Have you ever listened to “No Far Away”, but Chris August?
If you haven’t, take a second to search it on youtube, or just type Chris August in Pandora and it always plays first. It’s a pretty incredible song. Take a second to just listen to the lyrics and not the melody. You’ll be astonished with the strength of the words that the song lays forward, which are typically overshadowed due to his unbelievable way to create amazing melody and music.
That’s just something I thought I would suggest because it’s a pretty powerful song and I believe it relates extremely close to Christians who feel like God isn’t there any longer.
“My mouth’s full of great praise for God,
I’m singing his hallelujahs surrounded by crowds,
For he’s always at hand to take the side of the needy,
to rescue a life from the unjust judge.”
You know, it’s pretty interesting how I’ve been doing my studies lately. I am discovering newer and newer things that I’ve never heard in the Bible. I’ve grown up going to Church throughout my lifetime, but for whatever reason, I’ve NEVER heard a ton of these things I’m learning by simply picking up my Bible and reading it. For example, I’ve never heard a preacher preach out of Amos, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Obadiah, Nahum, Habakkuk, etc. You get my point, there are tons of things we are missing in the Bible by not teaching ourselves, and that’s frankly a serious shame. This is because the Bible is so resourceful and gives us the guidance we need to get through our daily lives. Whether it tells us about the requirements of “being angry”, or the requirements of who to live our life, “Proverbs or Ecclesiastes”. I believe that there are wisdoms that we are to pick up from the Bible and apply them to our lives. Here’s the question though, how are we supposed to pick these verses up if we’ve never heard passages preached from there? Is it possible that ministers stay away from certain passages because of the grey area that it brings? I hope that answer is a resounding no, but I can’t honestly say that’s the truth. Something like Joshua 8, I’ve never heard preached before, I realize it’s prominent that we show people God’s grace and mercy, but it’s important to also share the journey that God has went through to get us to today. It’s just a thought. I think it’s important that we pick up the Bible and learn things that God has done on our own. I mean, for example, I was reading Exodus last night and Moses said that God showed Him all the great things God did in the beginning. I mean, did you know that? Perhaps, you know that Moses wrote Genesis, but dang…imagine that…Moses was the first to know the insights of those actions! INCREDIBLE! Doesn’t that make you precariously envious of Moses? Did you know that Moses questioned God and told Him to think twice about destroying the human race again? Did you know God listened to Moses on this topic and God actually thought twice? I get that there’s so much to the Bible that preachers can’t cover the entire thing all of time, but it is true that I do hear the same passages frequently. And for good reason, I hear those same passages! I believe this is what they’re called to do, they’re called to give us the miraculous nature of God, and we are supposed to study on our own and gain the rest of our knowledge of the Word. This is why I harp so adequately on why you need to be in the Word all of the time! This is why I say that if you’re only going to church on Sundays and are content with that, you’re missing out on SO much in the Gospel. God isn’t content with your ways either, I’d bet everything I have on it.
Wait I know you’re saying,
- The Gospel is boring?
- It’s hard to read?
- I can’t understand it?
- It’s like a foreign language when I read it?
These are very common excuses in that people won’t simply pick up their Bible and read. There is this societal misconception that says the Bible is extremely boring. I believe that to be false, I hate reading. I absolutely despise it, it “makes me angry”. However, I pick up the Bible and it brings amongst jubilation in my life, it brings that peace God promised for us in Ephesians. All I do is trust in the Word and everything is good. It’s simply fascinating. I’m learning things about people like Elisha, who until I heard Steven Furtick preach on him, I had never heard of him. For example, did you know Elisha performed a miracle? Certainly, most of you haven’t ever even heard of Elisha (not to be confused with Elijah, his predeccesor), so you wouldn’t know that he performed a miracle. Read in 2 Kings and you’ll be fascinated with things like Elijah (the one before Elisha) never actually died. He was taken up by the chariots of fire and in a whirlwind was sent to Heaven. Did you know that? Did you know that Elisha was mocked and made fun in the Bible for being bald headed, or a skin head, so he called out two bears from the woods and had the children killed for being so disrespectful? I’m sure you didn’t know these things. I didn’t until I picked up my Bible and did some studying of my own. I suggest you do the same, because there are so many things in the Bible that we’ve never even heard of, probably due to the demands of society and the impact society has on the world today. Or for example, there are times where you’ll only hear from one verse in a book, and never hear from that book again. That’s something that’s happened in Ecclesiastes, I don’t understand why though, because I believe Ecclesiastes has a TON of material in and I believe it to be extremely relevant to our society today. However, there are things I love about the preachers that I put around me. (Yes, there are good and bad preachers)
My preacher here at school, we’ve literally stayed in Ephesians for the past 13-14 months (ever since I started going to Western). I find that extremely fascinating, because like Ecclesiastes, you could probably read the book in like a half hour to forty five minutes. However, it’s so complex that we have literally taken a years worth of Sunday’s going through the entire book. For that, I am grateful, because there is so much in Ephesians that I would’ve never known. I knew the things like husbands and wives submit to each other and give your all for one another, but I didn’t know things like we will be rewarded for all of our positive actions in Heaven. I didn’t know that simply reading the Word would give you this manifested peace inside of you. Or at my girlfriends church, contextual significance is actually preached. I’ve seen in so many churches (many I’ve grown up in) where context isn’t even important to the pastor. The pastor will flip verses and carve them to whatever mold He wants them to be. For that, preaching with contextual significance in mind, I am thankful. Or the pastors I listen to “for fun”, in otherwords, on my own. Steven Furtick is incredible and lays it all out on the line, there’s a reason why hes’ captivated the state of North Carolina and has ten thousand people on seven different campuses going to his church. The man is a simple blessing from God. You listen to him and it’s like he’s beside of you teaching you the ways of the Lord. The way he conveys his messages and relays them to people are just immaculate. God has given that man a serious gift. There are things that a typical baptist wouldn’t agree with, but hey if I’m learning more and more about God’s word, then I’m happy. My ultimate goal is to mold my life into the man God wants me to be, so if he gets a little excited from time to time, that’s perfectly fine with me! As long as I’m learning, that’s what matters.
