Anointed To Teach God's Word

Classic Christian teaching from the holy Bible


IMPORTANT NOTICE:

I will be closing down this blog page today after today (4-13-13). I do so with great distress and personal despair. But I assure you that ALL postings to this site will now be posted to one of my other blog pages: theshepherdscorner.wordpress.com

Why am I doing this?  Well, wordpress.com is harder to work with than Blogger.com. And lately I have been having difficulties linking this blog to Printerest. It won’t link! And this blog has hundreds of Printerest followers!  Wordpress seems to have various difficulties. Another reason is that, if you know me, I mow a lot of yards in the summer time for people who are unable to mow their own, or pay someone else to do it for them. It is one of my  Christian “services” to those who are in need. Another reason: my sister recently passed away and I am the “personal representative” of her estate. This alone is quite time consuming to say the least.

I realize that there are many followers of this blog and I certainly love and appreciate you all. But if you would change your settings to: theshepherdscorner.wordpress.com  you will still be able to read everything that I would normally post here on this blog. Don’t be concerned. Tomorrow you will read: “The Believer’s Part in Remaining Spirit-filled # 19 on theshepherdscorner.wordpress.com.  There will be no other changes for you to do except change your settings this one time.  “The Beliver’s Part in Remaining Spirit-filled” is one of our most popular articles and one which I would never allow to leave unposted. I truly love my members and followers, and I certainly appreciate your thoughts!

Tomorrow you will find the next sequel to “The Believer’s Part in Remaining Spirit-filled on one of my other blog pages in blogger.com – gainingchristianperfection.blogspot.com. I prayerfully ask that you join me there and we will continue with Ms. Paxson’s wonderful Christian writing. Thank you all so much. See you tomorrow!

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The Believer’s Part in Remaining Spirit-filled # 18


 

Life On The Highest Plane

The Holy Spirit – The Divine Teacher, Guide and Revealer

God has taken our ignorance and inability into account and has made provision for our supernatural illumination and enlightenment. Read 1 Corinthians 1:18, with this in mind.

The spiritual man then has One who will teach him “all things that pertain to life and godliness” and who will apply them to his life so that the knowledge will not be only intellectual or academic but spiritual and experimental. The Holy Spirit will not only teach us the truth but will guide us into it, enabling us to incorporate it into our lives that we may become holy and righteous even as He.

One reason why the Bible has no meaning to us but rather seems incredible and unintelligible is because we try to understand it with our unaided and unanointed intellect. God only promises spiritual apprehension to the one who has received the Holy Spirit’s anointing. Only a spiritual mind can receive spiritual truth.

1 John 2:20, “And ye have an anointing from the Holy One, and ye know all things.”

1 John 2:17, “And as for you, the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any one teach you; but as his anointing teacheth you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you, ye abide in him.”

“Ye have an anointing – ye know.” “His anointing – teacheth you.” God has given a divine order which is irreversible.

I know a Chinese man who has a spiritual apprehension and appreciation of Scripture beyond that of the majority of Christian workers, yet he never attended a Bible school a day in his life or studied in a mission school. But his eyes have been anointed to see, his heart to receive and his mind to understand the deep, eternal verities of the Word of God.

Fellow Christian, have you had that anointing? Have your eyes been anointed to see the beauties and excellencies of the adorable Lord of glory as revealed in the Word? Or are you groping your way through the Bible depending upon your unaided human intellect to fathom the unsearchable riches of God’s grace? Have you come from your study of the Bible disappointed and discouraged?

I once visited a wonderful cave in Colorado. Impatient of the delay caused by the slowness of the party gathering together I rushed alone into the cave. All was dark, I couldn’t even see which way to go. Seeing a lantern near the entrance I took that and tried to lift it high enough to see some of the loudly proclaimed beauties of that cave. But I saw nothing and turned back in disappointment. After a while the party came with a guide. He commanded us to follow him very closely. In a few minutes he lifted a big torch, which he carried in his hand, high up to the ceiling of the cave and oh! what exclamations of surprise and delight came from every member of the party as the beauty and wonder of the stalagmites and stalactites burst upon our vision. Every step we took our guide unfolded to us some fresh glory of God’s handiwork in the heart of that cave.

