Some Stuff They May Not Have Covered in Christianity 101: Part I
Life often tends to be a bit of a puzzler, don’t you think? You’ve heard said that it takes an entire lifetime to figure out life, but by then it’s too late to do a person any good.
I think the reason for that is we, the human race, are missing some context. No man is an island, I know that much, despite the way things look in our society today. We were designed for relationship. If a thing is designed, that is, has an order and purpose, then implicitly, there had to have been a design-er!
What I’m going to ask you to do, is, if you are a skeptic, or unfamiliar with the Bible, or what have you, I am going to ask you to read everything here as “for the sake of argument”. I’m not asking you to concur.
The Bible, like most things, makes better sense within the bigger context. Yet the Bible is generally taught and studied in tiny pieces. But even passages “in context” of their surrounding chapter, need to eventually be examined according to their place-within-the-whole, in order for the whole revelation (the revealing of God to man) to be thoroughly understood. I would like for you to try to picture the Bible as History, if you will, written in advance by Someone who stands outside of time. Now, in using the phrase “outside of time” rest assured I’m not getting ready to go into, wormholes, quantum physics, time-travel, bosons and all business. I don’t know a boson from a bison. I never got as far as Physics in my science requisites. But think of all of this word’s History as a yardstick, and think of your own life as a single inch on the yard stick, and think of God as holding the yard stick.
The Bible is verifiably the all-time best-selling book ever to be printed. There has to be a reason for that. I have to believe that most people who might find themselves reading this post on my blog, have some interest in what the Bible has to say and whatever wisdom it might offer. I remember lamenting once, about a decade ago, that “I need the Bible for Dummies”. It was a joke, of course, but with a nugget of truth in it. I had a lot to learn about what it takes to get any comprehensive sort of understanding when it comes to the Bible.
Another reason people don’t understand their Bible is because they have been told that it’s outdated, a relic, irrelevant to the present, “post-Christians” era we live in. Don’t you believe it. The Bible is a gold mine!
Deep and Wide and willing to go there” is my tagline for this blog. It sounds a little vague, I realize. Doesn’t tell folks what the blog is all about, which is really the raison d’être of tagline. Some folks are masterful at crafting concise and finely honed summations of an idea. I am not one of those people! If I were a purse, I’d be the lowly hobo bag. No pockets, no compartments, it’s just all jumbled together in there. So please excuse any meanderings. For what it’s worth, I do speak from the heart. This blog is not about fluff. It is not fast food. It is not instant gratification. BUT, I hope that you might find it satisfying in a way like your mama’s (or somebody’s mother’s) home-cooking. Even if there’s too much butter and salt, at least there are no artificial ingredients.
Eyes, the windows of the soul.
I have a picture of my eyes up top there as the header photo. As a person, I put a really high premium on honesty, integrity, truth, and authenticity. To figure that out about someone, I need to look them in the eye. I can’t see yours, but in some way, I hope that you can see into mine, and not just the soul, but also the heart.
It is your God-given right to disagree and/or reject everything I have to say, even without reading it first! Though I enjoy a hearty debate, I didn’t come here for that.
I know what it is to be thirsty. I know what it is to be hungry for something I can’t even name, to be weary, and weighted down with this worlds worries. I know what it is to lose hope, and how this life can crush and squeeze every last bit of hope right out of a person, and yet how readily we can go on, with just the tiniest glimmer of hope to grab onto.
That said, I am fixing to write about the Bible and Christianity in General, and Bible Prophecy in specific, so if that is not something you’re interested in reading about, or if you are committed to your present understanding/position or lack thereof, then I respect the fact, which is why I am giving this heads up. You might want to skip the next few posts.
I believe, however, what I intend to write about will be of interest to a lot of people, and appeal to a diverse swath of backgrounds, religions, as well as the various and sundry denominations of the Christian faith. I don’t care what your ethnicity, religion, or proclivities are. That’s between you and the Good Lord.
Click around on this site enough, you’ll soon know I’m a lady who’s been around the block a number of times, and got the scuffs to prove it. School of hard knocks and all that.
The Bible has been a part of my life back as far as I can remember, but I didn’t start making good use of it until a little more recent.
My quest to maximize the benefits and get a good comprehensive handle on Scripture really started back six years or so ago, and kicked into high gear in 2009. I am debating how much to share here about the events leading up to this, because I don’t want to bore you with more stuff about me. I am more excited about getting on with sharing what I have learned and so I’ll just stick with that for now, I think.
I will not attempt to convince you that the Bible is the infallible and inspired Word of God Himself, though that is exactly the position from which I speak. I will not attempt to establish the authority of the Bible, as it stands on its own. I will say, if you reject the Bible without considering what it says, it is to your own peril. From a sincere heart I warn you that there will come a time when you will remember the day you had your chance to look into these things, and chose not to. If you are reading this, you are reading it because God in His love for you has drawn you here.
