Learning to Love the Word

I am caught in my spirit with the fact that some Christians love the Lord Jesus, are dedicated to Him and also love His written Word. Then there are other dear ones who also love Him and are dedicated to Him but find it a difficult task to spend much time at all learning His Word. Why is that? What is going on in the heart that would make one person devour the Word and another touch it ever so lightly, if at all?

As a Bible teacher, I simply cannot separate the written Word from the very personal living Word. He is the same. I do not consider the actual printed book the same as His person, but what He has instructed in His book through the ages is the revelation of Himself and very important in my heart and life. I cannot imagine living in the United States with an ability to read and write, and not actively using those skills to enrich my heart, mind and soul with His words.

So I am seeking God’s heart (long term) about what I can do in presenting the Word that would make others love it too. I know most of this work must be done by the anointing, provided in and through the Holy Spirit, but I am so longing to see some progressive change  in my skills as a teacher. My students all have such a hunger and I am bless constantly, each season, by their love for the Lord and their study of the Word. However, there are those who come and go, who really do not get a “word emphasis” in their church and are satisfied with what they can hear on TV or the pulpit.

There is no condemnation in my heart here. All who are His are equal in His treatment of them. The one special reward for those who consistently seek the truth of His word is more understanding and release into Him, but those who love the Word do not study it primarily for reward, but simply because they love Him.  Why does the church as a whole seem interested only in “feeling” Him when He moves in a tangible way? Why are we not, as a whole, folk who simply cannot get enough of what He has said and therefore know more of what He is saying?

Just some questions on my heart this morning. Comments are welcome if you have any ideas about the answer to some of the questions posed here. Please keep them positive and uplifting. Putting others down is simply not the way of the Word. I guess I should say that shaming folk or condemning them for not doing something never works for long and really isn’t what the Lord does. Hunger and thirsting is like eating potato chips or peanuts – you can’t just eat one. Why are we not hungry for more Word?

Filled With His Fullness

[The following is my Prayer Letter teaching this week to my Intercessors. So I will use it as a blog post here.]
“…that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:19b

There are some choruses that are seeping into our common worship that are troubling me a bit. They do not trouble me because I don’t like them because they are sweet, they trouble me because they are advocating something that is not in our Bibles. The phrase is some form of “empty me.” Now the thought is that we want less of ourselves to be visible and more of our Lord. Usually the next phrase has to do with Him filling us, which is very Biblical and very appropriate.

The phrase has bothered me for some time, so I finally took the time to do some research. The term is, of course, used in scripture but usually is a negative. His people in the OT were chastised for coming before Him with empty hands, etc… However, there is nothing – nowhere – about us becoming less in order for Him to become more.

John the Baptist made a statement, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) He was not talking about his person, He was talking about the scope of his ministry. His ministry must become less prominent while the ministry of Jesus must become seen. To make this mean that we need to disappear in our relationship with Him is to misuse the scripture.

As I was pondering this, the Lord spoke sweetly, “I have no space problem.”  The Lord told the servants at the wedding to fill the water jars with water, prior to His turning that water into wine. This is the understanding I think we need to reach for. He takes us as we are, full of ourselves, and makes the “best wine” out of us. He does not ask us to eliminate ourselves, but invites us to allow Him to be King in “our” heart. He treasures our being enough to die for us. He never wanted to eliminate us, or “empty ourselves of ourselves,” instead He desires to enrich us and bless us with Himself. The Spirit takes no space because He is spirit. He fills us with Himself while we are full of ourselves. I know that is not possible in the natural world, but in the Spirit it is what happens.There is never an entreaty to “empty” what He desires to love because He takes no space in us yet fills us with the “fullness of God.”

We, of course, desire to allow the transforming of our lives for His glory and that means corporating with Him in eliminating certain thoughts and behaviors. However, He doesn’t do that for us, but asks us to use Him and the power of His word to effect change as needed. Oh yes, you have also discovered with me, that need never ends.

We choose His will – that glorifies Him. Us being empty without a will is not what He is after. I hope some of this helps. We do not need to allow un-Biblical theological concepts to dominate our thinking of ourselves. When we do, we become “religious” but it is no help in becoming truly spiritual.

“The Sneeze

This was posted on facebook this afternoon by one of my friends. I thought it worth sharing. It is worth a read. Bless you.


They walked in tandem, each of the ninety-two students filing into the already crowded auditorium. With their rich maroon gowns flowing and the traditional caps, they looked almost as grown up as they felt.

Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and Moms freely brushed away tears.

This class would NOT pray during the commencements, not by choice, but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it.

The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked for blessings on the graduates or their families.

