Thoughts During Fasting Month.

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Ramadan, or ‘fasting month’, is in full swing here in Indonesia and all over the world for Cousins. I can tell it’s fasting month- there are curtains drawn over all the windows of Starbucks where I’m sitting so people outside aren’t tempted by the food and drinks inside. Restaurants all over Indonesia are covered up like this during Ramadan.

Kim and I always try to participate in fasting month in one way or another. We pray, we fast, we talk with our neighbors about fasting, etc. It’s a unique time to talk about God and connect with Him deeper. We also try to make a point to involve our partners back home too by sending out daily and weekly prayer requests and updates. Kim’s been good at designing prayer guides and calendars over the last few years for those that want to participate on a regular basis.

I’ve noticed in a lot of our correspondence (and I think a lot of Believers do this) it’s sometimes easy to criticize or condemn Cousins during this time. This month demonstrates the extent that Cousins will go to follow the rules, but have they lost the heart behind it? How heartfelt can it be to pray the same prayer five times a day every day? As a Believer it’s hard for me to see the value in such repetition.

We need help loving and worshiping God. We oftentimes don’t know how to love and worship God even though our hearts want to.

I was thinking lately though that I might be a little wrong in my understanding of these practices. I’m starting to think that there might be more to these rituals than meets the eye. We’re quick to dismiss Cousins as having lost the meaning behind their words and prayers due to mindless repetition. But if you think about it, Believers do this too- to a certain extent. Believers also have repetition and patterns in the way we worship and connect with God. Some examples: the “Lord’s Prayer”. This is a memorized prayer typically recited on a weekly basis. It remind us of who God is and the kinds of things we should ask for (your kingdom come, your will be done, give us this day. . . ). Also, think about worship music. Aren’t all the songs we sing a form of repetitive devotion? Obviously we don’t walk into church on Sunday morning and make up brand new songs every week. Are we worshiping any less from the heart because we sing the same song two weeks in a row? No, songs have new energy and meaning every time we sing them even though the words don’t change.

Which is what leads me to say that most religious practices and traditions aren’t necessarily bad things in and of themselves. It helps guide our worship. It gives us structure. And really, we need help loving and worshiping God. It doesn’t come to us naturally. We oftentimes don’t know how to love and worship God even though our hearts want to. That’s why we have many of the traditions we do. They give shape and structure to our worship so that our hearts can connect with God more quickly and easily.

Now apply this principle to fasting month. If structure and patterns aren’t inherently bad and can even help us, why do Cousins need extra prayer during this time? The problem is not that they fast and pray. The problem is not that they devote so much time (a whole month) to pursuing God. The problem is that they think they will get to God by these means.

I was reminded of this conflict (between our works and God’s work) while reading Galatians this morning. Galatians is a great book to read if you want to know the difference between religious duty (works) and the freedoms we have through faith in Christ. Seemed like a pretty relevant book to read during fasting month! Galatians chapter 3 explains that God declared Abraham justified because he had faith in God. He believed God’s promises. God declared righteousness through faith and then Moses and the law came. In other words, faith came before works. Galatians 3:19 says:

“What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.”

And Galatians 3:23-25 says, “Before this faith (in Jesus) came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.”

So the law was established because of transgressions (sin) and “to lead us to Christ!” It points us to Him while giving us a framework for godly living. The crucial point here is “now that faith has come we are no longer under the supervision (or mandate) of the law” vs. 25. We’re no longer under the jurisdiction of the law. According to these passages faith is the only thing that’s required!

Here in Indonesia, and all over the world, Cousins are told that their prayers and good deeds this month will take away their sin and make them right before God. They’re trying to tip the divine scale in their favor and become justified by their works. But in doing this their deeds becomes an end in itself and faith (in Christ) is completely ignored. Prayer, fasting, etc. is no longer just a framework to guide praise and devotion. It becomes what they’re counting on for salvation, and according to the scriptures this is a serious error!

This is why Cousins need our prayers this month. Let’s pray that as they’re praying they would meet the One who could truly set their hearts free.

Contagious Love

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Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way. – Don Miller, Blue Like Jazz

I was reminded of this quote this morning as I watched a rerun of the Crocodile Hunter. I was reminded why the show, and Steve Irwin in particular, was so popular to watch. He made the show so compelling to watch because of his love for the animals. No doubt he had a boisterous Australian accent and demeanor which helped win him over, but I think what made his program so popular was just his honest to goodness love and respect for the animals he worked with. He showed how fun it can be to get close to them, to rescue them, and the satisfaction of bringing one back to it’s native habitat. He conveyed admiration and respect for what he worked with. It wasn’t just that he jumped into alligator pits or played ‘Russian roulette’ with poisonous snakes. He had a genuine love for animals and nature which was contagious.

