Study Your History

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” -Romans 15:4 (NIV)

I often cringe when I hear people say that studying history is boring and irrelevant. While historians are sometimes Google+Photoaccused of having immersed themselves in the past to the point that they have disconnected themselves from the present, history itself is meant to be a guide. A good scholar of history knows how to take the lessons of the past and apply them to the present in the hopes of constructing a better future. To work to prevent the horrors of the past from occurring again, we must first understand how and why they came about. Conversely, what was good and noble of the past should be reclaimed and appropriately implemented within the context of the modern age. An understanding of history will help us make sense of the world around us; where it has been and where it is going.

The Word of God, is the best history textbook available to man. Its pages bear witness to the story of humanity from the time God created us and our descent into wickedness, to Christ’s redemptive sacrifice on the cross and the hope we have through Him by identifying with His death and resurrection. Its characters are real people living in real places at real points in human history. Even historians outside the Christian tradition attest to the veracity of the Scriptures! Throughout the Bible we are provided with examples of people who chose to remain within the will of God and those who chose to remain outside; along with the consequences of their respective decisions. But unless we have personally chosen to apply the truths of the Bible to our lives, then our knowledge of the Scriptures is meaningless. Only when we have allowed the Spirit of Christ to reside in our hearts and have submitted our understanding to His perfect wisdom will He be able to teach us through His Word. With Him as our Guide, we will know how to live according to His righteousness and dwell in the hope of being ultimately restored through Him.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Run to His Word

“My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.” -Psalm119:28 (NIV)

We live in a world of sorrows. Despite the joys of life we must remember that as long as this world is tainted by the corruption of sin, sufferingGoogle+Photo and disappointment will always remain an ever-present reality. When grief strikes our heel and casts a dark cloud over our lives, where do we turn? We want something that will support and strengthen us in our time of weakness. However, because we are fallen creatures, we turn to the material, and often detrimental things of this world to find solace and comfort. How many tried to wash away their anguish with alcohol? How many have tried to run away from their problems by burying themselves in work? How many have sought to find assurance and fulfillment in illicit relationships? All of these things will never be able to console us. In fact they will only serve to make us more miserable by binding us to destructive lifestyles and habits.

In Christ there is an unshakable hope. He is acquainted with the sufferings we must undergo on Earth for He bore witness to our sorrows while He dwelt among us. Yet in His omnipotence He stands above our trials. When we meditate upon His Word, and take refuge in His promises, we can rest in the fact that He will never leave nor forsake us. Christ does not eliminate suffering. Rather he works through it, for often times suffering builds character and faith. In His love Christ promises that He is there with us when we undergo times of darkness and that no matter how bleak our circumstances may be, there is restoration and deliverance in Him. He never leads us into darkness only to watch us fall. On the contrary, in His goodness, He takes us through the fires of hardship to refine us in His righteousness and strengthen us in our faith for our benefit. If we seek relief in the things of this world, we will only end up wallowing in self-pity and woe. But when we take hold of the promises of Christ as revealed through His Word, we are assured of the fact that our sufferings are temporary in light of His eternity, and that he takes us through them only to display His wonderful love, His faithful provision, and His redemptive work in our lives.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Who Is Speaking?

“A man finds joy in giving an apt reply – and how good is a timely word!” -Proverbs 15:23 (NIV)

Words are powerful. They can either build up a person’s life or shatter it completely. In most cases the turning point in the life of a person, Google+Photoeither for better or for worse, was usually something that was said to them which either uplifted them or brought them great discouragement. In those critical moments, an encouraging or wise word from someone else can do wonders for their soul. But if we think that just saying something damaging or untimely to a person undergoing a crisis is detrimental, our silence is equally so! How many people could be spared from the misery of being bound to crippling insecurities and destructive lifestyles if someone simply came alongside them and ministered to them through their presence and by telling them of the hope found in Christ?

As children of Christ, we witness not solely through our actions, but through our words as well. Christ gave us mouths for that purpose; to praise and glorify Him and to bear testimony to His love and righteousness in us. Sometimes we remain silent out of fear. We ask ourselves whether if we could really intervene in a given situation through our words and provide comfort, healing, and encouragement. But we do not out of our own wisdom and ability. When we have allowed Christ to reside within our hearts and permitted Him to make Himself manifest in our lives, He will be the one who will give us the words to speak. In our weaknesses and our inabilities, He is the one who enables and empowers us. When we allow Him to speak through us when He has called us to minister in specific situations, we will have the wonderful privilege of bearing witness to His redemptive work in our lives as He places those timely words in our mouth. We should never allow our insecurities in our own abilities to hinder Christ’s redemptive mission. It is only when we surrender our mouths to Him that He will fill us with His wisdom and love so that He may bring healing and restoration to a broken world.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.