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My ways are not your ways

"My ways are not your ways"

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Reading the Bible

Can you imagine playing Kasparov at chess? I think he'd wipe the floor with me! Or can you imagine a six year old child debating Physics with Einstein?

Or could your own child, at the age of four, understand the skills and intricacies of what you do at school or college or work? Probably not, because what you do is so much more complex than a young child's, and they just don't have the vocabulary.

Could you begin to explain it? Perhaps a little; but there are limits to what they can understand at so young an age. You would certainly have to explain in very simple language, and that might give them a glimpse of what you do.

In the same way, God is far more complex than we are, and we cannot understand him fully. If we read the book of the Isaiah in the Bible, we find these words in chapter 55, verses 8 and 9, spoken through Isaiah, who was a prophet:

"My thoughts are completely different from yours," says the Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."

This means that we can only glimpse a portion of what God is doing in our lives and in the lives of others. There is an inevitable gap in understanding.

However, God provides a means to bridge that gap in two ways:

  1. He has given us the Bible, which we sometimes refer to as "the word of God". We believe that the books of the bible have been given to mankind as a sort of Handbook or Manual. It contains answers to many questions, and the beginnings of many understandings. And the Bible stands on the assumption that God speaks and people can hear him. And some special people were chosen to write down what God has revealed. And some people can hear God today, and they reveal what God chooses to reveal through them.

  2. Just as the Bible was written in the light of the understanding given by the Holy Spirit, so we need to read it in the same light. And that requires faith. If you will believe and trust in Jesus Christ, then pray and ask God to reveal the meaning of the "scriptures" (that is, the writings in the Bible) through the understanding of his Holy Spirit.

These revelations through the scriptures eventually become part of us, and help to change us into the sort of person that God wants us to become, deep down inside where it counts. And only God can do this.

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"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."

- from the Bible, book of John, chapter 3, verse 16.

"Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
- Colossians 3:17 (NIV).

May God bless your reading of these pages. Philip Tory