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Growing in God …

December 23, 2012

I’ve been thinking today about some of my friend’s comments. I have one in particular who, in my opinion, has God in a “box of love”. Okay, don’t get me wrong I know that God is a god of love and He demonstrated that by giving us Jesus Christ as the sacrifice for our sins. There are a multitude of scriptures backing this truth. But, being a guy who generally likes to get to the point quickly I’ll just leave it at that.

There is another who has more insight into the things of God and how He works. So, here are two Christians who view God and His ways differently. I posted something on my dear friend Loopy’s blog a pretty good while ago and I thought I’d attempt to illustrate my thoughts on the matter. Many Christians are what I refer to as “ground level” Christians. This is not saying they are bad or false. I’m just saying these kind of people are content in receiving Christ as their savior, attending church regularly, perhaps some bible study but never grasping the basic knowledge of God. Never willing or have the burden to “go higher” in their spiritual lives. This is one of the dangers of the eternal security doctrine; once saved, always saved, nothing else to do. But folks, there is so much more. So much more to the ways of God that are very important to learn. Very important as we are living in very dangerous times.

Okay, to me the most important scriptures in the Bible (don’t get me wrong, they are all important) are Proverbs chapter 2 verses 1 through 4. Because by doing what those verses say will get you to verse 5, which are the most important things for a Christian in retaining salvation. We haven’t accomplished salvation yet folks. It’s a work in progress and salvation comes at the end.

Using the first four (4) verses of chapter 2 of the Proverbs we can see the instructions on how to grow spiritually in God and by doing those things gain a different perspective … seeing the same things yet the understanding increases. Here are some examples of seeing the same thing from differing levels …

Here is a picture of the lot across from where I work … from ground level:

DSC02428

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the same from a little higher …

DSC02430

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the same from much higher (using Google Earth) …

lokipokp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see by these pictures that looking at something from ground level is much different than a much higher position … It’s the same in our spiritual lives. If we grow in our spiritual lives we will begin to see things … well … perhaps as God sees them.

Proverbs Chapter 2 verses 1 through 4 …

My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

after we’ve done all those things …  Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. What a wonderful result! Seeing and understanding things we see every day with much greater understanding. The reading and understanding of God’s word is much more enlightening and our soul is filled with the wisdom and knowledge that God intends for us to have.

I sincerely hope my thoughts have not been lost in the writing and I’ve been able to convey a little of what I mean. Anyway, I’m not a preacher or a skilled writer and articulating things is difficult at times. It seems the ideas or thoughts which are so real can be diminished when writing them.

Just know of a certainty that God has much more for us if we’ll just apply ourselves to His ways.

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46 Comments leave one →
  1. christinewjc permalink
    December 23, 2012 8:36 pm

    Well said Steve! I love it when Christian believers (like you!) share posts directly from their hearts. We can all learn from the Bible…and from each other.

    I think that I know what you mean. Perhaps another word could apply – sanctification. We are saved at the moment of confessing our sins, repenting, and asking Jesus to enter into our hearts as Lord and Savior of our lives. However, sanctification begins at that very moment – but continues to build over the entire course of our lives! None of us ever completely “arrives” at knowing everything, but I totally agree that through prayer, Bible Study, and application we can grow spiritually (as you wrote), “to the ways of God that are very important to learn.”

    In fact, when Jesus prayed for his disciples, he asked the Father to:

    Jhn 17:17 “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

    Love the Proverbs verse that you shared! It is very instructive regarding what we are to be doing while here on this earth!

    I have that verse on my site; and it is one of the reasons why I chose the title of “Talk Wisdom” for my blog. The wisdom and knowledge of God is there for us to read, study and learn via the Bible; and through knowing and serving our LIving Savior – Jesus Christ!

    The other night I heard a famous pastor state that “trying to understand God is like an ant trying to understand the Internet.” It’s an interesting comment to peruse. What do you think of that statement my friend?

    I think that God has told us all that we need to know (again, via Christ and the Bible) – even though we will never know everything this side of heaven!

    You wrote:

    “Just know of a certainty that God has much more for us if we’ll just apply ourselves to His ways.”

    Beautifully stated!

    Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

    Your sister in Christ,
    Christine

    • December 24, 2012 8:08 am

      What impacts me in these few scriptures the most is verse 5 … Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
      The vast majority of people and Christians in particular have no idea what the fear of the Lord is and most will tell you flat out “I don’t fear God” .. “I love God” … Didn’t Jesus say “Those who say they know me and keep not my commandments are liars”?
      That’s why I suppose I stressed Proverbs 2: 1-4 so much because if a person hasn’t done those things (their speech will bewray them) then the “I don’t fear God” and claiming to know the Lord ring hollow and my advice to them would be to weigh your words.

    • christinewjc permalink
      December 24, 2012 10:08 am

      Yes! Jesus indeed could spot the false “converts” and pointed out why – because they “say they know me and keep not my commandments.”

      I looked up the Hebrew meaning of “fear” in Strong’s Concordance for this particular Proverbs verse. It said, “3374. yir’ah, yir-aw; fem. of3373; fear (also used as infin.); mor. reverence: –x dreadful, x exceedingly, fear (-fulness).”

      The following is what I gather from Strong’s. Of course, I could be wrong but if the word “mor.” in the description means “more,” then perhaps the usage of the word “fear” in the verse is more about reverence than dreadful fear. ( I tried to find out what the term “mor.” means in the concordance but wasn’t able to locate it. Is it an abbreviation for “more”?)

      Because the term “fear” in Hebrew also means “reverence,” I have concluded that the kind of fear described in that particular verse is more about respect (reverence) than dread – because that explanation appears first in the concordance regarding the term as used in this particular Proverbs verse.

      World English Dictionary

      reverence (ˈrɛvərəns)

      - n

      1.

      a feeling or attitude of profound respect, usually reserved for the sacred or divine; devoted veneration

      2.

      an outward manifestation of this feeling, esp a bow or act of obeisance

      3.

      the state of being revered or commanding profound respect

      As you so rightly pointed out Steve, having reverence for God includes obeying Him and His commandments. When saved by God’s mercy and grace, we WANT and DESIRE to obey Him.

      But we see that the concordance explanation of the term “fear” has a double meaning in the Proverbs verse. Why? Perhaps it is because as sinners in need of the Savior, both fear (dread) and reverence apply?

      Someone more learned about how to use a concordance correctly could shed more light on the subject. I’m not sure what the “x” in front of the words “dreadful” and “exceedingly” mean.

      Believers don’t “fear” God the same way that the unredeemed do; simply because being saved by Christ takes away the dread of eternal consequences wrought by evil, sin, and death.

    • December 24, 2012 1:46 pm

      On this I think we’ll agree to disagree somewhat Christine. Years ago I did a fairly extensive study regarding the use of the word “fear” in the bible. I found that the word is used over 400 times and nearly every time the word means to be terrified, fearful, dreadful, afraid, etc. … simply put, thus the reason the word “reverence” is used in the places applicable.
      Okay, let me put it this way; when Moses met face to face with God does it indicate he had too much “reverence” to look upon the face of God? We know what it says.
      And this .. And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake.

      When Daniel had been fasting 3 full weeks and “a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:
      His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude,” came to speak with him he told Daniel to “fear not” …

      I know there is a fine line in what is meant by the words fear and reverence. But, and this is simply my personal opinion, I think it (the bible) means exactly what it says.

    • December 24, 2012 2:01 pm

      And the angels say “fear not” so surely their visage is not the face of gentleness, can God be less fearsome?

    • December 24, 2012 2:49 pm

      I’ll tell you a story one day dear Loopy of what the Lord let me experience concerning what the “terror of the Lord” is. It is not something that can be endured for more than a second.
      We tend to think of God as a senile old “Santa Claus” or some loving grand father … all the while not realizing this infinite power is the creator of all life, knowledge, wisdom and the ability to create something from nothing. Mankind has been allowed to increase in knowledge … but even as smart as the smartest person is … it is nothing compared to a force who can create a universe with a spoken word.

    • December 24, 2012 3:38 pm

      Amen and amen!!! I have felt that power myself and spent a few hours on my knees in tears without the words to even voice what I felt. When He wants you to understand and listen, believe me, He knows how to get your attention!!!

  2. December 23, 2012 8:59 pm

    Great work!

    Good job!

    And not a word about Obama anywhere!

    I am impressed and pleased and proud of you.

    I think this kind of inspiring writing is probably your true calling because it is so clear and plain and comforting.

