Words of Life ~ BREAD

This post follows Food for the Hungry Soul. The most well-known verse with the word BREAD is found in the Old and New Testaments, Jesus in Matthew 4:4 quoting Deuteronomy 8:3. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”.

Old Testament H3899
Strong’s Concordance defines BREAD in Hebrew:
lechem, lekh’-em;; food (for man or beast), especially bread, or grain (for making it):—(shew-) bread,
from H3898 lâcham, law-kham’; a primitive root; to feed on; figuratively, to consume; by implication, to battle (as destruction)

God’s Word speaks of bread not only as physical food but anything that is needful ~ something we feed on so as to ward off destruction. Men’s main concern is to satisfy his craving for the body. Not many consider bread for the soul. Only those who seek God and the bread He gives will be fully satisfied in this life and the next.

“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” Psalm 37:25

The Psalmist would have been thinking of bread in terms of the righteous whose whole life is dependent on God and His provisions for all things. Paul speaks in these terms in Philippians 4:19

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

“The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.” Psalm 105:40

From the abundance of our provisions, we are to give even to our enemies who are hungry.

If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:” Proverbs 25:21 (Romans 12:20)

“Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.” Ecclesiestes 11:1

GEORGE MÜLLER (1805-1898): “Sixty-two years ago I preached a poor, dry, barren sermon with no comfort to myself and, as I imagined, with no comfort to others.  But a long time afterwards I heard of nineteen distinct cases of blessing resulting from that sermon.”

The Lord speaks through Isaiah to His people to hearken diligently to Him, to eat what is good and let their soul delight in fatness (Isaiah 55:2).

“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:” Isaiah 55:10

“Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?” Isaiah 58:7

The Lord speaks through Amos of a famine of His Word.

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God,
that I will send a famine in the land,
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the Lord:

Amos 8:11

What greater verse than this from the Old Testament can describe the need for the sustenance of true life. We understand the hunger and thirst that is satisfied only by the words of the Lord. And what a refreshing we come to in the New Testament with the Living Word of God, His Son, Jesus Christ, who gives Himself as that bread of life.

New Testament G740
ártos, ar’-tos; from G142; bread (as raised) or a loaf:

From this Greek definition, it seems that bread was considered as one loaf not to be cut but broken. This would describe the body of Christ given for us in His sacrifice for us and in the communion of the Lord’s Supper and the breaking of bread.

“And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:3-4

“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11

Jesus taught His disciples to ask the Father who gives all that we need but to ask for one day’s supply at a time. This prayer keeps us close to Him and dependent daily on Him.
The following sermon is from Ryan McKee in Northern Ireland as he is preaching through the Sermon on the Mount. Give us This Day our Daily Bread

“And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?” Matthew 15:33

Jesus satisfies all who come to Him. His life is given to the multitudes with no limitation and with satisfaction for all our needs.

The Living Bread

Let us meditate on the following verses where Jesus speaks of Himself as the true bread from heaven, that comes down from heaven, the bread of God as life to the world, the bread of life, the living bread, the bread that He gives and the results.

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.” John 6:31-32 (Jesus quoting Psalm 105:40)

For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.  Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.” John 6:33-34

 “And Jesus said unto them,
I am the bread of life:
he that cometh to me shall never hunger;
and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
John 6:35, 48

“This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:50-51

“This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.” John 6:58

The Lord’s Supper

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.” Matthew 26:26

Jesus instituted what would become the practice of those who have accepted Him as their Life. The Apostle Paul speaks of the bread of the Lord’s Supper. Even as Jesus spoke of being the bread of life, the breaking of bread in the Supper is the communion of the members of His body, partakers of that one bread.

“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42

“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? or we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” 1 Corinthians 10:16-17

“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” 1 Corinthians 11:26

Jesus used the word bread as symbolic of the doctrine of the Pharisees, even as Paul used it in terms of fruit, both signifying the results of what men produce from their spiritual life. Instead of malice, our fellowship with Christ and each other should be in sincerity and truth.

