Handle with Care

I was reading a devotional article written by a famous and influential pastor. It was very well written and captivated my attention. The first part of the blog was all true and aligned with the Word of God. However, towards the end of the devotional he made a statement that goes against everything the Word says about making us a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). This surprised me because of the author. Yet, we see and hear it far more often than we should. We become so enamored by the eloquence and charisma of influential people that we miss the fact that they are not speaking the truth of God’s Word.

During the pandemic, I listened to a lot of sermons online. I became very familiar with many of the popular preachers and Christian influencers. I also learned rather quickly the ones who were very articulate speakers with power in their delivery, yet their message was a distortion of the Gospel. The one that sticks out to me the most was when a famous Christian speaker repeatedly said, “God didn’t know…,” to drive a point home emphatically. I was floored! God didn’t know? What on earth does God not know? The very nature of God is that He is omniscient. He knows everything! I was in complete disbelief. All I could think of at that moment was how many people were sitting in that audience soaking it all in because of the fame, popularity, influence and charisma of this individual. These are the times in which we find ourselves living. Lord, help us to be discerning in all that we see and hear!

This is why we must test everything against the Word of God. As my friend and fellow IWM board member, Ashley Nelson always says, “be full of the word!” That is great wisdom for every follower of Jesus Christ. If we do not know the word, we will be easily convinced of a lie or distortion of the truth simply because someone said it impressively. It is our responsibility to read the Word, study it, and meditate on it so that we are not confused or deceived. We must also stay in tune with the promptings of the Holy Spirit as He will give us a nudge when something is not correct, if something is amiss. When someone makes a statement that sounds faulty, always check it against scripture.

This is not to say that we cannot misinterpret a scripture verse or make a mistake. We are all human and capable of error. I have certainly used scripture out of context unintentionally. However, when the statement goes against the very nature and character of God, that is extremely problematic. It can be a stumbling block for many, particularly for new believers. It is important for us to pray for those who are speaking these messages just as much as we pray for the hearers. God’s grace is available to all of His children. We ask that He reveals to them the error of their ways. Correction and discipline are a vital part of the sanctification process.

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not resent his rebuke,
 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
    as a father the son he delights in.  Proverbs 3:11-12

In the Book of James, he gives a warning that many of us should not become teachers because we will be judged more harshly. This role should never be taken lightly. The Apostle Paul advises Timothy to present himself to God as one approved by correctly handling the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).  Teachers are responsible for not only teaching the truth according to the Word but living it as an example to others, as well.

We all must handle God’s sacred Word with care as we know that it is divinely inspired to help us live our lives honoring and pleasing Him.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of Godmay be thoroughly equipped for every good work.      

2 Timothy 3:16-17

The allure of the culture and the deception of the enemy is strong. Therefore, we must be diligent in seeking God and studying His Word that is a lamp to our feet and a light on our path (Psalm 119:105). It is important to pray before reading God’s Word and ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate scripture for our understanding and for its power to transform us. God’s Word has power! Let’s guard ourselves against falsehood and deception!

Heavenly Father, we exalt You and praise Your Holy Name! You are such a good Father to us! Thank You for Your Word that is our sword, our weapon against the enemy of our souls. Help us to read it, study it, meditate on it and eat the whole scroll! Lord, give us an insatiable desire to be in Your presence and in Your Word. Help us to understand it so that we may use it wisely. Help us to be careful to speak the truth of your Word boldly and faithfully without watering it down or sugaring coating it. Lord, help us to be discerning and filter everything through scripture. Thank You for giving us all that we need to live a godly life. We pray that You will reveal Yourself in a mighty way to those that need to know You. In Jesus’ Mighty, Matchless Name, Amen and Amen.  

By Lanette Black

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