Matthew 7:1 “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.
Non-Christians love this one.  I suspect you have heard it or maybe used it before. The majority of people have mistranslated this verse.  It does not say to NOT judge.  Please stick with me and let me explain.
To understand and apply this verse to everyday life, you must also read the next verse.  Matthew 7: 2 For with the judgment you make, you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.  If you want to apply this scripture, you must be willing to apply the same standards to your life as you are holding someone else.  To put it in modern terms: don’t ever be guilty of telling someone: Do as I say, not as I do.  If my child drinks too much, I will talk to them.  If they throw up the don’t judge line: that is fine.  My answer: No, the Bible says I should be ready to be judged by God for the same thing I am judging you.  I don’t drink, so yes, I am willing to be held to the same standard.  Then, discuss the addiction with the person you love in love, grace, and patience.
Isaiah 43:18-19 - Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

So how do I apply this idea of “becoming new” in Christ?  I love the answer given by C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity.  He said, “Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you into something different from what it was before…”
Once you accept Jesus into your life, your choices should change from ones that focus on you and your wants to ones that reflect the right choices in Christ and for others.  Does my choice harm someone? Does my choice show that I care about this person or just about myself? Is this the choice I would want someone to make if it was about me?  Did I choose to use vulgar language or words of patience?  How did I approach today’s problems, questions, and people I met today?  Was I displaying the love of Christ, or did I make the same choices the old me use to make?  There are many other questions you could add to these.  They are just starter questions to help you better understand how we begin being made new in Christ.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Every day there are a million stressors that come into our lives.  There is anxiety a plenty.  There are plenty of problems to deal with.  But when you study the Bible, it shifts your focus from this world to Christ.  In Christ, we find the peace and joy that this world tries so hard to rob us of.
What do you feel when you read this verse? I also suggest Romans 8:18,  2 Corinthians 4:16-18, and Ephesians 3:17-19.
IMPROVING YOUR BIBLE STUDY: To apply the Bible to your everyday life, you have to: 1. Want to apply it to your life, 2. Study the Bible. By this I mean using other sources to inform how you interpret the Bible. All of us need more than just our voice when it comes to understanding the word of God. It will help you apply the Word to your life and you will get someone else’s opinion on what a verse means.  But be careful there are some pretty far out-there commentaries on the web.  
If you are looking for a commentary, I suggest The Matthew Henry Commentary.  The writer is conservative.  It comes in a one-volume or a 5 volume or you can use it for free online at I prefer the original version.  It has a green book jacket.
Until tomorrow: Keep studying and applying the Bible to your life. I promise you the ultimate reward is out of this world.
John 13:16 Very, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 
Let’s start today by discussing what is happening before Jesus tells His disciples today’s verse.   Jesus had just washed the disciple’s feet.  That was the job of the house servant.  It was the worse job someone could think of having to do.  Think about a foot walking in dust all day, 100 degrees, and no foot powder.  It was a dirty job that no one wanted to do. Right after washing their feet, Jesus told them that as the Master and Teacher, he was no better than the servant who usually washed the feet of the master and his guest. If a servant could wash feet, then so could He.  He went so far as to say there is no difference between the servant and the one they serve. Please hear this; Your job does NOT give or take away your value as a child created by God.  Your job is what you do, not who you are.  If you’re a Dr., God bless you. We need you.  If you pick up dead animals off the roadside for the city, God bless you. We need you.  Not that it is a horrible job, but I have a LOW gag reflex. I would get fired after only a day or two.  NO job determines someone’s worth. Jesus said you were worth His life.  You are worthy.  Not because you wear a suit and tie to work, an apron, or a robe on Sunday morning.  You are worthy because Jesus died for you.    
Hebrews 3:15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.
 Do you procrastinate?  I am HORRIBLE about procrastination.  I’ll do it tomorrow.  I will have time to do that later; it is not that important now.  Then what happens?  My favorite is when Sherry looks at me with that look, yeah men, you know the look, and asks if I have done something, knowing I have not done it.  IF you knew I had not done it, then WHY did you ask me?  
