Posts Tagged ‘Bible Study’

30
Apr

Spending Time With God

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Christian Living

Open Bible with pen

“Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. ” (Job 22:21)

Reading an author’s work always makes you feel like you know him. That’s because he reveals his heart and his mind through his work. This is especially true of God, as the author of the Bible. When I was writing my first book, The Bible Believer’s Handbook, I spent thousands of hours studying the Bible. I didn’t know that I was also spending time with the Lord. That is how I got to know him and how to communicate with him.

If you want to know the Lord, you will have to read and study the Bible on your own. Nobody else can do it for you. There is no substitute time spent fellowshipping with God in his word. I think that’s what he is telling us in this verse, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

If I never spent any time with my wife, and I never talked to her, she would think that I didn’t love her. Because, when you love somebody, you want to spend time with them and talk to them. The Lord knows whether you love him or not. “But if any man love God, the same is known of him.” (1 Corinthians 8:3) It’s very important that you learn to love the Lord. You do that by spending time with him.

Marriage is a picture of the relationship Jesus wants to have with you. In an ideal marriage, the wife wants to please her husband and the husband wants to please his wife. Marie is my best friend and we’ve been married for forty-four years. I love her and I want to please her. We are both married to Jesus. We love him and we want to please him.

But it wasn’t always like this. I was a sorry excuse for a husband at first. I thought that the world revolved around me. My hopes and dreams and my career took priority over everything else. Marie was nothing like me. She was different from everyone I had ever known. I could see Jesus in her. I wanted to be like her, so I became a Christian too. I was a sorry excuse for a Christian at first. But God changed me from the inside out. He gave me a new heart—a heart full of love for God and man.

I recommend that you meet with God at the same time every day. The early morning hours are best. It’s easier to hear from God when everything is quiet and still. You can talk to him about anything you want. But, don’t be surprised when he starts to answer your prayers.

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30
Sep

Your Faith in God Makes You a Winner

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

David and Goliath, by Caravaggio, c. 1599.
Image via Wikipedia

I have often heard one person say to another, “you’ve got to have faith,” or “you’ve got to think positive.” They think that their faith in positive thinking will create the outcome they desire. But they have left God out of the equation.

I am urging you to place your faith in Jesus Christ, and put him in charge of your life. He provides more than just salvation. That is a free gift, but it’s not the only one. Hope and faith are gifts from God.

Most people hope that good things will come to their way. They’re like gamblers hoping their bets will win. But your life is too important to leave to chance, or luck. God gives you hope for the future that his based on him and his word.

To be a winner in life, you must develop a relationship with God and get to know him. Then, you will have the kind of hope and faith that God provides.

You have to turn to the Bible to learn how to approach the Lord. It shows you what God is like, and teaches you how to live. He says, that if you call on him, he will answer you.

If you’re not familiar with the story of David and Goliath, you should read it for yourself. It’s a really good story and you will find it in 1 Samuel 17.

What is the point of the story, and what does it have to do with you? It has everything to do with you. God put this story in the Bible for your benefit. And when you know its deeper meaning,  that could change your life forever.

The first thing you have to know about this story, is that you are David. And Goliath is your worst nightmare. Goliath is that problem that you are afraid to face, and you know what that is. I don’t. But it could be anything, from the fear of poverty to an addiction of some kind.

Goliath is a giant. He is nine feet tall, a very intimidating and experienced warrior, and he has destroyed many a man. David is just a kid, but he is armed with the most powerful force in the universe—the faith of God.

The following verses tell the most important part of the story. Look at what Goliath said to David. He proudly stated what he was going to do, he was going to take this young man’s life.

And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. (1 Samuel 17:43-44)

Now look at what David said to Goliath. His confidence was in God, not in himself. He proclaimed what God was going to do. His faith-filled words reveal a heart that was full of faith:

Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands. (1 Samuel 17:45-47)

David wasn’t afraid of what might happen, because he knew what would happen. He was going to win the battle, and it was curtains for Goliath. Do you want to know what happened next?

David ran toward the giant and attacked him. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.

And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone stuck into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.

So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and smote the Philistine and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.

Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled. (1 Samuel 17:48-51)

And you can do the same thing to your Goliath. You can be like David and learn to use the faith that comes from God. Where do you get this kind of faith? From reading and studying the Bible. From hearing it spoken. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

The Bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart. David got to know God by spending time with him in the field. When you spend time with God by reading the Bible; and talk to him about what you’re read, he will answer you. He will show you his favor and he will make you a winner.

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28
Aug

The Christian Work Ethic

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

Adam and Eve Driven out of Eden, by Gustave Do...
Image via Wikipedia

Adam‘s rebellion against God brought a curse upon the earth that is still in operation today. God has made it mandatory for men to work and earn their own way in life.

Look at what God said to Adam in Genesis 3:17-19:

Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also, and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, til thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

When I was a child, my Dad told me about this Bible verse and he passed his strong work ethic on to me.

My Dad, Andrew, and my Father-in-Law, Ernest, were part of the Greatest Generation, who survived the Great Depression and  World War Two. They taught me by example what it means to be a man. They taught me that God expects us to work, and now I’m telling you. If you’re taking a free ride through life, then, you’re riding on somebody else’s back.

