Bible verses to build your life on

Jesus said: “… whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock…” ~ Matthew 7:24



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*sniffs* ~ Do you smell that? It’s the ‘essence’ of truth! ~ study

November 2010


"A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his Master." ~ Matthew 10:24-25


I love the smell of cinnamon! :) ~ I don't really know why, but it's been a favorite of mine for years! But, I got to thinking, you know - with the advances in chemicals these days, you can get brooms and spray the 'essence' of cinnamon on them. Pretty cool huh? Well, that is pretty cool for smells, but not for truth. Let me explain.


Have you ever been talking with someone and found 'wait a minute, that's not what the Bible says'? So, you talk to them more and find out that they don't really read the Bible anymore (or not that much, or not that often), because they found this really cool Bible study material.. thingy... And you blink. - That my friend, is the essence of truth - the little whiff or scent of truth, and not the real thing. 


Let's analyze this some more. It's abstract, so we can look at it closely, and pick out what we need in our own personal lives. The essence of truth shows itself when people say we love Jesus, yet exclude Him from at least some areas of our lives, because, 'well, that's mine.' And the essence shows itself in other ways, as well.


A few other examples:

>>Saying they read and follow the Bible - [yet only read it at church, or maybe once in a while, when they're bored]


>>Saying they pray throughout the day - [yet, in reality, most often they only say a few prayers a day, and most of those when they are in a jam, and want a genie]


>>Saying they seek to please Christ in our day, in everything they do - [and then watch shows, and commercials that excuse away: pride, getting revenge, lusting, even adultery, immodesty, lies, stealing, coveting, using God's name carelessly (and other similar things), openly and blatantly disrespecting and dishonoring Dads and Moms, murdering (if not openly, then in their hearts), backbiting, gossiping, inventing evil, playing with witchcraft, talking to demons.... .... - and the list goes on)]


>>Saying they share the gospel - [but, what they really share is doctrinal ideas or cute sayings, and not verses]




That ‘they’ looks a lot like it includes 'we' too, doesn't it? Any of those convicting you? Yeah, I'm seeing that I'm probably guilty on all accounts, too...


So, how do we fix this? It’s obviously important, because it’s wrong. If we say that our foundation is Christ, and Christ says: "If you love Me, keep My commandments... He who does not love Me does not keep My words." ~ John 14:15,24 -- If we don't really want to and are daily active in growing in our understanding and seeking to please Him in every area of our lives (or at least some of them), do we have Christ as our foundation, or the essence of Christ as our foundation? That's a good question to ponder throughout today.




Now, I'd like to completely switch this and add a whole new level to this. We just looked at ourselves in the mirror, and let's not be unwise and forget what we look like and where we really are (compared to where we flatter ourselves as being).


But, let's look at another angle here. We live in a world of open and blatant hypocrisy and exceptional acting. I mean, we could practically give out awards for impressive acting and presenting skills to people just about wherever we go. Notice, I said acting. Our world is built on the facade of 'looking perfect', having the 'perfect [flattering] words', having the 'perfect job' [not much work, just enough to look good and make lots of money], having the perfect family [quick! Company's coming - hide everything in the closet, under the rug, and behind the TV!... not that they're fooling anyone, except maybe themselves - but they're certainly not fooling God or most people], and the 'perfect' everything else. Everything has to look exquisite - exceptional, and fake. And this doesn't just describe the world, this also describe Christians, and even pastors, in our country, today. They don't have truth, they have the essence of it. We should all look deeply into Jesus' insightful and to-the-point rebuke to the scribes and Pharisees (and call for them to repent) and learn not to follow their ways: "Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness." - Matthew 23:28 (and other verses in Matthew 23)


We need to be careful not to learn the ways of the world, or the wrong examples they portray as 'leaders'. For God described their wicked hypocritical ways, in 2nd Timothy - "...having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!" - 2nd Timothy 3:5


So, why did I bring this side up - for more conviction? No. I bring this up for a different purpose - there are many lost souls walking all around us, and they know they are hollow and life-less. They look at those who genuinely follow Christ and have the presence of the Holy Spirit and want that, but they don't know how to get it (and some don't want to pay the price to get it). So, what do they need? How can we help? It's simple - as you and I are growing in our understanding of and applying God's Word to and in our own lives, we need to be sharing it with those around us. And as we do, we will be finding there are more around us who are truly hungry for God's Word - many more than we know.


And, this process is exponential - ever increasing. Once we say something, God will arrange them (or someone else) to ask us a question that will send us deeper in His Word, and closer to Him!.. and so on, and so on... :) Pretty cool huh? 

So, I encourage you and me to relook at the notes in the study to see how you can grow in them and how God might use you to inspire/challenge those around us :)



So, you think you can/will join me in moving more from the essence of truth to the rich, applicable truths of God's Word? :) I pray your answer is yes. And that's the kind of studies I intend to continue to do, as well as bring on others who will do the same.


Till next time, let's intentionally think about that first passage throughout our day:

"A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his Master." ~ Matthew 10:24-25


Take care! Your brother and friend, a growing servant/life-slave of Jesus, SH