II Timothy 2:15
I wanted to share with you the importance of II Timothy 2:15 with you as it pertains to our growth in God’s Word.
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
The word “study” is the Greek word “Spoudazo.” The word spoudazo gives emphasis to the effort and the time. It means to give a diligent effort with a view to the time or a concerted effort due to brevity of time.
Notice what it doesn’t say. It doesn’t say just read the Bible to show thyself approved. It doesn’t say have a daily devotional. It doesn’t say read the Bible piece by piece over the course of a year. These are all good, but, if you want to grow in spiritual knowledge, if you want to make a difference you have to STUDY God’s Word.
For example, the word “receive” in the New Testament has only one meaning in the English. However, in the Greek there are two words for “receive” and the difference between the two is like night and day.
The two Greek words translated “receive are “lambano” and “dechomai” The word “dechomai” means to receive subjectively. Let’s take a look at a couple of verses.
Luke 8:13 (KJV) 13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive (dechomai) the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
Mark 10:15 (KJV) 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive (dechomai) the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
Luke 10:8 (KJV) 8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive (dechomai) you, eat such things as are set before you:
2 Corinthians 6:17 (KJV) 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive (eisdechomai, from eis-into and dechomai to subjectively receive) you,
James 1:21 (KJV) 21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive (dechomai) with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
When someone receives (dechomai) something they don’t do anything with it. Let’s say someone gave me a set of golf clubs and I put them in my garage and never used them that would be the word “dechomai.” However, if someone gave me a set of golf clubs and I took them out and played a round of golf with them that would be the other word “lambano.”
Lambano means to receive into manifestation. This is singularly significant when it comes to the study of the holy spirit.
Acts 1:8 (KJV) 8 But ye shall receive (lambano) power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 2:38 (KJV) 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive (lambano) the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Men have taught over the centuries that we no longer have the power of God among us. No more speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophesy, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, faith, miracles and gifts of healing. Well either they were/are wrong or the Bible is wrong because the Bible clearly states that when we receive the holy spirit, and we receive it when we do Romans 10:9,10, that we are to do something with it we aren’t to shelve it, we aren’t to forget what we have received, but, we are to do something with it and according to I Corinthians chapter 12 there are only nine manifestations of holy spirit, only nine things that you can do with the holy spirit that you receive.
Ladies and gentlemen, Christians are the most powerful beings to walk this Earth, but, we are walking so far below par because we have been taught wrong! Look, years ago I had a hundred dollar bill stuffed away in my wallet. I carried that wallet for years all the while that hundred dollar bill was neatly tucked away in one of those crevices. There were many times I could have used some extra cash, but, I didn’t use that hundred dollars because I didn’t know I had it. If you have been taught that you don’t have the holy spirit or that there are no manifestations of the holy spirit and you believe that, and you can only go as far as you are taught, you will never use that power that is latent within you. This why we must STUDY the Bible.
Two other words that go hand in hand with dechomai and lambano are the words platho and plaroo. These two words are translated into English as the word “filled,” but, they mean two different things.
Plaroo, pronounced play-ra-o, means to be filled to capacity. It is as if you filled a glass with water so full that if you put one more drop in it would overflow. Platho, pronounced play-tho, is filling that glass to overflowing.
Luke 2:40 (KJV) 40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled (plaroo-filled to capacity) with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
Acts 2:2 (KJV) 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled (plaroo-filled to capacity) all the house where they were sitting.
Acts 13:9-10 (KJV) 9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled (platho-filled to overflowing) with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, 10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
See, what he said was the overflowing of the holy spirit.
Acts 4:8 (KJV) 8 Then Peter, filled (platho-filled to overflowing) with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel…
Again, what Peter said is the overflowing of holy spirit.
Acts 2:4 (KJV) 4 And they were all filled (platho-filled to overflowing) with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
I have gone off track from the start of this writing so that I could show you the importance of not just reading the Bible, but, studying the Bible. So, now I want to get back to II Timothy 2:15.
