By Beth, May 28 2015 10:08PM

Psalms 127:1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it.

I’m no expert on building a house. Not physically, anyway. I don't know very much about carpentry, masonry, plumbing or wiring (but, boy, do I admire very much those people who do!)

Still, even we who lack in skilled labor expertise can recognize some basic truths about the process:

1. A house must be built on a solid foundation. (Obviously.) The wisdom of this principle is fleshed out in Matthew 7 when Jesus explains:

Matthew 7:24-25 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

As Christians, we recognize that Jesus was likening a home’s physical foundation to our life’s spiritual foundation. And we understand that Jesus is that Rock -- the solid spiritual foundation for our lives. We know that our spiritual foundation is established through:

A. Recognition that Jesus is God (and we are not);

B. Admission that we have strayed from our original creation in His image by our choosing to engage in destructive behavior patterns known as “sin;”

C. Confession of our sin to God;

D. Genuine, deep personal repentance;

E. Baptism (as an expression of our decision to accept Christ and our public declaration that we may be held accountable for the responsibilities of that decision,) and;

F. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit, gently guiding us to choosing productive and creative behavior patterns known as “righteousness.”

Okay. So we’ve got that. But now what?


2. Once the foundation is laid…the house must actually be built on it.

I know, I know – brilliant epiphany, right?!

But I wonder… without a house, what was the purpose of the foundation in the first place?

And the truly great puzzlement is:


Why does she continue to lay the foundation, over and over and over again?

How many times have we gone to church (various places, various denominations) hoping to find encouragement, admonishment, and inspiration…only to be preached a salvation message (yet again??)

Is this really what God intended for His church?

Let’s take a look at these verses, written by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Hebrews:

Hebrews 6:1-2 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

Hebrews 6:3 And this will we do, if God permit.

Have you EVER heard that taught before? Ever?? And yet, there it is!

How about this one?

Romans 15:20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation.

Wait a minute…wait a minute.

Do you see that? He strived to preach the gospel…but not where Christ was already named??


I’m pretty sure Christ has been named and publicly acknowledged by the Church as a whole.

So what should we be teaching in our churches??

Well, Paul tells us just a few verses later:

Hebrews 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

Aha! We ought to be learning about the things that accompany salvation!

So what are those things?

Peter explains them to us in his second letter:

2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

2 Peter 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

2 Peter 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

2 Peter 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

So once we have the foundation of faith, we are to add to it:

1. Virtue

2. Knowledge

3. Temperance

4. Patience

5. Godliness

6. Brotherly kindness

7. Charity

(As an aside note, isn’t it interesting how, if you flip the whole thing and see faith as the foundation and the good fruits growing upward, charity ends up on the very top? It reminds me of that verse: 1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.)

So, really, THIS is what we’re supposed to be learning about and discussing in church. The teaching of, as Paul puts it, “better things” and “things that accompany salvation” ought to be our focus.

In fact, in Chapter 12 of his letter to the Romans, Paul gives a remarkably helpful and detailed list of what it looks like to be a Christian:

Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Romans 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Romans 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Romans 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

Romans 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Romans 12:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Romans 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Pretty comprehensive, isn’t it? Can you imagine how different things would be if Christians were actually taught to live by these principles?

Instead, we’re taught week after week that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins. Praise God that He did!!

Now tell us what to do next!

(How about going ahead and building the house now?)

And what is the importance of having a house actually built on the foundation that was laid?

Well, what benefits does a house offer? Shelter…safety...comfort… just to mention a few.

It’s a place where we seek nourishment; where we rest, and regain our strength; where we grow and nurture our children into strong healthy adults.

And speaking of children, what would you think of parents who sought to feed all the hungry people outside their home and neglected feeding their own children?

How about parents who sought to discipline all the neighborhood children and failed to discipline their own?

What about parents who seek to protect other children from death, but leave their own to wander into its icy grip?

How effective is this tactic??

Our churches must be places of learning and growing and nourishing; protecting, admonishing, and inspiring the saints – not just reaching out to the lost!!

Many churches are focused almost exclusively on “winning the lost”-- and they are teaching us to focus on the same, rather than helping us to grow in our understanding of God and His Goodness, and rather than teaching us to live Godly lives full of temperance and patience and charity.

Our leaders have become blind to what it really means to be a Christian, believing and teaching that it is defined as someone who goes out and tells people (who, incidentally, oftentimes already know) about Jesus.

Remember what Jesus had to say about this scenario:

Luke 6:39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?

Alas, both our churches and their parishioners are being led straight into a ditch of sin and stagnation.

