Can You Rightly Divide the Word?

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Can You Rightly Divide the Word?

If we are to rightly divide the Word, it is essential that we spend time dwelling there. The only way a doctor can be an exceptional physician is after years of diligent studying, being immersed in the field during their residency, then finally, doing the job on their own on a daily basis. It is the same with the Word of God – we cannot handle it well, or use it to help others, unless we are spending time immersed in it.  This takes diligence, as we see in 2 Timothy 2:15.

Why is it so important for us to so diligent with studying the Word? 2 Timothy 2:23-25 explains this well. It is because we won’t have the wisdom to know when something is a foolish or ignorant dispute. We need to be using our time wisely, not wasting it on foolish arguments.

It also helps us not to be quarrelsome, but to be gentle and loving, correcting those in opposition to God in a spirit of humility. The result may be the unsaved will come to know the truth and escape the snare of our enemy, after having been taken captive by him to do his will. Now isn’t that worth taking the time to diligently study God’s Word?

Let’s talk about some of the foolish and ignorant disputes that are popular right now. There is the flat earth theory. I have seen this one discussed multiple times online, at one point, stating that the earth was flooded twice. Since we know God is not a liar, and He stated the earth was only flooded once, to continue believing in this flat earth theory is foolish.

The serpent’s seed doctrine seems to be making the rounds online. This is the belief that Cain was conceived by the serpent. However, Genesis 4:1 clearly states that Adam knew Eve, meaning they had sex, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. Period. Again, another foolish and ignorant dispute. If you know God’s Word intimately, you can shut down this theory with ONE bible verse.

The Mandella effect is the belief that certain key words have been changed in scripture. The truth is, they simply do not know their bibles! For instance, they believe the scriptures used to say the lion shall lie down with the lamb, but has been changed by the enemy to say the lion shall lie down with the wolf.  It has always said wolf.

In 2017, there was a lot of hype on the Revelation 12 sign. People were claiming this as some big biblical fulfillment of prophecy, but many of the ‘stars’ that were to appear, were actually planets. Also, In Luke 21:11, it mentions seeing fearful sights and great signs in heaven. However, if you go to the next verse, it says, “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake.” NKJV I haven’t seen this happening. Again, if we take the time to be diligent in studying the Word, we won’t fall for these ignorant teachings.

There is a popular teaching which states, “We all just need to love each other.” Proverbs tells us that the parent who spares the rod hates his child.  Sin must be addressed. Proverbs 28:13 tells us, “It will not go well for the man who hides his sins, but he who tells his sins and turns from them will be given loving-pity.” NLV  Have you ever thought about what consequences there might be for the one who helps others hide their sin instead of addressing it?

Paul brings up things we will see in the last days in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” NKJV

Notice that these people have a form of godliness, but they don’t truly know the Lord or His Word. Titus 1:16 speaks of those who profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. This fits the very things Paul speaks of in the above paragraph.

In 2 Timothy 3:13, Paul tells us that evil men and imposters are going to grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. I don’t want to be named among this group! I don’t want to be an imposter, nor do I want to be one who is deceived by an imposter. Therefore, it is imperative to stay grounded in the Word of God. Doing so will help you to recognize the deceivers and false teachers.

We are told that all scripture is inspired by God and it is profitable for teaching us doctrine, reproof, for correcting us when we are wrong, and for instructing us in righteousness. This means it will help us to deal with issues like deceivers and imposters.
 
Paul goes on to admonish us to preach the Word, convince, rebuke, exhort, and teach the Word. (2 Timothy 4:2) Why? Because a time is coming when people will not endure sound doctrine. Instead, they will search for a teachers who will preach that which is pleasing to them and tickles their itching ears. They will turn away from the truth, choosing fables instead. (2 Timothy 4:3-4) Because the love of money is a snare to many pastors and teachers, in their own greed, they will be more than happy to accommodate these people. They will provide them with a customized gospel message that fits their wants, but neglects their deepest spiritual needs. 

Brethren, it is time to start devouring the Word so that we can rightly divide the Word of truth!

© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

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The Spiritual Restaurant

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The Spiritual Restaurant

There are so many choices when we go out to eat. We can do fast food, drive through, buffets, or a fancy restaurant that has culinary foods.

