An after-thought as the Lord reminded me about our last study: “Our Priorities.” Pastors and ministers in the five-fold ministry are not exempt in getting priorities straight and aligned to God’s Biblical order. And they have 3 out of the 4 priorities that has to be straight with God.
In Most cases, not all, church is their work. I’ve personally seen Pastors and ministers in the five-fold ministry put church or their call before family. And this is not right in the sight of God. Nothing will fly outside this Biblical order. And consequences still follows when priorities are out of alignment. (Refer back to the last study.) as a consequence I’ve seen ministries die or fade away. I’ve seen marriages fall. Now the only exception would be if your spouse /family are in agreement to put the ministry before them, than by all means. But only should be for a time as it is written:
1 Corinthians 7:5-6 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; (time in prayer includes reading and studying God’s Word, The two go hand in hand) and come together again so that satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment.
Why should we apply this principle to our lives then if it’s not a commandment? Because it’s wise council, it is sensible and Biblical. Also keeping our priorities in order, keeps the devil from gaining a foot hold in marriage, in family and in our personal lives in Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul is not only talking about sexual sins when dealing with “lack of self-control.” But jealously is one of the devil tools to bring down marriage which ministry then follows. Envy and strife are also the devils tools as well. When spouses and families separate for God’s use, if 1 Corinthians 7:5-6 is not applied, then vulnerability can come, and that’s the gateway where the foot-hold of satan can come in. he is like that snake who will find a crack in a wall and slip in. he is patient. And that is why we keep our priorities in God’s Biblical order, to keep the devil from gaining a foot hold. Amen!
There are Pastors and ministers of the five-fold ministry that puts ministry above God Himself and calls it, “the will of God.” This is idolatry which is sin and is not of God. Our relationship with God come first and is to be above all… Period!… bottom line! In order to minister effectively, you have to know God and His Word. Without that, nothing will fly. God will never put His call for you above Himself ever. And if you think He does or has called you in such a manner. Than you are not hearing from God but satan himself, to get you to sin against God which then brings separation. And if that separation persists, it will eventually bring destruction. The Holy Bible tells us that the devil is crafty and cunning (Genesis 3:1). It also tells us: 2 Corinthians 11:14 And no wonder! For satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
With all that being said our next study is: The Importance Of The Word Of God. Reading and studying the Word of God is #1 in our “spiritual priorities.” We’ve already dealt with the physical application of putting Biblical priorities in order. Being that, God/ our relationship with Him is #1. Our daily spiritual priorities is as follows:
1). Reading and studying the Holy Bible
But for now, we will be dealing with the importance of God’s Word in this segment. Like I have mentioned in the “Introduction To Making Disciples,” the Lord has put it upon my heart to bring to the people of God this series called, “Making Disciples.” Since we now have Salvation in Jesus Christ, the Son of God for those who believe, where do we go from here?
The Statistics Are In!
*It scares me to hear that according to the Gallup polls back in 2005-2007, (which is the most recent study yet.) that 6 out of 10 Americans read the Holy Bible occasionally.
*65% of Americans agree that the Holy Bible, “answers all or most of the basic questions of life.” Almost ½ of the people who believes that the Holy Bible “answers all or most of the basic questions of life,” read it at least weekly. 28% of those who agree with this say they rarely or never read the Holy Bible.
*Those with more education are less likely to think that the Holy Bible is a comprehensive guide to life than the less educated. 46% of those with a postgraduate degree say, “the Holy Bible answers basic life questions,” compared to 72% of those with a high school education or less.
*Many Americans report that they would like to learn more about the Holy Bible. 35% say they are “very interested” in deepening their understanding of the Holy Bible and 40% say they are “somewhat interested.”
*1/3rd of the American adult population who took this poll believes that the Holy Bible is literally true. 31% believes that the Holy Bible is the actual Word of God and to be taken literally. 47% believes that the Holy Bible is inspired by the Word of God (not saying that the Bible is the Holy Spirit inspired Word of God, meaning that it is God-breathed. But believes that the Bible is inspired by the Word of God.) And 19% believes that the Bible is ancient, fables, history, legends recorded by man.
