The Second Great Decision

What commands your beliefs and actions in life?

Whatever seems right? Whatever feels good at the moment? What your friends say? The culture you live in? Religion?

I believe there is a crisis brewing in the church today – and it has everything to do with the authority of God and His Word in our lives.

I recently read about a church leader who said that it wasn’t really important to quote the Bible, and who diminished the value and importance of the Bible in a person’s life.

I truly was shocked at the statements. Somewhere along the way this person has forgotten about the importance of the authority of God and His Word. The two are inseparable because God’s Word is God-breathed and a gift from God Himself to us, His people.

We have got to get back to the Bible, dear friends. Where is the Bible in the church today? People don’t even carry Bibles with them anymore. Bibles are sitting on shelves instead of living in hearts.

The Word of God is an incredible gift and blessing from God Himself. Here’s what God says about His Word —

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrew 4:12)

Jesus said in prayer to the Father, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17).

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8).

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).

Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-25).

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell in you” (Colossians 3:16).

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

In spiritual warfare, Paul encourages us to “take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).

About God’s Word

When you read all those verses, you understand that God intends for His Word to be authoritative in your life. In fact, we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Ours is an objective faith. If it is objective, then what is the object? I am going to contend that it is God and His Word. God gave us His Word that we might know and understand Him, His ways, and everything we need for life until we step into heaven. According to Colossians 3:16, He expects us to be extravagant with the Word.

Thinking back on what that church leader has said about the Bible, I can’t help but ask, “Why would God give us His Word if He did not intend for us to use it?” And then I would also ask, “How could we set aside the word of God which is the sword of the Spirit, and not use it especially when we are clearly in a spiritual battle.”

And then I think about the day when I see the Lord, face to face. His Word makes it clear how important He feels about His Word. Christ modeled the value of it for us when He quoted Scripture from the Old Testament over 70 times.

The first great decision is for Christ — turning to Christ and praying to receive Him and entering into a forever relationship with Him. As Jesus said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

The second great decision is who and what will command your beliefs and actions. I believe we need to make a decision about God’s Word, the Bible. Is it going to be your map for life? Are you going to open His Word, day by day, to hear Him speak, and intimately know Him? Are you going to study it, line by line, precept upon precept, to discover His promises, and have a firm foundation on which to stand? Where will you put your faith? In God and His Word or in your feelings or something else?

I remember talking with Kay Arthur, founder of Precept Ministries, a number of years ago at the ICRS Convention in Orlando, Florida, about the Word of God. I was so blessed by her love for the Word and her commitment to teach it. I share that passion and commitment.

Billy Graham, at a pivotal point in his life and ministry, when God’s Word was being challenged by a friend, came to a very important decision about the Bible. His grandson, Will Graham, shares the story —

While he (Billy Graham) was at Forest Home, he spent a great deal of time studying the Bible, and he kept seeing the same phrase pop up. “Thus sayeth the Lord… Thus sayeth the Lord…” While my grandfather had always accepted in his head the authority of the Scripture, this became the turning point as he realized in his heart that God’s Word is divinely inspired, eternal and powerful! One night at Forest Home, he walked out into the woods and set his Bible on a stump — more an altar than a pulpit — and he cried out: “O God! There are many things in this book I do not understand. There are many problems with it for which I have no solution. There are many seeming contradictions. There are some areas in it that do not seem to correlate with modern science. I can’t answer some of the philosophical and psychological questions Chuck and others are raising.” And then, my grandfather fell to his knees and the Holy Spirit moved in him as he said, “Father, I am going to accept this as Thy Word — by faith! I’m going to allow faith to go beyond my intellectual questions and doubts, and I will believe this to be Your inspired Word!” My granddaddy wrote in his autobiography that as he stood up his eyes stung with tears, but he felt the power and presence of God in a way he hadn’t in months. “A major bridge had been crossed,” he said. The resulting change did not go unnoticed. The next day my granddaddy spoke at Forest Home, and 400 people made a commitment to Christ. Henrietta Mears remarked that he “preached with authority” that she hadn’t seen before from him.
Billy Graham and God’s Word

Following that defining moment in Billy Graham’s life, the evangelistic crusades began, where thousands upon thousands came to know the Lord.

I wonder if we could be on the brink of revival. Jonathan Goforth said many years ago that we can entertain no hope of a globe-encircling revival without there first being a back to the Bible movement. I am praying for just such a movement and I aim to be a part of it through Quiet Time Ministries. Our mission is to “teach devotion to God and His Word to men and women throughout the world.” Everything we do is designed to encourage others to open the Word of God, and know and love the Lord with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength. The studies I write are designed to draw a person into the Word, experience God for themselves firsthand as they study the Word, and know the teaching, convicting, encouraging, comforting, strengthening power of the Holy Spirit. I am thrilled about a group of almost 600 women in Chino Hills, California, who are studying Pilgrimage Of The Heart. These women and their leaders understand the importance of the Word of God. Do you? If so, here’s your chance. Why not join others worldwide for our next Quiet Time Ministries online Bible study, Walking With The God Who Cares at Ministry For Women Google+ Community, starting October 8, 2016.

Oh friend, we need God’s Word. Oh how I love the Word of God! In my book, Knowing and Loving The Bible, I share that I love the Bible because it encourages me (Romans 15:4), it comforts and revives me (Psalm 119:50), it never changes (Matthew 7:24-25), is the authority for my belief (2 Timothy 3:16-17), reveals Jesus (John 5:39-40), is inspired by God (2 Peter 1:19-21), reveals the purpose of God (Isaiah 55:10-11), is truth (John 17:17), teaches me (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and is the map for my life, giving me guidance and direction (Psalm 119:105). Knowing And Loving The Bible – Face To Face with God in His Word is A 30-Day Journey that will transform your life.

Every person needs a defining moment like Billy Graham, where you hold your Bible in your hand, and you say something like this, “God, this is Your Word and I am going to live by it, day by day and moment by moment, by faith.”

So, dear friend, today be certain about the authority of God’s Word in your life. Then, grab your Bible, and live in it in quiet time with the Lord every day, looking to Him to lead and guide you in life.

♥ Blessings and Grace to You!

Catherine

myPhotoWalk Devotional

Let the word of Christ richly dwell in you.
Colossians 3:16

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  • Title: Making A Great Decision
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  • Description: A willet standing at the edge of the ocean in contemplation in Corona del Mar near Newport Beach, California, USA.
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 09/02/16
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  • Photoshoot: myPhotoWalk Photo Shoot in Newport Beach, California, USA.
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  • Copyright ©2017 Catherine Martin — myPhotoWalk™ — Quiet Time Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
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