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Han Zheng was confused by these words, “God’s word and work are not all contained within the Bible, and they do exist outside of the Bible.” Later, through seeking communication with her co-workers, she understood that the Bible is only a record of God’s two stages of work in the Age of Law and the Age of Grace and that there actually are words and work of God outside of the Bible.
Praying is a required daily practice for us Christians, but how should we make effective prayers so that God will listen? The answer is, we must speak the words within our hearts to God in our prayers, and be reasonable without making demands of God or making deals with Him.
“If you wish to achieve a proper spiritual life and establish a proper relationship with God, you must first give your heart to Him, and quiet your heart before Him.”
By Xun Qiu Every Christian knows that believing in God requires a normal spiritual life, namely spiritual devotion. It is the foundation of establishing a proper relationship with God and the way of practice that is absolutely necessary in the growth of our spiritual life. Then, how should we practice spiritual devotion to achieve good results? Today, let’s communicate this aspect of the truth together. 1. We should focus on quieting our hearts before God in our spiritual devotions, which is the precondition for obtaining the work of the Holy Spirit. Many of us can regularly practice spiritual devotion every day but we often can’t quiet our hearts during that time, for sometimes we are preoccupied with some family matters or work stuff, or are anxious to deal with these problems quickly. As a result, our spiritual devotions are just abiding by a rule, because our bodies are here while our hearts are elsewhere. The Lord Jesus said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). This is God’s requirement of us. Obtaining the work of the Holy Spirit and achieving good results in spiritual devotions require worshiping God with an honest heart. During our spiritual devotions, if we are distracted by outward matters, such as our work or lives, and thus we go through the motions and wait for the end of spiritual devotions, then we can only understand the literal meaning of God’s words and gain no enlightenment. In this case, after spiritual devotions, we won’t feel enriched at all. Spiritual devotions like this won’t produce any results. God’s words say, “Every one of you must take time away from every person, matter, and object for your personal spiritual devotionals, where you will be able to bring peace to your heart and quiet yourself before God. You should have your own individual devotional notes where you can record your knowledge of God’s word and how your spirit has been moved, regardless of whether what you write down is profound or superficial. Quiet your heart before God with intention. If you can dedicate one or two hours to a true spiritual life during the day, then your life that day will feel enriched and your heart will be bright and clear. If you live this kind of spiritual life on a daily basis, then you will be able to give your heart to God more and more, your spirit will become stronger and stronger, your condition will become better and better, you will become more capable of walking the path led by the Holy Spirit, and God will bestow more and more blessings upon you.” From these words we know that if we want to achieve good results in spiritual devotions and gain the work of the Holy Spirit, we should spend one or two hours a day in practicing putting away family or work matters with intention, quieting our hearts before God and praying for Him to lead us to understand His words in a quiet place. Only in this way can we be able to pour our whole hearts into God’s words. When God sees our hearts of seeking the truth, He will enlighten and guide us. This way, not only will we be able to have some understanding of God’s will, we will also come to know our own shortcomings and deficiencies. In addition, we should take our devotional notes every day, recording at any time how our spirits have been enlightened, so that we can read and ponder over these notes at ordinary times. By practicing quieting our hearts before God like this every day, we will be spiritually keen and be able to seek God more when encountering matters. This being so, we will grow closer and closer to God and our life will grow quickly. 2. We should not read God’s words in an aimless way; we should read God’s words pertaining to our practical difficulties and shortcomings. Spiritual devotion should focus on solving practical problems and difficulties. Only thus can we be able to better understand God’s will and requirements and bring God’s words into real life to solve our practical problems. Only spiritual devotion that achieves such a result is true spiritual devotion. However, most of the time, we just keep to the outward practices in our spiritual devotions. When we open up the word of God but have no idea what to read, we just aimlessly flick through the book and read what we see. As a result, because we read God’s words without any objectives and don’t seek the truths after that, our problems still remain as before. This kind of spiritual devotion won’t achieve any results. God’s words say, “When you eat and drink the words of God, you must measure your own real state against them. That is, after you discover the shortcomings in yourself during your real experiences, you must be capable of finding a path to practice, and turning your back on your incorrect motivations and notions. If you always try hard in this and you always pour your heart into these things, you will have a path to follow, you will not feel empty, and thus you will be able to maintain a proper state. Only then will you be someone who carries a burden in your own life, and only then will you be someone who has faith.” From these words, we can see that we should purposefully read God’s words, that is, consciously find and read some relevant parts of God’s words according to our practical states and difficulties. God’s words will reveal our wrong motivations and notions and point out to us the right path of practice. Then we should put aside our own incorrect motivations and opinions and act based on God’s requirements. By doing so, our problems will be solved, our states will be more and more normal and we will become clearer about God’s will. This…
Why doesn’t God answer our prayers after we pray to Him? These 3 principles of praying to God will help you receive God’s guidance and leadership easily.