    Yes – - just present the teachings of the Gospel, forget the politics and let God sort out the worldly things.

    After reading this, I can say with a lot of confidence that you have the gift of writing and that your writing could go a long way toward healing a lot of broken or challenged lives that need to hear the exact same kind of inspiring stuff that you have presented in this post.

    The Lord is always looking for laborers for the Harvest and the laborers are few indeed as He has said.

    You seem to have the gift and I think you ought to use it.

    The hair stood up on my arm as I was reading your words, here.

    I felt the Spirit coming through your words as never before.

    You blessed me.

    Thank you.

    • The MAD Jewess permalink
      December 23, 2012 9:19 pm

      Obama is STILL a Commie dictator, no matter what you say.

    • December 23, 2012 10:58 pm

      It doesn’t matter what Mr. Obama is MJ, he is in power with God’s will, what God wants will come to pass. It is irrelevant what we think of him, what is important is that we follow God’s will and listen and pass on His word. How Mr. Obama chooses to live and lead only affect this world and our treasure waits in heaven and not on earth. Let God deal with those don’t obey Him. It is okay for us to tell them they are wrong if they are not following the bible and claim to be doing so, but other than that, we follow God’s instructions.
      God bless you my friend, let Him handle it, Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    • December 24, 2012 12:05 am

      Pfffftttttt!

    • The MAD Jewess permalink
      December 24, 2012 4:34 am

      ‘he is in power with God’s will’

      NO,
      God has departed this once nice nation. He has left the decisions up to us because we have mocked him, ridiculed him and slaughtered his children. So, since America thinks they can do better than the Lord, he has turned us over to ourselves. American cried out for a king and God gave us one with both barrels.
      Hitler did not obey the Lord and many people said nothing. In fact, people were in churches, singing as the trains went by thinking THEY were doing Gods will.
      I will NOT EVER be silent to those that have a form of godliness but deny its power.
      To be silent to those that are in DIRECT defiance to Gods will is to consent to evil.
      If God has chosen for YOU to be quiet, that is your affair, but I will NOT be held accountable for this people/s blood.
      A scripture the Lord gave to me regarding this hardened generation:

      Ezekiel 33

      33 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. 5 Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’

      7 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for[a] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 9 But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.

      With all due respect Loopy, I must obey what God has given *me* for people such as Limey.

    • December 24, 2012 6:52 am

      What I said is not in disagreement with what you said MJ!!! God’s will is not always what we would like, here I think that it is God’s will to let a corrupt country who has strayed far from it’s foundations, be ruled by Mr. Obama, we have turned from Him and He has removed His grace, even Hitler could have been removed sooner if it had been God’s will. All this is a process that has to occur before Jesus can return. All nations must turn from God in order for the prophecies to be fulfilled. Not that that Is our desire, but that is what is prophecy says. God has removed His grace from us and we are now open to all that Satan would throw at us. God’s will is not that we should suffer evil, but that we should make the choice for good. This nation did not make that choice. They chose to continue to support more killing of babies in the womb, more wars, more violence.

    • December 23, 2012 10:53 pm

      Haven’t talked to you in a while but wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas John, God bless you!

    • December 24, 2012 12:00 am

      And to you also and all abundance and joy forever and evermore.

      Do you have any idea of what ever happened to don smith who used to do “Right On The Knows?”

    • December 24, 2012 6:29 am

      His wife had a bad stroke and he was taking time to take care of her at the time he left. I talked to him on FB about six months later and she was still pretty bad. I haven’t heard anything since that time..

    • December 24, 2012 10:25 am

      Thank you – we shall continue to pray for him. Thanks for the update.

    • December 24, 2012 8:10 am

      Thank you for your kind words John and I’m glad you got something good from it.
      Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  3. Betty Jones Nelson permalink
    December 23, 2012 9:09 pm

    I thought you said it quite well. If only more people understood it. Blessed Christmas to you and Rini.

    • December 24, 2012 8:16 am

      Hello Betty Jo!
      And Rini and I wish a very blessed Christmas to you and your wonderful family!

  4. Betty Jo Nelson permalink
    December 23, 2012 9:10 pm

    Dumb spell check. Changed my name in the previous reply.