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
There is only one way to show yourself approved unto God and that is to be a workman of the Word, the Bible.
The Greek word for “rightly dividing” is orthotomeo and means to make a straight or right cut. It further means that there is only one right cutting. When a diamond jeweler cuts a diamond he studies the diamond to figure out how to cut the diamond. There is only one way to cut the diamond correctly. If he cuts it wrongly he will destroy the diamond. This is the word that God chose to use regarding the study of His Wonderful Matchless Word.
And the last part “the word of truth,” which is much more costly and much more precious than diamonds. The Bible is THE WORD OF TRUTH.
The closer you look at something in nature the more beautiful it becomes. That is because it is from the hand of God. So, also is the Bible. The closer you look, the more you study the more beautiful it becomes.
In the Old Testament there is a record of a King of Judah and Jerusalem that endeavored to do what was right and to bring back Judah and Jerusalem from worshiping other gods and for all of his efforts Jerusalem was besieged by the greatest army in the World at that time. The king was Hezekiah and his story has a lot to teach us today.
2 Chronicles 29:1-7 (KJV) 1 Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. 2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done. 3 He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them. 4 And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street, 5 And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place. 6 For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs. 7 Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place unto the God of Israel.
2 Chronicles 29:20-21 (KJV) 20 Then Hezekiah the king rose early, and gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the LORD. 21 And they brought seven bullocks, and seven rams, and seven lambs, and seven he goats, for a sin offering for the kingdom, and for the sanctuary, and for Judah. And he commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer them on the altar of the LORD.
2 Chronicles 29:30 (KJV) 30 Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped.
2 Chronicles 30:1-5 (KJV) 1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel. 2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month. 3 For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem. 4 And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation. 5 So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written.
2 Chronicles 30:18-22 (KJV) 18 For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good LORD pardon every one 19 That prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. 20 And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people. 21 And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the LORD. 22 And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the LORD: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the LORD God of their fathers.
2 Chronicles 31:20 (KJV) 20 And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God.
So, here is a man that is doing all he can to lead the people of Judah and Jerusalem back to God and to live his life according to the Law of God. You would think that God would put a wall around Judah and Jerusalem, to give special treatment Hezekiah. You would think that once Judah and Jerusalem turned back to God ALL would be good.
Actually, it did go well for fourteen years, but, then the Assyrian army came calling.
2 Kings 18:13-37 (KJV) 13 Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them. 14 And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; return from me: that which thou puttest on me will I bear. And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king’s house. 16 At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
How many times in our lives do we endeavor to walk according to God’s Word only to have circumstances turn against us. And, how many many times do we try to figure it out on our own. That’s exactly what Hezekiah did. Hezekiah was the one that had the Temple repaired. He was the one that had the doors and pillars of the Temple overlaid with gold to bless God and to bless God’s people. Now he had it removed because of the circumstances!
17 And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller’s field.
It didn’t do any good! The Assyrian army still came to destroy Jerusalem.
18 And when they had called to the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder. 19 And Rabshakeh said unto them, Speak ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest? 20 Thou sayest, (but they are but vain words,) I have counsel and strength for the war. Now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me? 21 Now, behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt unto all that trust on him. 22 But if ye say unto me, We trust in the LORD our God: is not that he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and hath said to Judah and Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem?
These spokesmen for the King of Assyria are very logical in their reasonings with the men of Jerusalem. Egypt is not going to help you and OH Yeah, by the way, Hezekiah took away the gods that you worshipped. So, there is no one to help you. He just didn’t know the whole story.
23 Now therefore, I pray thee, give pledges to my lord the king of Assyria, and I will deliver thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them. 24 How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
What he is saying here is that Judah and Jerusalem are so small, so insignificant that they don’t even have enough men to ride a few of the Great King of Assyria’s horses.