This scares me to see that this country is considered to be a Christian nation, but don’t know the basic truths about the Word of God, the Holy Bible. Basic truths such as: the Word of God is Holy Spirit inspired, God-breathed. And yes, the Lord God Almighty used holy men to record the words from His mouth.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
In an interview with Assist News Service, Rhodes quotes a recent poll, which indicates that 35% of born-again Christians do not read the Holy Bible at all. In addition, Rhodes indicates that among those who say they read the Bible, the vast majority only read it during the one hour they attend church each Sunday morning. Rhodes says such statistics make it more than obvious why many Christians are easy prey for spiritual deception. The level of Biblical illiteracy among Christians may be one reason why many believers hesitate to stand for Godly values on the public scene. (according to Assist News Service / Agape Press, 25/26 December)
*People who has taken another poll, which equals out to be 65% of Christians who claims to be Bible believers, never read all the way through the New Testament, let alone has ever read the Old Testament. Also a new poll shows that 35% of Americans, not necessarily Christians, have read a phrase or two from the Holy Bible, in the past twelve months.
*And on another poll, 57% of evangelical Christians believes that there are many ways to heaven, which means that they believe that Jesus Christ is not THE only Way, THE Truth, and THE Life (John 14:6) (according to a report on Family Life Radio in 2009).
So therefore this next set of studies touches base on the importance of the Holy Word of God. The importance of having a real relationship with God. We’ll deal with the basic foundations of the Christian life, ‘why we do what we do, what we believe and why we believe it.’ Amen! Lets start with the opening Scriptures of why it is important to read the Holy Bible.
Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart the teaching
This Scripture passage is not just solely commanding parents to train your children in the ways of the Lord only, by reading and studying the Word of God with them and to them. But also we all are children of God, for those who obey Him. So it is also telling us the importance in reading His Word. To be trained by the Lord Himself. God is our Father He is to teach us what He likes and dislikes. What He is for and what He is against. What He approves of and what He disapproves of. What He love and hates, according to His Word. Which is our “Basic Instructions.”
As a Sunday school saying goes, “The acronym for the word B.I.B.L.E is: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. It is Our basic instructions! It is Gods love letter to us all, a letter from home if you will, or what I love to call it: “The Holy Deluge Of Mercies.” And I marked that in the title page of my Bible. God has truly shared His heart, His true concerns, His deep love with His children found in:
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge (because we have rejected or neglected to read the Word of God and to heed it) I also will reject you as my priests;
God warns us what happens as a result when we do not read and heed His Word. We are destroyed and He will also reject us as priests, His ministers. How can you witness and minister God’s truth if you don’t know Him nor His word?
The reason being is that, God will not call or send anyone out to preach His Gospel message, without first reading and studying His Word. God will not call nor use those who do not know His Word, which in the end, do not know God. Ignorance is not the will nor the call of God. Because they will minister recklessly, dangerously and irresponsibly. God does not call or entrust His Word to any false teachers and preachers. He first prepares those who are truly called by God, through His Holy Spirit and through His Word after being born again. For zeal without knowledge is very dangerous. False ministers are those who:
#1). Are not called by God Himself or is born-again by the Spirit of God. Who couldn’t get a Job, or hold a job for whatever reason and decided to go into the ministry, whom maybe trained by a Bible college, but have no real relationship nor experience with God. And you’ll be surprised how many so-called “ministers” in the pulpit who fit’s this criteria.
For example: One of the guest speakers on a Christian radio program that I listen to, who ministered to a huge crowd of men at a Promise Keepers meeting. 30 Pastor’s came to the alter and gave their hearts to Jesus Christ for the first time, as this guest speaker found out later after the meeting. Others rededicated their hearts to Christ. And you would be shocked to hear the number of self-proclaimed Apostles, Pastors, Teachers, Prophets and Evangelists out there in the world today.
