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"SNIPPETS" OF SCRIPTURE!

A snippet, according to the Dictionary is "a bit, a small piece or a morsel" of something!

I particularly like that word "morsel." The Bible is so sweet, so spiritually nourishing anyway!

We pray these little verses scattered through all of Holy Writ will both inform you and inspired you to more faithfully serve our dear Lord!

These little "seed thoughts" first appeared on the Home Page of our Bible Study Website. I just thought they were too helpful to erase forever.

--- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Published May 20, 2007:

It's a short prayer!

Yet it's an effective prayer.

It was prayed when Peter was walking on the water, well, when he was beginning to sink really!

"But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" Matthew 14:30-31

He cried; "Lord, save me!"

That's the prayer!

Three words!

"Lord, save me."

"Lord," in Greek "kurios" and in Latin "dominum," means "one who has control!" It's from a word that means "supremacy!" It is translated three main ways in the King James Bible, Lord and Master and Sir.

The verb "save" is "sozo" and means "to deliver." But it brings with it several word pictures too. If one is sick "sozo" means to make well! If one is under siege "sozo" means to bring victory, defeating the enemy! If one is alienated "sozo" means to make peace!

Jesus is the Victor and the Doctor and the Peacemaker too, the Saviour to sum it up better!

The next time you need help, pray those three words!

The Lord answered that fleeting request for Peter!

Look again: "He was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him."

Immediately!

Sick?

Under the pressure of some kind of battle?

Misunderstood or hated?

Or just lost in your sins?

Jesus can save you ... today!

Short prayers can be powerful prayers too!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

First Published April 10, 2007:

It was the Preachers in Malachi's day who were guilty, more specifically the Priests!

In all their service to the Lord, the many hours they labored for His Glory, they grumbled!

Word for word, here's the report. "Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts." Malachi 1:13

The Hebrew noun for "weariness" is interesting.

"Laah," its root stem, means "to tire." It implies being "disgusted!" The Lord's work had become a burden to them!

Furthermore, the verb "snuffed," translating "napach," means "to breath out, to blow hard. even to disesteem!" It's the "whew" of exasperation! That's being "fed up" the old timers used to say!

And look Who noticed their bad attitudes!

"The Lord of Hosts," God's fighting Name! God's Name often used when He is correcting His people! In fact, the noun "Hosts" is "tzsaba" and suggests "armies" or "soldiers" or "war" dozens of times in Scripture!

God knows when we are not serving Him with delight!

Now here's the attitude God enjoys seeing in His followers. I'll confine myself to Isaiah 58 for now. "Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways." The Lord noticed! Also, "They take delight in approaching to God." Amen! Plus, God noted when His people "called the sabbath a delight." Then finally, "Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it." And in each case here, the words used mean one of two things. "To take pleasure in something!" Or "to treat something delicately!"

How do you approach the Lord's Day?

Preachers, do you ENJOY what you do for Jesus?

Has Bible reading, prayer, living for God become a drudgery?

Have any of us been weary with our Lord, bored?

Or, on the other hand, is your Saviour still the DELIGHT of you life?

One little "snippet" of Scripture from Malachi chapter one, but a whole lot of preaching!

Here's how Jesus viewed His work for the Father. "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." This is John 4:34. Our Master said working for God was nourishing to Him, His very food! It strengthened Him! That's the very opposite of becoming weary, isn't it?

Let's take note!

                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

First Published April 9, 2007:

Paul wrote these enlightening words in 2nd Corinthians 4:5. "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake."

The verb "preach" is "kerusso" here, to proclaim as a herald of the King! And "servants" is "doulos," the socially lowest of all the Greek slaves!

But yet there is a deeper truth here than can be found in mere grammar.

Paul just gave us his "priority" scale!

By reading this verse carefully we can learn what was first place in the great Apostle's life!

And second!

And even last!

Again the verse: "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake."

The Apex of Paul's life was Jesus!

Jesus Christ the Lord!

Paul's goal concerning our Lord is briefly yet beautifully stated in Colossians 1:18. "That in all things He might have the preeminence." Amen!

First place ... Jesus!

He is Lord!

Next, read carefully now, are "other Believers!"