Fear, fear, fear, fear, fear. All this man is doing is trying to instill fear in the hearts and lives of the people in Jerusalem. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances, someone wants for fight with you, someone comes against you with a court order, someone in your family is sick and the doctors say it isn’t good, it doesn’t matter the circumstances it is always about getting you to be afraid, to get you to turn away from the promises of the One True God.
25 Am I now come up without the LORD against this place to destroy it? The LORD said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.
So, here you have it! Rabshakeh says God Almighty told Assyria to destroy Judahand Jerusalem. Well I thought Hezekiah and all of Judah and Jerusalem turned their hearts to the Lord? All of Judah and Jerusalem hang in the balance just like you and I when we are confronted with circumstances. do we knuckle under or do we STAND. HAVING OUR LOINS GIRD WITH THE TRUTH AND THE PROMISES OF GOD AND HIS WORD?
26 Then said Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna, and Joah, unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and talk not with us in the Jews’ language in the ears of the people that are on the wall. 27 But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak
these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you? 28 Then Rabshakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language, and spake, saying, Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria: 29 Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you out of his hand: 30 Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us, and this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. 31 Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me, and then eat ye every man of his own vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his cistern: 32 Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of honey, that ye may live, and not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah, when he persuadeth you, saying, The LORD will deliver us. 33 Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered at all his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath, and of Arpad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah? have they delivered Samaria out of mine hand? 35 Who are they among all the gods of the countries, that have delivered their country out of mine hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of mine hand? 36 But the people held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king’s commandment was, saying, Answer him not. 37 Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.
Here we go! Rabshakeh has presented his case to Jerusalem and it wouldn’t matter to him if the Assyrian army tore down the walls of Jerusalem or the people of Judah and Jerusalem came out of their own volition. NOW, it is up to one man to determine the fate of a whole nation!
2 Kings 19:1-37 (KJV) 1 And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. 2 And he sent Eliakim, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. 3 And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. 4 It may be the LORD thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left.
Glory Hallelujah. Hezekiah got it right! The very FIRST thing he did was to turn to God, to GIVE IT TO GOD! When circumstances come at us let US turn to God FIRST, let us GIVE IT TO GOD!
5 So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.
6 And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7 Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.
In the Old Testament, in the Law of Moses it is required of the people to kill a prophet if the prophesy does not come to pass because he didn’t speak for God! This man Isaiah was a prophet of God and his word will come to pass. What a blessing, what a relief! It is now in God’s hands and He is going to take care of Judah and Jerusalem!
What about us? Do we have the same confidence in The Word of God? The promises in God’s Word are just as real, just as powerful as the promise given by Isaiah in verses 6&7 to Hezekiah.
8 So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah: for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish. 9 And when he heard say of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, Behold, he is come out to fight against thee: he sent messengers again unto Hezekiah, saying, 10 Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11 Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly: and shalt thou be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed; as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Thelasar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivah? 14 And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.
What a beautiful thing, Hezekiah spread it before the Lord. Doesn’t the Bible say cast your care on Him for He careth for you? Yup, it sure does it is in I Peter 5:7.
15 And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. 16 LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God. 17 Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, 18 And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. 19 Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD God, even thou only. 20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, That which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard.
God will hear your prayer just like He did Hezekiah’s!
21 This is the word that the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin the daughter of Zion hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee. 22 Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel. 23 By thy messengers thou hast reproached the Lord, and hast said, With the multitude of my chariots I am come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon, and will cut down the tall cedar trees thereof, and the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the lodgings of his borders, and into the forest of his Carmel. 24 I have digged and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of besieged places. 25 Hast thou not heard long ago how I have done it, and of ancient times that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste fenced cities into ruinous heaps. 26 Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded; they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb, as the grass on the housetops, and as corn blasted before it be grown up. 27 But I know thy abode, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against me.
Sounds to me like God is a little upset with the king of Assyria. It is not good to anger God.
