The Bible is the most read book in the world. However, for many people it is the most difficult to understood book in the world. The truth is there are many things in the Bible which are not easily understood. A failure to understand the Bible is not limited to those who do not believe in Jesus Christ. There are many Christians who still struggle with understanding the Bible. If you are one of those persons please do not despair. You are not alone. I see the inability to understand the Bible as an obstacle. It is an obstacle which prevents persons from knowing God. It is an obstacle that prevents Christians from growing “in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18 KJV).
A map shows us the way. If we do not understand the map we will be lost. The Bible is a map designed by God. We cannot move forward in our Christian life if we do not understand God’s map. Maybe there is a scripture verse or a chapter that you don’t understand. Maybe there is an entire Book in the Bible you do not understand. The purpose of the Overcoming Life is to help everyone; especially believers in Jesus Christ overcome the difficulties and obstacles we all face in life. Therefore, the purpose of this blog is to help you overcome the inability to understand the Bible.
I have experienced confusion after reading a verse of scripture but I have also experienced the joy of understanding that same verse of scripture. I believe God wants everyone to understand the Bible. I would like us to go on a journey of understanding the Bible. Will you join me?
Five months ago I started writing a 30 day program entitled “Motivated to Overcome”. That program is finally complete. It has been a long road but I want to thank everyone who stuck with me and followed the program to the end. I hope you were motivated to overcome. Thank you!
‘May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.’
(Numbers 6:24-26 NLT)
The secret to living an overcoming life is found throughout the entire Bible. Enoch learned this secret. Noah learned this secret. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob learned this secret. David learned this secret. All of the great men and women of the Bible learnt to do this one thing:
- After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch lived in close fellowship with God for another 300 years, and he had other sons and daughters. (Genesis 5:22 NLT)
- This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God. (Genesis 6:9 NLT)
- When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. (Genesis 17:1 NIV)
- But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’ (Acts 3:22 NLT)
Jesus knew this secret and He practiced it on earth:
So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. (John 5:19 NLT)
The first instruction Jesus gave when He called His disciples was:
The disciples of Jesus Christ walked in close fellowship with Jesus. They followed Jesus and:
They received the power and authority to do what Jesus did. (Matthew 10:1)
They received a commission to teach what Jesus taught. (Matthew 28:19-20)
They received the same Spirit that Jesus had. (John 20:22)
The disciples of Jesus Christ had these experiences because they followed Jesus wholeheartedly. They wanted to go where Jesus went. They wanted to do what Jesus did. They wanted to be Who Jesus is. Following Jesus allowed the disciples to overcome sin, doubt, weakness and fear. Following Jesus allowed them to endure persecution, imprisonment, and other bad experiences. Following Jesus will allow us to do the same in every area of our lives. When we follow Jesus we will receive the power and authority to live an overcoming life.
The Overcoming Life is within the reach of every believer in Jesus Christ. The Overcoming Life is within the reach of every person who hears the good news about Jesus Christ. God has revealed the secret to us:
We cannot live on this earth without the necessary resources. We need water to drink and wash. We need land to plant fruits and vegetables and to build houses. We need sunlight for warmth and vitamin D. We need money to buy or obtain the benefit of other resources. There are resources which can be found in nature and are easily replaced by nature. These resources are renewable. This means that there is an inexhaustible supply of these resources. Our Heavenly Father, in His divine wisdom provided these inexhaustible resources for us so life on earth can be sustained. Do you know that He has also provided inexhaustible resources for believers in Jesus Christ?
Christianity is a new life. It is a new way of living. Jesus revealed to Nicodemus that “unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 NLT). The Apostle Paul revealed to the Church at Corinth that:
…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)
In the same way God has provided natural resources to sustain our life on earth, God has provided spiritual resources to sustain our life in Christ. One of these spiritual resources is grace. It is through the grace of God that we receive this new life in Christ and it is through the grace of God that we receive the strength and motivation to live this new life in Christ. One man who knows the power of God’s grace is the Apostle Paul. Before he was the Apostle Paul this is what he did:
- Paul (also known as Saul) “agreed completely with the killing of Stephen” (Acts 8:1 NLT)
- Paul uttered “threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers” (Acts 9:1 NLT)
- Paul “blasphemed the name of Christ” and “persecuted his people” (1 Timothy 1:13 NLT)
Paul did those evil things but one day he had an extraordinary experience with the grace of God. He met Jesus and received a new life. Paul knew he did not deserve to be called an Apostle but this did not prevent him from living a fruitful life in Christ. Paul overcame the knowledge of his past sins through grace (God’s inexhaustible resource):
For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:9-10 KJV)
Sometimes we carry guilt from our past sins. Sometimes we remember our past sins and start to believe we are not good enough to work for God in a particular capacity. In these moments we must remember God’s inexhaustible resource. The grace of God allowed us to receive forgiveness for our past sins. The grace of God allows us to work for God. The grace of God allows us to live for God. There is only one thing left for us to do:
Live in God’s Grace
Believers in Jesus Christ are not hidden from the challenges and obstacles of this world. As long as we are living in this world we will face challenges and obstacles. We may face sickness and disease. We may face financial difficulties. We may face problems in our families. In fact, the Apostle Paul reminded the Church at Corinth that:
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT)
Believers in Jesus Christ may experience the same things non-believers experience because we live in the same world. However, it is not the will of God for us to fall under the pressure of the challenges and obstacles of this world. It is God’s will for us to keep standing. It is God’s will for us to overcome every challenge and obstacle. God is so serious about this that He looks at every specific challenge and obstacle we face in our lives and formulates a specific plan of escape so we can endure.
