When you want information, where do you turn? If you have a question, where do you go to find the best answer you need? Now today most people would turn to Google. They'd turn to Yahoo. They'd go to a Web search engine like Bing, or something like that to find answers to their questions.
But, when you want answers to your most vital questions, the big questions of life, where do you turn?
Join us for this special presentation of Beyond Today , in front of a live audience, as we look at, "The Power of the Word."
How can you find a better life? I thought I'd do an internet search on "a better life". So I typed those three words in "a better life" and you know what came up on the first page of that Web search? Well, almost every one of the items that returned was about a recent movie called A Better Life . Then there was one for vitamins and there was one other link for cleaning products. Not exactly what I had in mind for "a better life" and probably not what you'd have in mind if you were searching for "a better life".
But instead of searching the Web, did you ever think of checking the all-time best-seller list? Now if you did that, you know what you'd come up with? You'd come up with the Bible. The Bible. Over seven billion copies have been sold and it's for a good reason. Because millions of people know that the Bible is the written word of the true God!
But with that said, perhaps we're like millions of others. Perhaps we believe the Bible is inspired by God, but we have trouble understanding it. We have trouble really getting down to what it really means. Does it really do any good to read the Bible? Is there really power in the Word of God? Yes there is! There is. In fact the Word itself tells us that there is.
There's an interesting passage over in Hebrews 4:12. And here's what it says in Hebrews 4. It says, "The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
You see God Himself tells us there is power in this Word of God and He gets right down to it. He cuts right through all the difficulties in life and He gets right down to our thinking. Right down to the heart of it. And it's something that's practical. It's something that's real. It's something that is meaningful for your life! And so in your search for understanding, this is the place to start. This is the place where we need to turn to.
Jesus Himself said, "I have come that they may have life, and (that) they may have it more abundantly." That's over in John 10:10. He came that we could have an abundant life, a fulfilling life, a meaningful life! Not just a useless type of existence. That's not what God had in mind. He wanted us to have an abundant, fulfilling life. So when you're searching for meaning, when you want to really understand, maybe it's those deep questions, those things that you really, really wonder about. When you're looking for solid wisdom, when it comes to making sense, fixing what's wrong in your life, when you come to the Bible, that's when you've come to the right place.
The apostle Peter made a remarkable comment to Jesus Christ. In John 6:68, Peter said this to Jesus, He said, "Lord to whom shall we go?" He said, "You have the words of eternal life." You see there is no doubt when we consider God's perspective. He wants us to come to the source, not any old source but the source; the true source. He wants us to explore the practical source for our lives—The Bible.
In fact, not only does He want us to come to it, but He wants us to understand it. Doesn't He? He wants us to really get it. And so for a better life, come to the Word! Because we know it's inspired by God. You might think the Bible, wow, that's too tough to understand. That is too baffling. It's so mysterious that only a few, really super trained people could ever really understand it. But is that true?
Now that's the way it was in the Dark Ages. In the Dark Ages, all the religious leaders said, well you can't understand this Word. Let us explain it to you. In fact there weren't even copies, very many that people could even share. So it was mysterious. It was difficult, because only a few held that knowledge.
But wait a minute. Can only expert theologians, only those who have studied for years and years and years understand the Bible? It's no wonder that millions of people are discouraged from reading the Bible because they come at it from that point of view, but that's not God's perspective. That is not the way He looks at it. Jesus Himself said in Matthew 7:7, He said, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."
You see God can't wait to open your understanding to His Word. His intent is for you to comprehend the Bible. To realize its impact in your everyday life and it's proven. It's a proven thing! You can read it in His Word, it says so. In the book of Luke, it's recorded that Jesus opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Will He do any less for us?
By extension, He's promising us the exact same thing. And so we can understand! There is a way that we can get more benefit from the Bible. We can get in depth. In fact that's what we'd like to do. It can be difficult to put all the pieces together. It can be a challenge. And we'd like to help.
We have a free booklet and it's called How to Understand the Bible . You can use this booklet as a study aid to help as you get a handle on what the Bible is all about, and why it's so important, so vital for your life.
So request your free copy today. Go online to BeyondToday.tv to download, to read or order your hard copy of How to Understand the Bible . You can call us free! Call: 1-888-886-8632. That's 1-888-886-8632. Or go online to BeyondToday.tv . As always, all of our publications are free of charge provided as an educational service.
