Read and Apply – Insights from Scripture

Today, Pastor Jaron speaks a little bit on the two verses included below. Take a few minutes (>5m) out of your day to consider his insight on what these Scriptures are saying to us.

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?    As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like.    They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.    But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”’

Luke 6:46-49
https://www.bible.com/bible/111/LUK.6.46-49

 

 

‘Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.   ‘

James 1:22-25
https://www.bible.com/bible/111/JAS.1.22-25

Old Ladies, Cheerwine, and Legal Lesson from Galatia

Today we are introducing a new element to our ministry. We are calling it “The Tuesday Article.” Every Tuesday, you will find a new article right here on our BC Students Blog that may challenge you in your faith, inform you on issues facing us today, and more. This is not only for students but for everyone! Some weeks it might be a written post, others, you might find a video, an interview, or maybe even some music. We’re not quite sure what it is going to look like yet but we are excited about it. Over time, you will hear from each of us Student Pastors here at Bethlehem as well as some of our students and leaders. If you would be interested in writing for “The Tuesday Article” let us know!

Today, we focus in on the passage of Scripture we are on in our Word of Life Quiet Time Journals. The Scripture for today is Galatians 3:23-29. To get the most out of this post, it would be helpful to grab a Bible. Don’t simply read the focus passage. It’s usually best to read the six chapters first (relatively small). Then focus in on the chapter and specifically the passage. Doing so gives you context for what it is we are studying.

Our quiet time journals do an awesome job giving us insights into this passage. Here at Bethlehem, we teach our students to begin their study in Scripture looking for five specific things.

Sins to avoid
Promises we can claim
Examples to follow
Commands to obey
Truths to learn

Today, one of the key truths to see and learn appears in verse 24. In the ESV it reads:

“So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith” (Gal 3:24, [ESV])

Far too often, we try and equate God’s love for us with how much we have followed His law. In fact Christ said just the opposite. When we follow His commands it is a demonstration of our love for Him. What Paul says here is that the Law of God was put in place to bring us to Christ. Because of our inability to follow God’s law on our own, our need for a Savior is made evident. There is no hope of following the law of God close enough to be made righteous by our own actions as written in Romans 3:10-12 as well as several other locations. It doesn’t matter how many ladies you help across the road or if you share your Cheerwine with your brother every day. You will never be made righteous enough by trying to good deeds. There is only One person who can accomplish this for you.

Truth: It is only by faith in Jesus Christ that we can be made right with God. Trusting in anything else is hopeless and empty faith.

At the end of each day in the quiet time, there is a spot to share a phrase, a thought, or a truth. Today, it is the words of Watchman Nee, 20th century church leader in China. He said:

“God’s requirements have not altered, but we are not the ones to meet them. Praise God, he is the Lawgiver on the Throne, and he is the Lawkeeper in my heart. He who gave the law, Himself keeps it.”

There are other things to note in this article. Can you see a promise in here? Another truth about your identity in Christ? If so, consider dropping what you see into the comments below!

To get your Student or Adult copy of the Word of Life Quiet Time, check out the info desk in our Student Center!

 

Cody Mummau
Student Pastor
Bethlehem Church

Faith In Tough Times

I remember several years ago, my wife and I picked up our , then four year old, son from preschool and brought him back to the church with us for lunch. As we exited the car and approached the sidewalk, he stopped quickly as though he had left his candy treat in his seat. He gazed up at me for a moment and said “Dad, we need to pray to God right now.” Puzzled as to what brought this sudden need to pray, I told him we could right there in the front driveway of the church. Before I could compose myself and begin to pray, Carter shouted in his loud voice “GOD!” I looked down to see his face gazing toward the sky expectantly. With only a moment of hesitation to be sure we were with him in prayer, he loudly proclaimed “We just want to tell you it is a beautiful day. Good job!”

 

Of course my wife and I smiled during the moment but I almost fell guilty for writing this off as simple cute stuff that kids do. I realized that my son actually understood what most of us tend to forget. He had complete faith that God was listening and He cares about us. In fact, the only hesitation Carter had in that moment was whether we were joining him in his words of praise to God.

At that time in our life, the church I was serving at had started to walk an uncertain journey with our lead pastor, Bob Felts. He had just shared with our community in a newspaper article “The Tidal Wave I Never Saw Coming” about the recent discovery of cancer in his lungs. Those times raised many questions about reasons and timing. I remember when the news first hit, a man said to me “If God allows this to happen to one of His servants then I don’t know if I can believe in Him at all.” It is a thought many have when faced with difficult times and great obstacles. We question whether He loves us and whether He is hearing us.

During that difficult time, I was drawn back to the simple but solid faith of my son. In the Bible, Jesus says that we are to accept the Kingdom of God in the simplicity of a child (Mark 10:15). God tells us that He has a good plan and a hope for our future (Jeremiah 29:11). There is never a guarantee that the followers of Jesus Christ will be free from suffering. Instead there is a promise that God will be with us as we go through our sufferings. God promises us that in our weakest moments His strength will be seen (II Corinthians 12:9-10.) My friend Ben posted on his facebook wall the other day a quote that seemed to put things in perspective for me. The quote was from Charles H. Spurgeon.

“If we cannot believe God when circumstances seem to be against us, we do not believe Him at all.”

What a beautiful thing to learn a lesson in faith from my four-year old child. Just moments after giving thanks for his wonderful day at school he paused one more time and looked back up to the sky. “Umm God” he again spoke in his loud voice, “We believe you!” How important it is to have faith not only when things are going the way that we would like, but to also when the world around us seems to collapse. We are not certain of what the coming days hold but we are certain that God is in control.

Cody Mummau
Youth Pastor
Bethlehem Church