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Whenever we read the Word, it should be with an open heart that is ready to acknowledge sin and confess it. Second, the response of faith: One of our reasons for meditating on the Word is to develop and build our faith. We must mix faith with what we read and hear.
In other words, we must act by faith in what God has shown us from His Word or our hearts can become hardened cf. Third, the response of obedience: When we obey the Word we are demonstrating the reality of our love for the Lord and how much we really believe what we have seen and learned.
It demonstrates our faith and just how serious we are in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. In his excellent book, Pathways to Power , a book written in the early s, Dr. This holy exercise of pondering over the Word, chewing it as an animal chews its cud to get its sweetness and nutritive virtue into the heart and life, takes time, which ill fits into the speed of our modern age.
If that was true in the early fifties, how much more is it not true today—forty years later in an age that has become even more activity oriented, materialistic, and consumer minded. Unger goes on to say:. But holiness and hurry never did suit well together. Prayer and preoccupation have always been strange bed-fellows. A head knowledge of the Word may perhaps be consonant with the scurry of the age, but not a deep heart experience of its preciousness.
From these verses it is clear that our meditation can be unacceptable and displeasing to the Lord. What does this mean? What are the implications of this? In what ways can my meditation be unacceptable and displeasing to the Lord? There are obstacles, dangers or hazards, and hindrances to meditation. The suggestion is that this is a daily battle , an ongoing process without which we are unable to obey and serve the Lord. If we do not bring our thoughts captive, control them and order them according to the Word, the mind of Christ, we cannot live in obedience. The goal and result of every thought captive is obedience to the Lord.
So, meditating on the Word, internalizing and personalizing the Scripture, is a crucial part of the Christian life. It becomes part of the means by which we can bring every thought captive to Christ. The importance of this is further seen in the Psalms, particularly, Psalm Six times the Psalmist prays for understanding and three other times he speaks of the understanding which comes from the Word:. Thus, eight times in this Psalm, we read of him meditating on the Word that he might better understand the Scripture and apply it to his life vss. What is involved here? Plainly, there are obstacles, dangers or hazards, and hindrances to meditation.
In each of these we are confronted with the spirit of self-sufficiency. In His creative grace, God has given us each certain abilities, gifts, talents, and information through education and experience to use in life for our blessing and the blessing of others.
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This can give us a false sense of security and sufficiency because we are able to do so much and often seem to be able to handle life on our own, though this is a deception of the human heart. Such an attitude causes us to ignore our need for time alone with the Lord in the Word and prayer. But in the next chapter, he said:. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant,. But where do we get such confidence and how do we demonstrate it?
By spending time with God in His Word and in prayer. The self-sufficient man either ignores God altogether or only runs to God in times of extreme difficulties. The Bible is too difficult to understand for the ordinary person to grasp. Only the skilled theologians with technical training can deal with the Scriptures. While we need teachers, still, all believers can read the Bible and grow if they can read their newspaper. The Bible is boring. Such a statement reflects the taste and preference of the person reading it.
The Bible is filled with action, with drama, with not just history, but redemptive history. I suspect the real problem here is our next danger. Meditating on the Word suggest labor, work. Here is one of the real problems of our negligence. We fail in our need to meditate studiously and worshipfully in the Word because it takes time and work. Our problem is we are lazy. It has been said that all human sin finds its roots in three basic human problems, the sins of pride, dishonesty, and slothfulness.
The church today is filled with what we might call sensuous Christians. A sensuous Christian is one who:. Without the knowledge of the Word, however, no one can be sure of his experience. It may be demonic and purely of the flesh. The Bible is addressed primarily though not exclusively to our understanding.
That means the mind. This is difficult to communicate to modern Christians who are living in what may be the most anti-intellectual period of Western civilization. Notice, I did not say anti-academic or anti-technological or anti-scholarly. There is a strong current of antipathy to the function of the mind in the Christian life. This is a very serious problem we face in the twentieth-century church. Reflect for a moment.
What happens in your own life when you act according to what you feel like doing rather than what you know and understand God says you should do? Here we encounter the ruthless reality of the difference between happiness and pleasure. How easy it is to confuse the two! Both of them feel good, but only one endures. Sin can bring pleasure, but never happiness. If sin were not so pleasurable, it would hardly represent a temptation ….
It is precisely at the point of discerning the difference between pleasure and happiness that knowledge of Scripture is so vital. The fundamental deception of Satan is the lie that obedience can never bring happiness. If you do what I say, you will be liberated and know happiness. And the point is that those who live by their feelings will not spend time meditating on the Word and if they do, it will be for an emotional high rather than to truly know God and obey Him.
Often, we do not feel like reading or studying the Bible.
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This is to be expected. Old patterns often die hard and slowly. It takes time to develop the pattern and discipline needed to make this a priority. We are in a spiritual struggle and after years of operating in the flesh, we must recognize we are dealing with a spiritual battle which must be overcome by faith and transformed desires.
Will it give insight to life? Will it make me wiser than all my teachers as the Psalmist declares? But in our human defense solutions and in our desire to control our own lives, we have a hard time with these wrong objects of preoccupation.