And we have such a Guide whose mission is to unveil before us the beauty and glory of our risen, exalted Lord and Saviour. If you would live your life habitually on the highest plane, you must seek His anointing; you must wait upon Him to reveal to you in the Word “the things which God hath prepared for them that love him”; you must through your obedient response allow Him to apply the Word wherever and however He sees it is needed for your conformity to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer

The Christian life centers in a relationship. It is a divine-human fellowship which has its inward spring in the oneness of life between Christ and the Christian. There are two essential expressions to this Heaven-born, earth-bent relationship, communion and cooperation.

An Inner Room – Reciprocal Communion

Matthew 6:6, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

Matthew 14:23, “He went up into the mountain apart to pray, and when even was come he was there alone.”

Mark 6:46-47, “And after he had taken leave of them he departed into the mountains to pray, and when even was come the boat was in the midst of the sea, and he was alone on the land.”

The man who lives habitually on the highest plane will have an inner room and he who remains Spirit-filled will spend some time each day behind a shut door. He who truly follows the example of the God-man will often be alone with his heavenly Father. The spiritual man will be a man of prayer. Communion with the Lord Jesus will be the atmosphere in which he lives, the very air he breathes.

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 19)

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Three Reactions to the Gospel


 

  For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
 
—1 Corinthians 1:18

I have found as I travel that some people are more open to the gospel than others. I never know how it is going to play out, so I just give out the Word of God and invite people to come to Christ. And people will react in different ways.

The apostle Paul received three reactions to the gospel when he preached it: “And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, ‘We will hear you again on this matter. . . .’ However, some men joined him and believed” (Acts 17:32, 34).

We find the same reactions to the gospel today. Some will mock. The term “mocked” used in Acts 17 also could be translated “sneered” or “burst out laughing.” In other words, Are you serious? You actually believe that?

To these educated fools, it all seemed silly and unbelievable. But this very mockery was an indication they were going to perish because “the preaching of the gospel is to them that are perishing foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Some will mock, while others will delay.We will hear you again on this matter.This is a very common reaction. What it actually means is, “I really don’t want to decide right now.” The devil uses this tactic to great effect. Don’t worry about it now. Deal with it later.

But some believed. Some repented and changed their minds, and among them was Dionysius the Areopagite, one of the judges who was an intellectual and ruler of the city.

Here is what I have come to realize. Conversion is God’s job, not mine. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of an unbeliever. God holds us responsible for proclaiming the truth. But the rest is up to Him.

~Greg Laurie~

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The Believer’s Part in Remaining Spirit-filled # 17


 

Life On The Highest Plane

The Word of God Is a Seed that Matures and Multiplies

Some one has told of a Korean Christian who was examined on the Sermon on the Mount and was able to repeat it without mistake. When the missionary asked, “How did you manage to learn it so perfectly?” the reply came, “I learned it a verse or a few verses at a time. I would learn a verse and then go out and find some one to practice it on.”

A native of India read the Gospels for the first time and while filled with admiration for the God-man, yet such a life in such a world seemed wholly incredible to him. Then he read on into the Epistles and learned that the Christian was one who was like his Lord and whose life was lived in obedience to the Word. So he started out on a quest – to find a man whose life matched the Book – determining that if his quest were successful, he would believe. If he had seen you or me would he have found one whose life matched the Book?

Dr. Alex Smellie wrote of Evan H. Hopkins, “He was a sermon incarnate. The sunshine of the Better Country where his days and nights were spent, played on his soul and articulated itself in his speech; it was sunshine not merely visible but audible.”

It is the man who obeys the truth as he knows it whose capacity is enlarged to receive larger and fuller revelations of truth. The man who steadfastly lives out what he learns is ever learning more.

Genesis 13:14, “And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the lace where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward.”

“The Lord said – after that.” Here is a most significant sequence. Obedience to God’s command brought the fuller revelation of God’s purpose to Abram. So will it be with you and me. Disobedience to the known will of God as revealed in His Word is the cause of much of the stagnancy and slothfulness in the churches today. What a revival would take place in the corporate body of Christ, the Church, and what a revolution there would be in the individual members if every Christian began to live what he has learned of the Word of God.

Sir Arthur Blackwell has summed up the Christian’s relationship to the Bible in four great words.

“Admit” – open your whole being to let it be flooded with light. Let the truth in. Study the Bible sympathetically and lovingly. Let it be God’s voice to you direct.

“Submit” – Let the truth grip you that it may govern you. “Let the plain declaration of God’s Word be the end of all controversy. When we raise an issue with God all growth and all blessing must stop until that issue is settled.”