Mr. Ernest based his life on this verse, and he taught it to me.

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. 1 Timothy 5:8

Believe in God and the Bible. Accept God’s ways, and obey his word. God has ordained that you pay your own way in life, and pay for the support of your family.

My wife and I both worked very hard and raised three daughters. We taught them to love the Lord and to base their lives on the Bible. Now we are passing these values on to our grandchildren.

Teach your children to have reverence for God and obey him. Teach your sons to be godly men who pay their own way through life, who love their wives and support their children.

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12
Jul

Where Does Wisdom Come From?

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

Fanciful depiction of Solomon on his throne
Image via Wikipedia

King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived—except for Jesus. He recorded much of his wisdom in the Book of Proverbs, God‘s Book of Wisdom. The Bible explains how Solomon came to be so wise.

In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.

. . . I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in . . . Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him,

Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast thou asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;

Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.  (1 Kings 3:5,7,9-13)

Wisdom comes from God, and there is no true wisdom apart from him. That explains why everything is in such a mess. Our leaders have no wisdom and no understanding.

God is amazingly generous. He offers wisdom to everyone who seeks it.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  (James 1:5)

If only they would ask God for wisdom. Some of them don’t believe that God exists, and others don’t know him. All they have is their own so-called wisdom.


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16
Jun

Uncertain Riches

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

Wall Street Bull
Image by PittCaleb via Flickr

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. (1 Timothy 6:17)

I know that, as Chistians, we are not supposed to put our trust in money. But I have to confess that I did it anyway—just a little bit.

My 401k was like one of my children, in that I was amazed at how fast it was growing. And I thought, “Here’s some security for the wife and I in our old age.”

That’s what I get for thinking. My 401k became a 201k. Then I was amazed how quickly our money had disappeared. Once again, life experience confirms that what the Bible says is true. There is no such thing as security apart from God.

Labor not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.  (Proverbs 23:4-5)

We were disappointed, but we got over it. This is just another bump in the road of life. We still have the true riches of life which are in Christ Jesus. He is the only true security. That’s because his word will not fail, and he is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

Be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)

Don’t let the financial crisis get you down. You still have the Bible, and you still have the Holy Spirit. God is always with you, and he will help you make a comeback.


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2
Jun

Do You Believe God or Darwin?

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

Charles Darwin, photographed by Julia Margaret...
Image via Wikipedia

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air; and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. (Job 12:7-10)

Charles Darwin observed these things and concluded that we were not created by God. He said that we evolved from lower forms of life by unguided natural means.

Darwin’s theory is spoken of as science, but it is not science at all. It is a material philosophy, even a kind of religion. Even though it has been discredited, it is still generally accepted as true and taught in school as if it were a fact. It is a lie that is passed off as truth by scientists and educators.

This all started with one man, who could see no evidence of God’s creation–even though he was standing on it and surrounded by it. After a hundred and fifty years, there is still no proof that Darwinism is true. Yet, there are millions of Darwinists. They have no idea as to how life began. All they know is how it did not happen. It is inconceivable to them that God is the author of life; because, to them, there is no such thing as God.

Darwin has always had a cult following among those who hate God and reject the Bible. He was a major influence on Adolph Hitler, Karl Marx, and many others.

Atheists cling to his theory, because it is all they have. The only other alternative is to believe that God created us, just like the Bible says.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26)

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27)

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)

Charles Darwin is dead, but God is very much alive. Which one are you going to believe?

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19
May

Do You Know the Lord?

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

Jesus Christ Knocks the door
Image by angelofsweetbitter2009 via Flickr.

Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

I used to think that Jesus was saying that he is at the door of the lost person’s heart, waiting to come into his life. And, I also thought that since I had received him as my Lord and Savior, that was the end of the matter.

I knew that I was a Christian, and when I died, I would go to heaven. I didn’t want to go to hell, and I wanted to make sure that none of my children go there. That was pretty much all that I knew.

I didn’t know the Bible, and I didn’t know the Lord.  I wasted years of my life because of my lack of knowledge. I didn’t know that our eternal salvation is not the end, it is the beginning. God gives us the gift of Eternal Life up front.

Now that I know the Lord, I see this verse as his appeal to Christians who don’t know him. He wants to fellowship with all of us, and be a part of our lives—to counsel and comfort us, to help us, deliver us, and empower us.

Knowing the Lord has been the greatest experience of my life. Just like the song says, he does “walk with me and talk with me, and he tells me I am his own.” It is the best part of being a Christian. This is how you get the love, and joy and peace that God supplies. You can experience this for yourself.

How do you get to know the Lord? Show God that you love him, by keeping his commandments. Spend time with him in his word. Read the Bible for yourself. Start with the following verse.

“If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:23)


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12
May

My Testimony

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

A 6th century mosaic of :en:Jesus at Church Sa...
Image via Wikipedia

I had worked for Uncle Sam for thirty years before I became a disgruntled postal worker.  God rescued me from that situation. My wife, Marie, got me to the Doctor. The Doctor told me, “Don’t even think of going back there. You are through.”

