Great question my friend…and exactly the right question too. James 4:8 says ” Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Spending time with God through prayer, meditation on His words and obedience will draw us near to God. Staying in prayer, in the Word, and in obedience to His Words helps significantly. God is everywhere, you may not see Him with your physical eyes (Jer.23:23-24). God & Jesus are very much concerned with what you do in your heart (1Sam.16:7). Truly, once you determine in your heart that you really want to be close to Jesus, the Holy Spirit will start immediately to help you, guide you, train you to be following the prescriptions(as found in the Holy Bible) of God to live. As you continue to faithfully follow God’s instruction the closer you will be to Jesus Christ (John 14:23). Even start to pray now that the Lord Jesus should help you to get close to Him, you will soon have testimonies to give, which will help others too. I am not sure I answered your question well enough. I am heading to work shortly and so hope this helps somewhat my friend.
That is why we as believers need to learn how to be lead and taught by the Holy Spirit. Even the Bible must be taught by Him so we can get past our natural mental understanding of it. He has taught me to know when it is Him teaching because it will always produce the love of God and the love of our neighbors. Because we can think when everything is going good it is from God or when things are not going good it is not from God if we are not lead by the Holy Spirit.
Well said Roger. I do agree that seminary alone is not enough and too many have attended liberal seminaries. I attended Moody for a master’s and it is the most solid, theologically sound that I know of anywhere. Yes, many who came from seminary’s have strange teachings but so do those with no seminary degrees. I still believe seminary is crucial because there are lessons on interpreting scripture, hermeneutics, exegesis, and so on that help us put into the cultural context and look at the genre and to see whether Scriptures apply to us today. For example, all Scripture is written to us but not all Scripture is written for us. That is, many verses are prescriptive and some are descriptive. Biblical Verses Image
I tell my Brothers and Sisters for God to give them the ears to hear what, if anything, the Spirit of God is speaking through me or any other preacher/teacher. I tell them that the Spirit may speak to them through the whole message I have to share, by one paragraph, by one sentence, or by one word. The words we receive by the Spirit will be life changing. The Spirit has shown me that a word received from Him will produce more love for God, more love for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, and more love for our neighbors as we love ourselves, where we fulfill all the law of God (Mt 22:37-40). All Christians will stumble and fall in their walk with God. No one of us is perfect. Fortunately, by God’s grace and love for us, we can receive the grace to repent and confess our sins, then be forgiven, cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Where God enables us to get up after we fall and get back on the path with Him. Scripture Images
Then He told me that is why I have no right to judge any other Christian because I don’t know what God is perfecting in their lives. Showing me the imperfections in my life are being perfected in another person and vice versa. This again was something I could only learn from the Holy Spirit because I have read many times in this chapter of the Bible. Biblical Verses Image
Modern Rock closely resembles Christian Rock. You'll notice that with some of the bands that perform this type of music, the lyrics may not speak directly about God or even Biblical ideas at all. Instead, the lyrics may contain implicit Biblical messages or may imply broader Christian teachings to other subjects. This makes Modern Rock music very popular with Christians and non-Christians alike. The songs can be heard widely on non-Christian radio stations across the country. Scripture Images
Paul knew that the outward man or woman was perishing, day by day, and as he said “was wasting away” but the most important work was being done inwardly by the Spirit of God and this was the renewal that each believer in Christ is undergoing, day by day. God’s Spirit works to convict us of sin, He works to make us more like Christ, and our sanctification is a lifelong process and even though we might be falling apart outwardly, what is eternal is what is inside and that’s the only thing that counts. We are new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) even though the outward appearance is decaying, so that’s why Paul didn’t want us to lose heart.
This actually has left many of those betrayed feeling like they were the cause of their spouse’s sinful choice! This is not just in the secular world of attempts to ‘fix’ a marriage but also is found in many church counselling paradigms. I have read many testimonies of how frustrated people who have gone to get help who have come away with either useless , cliche advice , or worse , damaging them by lack of wise counsel upon this most difficult issue.
I kept up the charade until one day we arrived at someone’s home for a prayer meeting. A place I’d never been. As we walked into the front door, we were met with loud praying by the large group that was in the front room — they were all chanting and uttering what seemed to be other languages or random syllables. The Holy Spirit in me resisted and wanted me out of there. It was as though a huge red flag was being waved and I asked my friend if we could leave. We walked right back out the door.
But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
And all the skillful men who were performing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work which he was performing, and they said to Moses, "The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the LORD commanded us to perform." So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, "Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary." Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more. For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it.
I have shared the word with many Brothers concerning their marriages and God has done wonderful things for them in their marriages. For example, there was one Brother who was calling me almost daily practically crying about what he was going through with his wife. One time he and his wife had come over my house to have dinner with my wife and me. During our time at the table I shared with him what the Spirit had spoken to me before I was married. This turn on a light for this Brother and he went back home and started to attack his wife with this kind of love. Within a month and a half his wife changed from being a roaring lion to becoming a gentle lamb. Months later while speaking with his wife, she told my wife that she could not resist the love of God she was getting from her husband and she just had to submit to it.
The next gift Paul mentions is the gift of interpretation of tongues (v 10). This gift is someone who is able to interpret another tongue or language. I am bilingual and can speak English and Spanish but I would not say that I have this gift necessarily. Some have a natural gift or ability to learn a foreign language. It was not natural nor did it come easy for me. For those who this is easy, then they may be imbued with such a gift. If anyone was speaking in tongues in the church, there absolutely had to be someone there to interpret or they were to be silent. And no more than one person was to speak in tongues because there is only one interpreter available to translate at a time. If several were speaking in tongues at the same time, there would be confusion and God is not the author of confusion, but He is the God of order (1 Cor 14:33). It would not be edifying the church to have several speaking in tongues at the same time and with no one to interpret. Tongues are a sign for unbelievers and not for the church. Paul writes, “In the Law it is written: ‘With other tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.’ Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers” (1 Cor. 14: 21-22). Isaiah 28:11-12 is where Paul quotes Isaiah the prophet, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, ‘This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.’” This clearly indicates that the gift of tongues (Greek for languages) and the interpretation of them is that of a known language as a witness to unbelievers.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. Bible Scripture Images
4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire because of the evil you have done— burn with no one to quench it. 5 “Announce in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem and say: ‘Sound the trumpet throughout the land!’ Cry aloud and say: ‘Gather together! Let us flee to the fortified cities!’
Your replies are a great testimony to me of grace as you endeavor to set what the Word says before the reader for consideration. I know that with so many ‘teachers’ that gather a following in the name of Jesus that there are many who have a tenderness and favor toward what is taught as they are convinced of that perspective being truth. I think it is great that people love the teacher they have but there is a need for awareness that we MUST be convinced by what Scripture says rather than leaning upon our own UNDERSTANDING.
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
A godly marriage may not change the ‘world ‘ in terms of it’s influence doctrinally …but wait….why then does the Lord exhort those in marriage to prepare to love their wives and thus as you have shared ..the wife will find it much easier to respond ..as God loved us first …so we love HIM ..the husband initiates love and so his wife will find it easier to love and follow him. Bible Verse Wall Art