Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My B-I-B-L-E

               Stewardship, not a word you hear used very often in our modern language, but a very important and vital word for me to understand and to learn today. I began this blog because I like to write, and I like to impart to others the things the Lord teaches me and lays upon my heart. Some days my blog posts seem a little less passionate than other days, and some days, (let’s be honest) they are just not that great. But still, the desire to share with all those few people who do read my blog what the Lord is speaking to me, and if in some way they can see Jesus and come to have a more intimate relationship with Him, through my simple words, then all these years of writing have been worth every minute spent. You see, I have been given a stewardship, a stewardship over God’s word, in fact, we all have this same stewardship, and we are not to take it lightly.
                “But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4. These words hit me today. Paul is telling the Thessalonians that he and those with him have been found worthy by God to preach to them the gospel of Jesus Christ. We also, as believers and fellow laborers in Christ have too been found worthy to proclaim and bring forth the Word of God. As I read this, I was convicted, as well as encouraged and overwhelmed with His grace and mercy.
                I am not a worthy sort of person, let alone should I be counted faithful enough to be entrusted with His Holy Word. But, because of what Jesus did on that cross for me, God has seen fit to give me His words to speak. But what is my motivation for writing this blog, day after day? I had to ask myself that question, fully and completely, because there are days where I seem to write just because I said I would. Now, if you have found some profound wisdom from this blog- do not put it to my account, please, glorify God because of it. I am only a steward over His words, I have been given the ability to write and to speak His word, not because of who I am, but because of Who He is within me. My motivation, you ask, what is my motivation?
                My motivation is that in these simple words, written by a very unimportant woman, you may find the comfort, the encouragement, the grace and the love that comes only from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. My desire is that you would grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, (2 Peter 3:18) and that a passionate and undying flame for Him would be ignited within your hearts. That if for some reason you find yourself feeling alone and lost, helpless and in despair, that through these words you may find Jesus. It is not my desire, as a steward of God’s word to seek to please you, but to please my God, who has counted me faithful enough to speak (and write) His words.
                There have been times in my life that I have been timid and did not want to speak what He was teaching me, for fear of leading someone astray, for fear of stumbling someone. What if what I speak offends someone, or what if my words cause them to feel bad about themselves? (These are actual questions I have asked the Lord, when He has laid something on my heart to speak) Today, I was reminded of the prophet Jeremiah, and how the Lord told him to not be afraid to speak what the Lord was telling him to speak, because He was with him. Jeremiah was to stick to what the Lord was speaking and speak what the Lord desired. (Jeremiah 1:7-8) In doing this, Jeremiah did encourage others, but he also spoke wrath and separation from God.
                Jon Courson, in his New Testament Commentary, writes; “The fear of God obliterates the fear of man. Because Paul answered to God rather than to man, he was free from the fear of man. God’s antidote for young Jeremiah’s timidity was to boldly speak the whole truth. The same is true today. If you’re afraid of your audience and only speak those portions of truth that are easy to hear, you will be confounded in front of them. But if you “fully preach the gospel of Christ”, you’ll be strengthened. (Romans 15:19) And that for me is the bottom line.
I have been given a precious possession, we have all been given a precious possession, and that is the Word of God. We have been found worthy by God, who has tested our hearts and found us to be genuine, to preach and to proclaim His Holy Word to all peoples. I have read many books, and listened to many different preachers, and unfortunately, more often than not, I find their words are their words and not what the word of God speaks. Be careful how you receive, how you preach and how you present the word of God, for we will all be held accountable for it one day. He has given each of us the careful use, control and management of His Word, not man’s word, not for man’s glory- but for Him and to Him and because of Him.
Sometimes I do not think I fully understand the stewardship that I have been entrusted with. Sometimes, I let my fear of man deter me from speaking the words God has put upon my heart- but these are mine to bear and I will stand before God the Father and answer for them. So, how do we know we are bringing forth the word of God in all its glory and to His pleasure? It starts with your relationship with Him. Paul said that they sought to please God and not man. Pleasing God starts on the inside and is seen on the outside. It is not an outward duty or an outward appearance, pleasing God is a heartfelt commitment to Him and His word.
                We have this heartfelt commitment to Him and to His word. Filling my mind with the opinions and views of others can never replace the power and the awe of His word. The Bible is the only True Word of God, spoken by Him, to us, His children. There are thousands of books out there that proclaim they are all about God, and some of them are good and are of God, but do not, under any circumstances replace God’s word with man’s word. For there is nothing greater than the Word of God, it shall remain forever, and we, as His chosen priesthood, (1 Peter 2:9) have been given stewardship over it. Let us not use it vainly, let us not take for granted the possession He has given us, and let us not forsake the treasure of love and life that is only found in His word.  Let us seek to please God alone, and let the rest fall to the ground. My Jesus is the greatest treasure of all, and within the pages of my BIBLE I found Him, and He has found me. Let us not forsake to treasure Him, nor His word.
In You, oh Lord we do put our trust. We thank You that You have found us worthy to read, to know, to understand, to have in our possession Your Holy Word. May we, as Your people proclaim Your Good News to all who can hear. May we only seek to please You and You alone, may we always take care to use, to speak and to write Your words, not our own, but Yours and Yours alone. To You be the glory, and the honor and the praise forever and ever. Amen and Amen.