Now when we do fast food or the drive through, it’s because we are usually in a hurry. We do it for the convenience, not because it’s good for us. If we do the buffet, it’s usually because we want a lot of choices. But there’s something else which often happens with a buffet – we usually eat way too much!

If we choose to go to the restaurant which offers culinary foods, we are going for the experience, the atmosphere, and to savor every bite. After all, it costs us a lot more money for an experience like that!

One thing common with all of these choices is that we don’t have to cook the food. It’s easier for us because someone else is taking care of the hard part.

Our spiritual lives can be much like eating out. Many people view their spiritual lives as just attending church, with it being where they get fed. Some people think it’s the job of the pastor to feed them. Some want a fast-food service, where they are in and out quickly. Others want a drive-through service, where they come once in a while, but they don’t plan to stay and get involved or connect with others. Many in this group don’t even read the Word the rest of the week. Yet, in the Lord’s prayer, Jesus said, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Getting into the Word and spending time with the Lord is to be done daily.

Now there are others who view church as a buffet. They will be there for every service, taking it all in. However, they don’t give back. They just hoard it for themselves. If we eat at a buffet every night, we are going to get fat. People who attend every service, just taking in and never getting back are the ones who become puffed up and proud. They are the ones who often become judgmental and legalistic. In their judgmental attitude, they will still read the Word, but they never see themselves in it – only others.

There is a third group of people who view their spiritual lives like culinary arts. When they go to a restaurant which serves culinary foods, they want to savor every bite. They want to relax, look around the restaurant, taking in the entire experience. They know there is a price to be paid for this kind of experience, so they want to get everything they can from it. This would be likened to those who have tasted and seen the Lord is good. They don’t just want church on Sunday. They want Jesus! They want daily bread and they are willing to get that bread for themselves by studying the Word. Because they spend so much time in the Word, learning it, savoring it, experiencing it in their daily lives, they can’t help but want to share the goodness of God with others!

In all honesty, I can look at these scenarios and recognize times in my life where I have fit into every one of them! Can you see me blush? The last group is where I currently fit and I have to tell you, it is so exciting! I quit reading many books and I stopped listening to the preaching on the television. I started digging into the Word for myself and really studying it. I have been doing this for over four years now. I can tell you – NOTHING compares to the time I have spent in the Word. I crave the Word of God! Now that I have truly tasted the true Word, it is what I desire. Forget the mega churches. Forget the popular books. Just give me Jesus!
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

 

Sunday Dinner

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Sunday Dinner

It never ceases to amaze me when I hear of people who call themselves Christians, yet never read the Word of God.  It is often these same people who complain that the pastor is not “feeding” them.  They are also the ones who complain that the music is too loud or too soft, too fast or too slow, too contemporary or too old-fashioned.  It seems they are just full of complaints.

My own church has gone through some perilous times in recent years.  The result is that numerous families left.  Of the ones who remained, several continue to voice complaints about things they do not like in the church.

These people do not mind being part of the problem, yet they refuse to become part of the solution.  This problem is not isolated to my own church.  It is pervasive in thousands of churches.

People attend church like it is a restaurant.  They want to place their order, and if things are not to their satisfaction, they will be sure to complain!  They view the pastor as the waiter, serving them, instead of ever lifting a finger themselves to help out in the church.  As if that were not enough, they expect the pastor to spoon feed them!

There are people who listen to the pastor’s message, not to get something out of it, but to nit pick his methods, his choice of topics, his mannerisms, etc.  Over the years, the church has even picked up a very selfish attitude.  We have begun to think that it is all about us.  How selfish of us to ever think that church is all about us!

Our pastor shared a great insight to this mentality.  He is not there to serve us a spiritual dinner every Sunday.  Rather, we should view the preaching of the Word as attending a culinary arts class.  The pastor shares the ingredients, as well as the steps to put it all together.  We are to take it home, make it, and serve it to others.

The next time you go to church, listen to the “recipe” then prepare it for others!

