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April 30, 2018

GOD’S POINT OF VIEW

Viewing a Christ-like Life from God’s Point of View

(A Bible Study based on Acts 10:9-48)

First let’s establish what the phrase “Point of View” means. The definition is “a particular attitude or way of considering a matter”. So when we are talking of “God’s Point of View” we are talking about seeing things with the attitude God uses and thinking about things the way He thinks about them.

Jesus came to help us do this. All through His ministry, Jesus taught us how to change our point of view to God’s Point of View. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5- 7), Jesus showed in example after example what God’s Point of View is towards things here on earth. And this is only one example of Jesus teaching this way. The Gospels are full of other examples and parables Jesus used to help us see God’s Point of View.

The lessons did not stop when Jesus ascended into Heaven. The Holy Spirit continued to teach people to see from God’s Point of View. In Acts 10:9-48 we see the Spirit teaching Peter to change his point of view.

Peter was a devout Jew, putting into practice the teachings of his day. While on the roof praying (verses 9-16), Peter “fell into a trance” and saw a sheet being lowered down from Heaven on which were placed all kinds of animals and birds. God told Peter “Kill and eat”. This surprised Peter because his Jewish teachings told him that some of these animals and birds were unclean and he was not to eat them. He said as much to God in verse 14. Then God said “What I have made clean you are not to call unclean” and it left Peter puzzled. This vision was repeated three times. As the last vision ended, there was a knock on the door of the house Peter was staying in. The Holy Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.” (verses 19-20)

Peter learned that day that his point of view needed changing. Peter had been taught that Gentiles (people who were not Jews) were “unclean” and he was not to associate himself with anything “unclean”. There were complicated rituals that needed to be followed if he associated with Gentiles, to make himself “clean” again. The three men waiting downstairs for Peter were Gentiles! The Holy Spirit was helping Peter to see that, from God’s Point of View, there were no “unclean” people. Jesus laid down His life for ALL!!! From that day on, Peter became God’s evangelist to the Gentiles. He had changed his point of view!

We as Christians (which literally means “Little Christs”) need to change our point of view to match God’s Point of View in all areas of our lives. If you want to learn to see from God’s Point of view, start by reading the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapters 5-7 for yourself. You may have read this before but read it again knowing that Jesus is trying to teach us how to see things as God sees them!

And for Further Study read:
Luke 6:17-49
John 3:14-17
Acts chapters 10 and 11

May God Bless and Empower you in your study of His Word!

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March 16, 2018

AVOIDING WORLDLY POLLUTION

Be Hearers and Doers of the Word

(A Bible Study based on James 1:19-27)

When I was in about the 8th or 9th grade, my father would say to me “In one ear and out the other”. This was usually said after he had shared some words of wisdom about Life. My father has a great sense of humor, so this phrase was said with a smile. I would usually reply “Yep, you know me Dad, there is nothing but a vacuum between my ears so there is nothing to stop your words of wisdom.” We would chuckle and go on about what we were doing. But later in life, I recalled many of his words of wisdom and applied them to my own life.

Our Heavenly Father expects the same application of His words to our daily lives. Even more so than our earthly fathers. Moreover, with our Heavenly Father there comes a promise through being both hearers and doers of His word.

In verse 25 He says: who ever is “not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the word, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” What a promise to us! And notice that it is not a selfish blessing, but a blessing of our deeds for others because God’s lessons are not focused on self but service to others (verse 27). Applying God’s Word to our daily lives will also keep us from being tripped up by the worldly pitfalls. How can we avoid what God sees as “worldly pollution” if we do not Hear AND Do what He says?

Something to think about this week.
If you would like to do some further study, continue reading in 2 Timothy 2: 14-26.

May God Bless and Empower you in your study of His Word!