We, Paul says, are your servants, your slaves, for Jesus' Sake!

The pronoun "your" is "humon," a plural genitive.

The word to be emphasized is plural.

The Brothers and Sisters who love Jesus, who have been saved, are Paul's second point of focus!

He longs for them to grow in Christ Jesus! To the Colossians he confided ... "That we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." To do that, the saints must be a priority!

Then, according to our verse today, Paul placed himself last on the list!

He himself is a lowly slave, a "doulos," a common laborer!

There you have it.

With this Man of God  it is Jesus first, others second, and himself last!

That is God's order!

After all, Paul did not really write that verse. The Holy Spirit did!

"For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake."

Now in this one may safely obey Paul: "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." 1st Corinthians 11:1

                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

First Published February 4, 2007:

The Power of the Word of God cannot be overestimated!

Paul once, in Romans 1:16, called the Gospel "the power of God unto salvation!" Of course that "Gospel" is learned in the Scriptures!  The first four Books in the New Testament are called just that, the Gospels! As most of you already know, that noun "power" is "dunamis" in Greek, roughly the equivalent of our word "dynamite!"

But let's hear Paul one more time as he describes the ability of God's Word to point men and women, as well as young people, to Christ.  He wrote to Timothy: "From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation." 2nd Timothy 3:15

When a Man of God preaches the Word of God, in purity and in earnestness and with the touch of the Holy Spirit, all kinds of things happen!

Christian are fed, the lowly are encouraged, the sinful are rebuked; in fact, every need present in that Church, whatever it is, can be satisfied!

Including, says Paul under Holy Ghost inspiration, salvation itself!

The noun for "Scriptures" here is a bit unusual. It is not the word for "writings" as such. Rather it is "gramma" which means "letters!" Letters of the alphabet primarily! Paul well might be implying that little Timothy learned his ABCs by means of the Word of God. Our children did! "A" ... All have sinned and come short of the Word of God! "B" ... Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved! "C" ... Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. "D" ... Delight thyself also in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. You get the picture.

This also is the same Epistle in which Paul mentions Timothy's Mother Eunice and Grandmother Lois also! They would have been the ones teaching Timothy that alphabet! See 2nd Timothy 1:5. These were godly ladies.

But what's the advantage of such teaching? Or of such preaching?

Those inspired verses, letters of Holy Writ, can "make thee wise unto salvation." That verb "to make wise" translates sophizo," in which one can readily see "sophia," the Greek noun for Wisdom! God's Word reveals God's Wisdom!

And "salvation" is "soteria" and means deliverance, safety or preservation! Here eternal soul salvation is in view for sure!

Preachers, keep it simple!

Give them the ABCs of Scripture as well as the milk and meat and honey of the Bible!

It will, through faith in Jesus and His shed Blood, save their souls!

                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

First Published February 1, 2007:

Recently while reading a certain book, I encountered a phrase that "stuck" in my mind.

The author, with a critical spirit too, mocked the people on earth that still held to a "Single Saviour Complex."

By that he meant men and women who believed that there was only ONE way to Heaven.

Like a heretic, this man taught that there were many saviours! In fact, he really felt that each individual could be his or her own saviour if he got in touch with his "inner" self and tapped into that "spark" of divinity that indwells everybody! So he was saying!

Now I realize that other groups than Christians, a few of them anyway, also believe in a single saviour. It's just that they have selected the wrong saviour, a man or woman or sometimes even an animal or object.

Now listen carefully to what I am about to say.

I myself believe in a single Saviour!

Not one of my own creation, but One Who made me!

His Name is Jesus!

He is the Son of God!

He came to earth around 2,000 years ago, having been born of a virgin Jewish girl.

He lived an absolutely sinless life.

He fulfilled dozens and dozens of Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah, the Anointed One of Israel.

He then died on an old rugged Cross, laying His life down vicariously ... for you and for me!

He was subsequently buried ... and rose again, literally and victoriously on the third day!

Forty days later, after appearing to hundreds of people, Jesus ascended to Heaven where He is sitting right now, praying for us, interceding to His Father.

And, He's coming back again!

He is The Saviour!

You might not want to believe me about this vital issue.

