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Holy Ghost Power Worldwide Ministries
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Let us not frustrate the grace of God. Be quick to repent, quick to forgive, and quick to believe. Amen somebody!
My home computer has really been acting kind of crazy lately. It would reboot itself when I checked my e-mail and at other times it would just inexplicably crash or shut down.
I asked a friend about it and he told me that I had so many corrupt files on my hard drive that the operating system was getting confused. He recommended that I back up all my data and reformat my hard drive. In other words, remove the operating system, all of the programs, and re-install everything.
It took most of a day to get it done, but my friend’s advice produced a miracle. It works like a charm now. All of my problems have disappeared.
As I thought about my life as an unbeliever, I realized that I used to be just as confused as my computer. I had a state-of-the-art operating system, one that the God had given me, but it just wouldn’t work with a corrupt lifestyle. I didn’t know what to do, but I knew that if didn’t do something soon, I, too, would crash.
Thank God I had a friend called Sam, who knew what was wrong with me. He helped me understand that God had not programmed me to live the kind of life I was living and that the lifestyle choices I had made were killing me. The more I listened to him , the more sense he made.
I realized that hope was just a prayer away when he opened God’s Word and showed me some verses. For the first time in my life, I saw myself in those words and understood that the answers to all my problems really were in that Bible. Indeed, I had finally found the Owner’s Manual.
Salvation is still the greatest miracle I have ever seen. I look in the mirror today and pretty much see the same woman I saw in 2004, but inside I am changed. Corruption has given way to righteousness. I am no longer confused about where life’s taking me. My operating system is now working the way that God intended it to work.
All those bad files that were making my computer do some crazy things are now gone. When I performed a clean install, they were replaced with good files. In fact, my computer doesn’t even remember that it ever had even one corrupt file.
Salvation’s the same way. When God comes in, he replaces everything, too - a clean install. And guess what? He doesn’t remember one single sin. In fact, His Word says that they’ve been forgotten just as if they’ve been cast into the deep blue sea.
The point is ,if you know someone who is about to crash, whose life is heading down the wrong road, say something to them. Help them to understand that there are answers to life’s ills. Reassure them that there’s nothing wrong with their operating system. It’s working just as it is designed, but has a few bad files.
Let them know that there really are instructions available to repair their broken life; and that if they will follow them, they, too can one day look in the mirror and thank God for the greatest miracle of all.
A basic factor leading to the decline of spiritual discernment in the church is a widespread failure to interpret Scripture properly. Hermeneutics - Bible interpretation is an exacting science. Good preaching depends on careful hermeneutics. But too many preachers in today’s church ignore the meaning of Scripture altogether. Pulpits are filled with preachers who are unwilling to do the hard work necessary to interpret Scripture properly. They pad their messages with stories, anecdotes, and clever outlines - all of which disguises the weakness or lack of biblical content.
Certainly application is crucial, but careful interpretation must always come first. To attempt to apply the word without understanding is sheer stupidity. Unfortunately, the standard has sunk so low today that even well-known Christian leaders can twist Scripture beyond recognition, yet no one seems to notice.
Bible interpretation is a skill that requires diligent work, an understanding of the meaning of the original languages, a working knowledge of grammar and logic, a grasp of the historical settings, competence in theology, and a broad understanding of the whole of Scripture. Those who lack expertise in Greek and Hebrew must be all the more careful, checking commentaries, dictionaries and other study helps to analyze the text as carefully as possible.
One man who pastors a church of several thousand people recently preached a message on Acts 26:2, Paul’s defense before Agrippa. Paul said, “I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews.” This man pulled out the phrase “I think myself happy” and preached a sermon the importance of positive thinking in the midst of adversity! But Paul was not telling Agrippa anything about positive thinking; he was saying, “I consider myself fortunate (NASB) to be able to make a defense. That preacher had corrupted the intent of Paul’s inspired words because he was using the verse out of context to teach an unbiblical doctrine.
The person who is not a diligent student cannot be an accurate interpreter of God’s Word. Scripture indicates that such a person is not approved by God and should be ashamed of himself (2 Timothy 2:15).