So don't wait! The Bible has the answers to the big questions of life. And we'd like to help you study and discover the deep truths of God. It will certainly change your life for the better. Don't you have a deeper desire to understand the Word? Would you like to discover the power of the Word of God for your life? Now's the time to begin! So request your booklet. Call toll free: 1-888-886-8632 or go online to BeyondToday.tv .
I'd also like to invite you to something special. Beyond Today and the United Church of God are conducting unique free Bible seminars called the Kingdom of God Bible Seminars. They're being held across the United States, Canada and around the globe. Here's your opportunity to learn more about the return of Jesus Christ and what it means.
You won't want to miss one of these free seminars so that you can understand the significance of the most important aspect of what Jesus Christ taught—the Kingdom of God! And so you'll learn what most people and even what most churches don't comprehend: that's the original message of Jesus Christ and the difference that it can make for you right now!
So go online to BeyondToday.tv and look for the "Kingdom of God Bible Seminars " link and find a seminar near you and register to attend.
Well, let me ask you a question: Should a good book be understood? I think we'd have to say, yes! Well at least if it's intended for me. So if we talk about an anatomy book, I might not understand it. But a medical student should, a doctor should understand that. You know a legal brief; an attorney should understand those things, even though I might not. You know archeology, I don't get that. But, an archeologist would. So if the books intended for you, it should be understood. And so what about the Bible?
You should be able to understand it because it's intended for you! Now God didn't give His Word in some technical, difficult language that would be beyond our grasp to understand. He didn't do that! In fact if you were to look up the New Testament, the original language was written in Koine Greek. You know what kind of Greek that is? I'd say that's my kind of Greek; the Greek for everyday ordinary citizens in the Roman Empire. They all could understand.
Now it could have been written differently! It could have been written in the classic Greek style. It could have been written in the style of the statesmen and the orators or even the philosophers. But God didn't do it that way. He wrote it in the common, everyday language. You see, otherwise that'd be just for the experts. But it's not! It's for everyone! And if we think about the people that Jesus Christ used, the people that were with Him, it was the same then. What were the men like that He chose for His disciples?
Well think about it for a second. There was a tax collector, and most of the other guys were fishermen. Not exactly the most scholarly group, would you think? In fact in the New Testament Church, Acts 4:13, it tells us, "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men," it says, "they marveled." They marveled at that!
You see the way the Word of God is to be understood by ordinary people like us. That's what God intended it for and it will have a powerful impact, a marvelous impact on everyday life, on our everyday life. So the Bible it's been said is an uncommon book, but it's written in a common language for common people, with common problems because it has a common solution. It has the answers—the answers to life, the answers for our problems. Help for us! It talks about salvation, eternal life. This is an exceptional book that was written for you!
So what an amazing thing! It's written for us. So what's your approach to the Bible? Once we think about God's approach to the Bible, what's your approach? I thought about this the other day. I was trying to print a document off my printer and sure enough, paper got jammed in there. Ever happen to you? Papers jammed. Alright I'll just pull it out. So I open the front door. Start pulling out the paper. You know what happened. Rips. Tears up. Now what am I going to do? I can't get my fingers on that. So immediately I thought, I'll get a tweezers. So I run back to medicine cabinet, come down with a tweezers. I start pulling out the little remains of the paper that's sticking out from the rollers in there and what happens? You think that thing came right out? No. Little pieces start breaking off all over the place. So there's that piece... now I'm stuck. Now I'm stuck. I can barely see the white of the paper. Now what am I going to do?
Finally the thought came, maybe I ought to get out the instruction manual. Maybe it will give me some kind of clue to this. And so who made that thing after all? What would be the best directions to get that... Well I get out the manual. I look at it. And sure enough, you know what it says? There's a secret hidden panel on the back. Well it didn't say secret. It just said, there's a panel on the back. If you have a jam, open that up. And sure enough you go around to the back... and there's that panel. There's the rest of the paper. I pull on it and it comes out. I don't know why that made me mad but it did. It was so simple!
But the directions were plain. And I began to think; who's got the best directions for us? You know we pull and tear and rip at our lives and sometimes we just get into a jam. And yet God has the best directions for our life. Doesn't He? He gives us those directions. He tells us the best way to live and the Bible is that instruction book for a better life. It's the manual for a better life. If we follow the directions of God, He says life will be better.