“Commit” – Grip the truth by hiding it in your heart. Let today’s message be articulated to yesterday’s so that a chain is forged that is a veritable anchor to your soul in times of temptation, trouble and trail.

“Transmit” – Don’t be a pool; be a stream. Don’t hoard your riches; share the bounties of the Lord’s table with another. Make every truth tenfold your own by passing it on.”

Missionary A – possessed some strawberry plants which he shared with Missionary B – who came to live beside him. That year Missionary A’s plants were all destroyed by insects and Missionary B – gave back to Missionary A – half his plants. So all the plants which Missionary A – possessed where what he gave away.

The Holy Spirit – The Divine Teacher, Guide and Revealer

There is no reason for ignorance of divine things on the part of any Christian who can read, for God has not only furnished us with a Text book but with a Teacher: He has given us not only a Guidebook but a Guide: He has unfolded to us not only a Revelation but has bestowed upon us the Revealer.

John 14:26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

1 Corinthians 2:9-10, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

Millions of Christians never have the opportunity to study the Bible in a theological seminary, Bible School or College. Comparatively few even have the privilege of being in a Bible class. But that does not exclude them from knowing all things which God has given in Christ to them that love Him. God not only desires but expects His children to know the way of life, how to enter upon it and how to walk in it. There are some things which God has not revealed unto us, but all that He has revealed belongs unto us and a full knowledge of this revelation is our birthright as His children.

Deut. 29:29, “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 18)

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Learning to Wait


 

And he said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Indeed Aaron and Hur are with you. If any man has a difficulty, let him go to them.” Exodus 24:14

Moses had led the children of Israel out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, into the wilderness and now to the foot of Mount Sinai. As everyone settled in at the base of this mountain, God called Moses to come up to the top. As Moses prepared to leave, he gave specific instructions to the elders. “Wait here…” Wait. Hang out. Stay put. Do not go anywhere. Sounds like a simple message. But as is often the case, the people became restless and impatient. How long were they supposed to wait? Maybe they thought Moses would head up the mountain and then come right back down, kind of a short trip. Their measure of time did not meet God’s measure of time. How often does that happen to us?  Very frequently in my experience!

We live in a world that is fast-paced, with instant messaging and real-time technology. We wait for very few things. We get impatient and anxious over the smallest time delays. Waiting in line to do anything seems futile and a waste of time. We pray for self-control just so we are not completely rude or offensive to those around us, especially those who may be holding up our schedule. But just as in the days of Moses, there are consequences to the behavior that comes from such impatience. The children of Israel decided to build a golden calf, throw a wild party around it, and make complete fools of themselves before God. We may not build a golden calf while waiting in traffic but many of us (if honest) must admit that we can get pretty foolish in how we handle our frustrations. Horns beeping, people yelling, gestures and faces display hostility…what has happened to us? The short answer: we have no concept of what it means to wait.

As Christians, we serve a God who is never in a rush. The Lord is patient and steadfast. If we treat our prayers like a slot machine or a 9-1-1 call, we will most likely be disappointed. The Lord will wait. So often, He is waiting on us to come to Him, or to come back to Him. He does not respond according to the world’s pace. He wants us to follow Him, not the world. Waiting on the Lord brings strength to our character. As His child, we should be diffusing the hostility with love. There is no better time to be a witness for Jesus than when we are being pressured to act like everybody else. Stop today and think about this message. If you find yourself in a line at a store, in traffic or anywhere that you are told to “wait,” pray for God’s strength to give you patience. Pray for the person standing before you in line or the Cashier before you get to her. Pray that it be an opportunity to glorify Him and be His witness. 

~Daily Disciples~

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The Believer’s Part in Remaining Spirit-filled # 16


 

Life On The Highest Plane

The Word of God is a Seed Which Matures and Multiplies

But how contrary is such an attitude to that of most Christians. In what a purely perfunctory, desultory manner many Christians study or read the Bible. It is like a bit of distasteful medicine that is needed for the sake of health but the quicker taken the better. The Bible is opened in a haphazard fashion to any place; the reading is done with no relish; the Book is gladly closed and what was read makes little impression.

The Word of God is a living thing and accordingly responds to the treatment given to it. What a difference it makes when one truly hungers for the Bread of life; when one thirsts for the living Water; when one comes to the Word of God with a keen appetite for a full meal. The Word of God becomes food to such a one and honey to his taste.

Jeremiah 15:15, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord of hosts.”

Job 23:12, “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips: I have treasured up the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.”