Therefore I shall give you His words, verbatim.

"Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." John 14:6

Notice the three little adjectives that are now called "articles." I'm speaking of those three little words written this way: "the." They are crucial to the meaning Jesus is advancing here.

"The" is our "limiting" article. That means that when it is used in a sentence, it is describing a single entity, a special one, often a one-of-a-kind noun or pronoun.

It is so in our verse here!

Jesus is THE way!  The only way!

Jesus is THE truth! All else, when it comes to going to Heaven, is a lie!

And Jesus is THE life! Apart from Him, only death awaits!

And friends, if we really believe these things, we certainly will never be popular with the world!

We will be called "exclusivists!"

Accused of intolerance!

"Narrow minded!"

Call me anything you please.

As long as God calls me "saved!"

Saved by grace through faith in the shed Blood of Jesus!

                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

First Published January 31, 2007:

Paul wrote these words. "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." 2nd Corinthians 2:11

Then, obviously, it is possible for the devil to "get an advantage" over a Christian Brother or Sister in Christ!

What does that mean?

"Pleonekteo" combines two Greek words. Its first section, "pleon," means "more!" The second unit, a verb, is spelled "echo" and means "to hold on" to something! Thus, the compound word means that the devil, once he gets a "hold" on a Believer in some way or another, wants "more" and then some "more" and yet "more" again of that area of his victim's life!

I am NOT teaching that the devil or a demon can "possess" a saint of God, a follower of Jesus!

I am just trying to re-state what Paul has written here under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God.

The verb means "to want more, to be covetous, to make a gain!"

But here's an interesting grammatical fact. This verb in the Text is in the passive voice! This fact suggests that Satan is not able to get that "advantage" over us on his own! He is not the instigator of such a victory! It is allowed him!

How?

Paul elsewhere, in Ephesians 4:27, wrote: "Neither give place to the devil."

Maybe the evil one cannot "get an advantage" of us ... without our letting him do so! Without our outrightly "giving" him permission!

After all, as John wrote, "Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world!" See 1st John 4:4 for the exact words.

Back to today's verse: "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." 2nd Corinthians 2:11

The verb "are ignorant," where Paul states "we are not ignorant," is a translation of "agnoeo." This term gives us our English noun "agnostic." It means just what it says, "not to know" something.

In context Paul uses two negatives here!

To NOT be in the state of NOT KNOWING means to be keenly aware of something, to be positive of it!

In grammar two negatives make a positive, you see.

We definitely know the devil's "devices." Now we have "noema," a noun derived from "noeo," which means "to exercise the mind, to comprehend." In Greek "nous" is the word for "mind."

To know the devil's "devices" indicates our knowing his very thought patterns! We can know how the devil reasons! By means of Scripture of course.

That's exactly what Paul is saying here!

The devil  only has three main tools in his toolbox anyway. He used them in the Garden of Eden against Eve. He used them in the wilderness temptation against Jesus. The same three! And he has used them against you, dear saved friend!

They are "the lust of the flesh," then "the lust of the eyes," and thirdly "the pride of life." We are not ignorant of his devices!

All other vices and sins and failures toward which the devil lures us are derivations of one of these three seminal categories.

I pray someone today will write this verse on a little piece of paper, putting it in his shirt pocket or the side pouch of her purse, reading it enough to memorize it!

Then, if you go that far, proceed to meditate on it, spiritually chewing it until the Holy Spirit begins to reveal to you bit after bit of vital Truth to help you fight the devil and live for Jesus!

That's the kind of Power the unleashed Word of God possesses!

Unashamedly, here it is again: "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." 2nd Corinthians 2:11

Victory!

Amen!

                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

First Published January 30, 2007:

The Verse is a bit controversial nowadays. Yet it is as true this week as it was the day Moses wrote it thousands of years ago.

Moses certainly was no believer in evolution. He was a creationist!

Read with me him words. "Male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created." Genesis 5:2

Look carefully at what God did here.

Carefully using nouns that accent their differences, man and woman, we are told that God "created" Adam and Eve. Our old Bible teacher many years ago "locked" into my mind a good definition for "bara," the verb used here. It means "to make something out of nothing." Miraculously, man exists today due to the almighty Hand of God!