- Joseph was sold as a slave into Potiphar’s house but God blessed Joseph can caused Potiphar to “put [Joseph] in charge of his entire household and everything he owned” (Genesis 39:4 NLT)
- Joseph was wrongfully accused of rape and placed in prison but God gave Joseph favour and the keeper of the prison “put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison” (Genesis 39:21-22 NLT).
- Jesus was wrongfully convicted, sentenced to death, beaten and forced to carry His cross to Calvary but God caused the soldiers to force another man (Simon of Cyrene) to carry the cross. (Mark 15:21)
Can you see it?
- Even though Joseph experienced betrayal by his brothers, the life of a slave and a prisoner, Joseph was able to endure until he got to the Palace. God gave Joseph the grace to endure and in the end Joseph was able to save his family and Egypt from seven years of famine.
- Even though Jesus was betrayed by his own disciple (Judas), was wrongfully convicted, beaten and forced to carry a heavy cross, Jesus was able to endure until He got to Calvary. God gave Jesus the grace to endure and in the end Jesus was able to save the entire world from a lifetime of sin.
God gave Jesus the grace to endure. In other words, God ensured that Jesus had enough energy to make it to Calvary. God will do the same for us. God will not allow the challenges and obstacles we face to overcome us. God will give us grace to endure them and overcome them.
The Avengers (created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby) are referred to as “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”. These heroes are not mighty only because they have superior strength, skills and power. They are mighty because of the great battles they have won and the great challenges they have overcame. The Bible is also filled with mighty heroes.
Moses delivered the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt:
Moses was a man “learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was MIGHTY in words and in deeds” (Acts 7:22 KJV)
With MIGHTY power, Moses performed terrifying acts in the sight of all Israel. (Deuteronomy 34:12 NLT)
Samson delivered the children of Israel from the oppression of the Philistines:
And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his MIGHT; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life. (Judges 16:30 KJV)
Jesus delivered the children of Israel from sickness, disease and demonic oppression:
And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on him–the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and MIGHT, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. (Isaiah 11:2 NLT)
And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet MIGHTY in deed and word before God and all the people: (Luke 24:19 KJV)
All of these mighty heroes died and were buried. However, one of them defeated death. Jesus was crucified and was buried but God raised Him from the dead:
…and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. (Ephesians 1:20-22 NLT)
Jesus Christ is Earth’s Mightiest Hero and He is alive and well. There is no man, no leader, no angel, no power or authority which is greater than Jesus. In times of trouble it is comforting to know that there is someone with great authority and power that can help us. Jesus is our Mighty Hero. He delivered us from sin. He is able to deliver us from evil and help us in temptation. With the help of Jesus Christ, (Earth’s Mightiest Hero) we can overcome every obstacle:
Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested. (Hebrews 2:18 NLT)
God is thinking about you! In fact, God is thinking about you every day. God was thinking about you from the foundation of this world. God was thinking about you before you appeared in your mother’s belly. We think about those we are in love with every day. Sometimes we think about them every minute. Sometimes we think about them even while we are sleeping.
GOD IS IN LOVE WITH YOU
God is thinking about your physical health:
He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I AM THE LORD WHO HEALS YOU.” (Exodus 15:26 NLT)
HE SENT OUT HIS WORD AND HEALED THEM, snatching them from the door of death. (Psalm 107:20 NLT)
God is thinking about your mental health:
The God of peace (The God Who gives peace of mind) will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. (Romans 16:20 NLT)
God is thinking about your future:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, THOUGHTS OF PEACE, AND NOT OF EVIL, to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV)
The New Living Translation states:
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, TO GIVE YOU A FUTURE AND A HOPE. (Jeremiah 29:11)
God loves you so much. You are His child. God said this about His Son Jesus Christ:
But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5 NLT)
God wants the best His children. God is always thinking about His children.
- You may be trapped in between the Red Sea and the Egyptian Army but God is thinking about you. He wants to open the Red Sea so you can escape from your enemies.
- You may be in the wilderness but He is thinking about you. God wants to lead you into the Promised Land.
- You may be in a boat during a storm but He is thinking about you. He wants to calm the storm and bring you safely to shore.
In those moments of hopelessness and despair remember that ‘God is thinking about you’.
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. (Ephesians 1:4-6 NLT)