Standing in a Storm

Matthew 7: 24 – 27

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.”

Jesus spoke these words. He says that anyone who hears his words and acts on them is like a wise man. The rain, floods and wind represent the storms of life. Those people who hear and act on Jesus’ words will be able to withstand the storms of life. Those who do not listen to and act on Jesus’ words get battered and destroyed by every storm that blows. Do you want to be able to stand in the roughest of times? Then you must commit yourself to the Word of God. God’s wisdom is contained in these pages and through your relationship with him, he reveals the deep truths contained therein. Is there anyone foolish enough to say that he/she does not want God’s wisdom? There probably is though it is very difficult to understand. Obviously, he is without wisdom if he would say such a foolish thing. Therefore, since most of us do want the wisdom of God, let us dedicate ourselves to reading his word. This need not be tiresome. Get a version that is more readable than the King James if it helps you. Go to any Christian store and read the same passage in several different translations. There are plenty out there these days that are not written in Elizabethan English. There is also the One Year Bible if you are ready to commit to reading the entire Bible. It also comes in a couple of translations. Do yourself a favor; start reading a little each day and let the Lord of Hosts bring life and wisdom to you.

Story Time

Proverb 4: 1

My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 

I wish to share a little trade secret with you today. We all know we should read the Bible but we also all fail to read it as much as we should. Sometimes it is hard to get out of it what you need. Well, here is the secret. Read it like it is a personal letter from Jesus to you, especially the New Testament. Insert your name in the text. Stop and talk aloud to Jesus about it. Consider it all a letter just to you. When you make it personal instead of a homework assignment it takes on much more meaning.

When reading the Old Testament, look for the story. Imagine yourself as a Hollywood producer looking for the next great epic film series. The Old Testament really is awesome but you have to be prepared to see it for its glory. 

Also, I know we are wedded to our King James Bibles and you don’t have to throw it out but get a modern version too. Unless you are an Elizabethan scholar you will get much more out of a modern language version. I use the New American Standard Bible for its authenticity but I often give NIV Bibles as gifts because although they are not quite as accurate as the NASB they are even easier to read. And don’t minimize the paraphrase versions either. I still pull down my Living Bible I received in Junior High to read really convoluted passages so that I can get the general meaning. Then I can switch back to more literal translations in order to hone in on the exact thoughts conveyed.

I want you to read the Bible because it is good for you, it is life, health and well-being. I don’t want to make it a bore and I certainly do not want you to put yourself under condemnation when you don’t read it as much as you could. However, if I can give you only one gift and then you must travel the rest of your journey without me, I would give you the Word. I know it will keep you. if your read Proverbs 3, 4 & 5 you will understand how important God thinks His Word is to your life. Just remember, make it fun, make it personal. Jesus is talking to you specifically. I pray for each of you right now in the name of Jesus that God will give you a love of the Bible and a deep longing for it. Amen.

The Symbol of the Word

Deuteronomy 6: 6 – 8

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

God places a high value on His words. God’s words are the difference between life and death both spiritually and physically. Jesus said, “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6: 63). We see from these verses that the words of God are to occupy a preeminent space in our life. 

The first thing that God tells us this valuable asset is to be installed in our hearts. I have been following the teaching of Dr. James B. Richards. He has a breakthrough teaching, program actually, which is called Heart Physics. I strongly recommend Dr. Richards’ teachings generally but the Heart Physics specifically. The bottom line is that we can, and should, connect with God in our hearts. Moreover, this “religion” which we call Christianity is in reality not a religion at all but rather a relationship with the creator of the universe and our beloved Father. In fact, the purpose of Jesus’ ministry in the earth was to restore us in fellowship with the Father. It takes place, though, in the heart and Jesus is the Word, so it is logical that The Word must be incorporated and integrated in the fabric of our hearts. 

Not only is the Word supposed to be close to our hearts but we are supposed to share God’s Word with our children. We are not called to teach religion. God says to teach and share His Word. We should fellowship over His Word. One of the reasons we do so is because there is always blessing in the Word. Even when you go out to dinner with friends, if your heart, conversation and fellowship are over the Word you will find that blessing always follows.

Lastly, if we representatively have the Word of God on our hands and our foreheads then we constantly represent the Word. If on our hands, then the Word is in everything we do; if on our foreheads, then the Word is what people see where ever we go. So, meditate on this passage today and determine how the Word can infiltrate every area of your life.

Look for Dr. Jim Richards’ programs at