Audio Length: 38:14
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 out side 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? It’s not a commandment? Because 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 lives in Christ Jesus. As the Word we have just read, says: “and come together again so that satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” 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 there is where the foot hold of satan comes in. he is like that snake who will find a crack in a wall in order to get in. he is patient. he’ll wait for a crack in that wall to appear and then slip in. 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 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. And truth be known that that ministry is born of the flesh and is a false calling. 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 Word of God tells us that the devil is crafty and cunning in 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. The Spiritual Priorities is as follows in that:
1). Reading and studying the Word of God
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 2000, (which is the most recent study yet.) that 6 out of 10 Americans reads the Holy Word of God occasionally.
*65% of Americans agree that the Bible “answers all or most of the basic questions of life.” Almost ½ of the people who believes that the 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 Bible.
*Those with more education are less likely to think that the Bible is a comprehensive guide to life than are the less educated. 46% of those with a postgraduate degree say the 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 Bible. 35% say they are “very interested” in deepening their understanding of the Bible and 40% say they are “somewhat interested.”
*1/3rd of the American adult population who took this poll believes that the Bible is literally true. 31% believes that the Bible is the actual Word of God and to be taken literally. 47% believes that the 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 particular poll was done in May 2005-2007. 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. Basic truths such as: the Word of God is the Holy Spirit inspired Word, God-breathed. And yes, the Lord God Almighty used man to record the Words from His mouth. At the same time it is no surprise to me. Nothing surprises me any more.
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 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 Word Of God, 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 The Christ, The Son of God is not THE only Way, THE Truth, and THE Life (according to a report on family life radio 91.5 FM in 2009).
So therefore this next set of studies touches base on the importance of the 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, And what we believe and why we believe it.’ Amen! Lets start with the opening Scriptures of why it is important to read the Word of God.
“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. He is our Father. To train us what He like and dislikes. What He is For and What He is against. What He approves of and what He disproves of. What He love and hates, according to His Word. Which is our “Basic Instructions.” As a Sunday school teaching 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 His Word: “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:
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (The knowledge of Gods Word. God warns us what happens as a result when we do not read and heed His Word. We are destroyed by what we don’t know and from the deceit of the devil. And God continues to warn…) 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;”
The reason being is that, God will not call or send anyone out to preach the Gospel message, without first reading and studying His Word. Another words, God will not call those who do not know His Word, which in the end, do not know God. Ignorance is not the will nor 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 teachers and preachers are those who:
#1). Are not called by God Himself. 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 was ministering to a huge crowd of men at the Promise Keepers meeting. And he mentioned that after he ministered to “namely” Pastors. 30 Pastor came to the alters and gave their hearts to Christ Jesus 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 that there is a lot of self-proclaimed Apostles, Pastors, Teachers, Prophets and Evangelists out there in the world today.
#2). Those who really had not studied the Word of God and just teaches or preaches what ever someone else is saying, or what the worlds philosophies are saying. These are they who are easily mislead by lying spirits.
As God continues to say in: Hosea 4:6
“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.”
You can be destroyed body, soul, and mind because you lack knowledge of the Word of God, and God Himself. And that’s the point here. 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 Word of God for yourself, you will see clearly that the Scriptures defines words. It has a built-in dictionary if you will within the Scriptures.
“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; (Prudence means: ‘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 means: The freedom to make decisions; The quality of being discreet; prudence.’ So if discretion has the quality of prudence then, therefore it would also mean to be cautious; take caution, take heed.) To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”
Also in: 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.)
“He who keeps instruction (meaning the Word of God) is in the way of life. But he who refuses correction goes astray.” And that is why the world is the way it is. As Jesus the 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? The Word of God warns a couple thousand years ahead of time) because of increased distance from Torah” (the moral law; the whole Word of God. Meaning the lack of the Word of God in humanities heart. In other translations it says): “Because lawlessness will abound” or “Because wickedness will increase, the love of many will grow cold.”
