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"The Encouragement Of The Scriptures!"
"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (Romans 15:4).
One of the greatest joys in ministry is staying connected and observing the Lord's continuing work in the lives of those I have associated with as a pastor and friend. As a Bible teacher I am so gratified to hear reports such as, "You really taught us the Bible." I just heard it several days ago. Any pastor or Bible teacher reading this surely knows what I mean.
It's one of the most meaningful affirmations of ministry we receive along with sentiment such as "You really are an example of what a Christian should be" or "You really show love and care." The apostle John stated, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth" (3 John 1:4). In this context John is not speaking of his biological children (although that is also true!), but his spiritual children, those he had taught and ministered to.
But undoubtedly some of you reading this message are discouraged so may this brief word of exposition of the daily text bring you encouragement! For many years I have used this verse as a sub theme of this ministry and have placed it on the masthead of the website.
"Everything that was written in the past." Paul here acknowledges the truth of what he later expounded on to Timothy when he wrote, "All Scripture is inspired by God" (2 Timothy 3:16). We can be assured that the divine Editor has provided in His Word all we need and we should diligently seek the Bible in its entirety for His teaching. If we faithfully study we find that even the harder passages, where the meaning and value are not as apparent, are rich with truth. Often life's experiences will bring added meaning and understanding to these difficult passages over one's lifetime.
"Was written to teach us." The purpose of that which was written in Holy Scripture is that we might be taught. Significantly, Jesus' followers are called disciples (Greek "mathetes" which primarily means a learner). The great commission was and is to make disciples. Are you learning today? Are you growing in Christ? Specifically can you remember the central truths your pastor shared in his last sermon? What about the Word you read this morning? The Word is always an effective teacher, but we have a responsibility as learners. Most learning takes place by constant exposure, experience and familiarity. (See the Bible knowledge test below.)
"So that through endurance." This is a truth that grips my heart. A quality so lacking in our world is endurance. The very rich Greek word that is used here (hupomone) conveys, "to undergo, i.e. bear (trials), have fortitude, persevere:--abide". In our world of vacillation and instability we need maturing followers of Christ to demonstrate the character quality of endurance! By God's grace let us demonstrate it today.
"And the encouragement of the Scriptures." God's Word applied to our lives develops this endurance and richly encourages us. Feed on it today, all day. Hide it in your heart. Memorize it. Sing it.
"We might have hope." Do you need hope today? Sure you do. We all do! Sometimes more acutely then others. Hear from Scripture and be encouraged today: "And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us" (Romans 5:5).
Be encouraged today,
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Prayer: Jesus, I'm so thankful for the hope You give us that is far more than just wishful thinking. It is based upon the unshakable foundation of the inspired Word of God. It is through the enduring Word that we find encouragement and needed strength to stand firm during the times of testing and when others scoff or try to revise Your instruction for our lives. My hope is in the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth! Amen.
Daily Encouragement Net Bible Knowledge test
This test is intended to check your overall knowledge of the Bible, based upon your personal reading and exposure to Biblical teaching over time. This is not material you "cram" for, since it is a broad 7575overview of Biblical knowledge and understanding.
Knowing the answers to many of these questions indicates your overall familiarity with the Bible. I would not expect a newer Christian who has only recently started reading and studying the Bible to know as many answers as a long-time student of Scripture.
This test will take awhile so take it when you are able to concentrate for an extended period of time.
I suggest you initially take it with your Bible closed and then do so with an open Bible by going back over it.
You may also print the test out and share it with others if you would like.
This test is completely anonymous and collects no personally identifying information. I will only receive a composite of all answers.
Click here to get started with the test. If you'd like to leave the test at any time, just click "Exit this test". Your answers will be saved.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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