Psalm 119:103, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.”

What a difference it makes when one approaches the Bible as on a quest, when one is really hunting for something as the gold digger hunts for the gold. Then he is content with no superficial reading but he systematically searches; he seeks for great spoil; he diligently digs for the deepest truths. Such a one is saved from intellectual laziness and stands ready for the concentration and meditation required of one who deeply knows God. The Bible becomes a gold mine to such a searcher after truth.

Psalm 119:127, “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea above fine gold.”

Psalm 119:162, “I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.”

What a difference it makes when one truly loves the Book and longs to know Christ! Then he does not study with an eye on the clock but rather rejoices to find an extra hour or two that he may spend upon the Word. Such a man knows the thrill of “a non-stop flight” even through Genesis, Isaiah, or Revelation. He loves the Book of God because he loves the God of the Book.

Psalm 119:140, “Thy word is very pure; therefore thy servant loveth it.”

John 14:21, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

We must approach the Word of God not only in faith and in love but in a willingness to obey. To learn and then not to live is deadly and disastrous. Disobedience to what God said through doubt kept the children of Israel out of Canaan and later took their posterity into captivity and exile. One must become a doer of the Word.

The Bible will never really become ours until we have the consistent and persistent purpose to live what we learn. We might make a very careful study of the constituent elements of foods and know just how much  of each we need in our system to ensure health but that knowledge will not give strength of body. Only as we eat, digest and assimilate the food itself does it minister to our bodily needs. So we need to beware of mere head knowledge of the Bible. Apart from the Holy Spirit’s inworking of the Word of life into the very fabric of our being it has no saving nor sanctifying power. This He cannot do unless there is an obedient response on our part. The Word is not given to us to make our intellects treasure houses of heavenly wisdom but to make our hearts the sanctuaries of the heavenly One. God’s warnings have no value for one unless they are heeded: His precepts profit nothing unless they are followed and His commandments can only bless as they are obeyed. “If ye keep my commandments.” The whole force of what follows draws its meaning from that little word “if”. If we take food into the body, it becomes blood and muscle, so if we incorporate the Word of God into our life, it becomes character and conduct. When studying God’s Word we should say to ourselves constantly, “How can this be worked into the very woof and warp of my life?” The Bible to yield its full fruitage demands not only consideration and meditation but application.

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 17)

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If We Suffer, We Shall Reign with Him


Hebrews 5:8
Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.
 
We are told that the Captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering, therefore we who are sinful, and who are far from being perfect, must not wonder if we are called to pass through suffering too. Shall the head be crowned with thorns, and shall the other members of the body be rocked upon the dainty lap of ease? Must Christ pass through seas of His own blood to win the crown, and are we to walk to heaven dryshod in silver slippers? No, our Master’s experience teaches us that suffering is necessary, and the true-born child of God must not, would not, escape it if he might. But there is one very comforting thought in the fact of Christ’s “being made perfect through suffering”-it is, that He can have complete sympathy with us. “He is not an high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” In this sympathy of Christ we find a sustaining power. One of the early martyrs said, “I can bear it all, for Jesus suffered, and He suffers in me now; He sympathizes with me, and this makes me strong.” Believer, lay hold of this thought in all times of agony. Let the thought of Jesus strengthen you as you follow in His steps. Find a sweet support in His sympathy; and remember that, to suffer is an honorable thing-to suffer for Christ is glory. The apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy to do this. Just so far as the Lord shall give us grace to suffer for Christ, to suffer with Christ, just so far does He honor us. The jewels of a Christian are his afflictions. The regalia of the kings whom God hath anointed are their troubles, their sorrows, and their griefs. Let us not, therefore, shun being honored. Let us not turn aside from being exalted. Griefs exalt us, and troubles lift us up. “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.”
 
~Charles Spurgeon~
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The Believer’s Part in Remaining Spirit-filled # 15


The Believer’s Part in Remaining Spirit-filled # 15

 
Life on the Highest Plane

The Word of God is the Medium in Regeneration

The Word of God is a Seed and Matures and Multiplies

One day on the road to Damascus the young Hebrew, Saul of Tarsus, saw the Lord Jesus Christ. Then and there he was  not only converted but captivated. “One figure enraptured him, captivated his being, bound him as with chains, and that figure is Christ Jesus, the Lord. One passion reigns, one motive dominates, that the Lord, in love, devotion and service should be his all-in-all. Everything else is subservient, everything else is counted, as refuse that this one object may be altogether his. Nothing of earth is comparable to Him, nothing of earth is desired beside Him. All that once was counted gain is discarded as loss for the priceless possession of the eternal treasure – Jesus Christ the Lord.”