This is why this generation of kids are the way they are also. 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,
“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:
“He who spares the rod (correction and/or discipline) hates his son. (or daughter for that matter) But he who loves him disciplines him promptly (and 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 Word of God 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.’ 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. This nation has gone astray somewhere down the line from the Word of God. And we are reaping what we’ve sown. 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 did even know what Jesus has done for me on that 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. We weren’t even religious, nor did we have a relationship with Christ Jesus. As I grew up, I became a heathen, not a sinner, but a heathen. Which is worst than a sinner to say the least. 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 woopin 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 that made contact with your behind. So the point is that 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, they who are trained in the instruction of the Lord has life in Christ Jesus. This proves how important the Word of God is in the Believer and follow of Christ’s life.
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, (Which means the believer and followers of Christ) but the destruction will come to the workers of iniquity. (Iniquity means: ‘wickedness; a wicked or an unjust act’ according to Webster’s New World Dictionary). 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. Not taken lightly. All these things do come to pass, for the righteous and the wicked. The promises for the righteous can come to pass, only if we read as well as do what the Word of God says.”The righteous will never be removed” “The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom.” All because we read and study, to know the Word of God and to know Him.
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, which means: the 5 books of the Law. 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 Word of God) shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate (meaning to ponder, to think continually. Or simply put according Webster’s New World dictionary ‘to think deeply.’) but you shall meditate 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:
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man (or humanity) who looks at his face in the mirror and after looking himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man (or humanity) who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, (hears the point do not miss this) and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it he will be blessed in what he does.”
Again going back to the Book of Joshua, re-read “For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” All from meditating, reading and studying the Word of God. And finally:
“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! (remember: “The Fear of the Lord that is wisdom and to shun evil is 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 an actual physical person. To make better sense of them of 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; (Not things of this life but wisdom is the principle thing. Meaning the Word of God is the principle thing. How does one get wisdom, through 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 the believer and follower of Christ’s 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.
Mathew 5:14 says:
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill that cannot be hidden. (When we get the Word of God in us, by taking the time to read and study His Word on a consistent 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. It continues to say): 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, the light in us, 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.”
Or in other words, our conduct can point the way to Christ Jesus the Son of God. To show the Love of Christ to the world. Also we cannot forget Lord Jesus’ warning to us, that if you deliberately hide the light of Christ Jesus. Then He will deny us, found in:
“Whoever acknowledges Me before men, (again meaning: Humanity/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.” That’s a promise.
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 that, we get instructions by reading God’s Holy Word, using our eyes, and hearing also. Because in Romans 10:17 says: “Consequently, faith comes hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ.” 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 paths of righteousness, 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 Word of God leads to Spiritual death. Hosea 4:6: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” also lacking wisdom and understanding, Job 28:28 “The Fear of the Lord that is wisdom and to shun evil is understanding.”
Part Of Abiding In Christ
So with all that being said: Reading the Word Of God is one of the ways we abide in Christ. Everything starts by reading His Word on a regular consistent basis. For a real relationship with God bring forth revelation knowledge, wisdom, conviction. Cleansing; sanctification, faith, prayer, obedience, and ministry. And even guarding our hearts with truth from error and false teachings. The simple question for every believer in Christ Jesus is: ‘How can you have a relationship with God if you don’t know Him? How could 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. We also read His Word to draw strength in Him when you go through some stuff in life, the trials and tribulation of life.
The Word Of God 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:
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belong to the world (meaning: do what it does, 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, (meaning God has called you out of the evil and false ways of the world. Called you to be different from the world or flesh, as in other words. To love one another instead of hating or taking revenge and being unforgiving, Called you to even think differently according the Word of God. Thinking/ 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.”
“All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.”
“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 :
“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:
“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Which brings us to this next point. Fellowshipping or communing with God. Until next time, God bless you, your family and your friends.