28 Because thy rage against me and thy tumult is come up into mine ears, therefore I will put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest. 29 And this shall be a sign unto thee (Judah and Jerusalem that what I say shall come to pass,) Ye shall eat this year such things as grow of themselves, and in the second year that which springeth of the same; and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruits thereof. 30 And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. 31 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this. 32 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD. 34 For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake. 35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. 37 And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.
Because of Hezekiah’s stand Judah and Jerusalem were delivered. Judah and Jerusalem prepared their hearts for fourteen years to seek the Lord and to live by His Commandments. It was not God that told the king of Assyria to destroy Jerusalem it was Satan, the Devil. We, as Christians, have an adversary in this World who is always voting against us. God is always voting for us. How we vote determines the election!
God is always there for you. Prepare your heart to seek the Lord and when circumstances raise their ugly head – Stand, lay your cares on God, claim His promises and watch the great deliverance of God!
In our day and time we have many distractions and many sources to turn to in time of need. We have the internet, we have the library, professionals, parents and other family members, friends, television. But, as Christians we have examples as well as directives from God as to who we are to go to FIRST.
This article is about going to God first. It seems that this would be axiomatic (self-evident, unquestionable,) but, how many of us really do that? How many of us turn to God when we have a need? When I say a need I mean a dire immediate need. A need so immediate and so grievous that your mind automatically flips to the avenue of fastest deliverance. For example, someone breaks a leg. Do they automatically think doctor, hospital, ambulance or do they turn to God for His healing. I have told you this before, if you don’t get deliverance from God then, by all means get to a doctor, but, give God His rightful place and go to Him first.
The reason that we don’t go to God first is that we have been trained, throughout our lives, that God is too busy, God doesn’t answer the small things, the signs, miracles and wonders that we read about in the Bible are no longer available. Those are lies from the pit of hell! God is as real, as concerned about you and me and as ready to deliver us as any time in the history of man. The reason we don’t get our deliverance is that we have been trained wrong. No one has taught us the conduit to God’s deliverance. That conduit is our ability to believe.
John 16:23 (KJV) 23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
Mark 11:22-24 (KJV) 22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God (literally: Believe God.) 23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Believing is the KEY to power, to deliverance to seeing God work in this day and hour! There is a record in Mark about Jesus endeavoring to teach and help people in his own home town.
Mark 6:1-6 (KJV) 1 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. 2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and
healed them. 6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
Do you see what it says? They were offended in him and he didn’t do mighty works because of one thing, ONE THING, their unbelief! You can change your thinking around so that you EXPECT God to heal you, that you expect God’s deliverance, that you look forward to seeing God’s hand working in your life. All it takes is training.
Romans 12:2 (KJV) 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
You by the freedom of your will have to turn away from things of this world and get enough of the word of God in your mind so that you believe God and His promises to you.
In Mark there is a record of a man seeking deliverance for his son. I wish to take you through to this record to show you the steps to the man and his son’s deliverance.
Mark 9:14-27 (KJV) 14 And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. 15 And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. 16 And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them? 17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; 18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.
He brought his son to the disciples for deliverance. You would think if anybody could help they could, after all they were the Apostles, they were given power to cast out devils and heal the sick by Jesus, himself. But they couldn’t. Now the man is looking to Jesus for deliverance.
19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.
Most commentators say that Jesus was talking to the Apostles. He wasn’t. He was talking to the MAN.
20 And they brought him (the boy) unto him (Jesus): and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
Now, Jesus is going to get to the heart of the problem.
21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. 22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
The man needed deliverance as much as the child! Help US. This is the same cry in the hearts of men and women, today! Help us, Help me!
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
I am reaching out to you right now! God will help you. All things are possible to those that BELIEVE!
Everybody is responsible for their own deliverance. You are responsible to believe. The only people that aren’t responsible are children, the insane and dead people.