In Proverbs 2:1, He tells us, "My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you," He says, "So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And (you) lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand (and) the fear of the LORD, And find the knowledge of God." You see, we need God's Word. We need His direction. We need His help. And it applies. It applies to our everyday life.
Interesting situation came up in our life a little while ago. Earlier in the day the kids had been playing outside, and playing baseball. They had their little bats out there playing like crazy. Well, the weather turns for the worst—changes, gets dark, starts raining—so everybody piles in the house and we're hanging out inside. Well, finally weather clears. My wife and I go outside to enjoy the sunset, nice clear day finally. And then suddenly we notice, there's a hole in the vinyl siding on the back of our house. And I looked again and there's another hole. And another one! Suddenly, those kids... they were pounding on the siding with the bat! What is wrong with them!? Didn't I teach them better than that? How in the world could they possibly have done that?
Well then, step back for a minute, I realize there's another hole. And another one. And another one…well they can't reach way up there. Well how... Suddenly we realized, there had been a hail storm and our house had been damaged by the hail! And so that's the challenge. When I saw that, I immediately jumped to the conclusion that it had to be those kids.
But if I had only thought of the Word of God... If I were to step back... John 7:24, it tells us practically, don't judge according to appearance. And it was obvious to me those kids did it. But Christ said "judge with righteous judgment." Amplified Version says, "Be honest in your judgment and don't decide at a glance." And that's exactly what I did. I'd already judged them. I had convicted them. I had condemned them before I ever had known the truth. You see, Proverbs tells us. Proverbs 18:13, "He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and (it's a) shame to him."
So how many times in our life do we jump to conclusions? And we don't put this Word into practice? How many times do we place wrong motivation on others? And ignore the clear, practical everyday advice that God gives us? You know, someone's accused! Boy that sounds right! Until like the Proverb says, until his neighbor comes and examines him. Oh there's another side to the story? Absolutely! The Word of God says, don't allow that sort of thinking drive a wedge in your family. Don't allow it to split up your work place. Don't allow it to break up a friendship. Don't jump to those kinds of conclusions. We better be watching out for what conclusions we draw.
There is so much to learn about the Bible. It has so many nuggets of wisdom for us. And we'd like to help you in your studies. I'd like to offer you the Good News magazine. It's called a magazine of understanding. The Good News will help you understand what the Bible teaches about life. About your life! It focuses on marriage, family, what's real success, and why it's so important to develop a relationship with your Creator.
You ready for some good news? Get your free subscription to the Good News magazine. Call: 1-888-886-8632. That's 1-888-886-8632.
And don't forget to visit us on the Web at Beyond Today.tv and order your free subscription. With every order, with every issue, you'll gain a better insight into true biblical teachings.
The Good News also examines world events in the light of the Bible and will help you with your everyday life. So order your free subscription today.
Now one of the most exciting parts, the aspects of being a church pastor, is being a part of someone's life when they begin to read their Bible. When God starts to open a mind to His amazing truth, and you can be a part of that when you see that light bulb come on in that dark room, that's an amazing experience; something that is really a treasure.
Now, not long ago I was talking with someone that had been struggling with the challenges of life. And here's the gist of what they told me. They said, I'm reading my Bible and I realize that God's talking to me! He was showing me just what I needed to do. He said follow His instructions. He said I could avoid the mistakes I had made before and I could start to live a life that's worth living! In fact this person went on to say Proverbs 3 was one that really hit home with me where it says trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, …and He shall direct your paths. Acknowledge Him in all your ways. And so they went on to say, you know, I didn't do that before. I trusted in here a little, over there a little bit. I never allowed Him in all my ways.
Boy, that's powerful. That's the power of the Word. When it comes to improving your life, a better life, whether it's marriage or parenting or business or growing old, all of those things can help when we look at the Word of God. When we start listening to His instruction book, we can have a plan! We can have a plan and it's a better plan.
2 Timothy 2:15 says study to show yourself approved unto God. In other words, be diligent. Be diligent about it. And if we're going to be doing it diligently, it's well in a way it's almost like food. Anybody like to eat food? I bet we do it every day. Just about every day we're eating food. We know! Our bodies need it. If we're going to strong, if we're going to be healthy, we need nourishment. Without food, we start to get tired. We start to get weak. We get run down. We become ineffective.