Because the truth is, if you are not committed to growing and learning, renewing your mind daily, leaving your old sin behind you, taking responsibility and repenting when you slip up now, listening for and obeying that still small voice of the Spirit within, and exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit more and more as a whole, then you have no business evangelizing.

Why? Because you do not really honor God with your life.

God certainly does not expect us to be perfect, but we ought to be changing, moving toward perfection.

Psalm 55:19 God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.

We need to be equipped to live our lives in such a way that others are moved by our example and the evidence of our spiritual growth more than our words!

A life well-lived is a far greater evangelism tool than simply “telling people about Jesus.”

(You can quote that and you can take it to the bank.)

How come the churches don’t know that?

The saints need to be nurtured, admonished, and encouraged to grow in the direction of God!

And though I don’t know much about physically building a house, I am called upon by God to spiritually build my home, and to build it well:

Proverbs 14:1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

How much more, then, are the spiritual leaders called upon to build a proper house for the children of God?

When we ignore the needs of the members of our own household, we pluck down our house with our own hands.

Are you a CHRIST-ian?

Live your life in such a way that truly honors God and His Goodness.

Minister to your own family.

And make it a point in your own life to exhort and strengthen the saints to the best of your ability, just as Peter was directed to do when Jesus told him:

Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Oh yes. . .and pray, pray, pray for the Church.

By Beth, May 8 2015 02:00AM

He brought me to the banqueting house,

and his banner over me was love.

Song of Solomon 2:4

My husband does the most remarkable thing.

When I am in a bad mood, being downright snotty and crabby and selfish, offended for no good reason (yet offended still, make no mistake!), he will often smile warmly at me or chuckle and say “You’re so cute.”

(WELL, then.)

And it has the most remarkable effect.

I am immediately bewildered… and consequently, utterly disarmed.

“I am not cute,” I half-heartedly respond (as I falter in my indignation.)

“Oh, yes you are…you are just having a rough time,” he often says, and scoops me up into his loving arms.

My anger and disdain falls away from me instantly, and I am charmed (like a poisonous asp who has been subdued) and completely overpowered.

Is this frustrating for me? Not at all. It is so amazingly comforting and freeing. Because I know my husband’s character, his trustworthiness, and his deep, abiding love for me. Because he’s proven himself time and again. When I feel rash and insecure and out of control, he responds with gentleness and patience.

He gives me containment. He gives me security.

When I feel (and act) wholly unlovable, he loves me anyway.

This type of love is powerful.

This type of love can calm the savage beast.

This type of love is the kind Jesus spoke of when He said in Luke 6:27:

But I say unto you which hear, love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

In Luke 6:32, He explains:

For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

It’s so hard to love someone who is behaving so ‘unlovably’ – but it is so effective!

How exactly does this process work?

Think about this wayward world – so unstable, so unfaithful, so apt to stab you in the back before you can even finish turning around… People are desperate for something secure, something to grab a hold of, some sort of foundation that will give them a sense of stable footing.

If you are not easily moved from your love for humanity despite their whims, their angst, their often misguided fury, you will be the embodiment of that stable foundation! You will give them a glimpse of the security they’ve been desperately craving.

Do this consistently, and people will start to believe in you…to trust your motives and your foundation and your character…the way I trust my husband’s. They will see in you a reflection of the Rock of Ages – the one that they can wisely build a house upon to stand for eternity.

To outsiders, this tactic seems so weak, so feeble, so passive – when, in reality, it is an incredibly active decision requiring enormous strength, self-control, unshakeable faith in God and His Word, and a love for Him and His children that passes understanding.

Time and again, Jesus emphasized the role of love in His ministry to us and in our ministry to others. His love for us even when we were behaving unlovably is evidenced in Romans 5:8:

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

You see, there is potential in every human created in God’s image to “return to his/her roots,” so to speak, of righteousness and Godliness through the power of Christ and His love.

But until they can see the path clearly forged by someone in front of them, they feel lost in a jungle of weeds and confusion and sin.

Jesus, as the firstfruits, personally forged the path of love and personal sacrifice (of both ego and body) before us; we are now His ambassadors, charged to go before others and lead the way to salvation through love.

Do you know that is how we win folks to the Lord? Just as my husband wins me over through love and patience, rather than through judgment and scorn, we win others to the righteousness of God through our example of love and kindness.

In fact, Jesus said that THROUGH LOVE we would be identified as belonging to Him.

Not through the things, situations, or "types of people" we have avoided; not through our lofty aspirations of personal holiness; not through our exacting standards of judgment toward all things worldly; but rather by the LOVE we show toward one another.

