I am very honored and blessed to share this article that my pastor wrote for this blog. Pastor Ray Schroeder is a guest writer for this blog and is the Senior Pastor at St. George Community Church. Thank you for sharing your words and what God has put on your heart.
Today as I write this article the world is following hurricane Irma as it makes it’s way toward Florida. People in Houston, Texas, are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Last night an 8.1 earthquake hit off of Mexico and another earthquake hit in Japan. Many things are happening in the world, including increased tensions with North Korea. Many individuals are feeling stressed-out. They are worried. Others are experiencing something called ‘compassion fatigue’ where they just can’t deal with one more disaster and it’s affect on the victims. Where do we turn for help? Where can we find hope and peace? Only in Jesus Christ and his Word.
Jesus said His words are Spirit and they are life (John 6:63). His apostles admitted there was no one else to whom they could turn because he had the words of eternal life (John 6:68). Eternal life is lived right now as well as forever as we believe in Jesus’ words: we are saved by faith in Him and we are to believe that always. We are to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly and abundantly (Colossians 3:16). Don’t just read a verse here and there once in a while. If that’s all the Words of Jesus and of God that you are reading then you won’t experience the deep peace and hope that God has for you.
Remember, when Jesus was facing temptation from Satan in the wilderness he responded with God’s Word: “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Every word from the Bible is God’s Word and nourishes our spirits with hope and peace. Satan tempts us today with fear and worry. He doesn’t want us to fully trust God’s Word. “Did God say?” was the first temptation from Satan in the Garden of Eden when we tried to get Eve to doubt God’s word. Don’t doubt, but feed daily upon the Bible and you will be strengthened against all worry and temptation
The Bible says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). How does Christ strengthen you? Through feeding upon His words daily. Just like bread nourishes your body so too does God’s Word nourish and strengthen your spirit. Eat them up and devour them!
The great temptation today in the face of so much disaster and fear is people will try to find comfort and help in other peoples’ words instead of Jesus’ words. People turn to self-help gurus, everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Dr. Oz. People turn to other religions, too. Many are reading books from far eastern religions like Buddhism or Hinduism thinking they can find help there. Some of the things that these people say and write can be helpful, in a way. Some of the things they say are even similar to the things in the Bible: Similar but not the same. There is only one Bible and so only one Word of God. This is the point of what I’m saying. Only the Bible has God’s Words and only God in Jesus Christ has the words of eternal life and hope and peace.
There are some books out there that even use Jesus’ name and say they have heard from Jesus and are transcribing what Jesus told them. One big-selling author today is Sarah Young who wrote the book “Jesus Calling.” People who have read her books say they have been helpful to them and that her teachings are similar to those of the Bible. But they are not the Bible. You see, there is only one Bible. The Bible is only the sixty-six books that have come down to us since the first century as the Old and New Testament. Jesus is found in both those testaments. Nothing else is the Bible. And only in the Bible do we find God’s Words. The Bible is totally sufficient for our needs.
In the gospel of John it says that grace and truth came from Jesus Christ (John 1:17) and Jesus said my grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9). God’s words are truth (John 17:17) and they bring grace to those who believe and read them. Now certainly, just reading and memorizing the Bible doesn’t help unless you’ve been born again by the Holy Spirit. We must humble ourselves and receive with meekness the implanted word (James 1:21), then God will lift us up and give us new life. One is born again by hearing, reading and believing the Words of God in Jesus Christ: “You have been born again…through the enduring Word of God” (1 Peter 3:23). This is true because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
The word of God, which is the sixty-six books of the Bible, is sufficient for all our needs and by faith it renews our hope and gives us peace in Jesus Christ. Don’t settle for substitutes for the Bible. Besides “Jesus Calling” there is something called “A Course in Miracles” which has sold millions of copies. The ‘author,’ Helen Schucman, said she simply transcribed the words that Jesus was saying to her. By reading books that claim to be words of Jesus but which aren’t the Bible we are setting ourselves up to receive instruction from someone or some source that is not Jesus and will not be helpful. Jesus words in the Bible are totally sufficient for all our needs.
Jesus said that before he returns there will be many come ‘in His name’ saying that they are Him (Matthew 24:24) and they will deceive many. Don’t risk being deceived. Many are coming now saying they have a word from Jesus or that Jesus has told them new and encouraging things. Don’t believe it. Get back into the Bible and read it daily and feed upon each word that God in Jesus Christ has given us. Then you will have life in you which is His words:–“My words are spirit and they are life.” Jesus said ‘My grace (and truth) is sufficient for you.” What is truth? God’s words are truth (John 17:17).
Jesus said ‘it is finished.’ The Bible is finished, and it is the foundation given us by the prophets and the apostles (those living at Jesus’ time) and Christ is the corner stone (Ephesians 2:20). The Scriptures also say that no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid (1 Corinthians 3:11). The Foundation is Christ along with His Apostles and before them the Prophets of the Old Testament who wrote about Him (Ephesians 2:20). But once you’ve laid a foundation you don’t lay another foundation. The foundation is done and finished. It is the Bible—the words of Christ Jesus. The Bible says “do not add to His (God’s) words lest He rebuke you…” (Proverbs 30:6). Don’t add anything to God’s Word, the Bible.
The world is in great need today of a savior which is Jesus Christ. He has the words of eternal life. His words are spirit and they are life. There are no other words that can give us eternal hope and peace. Only His words. And they are found only in the Bible. To please God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we are called to believe Him and His Words and let them dwell in us richly. We needn’t turn to other words when we have the words we need right in front of us in the Bible. And then we can share this truth with others around us. Encourage others to get back to the Bible only and give up other writings and books that claim they are from Jesus.
Beware of any book that says it is ‘another testament of Jesus,’ or that Jesus has directly spoken to them. Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ The foundation has been laid. There is only one testament of Jesus Christ (in two parts) and it’s found in the sixty-six books of the Bible. You don’t need any other testaments. Jesus came that you might have life and have it abundantly. You don’t need to search any farther than your Bible to find that life. Read it and believe.
We live in troublesome times. There are disasters happening daily. People are searching for answers. During this time, people will be deceived. Many will come, Jesus warned us, saying they are the Christ or they have heard directly from Jesus. We must find strength for these times in God’s Word, alone—in the Bible. We don’t need anything else but God’s Word received meekly and in faith through the Holy Spirit. Let us all humble ourselves and receive the implanted word with reverence and trust and then Jesus will grant us His peace, today and everyday!
Sept. 8, 2017