I’m learning exponentially on what reading God’s Word can do you in your life. It’s like my entire life shifted, even more so then when I was saved by God’s grace forever. This is a different kind of shift in my life, it is almost as if when something goes wrong, I go to the scripture. I almost always find something in scripture that will relate and change the way I am impacted by the situation. I’m finally using the Bible for the reasons it is given to us, an instruction manual on how to live your life. I absolutely am completely in debt to the Lord and have fallen in love. God is my all, not just today, but forever.
A few other things I bet you didn’t actually know where in the Bible, maybe you knew that society taught these things, but they’re actually in the Bible.
“On a good day, enjoy yourself
On a bad day, examine your conscience.
God arranges fro both kinds of days
So that we won’t take anything for granted.”
Did you actually know that was in the Bible, or did you just know that seemingly you have your good and bad days? I’m sure you may have known it was in the Bible, just not exactly where…because again, I was never taught anything out of Ecclesiastes before. After reading the book last night, I’ve learned some great insight about the book, it’s pretty remarkable. A few other passages that will catch you off guard (I’m basically showing you that the Bible is relatable and not boring.
“Don’t eavesdrop on the conversation of others.
What if the gossip’s about you and you’d rather not hear it?
You’ve done that a few times, haven’t you – said things
Behind someone’s back you wouldn’t say to his/her face?”
I didn’t know that was in the Bible, I didn’t know that we’re not supposed to listen other peoples conversations. I’d never heard of this at all, this principle. I mean how many times do you see this taken place in society? Uh, everywhere? That’s all.
Ecclesiastes 6:10- “Whatever happens, happens. Its destiny fixed. You can’t argue with fate.”
Ecclesiastes 5:2- “Don’t shoot off your mouth, or speak before you think. Don’t be too quick to tell God what you think he wants to hear. God’s in charge, not you – the less you speak, the better.”
How often do you just rant to god like you’re some genius…I do way too much. You see, all of these principles are taught in society, but I was unaware that they were A) in the Bible & B) that the Bible was so detailed in telling us how to live our lives. I’m completely infatuated with God’s word and it’s an extreme privilege to say that I’m actually doing things that are positively impacting my life by opening up a Book that God gave us for an instruction manual. My life is forever changing before my eyes and I’m glad that I can bring you along with me on this road. I hope that you can at least gain hope that God still works in peoples lives. He’s definitely impacting mine!
Quester is really clear in Ecclesiastes and doesn’t hold anything back, which I love. He doesn’t ever beat around the bush and give you the soft explanation, he just lays it all out on the line. It is sort of a depressing book, but so fascinating at the exact same time. I’ll leave you with one fascinating verse that will catch you off guard, I’m sure.
“All this I observed as I tried my best to understand all that’s going on in this world. As long as men and women have the power to hurt each other, this is the way it is.” -Quester wrote in Ecclesiastes 8:9. Something so simple is so complex at the same time, the fact that men and women still hurt each other today. Fascinating.
I love taking time out of the day God’s given me to write about His Gospel. I believe that it’s almost ironic that most times people neglect the One who gave them the air to breathe for that day, and that’s a shame. So I believe that we must dedicate time in our day to serve the One who created us in the flesh and the blood. The One who sacrificed their everything and His son so that we can be cleansed by God’s grace and mercy every time we repent. So I think it’s essential that we take the time out of our day to repent, pray, talk to God, study the Gospel, and make it known we are a child of His.
Again, I’m not a Bible expert by any means, but I just interpret what I read and I pray about it. I take the time out of my day in hopes that someone can gather some sort of inspiration by the simple click of a button on their computer. Click, read, and become inspired to learn more about God’s Word. That’s what my intentions and hopes are, I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with trying to give hope to others and show evidence that God still does work in peoples lives. I thank you in advance for reading this blog, the numbers of people who read it, really do blow my mind. I want to thank You Lord for giving me this opportunity to live for Your name and worship You. I’m so unworthy, but you sacrificed it all so that I can be cleaned white as snow whenever I need to repent of my sins. I thank You and give You the upmost praise for that. Words can’t really describe nor relate to how powerful that act was, sacrificing Your son for us. Simply remarkable, thank You for your many blessings each and everyday. I praise Your Holy name. Thank you Lord! I’m your normal guy who is trying to become extraordinary through God!