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Archive for June, 2007

Amen!

Cicero wrote, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

Amen! Preach it!

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Search Me, O God

If you’ve heard any number of sermons or been to any number of Bible studies in your Christian life, you’ve undoubtedly heard the pastor, speaker, or leader say something like, “Ask God to search your heart and reveal to you one area that needs to change.”

Psalm 139:23-24 provides the basis for this exercise. David wrote, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”

This is good, so far as it goes. But, the problem comes when we “hear the answer.” Usually the same thing (or the same several things) comes to our minds. There will almost always be some area we know we isn’t pleasing to God which we know we have to work on. It probably won’t be anything new.

How about another approach. It’s OK to ask God the Holy Spirit to show us our “hurtful ways” and lead us “in the everlasting way,” but wouldn’t it be better to allow the Bible – the book that the Holy Spirit inspired – to search us? I think it would.

Here’s an example of what I mean. Paul wrote this passage to Timothy regarding the people to whom Timothy would minister: “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these” (2 Tim. 3:1-5). Paul was describing believers in the Lord Jesus Christ here, in my opinion (and not “those wicked and hell-bound pagans out there”). The idea is to walk through that list and reflect on our own lives. Are we commiting any of these sins? There are several other lists, too (Rom. 1; Gal. 5) for our edification.

It’s doubtful that any of the sins Paul lists will come up in our minds if we use the “ask God to show you” method. Now, they might because God can bring them to your mind, but in my personal experience, they usually don’t. When I did this exercise, though, two of the sins Paul listed came immediately to my mind (which I will keep to myself).

Search me, O God, according to Your Word. It hurts, but needs to be done.

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Hank Hanegraaff, also known as “The Bible Answer Man,” has an article posted at Crosswalk dealing with the subject of “not touching God’s anointed.” If you’re familiar with health and wealth faith teachers on television (Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn, and even Paul Crouch himself), you’ve heard that biblical reference come up any time somebody challenges them. Very convenient, isn’t it? Hank has a very good, well-reasoned answer.

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Mark Driscoll has posted an excellent summary of the differences between religion and the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can read it here.

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New Link

I’ve added Evangelical Outpost to my list of links. It’s a veritable cornucopia of interesting information. Check it out – it’ll take you awhile!

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