Pastor Mike’s Garage September 3rd, 2021

*Pastor Mike’s Garage-Sept 2/2021*

So, I’ll let you in on a little conversation I have in my head every time I
sit down to write one of these. “What makes me think I have anything to
offer in the way of advice or a devotional. Am I smarter than anyone that
will likely be reading it? Do I know the scriptures any better than them?
Do I have any greater insight into the mysteries of life and spirituality?”
Well let me answer those pertinent questions with a resounding “nope,
probably not!” To further that line of thinking I will add in some verses
from Hebrews that I think of often as I assess my role as a pastor.

“*For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after
those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and
write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my
people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbour and each one his
brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the
least of these to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their
iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:10-12*

Within the first covenant the Spirit of the Lord only resided within the
prophets and sometimes the King. It was up to them to speak the word of the
Lord to the people and give understanding to His scriptures and guidance to
His will. As long as they sought to follow the Lord’s leading, serve, and
represent Him well His spirit resided within them, but if they chose to
harden their hearts in disobedience, His spirit could also be withdrawn.
Within the new covenant, the one that we are a part of as Christians, His
spirit takes residence within each one of us upon our submission to the
lordship of Jesus within our lives. As these verses declare within each one
of us is the ability to know the Lord, understand his scriptures and follow
His leading independent of others. Throughout history though many have
sought to keep that “control” over others. That was one of the foundational
elements of the great reformation lead by Martin Luther, that our faith is
not tied to any specific organization or person but rather a personal one
between each one of us and the Living God!

The reality is that in any given debate, the one who is more skilled at
debating will have the upper hand in winning the debate, regardless of the
truth of what issue they are debating. But I am also reminded of something
a professor of mine used to say in Bible College, “anyone, regardless of
intelligence, training or background, with a properly understood bible in
hand, and the Spirit of the Lord in their heart has the authority and right
to teach the word of the Lord.” Was he saying there is no value in
intelligence, training or background? Not at all, of course there is. It is
through hearing the thoughts, interpretations, and training of others that
we can gain wisdom, and understanding. But our personal faith and direction
should never be solely based upon anyone else’s opinion, direction, or
understanding. Each one of us should cultivate a personal understanding of
who we are in relation to Jesus!

I will leave you with a couple verses that summarize this point. *“Study to
show thyself approved unto God, a workman who need not be ashamed, rightly
dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15, “All Scripture is breathed out
by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for
training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped
for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16,17*

Pastor Mike