Bible

 

Man praying with the BibleI have started reading a different translation lately. I am reading the New Living Translation (NLT) and I was told it’s on a 6th grade reading level. I really like it so I guess that says a lot about my mental capacity! One of the things that ignited my passion for God’s Word is when I read a different version and started hearing the truth differently that I had heard since I was a kid. I still love The Message (paraphrase) by Eugene Peterson as it paraphrases the Word of God in everyday, contemporary language.

I came across a passage of scripture this morning where Jesus is addressing the “religious leaders” who were calling Him out for healing on the Sabbath. He had instructed a man who had been lame for 38 years to get up and walk and take his mat with him. The religious leaders majored on the minors quite frequently. They were upset that the man was carrying his mat. They were also upset that the man was healed on the Sabbath. They seem to miss the point for sure. Jesus starts explaining Who He is and that frustrates the religious leaders even more. He then speaks clearly where the issue really is. Check this out…

39 “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! 40 Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life. (John 5:39 NLT)

If I read the Bible and miss seeing Jesus; I’ve missed the point of The Word completely. From the beginning of the Bible to the end, this Word of God is about The Word of God – Jesus. The Old Testament sets up His coming to earth and the New Testament introduces Him to the world and shows us how to live and follow Him.

I don’t want to become so dogmatic about studying the Bible that I miss The Point of the Bible – Jesus. I would not know Him without the Bible. He changed my life starting many years ago. He is still changing my life today. The way He lived – The way He loved – It’s all in the Bible. He is God Who came to the world as a human and lived and worked among us. He not only saved me from hell; He inspires me to live in a way that honors my Creator. The Presence of Jesus in my life via His Spirit has changed my perspective and my response to everything. I enjoy reading the Bible to hear more from Him and more about Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

The Word Of God

Holy BibleI am convinced that my life’s journey became more focused and clear when I decided to start my day with the Word of God. I’m not a theologian. I’m not a bible scholar. I’m a husband, dad, teacher & REALTOR who wants to be a student of God’s Word. My perspective has changed a lot over the years. I believe my journey in God’s Word has reshaped my heart to be more like His. I have a lot of growing yet to do, but I believe this daily discipline, as simple as it is, has had a profound impact upon my life.

I came across one of those passages that I remember from years ago. It affirms the power and significance of the Word of God. Check this out…

12 For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 No creature is hidden from him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account. (Hebrews 4:12-13 CSB)

I started writing a journal of sorts after reading a passage. There was nothing complex about it, I just wrote about what “jumped out” in the passage that I read. I underlined or highlighted in my Bible. I started this journal process for me. I wanted to remember at 3 PM what I had read at 6 AM to start my day. I wanted the Word of God to live in me throughout the day. I was a bit surprised at how it stuck for longer periods of time – all because I journaled about it. My blog became part of the process later. I felt like the Lord prompted me to share my journey in His Word. I’m not sure when I started this – (I guess I could look it up), but it’s blessed my life to share my journey. I feel called to be in His Word every day. I share my journaling because I believe He asked me too.

I wish I could adequately describe the profound impact my daily journey in His Word has had on my life. I wish everyone who read the words of my journey would try reading His Word daily for at least 30 days. My life has never been the same since. I’ve had hardship and suffering, but I keep coming back to the Word of my Creator – His inspired Word. His Word brings comfort. His Word brings clarity. His Word tells me how to be saved. His Word introduced grace and mercy. His Word tells me all about Jesus. God’s heart is revealed in His Word and I want to know His heart.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Word Of God Still Speaks

 

"Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path"
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”

When I was around 14 years of age, I knew that I wanted to become a minister and serve in the church. I went to a little church in the country with about 60 people each week. The preacher there decided to help me prepare for ministry. He asked me to preach. He helped me prepare my first message. As I read the word this morning, I came across one of the passages of scripture from my first message. Check this out….

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17 NIV)

 

It is sometimes crazy to take a quick trip down memory lane. This trip was so different. I remember how I wanted to honor God with my life at such a young age. I remember how nervous I was for my first message. I remember also how I wandered from what I believed during my high school years. As I look into the Word today, I’m as convinced as ever that His Word is Truth and it’s most definitely a “road map” for life.  The Word of God equips me to be a follower of Jesus, a husband, a Dad, a friend and a REALTOR who serves others.  I love the song by Mercy Me called “Word of God Speak”. Check it out here.

I want His Word to speak into my heart every day.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Instructions

Read the Manual Book Instructions Help AdviceI have to confess that before reading the instructions on assembling something, I like to look first at all the parts. (I’m really checking to see if I can do this quickly WITHOUT instructions!) I then proceed to step 1, especially if I’ve already tried to assemble the item without the step-by-step instructions.

One of the struggles with walking with the Lord over the years is that I haven’t read the “Instruction Manual” aka The Bible often enough to be familiar with the instructions written there. I love how Paul ends this letter to the Thessalonian church group with some final instructions. Check this out….

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.
23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 NIV)

 

I love these seven simple points of instruction. I needed to hear these today. I must learn the first two and implement them daily into my life. I pray pretty often, but I don’t rejoice always and I don’t give thanks in all circumstances. Paul is on to something here, because he’s challenging me to have deep and abiding joy that is only found is my relationship with the Lord. He is challenging me to keep cultivating that walk so that these instructions become part of my nature, my personality, my everyday walking around life.

I want to remain faithful and true to the ONE Who is Faithful and True. I need His help today and every day to live with joy and thanksgiving no matter what the circumstances. He will help me discern good over evil and He will help me remain blameless before Him.

I needed these daily instructions today!

Pressing On!
Dwayne

A Notable History Lesson

bookOne of my favorite subjects has always been history. In my elementary school days I loved Kentucky history as well as American history. In fact most recently I read a book called “Lincoln – Team of Rivals”.  I love looking back at huge historical moments and how those who went before us lead under such circumstances. I definitely believe that learning about history gives me tremendous insight to my decisions I face today.

Hosea, the prophet takes the people of Israel and Judah on a little bit of a history lesson. It’s right to the point of their current behavior. Check this out….

2 The Lord also has some things against Judah.

    He will punish Israel for what they have done;

    he will give them what they deserve.
3 Their ancestor Jacob held on to his brother’s heel

    while the two of them were being born.

When he grew to be a man,

    he wrestled with God.
4 When Jacob wrestled with the angel and won,

    he cried and asked for his blessing.
Later,
 God met with him at Bethel

    and spoke with him there.
5 It was the Lord God All-Powerful;

    the Lord is his great name.
You must return to your God;

    love him, do what is just,

    and always trust in him as your God. (Hosea 12:2-6 NCV)

Sometimes it is incredibly helpful to take a look at where I’ve been. I enjoy going back and reading my journey through my journals. It is enlightening to watch the “ebb and flow” of my walk with the Lord. I’m so reminded of His Presence and His Power throughout my life. Some mornings when I don’t feel Him near – I can remember that He NEVER LEAVES me or forsakes me.

I love the lesson Hosea speaks to the people of Israel & Judah. He reminded them of the Lords great name! He reminded them to return to Him – to love Him and trust Him always.  I needed to be reminded of that today as well. I must always trust Him!

Pressing On!
Dwayne