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How will you know?

29 Jun

In Acts 5, we read about how Peter and the other disciples are on fire for the Lord.  They are teaching and preaching about Jesus.  Miracles are taking place in the name of Jesus.  Things are happening!  This, of course, brings attention to the religious leaders.  They decide to put them in prison.
An angel of the Lord gets them out of prison, but they are to go back and continue to preach where they have been preaching.  The Lord had a plan.  When the religious leaders see this, they want it stopped.  They consider killing them, but one Pharisee stands up.  Gamaliel offers advice.  He tells them to consider the uprisings of two other people.  Those people and their groups soon fizzled out.  He tells them to leave this group alone.  If it is of God, then they would be fighting with God.  If it is of men, it will come to nothing anyway.
Gamaliel’s advice sounds like good advice.  If it is of God, then it WILL continue.  God is stronger and mightier than anything we face.  But, this can be confusing because there are a lot of competing ideas out there that all seem to be thriving.  There are a lot of false religions and ideas that are in the world that aren’t fizzling out.  We have to remember that Gamaliel’s advice was that of a man.  How can we be sure that we guard ourselves against falling for false religions and ideas?  Here are 4 ideas that can help to keep us on track:
1 – Measure what we hear by the Word of God (The Holy Bible).  The Bible contains truth.  There is wisdom for how to live.  There are principles to follow.  There are examples which we can relate.  BUT, we actually have to open the Bible, read the Bible, and study it.  How can we use what we don’t read or study?  Many people won’t open their Bibles on Sunday morning in church, much less at home.  So many are missing Sunday School where they can learn more about the Word of God and be in conversation about the truth contained in it.  How can we know if we don’t open the Word, read it, and study??
2 – Even those who claim to be Christians don’t always get the truth right.  We are all human.  We make mistakes.  Pick up the Bible and read it for yourself.  Don’t let someone else just tell you what is in it.  Do it for yourself!
3 – Pray – spend time in prayer before you pick up the Bible that God will give you wisdom and guide you in your reading/studies.  Don’t go into it with the attitude that you won’t understand what you are reading or you don’t have time.  Be ready to hear and see what God is speaking to you through the Word.
4 – Seek true godly wisdom from those around.  Listen to those who open their Bibles, spend time in the Word, and seek the will of God.  While we don’t do this exclusively, it is good to talk about what we have read and are studying.  It helps us to consider what the Word is saying.
Don’t fall for competing ideas when you have the truth right before you – Pick up the Word of God and read/study it for yourself!!

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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