But God not only made Adam and Eve, forming and shaping them as He knew best, the Lord also named them. He did so on the very "day" He made them! That noun for "day" is "yom" and I believe refers to a twenty four hour period of time, not an age or generation or epoch! It is derived from a "root" word that means "to be hot" and likely refers to a complete cycle of the sun, from early morning to the noontime HEAT the westward to its recession in the evening sky!

Now, look what God called them!

He "called their name Adam."

The verb "call" is "qara" and means to speak out loud! To utter an audible sound! To clearly proclaim!

To whom was God speaking?

No human existed until that very second!

To the angels?

I believe God is speaking to Himself, His Triune Being!

Look, we have fellowship within the Trinity! The precise Name for God here, being only a Pronoun in verse two, is the Antecedent "God" or "Elohiym" in verse number one. That's God's Name that means "Strong One," emphasizing His omnipotence! But It also is framed as a plural, in Hebrew I mean! And since we do not believe in polytheism, many gods, we must admit that this One God is multiple in His Personhood! He is a Trinity, Father and Son and Holy Spirit!

Just as God's Name is significant in this verse, so is man's name.

In fact, "shem" is the Hebrew noun for "name" and often means "renown, fame or even character" also. The Old Testament builds much more into a "name" than we often do today.

My point today?

Among other things, God called two people by one name!

"He call THEIR name Adam!"

"Their" is a plural pronoun, Adam and Eve are obviously in view here.

But she, Eve, was given Adam's name!

She took His fame and his renown and his character upon herself!

And this whole issue is God's Idea!

In today's feminist society multitudes of women are repulsed by the idea of taking their husband's names!

No Sir!

Excuse me, No Mam!

She will ignore his name and retain her own. Meet Mr. Smith and Ms. Jones, who have been married now ten years!

Or just Ms. Jones-Smith you see!

God will have none of it!

Their name, Adam and Eve, is called by his ... Adam!

Old fashioned?

I prefer to just call it "Biblical!"

Amen!

                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

First Published January 28, 2007:

I heard a godly missionary use this verse years ago. He was preaching and merely alluded to it, but the Holy Spirit "impacted" me with its Truth.

Job, speaking of our great God, records: "Lo. these are parts of His ways, but how little a portion is heard of Him? But the thunder of His power who can understand?"  These words are found in Job 26:14.

Job has been discussing with his three "friends" the Might of our Lord. And to Bildad particularly he asks these two questions.

In the previous few verses, the context, God is acknowledged as the Creator, hanging the earth upon nothing! He also has knowledge, right now, of everything going on in Hell! He furthermore controls the weather! He even hides Himself when He deems it proper! He restrains the waters of the Oceans! He maintains the daily cycles of sun and moon! He built and named the Constellations of the night sky! He is the Judge of the universe as well! He is omnipotent!

But, Job reasons, even with all these things being so, we have only heard of "parts" of His ways!

We know so little about Him!

He is so great, so vast, so awesome!

The noun "parts" translates "qatzsah" which twice in the King James Bible means just the "edges" of a thing. In this way it's used specifically of the High Priest's shoulder-pieces, part of his Ephod.

We only know the "edges" of the Essence of Almighty God!

So says Job!

The "ends," the "extremities," adds a Hebrew Lexicon.

The "uttermost parts" continues our Bible in places like Numbers 11:1.

Think of the ineffable nature of God, unexplainable!

Beyond words!

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, ponder this great verse today.

It will surely keep us mortals in our places!

And exalt God to His supreme Place on High!

"Lo. these are parts of His ways, but how little a portion is heard of Him? But the thunder of His power who can understand?"

Amen!

                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

First published January 27, 2007:

This verse comes to mind as we approach the Lord's Day, especially as we hear the preaching of His powerful Word. "I will never forget Thy precepts: for with them Thou hast quickened me." Psalm 119:93

Much has been said over the years about memorizing God's Word. But many seem to lose what they have learned, letting it slip from their minds. The Psalmist here is resolved! He will not forget God's Law! This verb is spelled "shakah" in Hebrew and means "to ignore!" It also can carry the idea of "withering," allowing my interest in Scripture to weaken! One grammarian teaches that it also means "to cease to care!"