How do we read the word of God? Grasping these 3 keys for reading the word of God helps you know the word of God better and grow spiritually!
Why must people who believe in God pray, gather, and read God’s word to attain new life?Prayer is one of the ways in which man cooperates with God, it is a means by which man calls upon God, and it is the process by which man is touched by God’s Spirit.
March 7 Sunny In gatherings, I often heard the pastor in our church preach, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God; everything in the Bible is the word of God.” So, I have been believing that all the words in the Bible are given by inspiration of God, and holding on to this saying without doubt. This morning, when I was practicing spiritual devotions, I saw it says in the Bible, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Suddenly I thought of these verses: “And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die: For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1-5). Are these not man’s words or Satan’s words? I also thought of the words with which Satan tempted the Lord Jesus for three times after the Lord Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days. Do those words not also prove that there are words of Satan in the Bible? So how can we say that everything in the Bible is the word of God? But then I thought: Brother Paul clearly said that all scripture is given by inspiration of God; the pastors and elders have always said that everything in the Bible is the word of God. Could they be wrong? At that time, a big question mark appeared in my mind. March 8 Sunny Today, when reading the Bible, I suddenly thought of the question of yesterday, which I wanted to figure out very much. So, I searched the Bible carefully, finding that there are not only the words of Satan but also the words of an ass in the Bible. For example, Numbers 22:28: “And Jehovah opened the mouth of the ass, and she said to Balaam, What have I done to you, that you have smitten me these three times?”; Numbers 22:30: “And the ass said to Balaam, Am not I your ass, on which you have ridden ever since I was your to this day? was I ever wont to do so to you? And he said, No.” Seeing these verses, I felt more doubtful about the saying “All scripture is given by inspiration of God; everything in the Bible is God’s word.” Not until I read 2 Timothy 3:16 again did I suddenly understand: Isn’t it Paul’s word? Are Paul’s words and his thirteen epistles not also recorded in the Bible? Though his epistles benefit people a bit, they are still his understanding and knowledge, which can’t represent God’s will. Besides, the words of those apostles who followed the Lord Jesus like Peter and John, of the Pharisees, and of the ruling authorities are all man’s words. Could it be that their words are also given by inspiration of God? Obviously not! Thank the Lord! I felt a little brightened in my heart. March 10 Overcast to Sunny Today, after the gathering, I came across Pastor Wang in our church who has some unique insights when preaching and viewing things. We often gained some benefit from listening to him. So I asked him how he understood the saying “All scripture is given by inspiration of God; everything in the Bible is God’s word.” Then he said flatly, “The saying ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God’ was spoken neither by Jehovah God, nor by the Lord Jesus but by Paul. Since it is Paul’s word, it only represents his personal understanding and knowledge, not God’s will. Because he is just a created being, a man corrupted by Satan, it is inevitable that there are mixtures and erroneousness in his words. We believers in God should view things according to God’s words. In the Bible, only the words of Jehovah, the words of the Lord Jesus, and the words of God conveyed by the prophets are God’s words. Since God never said ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God; everything in the Bible is God’s word,’ we can’t hold on to this saying.” After hearing Pastor Wang’s sharing, I felt brightened in my heart: What he said was completely right. God never said that all scripture is given by inspiration of Him and that everything in the Bible is His word. However, I treat man’s words as God’s words and as the truth to keep. I’m so foolish! From now on, I should believe in God according to His words and heed His words. By Cheng Hang, the United States