Good morning! Sorry it's taken me so long to get back into this. It's been a wild couple of weeks since I last left you with a verse. Of course, some of you know that already! I would also like to introduce a friend of mine, Dan McDonald, who is a brother I know from Washington state. I have included him on this because he is truly a friend to me, and I want him to just know that I am thinking of him and it helps me to keep him in my prayers.
Anyway, do you remember a years ago (not that many years!) when the prayer of Jabez was prominent? The passage of scripture can be found in 1 Chr 4:9-10: "Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and him mother called his name Jabez saying, 'Because I bore him in pain.' And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, 'Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!' So God granted him what he requested." (Don't panic, Linda! I'm not asking you to memorize that yet! Breathe deep! Inhale! Exhale! That's a girl! Deep cleansing breaths!)
That passage became wildly popular. There were books and lessons on how to take advantage of that passage and how to maximize your potential by meditating on this passage. There were all kinds of things you could buy with the prayer on it, and people flocked to it, hoping to hit it big with this. I had a problem with this, not because of the verse itself, but because of HOW it was used.
We all know people who like to use God's Word as a band-aid. This was just a different type or brand. They figured that they could put this bandage over their wallet and God would magically increase them and give them that Lincoln Town Car they wanted or all the money they could ever want or need. But it was short term at best. Why? Because there is no short-cut on the road to God's Kingdom.
In all the Scripture study I have ever done, I cannot find any short-cut or easy road to God, or to what He has for me. Jesus talked about the road to the Kingdom, and He inferred it was the road less traveled. How many times have we found ourselves on the freeway of life, looking for the off-ramp to Jesus? Driving along at 90 miles per hour trying to find a short-cut? I know it's easy to fall into that trap. But the road to God to me is a dirt road, not a superhighway. It's a road that you can't drive down for long, because of all the turns and places that bog down. That's just life, sometimes it goes along, and sometimes it bogs down.
God's Word is for all the time; all seasons of life. It's not for us to pick and choose, so we can get the newest fad of the world. It's not for us to to just pick up when we are having problems, get us through, and then put it back down to collect dust until our next crisis. God's Word is our standard. It's our promise book. It's our guide. Remember the acronym for BIBLE (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)?
This week's Scripture is to help you in that thought. God's Word is a sword (Eph 6). It's a rod and staff to comfort (Psa 23). It's a lamp (Psa 119). But most of all, it's truth. It's direction for us, in a directionless world. A lot of times you'll hear me pray for God to give us each something to take into a lost and dying world. We (including myself!) need to remember that fact. This world may seem to be thriving; the economy may be doing wonders. But it's a whitewashed tomb, and it's dying. It's groaning, awaiting the return of Jesus. We need to be ready, and meditating on God's Word can help you. Take this verse, and commit it to memory. Let it encourage you to learn Who God is, and how much He loves you.
2 Tim 3:16-17- "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
Be blessed as you study God's Word.