October 12

Today's Bible Reading
     I Kings 15
     Ezekiel 45
     Psalms 99-101
“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”  (Colossians 2:8)    ·
            The main thrust of the Book of Colossians is how we can experience the fullness of Christ in our lives. In chapter 2, Paul gives us fourfalsepathsto the fullness of Christ. They are intellectualism(vs. 4, 8), ritualism(the Judaizers, vs. 16-17), mysticism(vs. 18), and legalism(vs. 20).
            Our memory verse is warning believers against the philosophy, empty deceit, and traditions of men. When these become our guide, we are turned away from the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and the truth of the Word of God. Perhaps the greatest lie that has been broadcast by Satan, the arch-liar, is that there is no such thing as truth - but only illusions, opinions, and myths. So say humanist philosophers, so say the religions of the East, many of which are now clamoring for the attention of people in the Western world. Such a view is very comforting to many because if there is no truth, we are all relieved of the responsibility of being right or wrong, true or false. After all, they say, ''there is no real difference in these values anyway - life is just a dream, and truth is all a matter of opinion." They say it is subjective, and not objective.
            All the incredible problems on planet earth today can be traced to the subjective whims of man who has ignored or rejected the objective Truth set forth in Scripture.
            The Bible says that the eternal God is the great original Fact, and that He created a lot of other facts. If nobody respected these facts, everyone would be doing entirely as he or she pleased, but then you would soon be begging to have the Biblical truth back again, for we all would be reduced to anarchy, savagery, and starvation. So we see how crucial the Bible's world view is for our very existence. I will share with you here some guidelines to help us be more realistic and less fanciful in our Bible studies.
1.We need to pray for the HolySpirit'sillumination. The Holy Spirit inspired the Scripture, and He alone can give us the understanding that we need to have about the Scripture.
2.We need to have sanctifiedcommonsense. Studying the Bible in a purely mystical manner is dangerous; an example is closing your eyes and opening your Bible at random to seek an answer wherever your finger points.
We need to have a seriousrespectfor the revealed facts of the Bible.  History is about facts and reverence for God and His Word demands that we allegorize only where the context clearly compels us to see this intention in the language.
4.The contextinterpretsthe textof the Scripture. This is a fixed principle in Bible study. All words and statements of a speaker/writer must be understood by the way in which the speaker/writer indicates to us that he wishes to be understood.
            So it is time to open your Bible and to study with clear principles in mind. It is always time to accept the facts and truth of the Word of God over the traditions of men and their religions.
            As you pray for the urban areas of the world, pray especially for the decaying inner cities of the west. In the midst of affluence, many cities have a rotten core. Unemployment, poverty, drug abuse, crime, and despair are widespread. Most Christians and churches have migrated to the more comfortable suburbs, leaving these areas with little Christian presence.
            Pray today for churches like the Armitage Baptist Church in Chicago, and the Brooklyn Tabernacle in Brooklyn, New York. These are churches that are overcoming insurmountable odds to reach the down and out of their urban community. Their ministries are focused on gang members, drug abusers, homosexual communities, and other products of the inner city. Pray for these churches and others like them that you are aware of.