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Lesson # Matt. 16:8
Study Material - Matt. 16:8
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
8 Which when [de] Jesus [Iesous] perceived [ginosko] , he said [epo] unto them [autos] , O ye of little faith [oligopistos] , why [tis] reason ye [dialogizomai] among [en] yourselves [heautou] , because [hoti] ye have brought [lambano] no [ou] bread [artos] ? KJV-Interlinear
8 But Jesus, aware of this, said, 'You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? NAS
Earthly orientation often preoccupies our focus on life. This has a tendency to short circuit our spiritual view on life.
The disciples were thinking of their stomachs and the bread that they would eat. Jesus was speaking of the influence that the Pharisees threatened the world with, and that this misinformation presented a great danger to people - especially to new or young believers who have not yet learned enough doctrine to stay clear of these hidden traps of life.
I mentioned several things in yesterdays lesson concerning Iraq and other countries, and no doubt offended some folks, but that was an application of Bible doctrine to the realities of the world around us.
We do not live dual lives - one for this world, and another to please God. We do not study the Bible just to be entertained or to pass the time away or to satisfy some guilt that we might have. We have but one life and we live in this one world. Also, we face an end to our life in this world and then a beginning to an extension of life (eternity) following our death. That is what we are to be preparing for - that extension of life. I presume that we all want it to be pleasant therefore we believe in Christ to secure our place in heaven rather than in the lake of fire. Additionally we want to grow up spiritually during this life for two reasons - first, to have a better life here on earth, to be oriented to the realities of life, and to make better decisions during our life. And second, to prepare ourselves for the next life, to be in a position for greater blessings in eternity, to maximize our opportunities (whatever they might be) in eternity. After all eternity is going to be a very long time. In this life none of us had any say in the circumstances of our birth or our environment in which we live. But in the next life, we all have an opportunity to choose the best of the best of circumstances in which we will live. Who would pass up that opportunity?
We cannot live on earth and ignore the world around us. That is like saying that you would be willing to jump out of an airplane without a parachute and then depend on God to take care of you. Tempting God is not our right, and of course God will take care of you, all the way into the next life - which would not be too long of a wait as you watch the ground get closer and closer to you - splat!
The point of the lesson yesterday was simply that there are a lot of opinions in this world - many of which are misdirected. Just as the disciples were misdirected in their misunderstanding of what Jesus was talking about. They were focused on their earthly needs and circumstances, but Jesus was speaking of their spiritual needs and of their needing to be alert to the world around them.
If you are alert and savvy to the world around you, then you are not going to be taken in, fooled, taken advantage of, exposed to various forms of suffering because of the actions in the world. If you are not up on your Bible study, then you are setting yourself up for trouble. So what we learn in our Bible study or should learn, is that we need to apply that knowledge to reality and to our life.
We know that there are bad people out there in the world so we lock our cars, lock our homes and so forth. We read contracts before we sign. We get to know our future mate, before they become our mate. We learn to swim lest we sink.
If we recognize that a storm is coming, then we prepare for it. If we know that our diet is bad for us then we make the necessary changes lest we suffer the consequences. Iraq, terrorism, and so forth are no different than any of these problems. They are just a bigger problems which none of us individually can handle - they are national problems. And for those problems we elect people to set of organizations (intelligence, military, etc.) to handle them.
To ignore them would set the stage for similar circumstances that existed in the 30's. Rational people think that they can discuss problems rationally with irrational people, and reach a settlement that all will be pleased with. Irrational people see those who are rational as fools, take advantage of them, and use the 'negotiating' time to advance their deviant plans. Then one day we all wake up and - Surprise! Did anyone foresee 9-11 coming?
So we need to focus on our spiritual orientation. That is where attachment to reality begins. Remember that truth is the linking of fact with reality. There are two sides to each of our lives - the physical side and the spiritual side. Both brought together orient you to reality. Ignoring the spiritual side will lead to misleading conclusions and therefore exposing one to problems and the miseries in life. Likewise attempting to study the spiritual side of life and then not linking that information back to reality will also lead to poor decisions and therefore disappointments. A spiritual life without application is useless, Jas. 2:26, just as a physical life without salvation is useless. God did not design us to be raised up to simply 'look' noble or spiritual.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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