
– Old Testament Prophets
– The Book of Acts
– Applied Bible Doctrine
– 1, 2, 3 John and Revelation
– Biblical Psychology
– Evangelizing World Religions
– Discipleship…and many other courses.
There are a total of 36 credits to be earned, in order to graduate with a Bible College Degree.
Although formal Bible education cannot substitute personal prayer and study and quiet time with the Lord, it can add value to your Christian life and faith, provided:
> It is planned and imparted thoughtfully and with love,
> The student applies himself/herself to the studies prayerfully, choosing to be taught directly by the Holy Spirit; and
> It helps the students and instructors alike, to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, both during the training and later, because of it.
Don’t worry if your church does not have a formal Bible education system. You can buy the Thomson Chain Reference Bible or the Open Bible. The latter is available in the New King James Version (NKJV). The NKJV retains the flavor of the King James Version while leaving out Shakespearean English. You can click on the link “Purchase the BIBLE here” on this page to buy one.