God personally wrote, with His own finger, the most important directives ever given to man in the Ten Commandments. We are to live by these very commandments today in order to exemplify Godliness and abide in Him.

But in the Gospel of John, Jesus gave us a NEW commandment, one that is sometimes called "The Eleventh Commandment" -- but, in truth, in it is contained the very spirit of the original Ten.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

In Romans, Paul explains how this commandment covers all the previous Ten given to Moses at Mt. Sinai:

Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

This is how people should be able to recognize that we are followers of Christ:

John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Let’s read that over one more time:

John 13:35 By THIS shall all men know that ye are my disciples, IF YE HAVE LOVE ONE TO ANOTHER.

May we consider the words of Christ greater than all our own impulses and inclinations; and may we provide to others the secure foundation of love on which to begin their journey to the Rock of Ages and the Chief Cornerstone.

Ephesians 2:19-22

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,

Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

By Beth, Jan 14 2015 10:20PM

This is a story I wrote several years ago about a little girl I knew very well.

I hope her story will encourage you.

Once upon a time, there was a very little girl who was happy and sweet, gentle and pretty, clever and silly, dearly loved by her family and friends, and who knew Jesus and loved Him very much. The little girl spent most of her time thinking about things like baby dolls and lemonade, butterflies and baby kittens, and swing sets and scrapbooks.

She also loved to admire rainbows in the sky and remember that they were God’s promise to her that He would always love her and take care of her.

Then one day, something terribly tragic happened in the family of the sweet little girl. Something she never expected, or even realized could happen. Something she could not control or change, something that made all the little things that had made her so happy before seem not important at all anymore. Something that made her wonder if Jesus even cared at all.

Her little heart hurt so badly that lemonade didn’t taste sweet anymore. Swing sets took too much effort. She didn’t even notice butterflies. Baby dolls just lay lifeless, not able to offer comforting words or real life hugs. And scrapbooks made her cry uncontrollably…

It seemed like nothing would ever make her happy again. There was nothing that could comfort her heart, broken into pieces so small she wasn’t sure it could ever be repaired again. Ever.

And then, one day. . . she looked up and noticed a rainbow. It was the most beautiful, vibrant rainbow she had ever seen. . .and it was on her birthday.

And she knew that God had not forgotten her.

And she remembered that He had said, no matter what, He would be with her, love her, and take care of her.

And though it was the hardest thing she had ever done in her little life, she believed Him.

And though her heart still ached in a way she had not imagined was possible, she kept believing and she kept looking for rainbows. And she began to see God caring for her in ways she had never thought of…. in ways she had not always seen or noticed before her heart was broken so badly.

She learned that trusting God when her whole world was shattered was not nearly so easy as it had been when everything was lovely.

But she learned to do it anyway.

At such a tender age, the very little girl learned the patience of the saints.

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

By Beth, Jan 5 2015 09:47PM

Psalms 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

My best friend hand-stitched this verse on a quilted wall-hanging she made for me a while back. I wept when I saw it, so beautiful, done so painstakingly and lovingly. Such a profound truth, evoked from the pages of the Good Book, meticulously embroidered around the edges of the quilt, inescapable, undeniable. Beautifully and unflinchingly, it hangs on the wall before me and continually exhorts and admonishes me each time I regard it. And nearly each time, I cry.

She knew how I wrestled with my past, how I let the devil have a foothold in my mind so often, reviewing my past with regret and a terrible, crippling sense of self-condemnation.

And me, in my confusion and naivete, my lack of understanding of God and His ways – I thought it was the Lord’s conviction. What I did not know or understand about my God is that the conviction of the Holy Spirit never makes you want to crawl under a rock and die…it makes you want to live better, more abundantly. It helps you to learn from your mistakes and regrets and nudges you to get out there and do better next time, to try again with hope in your heart and delight in the notion of living. Oh, I promise you, the enemy can masquerade as an angel of light and make you believe he is coming for your own good, but if what you hear, what you review in your mind is making you sink lower and lower or feel harmful or self-destructive, it is not from Him who calls you. And you better get ready to put up your “spiritual dukes,” because the Bible says to resist the devil and he will flee from you.

How do you resist him? Well, for one thing, for Heaven’s sakes, don’t talk to him or engage him directly! Trust me, you cannot win in a discussion with Satan or any of his minions. They talked some of the holy angels into turning away from God! Just handle it the same way Jesus did in the wilderness, using the sword of the Spirit (God’s Word)… and then lean on the Holy Ghost to help you interpret it. And trust me, you will need the Holy Ghost (Spirit) to help you, because, as he did in the wilderness, Satan can twist God’s word into something it is not, and it is the witness of the Holy Ghost that will help you establish the Truth in your heart.

