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Tuesday: Dealing With Difficulties Humbly — 12 Comments

  1. I have seen some pretty hairy interpretations of the Bible in my time. Seeing I have an interest in mathematics, I have sometimes been given prophetic interpretations to read, usually accompanied by the admonition that because I have a mathematical mind I will see the sense of their interpretation.

    I have to say that whenever I see, exponentials, square roots, or Fibonacci series in the explanation, my brain says to me that this is not going to end up explaining anything. What does amaze me is the tenacity and persistence that some of these folk have in ensuring me that they have found the holy grail of prophecy and now know everything. Humility is not a description that I would use for them.

    There are three things that I think are important when it comes to Biblical interpretation.

    1) Read the Bible yourself.
    2) Pray to be guided by the Holy Spirit.
    3) Listen carefully to your community of believers.

    If you leave out any one of those elements, there is the potential to be sidetracked.

    Amen!(42)
  2. Please help in today's lesson question.

    How do you strike the right balance between humility and certainty? For example, how would you answer the charge, How can you Seventh-day Adventists be so certain that you are right about the Sabbath and that almost everyone else is wrong?

    Amen!(10)
  3. But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Pro 4:18

    The more we humbly spend time reading and studying the word, the more truth is reveal to us. Being highly educated does not mean we become arrogant because we ask questions. Being ignorant does not mean we are humble because we do not ask any questions. Both educated and ignorant will be lost if Christ is not the guide for our life.

    There are several different path that we as Christians can choose to follow. I realized some have choose to attend certain congregation where the educated and the elite meet on Sabbath. The place where all knowledge and riches assemble. As a result, some other congregations are left to struggle with the word. People are left to interpret the scripture in their own way.

    By studying the word no person will ever have a complete understanding of the entire bible. The more we study, the more wisdom and knowledge is given to us. The more we have an understanding of the word. Sometimes in discussion people do not see things according to how we see then but that does not make then wrong or make us right.

    This time of the year the day begins early. The more we look at the outside, the more the day becomes brighter. So is studying the word. Some people have different experiences in life, so when reading the word they can compare/contrast and come to the 'ha ha' moment of understanding the word. People understands at different pace.

    Amen!(8)
    • Obviously, Lyn, as an academic, I appreciate the value of study. But at the same time I recongise that study too has its limitations. At university, I spent many years gathering knowledge and experience as an undergraduate, but then I started doing research and it wasn’t what I knew that was all that important any more. I had to learn how to use that knowledge and experience to understand and develop ideas beyond the known. It is one thing to know, but quite a different thing to apply.

      Likewise in our spiritual journey. If our aim is to get more knowledge and understanding, we have seriously misunderstood the whole idea of the Gospel. There is no divine scorekeeper who sets a doctrinal text examination so that we can be certified knowledgeable enough to be saved. We are allowed to “cheat”, because it is not what you know that counts; its who you know! Christianity is about growing and sharing, not acquiring.

      Amen!(17)
      • Maurice, i would say that Christianity is about acquiring, growing and sharing.

        God instructed His early church, "These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart," He says: "and thou shalt teach them diligently" (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7).

        But if the purpose for 'acquiring' is about self, and not a deeper and abiding trust in God, with a desire to bless and edify others, then we are no more than 'sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal'!

        Amen!(10)
  4. Look at this definition found in the Cambridge Dictionary about the word TRUTH, "a fact or principle that is thought to be true by most people". We, human beings have always tried to create our own truth, our own reality, even a definition in the dictionary!

    And this is so actual nowdays! How then, can we open our minds to the "real truth"?

    Whenever we think we know it all, we start to get it wrong! In the opposite, the more we know, the more we realize how much we still don't know. Everything has to be balanced in the Universe! But while facing the Infinite, there is no place for a proud heart!

    Who are we? If we know so much, how do we explain the condition our own world got into? Can we really control anything? These are questions we might have a lot of answers, although none of them can be answered without any sort of belief!

    "If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14.

    Amen!(4)
  5. Often wondered why not all Christians are 'comfortable' when sharing the Gospel Truth and can experience exitement and joy! After all, are we not all missionaries to some extend?
    Many difficulties arrise for the Christian, not only when attempting to 'rightly discerne scriptural Truth', but also when sharing the Truth.
    As Maurice stated: "Christianity is about growing and sharing, not acquiring".

    Various reasons can be given, though, most likely, they can be boiled down to that we try to hide behind the claim that 'we do not know enough and need to study the Scriptures more deeply'; when, instead, it is the lack of a deeper and personal faith-love-relationship with our God and Savior.

    We know so much about the God we believe in, but do not on a personal basis intimatly know the God we trust. To me, the most important aspect/purpose when 'studying' the Scriptures is to foster my living, vibrant, personal faith-love-relationship with Him.
    So, at the core of why some feel not 'comfortable' enough to share the Gospel could be that they are yet not 'comfortable' with their personal relationship with the God he/she believes in.

