WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 23, 2022
TOPIC: BEYOND THE EXCITEMENT ABOUT NEW TEACHINGS
BY T. O. BANSO
“For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21 New King James Version).
Whereas as Christians we should continue to learn new things in the Word of God, what profits us is the understanding of the truth we receive and the knowledge of it we apply.
The church must not become a place where people are just excited about receiving the newest revelations, while they’ve failed to act upon or profit from the previous revelations received. It does seem that some Christians are suffering from an overload of revelations, which probably, they don’t understand and, therefore, can’t act upon or understand but fails to act on.
It is not the hearers of the Word of God that will be blessed, but the doers. James 1:22-25 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (New King James Version). Are you a hearer only or a doer?
The Bible says something about the people of Athens and the foreigners there. “For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21 New King James Version). The New International Version says it like this: “(All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)”
When Paul got to Athens, his listeners took him to the high council of the city or Areopagus and asked him to tell them more about his new teaching since they were always excited about hearing new things. “May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak? For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean” (Acts 17:19-20 New King James Version). That’s religion.
The Athenians, showing how religious they were, had an inscription on one of their altars, “To an Unknown God” (verse 23). It is not any kind of knowledge or revelation that you need, but the knowledge or revelation of the truth of God’s Word. And when you know (understand) the truth, the truth will make you free (John 8:32).
When the Athenians heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, and some said they would hear more later; but his preaching was not a waste, as some became Christians (Acts 17:32-34). The church must be careful not to become like the Athenians and the foreigners there who just loved hearing some new things, new revelations.
Whether at our conventions, special programmes, or regular church services/programmes we should go beyond the excitement about new teachings and seek understanding. We should also know that the Word of God or revelations that we don’t act upon won’t profit us.
It is not the volume of teachings you have that is important, but correct and sound teachings that you understood and acted upon. Continue to learn new teachings, not from false teachers, but more importantly, seek to understand the truth fully. Don’t be like the gullible women loaded down with sins and led away by various lusts. The Bible says they were forever following new teachings, but they were never able to understand or understand fully the truth (2 Timothy 3:7). These women were learning from the false teachers.
Speaking to his disciples, Jesus said it had been given to them to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who were outside, all things came in parables, so that seeing they might see and not perceive and hearing they might hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins should be forgiven them (Mark 13:14). Luke 8:10 and Acts 28:26 say a similar thing.
You need to understand the Word of God and act upon it, not only go looking for new teachings. When told to ask for one thing from the LORD, Solomon asked for an understanding heart to judge His people (1 Kings 3:9). You also need an understanding heart. Jesus rebuked His disciples for lack of understanding (Matthew 15:16). You must understand the Word of God, not just hear it (Matthew 13:19).
Paul prayed for the Ephesian church that the eyes of their understanding would be enlightened (Ephesians 1:18). He also prayed for the Colossians that they might be filled with the knowledge of the will of God in all wisdom and spiritual understanding (Colossians 1:9). In addition, He prayed for Timothy that the Lord might give him understanding in all things (2 Timothy 2:7). You need to pray for understanding.
What to do
1. Keep away from false teachers and their messages. Don’t learn from them. Learn from only those who preach or teach the truth. 2 Peter 2:1 says, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction” (New King James Version). “
2. Yield yourself to the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit. He will guide you into all truth (John 16:13).
3. Cultivate the right attitude to the Word of God: meditate on and obey the Word. (Joshua 1:8; John 14:15; 1 Samuel 15:22; Isaiah 1:19). Don’t be driven only by curiosity. Come with a heart to understand and obey the truth (James 1:23-25).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall not be only excited about new teachings or revelations but be a doer of the Word of God in Jesus’ name. Holy Spirit, let the eyes of my understanding be enlightened so that I may understand fully the Word of God. I pray that the church of Jesus will not be full of curiosity seekers but true disciples of Jesus. Those who are dull of hearing will receive understanding, learn quickly, and obey the Word in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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