I want to share with you what I received from His leading the other night in regards to this subject.

Just how far IS the east from the west?

When you are travelling and have left a certain point and driven forward, how much are you still in that original spot?

If you get out of your car and walk a few feet, how much are you still in your car?

If you have recovered from alcoholism (be it six years ago or six days ago,) how drunk are you today?

If you wrestled with mental illness and have overcome it, how ‘crazy’ are you now?

If you are forgiven, how much are you not forgiven?

This is how far the east is from the west. It is not really any particular amount…it is just completely different, completely apart. It is like two parallel lines – they may seem very, very close together, but they may as well be a million miles apart, because they are never going to intersect.

That’s not to say that once you’ve driven away, you can’t drive back to that spot; that once you’ve recovered from addiction or some form of destructive thoughts or behavior that you can’t possibly revisit that activity – but you don’t have to.

Once you are made free in Christ, you are free indeed. (John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.)

You have now been given a CHOICE – you are not in bondage to sin any longer. Christ has paid your debt and freed you from your prison and once you step outside those bars and walk even a few feet, you may as well be in Timbuktu, because that jail cell has no power over you now. It is as far as the east is from the west.

When God looks at us, His focus is not where we’ve been, but where we’re headed. If we’re headed toward goodness and righteousness, then what is behind us is really of little consequence to Him (except if it can be useful in some way to help move someone who is still stuck there.)

He has removed our transgressions so far away from us by giving us the power to overcome them and overcome temptation as He did.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

If we truly believe this and walk in freedom, as an Overcomer in Christ, then it will be true that:

“Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet…

-Rudyard Kipling

Praise God!

By Beth, Oct 10 2014 05:54PM

Acts 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Acts 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy...

And they have.

But do they still?

Was the Spirit of Truth given only for a time, or does He remain here -- all around, within and without -- accessible and available to this day?

Peter uttered the words above at Pentecost, in the Upper Room. There, the apostles were filled with Holy Spirit, evidenced by tongues of fire appearing above the apostles’ heads and their sudden ability to speak in other languages -- languages previously foreign and unfamiliar to them -- in order to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the many foreign Jews who were gathered there.

Undoubtedly, the Spirit moved in a mighty way that day in order to accomplish a Divine purpose through the apostles.

But God is in no way finished with His Divine Purposes, or we would not still be here. God never wastes anything.

The Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, is still moving today -- though it may seem more obscured (by various sin, including cruelty, selfishness, cynicism, haughtiness and apathy) every day.

And, remarkably, Peter referred to the Prophet Joel’s words that in the last days, the Spirit would be poured out on all flesh – not just Hebrew leaders, not just Hebrew people, not just Christian leaders, not just Christian people – but on ALL FLESH.

He said “on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy…”

His servants and His handmaidens. Those who are willing to serve Him. Those who have been selected to serve Him based on their willingness. They are going to prophesy. . . to speak forth prophecy.

From a spiritual perspective, what is prophecy?

Prophecy (ˈprɒfɪsɪ)

1. (Theology)

a. a message of divine truth revealing God's will

b. the act of uttering such a message (to prophesy)

So prophesying means to give a message of Divine Truth. To tell the Truth of God.

But what are “the last days”?

The crucifixion of Christ launched the beginning of the “last days of Earth” described in the Bible. Once our planet rejected and slew God-in-the-flesh, it just did not have much time left in the bigger scheme of things (Earth’s whole history.) Choosing sin has a way of destroying people and systems more quickly. You can liken it to almost any situation you can think of: say a fellow you know gets out of jail on parole, and you find out that he’s involving himself in criminal activities yet again. You know that it’s only a matter of time before it catches up with him. He has hastened his own demise. Though you do not know exactly how long they will last, you well know that these are his ‘last days’ of freedom.

Likewise, these are our ‘last days' of this planet…

So the Spirit, in these last days since Christ’s crucifixion, will pour itself out on all flesh, and those who are willing to receive His Wisdom and share it forth will be His servants.

But how will we know who is telling the Truth?

By their fruits.

Matthew 7:15-20 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

And how shall we identify the fruits?

Ephesians 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

Isn’t it amazing that the Spirit of God can be found in ALL goodness and righteousness and truth?! Regardless of whose flesh is performing it! (Which means, wherever or from whomever you hear of goodness and righteousness and truth, you can bet your bottom dollar the Spirit of God has been busy at His work.)