A "precept" is just a "commandment" or a "statute." And "piqqud" is translated both ways in the King James Bible.

Why are God's Words so precious to the Psalmist?

One reason he gives us immediately!

God has "quickened" him with the Scriptures!

This verb, "chayah," is a key vocabulary word of the Old Testament, occurring over 260 times. As in our Text here, it is rendered "quickened" 14 times. It is also "recovered" 8 times! And it is "revived" 12 times!

You get the idea.

God's Word revives me!

It is so used in such great Texts as Psalm 85:6. "Wilt Thou not REVIVE us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee?"

Or, "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt REVIVE me." Psalm 138:7

"O Lord, REVIVE Thy work in the midst of the years." Habakkuk 3:2

Yes, God's instrument of Revival is His Word!

Do remember that the Holy Spirit must assist in such Revival too, but He always works in accordance to God's written Truth!

The next time you're sitting in Church, listening to the Preacher proclaim the Bible, ask the Lord to revive you ... through His mighty Word!

                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

First Published January 26, 2007:

During each of the past few days I have been trying to acquaint us with some unfamiliar Verse of Scripture. The Bible is such a vast Book, perfect in all its ways!

The Church at Laodicea is quite well known. The Disciple John in Revelation chapter three tells us of its luke-warm spiritual condition. In fact, this Assembly made God sick, nauseated!

However, thirty or so years earlier, Paul was concerned about these same Believers too! In Colossians 2:1 he writes: "For I would that ye knew what great CONFLICT I have for you, and for them at Laodicea."

Evening admitting that he had not seen these folks face-to-face, neither the Colossians nor the Laodiceans, Paul still was burdened for their spiritual well-being. Concern for "as many as have not seen my face in the flesh."

The noun "conflict" here is particularly interesting. In Greek it is spelled "agona." It suggests "a struggle, a fight, a contest or an overcoming of great opposition!"

It obviously gives to us our English word "agony!"

Paul is in agony! He is that concerned, perhaps even affecting him physically, praying that even the Laodiceans might be knit together in love, and comforted in Christ and learners of the Wisdom of God! Ultimately being persuaded that in Jesus Christ "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:3

Praying until it hurts!

Intensely!

Laboriously!

Paul even compared himself to a married lady about to give birth ... in travail ... for the spiritual maturity of the Galatians! "My little children, of whom I travail in birth until again Christ be formed in you."  Galatians 4:19

Someone is reading here today who is about to give up on a loved one.

They are sliding further and further away from the Lord.

But, have they slipped as far as the Laodiceans did?

Maybe not!

I can tell you this. Paul would not have quit praying!  Paul would have entered the arena of spiritual battle and wrestled the devil or fought the world or rebuked the flesh, agonizing every minute of the trial ... until God gave the victory!

For people he had never even seen!

Great conflict!

Great agony!

But of course Paul is now in Heaven.

Who on earth now cares for your loved one?

Who here will do battle for them?

Who will refuse to quit praying?

Does anyone care?

                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

First Published January 25, 2007:

The Word of God is so important ... and so powerful!

To give you an example I shall use part of James 1:21. "Receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls!"

The Word of God can save us?

Yes, but remember that Jesus IS the Word of God, the Living Word!

But to be saved one must believe in Jesus, trusting Him, yielding to Him, being overwhelmed by Him!

And that trust, that saving faith, is only possible as we learn of Jesus the Christ through the Word of God! Yes the Bible, that blessed and sweet revelation of God's Truth to mankind, is critically important here!

Paul said to young Timothy that the Scriptures could make him "wise unto salvation!"

Amen!

"Is able," the verb in today's snippet of Scripture, is spelled "dunamai" and means is "powerful enough" or is "capable" of saving our souls!

Certainly if we understand the "soul," the "pseuche," to include its wider definition too, that of one's mind and will and emotions, the Word of God can surely "save" those areas of a man's life!

But notice how the Holy Spirit describes this Word of God. It's here the "engrafted" Word. This adjective is why we are studying James 1:21 today.

