If ye continue in my Word

One of the most well-known verses in scripture is the following:

“Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). How do we come to know the truth? Remember Pilate and the question he asked our Lord? “What is Truth?” That question is still being asked today even from many in the church. So how can we come into that place in knowing the Truth and being liberated by it? The preceding verse provides the answer; if ye continue in my Word (John 8:31).

My bio makes mention of the love and passion I have for the Word of God. It is also my desire to help stir an interest for God’s Word in the hearts of believers. I have had the privilege of being a Bible School teacher for over 15 years in several different Bible Schools. In many of the schools an evaluation of the subject and teacher is given by the students after the completion of a class. The greatest tribute I receive is when students write about the Word of God coming alive and how the teaching has inspired them to know the Word of God in a greater way. There is no greater joy for me as a teacher than to see a student express a greater hunger for the Truth of God’s Word. I do feel that this is one of the primary callings God has placed upon my life. How did this journey into the discovery of God’s Word begin?

I was young believer in 1982 when I came into the presence of a man who later became my senior Pastor. (He still is my senior Pastor today) I was greatly impacted by the way he opened up the Bible while skilfully applying scripture into our conversation. My initial reaction was to want to be able to one day do the same thing. That moment ignited a desire to know the Word in a greater way. It did not happen overnight. The first step was a 32 cassette tape series on 1st and 2nd kings which I was to study on my own time. Every night after work I would spend 45 minutes listening to the tapes. I also took notes. Admittedly I had a hard time comprehending much of what was being taught nonetheless I persevered. After a time I began to see the interconnectivity qualities of the Bible. I likened it to a big jig-saw puzzle where pieces slowly began to come together. This created a greater interest to learn more. Nearly 35 years have passed since that catalytic moment and the hunger for the Word of God continues to grow. The beauty of the Word of God is that it is inexhaustible; it is a living revelation of Christ and it addresses every aspect of God’s creation.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, the same was in the beginning with God.” (John 1:1-2) 

The challenge and burden is to help inspire others to come into that place of discovery where the Word of God comes alive. Is it possible to inspire others in the way my Pastor did for me? My Pastor gave me the resources; a 32 cassette tape series plus a study book on the life of Melchizedek. Does that sound exciting?  I had to apply myself and set aside time to seek after the Lord. I was also mindful of my Pastor’s grasp of the Bible and his ability to apply truth effectively; I wanted to do be able to do the same. He paid a price by spending a period of three hours over a two year span studying and meditating over scripture before going to work. Yes, the cost was high but the fruits were evident in his life and they still are 35 years later.

Today, there is a noticeable hunger and pining for truth both in the church and in the world. The Bible is filled with warnings about people being destroyed due to a lack of knowledge (Hos 4:6). The Bible is a living book that can address every area of need in the life of a believer. It can provide direction and discernment so that we can better understand the day and hour in which we live.

With a new year quickly coming upon us why not commit to a fresh approach in the study of God’s Word? Up till now this blog has been a composite of audio recordings and a series of different teachings which speak to some of the issues of our day.

There is no substitute for a personalized devotional life consisting of a daily diet of God’s Word. We can celebrate different ministries, teachers and teachings and be aided by them; still, our growth as believers will be limited if we do not learn to allow the Word of God to speak to us at a personal level. This can only be realized if we take time in giving ourselves to the Word. This blog is going to take on a new life in 2017 with the intention of stirring up hunger for God’s Word. Here is what to look for:

1) A flexible year-long Bible Reading program that is easy to follow.

2) In the year 2015 I was inspired to write a mini-commentary on the entire Bible. It was not a planned exercise but one that gathered momentum as the early days of 2015 progressed. I would like to make it available for anyone who would be interested. This commentary is by no means exhaustive but it may prove helpful in helping to give context to the prescribed reading.

3) A weekly article that encapsulates the reading from the week while helping to speak to issues of our day. Remember, the Bible is a living Word that can address any subject past, present and future. These articles will come after the week’s reading.

My sole objective is to stimulate interest in God’s Word, nothing more. The prophet Amos spoke of a time when there would come a famine upon the land; not a famine of food but a famine in the hearing the Word of the Lord (Amos 8:11). It was the Apostle Paul who reminded us about the subject of faith being in evidence as we hear and confess the Word of the Lord (Rom 10:8, 17). It was also the Apostle Paul who made clear that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). These are the incentives that have inspired me in putting this program together. I do hope and pray that it will be a blessing.

That night in April of 1982 was a turning point in my life. A spark was ignited that put into a motion a pursuit that has only intensified with each passing year. It is hoped that this blog will be my contribution in helping to stoke the hunger for the Word of God in the lives of like-minded believers.

Here are some final thoughts with regard to my personal commentaries that will be made available. I am invoking my perspective so you will see some biases with regard to doctrine. Secondly, it is a work in progress; I have the ability to add to what was written as time goes forward. It should be noted that these commentaries were done on a day to day basis throughout the year 2015 requiring approximately 3 hours of attention per day. I followed a daily reading program and wrote the commentaries accordingly.

Jesus gave the key to knowing to knowing truth and the liberty that comes with it; it is to continue in His Word. Whether one is new to the study of the Bible or one who has studied for years the exhortation is still the same; continue in His Word. Let’s embrace the journey and discover the blessings of knowing the Truth in 2017 and beyond.