Words From the Heart
"Ministry of the Word"
The enemy is a clever individual. You won’t see a monster that scares you into turning from the Word of God. More likely it will be a familiar face or some instruction from a source that you place some trust in. Just as the Spirit of God works through people… so does Satan. He won’t confront you face to face but will use those that he has exercised influence over. Remember that Satan likes to operate from the dark. He keeps himself hidden, working from a place of deception.
A hypocrite is one who wants to be seen as something that they are not. Sometimes it will be a deliberate act; done for reasons of rebellion or out of some selfish desire. On other occasions it won’t be so cut and dried. A lot of times it might just be a case of misunderstanding or misdirection. If we accept a lie and then repeat it without checking for the truth, we also continue the spread of that lie. Again, the enemy has fooled many by simply mixing lies with the truth and making it sound believable. We must remain conscience of what we allow ourselves to accept and put into practice. The best way to guard against error is to study for ourselves, or at least be sure to check that which sounds right to be sure it is right. The Word of God must be the standard in all cases. The word of the minister and even the pastor must be held to the standard of scripture.
Sometimes people use the Church and the faith to promote their own agendas. Their teachings are not the teachings of Christ and are not based in the Word of God. Just as in the time of Christ there were problems as times change new problems come about. We must keep an eye out for those things which go against what scripture teaches. The Word of God speaks to us and to our spirit. It’s God’s way of speaking to us. Prayer, on the other hand is our way of talking to God. When we talk and listen we develop relationship. The more we do this the easier it becomes and the better we understand what God intends to reveal to us.
No one can point out anything until they first have knowledge of it themselves. God told Joshua to meditate on the book of the law day and night and to be careful to do all that it says to do (Joshua 1:8). We may not all be preachers or Bible teachers, but we are all called to minister to each other in fellowship and encouragement. Study of the Word will allow us to be faithful ministers… following the truth of Christ’s teachings. Study also trains us to recognize sound doctrine and remain clear of false teachings. The better we understand and become familiar with what the truth is the easier it is to spot myths and wives’ tales. …"Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:39-40)
All of us who are true followers of Christ work with this effort as our main undertaking. We place our faith, our trust, and our very hope in the living God… in Christ as the Savior of all men. We follow His example and live through His teachings. There is no need to seek or turn to anything else… if we truly believe. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 1:3).
It started with Jesus Christ Himself. It was commanded and taught to His disciples who continued with disciples of their own. It is the great commission that is now before each and every one of us. It is not a request and it is not an option. It’s the work that proves our faith. You can reject it… but what does that really say about your faith (See Matt. 28:19-20). Regardless of where we are spiritually, we can all set an example of Godly character. Like it or not we teach others with our behavior. We will either be an example of the right way to act or the wrong way to act… especially when we call ourselves Christians. Christians everywhere are being watched. What kind of Christians are we and what message do we send when we act like the rest of the world or worse? Christ is the example that we should take our lead from. Let us follow His advice in showing others what righteousness looks like. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me… (Matt. 11:29)
Jesus came into the world as an example of what righteousness should look like. He didn’t run off to some cave or secret place to hide and His instruction was that we should also allow ourselves to be seen also. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16). The cup mentioned by David in Psalms 23, gives reference to God’s Word as it fills our spirit. The cup runs over to illustrate that it is necessary for us to take in more than what is needed by us alone. We are filled so we can be a well of rightness for others as well. Can you remember the last time you went out and shared the gospel in public… if it’s been a while or if you haven’t done so… what stops you? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation… (Mark 8:38)
To be a Christian, a follower of Christ… it is necessary to do just that; follow Him. It will require reading and study of God’s Word. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."(Rom.1:17) Remember, Christ is the Word. Along with study of what is written about Him, it is also a good idea to get to know Him as much as we can. It’s all about relationship and it means putting time and effort into it. You can’t expect it to just take place on its own… SEEK HIM.