Sunday, December 31, 2017

A challenge for 2018



I want to issue you a challenge for 2018.

Buy the truth, and do not sell it – also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. Proverbs 23:23 

Let Scripture be the sole authority in your life! Not what someone else says about Scripture. Not how someone else explains Scripture to you - but Scripture itself! 

One of the things that I most remember from taking a Precept Bible study is how they would always say, “Let Scripture interpret Scripture”. That is what we need to be doing.

I know that you probably think that is what you are doing – so did I. However, if we are really honest with ourselves, we will have to admit that more often than not, we are taking the teacher’s word for it, or the preacher’s word for what Scripture says. Even though most pastors will tell you, “Don’t take my word for it. Study for yourself” - as they should – most of us simply don’t take the time to do that! And because people don’t take the time to be a Berean, and examine the Scriptures for themselves (Acts 17:11), false teachings and doctrines have been the basis of many belief systems for hundreds and hundreds of years! 

In the first chapter of the book of Romans, Paul talks about how people are “without excuse” when it comes to believing that God exists. Well, I am telling you that now with all of the world wide web at our fingertips, we are without excuse when it comes to finding out what the Bible says, and what it means! We have access to a plethora of Bible study resources – resources where we can find out what the Bible says in Hebrew, or Greek, and even resources that teach us the culture of the times and how the people of the period would have understood the Scriptures. That is huge!! Why? Because the Bible was written for us but not to us!!!

The Scriptures were written thousands of years ago in a completely different time and culture. We cannot read the Scriptures through our modern day westernize eyes and have a completely clear understanding of what it means. 

We also have resources to teach us about Church history. Church history might sound dry and boring to some, but it is vital for us to learn the who, what, when, why, where, and how our church doctrines came about.

Take the time and ask yourself why you believe something. Is it in Scripture? If not, then where did that belief system come from? Who was the first to teach it? When was it first taught? What was their basis for teaching that?  One of the most eye opening things for me was when I read the words of our supposed “Church fathers”, and how anti-Semitic they were! Another eye opener was reading the Roman Catholic Church’s words on how they believe they have authority to change the Sabbath from the last day of the week to the first day of the week! (I have written about this specifically here) Not only that, but to denounce the Yahweh’s Feasts and form their own! 

So just how can we seek truth? Well, first of all, we need to be reading the Bible. My challenge here for you is to go back to the beginning! Start 2018 by starting in Genesis. Read the Bible in its entirety. Choose a topic to be on the lookout for while you read (that is what helped me finally read through the Bible front to back). I highly recommend that you look for truth! Where is the word truth found in the Bible? Mark every occurrence of the word and make note of it.  Ask yourself the 5 W’s and H questions: 

  •     Who defines truth? Who walked in truth? Who did not walk in truth? 
  •     What is the definition of truth? What does that look like in my life? 
  •     When was truth lived out? When was truth challenged? 
  •     Where was truth first mentioned in the Bible? 
  •     Why is truth so important? 
  •     How was it lived out? How can I live it out? 

Also, take the time to research church history. I will share some resources to get you started. This is a great video

Please know that this challenge comes from a heart of love. I sincerely love you! I also love the Father, and His Word. He has challenged me to seek Him more and the more I do, the more He blesses me! 

Ultimately, His Word is what I base this challenge upon. Let these verses jump start you in your search for truth in 2018:
 
Deuteronomy 32:4 “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.” 

Joshua 24:14 “And now, fear Yahweh, serve Him in perfection and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River in Egypt, and serve Yahweh!” 

Psalm 25:5 “Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.”

 Psalm 43:3 “O send out Your light and Your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to Your set- apart mountain and to Your dwelling places.” 

Psalm 119:142 “Your righteousness is righteousness forever; and Your Torah is truth.” 

Psalm 119:151 “You are near, O Yahweh, and all Your commands are truth.” 

John 8:32 “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 

1 John 2:4 “The one who says, ‘I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 

And again, Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it – also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Seek truth in 2018! Let it change your life! You won’t regret it. 
Shalom!  

Recommended resources:

Use these for looking up words in Hebrew and Greek:

https://www.blueletterbible.org/
http://biblehub.com/
http://www.tyndalearchive.com/2LetterLookup/
http://www.e-sword.net/

E-sword also gives you access to early "church fathers" writings, as does this website:

 http://ecmarsh.com/index.htm

This website is a great place to learn the cultural and historical aspects of Scripture:  I recommend Tom Bradford's teachings, as his are the only ones I am familiar with on this website:

http://torahclass.com/

I also recommend these books:

The Bridge 

King, Kingdom, Citizen





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