#2). Those who really do not study the Holy Bible faithfully and just teaches or preaches what ever come to mind, or goes by what other minsters are teaching and preaching, or what the worlds philosophies say. These are they who are easily mislead by lying spirits.
As God continues to say in: Hosea 4:6-8 Because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. The more the priests increased, the more they have sinned against Me; they exchanged their glory for something disgraceful. They feed on the sins of My people and relish their wickedness.
Sound Wisdom And Understanding Is Found In the Holy Bible
You can be destroyed both body and mind because you lack knowledge of the Word of God, and God Himself (Romans 1:18-32). So the revelation in focus here is, what is understanding? What is Wisdom? The Word of God clearly defines it. In fact you will notice as you faithfully and consistently read the Holy Bible for yourself, you will see clearly that the Scriptures defines words. It has a built-in dictionary within the Scriptures.
Proverbs 8:12-13 I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
Prudence: ‘To exercise sound judgment in practical matters; cautious in conduct; not rash; managing carefully.’ (according to Webster’s New World Dictionary)
I possess Knowledge and discretion.
Discretion: ‘The freedom to make decisions; The quality of being discreet; prudence (according to Webster’s New World Dictionary).’ So if discretion has the quality of prudence therefore it would also mean to be cautious; take caution, take heed of instructions.
To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
Job 28:28 The Fear of the Lord that is wisdom and to shun evil is understanding.”
To shun is to also run away from evil and sin. And this is what is expected of us daily.
Proverbs 10:17 He who keeps instruction is in the way of life. But he who refuses correction goes astray.
“He who keeps instruction” referring specifically to the Holy Bible as “the Holy Book of Instructions.” And that is why the world is the way it is, as Jesus Christ Has taught us in: Matthew 24:10 (according to ‘The Complete Jewish Bible Translation.’) At that time many will be trapped into betraying and hating each other. Many false prophets will appear and fool many people; And many people’s love will grow cold (Why?) because of increased distance from Torah (increased distance from God’s Holy Bible)“
This is why this generation of kids are the way they are today. They were not raised in discipline nor correction from which they lack respect, nor do they acknowledge authority. They have gone astray in conduct as they are going astray morally day by day because of the lack of the Word of God in their hearts, it’s all a slow fade. On that note of discipline, Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore, we have had human father’s who corrects us, and we paid them respect.
Discipline is good! For it teaches respect and makes children acknowledge who’s in authority. Parents who do not discipline, hates their children, bottom line. As the saying goes: ‘Spare the rod, spoil the child.’ Proverbs says it this way:
Proverbs 13:24 He who spares the rod (correction and/or discipline) hates his son. But he who loves him disciplines him promptly (properly).”
God also disciplines us as well. He teaches us in His way how to respect Him. Because He is THE final authority. Amen! This is how practical the Word of God really is. The Holy Bible is our practical guide to life. If you are one of those who wonders ‘What is up with our children today. I just don’t understand them anymore.’ The answer is, We have a Nation full of children who are hated by their own parents, who has allowed them to go astray, to live their lives without guidance, without authority and without fear of the Lord because the parents themselves don’t know the Lord and don’t care.
This nation has gone astray, somewhere down the line, from the Word of God. And we are reaping what we’ve sown for the past decades. And it is no wonder why the world is the way it is, because of the lack of the Holy Word of God.
But I thank God for my parents who did not spare the rod on me nor my brother. I was not raised in a Godly Christian home by no means. I didn’t know anything about Jesus Christ and what He has done for me on the cross. Nobody taught that when we were growing up. Although we have the big family Bible always before us in the house collecting dust, but hardly ever opened it. We weren’t religious, nor did we have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
As I grew up, I became a heathen, but the Lord still drew me in to have a relationship with Him. And as I look back now, I was actually raised in Godly principles taught by my parents whether they knew it or not, I do not know. I praise God that my parents never spared the rod. And I so well deserved every whooping with that Holy Paddle that my dad had made. Reason why I call it the “Holy Paddle” is because not only did it bring Holy correction, but also because my dad had drilled holes in the paddle.
