Daily Bible Reading

Evidence

Can you see God? You haven’t seen Him? I’ve never seen the wind. I see the effects of the wind, but I’ve never seen the wind.

Billy Graham

Today, in my part of the world, it’s windy. I’m looking out my big windows and I see snow blowing across the yard. In the moments when the wind takes a break, big white flakes swirl down and add themselves to the drifts already covering the yard. Then the wind picks up again and snow both from the sky and the ground and every other surface blasts my view.

I can see that it’s windy. I see evidence of the wind in the snow coming down as well as the drifts on the ground. But I can’t actually see the wind. If I dare to go outside for a few minutes and come back in, the evidence of the wind will be on me. I’d likely have snow stuck to one side of me and not the other. My hair would be standing on end and I’m quite certain I’d be shivering. You’d see the effects of the wind in my appearance, but neither you or I could say we’d actually seen the wind.

The quote above from Billy Graham is well known. If you listened to Christian music in the 90’s, you’d have heard a clip of it on dcTalk’s Jesus Freak album. You may have heard it used many times over the years, but have you really thought about it? Have you gone to the Word for scripture to back it up?

In Exodus, Moses is sent up Mount Sinai once more (he’d come down with tablets from God once already, but ended up smashing them upon realising Israel, in the forty days he’d been gone had reverted to worshipping a golden calf). God needed a word with Moses. And so, for another forty days and nights, Moses fasted and spoke with God face to face. When he finally came back down the mountain, the people of Israel couldn’t bear to look at him, so strong was the glory of God that shone from his face.

Oh, it was just that once, you may say. It wasn’t. Read on in Exodus 34, Moses had to come up with a veil in order to hide his face when he came out from being in the presence of God. Israel didn’t see God, but they saw the effects of His presence.

What do you look like after you’ve been in the presence of God? It’s a personal, spiritual experience, I don’t like to let people know. Why would you want to hide that kind of experience from others?  It’s just for me, no one else. If it was just for Moses, he could have kept to himself and not had to bother with covering his face. When I meet with God, it’s not like that. If you’re not at all changed, are you really meeting with God?

There are many excuses we can give, but in the end, it all comes down to the evidence. If you’ve experienced the presence of God in any way, it should show. You don’t have to literally light up the room with your face, but shouldn’t your countenance show that you’ve experienced something good? Should your attitude not reflect time spent in the presence of the Great I Am?

We might not be able to see the presence of God, but we should surely be able to see the effects of it.

Daily Bible reading: Exodus 34-36, Matthew 23:1-22

Daily Bible Reading

The secrets of the Kingdom

Do you ever feel as though, the more time you spend in the presence of God, the more you understand and want to experience the presence of God? But as soon as you stop taking the time, that feeling goes away and you forget what it’s like to truly experience God.

Jesus spoke to His disciples about this very thing.

Then he explained to them, “You have been permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others have not. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them…

Matthew 13:11-12 (NLT)

This is why continual study of the Word of God and regular church attendance is so important. The more you get, the more you will yet receive. But as soon as you close your fist, the gravy train ends and all that you had will be lost. Our faith, our relationship with God is a process, not a single event.

My dear friends, you have always obeyed God when I was with you. It is even more important that you obey now while I am away from you. Keep working to complete your salvation with fear and trembling because God is working in you to help you want to do and be able to do what pleases him.

Philippians 2:12-13 (NCV)

Daily Bible reading: Genesis 41, Matthew 13:1-32

Daily Bible Reading

This is a test

Test and evaluate yourselves to see whether you are in the faith and living your lives as [committed] believers. Examine yourselves [not me]! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves [by an ongoing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeed you faith the test and are rejected as counterfeit?

2 Corinthians 13:5 (AMP)

When was the last time you gave yourself a faith test? When was the last time you really looked at your Christian experience and verified that it is ongoing and wasn’t just a one-time thing?

I think we, as Christians, should think about this more often. It all comes in the same package as renewing our minds. Christianity is not a one-and-done experience, but rather a lifelong event.

If we all tested ourselves on a regular basis, we may – at the beginning – find ourselves wanting. But, as we continue to renew our minds and get better grades on our self-examinations, we may find our lives changing at a faster pace. If we truly live according to the faith as committed believers, our daily lives should reflect that.

Go ahead. Test yourself. Do you pass?

Daily Bible reading: Song of Solomon 4-5, 2 Corinthians 13

Uncategorized

Power

This week we’ve already talked about Jesus’ voice as well as his works. Once we know his voice and have seen his works, what then?

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria , and to the end of the earth.

Acts 1:8 (ESV)

Once we know Jesus’ voice and we’ve seen his work, it’s up to us to then talk about it. Share with others what he’s done for us and for others. And just to be sure that every witness had personally experienced Jesus in an unforgettable way, he left with the promise to send the Holy Spirit.

Jesus knew that, once the disciples had been filled with the Spirit as he was, there would be no going back. They all would have experienced something so life-changing that they would have to tell people about it.

Daily Bible reading: Ezra 9-10: Acts 1

Uncategorized

Kingdom

And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables…”

Mark 4:11 (ESV)

If you’ve been around churches for any length of time, you may have heard said that the Bible is like a love letter written to Christians. As cliché as that sounds, it’s sort of true.

Many non-believers read the Bible and come out of it confused, while others come out of the experience enlightened. What’s the difference? Why doesn’t everyone experience the Bible in the same way?

Have you ever been in a church service where you see people with their arms raised, tears streaming down their face while you stand with your hands in your pockets watching, wondering if you’ve missed something?

We all experience God in different ways. Don’t misread this, God doesn’t change, we just see different facets of Him. If we are open, He shows us what we need when we need it. In this verse in Mark, Jesus had just told a large crowd the parable of the sower. All the crowd got was the parable. This group is like a non-believe reading the Bible without any expectation and probably a lot of cynicism. These people aren’t privy to the explanation. They heard the words and walked away.

Once the crowd had gone, Jesus explained his story to his disciples and those who had remained near by – the people close to him, the people who were seeking answers. These are the people who look to the Bible for answers. God says that if we seek Him, we will find Him. We have “been given the secret of the kingdom of God.”

When you stay close to Jesus and ask the questions, you get the good stuff. You get the secrets.

Daily Bible reading: Numbers 5-6, Mark 4:1-20