Revelation or Medical Scoop?

December 14, 2013

“Whoever touches the body of anyone who has died… that person shall be cut off from Israel.”  (Numbers 19:13)

In 1970 a medical doctor named S. I. McMillen wrote a book entitled None of These Diseases.  In his book Dr. McMillen highlighted practices Moses mandated like quarantines and sterilization of medical instruments.  As quoted above, if a person had contact with a dead body (and in other verses someone who was sick), they were considered unclean for seven days and quarantined from the rest of the population.

Dr. McMillen referenced the discovery of a low percentage of ovarian cancer at Mount Sinai hospital in New York City, which research traced to the fact that Jewish husbands were circumcised as mandated by Moses.  This led to the common practice of circumcising male babies.  At the end of each chapter this doctor raises the question: did Moses scoop medical science by thousands of years, or did he have a revelation from God as he claimed?

This should convince us that the Bible is in fact the Word of God.  And it should inspire us to follow the wise counsels of the Bible ourselves and then share them with others.  As a young pastor I was mentored by Dr. Henry Brandt, a Christian clinical psychologist. He encouraged me to use the wise counsels in the Bible as I helped those in my congregation who had many problems.

As I did I found the Bible to be filled with counseling for the problems people had with worry, stress, personal peace, prayer, guidance, love, marriage, the dynamic to cope and other issues. The best marriage counseling in the world is in the Bible.

Do you believe you can trust the counseling you find in the Bible?

God’s Thoughts and Our Thoughts

October 22, 2013

“No one can know what anyone else is really thinking except that person alone, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit.”  (1Corinthians 2:11 NLT)

Our thought life is like a private chamber.  Nobody knows what we are thinking and we do not know what others are thinking.  Only the spirit within each of us knows our private thoughts.

In the same way, only the Holy Spirit of God knows the thoughts of God.  When we therefore receive the Holy Spirit of God we can know what God is thinking.  One translation writes that “incredible as it may seem we actually have the mind of Christ” when we receive the Holy Spirit.

When you study the rest of this profound chapter you will find that Paul applies this reality to teach us a great truth about the Holy Spirit.  It is a lesson in what we might call “spiritual educational psychology.”  We learn through the eye gate, which means everything we read and observe.  And we learn through the ear gate, what we listen to and hear.  He also references the heart gate, which means our volition and will to apply the truth we are learning.

He then makes the point that when it comes to learning spiritual truth we need another gate: the gate of the Holy Spirit.  When we have received the Holy Spirit we have access to the greatest learning experience possible in our lifetime.  Think of this the next time you spend time in God’s Word.  When you open the Bible, you have access to the very thoughts of God.

Through God’s Holy Spirit and His Word are you learning the thoughts of God?

A Prescription for Learning the Word of God

July 20, 2012

“… that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”   (Deuteronomy 8:3)

These words are taken from one of the great sermons Moses preached after the children of Israel were delivered from Egypt just before they invaded the land of Canaan.  They had wandered in a terrible wilderness for 40 years in which they suffered every imaginable hardship.  In this sermon God tells them through Moses that He was using all that suffering to make them know every word that He has ever spoken.

By devotional and personal application we can realize that this is one of the ways we learn the Word of God today.  God is our Mentor and He does His most effective mentoring when we are in difficult places.  While facing crises and challenges that overwhelm us God makes us know His Word.  Every adversity God permits or directs into our lives is redemptive and is an opportunity for us to let God make us know His Word.

God is fiercely committed to the proposition that we are going to grow spiritually into perfection or completeness and maturity.  The first chapter of the letter of James informs us that God’s trials should not be treated like intruders but welcomed as friends because they are sent from God.  He does this because He wants us to be perfect or complete and lacking nothing.  Jesus told us to be perfect even as our Heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48).

So when those tough times come sit up and pay attention.  God has come to the front of the classroom and He is about to teach us His Word.