This is a short video report of my activities here in Cambodia.
In November of 2006 a friend, Art Rice, gave me a little daily devotional book titled My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers. I had heard of and seen this little book for many years but had never opened it to read it. However, since at that time I was not in a very good spiritual condition I felt I should read it…maybe it would help me find God again. Since that time I look forward to reading the Bible teaching for that day. God speaks to me a very encouraging or corrective word almost every day. Here is a summary of Oswald Chambers’ Bible teaching for July 4:
Don’t worry; it only leads to evil.
Worrying means we “get out of sorts” mentally or spiritually – things are not in alignment with us. It is one thing to say, “Don’t worry,” but it’s a very different things to have such a state of mind that you actually don’t worry. (It’s one thing to say it; it’s another thing to do it!) It sounds easy to say, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him” until your life is upset – until your just trying to make it through the tumults and anguish of life; is it possible to rest in the Lord and trust Him then? However, if this truth of resting in the Lord and trusting in Him doesn’t work when the storms are blowing in your life, it won’t work anywhere! This truth must work during our times of perplexity as well as in times of peace and tranquility or it will never work. And if it will not work in your situation it will not work in anyone’s situation. But it will work! Resting in the Lord does not depend on your external circumstances, but on your relationship with God Himself.
Worry always ends in sin. We imagine that a little anxiety and worry is an indication of how really wise we are, but it is really an indication of how really wicked we are! Worry comes from a determination to get our own way. Our Lord Jesus never worried and was never anxious because He was not out to accomplish His own way, but the way of His Father in heaven. Worry is sin if we are a child of God because we leave God out of our situation. Worry often is the result of fear or not getting our own way, but if we totally commit ourselves and “our way” to the Lord, we can trust Him.
Have you been filling your mind and emotions with the idea that your circumstances are too big for God or that He has abandoned you? It’s possible that you are just afraid that God will not do what you want Him to do. Dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. Set your worry aside. God has not abandoned you, but He is for you and with you. Tell God right now that you will stop worrying about that thing that is on your mind and you will give it to Him and trust Him with it. He loves you and wants the best for you. His best may not be what you think is the best, but if you trust Him, it will turn out to be the very best. All our fret and worry comes from us leaving God out of our circumstances.
In my daily Bible Reading I’m at the Book of Job, Chapter 9. In particular verse 2 jumped out at me:
How can a man be righteous before God? If one wished to contend with Him he could not answer Him one time out of a thousand.” (New King James Version)
It’s so important for us to have a correct understanding of who God is and who we are. He is the potter and we are the clay. We must honor Him for His awesomeness and don’t think for a moment we are equal to Him. (Isaiah 64:8)
But now, O Lord, You are our Father,
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all of us are the work of Your hand.
That’s true, but on the other hand we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21).
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
We who are believers in Jesus Christ are not a worm, but His children whom He has raised up and given power and authority. We are not those who grovel in our sin and unworthiness. It’s important to understand how we were, but not how we are now.
The Apostle Paul admonishes us to “handle accurately the Word of Truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
As we seek to understand God and His Ways and His Will for us, it’s essential that we not take one truth and emphasize that truth over another. It’s important for us to not take one truth – like the righteousness of God and the unrighteousness of mankind – and emphasize only one side of the truth. One truth in God’s Word is often balanced by another truth. We must take each teaching or Bible verse within it’s context. We must understand the whole perspective of God on a subject (Acts 20:27).
For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.
How do we discover the balance in God’s Word?
Briefly, I can say:
- Read the Bible. We must read the Bible a lot to gather much information about the whole Story of God. We must read the Bible in small portions to think about it, pray about it and study it. The first step is Read the Bible!
- Understand the Context of any one truth or Bible verse.
a. First there is the Covenant Context. Which covenant does that truth or scripture belong in – the Old or the New? Does the Old Covenant (Testament) truth apply to New Covenant (Testament) believers? Can we find that Old Covenant Truth re-affirmed in the New Testament?
b. What does the Bible say about that entire subject? Compare that Bible verse with other Bible verses. This takes study and it takes resources that will help you find the other Bible verses on that subject. The internet is very helpful nowadays. In the past I had to buy a lot of books, but now, those books are on the internet.
So here’s the point: Read the Bible a lot for context. Read the Bible in small portions for meditation and study. Seek to find the Big Picture from God on that subject. I recommend having a good Study Bible with you to help you bridge these gaps for you. In this way the Word of God in the Bible will become useful for our own lives and the lives of others.