Bible People

Image result for bible imagesThe very first time the word Christian is found in the Bible is in the book of Acts where it says that the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26). King Agrippa said that Paul almost persuaded him to become a Christian (Acts 26:28). Peter said that if anyone suffered as a Christian, he should not be ashamed but should glorify God (1 Peter 4:16). That’s it. Those three references are the only times in the Bible the word Christian is mentioned.

What does the word Christian mean? It means “belonging to Christ” or “connected to Christ.” Some of the most exciting glimpses into God’s invisible domain are the ones that teach us exactly how we are connected to Him.

True Christians know quite well that we are connected to Christ by faith and faith alone (Ephesians 2:8–9; Romans 4:4–5). Some still erroneously believe that to be saved, human works must be added to faith. This is not the case. We receive God’s gift of forever life by placing our faith alone in the person of Christ alone.

First and most importantly, Christians are Bible people. For most readers, this would appear glaringly obvious. “Well, of course,” you might respond. “What else would we be?”

Then again, you may not understand exactly what I mean by Bible people. Christians believe the Bible to be God’s inerrant, infallible Word. Christians are to be faithful to study the Bible, seeking to find the correct interpretation so we can do what it says and teach it accurately. There is much more to the Bible than most people understand.

There are books considered by many to be holy books, including the Hindu Veda, the teachings of Buddha, the Muslim Koran, the Book of Mormon, and the Bible. People become Hindus because they are taught out of the Veda. Buddhists study and attempt to follow the teachings of Mahatma Buddha. Muslims believe and follow the teachings of the Koran. Mormons form their beliefs from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

However, there is no book equal to the Bible. There is only one God, and He has spoken to us only through the Bible. The apostle Peter said, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20–21).

The teaching contained in the Bible is not a record of man’s thoughts about God. It is, in fact, God’s Word about Himself. The Bible says that all Scripture is inspired of God. The word inspired means “God breathed.” Every word recorded in the Bible is the very breath of God revealed in written form (2 Timothy 3:16). Since this is true, the Word of God is living and powerful. The words are spiritually alive, and when wielded by the Holy Spirit, they make a spiritual impact upon readers (Hebrews 12:1–2).

The Holy Spirit moved special men to write down God’s Word as He dictated it to them. The writers’ human minds were active, but the Holy Spirit was in complete control of everything they thought, spoke, and wrote. They used their own words, but their words were guided through the directing hand of God.

God used forty different writers to pen His Word over a period of some 1,600 years, yet it tells one story from beginning to end. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, with a short portion in Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Greek. The Bible has been translated from its original languages into many languages, allowing God to speak to many nations and peoples around the world. From Genesis through Revelation, God’s Word, the Bible, is complete and completely truthful. God preserved and protected His Word and brought it safely down to us today.

The result is that the Bible that we hold in our hands includes all the words with all their proper meanings that God intends for us to have. Every word matters. The Bible in its original language is inerrant and infallible. Every noun, verb, adjective, adverb, participle, infinitive, conjunction, and prepositional phrase is in the Bible by God’s design. The Bible contains 1,189 chapters; 41,173 verses in the Old Testament; 33,214 verses in the New Testament; 593,393 words in the Old Testament; 181,253 words in the New Testament; and 774,646 total words.[i]  The longest chapter is Psalm 119, and the shortest is Psalm 117. The longest book in the Old Testament is Psalms, and the longest in the New Testament is Luke.

Let’s ask a most searching question. Why did God choose to make His Word known to us? It is because no other book on earth can do what this book has the power to do. Stay tuned!

 

[i]Roy B. Zuck. The Speakers Quote Book.Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1997, 33.

E-zine Volume 3, Issue 2

Just a reminder

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn [Manthano– to endeavor, to desire, to seek, to know more fully] from Me, For I am gentle and humble in heart and you shall find rest [Anapausis– cessation from toils] for your souls. For My yoke is easy [Chrestotes– having nothing harsh or galling about it] and My load is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Please pray for Mike Moore, our Ezine editor. He is recovering from serious back surgery.

Links to articles in this edition of the Glimpses Ezine:

Addiction – Jessica Moore Otto in her “Front Porch Living” addresses an issue that affects almost every family 

An Answered Prayer – Danny Forrest, in his new series of Kingdom Stories: Guardians of the Gospel, explores how life in the kingdom relates to life today.

Happiness is a Choice – Taking ownership of your “this” by Tanya Moore

The Importance of Prepositions – by Ken Sheppard. Little words make a big difference.

