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Mission and Purpose July 29, 2009

Posted by TJ Friend in Uncategorized.
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Hello all! Welcome to my blog. Hopefully you are here because you want to learn more about how to study the Bible. I can think of nothing better for personal growth and intimacy with Jesus than to read, study and meditate on His Word, the Bible. This should be our foundation. We should hunger after God’s word and the spiritual sustenance it brings, in the same way we hunger after natural food.I see a lot of confusion in the world today. Morals are in decay and the line between right and wrong is getting blurred more and more each day. We need a standard of truth and fortunately we have one. Too often though the Church takes its morality from culture and the world rather then the Bible. The Bible is counter cultural and as such those who follow Christ’s teachings should stand out in society. We should not be conformed to the pattern of this world. We are lights in this present darkness. Our lives should literally reflect the conduct and character of Jesus. The big problem I see is a lack of truth. We are walking around in deception and filled with the lies of the Enemy. But, what is tricky about deception is that those who are deceived don’t know they are deceived. We need a mirror to reflect our souls back to us, so we can see ourselves clearly. The Bible is that Word of Truth, a double-edged sword which penetrates our heart and judges our thoughts and attitudes. It truly saddens me when I see Christians walking around defeated, depressed and wondering who they are or what their purpose is in life. In the physical realm if you did not eat anything for a month, you would feel weak and become susceptible to all kinds of diseases. Similarly in the spiritual realm if you do not feed your self from the Word of Life, you will become weak and open yourself up to the attacks and lies of the Enemy. The Bible calls Satan a lion who goes around searching for prey to devour, and just like a natural lion, the Devil will go after those who are weak or not as strong because they are easy targets. There are many benefits to reading the Bible and I will address a few of those in a later post. God has given us His Word in written form. This is one of the greatest gifts ever and too often it is taken for granted, misused or simply neglected. My desire is that the Bible would once again be lifted up as the standard of behavior. I want to see the Church pursuing Biblical not business principals for growth. I want to see us standing up for Truth not tolerance. I want to see such a longing and desire for the Word that people would write songs and poems just like Psalm 119.

On a brief biographical note, I have been a Christian basically my whole life. I went to a Christian school and grew up in the Church. I enjoy reading and studying the Bible, so much so that I went to Bible College in order to gain more skills to study the Bible more effectively. I have completed my MA in Biblical Exegesis (the scientific study of the Bible) and have studied not only Greek and Hebrew but also Theology and the cultural backgrounds of the Ancient Near Eastern world. But, most of all, I have been equipped with tools on how to study the Word. As I have read and studied the Bible I have been immersed in its transformative power. Old mindsets and beliefs have been washed away as I continually renew my mind in the Scriptures.  I list these things not as qualifications, but to let you know that my heart is and has been for a long time in the study and interpretation of the Bible. I believe God as called me to me to get the Church back to the Bible, and not just the pastors and leaders, but every single believer.

So far I have emphasized the importance of the Word. And this is my goal, to encourage the believers to read, study and meditate on the Bible, applying it to their lives and teaching and training others. But, this is not the entirity of my purpose. I also want people to realize that the Bible is not just a book which teaches things about God, it is literally His Word for you. Reading the Bible should not be informational but relational and transformational. As you read the Word, God will speak to you by His Spirit and you can enter into that relationship with Him. Prayer and worship should be the natural outcome of reading His Word. When your attitudes and misconceptions change you can bring glory to God. Do not compartamentalize the Christian life into things like prayer and reading the Word. Christianity is about integration and total lifestyle transformation. The Word is important because it instructs and guides us, but the Spirit is just as important and also instructs and guides. My goal is that we would be grounded in the Word and walking in the Spirit. I think communion is a good example of this relationship between the Spirit and the Word. The Spirit, like the cup is satisfying, but lacks substance, whereas the bread is substantial but dry and hard to digest. When we dip the bread in the cup it softens it and allows it to go down easier. In the same way we should immerse our time in the Word in prayer and worship. As we do, the words will be easy to ingest and will bring life to your spirit.

Reflection: What are the hinderances you have to consistently reading the Bible? How are you living and acting different then those around you? What is something that God has called you to?

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Comments»

1. fellow Gibor - August 3, 2009

Ho!!! Wow!! Bro, I am totally thanking Jesus for His anointing and presence and wisdom on your words here. So many things here really leaped off the screen and resonated with what He’s been speaking to me in this season. Especially about de-compartmentalizing, and how the His words are not merely informational, but relational and transformational. Wow!!! I loved the picture you gave of communion as an example of how His Word is integrated with every aspect of worshipping Him and relating with Him.

The first thought I had to your first question about hindrances to consistently reading the Bible was “time”. I think it’s deeper than that, though; I think it’s really FOCUS and FOCUSED time. The enemy is my own noisy cloud of thoughts and not LISTENING to Jesus as I read the Word. I just had the thought that the focus we cultivate as we learn to STUDY the Word also helps us in those times we simply READ the Word to be better readers!

Everything you wrote in the first paragraph, I was crying out a hearty AMEN!!! I DO want to be conformed and transformed to the character and conduct of Jesus!!! Also what you wrote about feeding ourselves on the Word, and how God has called you to equip and bless EVERY BELIEVER, not just the pastors/leaders!!! That’s a true word, and I see that calling and God-given burden, better yet, MANTLE, on you!!

God, I praise You, Abba, for anointing my brother to teach the Word through this site! I pray You bind the enemy’s attacks of discouragement and lies! Holy Spirit, thank You for Your agreement and Your endorsement of this site! In Jesus’ name, AMEN!


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