Paul, having caught a vision of his risen, exalted Lord, having been captivated by His grace and glory, was consumed with the passion to make “a non-stop flight” to the perfect possession of all his glorious inheritance in Christ Jesus, His objective – “That I may win Christ” – so big, so worthy, so challenging that it made the things of time, sense and earth sink into utter insignificance. His objective – “that I may know him” – so constraining that it carried him away into Arabia for three years where he received the God-inspired revelation which has come down to you and me through his Epistles.

What is your objective in Bible study? Is it merely to satisfy intellectual curiosity? Is it only to know the contents of the Bible and to appreciate its literary value as one of the great books in the world’s library? Is it even for a purely selfish enrichment of your own life? Or do you come every day to the written Word of God that you may better know the eternal, incarnate, risen, living Word of God as He is revealed in its pages? Your goal will very largely determine your gain. Will you today enter the company of those who, emulating the Apostle Paul’s example, approach God’s Word daily saying, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord … that I may win Christ and be found in him.” There will surely be a divine response to such seeking and God will give “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

2 Corinthians 4:6, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

The second essential in Bible study for personal spiritual growth is the right attitude. What we get from the Bible is determined very largely by what we  bring to it. If we approach the Bible in an attitude of doubt we shall probably leave it in doubt.

A Christian worker whose faith in the Word of God had been so undermined and poisoned that she said she disbelieved and doubted everything in the Book before she even opened it, came one day to me in great distress. She had been asked to give an Easter message and she had none to give. She came to ask that we might read together the accounts of the resurrection in the four Gospels. As we read Matthew 28:17, “And when they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted,” she just dropped her Bible and said, “Oh! it is no wonder they doubted!” I said, “Oh! is that the way you read it? As I read it it is no wonder that they worshiped!” “I see,” she replied, “it all depends on the attitude you bring to the Bible; if you bring doubt, you will doubt: if you bring worship, you will worship.”

The first secret of Bible study is faith born of humility. He that comes to God must believe that He is and that He does. He must come believing that through the Word of God speaks and therefore he must come humbly and reverently.

Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Psalm 119:161, “Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.”

But we must not only approach the study of God’s Word in faith but in love. It will not yield a very abundant harvest to the one who comes to it merely from a sense of duty. To enrich the life Bible study must be regarded as a delight. How well the Psalmist knew his Lord. The secret is not hard to discover.

Psalm 1:2, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

Psalm 119:47, “And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.”

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 16)

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Restitution


He shall make Restitution – Exodus 22:5

THIS chapter is full of restitution, of which there is far too little in ordinary Christian life. We try to make amends for injury done to another by an extraordinary amount of civility; but we are reluctant in so many words to frankly confess that we have done wrong, and make proper reparation for the act or speech. We often excuse ourselves by the thought that we were fully justified in speaking or acting as we did, whereas we may behave ourselves wrongly in courses of conduct which are themselves legitimate.

Loosing a beast into another man’s field (Exodus 22:5). – We may through our carelessness allow another to suffer detriment. The beast ought not to have been thus allowed to stray; and, as we let it loose, we should make amends for our carelessness in respect to our brother’s interests. We wrong another not only by what we do, or permit to be done, but in what we carelessly fail to do.

Kindling a fire (Exodus 22:6). – The tongue is a spark that kindles a great matter. If we drop firebrands and lighted matches in the inflammable material of a circle of gossip, we should make amends to the person whose character may have been thereby injured.

Borrowed goads (Exodus 22:14). – To return a house, a book, a horse, in the state in which we received it, fair wear and tear excepted, or to make good any injury, should be a commonplace of Christian morality. Trustees are responsible for not making due inquiry into risky investments. Each is his brother’s keeper. If we remember at the prayer-hour that he has aught against us, let us seek him, and confess, and restore.

~F. B. Meyer~

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The Believer’s Part in Remaining Spirit-filled # 14


 

Life On The Highest Plane

The Word of God is the Medium in Regeneration

The Word of God is a Seed that Matures and Multiplies

The seed needs to be fostered and nurtured by earnest study and eager searching. Seed needs time to grow. The Word must be pondered and meditated upon. It must lie fallow in the mind, heart, conscience and will to bring forth its full fruitage. The seed must be kept abiding in the soil of faith. The Christian must continue in the Word. The Word must abide in him by day and by night.