“How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” Matthew 16:11-12

 “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:8

“Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)” 2 Corinthians 9:10

Dear Heavenly Father, your Word speaks and spreads the seed of life, watered by your Holy Spirit. We praise you that you sent the Seed of Life in your Living Word, Jesus Christ, to give us His life ~ abundant life that satisfies every longing. Send your Spirit in power to awaken our need for the bread of your Word. We thank you in Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Need for a True Christianity

As we near another year in celebration of the Protestant Reformation ~ October 31, 1517, there seems to be a need for two articles from this heart that beats for the Lord Jesus. Before Nailing Our Theses next week, my thoughts are turned to how far we have come from the corruption that ruled the church in the century of Martin Luther and other reformers. Though the church will never be perfect here in this world, we do have God’s Word available for every person who desires to know the truth; not depending on man for the knowledge of our relationship with God.

We have enough wickedness in the world. I can’t bear to see it in God’s house. Having experienced almost eight decades of this wilderness, I think of the song Leaving on a Jet Plane and want to take that plane home, but like Jesus, I have a purpose here for now. “Stop the world; I want to get off” is an expression from past decades which reflect the thoughts of many who wonder where the world is going.

We praise the Lord that He, as our Lord God Almighty, is still and always reigning and ruling His universe. We are still learning to live in the language of a new world order with Christ as King and to spread this vocabulary wherever we can. Others need to hear and know that this world is not all there is. We will look briefly at why Christianity is necessary in the world in every generation.

What we advocate is not what is normally seen, but what is real in the true Christian life and the difference we make, being who we are in Christ. We see this in the individual life and the life of the true church. We see the difference between Christianity and other religions.

The True Christian Life
Christians are those who individually and adamantly follow Jesus Christ, learning, knowing, believing and loving with all the heart, soul, mind and strength the Lord and Master who lived and died sacrificially for His people. We follow and obey Him through a knowledge of His Word, and by His Holy Spirit live daily by His example. This world is not our home. We are only here to witness of Him and the salvation He came to give. This life is preparation for eternity with Him and our heavenly Father in their kingdom.

The true church is not the visible church that meets every week for planned programs and entertainment, but the invisible body of Christ whom He has brought to Himself, living where we are in every generation with others who join in worship around His Holy Word and His Supper renewing faith and love. From this gathering we go into the world as salt, light, a sweet fragrance and full of His Spirit bearing the fruit of His kingdom ~ love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, holiness, righteousness, truth, grace, humility, godliness, mercy and compassion.

True Christianity is revealed to the senses  of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.

Salt was necessary in Jesus’ day to preserve food. Salt is needful in a world that is in decay.

Light is necessary in the darkness of this world, as we “hold forth the word of life.”

“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the worldHolding forth the word of life;” Philippians 2:15-16

Good fruit is produced by true Christians.

“Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” Matthew 7:17

Fragrance is needful to cover the stench of this world.

 “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” 1 John 5:19

The world needs Jesus’ touch.

“And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.” Matthew 17:7

The world filled and overflowing with oppression, sin, and corruption has no recourse in other religions, nor in a false Christianity. Only a true Christianity has the answer to sin through the only person who has claimed to be God and became a sacrifice for the sins of those who believe His claim on their lives.

We live, proclaiming LIFE over death. If we die for our faith, it will not be to take other lives with us, but to witness of the life of Christ who loved us and gave His life to deliver us from this evil age (Galatians 1:4).

We must know who we are in Christ and live accordingly. True Christianity makes a difference.

Gracious Father, we could say so much more, but you have said it all. It is but for us to read your Word faithfully, intentionally seeking your guidance for us as your people. Enable us to speak your truth wherever you lead us, living our faith to the fullest and most fruitful with our families, in our churches, and in the workplace. Shine your light in and through us into the darkness of this world.  In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Related Post: Beyond a Mere Christianity

An Incarnation for a New Creation

“The Incarnation of the Son of God is the terminology used to describe what happened when the second person of the Trinity, the eternal Son of God, “became flesh” as he was miraculously conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary according to the Bible. In the incarnation, the divine nature of the Son was perfectly united with human nature in one divine Person. This person, Jesus Christ, was both “truly God and truly man.” Theopidia

The Incarnation

“In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.
And the word became flesh
and dwelt among us.”

