A new year has begun with
its challenges and opportunities. We donít know what this year
will bring, but we do know who holds the future in His hands. If
the challenges of this year are to be opportunities, we need to
place our trust in God. It is a time to draw ever closer to Him.
When we seek Him, He promises to be there for us.
I want to share greetings
from a Bread reader and supporter: I wish for youÖÖ..
A year of health and
healing (even better health than youíve realized before)
A year of increase
A year saturated with
great peace (the peace of God that passes understanding)
A year of joy (joy coming
from the inside out and the outside in)
A year of buried dreams
resurfacing and coming to pass
A year of miracles
A year of hope, faith,
The changing of the
seasons on Bethlehem Acres is very subtle. We had some show of
color on our few maple trees and the Chinese tallow trees, but now
that color is gone. Our lilies are brown as is much of the grass.
(It stopped growing many weeks back.) The only color now is seen
on a few Azalea blooms scattered among the bushes and the red
powder puff balls. If we have any more heavy frosts or freezes, we
will lose that color.
We have had an influx of
birds to brighten up our days. Our cardinal pair has not been
flying at our windows as much lately, but other birds are enjoying
Bethlehem Acres. The squirrels are very busy as usual. We have had
several deer in our back yard this fall and winter. We see the
rabbits feeding in the yard frequently. We have not seen much of
the wild turkeys, though. There is also a large group of wild hogs
in our woods. Most of our traffic around here is in the form of
We do have our
volunteer/visitor back after his time in New Jersey and New York
after the storm that devastated that area. Nelvin is a FEMA
inspector, so he had to leave here soon after arriving to stay for
the winter. He has now decided to make Florida his home, but will
be closer to the Sarasota area. While he is here we plan to get a
few projects done to keep the office in repair.
Pray for us as we make
plans to get BREAD written, printed, and mailed this year. We,
like so many other ministries, need a miracle provision from the
Lord. As we pray, He will hear and answer.
Bible Study Intro:
INTO ALL THE WORLD
Christians are charged by
Jesus to do certain things once they believe in Him:
They are to fast!
They are to pray!
They are to give!
And they are to
One of the last things
Jesus told His disciples was to go into the entire world and to
share His glorious Gospel! This commandment has carried forth to
believers today. Before Jesus said we were to go into the entire
world, there were several other times when He said we were to go.
All of the times we are told to go, are directly concerned with
Part One: GO INQUIRE
Go ye, inquire of the LORD for me, and for
the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this
book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is
kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened
unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that
which is written concerning us. (2 Kings 22:13)
To receive anything from
the Lord, we need to know how to inquire of Him for wisdom. We
need wisdom to know what He wants us to do in any given situation.
Josiah was one of the good kings of Israel. He began to reign when
he was only eight years old. After he had been reigning several
years, he sent word to the high priest to restore the house of the
Lord: the Temple. The high priest found the book of the law and
took it to Josiah. After Josiah read the book, he rent his
clothesóan act of deep sorrow and regret. Though he had done good
things during his reign, Josiah found things in the book of the
law that made him know that God was displeased with some of the
things the people were doing. It was then that he sent the priests
to inquire of the Lord, so they could make changes in their lives.
Josiah had the book of
the law read to the people and then they renewed their part of the
covenant with God. (God always keeps His part.) The king and the
people would now keep Godís commandments and do what the words of
the covenant required of them. This promise was kept for a while,
but soon the people, and the king, forgot some of the
The book of the law that
Josiah read is part of the Old Testament of the Bible. Since Jesus
came to earth and returned to His Father, we also have the words
of the New Testament. We need to read Godís Word daily to inquire
of Him how we should conduct our daily lives. Throughout both
Testaments, there are words of wisdom and words to guide us into
living in ways that are pleasing to the Lord.
GO TO THE LORD
There is no other source
of wisdom or guidance that is any better than going directly to
the Lord who created us. God is not only the source of our very
breath and life; He is the source of all we need to sustain life.
