It was said of the Bereans, “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so,” Acts 17:11. It is right to listen to new things with openness and eagerness. We are an old wineskin if we are not open to that which is new. However, as eager as we should be for the Lord’s new wine, we must always take what we hear to the Scriptures to verify it.
Most Christians know what they believe, but few seem to know why they believe it. We are each responsible for establishing the truths that we believe for a solid biblical foundation. Without this, regardless of how accurate what we believe is, the foundation of our faith will be weak. Even the Son of God responded with “it is written” (see Matthew 4:4), when tempted by the devil. Even the Word Himself based His doctrines and actions on the written Word. How much more should we?
If you see some people digging a footing, you know that a house or small building will be going up. However, when you walk downtown and see an entire block fenced off, and you see that beyond the fence a deep hole is being dug, you know that something of significance is being built there. We too must dig down before we build up if we want our lives to be significant. We must establish for ourselves every truth that we believe, or we will be limited in how much we can be used in this life. The more effort that we put into the foundation of our spiritual lives, the more that can be built upon them.
The church is about to enter some of its most challenging times, so that it can then enter into its most fruitful times. The darkness is gathering, but so is the light. Every challenge to our faith is allowed by God to strengthen our faith. Trials always strengthen true believers, and remove those who are pretenders. There is a great pruning coming so that those who are truly abiding in the Vine can bear more fruit.
When a tree is pruned, the branches removed are the ones that are just making more wood and not bearing fruit. Are our lives bearing fruit for the kingdom, or are we just producing more wood, hay, and stubble? If we are not growing in fruitfulness we are in danger of being pruned. The only way that we can be fruitful is to be properly joined to the Vine. In our study of the Scriptures, we must seek to be more closely united with Him. As the Word Himself said in John 5:39-40:
“You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life.”
We receive life by coming to Him. The life that is on a solid foundation is not just one that understands doctrine accurately, but is one that is joined to the Word Himself. It is not just knowing the book of the Lord, but knowing the Lord of the book. However, because He is Truth, we must love the truth, and be passionately devoted to accuracy of doctrine as well.
The Holy Spirit is moving upon the hearts of Christians everywhere to sink their roots deeper into the written Word. A deep passion for the Scriptures is spreading over the church. It will bring forth a love for truth and a love for righteousness that will begin to radically affect congregations everywhere. This is a holy leaven. If just one or two in a congregation catch this passion, it will spread to all.
As our foundations become stronger it will enable the Lord to give us more power and more spiritual authority. However, let us always remember that we seek truth in order to live it, not just know it. Jesus was full of “grace and truth” (see John 1:14). Truth without grace brings a form of godliness that has no power. Love changes truth into grace that gives life. We must seek truth because we love the truth, and we want to be united with the One who is the Truth.
We must not seek to love so that we can be trusted with power, but power is a means by which God expresses His love. Love is always the goal, not the means. As we read in 1 Timothy 1:5: “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
Therefore, let us do all that we do out of love. Let us search the Scriptures because we love them, we love the truth, we love the One whose truth it is, and we love the people He gave His life to save.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|