Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Emergence of A New Generation: Excerpts From Chapter Two


TWO
Change
Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:18-19).
...every single Christian can be a world changer, a Moses, and a deliverer in his [her] generation—Sunday Adelaja1

There are countless things to do to attain desirable changes. From my own experiences, let me share with you some tips for change. These are not rules to adhere to though, but they have been helpful to me and I believe they will be to you.

1. STUDY/PREPARE
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…. (Hosea 4:6).
…wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times… (Isaiah 33:6).

To experience change in any area of your life, you have to acquire knowledge. When I speak about acquiring knowledge, I am not only speaking about formal education. I am also speaking about informal knowledge—knowledge that is not acquired in established institutions. Anyone who desires changes in their lives has to be studious—informally and formally.

INFORMAL EDUCATION
        Informal education is studies undertaken by an individual outside of an organised or institutionalised environment. No curriculums involved: it is an individual’s own pursuit of knowledge and growth. I will discuss some forms of informal education. 
  • Reading.
(i)               Read the Bible.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Reading the Bible is not mere religious activity. It is fellowship with God.  Every Christian and anyone who desires changes in their life should have a desire, yearning and hunger for the Bible which is the inerrant word of God. No lasting change can occur in the life of a Christian who ignores the daily reading of the Bible. In his book Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders wrote about the importance of reading the Bible. He wrote that
The [Christian] who intends to grow spiritually and intellectually will be reading constantly. Lawyers must read steadily to keep up on case law. Doctors must read to stay current in the ever-changing world of health care. So the [Christian] must master God’s word and its principles.2

      Sanders further bemoaned the lack of reading in his generation which I believe is also appropriate for our times. He said:
Today the practice of reading spiritual classics is on the wane. We have more leisure today than ever before in history, but many people claim to have no time for reading. [The Christian] cannot use that excuse.3
     Wow! “We have more leisure today than ever… but many people claim to have no time for reading.” We definitely cannot use the excuse of busyness as an explanation for not reading. 
    In an attempt to encourage reading of the Bible, I made a statement in my book Biblical Truths: Knowing What God Has Prepared For You, a statement I believe will be relevant to this discussion.

A lot of things are competing with our time; family commitments, business appointments, deadlines, and sometimes even Christian activity; but one thing is certain—time will not come to us automatically, we have to create and seize the time—...the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). We can make time by giving up a number of things we are involved in. These things might be legitimate, but they necessarily might not be adding value to our life. One of the most practical ways we can make time to study our Bible is reducing the number of hours we watch television or surfing the internet. Television and the internet in my opinion are one of the ‘thieves of time’ and the hours we spend around these two can be drastically reduced to make time for reading the Bible. Don’t get me wrong, I am not proposing you stop watching television or stop surfing the internet; I am asking you cut down the time you use on them and channel the cut down time to your Bible—Your spiritual growth verses watching television and surfing the net—Choose this day which is important to you. Time cannot be an excuse for not studying the Bible because other Christians with equally busy schedules are effectively studying their Bibles. Studying the Bible must be a priority if you want a faith that works.4

You see, time is really not an issue. The issue is the premium we place on the Bible. If your premium on the Bible is high, you will make time to read it. Time is not on anybody’s side. We all have twenty-four hours in a day. What we put into that twenty-four hour period is an indication of our priorities in life.
Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days— Zig Ziglar.
If your spiritual growth is of high importance, then not reading the Bible is a bad option. The Bible contains the mind of God and His plans concerning our lives. We cannot relegate it to the background. Anytime you open the Bible to read, you are accessing the mind of God. The Bible is a manual for our lives. It contains practically an answer for all of life’s issues. Charles R Swindoll, one of the writers whose writings have imparted my life so much said
There can be no more reliable authority on earth than God’s word, the Bible. This timeless trustworthy, source of truth holds the key that unlocks life’s mysteries. It alone provides us with the shelter we need in times of storm. If I could have only one wish for God’s people, it would be that all of us would return to the Word of God, that we would realize once for all that His book has the answers… Turning back to the scriptures will provide something that nothing else on the entire earth will provide.5
 END OF EXCERPT

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