The speeches were nice, but they were routine until the final speech received a standing ovation.

A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for just a moment, and then, it happened.

All 92 students, every single one of them, suddenly SNEEZED !!!!

The student on stage simply looked at the audience and said,


And he walked off the stage…

The audience exploded into applause. This graduating class had found a unique way to invoke God’s blessing on their future with or without the court’s approval.

This is a true story; it happened at the University of Maryland.”

The Nature of Grace

I am struck with the problem of Christian’s separating themselves from other Christians because they come to understand grace in a new way.

It is true that when we begin to see what Christ really did on the cross and what has been given to us through the resurrection of our Lord and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we are amazed (struck) with how very different the gospel is from what we had thought. We begin to enter into horizons that we have not seen before in the Word and in our personal relationship with the Lord. It is amazing and wonderful!

However, the very nature of grace is of course, the nature of Christ in us. He is not a separatist. He has not separated Himself from those that differ with Him. As we grow in Jesus, “seek His face,” He will disclose to us things we have not seen before and that others around us may not understand — yet. However, when we then find fault with what we hear in our church and in our fellowships and we begin to separate ourselves, there is a problem. You see, grace includes. It is not exclusive and it is not a “doctrine” to use to separate the Body of Christ. It is the very nature of Christ in us.

I know there are some good reasons to move from one congregation to another, but frankly, most of what I hear are excuses for not growing up in Jesus. There are ways to leave, change and be included elsewhere. I am not broadsiding that in this post. (Although all who know me, know I believe deeply in being part of a local body and being in that body until it is clearly seen that the appointment is to another group. That appointment will be witnessed to by many). The ease in which we come and go with this alarms me.

When I hear of “grace understanding” becoming a reason for separating — I am really alarmed because of the very nature of grace itself. It has included me, even when I differed with its full understanding (and I know I have not come to a “full understanding” and probably will not do so until I am face to face with my Jesus). So I, in grace, need to extend that same grace to others and love and enjoy them in our Jesus.

I am thoroughly into grace and learning more and more of what is true in Christ Jesus for me and for each believer. I have seen much in this past year that has me excited and delighted in Him.  If that does not spill over when I differ with others, then I have yet to really get a hold on grace. He “graciously” continues to include me – in-spite of my lack of understanding. I am compelled to do the same with others, don’t you think?

Grace & Prayer

I have mentioned before in this blog about the need for us to allow the Lord to become the focus of our prayer life and how form often gets in the way of true, heart-felt communication with Him. I was reading some blogs and came across one that has spoken well. So I am, with his gracious permission, posting it here. It will say what I (and many others) have experienced in the embracing of grace. I think many of you will enjoy its thoughts.


by Bing M at Grace Roots

My prayer usually started with “My loving father in heaven” for a long time. Eventually I got bored with that salutation, so I tried few others such as “My precious Father”, “Our loving gracious Father in heaven” or simply “Lord Jesus”. I was taught that quoting Scriptures while praying is very effective. In other words, we might get more action from God if we claim things which he had promised in the Scriptures but have forgotten to give to us.

Every time, during the family prayer in the evening, I wanted to make sure my kids followed the Christian discipline of sitting in full attention with their eyes closed. I was proud of being a perfect Christian Dad, making sure even our 2 year old followed my strict prayer-time discipline.

Depending on who is present, most of my public prayers were directed to them, kind of using the prayer time to preach to them or to show off my religiosity. After all, that’s the only time they are forced to be silent and listen to me. When my parents (who are not protestant Christians) are present, I threaten them through my prayer about the countless punishments God is going to send on them if they don’t accept my belief system. My conscious effort there was to prove them wrong and prove me right.

Depending on whom I am praying with, my prayer changed. I pray the most hypocritical prayer if there are unbelievers around. In the midst of super hyper believers, I pray as if I am also super hyper like them. You know, praying for the souls perishing all over the world? I knew how to add a touch of unbearable pain to the tone of my prayer to make it more dramatic.

Do you want to add more excitement and power to your prayer? Add more loud “Hallelujahs”.

In short, my public prayer was a show and my private prayer was mostly a laundry list of things I thought I couldn’t live without.

Grace destroyed all this drama and made it unbelievably simple. I can’t believe I did all that for so many years. I feel embarrassed. Now when I pray, I hardly know that I am praying. It is like talking to a real person. It’s a joyful occasion of tremendous freedom, peace and love. I don’t mind talking silly things to Him. Now I don’t necessarily want anyone around when I pray because I know that my prayer might sound very silly and child-like; mostly do not make any sense to the people who don’t know where I am coming from.

And I think that’s ok.