Top Reasons Why We Should Study The Old Testament

And you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, So that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.—2 Timothy 3:15-17

There are many reasons to study the Old Testament. For one, the Old Testament lays the foundation for the teachings and events found in the New Testament. The Bible is a progressive revelation. If you skip the first half of any good book and try to finish it, you will have a hard time understanding the characters, the plot, and the ending. In the same way, the New Testament is only completely understood when we see its foundation of the events, characters, laws, sacrificial system, covenants, and promises of the Old Testament.

The top reasons why we should study the Old Testament are:

1. Because of the countless lessons it contains for us.

2. We find guidance for our own lives.

3. We are exhorted to trust God no matter what (Daniel 3).

4. We learn to stand firm in our convictions (Daniel 1)

5. Await the reward of faithfulness (Daniel 6).

6. We learn it is best to confess sin early and sincerely instead of shifting blame (1 Samuel 15).

7. We learn not to toy with sin, because it will find us out (Judges 13—16).

8. We learn that our sin has consequences not only for ourselves but for our loved ones (Genesis 3)

9. Our good behavior has rewards for us and those around us (Exodus 20:5–6).

In summary, the Old Testament allows us to learn how to love and serve God, and it reveals more about God’s character. It shows through repeatedly fulfilled prophecy why the Bible is unique among holy books—it alone is able to demonstrate that it is what it claims to be: the inspired Word of God. In short, if you have not yet ventured into the pages of the Old Testament, you are missing much that God has available for you.

Have A Great Weekend!

For most Americans this weekend is the last days before Christmas. Everyone will be focused on shopping, cooking, and driving to a relative’s house for the holiday.

For those of you traveling this weekend be especially careful. As you know the weather has created problems but unsafe drivers can create headaches for you and in some cases tragedy.

Remember, Christmas is not about presents. We are celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior. Jesus came into the world to save us from our sins. That was His gift to us. Now, let’s do our part by worshiping Jesus and thanking Him and giving praise as our gift to Him.

Blessings to all, this holiday season. And as they say here in the south, “Ya’ll be careful out there, ya hear.”

Are You Tired? God’s Rest Is There For You.

And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven.— II Thessalonians 1:7

It is helpful and hopeful that the Apostle Paul reminds us that our faith in Jesus Christ will one day be rewarded with rest. In this life many of us have received ill treatment for our faith. These times of trial and persecution are tiresome. They wear us out. The hope of a time of rest, the hope of a time of relief from all of it is encouraging. It helps us to hold on. It helps us to not give up. We may have troubles now, but the future is bright.

The promise of rest, however, is not exclusively a future reality. In the book of Hebrews it says, “So God’s rest is there for people to enter” (Hebrews 4:6). And already, by faith, we may enter into that rest (Hebrews 4:3).

Already, even in the midst of our trials and persecutions, our faith allows us to experience a rest of God that is a foretaste of the ultimate rest that is yet to come.

Just Like The Farmer, The Christian Must Live By Faith

“Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.” — James 5:7-8

The farmer must wait patiently for his crops to grow; he cannot hurry the process. But he does not take the summer off and hope that all goes well in the fields. There is much work to do to ensure a good harvest. In the same way, we must wait patiently for Christ’s return. We cannot make him come back any sooner. But while we wait, there is much work that we can do to advance God’s kingdom. Both the farmer and the Christian must live by faith, looking toward the future reward for their labors.

Don’t live as if Christ will never come. Work faithfully to build his kingdom—the King will come when the time is right.

Well Done Good And Faithful Servant!

Serving God is not optional. People come up with all manner of excuses: too old, too young, too busy, too tired, too sick—and the list goes on. Yet every reason is rendered void by the facts of Scripture, which says that believers are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).

Someday we will stand before God, and He will require an accounting of how we used the talents and spiritual gifts we were given. What can we say to Him that will justify ignoring the opportunities He gave us to use those gifts? No excuse will hold up. Complete surrender to God’s will is the key to pleasing Him.

The Lord gives us talents and abilities for a purpose, and He will equip us for greater service to His kingdom. When we serve Him wholeheartedly, we can look forward to hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matt. 25:21).

What Does It Mean To “Wait On The Lord?”

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.—Isaiah 40:31

To wait on the Lord is to rest in the confident assurance that, regardless of the details or difficulties we face in this life, God never leaves us without a sure defense. As Moses told the panicky Israelite’s trapped at the Red Sea by Pharaoh’s army, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14). The heavenly perspective comes as we focus not on the trouble but on the Lord and His Word. When it seems God has painted us into a corner, we have an opportunity to set aside our human viewpoint and wait upon the Lord to show us His power, His purpose, and His salvation.

When we don’t choose to wait on the Lord, we solicit trouble for ourselves. Remember how Abraham and Sarah did not wait on the Lord for their child of promise; rather, Sarah offered her maid, Hagar, to Abraham in order to have a child through her. The account in Genesis 16 and 18 shows that their impatience led to no end of trouble. Any time we fail to wait on the Lord and take matters into our own hands—even when we’re trying to bring about something God wants—it leads to problems. When we “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33, ESV), we can allow God to work out the rest of the details.

The command to wait on the Lord means that we are to be near Him and attentive so that we may catch the slightest intimation of what He wants for us. We naturally think of ourselves as self-sufficient. We turn here and there and expect help from our own ability, from friends, or from circumstances. But in the spiritual life we are taught to distrust self and depend upon the power of the Holy Spirit.

Waiting on the Lord involves the confident expectation of a positive result in which we place a great hope—a hope that can only be realized by the actions of God. This expectation must be based on knowledge and trust, or we simply won’t wait. Those who do not know the Lord will not wait on Him; neither will those who fail to trust Him. We must be confident of who God is and what He is capable of doing. Those who wait on the Lord do not lose heart in their prayers: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).

Waiting on the Lord renews our strength (Isaiah 40:31). Prayer and Bible study and meditating upon God’s Word are essential. To wait on the Lord we need a heart responsive to the Word of God, a focus on the things of heaven, and a patience rooted in faith.