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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Inspired by . . . what we believe

There are two studies which have been impacting me greatly over the last several months and weeks. 

My Dreamer and I have been listening to Alistair Begg's sermons on the book of Daniel entitled And He Shall Reign. (the entire series can be downloaded here for free)

And, more recently, (as I mentioned previously) I have been doing the First5 study, Suffering & Sovereignty which is based in Job, Lamentations, and Ecclesiastes. (This study runs through October 21st so there is still time for you to join us if you wish)

Both studies focus on the sovereignty of God. Daniel gives us the "big picture" which is critical for us to see and understand especially given the current cultural and political climate. While in the book of Job the lens narrows and we get a picture of the reality of God's sovereignty in our personal lives.

We've been camped in the book of Job for the last 12 weeks and the one thing I've noticed about Job's friends is that they had an incomplete and often incorrect view of God. Some of what they said was true, much of it was not, and some of the truth was taken out of context.

This got me to thinking about what we believe about God and what misconceptions we might have. 

The book of Job also, rather alarmingly, reminds us of the role of the enemy in our lives. We should remember that the enemy was intimately acquainted with God. The enemy knows what God's word says. I think it's safe to say that he delights when we get it wrong. 

**I not referring here to those things about God that we don't yet understand. In some sense, until we meet Him face-to-face, we will always have an incomplete view of Who He IS. I'm talking about the things we believe about God that are wrong, i.e. contrary to His word.**

The best lies contain an element of truth. [click to tweet]
You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? (Gal 5:7)
The Galatian's faith was being derailed by falsehoods regarding circumcision relating to justification. What falsehoods are hindering us from obeying God's Word?

How do we view God? Jesus? Does what we believe line up with scripture? 
Beloved, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1Jn 4:1)

Is what we believe based solely on what we've been told? Do we look up verses for ourselves and read them in context, praying for God to give us wisdom? 

Remember, it's easy to take scripture out of context and use it to justify an accepted, yet false belief.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, Who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (Jas 1:5)
The cliche, "God helps those who help themselves." is widely quoted and believed. It is also NOT in the bible. In fact, the principle it alleges is actually contrary to what the Bible teaches.

The truth is, we cannot help ourselves. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. It is true that God calls us to pursue holiness, but He also provides the grace we need to do so.
And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Php 1:6)
Of this Jerry Bridges (The Discipline of Grace) says, "This thought is both encouraging and sobering. It is encouraging because it assures us that our spiritual growth is not left to our initiative, nor is it dependent upon our wisdom to know in which areas and in which direction we need to grow. Rather, it is God Himself who initiates and superintends our spiritual growth."

Believing that there is something we can do or have to do before Christ can save us nullifies the cross. [click to tweet]

The most effective way we can combat misconceptions about God is to read His Word for ourselves. [click to tweet] Go to the commentaries only after you have read and reasoned, and prayed and wrestled with understanding for yourself. 
You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart. (Jer 29:13)
God does not hide from us. If we honestly seek Him, He will reveal to us the truth about Himself.


Sharing inspiration here:
Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Faith On Fire, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
Counting My Blessings, Grace Moments, Heart Encouragement

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June