John 1:1, 14

For what purpose? Could not God from heaven continue His supernatural work by His own Spirit as He had in the Old Testament?

There are many Biblical references to explain why God chose to manifest Himself in the person of Jesus Christ.

The Mediation

Just as there were prophets, priests, and kings in the old covenant as mediators between God and His people, they were not capable to accomplish God’s plan. His intention for the first creation was to have human beings bearing His image. That image was marred, distorted by disobedience to His Word; the relationship that He desired was put on hold.

So, there was a need and the plan for a mediation, which meant that there had to be a dual role, and so Jesus, the second person of the Trinity was born to be the mediator between God and men.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”
1 Timothy 2:5

He came to fulfill the law, something no other human could do. (Matthew 5:17) As a mediator, He first had to do what the first man failed to do ~ obey the Creator. He had to show a full obedience to the word and will of the law. For thirty-three years He proved His humanity, by being tempted as we are, yet without sin, so that as our sacrifice, He would be offered as a permanent sacrifice for all who believe in Him.

All the promises of God are revealed and fulfilled in Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:20)

God made Him to be our “Go To” for all things. What the law could not do for us, in us, or through us, He does in us through Christ.

Jesus’ words:
He reveals that He was the “bread of life” ~ “the bread of God who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (John6:33-35)

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

The one whose birth the shepherds attended, became the good Shepherd .

“The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11

“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
John 10:28

“For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world — to bear witness to the truth.
Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

John 18:37

John’s words:

“… he appeared to take away sins… 1 John 3:5

“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:b

From the writer of Hebrews we learn that Jesus, in sharing flesh and blood, partaking of the same life as ours would, through death, destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver those who were subject to fear of death and the judgment of God. (Hebrews 2:10-15; 1 John 4:17-19)

The New Creation

Jesus, having lived a holy life, became the Lamb of sacrifice for our sins, He took upon Himself our sin and punishment, in exchange for His righteousness. (Romans 3:21-26; Romans 6:23: 2 Corinthians 5:21)images

Through His life and death we are given a new life by the power of His Holy Spirit; sent by the Father to draw us to Christ, He gives us a new heart and spirit. Through the written word of God, the Spirit reveals the living Word in us, and we are born again as a new creation. (Ezekiel 36:26; John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:3,21; 2 Corinthians 4:6-7;  2 Corinthians 5:17-19; James 1:18)

He fulfills the image of the Father in us. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:18)

“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”
1 Corinthians 15:21-22

In 1 Corinthians 15 we learn that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. There is first a natural body, a man of dust, inherited from Adam the first man. The spiritual, imperishable man is Jesus Christ, the man of heaven and those who are of heaven ~ born of His Spirit. (John 1:12-13)

“Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.”
(1 Corinthians 15:42-49)

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons.
(Galatians 4:4-7)

“Emmanuel” ~ God with us was the prophecy of Isaiah 8:10.  “And they shall call his name Immanuel.” Matthew 1:23

“The promised seed shall be Immanuel, God with us; let that word comfort you that God is with us. The strongest consolations, in time of trouble, are those which are borrowed from Christ, our relation to him, our interest in him, and our expectations of him and from him.” Matthew Henry

(There are so many more references in each of these categories of the incarnation, mediation, and new creation. A book has been written already. Please comment with some of your favorites.)

Dear Father, reveal and fulfill your plan for our salvation in and through our Lord Jesus Christ, by the power of your Holy Spirit in us ~ to your glory and our joy.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

God Blows Us Away

When have you been stunned by a revelation of God? When is the last time that you were speechless, standing in awe of what you knew only God can do? When have the mouths of God’s people been shut so as to hear and see Him? He is still in the process of sifting His wheat and blowing away the chaff, so that He can use His grain to feed His people.