So what does procrastination have to do with Hebrews 3:15?  I’m glad you ask.  How often have you said: I will start reading my Bible tomorrow?  I need to get back in church. I know I need to go to Bible study, but I am so busy now.  Once things slow down, I will be back.  The biggest problem with all of these reasons to procrastinate is that they open a door for Satan to enter your life.  Paul says IF you hear His (Jesus) voice, do not harden your hearts.  Why not? Paul answers this question in the last half of vs. 13.  “so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Please take time to read 13-15 together.  Don’t procrastinate! Go right now, open a search window, type in and read it.  The longer you procrastinate getting closer to God, getting back into His great word, and following Him, the more room you leave in your life for Satan to harden your soul by the deceitfulness of sin.  The more time you allow your family to be away from God the more opportunities you give Satan, evil, to enter their world and harden their hearts.  The longer you procrastinate returning to a life dedicated to God and studying His Word, the more doors you open for this world, evil, and Satan to enter.  Do not procrastinate.  The time is now.  Return to the Lord and let Him protect you and your family from the world hardening your hearts to God.  Today, IF you hear His voice, then God knows your heart is not hardened and this is the time for you, your family, and those you know to return to God.  
Mark 2:27 Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath;
What is Jesus saying here?  Can I mow my yard on Sunday?  Can I play golf on Sunday?  Can I trim bushes and clean out the garage?  Before you answer those, let me ask you I last question.  Do you shop, buy gas, eat out, or cook at home on Sunday?  I suspect all of us answered yes to that one.  So, what does all this have to do with Mark 2:27?  First, I have no idea what day God calls the Sabbath if we are talking about the calendar.  There is a long discussion that could follow about the Roman Calendar moving Sunday from the 7th to the 1st day.  However, that is not what this is about. 
We seem to either go way overboard with this one or ignore it.  Sabbath day, the day God RESTED.   We were not made for it.  We were not made to be a slave to a certain day and tied down by a bunch of laws, that is Old Testament.  No one day is holier than the other.  The Sabbath, the day of REST, was made for us.  God knew His creation.  God knows what we need.  He knew/knows we need time away from labor and work to rest and recover.  To spend time with Him and our family together.  To forget everything else for one day and rest in the songs and the word of the Lord with our family.  Then afterward enjoying the day together, on the lake, golf course, mowing, gardening, or working in your flowers.  Let me plant a seed in your mind if one day is not holier than the other then church can be on a day other than Sunday.   
Matthew 22:39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matthew 22 was part of my reading for last night. As I read this verse, an interesting thought crossed my mind.  Jesus is assuming that people love themselves.  I suspect, I Know there are a lot of people in this world who do not love themselves. Personally, it breaks my heart.  But the reality is that you can’t love someone else until you first love yourself.  That means accepting yourself for who you are right now.  Don’t wait until you lose those 30 lbs and then say you will do it.  Don’t wait until you kick that addiction, lifestyle, or sexual habit.  Don’t wait until your life is perfect.  If you do, you will never love yourself.  Loving yourself means looking in the mirror, and being honest about who you are.  I am not talking about what you do, but who you are, and knowing that you are worth loving.  I am not talking about your addiction, lifestyle, bad habits, or other choices.  Let’s deal with that tomorrow. 
How do I know you are worth loving and being loved?
 “Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness...”   You are made in the image of God. Since God cannot hate Himself and He is love, and you are made in His image, God loves you.
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you;” It takes 9 months for a baby to develop in the womb; you don’t put that much time into someone unless you care about them. 
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. God created you for good, to love yourself and others.  You just strayed a little off the path.  His path leads to love and life.
Everyone has their issues, addictions, and bad habits, I have my fair share of them.  But Christ knew that, and we are told in Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 
Tomorrow: How to apply Matthew 22:38.
