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Category: Bible Study (page 8 of 25)

True Patriotism

What does true patriotism look like?  If you follow politics then you know the word patriotism and patriot is used a lot.  Politicians claim they are patriotic.  Opponents state the other guy is not. Whole parties are claimed to be unpatriotic.  What defines patriotism is often subjective.

Jeremiah the Patriot

Jeremiah had a great love for his nation. He was a patriot.  He mourned the judgment coming upon the people.  He understood the sin of the people and spoke out against the sin. He also understood God’s judgment because of sin.  In chapter 38 Jeremiah has been told by God to preach that the city will be destroyed.  This is not an easy message for Jeremiah, but it is the truth.  Jeremiah had a love for his people.  However, he had a greater love for God and speaking the truth.

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Searching for Unity

When I lived in California and told people I was from Tennessee it wasn’t unusual to hear people say, “there are churches everywhere there.”  When I told people I was moving to Nashville the same response was given.  And let’s be honest, the people were right.  Driving along Nashville streets you see all sorts of denominations.  It seems as if there is a different type of church on every corner.  The landscape of our city is so littered with churches that our most famous building (the Batman Building) is actually an architectural tribute to churches!

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Without Vision the People Will Perish-What does it really mean?

As marketing and business models have had greater influence on the church, new terminology, and ideals have entered into our collective mind.  Churches now have vision, mission, and purpose statements. They have strategic goals and action plans.

I think many of these additions have been beneficial.  I’m convinced God has given us a mission.  I believe God wants us to use our brains in determining how to best fulfill that mission in our world.  Goals, when they are rooted IN Scripture, can be a helpful way of motivating people.

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Famine in the Land Part 2–Your Responsibility

In the last post I dealt with Famine in the Land laying the burden upon preachers (you can read it here). This was intentional.  When we read Scripture this is often where God places the burden. That being said, in our modern world, where we have access to Scripture, and high literacy rates, there is no excuse for individuals to go without a Word from the Lord.

Below are practical steps to ensure there is never a lack of God’s Word.

Five Practical Steps to Avoid the Famine

  1. Read the Scriptures: The word of God was meant to be read.  God did not inspire and preserve His Word for us to add decoration to our houses and cars.  By read, I do not mean a quick obligatory reading to make sure we get through the Bible in a certain time frame.  Instead, we should read to understand.  This requires slow careful reading, paying attention to context and flow of thought.  Famine is not alleviated by cursory reading, but by truly feeding on God’s word.
  2. Memorize: Memorization can be done in two ways.  You can memorize Scripture itself.  There is great value in memorizing the Words of God.  Second,  you can memorize the basic theme or principle that the text you read taught. Either way you are putting the word of God into your heart.
  3. Meditate: Once Scripture is read and the text itself, and/or the major principle is memorized, then you can begin to meditate. Meditation is focusing on the teaching of your reading with the goal toward application. It means thinking through the implication of the teaching.  This include what it meant for the original audience, and how it can be applied to you today.
  4. Obey: This is the ultimate goal of Scripture.  Scripture is meant to transform us.  This means that once we have read carefully, committed to memory the certain Scriptures and/or their teaching, and thought through how to apply it, we must then begin to obey it.  It is through obedience that Scripture transforms us. God wants us to walk in His statutes and commandments.
  5. Teach: Once we have understood and applied the Scripture to ourselves, we then should teach it to others.  If God’s people would learn and teach others the Scripture, then the word of the Lord would fill the land.  There would be no famine, but rather an overflow of God’s message.

Conclusion

Famine of the Word of God is a serious problem.  Many churches and communities are faced with this very truth.  Preachers will be judged for this.  The burden of heralding the Word of the Lord falls upon their shoulders.  God has given them that specific responsibility.  However, it is not upon their shoulders alone.  The principle of “to whom much is given, much is required” applies today.  With the availability of Scripture, and the high literacy rate, even if preachers fail to do their jobs, all Christians have the ability to keep our land from this devastating famine.

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Famine in the Land

Famines are destructive.  More so in less developed areas of our world, than in the USA, but they are still destructive.  My father lives in South Dakota, a few years ago a drought hit the western part of the state (referred to in South Dakota as simply West River).  The effects of the drought, which caused a famine of usable pasture land, were harsh.  Many ranchers sold off all their cattle because they could not afford to pay for the feed.  It was destructive to that entire economy.

In the world of the Ancient Israelite, famines were even more destructive.  In an agrarian based society, without the storage features we have today, famine could strike quickly, and was devastating.  God used famine as divine judgement against nations.  Famine forced entire people-groups to relocate. Famine was a word that you never wanted to hear.

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