31 Jesus-Benefits: Knowing our Bibles

It’s my last day of sharing with you these Jesus-benefits. Thank you if you’ve read along, and if you have, you might have guessed what I’ll pick out as one of the most important of all:

That I can read and understand God’s Word.

I read this post fairly recently and it impressed me. As John says in the second of his points, “You wouldn’t show your love for a spouse simply by how you talk about them, you’d show your love by knowing them, spending time with them”. That’s what the Bible does: It helps us get to know God.

I must thank fellow-blogger Barbara for sharing this quote from Elisabeth Elliot: “The Bible is God’s message to everybody. We deceive ourselves if we claim to want to hear His voice but neglect the primary channel through which it comes. We must read His Word. We must obey it.”

Back on day 25, we looked at Jesus – our ticket to heaven. I told you how someone joked about being left behind, and how that verse from 1 John came to me straightaway. Jesus said, “Your Word is truth.” We really need to know our Bibles. Otherwise, how can we hold onto truth when other people (and sometimes even our own feelings) try to tell us the opposite?

I’ve put together a plan to read through the Bible in a year with a bit of an introduction, explaining about the Bible and suggesting some good translations to try. Perhaps someone will find it helpful; it seems to be working well for me at the moment.

“I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).

* * *

In case you’re wondering, the winner of the “Just a Minute” book I posted about earlier this month is Melissa, so congratulations to her and thanks to you who’ve supported me and other bloggers in our efforts to post for the 31 days in October. It’ll probably be much quieter here next month!

Advertisements

31 Jesus-Benefits: Familiarity

“From within the womb He called me by name” (Isaiah 49:1).

Almost at the end of this Write31Days series, and there’s one blogger whose posts I’ve found so interesting. Jessie’s an agent, so her 31 Ways to Snag a Literary Agent is a series that (in my opinion) any writer should at least look at. One of her posts is about endorsements, and it reminded me God had called me by name.

I’m known by God and others.

Earlier in this series, we reflected on Jesus – our ally in suffering and how He prays for us. Not only does this happen with Jesus, but with others too. In August, on the morning I was due to have a procedure in hospital, I checked my phone and there was a text message from Chris. She’s one of the best friends I could ask for. I was so touched that she remembered, then went the extra mile and contacted me on the day to tell me I was being prayed-for. Makes me want to follow her example and be that kind of friend to others.

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere” (Ephesians 6:18).

31 Jesus-Benefits: Identifying with Him

“Anyone who believes and is baptised will be saved” (Mark 16:16).

That’s why on day 29 I can say I appreciate:

My baptism – because it’s a reminder that God’s hand is on my life. I’ve believed in Jesus. I’ve identified myself with His death and burial by going under the water, and I’ve come up to follow Him in my new life as a Christian.

Have you been baptised? Or have you thought about it? I’ve known people encounter tremendous pressure not to go through with it, but personally, I’m so glad I did.

My now-retired pastor (Alan) and my friend (Carol) baptised me. Everyone baptised in that church had a baptismal promise – a verse or two from the Bible on a certificate to commemorate the day. Alan and Carol stood in the warm water before I got in, and Carol read aloud the verses she’d chosen for me. They don’t mention baptism, but will always remind me of mine.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).

* * *

Today is your last opportunity to enter to win a $500 shopping spree on Dayspring.com. If you’re outside of the US, you would have to pay for postage and any customs charges (just to warn you), but still, I hope one of my readers wins.

31 Jesus-Benefits: Meeting Every Need

“Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well” (Matthew 6:33).

Day 28 and originally, I thought of financial provision, but I’ll widen it instead to give thanks for:

The way God provides for His people.

Because it’s not limited to financial provision: God wants to meet every need – to set the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6); be a Husband to the widow (Isaiah 54:4-5); a Father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5), and yes, also to provide finances (Malachi 3:10). We can’t look exclusively to one person to meet our needs. They won’t always be able to. We saw earlier in the month that only God is forever and never disappoints. How does that make you feel?

“My God will use His wonderful riches in Christ Jesus to give you everything you need” (Philippians 4:19).

* * *

As a thank-you for being a reader who’s supported Write31Days, you could enter the Dayspring.com giveaway to win a $500 shopping spree on their website. It’s open till the end of the month.

31 Jesus-Benefits: Something for the Workers

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised” (Hebrews 10:35-36).

Yesterday in this series, we looked at Jesus – our ticket to heaven, but not only do we get to spend eternity with Jesus:

There’s a reward.

In your Christian service, what’s your motivation? Are you looking to gain respect or praise from those around you, maybe churchgoers or your family? If you are, they’re the ones from whom you’ll get your reward. On my album “Same Applies”, there’s a song about that:
“If you work to be seen by men,
You’ll have your reward in full;
But if you work in secret,
There is One who knows:
And He will reward you
For everything you do”.

God sees our hearts. Everything we do for Him is noticed, and on the day of judgment, we will be rewarded.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due to us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

* * *

As a thank-you for being a reader who’s supported Write31Days, you could enter the Dayspring.com giveaway to win a $500 shopping spree on their website. It’s open till the end of the month.