  5. The MAD Jewess permalink
    December 23, 2012 9:25 pm

    Many Christians AND Jews seem to think that God is ALWAYS so loving, but they have no understanding of what love is all about at all. God is a God of wrath as well. He is also an angry God, a jealous God.
    He is merciful. He is righteous, he is a judge.
    Its easy in a country that hates what is good and embraces what is evil to say ‘God is love’. This fake and phoney justification condones the evil that they do–like putting Obama before God–for eg; Limey here.

    “Thou shalt have *NO* ‘g’ods before me!”
    יד כִּי לֹא תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה, לְאֵל אַחֵר: כִּי יְהוָה קַנָּא שְׁמוֹ, אֵל קַנָּא הוּא. 14
    For thou shalt bow down to no other god; for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God;

    Exodus Chapter 34 שְׁמוֹת

    Love is not always gentle, either. Love, in this time and age is also in rebuke, –23: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

    Jude 1:23

    • December 24, 2012 12:03 am

      Until the events in the book of Revelations come to pass, we are living in the Age Of Grace wherein God’s Wrath has subsided until Judgement Day and all things are fulfilled and centered in Christ and His Redeeming Love. The Heavenly Hammer waiting to smash sinners ceased operations at the birth Of Christ and will remain inactive until the final judgement.

    • The MAD Jewess permalink
      December 24, 2012 4:38 am

      Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?

      “Thou shalt have *NO* ‘g’ods before me!”
      יד כִּי לֹא תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה, לְאֵל אַחֵר: כִּי יְהוָה קַנָּא שְׁמוֹ, אֵל קַנָּא הוּא. 14
      For thou shalt bow down to no other god; for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God;

      “I am the LORD, and I do NOT *change*.

    • December 24, 2012 10:23 am

      Thanks for the input but I know what I believe.

    • December 24, 2012 1:06 pm

      John, you “know what you believe” but there is a way which seems right to aman but leads to destruction! You are right that we are in the age of grace and that keeps God from completely destroying this earth as he did with the flood. However, that does NOT mean that God is not enacting judgment upon this earth. Look at what he allowed to happen to people who pervert his ways and who refuse to believe. Where was his grace with the persecution of the Jews? Part of God’s judgment on America, in my opinion, is that he allowed Obama to be re-elected in order to turn this nation over to our hardened hearts. He sitll has a plan for those who put their trust in him but sadly there is not many in this country who truly do. If that were not so, we could never have degenerated to such a degree of evil allowing every abomination to God to be accepted as a right or a choice- and even celebrated! Sad times, John. You are either blind or you just are in denial.

    • December 24, 2012 4:08 pm

      and you are in no manner of speaking anywhere near unto qualified to judge me.

    • December 24, 2012 4:17 pm

      http://deeptruths.com/random-dm/115.html

      I am neither blind nor in denial and I am not laying my judgement or condemnation on other people either because I follow the Spirit of The Law and not just the rigid, unforgiving Law itself!

      So God Bless You and be blessed in your walk with The Lord wherever it may lead.

    • December 24, 2012 8:25 am

      All good points from each perspective. Paulie does well in reminding us that the God of love can be much more and truly is a God to be feared. I seem to remember a flood in which there were only 8 survivors. Again, it is wise to remember many people will beg for the rocks and mountains to hide them from the face of the Lamb and the fierceness of his wrath. Yet we can have confidence in HIs grace, mercy and compassion for those who believe.

  6. December 23, 2012 10:51 pm

    Wonderful Steve, like being on a ladder and with every step up, you look back with awe to see what you missed before, and yet there are so many who are simply content with staying on the ground. So many times you see what you thought was relevant at the time, was simply a staging area to the next level and only a small part of the big picture. I am going to reblog this one Steve! God bless you and Merry Christmas.

    • December 24, 2012 8:28 am

      Good morning Patricia! Yes ma’am and the scriptures that we live from “faith to faith” is the staging area. We move up to a certain area of faith only to use that in getting to the next. Thank you for pointing that out, and thanks for re-blogging this. I hope some people are edified by it. Have a very blessed and happy Christmas.

    • December 24, 2012 8:29 am

      :-)

  7. December 23, 2012 10:52 pm

    Reblogged this on Loopyloo's.