Deuteronomy 6: 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7 Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
The last two posts have been from Matthew 22:37-39 Love God and love one another.  Today is the Old Testament version reflection of those commandments.  To apply these verses and the command to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, you need to read verses 4-8.  What does it mean to love God with all your heart?  Vs. 6 says to keep the word of God in your heart. What does that mean? Vs. 7: Tell them to your children, talk about them in your home, at work, and with friends.  Let them be the first thing you read in the morning and the last thing you see at night.  Vs. 8 breaks it down for us: everything you do with your hands, think about, write, or share with others, make sure it shows the love of God in you.  How is it possible to love God with all your heart?  We learn the most when we share something often, study to teach, and teach the Word. Share the word of God with your children; then they will keep the word of God in their hearts.  Share the word of God with your friends. When they hear it often, it will remain in their hearts.  Teach the word of God in church, Sunday School, or a small group.  As you study, you help cement the word of God in you.  As you teach, you help those listening to keep the word of God in their heart.  God is not saying all you can do is read the Bible.  He wants you to take care of your family. God wants you to have friends.  God wants you in His house as part of the body of Christ. But He is saying: when you do it, teach it, live it, share it, and learn the word of God; you are loving the Lord your God with all your heart. 
Matthew 13:19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path.
What do you do when you get frustrated with something? You know what I mean the “easy to assemble” child’s toy that you want to throw in the trash or the box that says, “some assembly required” and you open the box to find 1,000 pieces.  How many times have you opened something up that you have been waiting on or wanted, and it is broken and will not work? You have been waiting for your beautiful new dress, shoes, or shirt. Finally, it is here! You open it up and it is the wrong size, color, or item. Are you getting a knot in your throat? Hold on to that feeling for just a moment.  When someone hears the word of God but doesn’t understand it or it doesn’t make sense, they keep reading it and no matter how hard they try, it doesn’t make sense, they/you get just as frustrated and irritated.  Maybe you have even stopped reading your Bible because you don’t understand it and your tired of trying.  This is one of the dangers of trying to study the Bible by yourself without a guide, leader, teacher, pastor, or even a friend.  When you go to the Word of God with what you think you know and come upon something that makes no sense or seems like nonsense, you end up frustrated because you are human. All of us get frustrated when something doesn’t work or make sense. Next, you get mad and irritated, and then you give up, you abandon the word of God, and the enemy doesn’t have to steal it; you give it away.  You no longer rely on it, trust it or study it.  This is what the writer of Matthew is talking about.  Trying to study the Bible by just reading it can lead to real frustration.  Reading it with a friend, in a Bible study, along with other books, can help lower that frustration, and there is less risk that your anger and frustration will end up stealing the word of God from your heart. If you want to grow in faith, knowledge, and love for God.  If you want to understand God’s word better and ensure it is always in your heart, find a body of believers whom you can study and grow with.  Then when you get frustrated with something in the Bible, instead of walking away and letting the evil one snatch what is already in your heart, you have someplace to go to get help understanding the Word.  Then you can and will move beyond the frustration of not knowing to a place of understanding and peace.  Then you are better equipped to guard God’s word in your heart.
Acts 2:17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Have you ever heard of a “life verse”? Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what it is.  You may have one, you just have never heard it called a life verse. A life verse is a Bible verse that you chose to be your favorite verse or passage in the Bible.  You commit it to memory, you know where it is in the Bible and you often go to it in times of trouble, distress, and even in times of joy.  For me it is Acts 2:17. I love this verse because it is so inclusive.  Sons and daughters will prophesy, young men, shall see and old men shall dream dreams.  In other words, God can and will use anyone, everyone, anywhere, everywhere He so chooses.  You are never too young to be used by God.  You are never too old to be used by God.  God is not limited by age, young or old, what you may have or have not done, or where you live.  The only thing that limits whom God can and will use is you.  God can use young men, young women, older men, and older women.  All that is required is they must be willing to let God use them and show them His way in their life.
I hope God will use me every day.  I pray God will use me every day.  I hope I stand ready to be used every day. This verse gives me the hope that no matter how much older I may get, God can and will use me.   What about you?  What is your life verse?  What do you repeat to yourself when you are having a bad day to get through all the confusion and craziness? Maybe it is Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Maybe you like Psalms 118:24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Whatever your verse may be.  All of us need that verse that we repeat on a hard day that reminds us just how much God loves us and how blessed we are.