The King is Coming– deep insight into why Jesus will return to earth and set up a literal thousand-year kingdom by Dick Hill

When Fear Turned to Joy– an Easter message preached by Justin Moore

Well Said– notable quotes

Glimpses Conference 2019– Guardians of the Gospel is our theme. We hope you will join us May 31-June 1. Register now!

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Credits:

Richard J. Hill, Editor-in-Chief

Michael L. Moore, Editor

Linda Hill, Design Editor

Contact Info:

Glimpses of Grace, 2587Attala Road 1153, Kosciusko, MS 39090

www.glimpsesofgrace.org

(662) 347-8291 (727) 458-1813

Glimpses of Grace Board Members:

Richard J. Hill, Linda Hill, Danny Forrest, John Howell Jr., Quinn Hill, Michael L. Moore, Ken Sheppard

Copyright 2019 by Glimpses of Grace, a 501(c)3 ministry.

 

 

The Mind’s Eye

“We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

These intriguing words of Paul became the motivation behind my life’s ministry. He said that as we read God’s Word, we are to begin a journey of looking beyond things that human eyes can see and begin to peer into God’s unseen world. Things that I see with my physical eyes are destined to pass into oblivion. They are just temporary. The truths found in the Bible that I cannot see with my human eyes are eternal.

God impressed upon me that I am to use the eyes in my mind to see the unseen. My thoughts went quickly to the words of Jesus Christ when He said, “Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear.” He was obviously not speaking of human eyes or human ears. My mind raced on to another passage that I had recently studied. Contrasting human wisdom with God’s wisdom, Paul wrote these incredible words that God etched forever into my mind:

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Corinthians 2:9–13)

God’s wisdom is knowledge that cannot be seen with human eyes or heard with human ears. That sounded familiar. In fact, God’s wisdom has never entered a human mind before. Incredible! That means that God’s wisdom is not some rehashed human understanding coming from the mind of man.

Paul then wrote something that has become the motivation for Glimpses of Grace Ministries and the day-by-day church ministries that God has led me to. He said that God has revealed these hidden things to us through His Spirit.

Hold it! Is this saying what I think it is saying? Is Paul saying that God’s Spirit opens to our human spirits the deep things of God, the hidden wisdom of God? Is he saying that we can know the things that human ears have never heard or eyes have never seen? We can know the things that no human mind has ever thought? That is exactly what he is saying. This is fascinating!

How is this possible? The next line reads, “What man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him?” I alone know my own secret thoughts. Likewise, the Spirit of God alone knows the deep things of God. My mind began to race. We have received not the spirit of this world but the Spirit who is from God! Why? So that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. The Spirit of God lives in me. He has a purpose for being there. He can teach me the deep things of God. We can know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

The final words of the passage “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” actually sent me into another world. The Holy Spirit brings to my mind spiritual thoughts as I read the words of Scripture. As I study the written words of the Bible, verse by verse and line upon line, God the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of my mind to see and understand the deep, fascinating wisdom of God. This is absolutely incredible. We can know the mind of God!

But there’s a catch. These glimpses into God’s unseen world cannot be found by searching for them. God opens them to us at His pleasure as we study the Bible word-by-word and line-by-line year after year. These glimpses are not unique to only one Christian. They are open to all. Since we have the Holy Spirit living in us, we meet the criteria to receive these spiritual nuggets. There are not different glimpses for different people. Every believer receives the very same truth.

God has not taught me everything that I have desired to know about His plan, but He has been pleased to give me small insights, little glimpses. These insights placed together began to etch a beautiful portrait in my mind. God has opened to me His incredible salvation plan, the true identity of Jesus Christ, the immense value of His death and resurrection, and the nature and purpose of the Holy Spirit, to name a few. These are glimpses of grace.

Dick Hill is director of Glimpses of Grace

 

 

Do Not Lose Heart

by Dick Hill

 

I went to a pastors’ meeting and overheard two brothers questioning their call to the ministry. Think of this! They were wondering aloud why in the world they did not pursue a different educational path that would have given them a career to fall back on. This caught my attention, and I settled in to listen more carefully. Both men were discouraged about the ministries that God had placed them in. They were not sufficiently motivated to stay the course amidst all the obstacles they were facing.

I consider God’s call to preach His Word to the world as the highest calling a human being can have. However, some find it hard to remain faithful amid the many pitfalls in ministry: the money that does not come in to pay the bills, church leaders who feel obligated to take a stand against everything the pastor suggests, disgruntled church members who think it necessary to keep something negative stirred up all the time, not to mention the personal family pressures. I wanted to say, “Fellows, don’t you remember how and why the living God called you to Himself in the first place?”