So the point is, when we who spare discipline make our children go astray from basic principles of living and functioning properly and productively in society. And the opposite is also true, who ever is trained in the instruction of the Lord has life in Jesus Christ. This proves how important the Holy Bible really is in a believer and follow of Christ’s life and in society.
We continue to read in Proverbs 10:13-21 Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And who ever spreads slander is a fool. In multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the heart of the wicked is worth little. The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of wisdom.
And again we read Proverbs 10:27-32 The fear of the Lord prolongs days, but the years of the wicked will be shortened. The hope of the righteous will be gladness, but the expectation of the wicked will perish. The way of Lord is strength for the upright, but the destruction will come to the workers of iniquity. The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not inherit the earth. The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, But the perverse tongue will be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.
These are simple truths that should be taken to heart and not taken lightly. All these things do come to pass, for the righteous and the wicked. Who are the Righteous, upright? Believers and followers of Jesus Christ who repented from sinning, whom are faithful in reading and studying the Holy Bible, lives the Holy Bible, having communion with God, and is grounded and rooted in church faithfully. Who are the wicked, the workers of iniquity? Those who rejects Jesus Christ, His way and His words.
The promises of God will come to pass for both the righteous and the wicked, regardless of popular opinions and secular beliefs. For the righteous, there are conditions in the above Scriptures, as an example, “The righteous will never be removed” “The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom.” In order for this to be true in a born-again Christians life, we have to read, study and know the Holy Bible and God of the Holy Bible and to do what the Holy Bible says
Joshua 1:8 says what we should do: This book of the law
The 5 Books of the Law known as the Torah in Hebrew. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Also did included some of the Book of Psalms and the Books of the prophets as well. But generally according to the New Testament definition it generally means the whole Holy Bible
shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate (meaning to ponder, to think continually, to think deeply) in it day and night, that you may observe to do accordingly to all that is written in it. (now here is the promised blessings when we read and study the Word of God) For then you will make your way prosperous
The Book of James mentions this, James 1:22-25 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (hears the point do not miss this) But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
All from meditating, reading and studying the Holy Bible and knowing God. And finally: Proverbs 4 Hear, My children, the instruction of the Father, and give attention to know understanding; for I give you good doctrine: ‘do not forsake My law.’ He also taught me, and said to me: ‘Let your heart retain My words; keep My commandments, and live. Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of My mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
the words “her” and “she” from verses 4-9 is referring to “wisdom and understanding,” not referring to a actual physical person. To make better sense of them in these passages of Scriptures, replace the words “her” and “she” with wisdom and understanding
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of My mouth. Do not forsake wisdom and understanding, and wisdom and understanding will preserve you; Love wisdom and understanding and wisdom and understanding will keep you. Wisdom is the principle thing;
The things of this life are not the principle thing in life, for every thing we see, touch, taste, smell and hear are temporal, but wisdom is the principle thing. Meaning the Word of God is the principle thing. How does one get wisdom and understanding? By reading the Word of God as well as experiences in life. But Godly wisdom primarily comes from reading and studying God’s Word and then understanding follows.
Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt wisdom and understanding and wisdom and understanding will promote you;
The word “Promote,” comes from the Latin words Pro-which means ‘forward’ + Movere which means to ‘move’. Defines it this way: ‘To raise to a higher position or rank; to further the growth, establishment, sales, etc.’
Wisdom and understanding will bring you honor when you embrace wisdom and understanding. Wisdom and understanding will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory wisdom and understanding will deliver to you. Hear, My son and receive My sayings, and the years of your life will be many. I have taught you in the way of wisdom (or the fear of the Lord); I have led you in right paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble. Take firm hold of instruction,
The Word instruction used here, comes from the Hebrew word: Musar [Moo-sar]: Which means: ‘Correction, chastisement, discipline, an admonition, rebuke, or warning.’ Which again the Word of God does in a born-again Christians life.