Romans 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
It is safe to say that most people do not greet each other with a kiss today.  So how do we apply this to modern life?  We must remember when reading the Bible that the customs and culture were vastly different.  Often, we need to look at the meaning of what is “being said” more than the “words used”.  In the early church, it was considered a warm, friendly greeting to greet a brother or sister in Christ with a holy kiss, a kiss on the cheek.  It was a way to show love, sincerity, and care for the person.
A modern application of Romans 16:16 would be to greet people with a firm handshake.  Nothing is worse than going to shake someone’s hand, and they hand you a limp noodle.  Have you ever gone to shake someone’s hand and you did all the shanking?  The wet noodle, lifeless hand, and fake hug do not feel sincere or warm. Therefore, they are not friendly, Christian greetings.  When meeting someone, be genuine in your greeting.  If you hug, then hug them.  Do not bear hug them; it hurts, and it is irritating.  However, put a little care and warmth into it.  If you shake hands, give them a firm handshake.  Do not try and break their hand.  That is as bad or worse than the wet noodle.
When meeting someone, you get one chance to make a good 1st impression.  Wet noodles, bear hugs, and broken hands do not make people feel loved, cared about or that you are sincere in your welcome.  A firm handshake and a heartfelt hug tells the person you are meeting the type of person you are before you even say a single word.  
1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
There are some verses that you look at and think: ok, that's just crazy.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 is one of those.  What do you mean: Give things in ALL circumstances?  Bubba, do you have ANY idea how dire my circumstances are?  Do you have ANY idea what is going on in my life?  Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I know Paul wrote this in prison, but whoop.  Try and be stuck in my marriage, family, pain, grief, horrible run of luck, failing health, depression, or a million other things that seem to happen to us all too often.  Guess what? Your right.  It is almost impossible to give thanks for WHAT is going on when your life is falling apart.  
So how do we apply this teaching to our everyday life?
Notice it doesn't say to give thanks for WHAT is going on.  It says to give thanks IN all things.  There is a difference.
What are you giving thanks for? I'm glad you ask. Because you are not walking the hard path alone.  Jesus is with you. When you pray without ceasing you can feel the Holy Spirit bringing comfort to your soul and helping calm you down.  Give thanks knowing you are important to Jesus.  He died for Y O U!  He loves you!
An exercise in JOY:  Look up these scriptures:
Romans 15:13, Hebrews 12:1-2, James 1:2-3, Proverbs 10:28, Ecclesiastes 9:7, Psalm 30:5 (a personal favorite), Psalm 16:11, Romans 5:1-2, Matthew 25:21, and Romans 14:17.  I hope you are starting to smile by now and can feel you are not alone.  Remember what I said yesterday: You are worthy, and you are not alone.  Feel free to text your hurt and pain to our prayer request line, and I will start praying with you. (text only, please, this is not an active phone line) Then you will know you are not alone because I am praying right along with you. I am the only person who sees what comes in on the prayer line, so your request IS confidential.  1-256-716-8886
James 1: 19 You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; …
So, what is slow to speak?  It is not talking about talking slower but listening and then slowing down before you talk.  This is a verse I am so guilty of ignoring for too many years.  For so long, I listened to people talk, not to hear what they had to say, but to work out my answer.  I didn’t listen to most of what they said because I was focused on my answer.  Then, before they even finished, I would jump in with my answer, usually wrong because I didn’t hear the whole question.  While they were speaking, I was thinking of my own story to tell or how I had done something similar, but usually better.  Because I was too quick to speak, people felt I never listened to them.  They never felt heard.  They didn’t want to tell me their stories because they knew I would have one like it and even better.  When you listen, don’t speak too quickly, and hear what people say, important things happen.  
You will be slower to anger because you heard what the person said rather than ignoring them and then saying something wrong or out of place.  You will hear their side of the situation and better understand them.  That also leads to fewer misunderstandings.  When someone does say something, you disagree with: stop thinking about your response or argument, stop letting the pot boil.  Listen, don’t speak; you might discover you misunderstood what they said.  Maybe you heard them right, but now you know why they believe something.  Understanding comes from listening and not talking all the time.  It is also a significant first step to eliminating anger toward each other.  
2 Peter 3:9The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.
Revelation 6: 11 They were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number would be complete both of their fellow servants and of their brothers and sisters, who were soon to be killed as they themselves had been killed.