  8. December 24, 2012 12:38 am

    Hi Steve, you made a great point! Our walk in Christ is like moving up a ladder and seeing the truth unfold as we grow in our faith. Sometimes it is hard to deal with a struggle in our lives but as time does by, we can see a little better that God actually had the perfect plan for us all along. That verse of Proverbs is one that I had memorized because it is such a strong message of truth. The more you seek out God and his ways, the more you will gain understanding into his will for your life. What could matter more in our lives than the truth of Jesus Christ? Everything else is perishing as we can see from what is going on in this world. Nothing is going to stop God’s perfect plan in the lives of those who put their trust in Christ. For that reason, Jesus came to this earth to give us hope and peace. Because he paid the price for our sins, we now can have peace and friendship with God! There is no greater gift!

    Merry Christmas, Steve, and all those here!

    • December 24, 2012 8:31 am

      Good morning Marianne! You’ve stated it perfectly in “What could be more important in our lives than the truth of Jesus Christ”! There is nothing when we get to it that matters more.
      I hope you’re doing okay and that you and yours have a blessed Christmas.

  9. AFVet permalink
    December 24, 2012 4:01 pm

    The Book of Revelations gives no specific timeline as to the events that will shape the Second Coming of Christ, rather it gives the signs that we should be watching for, an outline if you will.

    If you stand too close to a painting, you cannot appreciate it as the artist intended.
    You must back away and therefore observe the entire scene with a better perspective.
    I see Revelations as just such a scenario.

    Merry Christmas Steve to you and yours.

  10. December 24, 2012 4:29 pm

    Years ago I did a fairly extensive study regarding the use of the word “fear” in the bible.

    Did that study include the fact that Jesus told his followers on one than more occasion to “Fear Not?”

    • December 24, 2012 4:43 pm

      Precisely John … “fear” means “fear” … reverence means reverence. I was really hope some would get the gist of my post … to be able to accept the word of God in it’s entirety … not what we desire to pick and choose.

    • December 24, 2012 4:50 pm

      Jesus said “Fear Not!” about 7 times as I recall.

    • December 24, 2012 4:44 pm

      John, I have a question for you, did Jesus tell those who follow Him to “fear not” because there was no reason to be afraid or because through Him they were secure in God’s love? Did Jesus mean that God was less fearsome and powerful, or that through Him, they had an anchor? Or was he instead telling them that they should not fear worldly things or the things that Satan would throw at them? Did He ever tell them that they should not fear God’s wrath?

    • December 24, 2012 4:45 pm

      Matthew 10:28
      King James Version (KJV)
      28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    • December 24, 2012 4:52 pm

      There is no condemnation (or wrath) for those who are in Christ Jesus. That message about fearing God’s Wrath is for the unsaved.

    • December 24, 2012 4:55 pm

      That message does not limit itself John, it has no qualifier. It is a warning to those who believe as well as those who do not! In this instance He was talking to the disciples. It would not have been needed if they were exempt from the fear of God would it?

    • December 24, 2012 4:59 pm

      Religion can be talked about for days on end and in the end everyone will believe what they will believe because that is human nature.

      If there are a hundred people in a sanctuary at a church service, there will be a hundred different messages received from a single sermon because no one can agree on much of anything – - religion included.

      What we can do is “share.”

      I appreciate your sharing.

      I thank you for your sharing.

      God meets each of us at the exact point of our understanding and accepts each of us just the way we come to Him.

      The details are unimportant.

      What is important are the words of John 3:16

    • December 24, 2012 5:25 pm

      Indeed it can be heard in many different ways John, that is a choice that everyone makes. They choose to hear the truth or the lie, they believe the Word, or they try to make the Word fit what they think is right, but only the Word brings us the truth, and if we try to manipulate it to fit our ideas, we risk leading souls to eternal damnation. Our responsibility is to spread the Word, God will do the rest! Those who truly want Him, will find the truth and those who are looking for a way to justify themselves or a way to make the Word fit their will will find Him as well! The difference will be in the end result.
      Indeed the words of John 3:16 are important, but Jesus did not stop there, if He did the rest of the book would not be needed. He finished His instruction in that chapter of John with what was needed to be a man of God, the difference between light and darkness and those who follow it. The Bible is more that just a collection of words, it is a plan, a blueprint if you will, on how to build our faith on the foundation of Jesus Christ!

  11. December 24, 2012 6:08 pm

    well said.

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