Literally, I have been attending church all my life. I have heard many hundreds of Bible sermons. From a child, I was taught the Holy Scriptures by some very special teachers. In 2007, I even received a General Knowledge Bible degree. One of the most important things I have learned is that the Bible was given not only for our knowledge, but to change our lives. The Bible knowledge we receive should result in a changed life. As Paul said in Philippians 3:13,14, “I count not myself to have apprehended (become perfect or have become all that I should be)…I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Admittedly, I am not all I should be, but I keep pressing toward that mark. God is still working on me. God uses the tool called the Word of God to make me what I ought to be. Here are a few practical Bible truths that have made me what I ought to be. And remember, God is still working on me.
James 1:19, “Let every man be swift to hear (listen), slow to speak, slow to wrath (anger).” Being quick to listen has brought many people into my life. Friendships have been formed, and opportunities to minister have resulted. God’s still working on me.
Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” Realizing that the Lord knows every word I speak and every thought of my heart (mind) has caused me to “take heed to my ways that I sin not with my tongue (Psalm 39:1). God’s still working on me.
Ephesians 4:32, “Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Kindness, forgiveness, and tenderness should be a testimony for all of us who know Christ. God’s still working on me.
I Corinthians 6:19 & 20, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost… and ye are not your own?… therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” This taught me that my body belongs to God. My body is the instrument through which He receives honor or dishonor. It is my responsibility to take care of it, watching my weight, my appearance, my behavior and example to others. It is not easy, and God is still working on me.
Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” What a hard lesson to learn. The fact is, our son, when he was a teen, showed me the truth of this verse. I had made a judgmental remark about someone. He told me that he was surprised that I would judge that person. Not a good example, huh? I did some self-examining and realized I did have a judgmental spirit. Since that time, I have tried to apply this truth. I am not always successful. God’s still working on me.
Romans 12: 17 & 19, “Recompense (pay back) to no man evil for evil… Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Allowing the Lord to fight my battles has changed my life. He will judge fairly. The cycle of vengeance (getting even) is a vicious, never-ending one. It takes a lot of character to back away or to be the first to say, “I’m sorry.” Not every time, but often, I let the cycle of “getting even” end with me. Five simple words will stop the cycle, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.” God’s still working on me.
James 4:14, “For what is your life? It is even a vapour (mist/fog), that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth (disappears) away.” Realizing that life on this earth quickly passes away causes me to rethink my life and how I live it. Everything we see will some day be gone. But the things not seen are eternal. So, it makes sense to invest in eternal things. People are more important than things. All that we do for Christ will continue. I don’t want to waste my life. One day we will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and give an account of our life. Now, today, is the time to live for Him and serve others. Don’t delay. Life is short.
Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted (hurt); that I might learn thy statutes (God’s Word).” There was a time after many years in Christian ministry, my husband and I experienced a deep emotional and spiritual affliction (hurt). We were troubled and needed answers, help, and direction. Friends counseled and encouraged us, but our victory and continuing help came from the Word of God. This hurt caused us to search the Scriptures. We listened more intently to Bible preaching and studied the Bible more seriously. We shared with each other the Bible truths we learned. Through this hurt and searching of the Bible, our lives were changed forever. Our faith grew, our hope was renewed, and we developed a genuine compassion for others.
The truth of God’s unconditional love became a sweet, ever-present reality. Now we can say, “It was good for us that we were afflicted because we have learned to depend on His statutes (Bible).” Only the Word of God can correctly change people’s lives. It is the path of peace, hope, and contentment. I challenge you to learn it and apply it to your life. You will be changed.
I’m not perfect, not even close, God’s still working on me!
This is written because I care…Carlene