Today’s application is more to those who are saved and washed in the blood of Jesus. 
My grandmother used to say: “If Christ doesn’t come back soon, He is going to owe Sodom and Gamora an apology.”   It was a reference to her always saying that surely Jesus is coming back any time now.  Surely things can’t get any worse.  I am sorry to say she tasted death before Jesus came again.  But what is God waiting for?  Why doesn’t He send Jesus to take us out of this mess?  God, have you not seen what is happening down here? 
The two verses above should give us great comfort for all those we know who are not saved.  It should provide us with the comfort of knowing God is faithful to His word.  Both of them say basically the same thing.  God loves us so much that He does not want anyone to perish and be condemned. He knows when everyone who is going to be saved has been saved.  He knows how many martyrs there will be.  Then and only then, will Christ come back.  Jesus is not delaying coming back to punish us.  God has not forgotten us.  God is giving every single person every chance He can to come to the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior.  Each day you wake up and wonder: Why have you not come back Lord Jesus, remember the unsaved and lost have just been given another day to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and be saved from the depths of hell.  If you were lost, wouldn’t you want everyone to wait on you so you can join the angel’s band in heaven? 

Matthew 22: 37 He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment.
On Tuesday we looked at the verse that follows this one.  I chose to do them backwards for a good reason.
Many people who don’t love themselves feel as though they are not worthy of love.  Maybe someone has even told them they are not worth loving.  Maybe they/you are struggling with being adopted, wondering and feeling why you were not wanted.  Maybe you are going through a divorce and feel like someone has rejected you or told you they no longer loved you. Perhaps you are struggling with addiction and have been kicked out of a home, job, or rental situation, and you wonder how you got to this place.  That is exactly why I chose to do this one after verse 38.  Tuesday, I said you must love yourself before you can love others.  But there is something else that must happen.  You must realize, feel, know, and experience that you are loved by God right where you are.  He has no intention of leaving you right where you are, but that is exactly where He will love you and help you begin the journey of perfect love. Look at the people in the Bible that God loved.  Jacob lied and deceived. Joseph was a prisoner for several years of his life. David stole a man’s wife, got her pregnant and then, to cover his tracks, had her husband killed.  Elijah was so depressed one day that he begged God to kill him right then and there.  Abram had a son with a handmaiden even though God told him his son’s mother would be Sarah.  Look at the New Testament.  Matthew was an IRS agent; Paul was a murderer; today we would have called him a serial murderer.  Just because the Temple said he could kill, that did not override the 6th commandment, Thou shalt NOT kill.  Peter denied Christ.  The disciples ran away when Jesus was arrested.  NEED I go on?  I suspect you are NOT as bad as many of these men and there were some interesting women.  A prostitute, a demon-possessed woman, a woman who got pregnant by her Father in Law after she tricked him.  Many of the church houses of the N.T. started in a woman’s house.  Yet God loved and used them all.  Why? Because God’s love is not based on whether you have or have not done something to be worthy of His love.  He loves you because He created you.  He loves you because YOU ARE WORTHY.  He loves you right where you are.  Once you understand and accept that, you will find it is easier to look in the mirror and say: I love me, I am loved, I am wanted because God will always love me.  Once you experience that, then you will want to love everyone else.   
Matthew 11: 16, “But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, 17 ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.
To understand this short parable, you need to read the verses after the parable.  Jesus tells about how the people rejected John because he did not eat and drink.  They rejected Jesus because He did eat and drink.
We see in this short parable that no matter what the first children did, they could not get the other children to respond and play with them.  That is why this parable is sometimes called: the parable of the brats.  There are some people whom, no matter what you do, you cannot please them. You have not “done” enough. In the ministry we call these “high maintenance” members.  No pastor wants a high-maintenance member. Nothing you do is ever good enough.  You can never do as much as they think you should do. You get to where you just quit trying and move on to help someone else. I suspect you know someone just like this.  Worse, maybe you are just like this.  Do you like being around someone who is never satisfied? Do you like being around a brat? No, then don’t be one. How do you quit acting like a brat?  First: Proclaim Jesus as your Savior and get a little Jesus in your heart. Then be grateful for all you have and what others have done for you. If you look around, you can always find more stuff you want or don’t have.  But then you are going to spend all your time wanting something else.  That makes you miserable and then you will make others miserable.  Misery may like company, but company never likes misery.  No one wants to be around a complainer. Think the good Lord for what you do have.  I don’t care how little you have here on earth.  Be thankful.  If you have Jesus as your Savior, you will one day stand in heaven and have treasures beyond your imagination.  But be careful; if you are a brat here, you may never know the glories of heaven.
