Although I have read, studied, and memorized the Bible extensively for a few decades now, I have always been reluctant to read the writings of various theologians, believing that it is so easy to get tied up in unsound doctrine when you simply don’t have the wisdom to know the logical or spiritual flaws in any particular person’s complicated sounding doctrine.  And getting bogged down in someone else’s foolish philosophy is a waste of our time in the search for truth.  However, it is too easy to become ensnared in someone else’s complicated rhetoric when we are unschooled, and we sometimes confuse that complicated rhetoric with actual wisdom.  It is an easy mistake to make when we are unlearned and have no immediate answers to what seems to be unassailable logic.   But, the only way we can find our way out of ignorance is to ask for God’s guidance directly in prayer, with God subsequently either telling us the answer directly in His still small voice or with Him sending us to someone (or them to us) who has the answer. 

Or, we may find the answers we are looking for, still being spiritually guided, when we do what Jesus admonished the legalistic Jews to do:   “search the scriptures”  (John 5:39).  Basically, Jesus was telling them to go see for themselves, to personally delve into the scriptures, to earnestly search and struggle for the truth.  Second Timothy 2:15 puts it another way:  “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  So, we are taught in this passage to study the word and to study it in an exuberant and diligent way so that we will not be ashamed about our effort expended to seek His Truth when we stand before God for judgment (the “Bema” seat judgment of Christ where all Christians are rewarded for our works done in Jesus’ name – 2 Corinthians 5:9-11). 

If we are always earnestly striving to do our best for the Lord, to know Him more, to understand our responsibilities as a child of God more, and to change our character to be more like Him every day, then, even when we fail, as we will all do, He will still know that we gave our best effort.  And after all, it is the heart that He is after, the commitment of the very deepest part of our being as well as a complete commitment of all that we are and have – loving Him with our emotions, will, intellect, and strength.  Of course, when we are young and inexperienced, what we think is our best effort is often far short of what we are truly capable of, but we are all, unfortunately, ignorant of what is right and what is our best until God reveals truth to us.  But God does not mind showing us.  He is a gentle, compassionate, and patient teacher, so long as we are really trying our best. 


May the light of His truth and the warmth of His love penetrate to every corner of your life. 

 


Comments

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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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