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. 26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. 27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
The Bible is not a book for everybody, it is a book for those who want to believe. It is impossible to please God without believing (Hebrews 11:6.) and it is filled with story after story of those who got their deliverance by one act. The act of believing.
God is ready, willing and able to deliver us. It is not up to God because His promises are yea and amen. It is up to each individual to rise up to the privilege of believing and appropriating God’s deliverance. What a privilege to put God first.
I have talked to many Christians, heard many Christians and read articles from many Christians who talk about God being in Heaven. Well OK, but, the context was God is up there and we are down here. That is the philosophy of all religions, a god or deity afar off who hears you, sometimes. Further, you don’t go to the god or the deity with small matters, but, only with the BIG ONES. Is this what Christianity is all about or is there more, much more than this.
I’ll tell you right here and right now that Christianity IS much more than this and the people that espouse the ideas that I just mentioned have no idea what the Bible says nor do they know the heart of God for His people. Also, they have no idea of the position that the Christian holds.
First, does God care about you and every facet of your life.
Luke 12:6-7 (KJV) 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Well, according to the Bible, God knows, not only, the color of your hair, but, how many hairs are on your head. When is the last time you counted the hairs on your head. This is a figure of speech explaining how well God, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, knows you. He knows you better than you know yourself.
So, God knows each and every one of us intimately, but, does He care for us and when are we to go to God in Prayer?
1 Peter 5:7 (KJV) 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Well, here we go again. The Bible contradicting what the main stream philosophy in the churches is today. So, do we leave the little concerns of our lives to ourselves? NO! We cast ALL our care on Him because He does what?? He cares for you and He cares for me. Everything that is a concern to us we should cast on Him.
Do you know what the word cast means? Well, it means cast, but, the example is astounding. Have you ever saddled a horse? The saddle is heavy, the stirrups unruly. So, when you put the saddle on the horse you heave it up in the air and throw it all on the horse. That is what the word “cast” means. Once you “cast” it on the horse you don’t pull it back off and carry it around the arena, do you. It goes on and it stays on. Same thing with cares and concerns. You put them on God and you leave them there! Granted it takes practice to do that because we were taught just the opposite, but, you can do it.
Isaiah 49:16 (KJV) 16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
What this verse is saying is that God has your name and mine tattooed on His hands and not just on His hands, but, on the palms of His hands. God doesn’t have hands. Again, this is a figure of speech telling us how much God cares for us. The palms of the hands are very sensitive and it is very painful to tattoo
anything on the palm of a hand. But, God has done it and the word “walls” means those palms are always there right in front of God’s eyes. He is always thinking about you, He is always looking at your name he always remembers you.
God knows us and He cares for us, but, how far away is He?
Philippians 2:13 (KJV) 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
God is right there with you. He never leaves you or forsakes you. Not only that, He is at work within you. How does He do that?
Romans 8:11 (KJV) 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Philippians 1:6 (KJV) 6 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:
Colossians 1:27 (KJV) 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Christians have been taught to have a low opinion of themselves. But, God’s opinion is much higher. He see’s you and you are His sons and daughters. We should act like it. Not only on a horizontal level among our fellow man, but, in our relationship with God. We should have a Father and son or Father and daughter relationship. We should be casting all our care on Him and expecting answers and deliverance. You’ve got to come to a decision in your mind that the Bible is telling the truth and start acting on it or else you will be in the soup for a life time.
Galatians 4:4-7 (KJV) 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
1 John 3:1-2 (KJV) 1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Christians are of the royal household of God and God stands ready to help you with every need in your life.
In less than two weeks we will celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. During this time it would be a good to dwell on what happened during that time over two thousand years ago and bask in the greatness of what it means to us today.
God, the creator of the heavens and the Earth wanted not only to redeem mankind from the sin that started back in Genesis chapter three, remember Adam and Eve and the eating the apple thing, but, He wanted children, yes God wanted children even before the foundations of the World.
