Bible Reading: Acts 27. Paul is a prisoner and being transported by boat for his trial. Paul was imprisoned for two years while waiting to go before Caesar.
For every missing person’s report, a complete description is required. Because most individuals rely on their eyesight, a picture of the person is extremely helpful. Even if the image is years younger, advanced technology can produce an accurate picture of the person’s current age.
Although we have never eaten at a specific restaurant or traveled to a particular state or country, someone who has will use their prior knowledge and experience to provide us with a description that piques our curiosity. Just from hearing their words, we become excited and form mental images.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. Revelation 21:1-2
We have the complete description of the New Heaven and New Earth in Revelation 21. Because God desired that we possess an inward longing and excitement about our permanent home, He allowed John the Revelator to see the New Heaven and the New Earth. From the amazing and vivid description of the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, we should prepare ourselves spiritually to receive our reward of eternal life every day.
Without using the Bible, can you describe the holy city? Many verbalize their desire to live in the New Heaven and New Earth. But the reality is that we have not taken the time to study and memorize the description of our “forever home.” Would you be excited to go and live in a place without any prior knowledge?
When life is overwhelming, pray and read the description of the New Heaven and New Earth. Yes, praise the Lord! We have this hope of life eternal! We are nearing home!
Bible Study: John 14 and Revelation 21-22
God, thank you for preparing a forever home for the faithful. We ask You to forgive our sins. Please fill us with the Holy Spirit as we diligently study the scriptures. We ask this prayer in the Worthy name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man or woman of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.…2 Timothy 3:16-17 BSB
Did you know that the Bible was translated into English? If you speak another language, then you are familiar with the phrase, “Lost in translation.” Many words in American English have double-meanings or a play on words, “No pun intended.”
The Bible is not complicated. It takes a spiritual mind in Christ Jesus to understand the “Voice of God.” To explain this concept, think about babies. They have the innate ability to recognize their mothers through their five senses. And I thought babies would always remember their fathers, but this proved to be inaccurate with fathers who shaved their facial hair. The babies did not recognize them and cried as if they were looking at a stranger. Of course, those who sought to prove this hypothesis carefully manipulated the experiment with controlled factors, the fathers were not allowed to speak. Certainly, the babies would have recognized their father’s voices.
For us to recognize our Heavenly Father’s voice, we always require Divine intervention when studying God’s Word–the Holy Bible. Before studying the Bible, pray for forgiveness of sins and ask for the Holy Spirit to give you a correct understanding of the scriptures. Also, ask God to provide you with the wisdom to apply the Word of God to your life. If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 AMP
Because we are on a learning curve throughout our lifetime, we can seek a higher level of knowledge from those who are anointed and appointed to minister to mass congregations. Even so, we can attend church services, listen to sermons and study the Bible without experiencing a spiritual transformation. It is not enough to study the Bible. We must also apply it to our lives. Yes, God has anointed many individuals to preach the Word of God, but all who say that Jesus is their Lord and Savior must search the Bible and receive the knowledge to think, act, and live holy, righteous lives. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30 NIV
With the Holy Spirit as our teacher, we will always gain truth when studying biblical principles.
It is true! We may feel overwhelmed when searching the Internet for spiritual guidance through sermons. Who do we listen to? How do we know they are preaching the truth? The Apostle Paul answers those questions: They must preach about Christ!
Because of his love for God, many are familiar with Evangelist Billy Graham, who passed on February 21, 2018. Every sermon that he preached, regardless of the subject matter, always included Jesus and biblical scriptures. He never preached about gaining material wealth, and if he spoke on anxiety, worry, and depression, he explained the reason behind the feelings, “your relationship with Jesus is lacking depth, and commitment.”
I do not promote pastors, ministers, or speakers of any particular denomination or religion. God is no respecter of persons. He does not have favorites based on the denomination of the church or social, educational, and financial statuses. We must pray for spiritual discernment before listening to any sermon and studying the Bible, so we have the correct understanding of the Word of God. My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand.… John 10:27-28 BSB
Many preach with other motives: It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. Philippians 1:15. Because it is impossible for us to know other people’s motives, we can use the Apostle Paul’s message: Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely. … Philippians 1:17. Again, Paul gives us the defining answer, they must preach about Christ! The subject of the sermon may vary; even so, Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6.
Every one of us has a spiritual job to fulfill: And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20. To receive eternal life, we must have a personal relationship with Christ that grows stronger and deeper every day. When we are in love with God, we excitedly spread the message of His saving grace to others.
Please know that studying the Bible is not an option! The Bible is the Voice of God! To know who God is we must have knowledge of His character, expectations, and promises. Do not be concerned about being lost in translation! When we pray for understanding, God will never allow the scriptures to be confusing. Our Teacher, the Holy Spirit is always ready and available to provide us with the ability to grasp the meaning of God’s Words.
We are blessed to have the most powerful technology available to read and hear the Word of God in many languages. Even for those who live in remote areas or in countries where the Bible is prohibited, and the media is controlled, remember that the angels are God’s messengers. If you are without a Bible, pray and ask God to give you a Bible. “I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27
Bible Study: 2 Timothy 3
God, we thank you for the Bible, your Holy Word. Please forgive us of our sins. We pray for spiritual discernement and wisdom as we seek knowledge through the study of your Word. Our desire is to have a deeper relationship with you as we prepare for Eternal life. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.