Have you ever lost your keys?  But even when they are lost, the keys still belong to you? Just because you lost something does not mean it stops belonging to you.  It is still yours; you just can’t find it.
That is very similar to the story in today’s verse to apply to your life.  There was a woman who lost a coin. She swept the house and looked everywhere for it. Then when she found it, she told others, and all of them rejoiced in her finding the coin. (Luke 15:8-10) The coin was always hers.  Just because it was lost did not mean it no longer belonged to her.  It was always hers.  She knew that, and she kept looking for it. 
The same applies to the other two parables in Luke 15.  Just because the sheep was lost did not mean it no longer belonged to the shepherd.  Just because the son was a jerk and left the dad to waste all the money did not stop the son from belonging to the father.  The story says the father was watching for his son to come home. These stories remind us that we always belong to the Father, God.  Even when we are lost, unsure about things, maybe even in denial of Him, as long as we have breath, we still belong to Him.  He created us.  He gave us life.  He knew us while we were still in our mother’s womb.  We are His, even when lost.  When we are lost, He misses us.  He worries about us.  He sent His only Son to find us and save us. It doesn’t matter how long you have been away from the church or how bad you think you have been.  You still belong to the Father.  Just because you feel you are lost does not mean He has given up on you or disowned you.  Like the father in the prodigal son story (Luke 15:11-24), God is looking for you to be found, and He rejoices when any of His lost children are found. 
Christians, it is a message to us as well.  We are the woman seeking, the shepherd looking, the father watching.  God calls us to find the lost and help them find their way home.  It does not matter where they are right now.  It does not matter what they have done in the past. It does not matter if, like the sheep, they are to blame for getting lost.  None of that matters to the Father.  All that matters is that He has sent His children out to seek and find the lost and rejoice over them and with them when they come home.
John 5:39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
Today’s verse can be difficult to apply to daily life. Aren’t we told to search the scriptures looking for truths about Jesus and our lives?  But what if all we are doing is reading and searching the scriptures? What happens? Too often: nothing happens.  Today’s verse is about more than searching scripture.  Jesus is telling us to go beyond what the pastor teaches or the Sunday school teacher tells us.  Go beyond just sitting down and reading and studying. We must experience Jesus in scripture to truly understand scripture.
The Priest spent their time studying, searching, and researching the scriptures, but they never experienced them.  Is the same true for us?  We read books, study theologians, and research words in the original language, yet we still don’t know Jesus.  Why?  Because something is missing.  John Wesley decided he was not going to church on the evening of May 24, 1738.  But something told him he had to be there. That evening Wesley’s intellectual knowledge OF Jesus became a personal experience WITH Jesus.  That night Wesley said his heart was “strangely warmed.”  That night he had an experience WITH Jesus.  Before May 24, 1738, Wesley, like the priest, spent much of his time studying and researching the word. However, he never read The Word looking for an experience with the Word. He never experienced the way the Word flows on the page, the emotions the Word evokes, or letting the Word touch his heart.  Like the priest, Wesley went to the scriptures LOOKING for something rather than FEELING love, grace, and mercy. But unlike Wesley, the priest missed the warming of their hearts because they never experienced the Word’s love, grace, and mercy.  If you genuinely want to know eternal life, if you’re going to experience Jesus rather than just reading about Him, if you want your heart to be strangely warmed, then go to the scriptures. Go with no agenda, don’t force something or make them say what you want. Read the Word to feel something.  Just sit, read and experience the emotions the Word stirs inside you.  The Psalmist says it best: “Be still, and know that I am God! (Psalm 46:10)