Ephesians 1:4-5 (KJV) 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
So, He devised a plan to pay the price for man to get out of the sin and iniquity that he was in and to have a new nature, to be something different from the rest of the World.
1 Peter 2:9-10 (KJV) 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
The price had to be paid with blood
Hebrews 10:4 (KJV) 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Hebrews 10:10 (KJV) 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
and the person that paid it had to be sinless, otherwise he would be part of the world and not able to redeem mankind. It would be similar to buying a dozen donuts by using one of the dozen to pay for the rest. It doesn’t work that way. Whoever paid the price had to be outside the box. (sinless blood)
Matthew 27:3-4 (KJV) 3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.
Hebrews 4:15 (KJV) 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
So the process of bringing God’s redeemer into the world took thousands of years to develop. But, one day a young lady believed God
Luke 1:28-33 (KJV) 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Luke 1:38 (KJV) 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.
and brought forth God’s redeemer, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ walked a sinless walk here on Earth and finally fulfilled the plan that God had devised so long ago. God allowed His arch enemy, the devil, to kill our Lord and Savior.
1 Corinthians 2:7-8 (KJV) 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Hebrews 2:14-15 (KJV) 14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
With that payment made, Jesus Christ lay in the grave for three days and three nights thus fulfilling the requirement that a body be in the grave three days and three nights to be declared dead. Then the three greatest words ever spoken were uttered by the angel “HE-IS-RISEN.”
With God’s master plan accomplished it was only a matter of time until the day of Pentecost when it was available for anyone to walk into the grace, glory, power and majesty of being a child of God.
Romans 10:9-11 (KJV) 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
1 John 3:2 (KJV) 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
With that we have access to complete health,
1 Peter 2:24 (KJV) 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
we have the assurance that we are going to heaven
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (KJV) 13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
we have direct access to talk with God,
Hebrews 4:16 (KJV) 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV) 6 Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let
your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
we can be and should be and will be, by our believing, more than conquerors in every situation
Romans 8:37 (KJV) 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
1 John 4:4 (KJV) 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
So, over the next two weeks bask in the glorious light of who you are, a child of God, by all that Jesus Christ accomplished.
Colossians 3:15 (KJV) 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
There is a time in a nation’s history that requires the people of that nation to re-assess their life styles and their reluctance to seek God. There are two stories in the Bible of two different nations that were at this crossroad. Their records are found in the books of Jeremiah and Jonah.
The only time that the shepherds did this was when it was warm enough. In the winter months they would take the herds out during the day and then bring them back in at night and put them in a pen. Therefore , the birth of Jesus could not have been on December 25th but earlier in the year when the shepherds were still letting the sheep stay in the fields over night.
Did you ever wonder why God chose shepherds? Of all the people that God could have Chosen why did He choose these shepherds? It is because they chose God! They were humble enough to BELIEVE that there was a messiah coming. No governor, no ruler, no religious leader was told because they didn’t believe.
We have had some friends and acquaintances that are going through tough times right now. One has had her hours at work cut. She is single and now can’t even pay her rent. One couple had a company, that was supposed to be helping them, steel all the money out of their bank account. Another can’t pay for their children’s swim lessons. And it goes on. There are many more stories out there of not so merry times. People in these circumstances tend to look at the circumstances that surround them. It is only natural but is it the best thing to be doing? Is it the right thing to do? Our culture would have us to believe that we should fear because there is no help to be had. That the circumstances are too big to overcome. That maybe fact but it is not true.
Many people these days are stockpiling food and weapons and ammunition. They are going to classes to learn how to shoot quick and straight, how to do first aid and how to run a homestead. All of this is good BUT the one thing that people need most, the one class they need to take, the one form of survival training they need most is the one that they do not bother with. That one class is HOW to walk with God and HOW to listen and hear His voice.
There has been a moving away from God over the past one hundred years to the point that we have almost completely forgotten who God is and how this country, the United States of America, came to be. It was because of the people’s belief in God and Him protecting and prospering them that this country was formed.