Is it any different with the Word of God? Just like physical nourishment, we need spiritual sustenance. Studying the Bible, getting out the Word of God gives us that appetite for the truth, the bread that really brings life. Christ said, Matthew 4:4, He said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." So if we don't take in a regular meal of the Word of life, well how are we going to be spiritually strong? How are we going to spiritually survive? How are we going to have the power to change? To grow? To have a better life? We need a steady diet of the Word of God. Not just some junk food that's out there, but the Word of God. Christ Himself said, do not labor for the food which perishes but for the food that endures to everlasting life which the Son of Man will give you (John 6:27). Christ plainly showed we need it! But it also showed, it might take a little bit of effort.
Sometimes not everything is going to be perfectly clear; might be a little bit difficult to understand. So what do you do about it? What do you do about that part? Well imagine this. Imagine you're given the job with tons and tons of sand. And your job is to get that sand ready for the beach. You got to get all the junk out. You got to get out the wire and you got to get out the metal and the broken glass, and you got to get all the litter out of that. But all you're given is a little teaspoon and a hand sifter. And you've got to get these tons... that's it! Fun job, huh? Great. Wonderful. I can't wait to... It's going to be boring. It's going to be tedious. It's going to take forever!
But, then you're told there's a one carat diamond in that pile. Could be worth what 5,000 dollars? Is that going to give you a little bit different... and not just one! But every hour you work at this pile, there's going to be another one carat diamond and another one and you get to keep it! You think your perspective on those giant tons of sand are going to change? You going to have a little bit different viewpoint when you realize, well what's the difference? What would change your perspective on that? Well it's realizing there's great value inside. And that's the way it is with the Bible. When we're careful to sift through the Word of God, we realize there is a spiritual fortune in the pages of this book.
Psalm 119:162 says, "I rejoice at Your word, As one who finds great treasure." And even if we've studied the Scriptures for years, you can still uncover valuable, precious truths. So when we're faced with those big questions of life: What is the purpose of life? What is life all about? Is there life after death? Why do I struggle to do good? Does God have a plan? The answers? They're in this book and we can treasure it. Be ready to find those answers as we sift through His Word.
And even the questions that aren't quite that big. God gives us practical advice as well. What should I look for in a mate? How can I have a successful marriage? How can I become a better person? You see the answers to these questions and so many more are right there in the pages of your Bible.
Now if you don't know where to start... you know where a great place to start is? In the book of Proverbs. The book of Proverbs is called a book of wisdom. And it gives tidbits of practical help. In fact there's 31 chapters in Proverbs. That matches perfectly with the days of the month. So if you would commit to read one chapter of Proverbs a day, you'll find tremendous spiritual truth there. Words of wisdom that can change your life!
And God has something else in store as we sift through His Word. Revelation 1:3 says, "Blessed is He who reads and those who hear the Words of this prophecy, and keep those things that are written in it; for the time is near." Read it. Listen to God and do it. So be ready to be inspired. Be ready to listen. Be ready to gain better instruction and gain better understanding. Because it's the most powerful and relevant book you'll ever study, the Bible.
Remember our free offers today. How to understand the Bible is a wonderful study aid designed to help you as you search for answers in the Word of God. Here's how to order your free booklet. You can read it online at BeyondToday.tv . You can download it, request your own hard copy or you can call us toll free: 1-888-886-8632 to request both of the publications today.
Now don't forget the United Church of God is holding free Bible seminars in cities across the United States and around the world. Why should you come? Because we'll focus on the good news that Jesus Himself taught about the Kingdom of God. Go to BeyondToday.tv and look for the "Kingdom of God Bible Seminars" link to register to attend these live seminars and they're absolutely free.
So you won't want to miss them because the Kingdom of God is the focal point, the focal message that Jesus Himself brought. They're too important to miss. So make sure you register to attend at BeyondToday.tv and click on the "Kingdom of God Bible Seminars" link.
Well you know what our world is like today. It's fast paced. It's ever changing and packed with stress. But there's a place you can go for solace. A place you can go for comfort. A place that you can go for encouragement—God's Word. It's there for you.
Study the Bible. Follow God's instruction manual and hold on to the Word of life. Because those questions, those questions that seem unanswerable, they can be answered. Those problems that seem insurmountable, they can be overcome. The great mysteries of life can be unlocked and opened to you and it can all happen through the power of the Word.
Remember our free offers and be sure to tell your family and friends all about us.
Tune in again next week, at this same time, for another edition of Beyond Today. And join us in praying, "Thy Kingdom come." For Beyond Today, I'm Steve Myers.