He is the source of all knowledge and wisdom that we need to live
a good life.
Then shalt thou
understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of
God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh
knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:5, 6)
The fear of the LORD
is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is
understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)
When you understand the
awesomeness of the Lord you will have the reverential fear of Him
that the Proverbs describe. When you fear the Lord you are able to
find knowledge, wisdom, and understanding because you seek Him.
The knowledge of God is much more valuable than any other
knowledge. Knowledge can be nothing more than a group of facts.
Wisdom is knowing how to best utilize the knowledge of God, and
understanding leads you to greater comprehension of Godís will and
Davidís son, Solomon, was
anointed to follow in his fatherís footsteps as king of Israel.
Solomon knew how God had blessed his father during his years as
king. As Solomon sought the Lord, God came and asked Solomon what
he wanted God to do for him. Solomon did not ask for fame or
fortuneóhe asked for wisdom to lead the people.
Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I
may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge
this thy people, that is so great? And God said to Solomon,
Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked
riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies,
neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and
knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over
whom I have made thee king: Wisdom and knowledge is granted
unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour,
such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee,
neither shall there any after thee have the like. (2
Lest you think that
wisdom is only found in the Old Testament, or that Solomon was the
only wise man, letís look at some of the things Paul had to say
about wisdom. Paul was a well educated man before he met the Lord.
After his encounter with Jesus, Paul spent some time in the desert
learning from the master teacher: the Holy Spirit. Paul stated
that the wisdom and knowledge of God was beyond comprehension with
the natural mind.
O the depth of the riches both of the
wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His
judgments, and His ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33)
Paul knew that knowledge
of other things would one day vanish. Knowledge would fill a man
with pride, and would lead to all manner of evil intent. But, the
knowledge of God will cause you to be successful in Godís eyes.
Now thanks be unto God, which always
causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the
savour of His knowledge by us in every place. (2 Corinthians
Knowledge of God will
lead you into maturity and a godly lifestyle. You will triumph
over the devil and worldly knowledge. Godís knowledge will never
change or vanish. It is eternal.
Till we all come in the unity of the faith,
and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man,
unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Go to the Lord, seek Him,
and you will find salvation and wisdom to become all that God
intends for you to be. You will grow to be like Jesus.
LEARN HIS WILL
When you come to God and
become His child, you will begin to learn about Him. His Spirit
will lead you into truth and show you the path to right living in
Godís sight. The will of God is revealed throughout His Word: the
For this cause we also, since the day we
heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye
might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom
and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the
Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and
increasing in the knowledge of God; (Colossians 1:9, 10)
It was a prayer of
Davidís to have the Lord teach him His will through the work of
the Holy Spirit. This is the same concept that Paul spoke of to
the Colossian church. It is the same prayer we need to pray daily:
to learn the will of the Lord and walk worthy of Him.
Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my
God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
Jesus verified that the
children of God would know His will. He said that those who did
the will of The Father would be His brothers and sisters. Knowing
the will of the Lord will keep you on the right path. You will
know when a doctrine or practice is in line with Godís will and
If any man will do Hs will, he shall know
of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of
myself. (John 7:17)
Jesus said that He came
to do the will of His Father. That will was for Him to be a
servant. All that Jesus did on earth as an example for us was
serving and meeting the needs of others. Jesus did not think about
His own needs or even His wants. He came to do what His Father
asked of Him and that was to bring the lost sinners back into the
family of God. Jesus did all that He did out of loveóthe same kind
of love that caused The Father to send Jesus to earth to live and
then die for mankindís salvation. We are to follow His example and
also serve others out of love for the Lord.
Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as
the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
Many people serve others
thinking that they are doing what is good and pleasing to God and
to men. Many serve just to feel more important to others or more
accepted by them. These people are trying to please men. When your
heart is full of love for the Lord, you will want to serve others,
because this is what pleases God.