This is the way He has been dealing with me for many years, but especially in the last few days. Such a time as this Thursday led me to spend Friday morning in fellowship with the Father. As I said “Amen” I pushed up on the sides of the chair, but was unable to stand, feeling that my feet were being held.   Sitting back, wondering at my inability, I asked Him what was happening. His silent answer, through His Spirit seemed to be, “I have planted your feet in the field of humility; so that you can receive from me and be a means of sharing what I give you.” After a few minutes of pondering what that meant I stood and went about my work for the remainder of the day.

Saturday was a seemingly usual day, and the Lord’s Day was again that special day ~ the eighth day and the first day of the week when we enjoy the fellowship of God’s family in worship and in private worship and reading and however He leads for the rest of the day.

This morning from about two the Spirit of the Lord has been continuing to bring His Word to bear in my mind and heart. The vision of standing with my feet covered with dirt in a wheat field was prominent as I wondered what it was leading to.

For years my ministry has not been public, relegated to the home only with Jerry. His ministry to me has continually been fulfilled. Every promise, every hope given has been real and shared with others wherever He opened a door. He continues to amaze me, and open heaven as if it is here on earth. So phenomenal it is, that it seems unbelievable at times, and unexplainable. He blows me away, and I don’t know what to say; sometimes He takes my breath away and I stand in awe and reverence, receiving, and praying to share what He wants me to.

My thoughts this morning ~ as I was planted in the field of wheat ~ the reminder of Jesus’ words, “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled!” Luke 12:49; and in Mark 9:49, “Everyone will be salted with fire.”

Fire in the Bible refers to God’s judgment, and in my thoughts came this vision of the wheat field wherein I am rooted being set fire by the breath of God. Again I am blown away by the revelation that He makes us usable by removing the dross in our lives with whatever He chooses. How did the vision end? What was revealed in this new open field? I had been blown away and all that was left was a fresh loaf of bread that He can share wherever He desires.

In addition to His working in my own life I see Him working in others also. This applies to how He may be working in this nation and the world. From His Word and recent sermons I believe that God is able and will reveal Himself in such a way that will make us stand in awe, to know His presence and power at work to cleanse His temple and His people. The apostle Paul knew this presence and power as He wrote to the Corinthian church, “For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:9

Jesus said in Matthew 13:24 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.” He sows the good seed of His Word in us as His field. Our bodies are the temple of His Holy Spirit to do with as He pleases, so that we may share Christ, the bread of life.big_thumb_fb317feed7b7129b6f4c8db3604b0f2c

It may be the time for Him to start fresh again in this nation. We see the cloud of persecution looming and wonder what His plans are. When He blows by the breath of His nostrils and speaks the Word we shall see and praise Him though we as His people have to endure His wrath upon the whole. The fire that brings judgment upon the rest of the world will be that which removes the dross of His church.

Listen to a recent sermon based on the book of Habakkuk, which the minister speaks of as the closest book of the Bible to the conditions of our nation today.

“When God Does Not Respond As We Expect” ~ Dr. C.

Music ~ Yet I Will Rejoice ~ Habakkuk 3:17-18
Dear Father, I pray that you would reveal your truth, your Word, to your people today; that you would prepare us for days ahead as we need such a revelation of your presence and power in our midst. Rend the heavens and come down as the melting fire burneth to make your name known among the adversaries. Show us your mercy and mighty hand upon us as you remove all that hinders your working in and through us. Make us loaves of the bread of life for your glory, for others and our joy. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

Related Article: Yet I Will Rejoice

What is It?

When we read about the Israelites—how they experienced the parting of the Red Sea, their safe passage to the other side, witnessing their enemies being destroyed, and only three days later murmuring against Moses, “What shall we drink?”—we wonder what kind of people these were.  It seems that at every turn God was proving them (Exodus 15:25); revealing the nature of a people who did not know Him; proving to us how He reveals Himself to His people.


“Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.” (Exodus 16:4) They were promised “in the morning bread to the full;” in the morning ye shall be filled with bread, and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.” (16:8, 12) “And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: (What is it?) for they wist not what it was.  And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.”  (Exodus 16:15)
They had never seen this food before.  This was something new.  They did not recognize the provisions from the Father in heaven, which He had created especially for them.

“The Jews then murmured at him, because he said,
I am the bread which came down from heaven.”
John 6:41

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day must have been asking the same question, “What is it?”—about this man who was doing the miracles, who knew the Scriptures, who had an answer for all their questions, whom the crowds were following, who claimed to be the same as God. They did not recognize Christ as the promised Messiah. He was not what they had ever seen or expected. When Jesus spoke of Himself as bread that must be received, and eaten, His disciples murmured at it.



“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not.” John 6:63-64


They did not recognize Him, nor understand the spiritual terms with which He spoke. I pray that we, instead of murmuring against Him, ask ourselves the question, “What is it about Jesus Christ, that over the last two thousand years, has brought millions of people to believe that He is the Messiah promised to God’s people from the time of the fall (Genesis 3:15) and throughout the Old Testament.

What is it that changed a motley crew of apostles with “little faith” while Jesus was with them, into a band of leaders and martyrs for Christianity after His death, resurrection and ascension.
What is it that still draws us to Him and keeps us with our knees bowed, and our hearts open for Him as our Lord and Savior, our praise and adoration centered in Him alone, our mouths confessing our sins through Him alone in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.  (Ephesians 1:7)
What is it that draws us to Him with every need for ourselves and for others?  It is LIFE. It is the promise of LIFE and the fulfillment of LIFE that keeps us in Him.  We are kept by Him, as He continually provides LIFE to our spirit, soul, and body, proving who HE IS through us.
What is it that fills us with peace and joy? —it is trusting the Father who has revealed His Son to us, who promises to be our God, who knows, and provides for every need; it is knowing Jesus who has the words of eternal life (John 6:68); it is walking in the Spirit, by faith and not by sight—for His glory and for our joy.

What is it about Jesus Christ?  Jesus Christ is our LIFE, now and forever.

“For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, 
and giveth life unto the world.”
John 6:33

 (I did not want to end here, but we already have the book of LIFE, His Holy Bible.)

(12/07 From Waiting is Not a Game ~ Articles of Faith)


For some reason my mind has been on food these last few days, not just on one item and not just on one meal, and not just for a common occasion.  My thoughts have been on a feast, in which I picture this long table that extends out of my sight, with so much food, and with such a variety, it is a smorgasbord that is more than you would ever have time to sample.

This sight affects all my senses.  What I see is an arrangement of colors, textures, and designs.  They all fit together so that we could not describe any one platter of such a banquet. It is a beautiful offering of a majestic kind, fit for a king and his court. The aromas capture my sense of smell, as I am drawn nearer to the table.

I am invited to come closer, to taste the delicacies spread before me.  What do I sample first?  It is all so magnificent, that I dare not spoil the display.  It is too glorious even to touch, but I must.  I am enthralled with the scene.

The questions come: “Who has prepared such a feast?”

“Where do such delicacies grow?  Why have I not seen or tasted such as this before?”

“How is all this food prepared and preserved?  Will it not spoil before it is eaten?”

“I cannot begin to partake of all this by myself.
There is no one here but me.  This is too much for me.  I must go and find others with whom I can share this banquet.  It is too wonderful!”

But, as I start to leave, a voice comes from the end of the table.  “Before you go, taste for yourself, before you bring someone else. Without tasting you will not remember where you have been, nor will you want to come back.”

And so, humbly I approach the table.  I see in the middle of all the other food, and my hand reaches for, a piece broken from a simple loaf of bread, the aroma of which I have never enjoyed before.  Slowly, and gently the bread is lifted to my mouth and the sensation is indescribable.  My eyes are opened to a throne at the end of the table where the King is seated.  Gathered around Him and around the table are all these people who have come and tasted of the feast in the simplicity of Christ, His Son.