© 2007, Stacy R. Miller

Spiritual Hyenas

Spiritual Hyenas

One behavior common in the animal kingdom is the arrival of hyenas trying to steal the prey from other animals.  Rarely will you see a nature show portraying hyenas on the hunt for live prey.  They let other animals do the hunting, the chasing, and the killing.  They come along after the fact, in hopes of taking the food for which others have worked.

I have seen spiritual hyenas in the church.  These hyenas are too lazy to “hunt” for spiritual meat, so they try to take it from others.  Often times, they even demand that you spoon-feed it to them.

Spiritual hyenas are too apathetic to chase after God.  They may show up at the altar and weep bitter tears, yet walk away unchanged because chasing after God is not something you do only on Sunday.  A healthy spiritual diet requires that we pursue God on a daily basis. (Psalm 61:8; Proverbs 8:17)

Spiritual hyenas refuse to kill their fleshly desires. (Romans 8:13) They also refuse to fight spiritual battles. (Ephesians 6:10-18) They would rather prey on someone who is prayed up and ask them to fight the spiritual battle for them.  Yet God says to put on the full armor of God so that you are able to stand against Satan’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:10) Notice that it does not tell us to find someone else to stand in our place against the devil.

When we allow spiritual hyenas into our life, the results are:

1. We are not giving to them from the overflow of God’s Spirit in us.  Rather, they are stealing our spiritual food and we will quickly become spiritually depleted.
2. Not only do they steal spiritual food from us, they steal glory from God.  If only they would seek the Lord for themselves, God would give them plenty of reasons to praise Him!
3. They begin to seek us instead of God.  In a sense, we become God to them.

We are told to be very wise in the way we live, making the most of every opportunity.  (Ephesians 5:15-16) When we are doing things which seem to be of a spiritual nature, we may think we are still using our time very wisely.  However, spiritual hyenas are very sly and sneaky.  Because of that, we must be careful to guard against them so we do not end up becoming unwise stewards of our time.

Have you become prey to a spiritual hyena?
© 2007, Stacy R. Miller

Sibling Rivalry

Sibling Rivalry

If you have more than one child, you could probably write a book on sibling rivalry.  While I only have one child, I still remember the sibling rivalry that took place when I was growing up with three brothers.

Unfortunately, we have sibling rivalry in the church.  Galatians 5:26 tells us that we shouldn’t be conceited or competitive, nor should we be provoking and irritating to one another, envious or jealous of one another.  If Sister Susie gets to sing on Sunday morning, do we get jealous because we got scheduled on Wednesday night when the attendance is down?  When we hear someone sing or play an instrument, do we conceitedly think that we could have done better?  If an opening for a leadership position in women’s ministry is made known, do we do everything in our power to get that position?  Do we want the position because we feel called to it, or do we want it to stroke our ego?  If you offer to teach a class for women’s ministry, but the department leader chooses to go another direction, do you get jealous or angry?

We even deal with the very familiar phrase, “It’s not fair!”  If a sister gets blessed with a grocery shower because she’s having a hard time financially, do we rejoice?  Or, do we remember years ago when we were having a tough time and nobody did anything to help?  Too often, we cry out “It’s not fair!”

If we’ve been praying for God to use us in the gift of prophecy or speaking in tongues, and we see a fairly new Christian operating in that gift, do we get jealous?  Or can we speak a word of encouragement to them on how blessed you were by their obedience to the Spirit of God?

Do you have some sibling rivalry that you need to confess?
© 2005, Stacy R. Miller

Judgment on the House of God

Here are two prophetic words given to two different people on how judgment is going to hit the house of God this year:

This Year is the Judgment Upon My House

and

Soon I Will Begin to Bring Down Pastors, First One Then Another

 

We Can’t Love Both Christ and This World

This was a GREAT article!

We Can’t Love Both Christ and This World

This paragraph really stood out to me:

On a closing note, carnality not only affects the pew, but the pulpit as well. A carnal pastor still offers motivating sermons, but he will lose unction, boldness, and spiritual insight. The world, and carnal Christians, will love him, but Spirit-filled believers will leave the service starving for more of God. Pastors, if we would make it our goal to know Christ more personally we would preach Christ more powerfully. Are we calling people out of the cultural mindset or are we encouraging it by our silence?

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