31 Jesus-Benefits: Ticket to Paradise

“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).

Day 25 and one huge benefit to being a Christian is:

Assurance of a future in heaven.

I talked to someone once who said: “Course, there’s nothing to say you’re actually going. You might be left behind, like me.” He was joking, but the verse above came to mind immediately. These things I have written that you may know. Jesus is your ticket to heaven. If you follow Him, you’ll have eternal life. Guaranteed. Absolutely no chance of being left behind! Have you got your ticket?

“No one has ever seen this, and no one has ever heard about it. No one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

* * *

As a thank-you for being a reader who’s supported Write31Days, you could enter the Dayspring.com giveaway to win a $500 shopping spree on their website. It’s open till the end of the month.

31 Jesus-Benefits: Unforgettable

“I, the LORD, made you, and I will not forget you” (Isaiah 44:21).

Day 24, and it was reading Laura’s post that gave me the idea for this one.

Down through the centuries, heartaches have come to so many who have prominence in God’s story: Joseph when his brothers sold him as a slave, he was falsely accused and thrown into prison; David when his dad invited all his sons to the special family meal, but not him; Esther when she was taken from her Jewish family and forced to become the property of the king of Persia. They must have felt forgotten, but God didn’t leave them feeling that way. With God’s help, Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and was placed second-in-command over the whole of Egypt. God’s spokesman Samuel poured oil on David’s head and he eventually became king of Israel. After prayer and fasting, Esther gained the favour of the Persian king and saved her people. One great thing about God is:

We’re unforgettable.

It was never His intention to leave His people desolate, and that includes us. Our assignment may not be to rule or save our nation, but we can trust Him to lift us off the scrapheap.

“Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins” (Isaiah 49:15-16).

* * *

As a thank-you for being a reader who’s supported Write31Days, you could enter the Dayspring.com giveaway to win a $500 shopping spree on their website. It’s open till the end of the month.

31 Jesus-Benefits: Self-Control

“But the fruit of the Spirit is … self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Self-control.

That might seem a strange passage to highlight in this series, but its truth has helped me a lot. We’re told the Spirit and the flesh are against each other. One of my fleshly weaknesses? I haven’t always been great at coping when things didn’t go according to plan, particularly when the situation could have been avoided if I’d had my eyesight. It would be so easy for me to rest on my laurels and say: “That’s the way I am. Too bad if people can’t accept it,” but that’s not what God expects. Like fruit on a tree, He expects the qualities His Spirit produces in us to grow, including self-control. I really appreciate that God wants me to aspire to something better – to being like Christ.

“He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is” (1 John 3:2).

* * *

As a thank-you for being a reader who’s supported Write31Days, you could enter the Dayspring.com giveaway to win a $500 shopping spree on their website. It’s open till the end of the month.

31 Jesus-Benefits: That Same Power

“And you will know that God’s power is very great for us who believe. That power is the same as the great strength God used to raise Christ from the dead” (Ephesians 1:19-20).

Day 22 and there are some Jesus-benefits I can’t quite wrap my head around. This is one of them:

God’s mighty power working in me.

Those verses above – did you take them in? God’s power for us who believe is the same power that raised Christ from the dead! Christ who lay, lifeless and motionless, in a borrowed tomb. The power of God came when His Holy Spirit breathed life into Jesus’ already-deadness, and it was an angel of the LORD who rolled away the stone too large for a human being to move. That same power is at work in us! Amazing!

“With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).

* * *

As a thank-you for being a reader who’s supported Write31Days, you could enter the Dayspring.com giveaway to win a $500 shopping spree on their website. It’s open till the end of the month.

31 Jesus-Benefits: A Positive Change

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10).

Day 21 and time to focus on one of the ways my faith has affected me:

I’ve become more outward-looking.

Previously I had been happy to absorb myself in the music I listened to, TV or writing for pleasure, but the first thing I wanted to do as a Christian was to help other people. That’s played out in several different ways, but one that comes to mind is the children I sponsor through Compassion. Compassion works in Asia, Africa, Central and South America. At school I had no interest in geography whatsoever. It was one of my worst subjects and I dropped it as soon as I could. Had I been a Compassion-sponsor back then, things might have been different. Now I love to read about Compassion Bloggers travelling to far-off places, or I find myself wondering: “What’s the weather like in India?” or “What’s the capital of Ecuador?” (it’s Quito, by the way). I can only thank God for this positive change in me.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is … kindness” (Galatians 5:22).

* * *

As we’ve talked about Compassion in this post, there’s a book I’d like to give away to one of my readers. The author is Compassion’s former president, Wess Stafford (if you’ve read his autobiography you’ll love him). This book is “Just a Minute”, and it’s about the impact our words can have when we spend just a minute with a child. If you want to leave a comment, to do with children or impacting those around you, I’ll announce a winner on October 31st. Don’t forget there’s also the Dayspring.com $500 giveaway if you want to enter that one.