The feast is too rich for us now; our palate must be prepared for it. It is designed by the Father and revealed to us by His Holy Spirit who draws us to the center of the table—the bread of life—Christ, Himself.  For now the bread of heaven is enough. He is our sustenance for this earth and our taste of heaven.  The Feast is for the Wedding and heavenly dining with the Father, and Son, in His great glory—for His glory and our joy.

“I am the living bread
which came down from heaven;
if any man eat of this bread,
he shall live for ever…”
John 6:51

“O taste and see that the LORD is good:
blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” 
Psalm 34:8

I pray that today we might taste of His divine goodness and bring others to His table.

9/29/07  (from Waiting is Not a Game ~ Articles of Faith, written during the three years that we waited for the wound to heal from Jerry’s amputation.)

The Ultimate Bible Study

It is interesting that as we get older we sometimes return to the simpler things biblewith which we began.  When I first started teaching there were three things I looked for in the text I was studying:
Identification (who are the characters in the text?)
Implication (what is going on in the text between      the characters—what, where, when?)
Application (what difference does studying this text mean to me?)
The truths of God Word were first to be understood in my own heart.
These, by the power of God’s Spirit, taught me what I needed to know before I could teach anyone else.

We can read God’s Word simply because of curiosity— someone we know reads it, talks about it, places their trust in what is written.  Some are new Christians seeking to know how they are to follow Christ and live the new life.  Others are older and continue to thrive on the bread of life.  They love it; they live it, preach it, and teach it.

Before the Reformation only the priests of the Roman Catholic Church had access to the Scriptures, and other people relied on them for their knowledge of God.  Now many people have access to God’s Word in many translations, but have no thought of how valuable it is.  The Word and the power of God that comes with it are available, but few really read and study it for its greatest purpose.  Considering the three things used for previous studies we tend to look for the Application before we have an Identification and Implication.

Why is this? —I think, because we already have a mind-set before we read it.  We have already learned through our own culture, and our human nature—our man-centeredness— to look for where we fit in and how things are going to affect us.  Are we not to read the Bible to learn how we are supposed to live, what we are supposed to say, what we are supposed to do in our relationship to God and others?  Yes, but not at the expense of the truth itself, which much of the time is twisted and distorted to fit our own preconceived notions.  We can easily take God’s Word and make it say what we want it to say, instead of allowing the Word to do its work in conforming us to it.

So, what is the challenge here—for me, in going back to this simple method (but concentrating on the one point of Identification) and for you, as you read this?  After all my years of reading and studying I have come to the conclusion that the ultimate Bible study is to begin with our Bible in hand before the throne of grace, then opening it with new hearts, new minds, new eyes, expressing our need for a new vision of Him.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:16

We are in need of the Father’s mercy.  He has given us a great high priest who knows our infirmities, who sits at the Father’s right hand to intercede for us.  He has promised the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.  (Luke 11:13) As I write these articles/letters/prayers I continue to teach my grandchildren what I think is the most important thing in life, according to the first and great commandment taught by our Lord—that we shall love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and our neighbor, as ourselves.  (Matthew 22:37:37-40) We cannot love Him unless we know Him.  This is our greatest need, and we can only know Him as He reveals Himself to us.  As we would go “online” looking for information, our main “Search” in the Holy Bible is for God.  He has His own “site” with His own profile.  Throughout His Word, from Genesis to Revelation, the person of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, reveals Himself.

“And this is life eternal,
that they might know thee the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
John 17:3

I challenge you, and myself, to read through the Bible this year with this main purpose – Identify the person, purpose and power of God.  The implications that we find as relating God to man will by His Holy Spirit become evident, and in time will place us in relationship with Him. The supernatural power of God draws us out of ourselves to Him.

