We continue our Perfection Howto from Part 3 with Step Six.Step Six: Practice the pleasure of PROPERLY digesting the Bible on a regular schedule.
Have you ever considered the prospect of teaching your cat algebra? Perhaps you’ve planned to teach your dog how to read. Surely building a chimpanzee’s English vocabulary to 200,000 words is not that far-fetched, is it?
Though there is little more than a single percentage point difference in DNA between us and the apes, and while there have been inroads in human-animal communication, no one in their right mind would bother wasting their valuable time on such ambitious projects.
Why? The unfortunate truth is that animals simply don’t have the capacity for feats that humans consider child’s play.
Please consider the following passages of Scripture from the Bible:
“‘For My Thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My Ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My Ways higher than your ways and My Thoughts than your thoughts.'” – Isaiah 55:8, 9
“I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” – The Apostle Paul, 1st Corinthians 15:50
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth.” – Jesus Christ, John 14:24
It is God’s Will that the human species INHERIT His Kingdom. This is a Divine Ideal that goes beyond mere citizenship. God doesn’t want you to simply be a Citizen of Heaven…God wants you to RUN Heaven under His Fatherhood and Deity. This alone is mind-blowing, but the stark reality truly hits you when you realize HOW INCOMPREHENSIBLY ENORMOUS Heaven is, and how many quintillions of other citizens God intends to place under YOUR authority.
Alas…the fact remains that, in your current state, you couldn’t even SURVIVE in Heaven, much less rule over that vast Domain. You’d have a better chance walking on the surface of the Sun than existing in the Purity and Glory of Heaven. The Holy Spirit of God Himself has to change you, right down to your molecular structure, in order for you to live and rule with Him.
Now consider the Bible. The Bible is by NO MEANS a complete revelation of the Godhead. The Writer of the Gospel of John stated that if everything Jesus Christ did in His earthly ministry were to be written down, the earth itself could not house all of the books (John 21:25). The Bible’s Singular Purpose is to provide enough information for your Salvation from God’s Wrath and from Sin.
Though written by men, the Bible’s content has it’s Point of Origin in The Godhead Itself. Nothing that comes from God can be grasped without the Holy Spirit of God. Without the Holy Spirit of God, the Bible can be made to say just about anything. When God breathed the Scriptures into holy men, God had a particular truth in mind for every verse. Though you may intellectually acknowledge it, you will never digest that truth to the point of LIVING IT without God’s Spirit.
This is evident in the history of Christendom itself. Though there is One Bible, we have sects, denominations and cults without number, and NO ONE GROUP HAS SUCCESS-FULLY GRASPED EVERY TRUTH THE BIBLE DECLARES. If they get the Law right, they err on Grace; if they get Grace right they err on the Law; if they get Christ right they err on the Holy Spirit; if they get the Sabbath right they err on worship…
…and in every group there is the struggle–often lost–of protecting the Truth from the clutches of human tradition.
There is only One Perfect Man: Christ Jesus and if you want to understand the Bible, you have to come to Jesus with an EMPTY CUP. You have to stop looking at yourself and your preconceived ideas, stop looking at what other people have told you and open your heart and ears to what Jesus has to say to YOU…
…if you do this the Spirit of Jesus will teach you (John 16:13)…and very few will believe what you have heard.
That being said, your Bible reading should be systematic, logical and consistent. Opening random passages before bed doesn’t benefit one as much as reading a book of the Bible from beginning to end early in the morning over a period of days and weeks.
Devotionals are a great place to start IF they provide a Scriptural foundation. Though there are Christian books (and Christian book authors) without number; only a few authors will truly provide the sustenance by which Christ may feed your spirit, and many of these (Augustine of Hippo, George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis, Ellen G. White, John Bunyan, John Foxe, Martin Luther, Kathryn Kuhlman) have passed from this life long ago.
As you go deeper you will need to gain access to more sophisticated tools: a concordance and a lexicon can provide invaluable assistance in deducing God’s Intent from the original languages.
The Bible is the most historically accurate volume in existence and its wisdom and insight is far more transcendent and sophisticated (yet elegantly simple) than anything so-called “New Age” masters, gurus, spiritists and pundits can come up with. Always approach It with humility, and God will use It to transform you into His Image.
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