I thought back to my own reasons for hanging tough through the years. How had I been motivated to hang in there through it all? I am drawn back to the amazing glimpse of grace I received in 1989 during a morning walk. God used it to change the course of my entire ministry. I was going through a particularly rough time with the congregation I was leading. I was looking to God for answers and pondering some passages I had recently studied.

Centuries ago, Paul faced the same opposition that I was facing in preaching the gospel. He found that he had to defend himself before the very people who should have trusted him. I identified with that! Some even accused him of using the gospel to serve his own selfish desires. Quitting was never an option for Paul or for me. Paul said that we are hard-pressed on every side yet not crushed. We are perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not forsaken, and struck down but not destroyed.

What enabled Paul to persevere in the face of such suffering? He thought back to the day of his own dramatic Damascus Road conversion when he met Jesus Christ face-to-face. It has always been fascinating to me that God blinded Paul so that he could really seefor the first time. From that day on, his ministry was to advance the cause of Jesus Christ rather than his own agenda.

 

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16–18)

 

I am painfully aware that my outward man is perishing. My body is growing older and wearing out. I do not have all the time in the world to finish the purpose for which God has set me apart.

Yet, we are not to lose heart, because the spiritual man inside is being renewed day by day. This is a comforting thought. No matter what is going on around us, the Holy Spirit is constantly renewing our minds and conforming us to the image of Jesus Christ. What an encouragement!

 But how is this possible? Paul made an amazing contrast. He said that our momentary light affliction is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. What exactly did Paul mean by “momentary light affliction”? He tipped his hand in the same book by relaying his own personal testimony.

 

In labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—besides the other things, what comesupon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. (2 Corinthians 11:23b–27)

 

This is momentary light affliction? Thanks Paul, I needed that. Up against that backdrop, my problem with the congregation didn’t appear to be so bad. Paul said that all he was going through in this life paled in significance when compared to the eternal weight of glory that awaited him. Seeing Christ face-to-face and being in His kingdom far outweighed the effects of an aging body, the suffering, the defeats—all the heartaches in this life.  Being with Christ throughout all eternity will make every obstacle in this life, worth it. So, do not lose heart!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E-zine Volume 3, Issue 1

On to 2019

The calendar says another year has passed. We have all known good and bad in 2018. Children have been born and loved ones have passed away. There have been the private highs and lows for all of us. There have also been the world events. Now it is over, and we have begun the journey of 2019. We enter this unknown place trusting God for direction. 

We have a new beginning as 2019 arrives. We take down the tree and other decorations and move on. There are many opportunities to do good in January and February just as in the other 10 months.

There are nursing homes and lonely people and confused kids. A whole generation is growing up with poor role models – cheating athletes, sleazy entertainers and TV non-talents. We can tell people about Christ.

In this, our eight issue, we offer more helpful articles and columns. If we can be of help, please let us know.

Links to articles in this edition of the Glimpses Ezine:

 
Almost– King Agrippa was “almost” persuaded to believe. Where do you stand?

God’s New Year – Tanya’s Thoughts by Tanya Moore

Into the Jaws of the Beast– The action heats up in the Great Rescue, Part 5 by Danny Forrest

It is Well– History’s Stories

It’s Happening Again– by Dick Hill. The gospel is once again under siege. 

Jesus– by Mike Moore

Malnutrition– Jessica Moore Otto in her “Front Porch Living” addresses the Less and More of Christianity.

Moore Thoughts– by Mike Moore on the subject of Creativity

Nose to Nose with a Bulldozer – by Dale Crawshaw

Speech– by Kenny Hodges. A look at 2 Timothy 4:12.

This is What Unity Looks Like!– by Phil Engelman

Well Said– notable quotes

“Whom the Lord Loveth”. . .Disciplining in Love– the next installment in the Family Life series by John Howell, Jr.

You Prayed for Me– a poem by Shirley Brackett

A Glimpse of the Coming King– recently revised edition

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Credits:

Richard J. Hill, Editor-in-Chief

Michael L. Moore, Editor

Linda Hill, Design Editor

Contact Info:

Glimpses of Grace, 2587Attala Road 1153, Kosciusko, MS 39090

www.glimpsesofgrace.org

(662) 347-8291 (727) 458-1813

Glimpses of Grace Board Members:

Richard J. Hill, Linda Hill, Danny Forrest, John Howell Jr., Quinn Hill, Michael L. Moore, Ken Sheppard

Copyright 2019 by Glimpses of Grace, a 501(c)3 ministry.