Sunday, July 22, 2012

reader, studier, snatcher…which are u?

This am I was looking for my concordance, and realized how often I reach for my “tools” during my time with the Lord. Thought I might share with you some of my tools in case you are interested in a deeper relationship with the Master. You know, developing an intimate relationship with Him is optional…if you look carefully, particularly in John 14-16, His urging to OBEY is preceded by IF because He does not want anyone in His inner circle that truly does not want to be there, it is up to each of us to say yea or nay. Let me tell you from experience, when you say yea, you’ll never regret it! He becomes more and more precious every hour, as you discover things about Him, His character, personality, and love you never dreamed possible.

TOOLS…I mentioned concordance. A concordance is a book of words, listed alphabetically and subdivided into verse addresses. ever, single listing.  If I remember right, the first word study I ever did was on the word WALK. I found it in my Crudens concordance, and was pretty excited at how many places in Scripture the word walk was used. I wrote them all down, read them, re-read them, and was tickled at just what they all said to me about my personal walk with Christ. Try it! Don’t go for a Strong’s at first, it will discourage you with TMI!

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of NT Words, a great reference book. Every word in the NT is listed alphabetically, an a definition of it each place where it is used. The Greek language (language the NT was written in) is very “wordy”…probably why God chose to have it the language of the Roman Empire at the time the NT was written. Lots of Greek words that may be one word in English. You will find it absolutely fascinating.

Handbook, Haley’s or other work, gives background and detail about the NT and is handy to “round out” a study.

Biblical Atlas, a good book to have but not critical as your Bible will have several. However, an atlas gives you more maps. I used an atlas to define the lines of Israel according to what God gave Abraham. Very enlightening in light of the Arab claim that the Israeli’s are “occupiers.” No way according to Scripture and world maps.

John MacArthur’s Bible Commentary, single volume commentaries are bulky but also handy. MacArthur happens to be my favorite author and from my perspective the most reliable Bible expositor today. An expositor “opens up” Scripture word by word, verse by verse. He is awesome at this. I love Charles Stanley, a fabulous teacher with a different style, he expounds on meaning from a heart perspective, a little different than Dr MacArthur but just as profound. You can also get multi-volume sets of commentaries by some excellent authors but you must be careful whose work you “feed” on especially if you are a new believer. Get advice before buying.

That’s a good start. As you grow in the faith, you’ll want to add to you books. So much is available right here on your computer and on tablets, everything in one place. And don’t forget to avail yourself of more than one version of Scripture. Start with a NKJV or NIV, very reliable, then go to paraphrases like The Message.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


My constant companion these days is the realization that we are soooooo close to the return of the Lord, and few people know or care, at least that is how I see it. I do not know how many times I have read in Matthew 24-25 where Jesus talked about these days…the ones we are living in…in detail. One of the things He said was “as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man…” and…” when the Son returns, will He find faith on the earth?” Sadly, very sadly, the days of Noah are upon us and we are ever so casually going on with our lives as if all is well. It isn’t well, not at all and we need to be about our Father’s business. I’m not talking about silly, overdoing kind of things, but none of us spend enough time with the Lord on our own, praying for souls and opportunities to share Christ. Places like FB, Twitter, YouTube, etc are excellent places to share and there are resources all over the place. Wallbuilders have plenty of very accurate historical FACTS about our Founding Fathers and their faith, biographies of great men of the faith. American Heritage Association has loads of info well worth sharing. I could go on and on. All you have to do is look, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to places where you can share their material with others. Noah preached for 100 years while building the Ark, he did not stop his daily activity but used opportunities presented to him to share what he was doing and more important…WHY! Every week Hal Lindsey preaches for 1/2 hour on Friday night about current events and prophecy. He is on the TBN network. He gives chapter and verse so you can check it out for yourself. Jack Van Impe does the same on the big Fox network late Sunday night, goes over the why’s and wherefore’s, chapter and verse. Hard to close your eyes to the truth but many,many are doing it. I get tired of the lame reasoning that doesn’t even make sense, something like the talking points of the far liberal left…no sense at all. Then there is His finding faith on the earth…an excellent question since you must look far and wide to find “christians” that have true Biblical faith that stands up under the scrutiny of solid exposition of the old kind. The so-called neo-orthodoxy, is sick…the Scripture says what it means, and means what it says…flat out, no wiggle room, just plain old fashioned truth. The problem is so-called believers do not want to accept it for what it says and means. I cannot read/re-read John 15 without thinking of the many people I know and love that constantly make excuses for their bad behavior mainly because most “accepted theology”… today lets them interpret it any old way they want, so they do. They do not stick to the real text and it’s meaning and obey it. Result: no growth. Jesus said “Abide in Me.” What did He mean? Clear…He is the Living and Written Word so abiding in Him is to know experientially and completely and obey what He says…not wiggle to suit yourself, but be Totally and completely His and live accordingly. I am especially upset with those I know and love, see a lot and just seem to go blithely on their way not even realizing we both have to answer to the same Lord one day and that one day is coming sooner than we think.