I wonder if our relationship with God and Jesus is like this. Do we love Jesus in such a way that it’s contagious? Do we really love God in a way that others notice- not just notice but are drawn in to do the same? People sometimes need a reason to love something. They need a reason why. When others see us loving and savoring Jesus it prompts them to do the same.

People all too often just go through the motions and end up looking very normal. What makes a follower of Jesus so different is our love for God and our love for other people. In John 13:34-35 Jesus says “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” What a beautiful command Jesus has for us. And it comes with a promise. If we love other people like Jesus asks us to the world will take notice- they will know that we are followers of Him.

Love is our most distinguishing feature. Let’s not be afraid to love God like this. Love out loud!

Don’t ‘Edit’ As You Go Along. Letting Go of Perfectionism.

I wrote in my journal recently that one of my New Years goals (in fact my ONLY New Years goal so far) is to be less of a perfectionist. I’ve been a perfectionist for a long time. Usually I see it as a strength. Thinking before you act, weighing the options, etc. will generally lead to positive results. It certainly beats being careless and reckless with decisions. But I’ve learned that taking it to an extreme can be harmful too.

Sometimes perfectionist thinking can be consuming. I easily get hung up by wanting to do things JUST right. It dawned on me recently that I spend a lot of time thinking about things. I think and think and think and end up in a corner, at an impasse. Trying to connect all the dots is fatiguing. Trying to see the whole puzzle before laying the first piece is exhausting. I can’t see the whole picture. So while on one hand it pays to think things through a litlet, I can’t see the future, and thinking too much just leads to spinning my wheels.

But other than not being able to see the future, the more damaging thing about being a perfectionist is that I tend not to start things. I have a lot of ideas and things I’d like to do, but for some reason if I think I can’t “do it right” the first time I hesitate from trying. If I can’t get my head around something sufficiently it’s probably not going to be a go. This thinking stops me from trying.

I’ve been seeing these patterns in my life. This year I want to turn things around a little. It helps to tell myself not to think so much, to stop analyzing. But it also helps to just DO IT. Just TRY. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid of not getting it right the first time.

In the case of writing I read this advice: “Get it down, then get it right. Don’t edit as you go along.” Writers who learn to write fast write better. So this year I want to teach myself not to ‘edit’ (in more ways than one) as I go along.

What Did People Say?

What Did People Say About Jesus?

If you want to get an accurate picture of who Jesus was and what He was like, just look at the people around Him. Jesus was a very controversial figure and, fortunately, many people during His day had a lot to say about Him. The Bible records the different reactions Jesus got as He traveled around Judea and Israel. Jesus still gets varying reactions today. Good or bad, there has been a lot of talk about who He was and who He claimed to be. Everyone is able to examine the facts and make a decision. The only position about Jesus that is wrong is a neutral one.

Matthew 9:33 After the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed and were saying, “Nothing like this has even been seen in Israel.”

Matthew 21:10 When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Mark 1:27 They were amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority? He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”

Mark 15:39 When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

 

Luke 2:34-35 “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed- and a sword will pierce even your own soul- to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

Luke 4:22 And all were speaking well of Him and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”

Luke 5:26 “We have seen remarkable things today.”

Luke 7:16 Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited His people!”

Luke 7:49 Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?”

Luke 8:25 They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?”

Luke 23:47 Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.”

 

John 1:34 “I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

John 1:40-41 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ).

John 1:49 Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.”

John 4:42 They were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.”

John 6:14 Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

John 7:31 But many in the crowd believed in Him; and they were saying, “When the Christ comes, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?”

John 9:33 “If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.”

John 7:46 The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.”

John 10:20-21 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”

John 11:47-48 Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”

Getting Christmas Right, with a Concert!

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I finally have been able to get Christmas right. Last night Kim and I went and saw The Story Tour concert here in Louisville. The Story is a collection of Christian artists who each take a role and sing one character from the Bible. Put together it tells the story of the Bible in song form. We’ve been listening to this music for a couple months now ever since we got the CD. But pretty much anything you see or hear live is ALWAYS better, and that was definitely the case here!

So why do I say I’ve finally gotten Christmas right? It’s only just a few days after Thanksgiving and I was already starting to get caught up in everything that Christmas is not- or at least what it shouldn’t be. I’m talking about all the shopping, the deals, hot buys, etc. Tv inundates you with the shopping hysteria that retailers create during this season. And if you’re not careful, in fact if you do nothing else at all, you will be caught up in it. I think in America at least you have to work extra hard to make Christmas something besides what I just described. The default is to shop, and we end up doing things not because we want to, but because we have to.

