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 Post Post subject: Devotions - Wednesday, May 17th, 2006
Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 6:32 am 
Catspaw knows all

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Reading: 2 Samuel 19-20; John 5:25-47

Good morning Church,

We must be diligent and prudent in our use of God's Word. If we are careless and attempt to read it as a novel we will do a great deal of damage to ourselves and to those whom we witness. This morning's reading is an example to us.

Jesus is teaching concerning his authority and the source of his authority. He declares:

"Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out-those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. (John 5:28-29)

Anyone who reads this with no understanding would use it to argue their point about living a self-righteous life. However, they would then be ignoring the teaching we find in John 3 where Jesus explains that we must be born a second time, this being of the Spirit, possible only by faith in the Son of God. We understand from our study of the Word that a righteous life comes from the fruit of the Spirit that he produces in us so that we will be included in the "those who have done good". The Father's definition of good is not the same as ours. But the whole problem with the Word goes deeper than simple lack of understanding.

We must be diligent in our study of the Word but we can never allow ourselves to think that knowledge of the Word will be our salvation. It is sad to realize that there are people who never open their Bible in the entire year. A week is too long, I could never imagine a year. It is equally sad to think that there are people who think that their "trivia" knowledge of the Word will win them a place in the New Jerusalem:

You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (John 5:39-40)

The Word of God reveals God to us, giving us a greater understanding of his heart and revealing his promises to us. But along with the Word we have seen God himself, in the form of the Holy Spirit. As we believe, accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, the Spirit of God is deposited in us. Through him we are able to KNOW the LORD God not just know of him. This we refer to as the "saving knowledge". The Word is vital to our spiritual growth but only Jesus is our salvation.

We must know the Word of God. We must study and seek greater understanding. We must daily pour over these vital and precious words of God. However, we need to know Jesus through the Spirit even more. As we hide God's Word in our heart the Spirit will use this to reveal Christ to us more and more but Jesus will not be revealed through our own knowledge. This is where the leaders of Israel missed it; they read the scriptures in their own understanding, their own interpretation. We too will run into trouble if we lean on our own understanding of the Word. Ask the Spirit and he will teach you. Ask him and he will bring you closer to Jesus than you ever imagined possible. The Word reveals the heart of God but the Spirit allows us to actually experience that same heart. Seek him today.

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