I have gotten to know so many of you well, because we have shared the same experiences together. We have struggled with the same deceptions or have helped each other as we grow and use our spiritual gifts to edify one another. One thing is clear. We know what strengthens us and helps us grow.
It is staying in the Word of God. His Written Word. The Bible. There are some helps along the way. A devotion can be encouraging. Commentary can help us unpack a passage from someone who the Lord has gifted with spiritual insights. But those who I have grown with the most, are those who scripture is shared with on almost a daily basis.
It is the staying in the Word, in the morning, during the day, and at evening that infiltrates the very soul with the Words of the Lord. It is easy for me because I write curriculum for my Sunday School class and the Lord has blessed me with a deep love for scripture, to be able to immerse myself into it and pull out applications and lessons for the children. Homiletic training didn’t hurt either.
I came across this Ephesians commentary from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones when studying Genesis.
“The greatest benefactors that this world has ever known, the men who have brought the greatest good to this world has ever known, have been men who have emphasized most of all the importance of ‘seeing the unseen.’ One has but to read the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews to find proof of this. There we have a list, or a gallery as it were, of the greatest benefactors this world has ever known; that is why they stand out in history. And they are all people , we are told, who fixed their eyes not so much on this world as on the next….The ‘heroes of the faith’ of Hebrews, chapter 11, started with the unseen world, and then in the light of that, they applied themselves to the present world.” *
The church has become very involved with itself and its health, wealth, agendas, programs, conferences, publications, books, committees and men making names for themselves. As I think of the men and woman in Hebrews 11, a picture forms of those who really made a difference. Abraham never got to see the land filled with his descendents. Moses never got to cross into the physical Promised land, but they always walked in faith which carried the most importance of all. They had a correct perspective that changed the world. They were far from perfect but they are held up as men of faith. They cared about eternal matters instead of worldly matters.
Contrast walking in faith with worldly philosophy.
“What lies behind us and what lies in front of us pales in comparison of what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Quotes like this make me cling to 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
I listen to those teachers who stay within scripture and use scripture to interpret scripture, because it is all the man of God needs.
* God’s Ultimate Purpose: An Exposition of Ephesians 1:1 to 23. pp. 381-382
We too need to walk in faith, and obey what Jesus said in John 14 three times. If we love Him we will obey Him and keep His commandments.