Take firm hold of instruction, (or correction, rebuke, or warning) do not let go; keep wisdom and understanding, for Wisdom and understanding is your life. ‘Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away (meaning to repent and stay away) from it and pass on. For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is like the shinning sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
Because of the Word of God.
The Holy Bible Is Life And The Light Unto All
Mathew 5:14 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill that cannot be hidden.
When we are born-again by the Holy Spirit, and when we get the Word of God in us, by taking the time to read and study His Word on a faithful basis. Therefore, we cannot help to be different, for it is the living and manifesting Word as well as the Holy Spirit of God living in us, which separates us from the ways of the world. And the world does picks up on this.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl (meaning to deliberately hide the light) instead they put it on it‘s stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
House is another word for “the world.” Jesus is saying that the light in us by reading and studying His Word, people benefit from
In the same way, let your light shine before men, (meaning humanity) that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Our conduct in light of the Holy Bible, can point the way to Jesus Christ the Son of God. To show the Love of Christ to the world. Also we cannot forget the Lord’s warning to us, that if you deliberately hide the light of Christ. Then He will deny us, found in:
Mathew 10:33 Whoever acknowledges Me before men, (peoples of every tribe, nation, languages and tongues) I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. But whoever disowns (or denies) Me before men, I will disown (or deny) him before My Father in Heaven.
Going back to Proverbs 4:19-27 The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble (for they are blind, blinded by sin) My son, give attention to My words; incline your ear to My sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes
Notice again, we get instructions by reading God’s Holy Word, using our eyes, and hearing also (Romans 10:17). So by this, faith comes by hearing, reading the Word of God out loud
Keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it springs the issues of life. Put away from a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet
Thinking constantly about the path of righteousness, the Highway of Holiness, and the narrow way that leads to eternal life, which is the will of God in our personal life in Him
and let your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.”
So the lack of reading the Holy Bible leads to Spiritual death, Hosea 4:6, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge
One Part of Abiding In Christ
So with all that being said: Reading the Holy Bible is one of the ways we abide in Christ. Everything starts by reading His Word on a regular faithful basis. For a real relationship with God bring forth revelation knowledge, wisdom, conviction, cleansing; sanctification, faith, prayer, obedience, and then ministry. And even guarding our hearts with truth from error and false teachings (Psalm 91:4).
The simple question for every believer of Jesus Christ is: ‘How can we have a relationship with God if we don’t know Him? How can you trust God in everything, if you don’t know Him?’ As we Read His Word, you can’t help but to know the One True God in a deeper way. And you certainly can’t help to mature and grow in Him. Maturity and growth starts when we read His Word and apply it to our life daily. We also read His Word to draw strength in Him when we go through trials and tribulations of life.
The Holy Bible Warns Us Ahead of Time, What Is To Come
No one is exempt from trials and testing’s. When we read His Word, we learn to expect the unexpected, for God tells us things we need to know ahead of time. Like for example:
John 15:18-21 If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belong to the world (meaning: do what it does, think how it thinks, believes what it believes) it would love you as it’s own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world,
God has called us out of the evil and false ways of the sinful fallen world and into His marvelous light. Called us out to be different from the world and the sinful flesh. To love one another instead of hating or taking revenge and being unforgiving. Called us to even think differently according the Word of God. Thinking and being in line with His Word.
Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they obey My teaching, they will also obey yours. They will treat you this way because of My name.”
John 16:1 All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.
Job 14:1 Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.
And there are so many more other Scriptures throughout the Old and New Testaments that we could quote here. But I know you get the point. To sum it all up, The Lord Jesus says in : John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
How do we get to know God? By fellowshipping with Him. One of the ways is reading His Word. Jesus said this: Mathew 4:4 Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
And the Holy Bible are the words from the mouth of God, revealed and inspired by the Holy Spirit, written by holy men, preached by holy born-again children of God. Until our next study: The importance of God’s Holy Word prt.2, May God bless you, your family and your friends.