The power of the Trinity is the work of our Creator in His creation.  The authority of God’s own Word effectually transforms us by the renewing of our minds.  (Romans 12:1-2)  No longer am I looking for what I am supposed to be, do, or say, but, as I am caught up in Him the Word of God does its work in and through me, to the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:6,12,14).  As the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) supernaturally circumcises my heart, regenerating, renewing, sanctifying, living out the truth in my circumstances, He is conforming me to the image of His Son.  (Romans 8:29)

If we read and study, seeking to see Him only, to know Him, and what He reveals of Himself, the things we pray for in the Lord’s Prayer—His name, His kingdom, His will,  become evident as uppermost in our hearts and minds.  Instead of being man-centered we can be His God-centered, Christ-focused people, a people after His own heart, in the unity of the Spirit, together seeking to do all His will.

”For the word of God is quick, and powerful,
and sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,
and of the joints and marrow;
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 

If we accept this challenge, He can, in light of His beauty and holiness and our great need for His Word to do its work in our hearts, bring us to see ourselves as sinners.  The same authority of His Word  brings the needed salvation, repentance and sanctifying work through His power working in us.  We find that over the centuries, throughout all of history Jesus (God) is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think,

according to the power that worketh in us.”
Ephesians 3:20

Those who truly seek Him are drawn to Christ and to each other.  The conversation of His people are more and more about what we have learned from our Father, and our Lord, of His Spirit, His power, and His kingdom, than what we have learned about man and ourselves.  There is an excitement about the new wine, the new things that he teaches us about Himself everyday.  His Spirit, by his Word of power (Hebrews 1:3)  make us a people of prayer, praise and proclamation of our great God and Father, Savior, and Lord Jesus Christ.  Our desire and understanding of the preaching of the Word are continually heightened.

You may have already done this; if not, I pray that you will, with me, take this challenge.  Whenever we read, let us stop, and ask the Holy Spirit to focus the light of our reading on God, what He says about Himself, what He has done, what He is doing, and what He promises to do.  In the Old Testament we may read for awhile without finding any mention of His name, and then suddenly come to where He fits in the events and relationships, and see how He is in control of all things.  In the New Testament we focus on Christ, the Son, as He reveals God, the Father.  What is said about the three persons of the Trinity?  What does Christ say about Himself, what does He do, and what is said about Him?  We may want to jot down in a journal anything new that He reveals of Himself.  We will find many things about Him that we never saw before. Let us meditate on what we read about Him. I believe the eyes of our understanding will be enlightened (Ephesians 1:17) and our lives changed.

I pray that He will erase any pre-conceived ideas, distortions, and false images we have of Him.  I pray that the authority of His Word, by the power of His Holy Spirit, will identify the true and living God to us. (1 Corinthians 2:10, Romans 10:17)  As we continue daily at His throne of grace let us first seek His kingdom and His righteousnessWhere there is no vision—when we are lacking the true and powerful revelation of God— people perish.  Let us ask for faith to believe all that we read about Him. Let us pray that He will transform our lives and reform His church, bringing light into the darkness of this world. (Philippians 2:15-16)

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:
it shall not return unto me void,
but it shall accomplish that which I please,
and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
Isaiah 55:11

He promises that we shall find Him, if we each, seek Him with all our heart.  We may not fully understand what we find, but if we accept it at face-value—the truth revealed in His Word and in His Son, Jesus Christ, the living word ~ we, beholding, as in a glass the image of the Lord, shall be changed into His image, from glory to glory.
(2 Corinthians 3:18)

The Bible with its many books is a canon in itself, revealing God and His covenant relationship with man.  We need no other book to reveal God to us, but I believe that what His Spirit and His Word are doing in us is being recorded in heaven. (1 Peter 1:12; Ephesians 3:9-10)  He is making history in us for future generations to know Him—not us, but Christ, revealed in and through us—for His glory and our joy.

“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery,
which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God,
who created all things by Jesus Christ.
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus
throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
Ephesians 3:9, 21

Dear Father, by your grace, let the authority of your word be commanded in us by the power of your Holy Spirit; that we may know you, and love you and our neighbor  ~ more and more.  In Jesus name ~  Amen.

Fran 1/08 (From Waiting Is Not a Game ~ Articles of Faith)

 Related article:
A New and True Reflection Of Christ (godsgracegodsglory.wordpress.com)