For now, though, I will close this post in saying that in this new series of posts I hope to cover some things we often don’t learn in “Christianity 101” and some people never hear at all. In all local/individual church bodies there are those who have been at it longer, and those who are new to it, those who have studied more, and those who have studied less, those who have a gift for scripture and absorb it rapidly and those who, well, don’t! I will attempt to provide you with some fundamentals that were lacking in my particular church and Scripture background that were probably at one time “common knowledge for the average Christian” but got lost along the way due to the assumption that “everybody knows that”. We are living in that “Post-Christian” world, and I think it is safe to say that some knowledge has gone “missing in action” along the way. By that I do not mean the knowledge is lost. God tells us He is able to preserve His inerrant Word and has. But He also said Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
My friend, you may not even realize it, but you just may be one of those unfortunate souls who was born during the famine and that famine is all you have ever known. All that I do here is bring my five puny loaves and two fishes, so that the Lord can make them sufficient to feed others besides myself and my family. That’s all. I’m just another displaced pilgrim who has found sustenance and want to let others know it’s here to be had.
I do not claim to be a teacher, and I am certainly not a prophet. I am not a preacher either. I am merely a follower of Jesus Christ, sidelined in life by some physical and medical issues, which provides me the luxury of time to look into these matters. I love to read, study, and learn, and I personally believe there is no more worthy subject to study, than the book about God, that God wrote for us so that we may know Him. Does your god do that? Come to you? Or are you required to find your way to him. Do you have a god? You do. You might not call anything or anyone god, but you have one. Everybody has a religion. Everybody worships something. Do you wish you had a good God, Someone to turn to? There is a God, He is real, and contrary to popular opinion, can be known, because He reveals Himself in His Book to us. Most people don’t read the Bible simply because they don’t like what it says. Lets just be honest.
But this world is in trouble. This country (U.S.A.), and others are all moving in a bad direction. Desperate times, desperate measures, and all that, eh? People are a little less averse to the Bible right now, I think! And not in the way they flocked to churches after 9/11. Oh, not everyone, mind you, but a significant number. My post this past Saturday lightly touched upon some of these things, and incidentally, the blog stats went through the roof to four hundred hits per hour on that one post alone! I thought that was evidence that people are looking for answers and looking for them from the Bible, no less! But, alas, someone (apparently with a big following) had linked to an article I’d written the previous year, about President Obama and his secrets. The sad truth is, not a lot of people are going to read this, or pass it on. But God seems to be leaning on me pretty hard (conviction-wise) to get it done, and so I’m going to. Thank God it is not really up to me to convince, only to put it out there. Lords Word never goes out to return empty-handed.
So, handling with prayer, I will write. Casting bread upon the water is a worthwhile pastime. God promises it will come back “after many days”. But know that any insight you glean here will not have been revealed to you by me. The Holy Spirit is the only one who can open up the truth for your recognition. Those who would call upon Him must first believe that He is, and that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. If you are prone to sit down with your Bible, read for five minutes, only to see if you get some sort of buzz (feeling) or major epiphany (instant gratification), I need to tell you God will not respond to that. Satan might fill the void, with images, thoughts, ideas that seem profound or enlightened, but God doesn’t operate that way. He is not interested in a superficial sort of relationship. He describes Himself as a jealous God. He won’t share you.
But the Lord does promise that anyone who seeks Him with their whole heart, (a sincere desire for truth) will find Him. Problem is, too many people are looking where He isn’t, instead of where He Is. That’s one of His names: He is the great “I Am”. I propose the reason for that is, they don’t want to find the God that Is. Most people are determined to only worship a god that meets their own standards and terms. But that god is an idol. You may not have carved it in wood or stone, but you’ve fashioned it in your head. You ever hear someone say, “well, MY GOD is God of LOVE and He would not allow this”? I’ll wager I’d agree with them, because they are worshipping or following a god of their own imagination. Do YOU appreciate people making assumptions about you? Don’t you want to be known for who you are, not who someone has falsely concluded? God’s no different when it comes to that. He is a Person. We are created in His image!
He also says; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. It is my greatest desire and my sincere prayer that you will know Jesus. In His Word, Jesus describes Himself as the Truth.
Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, I give unto you! I can’t give you understanding, but Jesus can. I can’t heal your wounds, but Jesus can. I can’t give you hope, but Jesus sure can! What I have, I give unto you. I give you Jesus! You can know Him through the Holy Bible, of which He is the author, and specific, chosen human men were merely the scribe. Jesus is not a dead historical figure. He is real. He is God. He walked this Earth once, and laid down His life, and if that was all He did, He would be unremarkable. Mere humans have been known to die for someone, even someone they never met! But Jesus didn’t stay dead. I want you to understand that Jesus is alive, and well, and coming to this Earth again soon, and there are some important things you really need to know before then. So I hope you will read the posts that will follow in the coming days.
To my friends and readers who already have Jesus, to whomever of you God moves to do so, I ask you to pray. Fast and pray for my writing during this time.