He diagnosed me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and said that it is common among us veterans of the VietNam war.

That was when I hit the bottom in every way possible—mentally, emotionally and financially. I was sick and broke and in my fifties. I kept beating myself up over every decision I had ever made thinking, “If only I had done this, if only I had not done that.”

What about Romans 8:28, I thought? All things were supposed work together for my good. I was a Christian. Why had God allowed  these things to happen to me? And why wasn’t I seeing the promises of God fulfilled in my life?

I asked God to tell me what I was doing wrong. I asked him to show me what he wanted me to do, so I could do it. Then I started reading and studying the Bible for hours every day.

Reading an author’s work makes you feel like you know him, because he reveals himself through his work. This is especially true of the Holy Spirit, the Author of the Bible. I spent a lot of time with him in his word. I got to know him and his ways. I was pigging out at God’s spiritual buffet and I was loving it.

When I wasn’t reading the Bible, I was thinking about it. I was meditating on the word day and night, just like it says in Psalm One. And that’s when the miracle happened.

I used to be angry all the time. I was very impatient with people and rude to them. I was mad when I when I got up in the morning, and I was mad when I went to sleep at night. But God healed me of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

During this time that I was delighting in the Bible, I woke up one morning and my anger was gone. I went to bed crazy as a loon, and woke up perfectly sane. The anger that had been my constant companion for thirty years was gone. It’s still gone, and it is so wonderful to be normal. Now, I am happy all the time because Jesus healed me, and I will never stop thanking him for it.

I am a recipient of God’s love and it is the greatest thing on earth.  Jesus knows me personally and he has changed my life forever. I was broken and he repaired me. He took away my anger and filled my heart with love, and joy, and peace, and self-control. He has equipped me to be patient and kind to others.

All I did was show God some love by spending time with him in his word. He responded to my love by intervening in my life and doing something to help me. That is how good our God is.

It was just like Jesus said in John 14:21,”He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

So that is what I was doing wrong all those years. I was violating the Love Commandment, by not loving God and by not loving my neighbor as myself. And that prevented God from showing me his favor.

Our eternal salvation is a free gift. But God’s other promises are contingent upon obedience to the Love Commandment. If you want to receive what God has promised, you have to love him. You have to love him with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength. And you have to love your neighbor as yourself.

You might think that you love God. But if you have never spent any time with him in his word, then you are not keeping the Love Commandment.

Look at the completed thought that is found in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God. . .”

And look at the last part of Psalm 91, where God promises to protect us from all evil. God says, “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:14-16)

I could fill a book with the things the Spirit of God has taught me since the time I got to know him. In fact, I have filled a book with them.

First, I selected a thousand Bible verses and organized them into topics. Then, I explained how to apply them to your life. The title of the book is The Bible Believer’s Handbook. God helped me write it, and it was published in 2008.

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5
May

The Best Defense Against Swine Flu

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

Guido Reni's archangel Michael (Capuchin churc...
Image via Wikipedia

In the Bible, God has promised that he will protect his people from the “noisome pestilence.” This description certainly applies to this new disease. If you believe in God and the Bible, you don’t have to be afraid that you will get the Swine Flu. God has assigned his angels to protect you from it.

This promise of God is in Psalm 91. I am quoting it here from The Living Bible. Make this your prayer for your whole family.

We live within the shadow of the Almighty, sheltered by the God who is above all gods.

This I declare, that he alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him. For he rescues you from every trap, and protects you from the fatal plague. He will shield you with his wings! They will shelter you. His faithful promises are your armor. Now you don’t need to be afraid of the dark any more, nor fear the dangers of the day; nor dread the plagues of darkness, nor disasters at noonday.

Though a thousand fall at my side, though ten thousand are dying around me, the evil will not touch me. I will see how the wicked are punished but I will not share it. For Jehovah is my refuge! I choose the God above all gods to shelter me. How then can evil overtake me or any plague come near. For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go. (Psalm 91:1-11)

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27
Apr

The Homeschool Kids and the Tea Party

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

I went to the Tax Day Tea Party, along with my daughter Jennifer and her daughters Katie, 8, Beverly, 10, and Haley, 12. This was a homeschool teaching project, since we are studying the American Revolution. It was a gathering of people from the Memphis area who love America and want to help preserve our American culture.

As we listened to the speeches of local patriots, I could not help but think how much we have in common with the residents of Boston in 1773. Our government does not have the right to confiscate our money any more than King George did.

I enjoyed being there with my three little granddaughters. But it made me sick to think about how greedy our elected representatives are. Our US Congress couldn’t wait for these girls to grow up. They’ve already spent these children’s money before they’ve even had time to earn it. We are little more than livestock to them.

I don’t think that they get it. These ungodly people obviously do not understand that we are fed up with them. Beginning in November of 2010, we will vote them out of office. Then, in 2012, we will remove more of them from office.

The Bible tells us to pray for all who are in authority. My prayer for them is that God will either save them, or remove them from their place of authority. I am not going to name names. God knows who they are.

“Lord, give us godly people to represent us in the US Congress. In Jesus name, Amen.”

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