But last night, sitting in an arena with thousands of other people singing Christmas songs, delighting in the telling of a good story, and allowing other people, namely the people on stage, to remind us how awesome God is really showed me why I should be thankful this Christmas. For just a moment I was reminded why it’s so awesome to be a Christian, why it feels so good to praise God from my heart, and how fun it can be when we all get together and rejoice in what He has done. That is what Christmas is really all about. It’s all of us together celebrating God and the wonderful gift Jesus is and will always be for us. He lived a beautiful life. He showed us what love is and what it looks like to love others. If we’re to get any clues about what this season should be about we should look at Jesus and what He did. You won’t find meaning this season on Tv or in the flyers. It’s not about shopping. If you have to ask “What would you like for Christmas?” you’ve already missed it- you’re already thinking you have to buy something. The question instead should be “How can I show or be CHRISTmas to someone else this year? That’s a harder question that I think gets us back to the heart of it.

I’m not perfect at this. I buy things for Christmas too. But living overseas has given me a different perspective about this. I can tell you it’s not like this in other parts of the world. Christmas is a lot simpler over there. I’ve seen what Christmas can be without all the shopping hysteria and the deluge of presents. It is surprisingly refreshing- like a breath of fresh air. Let’s all work a little harder this Christmas to get it right. Let’s spend less and give more.

Here’s a sample from The Story Tour, one of the songs from last night’s concert. It’s Mac Powell from Third Day singing the song for Jesus:

Scripture About Free Will and Predestination

Scripture about free-will and predestination

Do we have a choice when it comes to heaven and hell? Yes, we certainly do! Although the Bible talks about those who are predetermined by God for salvation, it also talks a lot about making a decision about Him. Someone once asked Paul the apostle what they must do to be saved. He said “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household” -Acts 16:31. This involves a choice. God knows those who will accept Him. But we must all make a decision regarding eternal life.

Genesis 17:19 For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.”

Deuteronomy 4:29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.

1 Chronicles 21:11-12 So God came to David and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Take for yourself either three years of famine, or three months to be swept away before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the Lord, even pestilence in the land, and the angle of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.’ Now, therefore, consider what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.”

2 Chronicles 15:2 “Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.”

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.

Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

Acts 2:39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.

Acts 13:48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

Romans 8:30 And these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

Romans 9:22-23 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory.

Ephesians 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:11-12 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

1 Peter 1:1-2 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be your in the fullest measure.

2 Peter 1:2-3 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

Scripture About Salvation

Scripture about salvation and eternal life

“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

Matthew 5:20 For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

Matthew 19:29-30 “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive may times as much, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.”

Mark 13:13 You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

Luke 7:50 And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Luke 13:23-24 And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

John 6:40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.

John 8:51 Truly, truly I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death.

John 10:9 “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

John 17:3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Acts 16:29-31 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear her fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Romans 8:24 In hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?

Romans 10:9 If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Hebrews 5:9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation.

Hebrews 7:25 Therefore, He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

James 1:21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.

1 John 5:11-13 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Scripture About Husbands, Wives and Family

Scripture about husbands, wives and family

Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

Genesis 2:18 Then the Lord said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

Genesis 3:17-18 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field;”

2 Samuel 7:14 I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.

Proverbs 31:10-31 An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight. She is like merchant ships; she brings her food from afar. She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household and portions to her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She senses that her gain is good; her lamp does not go out at night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

1 Corinthians 7:1-5 Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

1 Corinthians 7:39 A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:8-9 For the man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.

Ephesians 5:22-25 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.

Ephesians 5:28-30 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.

Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

Ephesians 6:1-4 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:18-21 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.

Titus 2:2-5 Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

1 Peter 3:1-4 In the same way, your wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external- braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

1 Peter 3:7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

Scripture About the Trinity

Scripture about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
i.e. the “Trinity”

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”

The trinity is a hard concept for a lot of people to grasp, yet the Bible clearly teaches about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Although they are all still one God, each has a unique role to play in creation. The scripture in this section gives us a clue into this mystery.

 

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Genesis 3:22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”

Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

John 15:26-27 When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

John 17:11 “I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as we are.”

John 17:22 “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one.”

Ephesians 2:18 For through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.

Scripture About God’s Word

Scripture about the Bible itself- God’s Word

“The word of our God stands forever.”

Joshua 23:14 Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the Lord your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed.

Psalm 119:89 Forever, O Lord, your word is settled in heaven.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.

Proverbs 30:5-6 Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words or He will reprove you and you will be proved a liar.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.

Isaiah 55:10-11 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

Jeremiah 23:28-29 “The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain?” declares the Lord, “Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?”

Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”

Luke 16:17 “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.”

Ephesians 6:24 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which performs its work in you who believe.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.

Hebrews 4:12 The word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

2 Peter 1:20-21 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Revelation 1:16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.