When you don’t need to know

Little kids want to know everything. They are always asking why, or how much, or how much longer, where did this come from, when will we do this, etc. Sometimes their questions are relevant. Sometimes they are not. It’s the same with all of us grown ups. We can ask a lot questions: some that need answering, and some that aren’t so pressing.

When we read the Bible, we can gain so much information. There is a multitude of knowledge woven into God’s Holy Book and we can gain much from any study of the Word. However, if we approach the Bible without a proper attitude and understanding, we can waste a lot of time. Yes, I said you can waste time when studying your Bible. It’s true!

In John 20:30, we can read, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:” Think about that, God left a whole bunch of information out of the Bible. Jesus did so much, and we only have a small portion of what He did. Why would God leave so much out? Well, the next verse gives us insight. It says, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

It’s quite simple, God wanted us to have life. He wanted us to believe on Him. And that’s why He ordained the Bible to be written. The Bible was written that we might be saved, and that we might continue on living a full life with God.

The Bible was not written to satisfy our every curiosity. There is much profit in studying God’s word, but every once in a while we should examine our method and motive for studying it. Sometimes our questions aren’t relevant. Questions perhaps like, “I wonder what the sop was at the last supper?” “What color were Jesus’ eyes?” “Who are the two witnesses in Revelation 11?” Obviously God didn’t tell us. There might be a reason why. It’s fun to wonder now and then, but we don’t necessarily need to spend exorbitant amounts of time theorizing about what God found proper not to tell us.

In Daniel 12, God tells Daniel many things. Daniel asks God how everything will end and God says, “Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” Just like we can, Daniel asked out of curiosity, and not out of a desire for holiness and maturity. There is nothing wrong with being curious, but sometimes it can be wiser to simply use the information revealed to live a righteous life.

God knew what He was doing when He wrote the Bible, and He knew what He was doing when he left information out. He gave us more than enough to live an abundant life. Let us not fritter away our time away wistfully wondering about information God considered unnecessary. I challenge you as I challenge myself: Let us take what God has given us and allow it to refine us into who we need to be for Him.

We can never exhaust the supply of wisdom to be found in the Scriptures, but we can strive to gain as much as we can in the few short hours given to us. Lets use the Word to gain Holiness and Glorify God!

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If your pride helps you do good, is it still wrong?

Pride is an interesting thing. Do you know that pride can actually motivate you to good works? It can! It’s happened in my life several times. Let me explain . . .

In the past, I’ve realized that I have a problem. (such as laziness) Then, instead of repenting with "sackcloth and ashes" and asking God to help me, I decide, "I’m gonna fix this problem!" I set up standards. I make decisions. I enforce resolutions on myself. I will work hard. I will not procrastinate. I will . . .

You see, I decided to fix the problem, without God’s help. It’s not on purpose, but in my heart, I think that I can handle this. Pretty soon, I’m failing at life. I’m no longer procrastinating, but I’m not finding much joy in anything either, and I’m not growing closer to God. In reality, I decided to change, not because I wanted to serve God, but because I wanted to have a good opinion of myself. My actions are feeding my pride and not glorifying God. When I get the sense that God isn’t fully pleased, I’m like, "What’s wrong God? I fixed the problem! I’m trying to serve you! I’m working hard. Why do I feel like I don’t have your blessing?"

I’ve used my fleshly pride to work against my fleshly action of laziness and in the end, I’ve effectively just traded sins. That’s not gonna please God. I’m still in sin. Serving God out of pride is sin just like any other sin.

Have you ever wondered how the Pharisees managed to obey so many of their made up rules? They served God out of pride.

In Luke 18, God tells a story of a Pharisee and a publican. The Pharisee served God according to the outward showing of obedience, but in his heart he was prideful. The publican was humble about his faults. In verse 14, God says of the publican, "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

How about you? Do you serve God out of pride? Are you "proud" of all the holy things you do? Or are you humbly seeking a true relationship with your Savior?

I would submit to you, God is not interested in righteous acts that come from an unrighteous heart.

Humble yourself. Ask God to help you. Seek to know God and grow close to Him. He is the one that can change you so that your life will please Him.

After all, It’s God that works in us, both to will and to do, of His good pleasure. (Phil 2:13)

When you just can’t

Have you ever struggled with doing God’s will? You have a desire to do right, but you have trouble following up and doing right. You decide to avoid wrongdoing, but you keep falling to it. I would like to encourage you to keep up the fight.

Paul wrote of the exact same experience in Romans 7:19, "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." Paul struggled too! And God used him to write a good part of the Bible. In this passage Paul explains that even though Christ has saved us, we are still carnal. Our carnal beings are still subject to sin. In order to have victory, we must learn to live in the power of God’s Spirit!

So, if you are struggling with sin, don’t give in! Endeavor to walk in the Spirit, and you will have victory! The Bible tells us, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." – Galatians 6:9 If you keep up the fight, and ask God for His help, He will help you accomplish His will.

"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" – Philippians 1:6

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." – Romans 8:1

Are you sleeping in the garden?

Do you have that one thing that you can never conquer? You try again and again but it seems you will never have victory over that sin? Christ has a solution to temptation.

On the night that Jesus was betrayed, He and His disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Jesus returned to His disciples and found them sleeping. He commanded them in Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Jesus understood temptation. He knew His disciples had seen Him work miracles, and had been with Him for years, but that was not enough to stand against temptation. They needed to pray. Jesus was about to face lashes, crucifixion, death, and rejection from God. He knew that He needed to pray. He told His disciples to do the same, but they slept. When we read further in the scripture we find that Jesus stood strong through His trial, as His disciples failed to have courage. Mark 14:50 tells us “And they all forsook him, and fled.” When it was time to pray, Jesus prayed alone, so when the tribulation came, Jesus stood alone.

Do you stand strong against temptation? Have you discovered how crucial prayer is to the fight? In order to have true victory we must learn to pray ourselves strong. Our spirit may be willing to live for Christ, but we must submit our flesh.  That surrender can only come through prayer. So I would like to encourage you, pray. God is the source of our strength. He can fortify us so that we can stand. Jesus was in agony as He wrestled His flesh into submission to His spirit. We must follow His example in order to conquer temptation. We must accept the challenge to crucify our flesh. We must fight in prayer until we are purposed to do God’s will. When we do, we will walk in victory, and enjoy the blessings that Christ provided by His victory.

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,”

-Jude 1:20