And what shall the Spirit of God say when he speaks forth through those prophesying His truth?

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) He will guide us into all truth.

This means that anything we receive from the Holy Spirit will never contradict the Word of Truth (the Holy Bible). So if, for example, you believe the Spirit is leading you to cause harm to someone you don’t like... or, perhaps you think the Spirit is “convicting” you to beat yourself up constantly for errors you’ve made in the past... well, neither of those is the Holy Spirit leading you. Both of those inclinations contradict Scripture, and therefore are not of the Spirit.

Someone who is prophesying God’s truth must be able to discern the voice of God (through His Spirit) from the voice of the enemy if they want to be able to continue to prophesy. And, incidentally, the voice speaking to you through the Spirit is described in the Bible as a still, small voice (rather than the booming VOICE we sometimes imagine speaking to Abraham or Moses). . .actually, it just sounds like your own voice in your head, gently leading and guiding you on the right path.

2) He shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak.

The Holy Spirit is not going to have his own agenda apart from God; He doesn’t speak of His own volition (of himself) without the direction of God and His righteousness. Remember, the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Ghost) all work in tandem with one another, completely unified in their message. This is another assurance that what the Spirit speaks to you will be in accordance with God’s Word and His Truth.

3) He will shew (show) us things to come.

This is a direct affront to the notion that:

a) The Spirit does not speak to people today.

b) The Spirit is not necessary in order to correctly interpret Scripture.

Clearly, if the Spirit is going to show us things to come, He must continue to actively speak to the righteous of all generations. If we did not really believe this promise from God, we would not pray for wisdom regarding our acceptance of a job opportunity, or ask Him to guide us regarding pursuing a certain friendship or romantic relationship, or if this was a worthwhile financial investment, etc. These are examples of areas where we are asking Him to show us things to come.

Furthermore, the Bible is a book of prophecy. If we are not leaning on the Holy Spirit for guidance in interpreting it, we are going to miss a tremendous amount of understanding and knowledge, because much of the Bible speaks of things that are “to come.” This is the same unfortunate mistake that Jewish religious leaders made in interpreting Scripture; they did not let the Spirit of God lead them to understanding of the Messianic prophecies. The Spirit desires to reason with us, gently help us to make sense of the Holy Scriptures… (Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.) The Spirit, in regards to understanding, is not going to “shove it down our throats,” so to speak. We have to be willing to receive His instruction. If we are not willing to be guided by the Holy Spirit in the unfolding of Scriptural truth, we are preventing Him from sharing His wisdom with us. Jesus Christ was prophesied clearly in the Scriptures to those who would read them with open eyes and a willing heart, but that message was obscured by the religious leaders of the time. They were more interested in maintaining tradition, position and wealth than they were interested in understanding the truth of God.

We must not let leaders of our time wrongly convince us that the Spirit is not necessary in interpreting Scripture, lest we fall into the same trap as our Jewish forefathers. As Jesus said in Luke 6:39: “Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?”

Those who refuse to listen, refuse to hear the Spirit of God speak are of the same ilk as those of whom the Prophet Isaiah wrote when he penned these words:

Isaiah 30:8-9 Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:

Isaiah 30:10-11 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

Those who deny the Voice of the Spirit are seeking to “cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us” -- they are of the same spirit that sought to crucify Christ! From such as those, we must turn away!

If, however, you desire to have the Holy Spirit and respond to His gentle leading, God is very willing to accommodate you!

Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

If you do not know the Lord, simply ask Him to make Himself known to you. Jesus said in Luke 11:9: “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

The first thing He will do is to give you a renewed sense of hope and enthusiasm for life! And as you gently become aware of places in your heart and life where you have denied His Goodness or done harmful things (things contrary to His Righteousness,) then you acknowledge those things and simply (but genuinely) ask Him to forgive you – and He promises that He will! (Praise God!!) This is called ‘repentance.’

Then, you can ask Him to wash your spirit clean of any unrighteousness -- which He is faithful to do! (John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.)

After that, you’ll want to be baptized in order to confirm and proclaim your spiritual cleansing in a physical ceremony! (Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.)

At that point, you will be ready to ‘receive the gift of the Holy Ghost’ (the Holy Spirit), and you can listen to His gentle leading and guidance in your reading of the Bible, and in your personal life -- and, as you remain sensitive to His leading you into righteousness and charity, you can also look forward to an eternity with Him in Heaven!

I would love it if folks would be willing to share in the comments some areas where the Spirit of God has led them in their lives – what a testimony to His Goodness and Faithfulness!

1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

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