Psalm 119:97, “O how love I thy law! it is my mediation all the day.”

Psalm 119:148, “Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.”

John 15:7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

Countless times have I seen the maturing, multiplying power of the Word of God when engrafted upon a human life but in none more beautifully illustrated than in the life of a Chinese teacher who came to a summer Conference as an interpreter. Although he had been a Christian for many years and was active in Christian work yet he was lamentably ignorant of the Word of God. This fact was so born in upon him as he interpreted the missionary’s message that he determined to leave his position as teacher immediately and devote himself to the study of the Bible. He went to a seminary for a short time, then spent several months alone with only the Holy Spirit as Teacher and Revealer of the deep things of the Book. At the end of a year of such intensive Bible study he returned to the community where he had lived formerly.

Shortly afterward I received a letter from a missionary in that city, in which she said:

“It would delight your very soul could you see and know all the wonderful way in which the Lord has led and used W____ in the last six or eight months. His Bible classes last fall and winter numbering about two hundred, were very fine indeed. He had them for all classes, from college boys down to the cooks and other servants on our compounds. His year away made a new man of him. That year’s study did worlds for him in the Scriptures. His familiarity with the Bible now is as marked as his lack of it was before this year of close application, and of course he is going on too, gaining ground all the time. He is probably going to be ordained in a few weeks now and become assistant pastor of the _____ church. The strongest thing about W____ is his life of prayer. Partly through the instrumentality of him and his sister, if not mostly, there are now being held three meetings a day just for prayer. And praise His Name, there have been some extraordinary answers to the prayers of this little circle which has for many months met every Sunday morning very early, really before the dawn. Now they have it every day.”

Coldness of heart, callousness of conscience, weakness of will, feebleness of testimony, joylessness in worship, fruitlessness in service, powerlessness in prayer all are traceable to just one thing – ignorance of and indifference to God’s Word. “Ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you” (John 8:37). But, when the Word is given its rightful place in any life, it has power to convict, to convert, to cleanse, to control, to criticize, to correct and to consecrate. It becomes a mold that fashions the life into every growing likeness to the image of Christ Jesus. “The Word is an expulsive power to turn out the tyranny of sin; an enlightening power to dispel the darkness of ignorance; an ennobling power to elevate the mind; an eradicating power to cleanse the heart; an endowing power to enrich the being, and an effectual power to bless in every way to the glory of God.”

Bible Study for Personal Spiritual Growth

 I was once asked by a group of high school pupils to lead their Christian Endeavor meeting. The invitation read as follows, “We would like for you to tell us how to read it so as to get the most out of it. Most of us read a chapter a day but then I am afraid that we do not do very much else.” Doubtless this is the experience of many Christians.

To know how to study the Bible for personal spiritual growth is the need of every Christian, old and young. It is not possible in the confines of this chapter to make suggestions regarding methods of Bible study. Nor is it necessary to do so for the person who truly desires to know the Word will discover for himself the best method.

But I would mention three things which to me seem essential for the kind of Bible study which will lift a Christian to life on the highest plane. They are an adequate objective, a right attitude, and an obedient response.

The reason why the Bible “has no taste” and why it is so unproductive of spiritual harvest in our lives is partly due to the lack of an adequate objective. To read the Bible aimlessly, to read it because one had signed a pledge promising to read a chapter a day or because of the desire to please a parent, teacher or friend, but without the purpose to remember  what is read and to reproduce it in character and conduct, while it may bring blessing, will not lift one to life on the highest plane. To read it spasmodically, to desire comfort in sorrow, to obtain strength in trial, to find wisdom in perplexity and to receive guidance in uncertainty, while all are legitimate motives, yet they are not the highest nor those most productive of spiritual gain.

There is, in fact, but one objective that is altogether adequate and it is that through the Word of God, we may know the Son of God. The Lord Jesus Christ is the central fact, and the commanding figure of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation He is to be found. No book of the Bible will be fully understood until Christ be seen in it. He is the pivot upon which everything in the divine revelation turns and He is the fountain from which everything in spiritual experience springs. To know Him is eternal lie, to know Him better and better is life abiding and abounding.

Phil. 3:8, “Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”

“That I may know Him” – that I may win Christ – this is the objective that will challenge one to earnestly, eagerly search the Scriptures.

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 15)

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