There is nothing at all to look at except this manna. November 15, by Chris Oliveri. This past Sunday we took time to pray together for the persecuted church around the world. We saw a video about Bounchan, a Laotian pastor, who spent 13 years in prison for his faith. One of the striking things about this man's ordeal was how much he depended on and loved God's Word.
He risked personal safety to obtain it and read it. He went through great lengths to hide August 16, by Chris Oliveri. Have you ever seen a friend with a problem wanted to help them but then felt like, "I don't know how? Thankfully the Bible really does have answers the issues we face everyday. Whether it is dif July 10, by Chris Oliveri Tags: As many of you know we are just finishing up our summer series on "The Bible and Sexuality".
One of the questions that came up repeatedly was, "What can I read in order to gain a better understanding of God's perspective on this issue? Sex and the Supr June 12, by Chris Oliveri Tags: During Sunday's message, I mentioned a couple of blog posts that I found particularly helpful on the topic of sexuality from a Biblical perspective. They were both written by David Powlison. You can find part 1 here and part 2 here. Be sure to read them.
I think you will find them insightful, helpful and encouraging June 4, by Chris Oliveri Tags: As I am sure you are aware, sexuality has been in the news a lot lately. Our President has come forward in favor of same sex marriage. People with varying perspectives have responded in all kinds of ways: The media has enthusiastically stirred up this circus and covered it from every angle.
This kind of passi April 24, by Chris Oliveri. I found an old gem of a book several weeks ago that has been a wonderful encouragement to me. The title of the book is "An Alarm to the Unconverted" written by Joseph Alleine, first published in Many readers have been helped by this work over the past three centuries.
Both George Whitfield and Charles Spurgeon describe the way these pages deeply affected their hearts April 3, by Chris Oliveri Tags: This is such a signifcant week in the life of every Christian. It is the last week of Jesus' life on earth. The week in which He moved with faithfulness and purpose towards the cross. It is important that we stop and remember His path towards Calvary, that we take specific steps with our hearts to meditate on what He did and how that transforms and affects our lives today March 20, by Chris Oliveri.
We have talked about the evil of grumbling in our series in Exodus. Our last discussion made me think about how unthinkable it is for us to live that way in light of all of God's blessings. This must be one of the reasons we are commanded to give thanks 1Thess. CVC recently celebrated all that God has done among us in For His many blessings over the last year March 8, by Chris Oliveri Tags: It is a great evil to live in a state of discontentedness while in the midst of God's mercies December 12, by Chris Oliveri Tags: Christmas , ClaytonValleyChurch , T.
The Clayton Valley Church family had a wonderful time this past Saturday wrapping gifts free of charge in front of T. September 23, by Chris Oliveri. Idolatry is a subtle and fierce enemy of our souls. Last Sunday morning we examined the dangers of idolatry as we continued our journey through the book of Exodus listen here.
Clearly during the first plague as the Nile River turned into blood Exodus 7: This would be a very disturbing event to ancie August 8, by Chris Oliveri. July 22, by Chris Oliveri. I read this collection of Puritan prayers frequently because I appreciate their depth and warmth. I hope they will help me learn more how to pray.
Try offering this prayer to God from your own heart. Let it stir your affections toward Him as He stregnthens your soul. June 16, by Chris Oliveri. We began our morning piling into the van and heading out with Edwin on a couple of visits.
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The first was to the small store owned by his father in the middle of Santiago. One of the things really valued by Dominicans is praying over their homes and businesses. It was an honor for us to spend time visiting with "Frank" Edwin's Dad and seeing in his eyes a trust in the L We will keep you informed of what is happening on the ground, how the Lord is at work in our hearts during the trip, and what He is doing in the life New Life Baptist Church in the Dominican.
We thank the Lord for your ongoing p June 2, by Chris Oliveri. In our pursuit of a warm and close walk with Jesus we often and easily forget what is central. We are a culture of achievers, more accurately 'over-achievers' who need to feel a sense of accomplishment tethered to something we 'do'. In contrast with this the Bible calls us repeatedly to pursue what we 'do' not for its own sake, but rather to 'do what we do' because of who April 29, by Chris Oliveri.
He has been recognized by many historians as one of the greatest of all English-speaking theologians. Many of his works have become theological classics. April 6, by Chris Oliveri. God created us as beings with desires. Our problem is not eliminating desires themselves but fulfilling them in nothing less than Christ alone Contemporary Issues , politics , the Christian and politics To listen to our session on the Christian and Politics click here.
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Attributes of God , Omnipotence 4. Attributes of God , eternal , immutable , unchanging , eternality Here are some highlights and quotations from The Attributes of God, session 2: Kenya , Kenya Team We are here safe and sound and very grateful for God's care and our safety thus far. Kenya , Kenya Evangelical Mission Praying members of the Kenya Team, You might not be getting on the plane with us, but you are going with us in prayer. Spiritual Growth Counterfeits are destructive and dangerous.
Renewing the Mind Early this week I came across an excellent quote by C. Anger , Love , Pippert Anger isn't the opposite of love. Hate is, and the final form of hate is indifference Renewing the Mind Last Sunday we talked about bitterness and the way it can take hold of our hearts if we are not careful.
Renewing the Mind There are a few books outside the Bible that I put in a special category. The Gift of Fellowship June 13, by Chris Oliveri It has been a couple of days since our last update, there is a lot to post on. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally.
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