    How is this possible? Knowing so much about Him, how can so many Christians still feel distant from the God they know so much about? After all, we can talk easily about anything else with friends at a gathering, even about other people. 🙂

    Maybe the realization that God is 'listening in'(knowing our heart) to what we have to say about Him makes a conversation about Him 'feel uncomfortable'.
    Does this show that we need to study more, or does it mean to spend more 'quality time' with our Savior to foster the 'getting to know each other' better? As in any relationship, the more personal 'face'-time we share, the more intimatly we get to know the other person.

    Quoting Lyn: "I realized some have chose to attend certain congregation where the educated and the elite meet on Sabbath. The place where all knowledge and riches assemble". This is his personal observation.
    The lesson text: 'Many people have come to the amazing realization and humbling insight that they are dependent upon something and someone outside of themselves'.
    For many, this insight might not lead to draw closer to the God of our Salvation. Many believers desire to depend/find safety in numbers and are 'comforted' when being accepted by an 'elite' group of congregational 'insiders'.
    Sadly, I consider these to want to part of the category of a 'Country Club' member. For those, relationship with God is defined by which 'church' they belong to and who they know.

    Through applied Faith, the more intimate the relationship with our Savior is, the more humble we become! We realize that we belong to Him, and that this relationship alone matters. No need to belong to anything or anyone to 'be somebody'. Praising the Savior then brings tears to the eyes of those who have experienced the difference between having once been lost and being found.

    Church-organizations place much effort into 'managing' by seeking to employ the right 'style' to assure a 'good' worship experience. How then is this Sabbath fellowship conducted? Regimented by time, we follow the 'agenda' for the day.

    How many of us meet our Lord and Savior personally on His Day? Do we joyfully sing Hymns to Him that praise Him directly, worshiping Him in Spirit and in Truth? Mostly, we sing about Him and the things that we consider as 'blessings' and leave it with that.
    This is the same way as many study the Scripture - to learn about Him but not getting to know Him personally and build this relationship with Him.
    I know only one Hymn that tells of blessings and also praises our God and Savior - it is the divinely moving song 'Amazing Grace'.

    Yes, we want to deal with difficult passages honestly, carefully, humbly, determined, patient, scripturally and prayerfully. We employ these same guiding principles when we 'comfortably' talk about our Savior with others.

    We learn about Him from studying the Scriptures, but mature through the experience of our ongoing faith-love-relationship, making us feel comfortably 'at-home' when talking about Him with others.

    Sabbath, the day dedicated to developing our personal relationship with God - worshiping and praising His infinit justice, mercy and grace in the 'save' environment of fellow believers - is the beginning.

    Praising God together and in personal time with Him will help break the 'ice', making us 'feel right at home' when sharing His wonderous work of Salvation wherever and whenever one feels 'compelled' to do so.

    Amen!(5)
    • "We know so much about the God we believe in, but do not on a personal basis intimatly know the God we trust. To me, the most important aspect/purpose when 'studying' the Scriptures is to foster my living, vibrant, personal faith-love-relationship with Him.
      So, at the core of why some feel not 'comfortable' enough to share the Gospel could be that they are yet not 'comfortable' with their personal relationship with the God he/she believes in.

      How is this possible? Knowing so much about Him, how can so many Christians still feel distant from the God they know so much about? After all, we can talk easily about anything else with friends at a gathering, even about other people."

      Brigitte,
      Thanks so much for your inspired observation. You have given me much 'food for thought.'
      Blessings, as you continue to share with us.

      Amen!(0)
      • Norma - Thank you for the blessings and letting me know that my comments provided 'food for thought'. 🙂

        Amen!(0)
  6. Praise God from whom all blessing flow.

    Brigitte- you touched on some startling points.
    There is something known as muscle memory. Many times the christian life can be compared to it. We serve God out of memory, we go to church out of memory, but their is an empty void in us that the Holy Spirit is willing to fill. Many Christians know the scriptures but don't know God. How many times do you hear sabbath school or church leaders say, I will be the student today, let others be the teacher for me today. How humble that will be. When Jesus as the leader/the head washed his disciple feet, how humble that experience was to mingle with others dirty feet then go to Gethsemane.
    We learn to be humble when we realized what Jesus had done and still doing for us.

    Amen!(1)
    • Yes, Lyn - Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below, praise Him above ye heavenly hosts, praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost - Amen!
      To be set in-a-rut with one's Worship and Praise of God is about the most heart breaking condition to be in. I pray that we all desire to genuinely, from the heart will worship the Lord whenever and wherever we meet Him and encourage others to join us.

      Amen!(0)

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