"Emphutos" means "planted deep down within" a person. "Phuo," the root verb used in this expression, means "to grow, to swell or to puff up" and later came to mean "to give birth" or "to spring forth." The prefix "in" both intensifies and internalizes the concept.

The Holy Spirit takes the preached Word, the taught Word, the read and memorized Word, the heard Word of God and deeply plants it within a man's heart. There it powerfully grows and expands and illuminates and can bring about the very salvation of its possessor's soul!

Of course James does tell us that even this awesome Word of God, with all its potential, must be "received" properly.

"Dechomai" can often mean "to accept favorable, gladly, enthusiastically!" Even "to embrace!"

And "meekness" is the opposite of pride or self-sufficiency. "Prautes" means mildness of disposition or gentleness of spirit. The idea is that of allowing the Word of God to teach us and mold us and form us as God sees fit, not according to our own dictates!

There we have it!

One more inspired word picture of the efficacy of God's precious Word!

Folks, familiarize yourselves with this verse and its reference. You will indeed be glad you did!

                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

First Published January 24, 2007:

It's one of the most amazing verses in the Bible!

And one of the most profitable, if learned and diligently practiced by God's children.

"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him." 2nd Chronicles 16:9

This Text begins with a beautiful "word picture" describing God's omniscience. His eyes rove back and forth, up and down, through all of creation! He see and knows everything!

For whom is He searching?

Someone whose heart is "perfect" toward Himself! That word "perfect" is spelled "shalem" in Hebrew and is related to "shalom." While among its meanings are concepts like "safe" or "peaceful" or "healthy" ... it also means "complete" and "whole" and "full!"

God wants our hearts to be completely dedicated to Him!

One hundred percent so!

He longs for a man's or woman's whole heart!

One fully consecrated to the Saviour!

And if such a man or woman, exists ... with a heart entirely given to God ... our Heavenly Father promises to be "strong" on his or her behalf!

Get this. "Strong" is a translation of "chazaq" which means stout, firm, resolved or even hardened!

What a promise!

Does anyone today long to be that person!

Single heartedly dedicated to God!

If so, God will be every bit as much "for" you ... and you are "for" Him! Yea, even more so!

                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

First Published January 23, 2007:

A few days ago I encountered an amazing verse of Scripture. On the surface it looks nearly ordinary, but that assessment is far from being right!

Rather matter-of-factly we are told: "But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him." Judges 6:34

Here's the Holy Spirit again appearing in the Old Testament. He, as God eternal, began His Bible appearances in Genesis 1:2. "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Amen!

But when the Spirit "came upon" Gideon, His Personality is highlighted in quite an unusual way.

That verb. "came upon," is in Hebrew spelled "labash" and means "to put on one's clothes, to dress, to wear or to array oneself!"

In the King James Bible "labash" is translated 112 times. Of those, 51 are expressed as "clothed." Another 22 are "put on," as one does his coat! The 4 more times it is "to wear!"

See what I mean, so unusual, so beautiful!

The Text literally says that the Holy Spirit wrapped Himself with Gideon!

He put Gideon around Himself as a soldier would fasten his armour! In fact 3 more times in the King James Text, "labash" is rendered as "armed!"

Now we all know that it is common in the New Testament to teach that we are to be "endued" with the Holy Spirit! Jesus told His Disciples, as He ascended to Heaven, after His Resurrection, "Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with Power from on high." Our Saviour here in Luke 24:49 has reference to the Spirit of God, the Power of God!

"Endued" translates "enduo" in Greek! What a surprise! "Duo" means "to sink down" into one's robe, one's garment! "En," the prefix, just adds the thought of one's fixed position when engulfed by that robe! It's the word they used for dressing, putting on one's clothes!

Jesus actually said to us: Put on the Holy Spirit! Wear Him! Wrap yourself in His Presence! Be so endued!

Joshua said: The Holy Spirit "put on" Gideon! Wore Him! Used Him! Fought through Him! Arrayed Himself in him!

Both?

Yes!

We wear Him! We are endued with His Person!

He wears us! He often wraps Himself with us to do His very work!

And may I quickly add that's one of the most powerful reasons I know for a Believer to be clean and pure and unspotted in his or her personal life! Sanctified! Consecrated to God!

All I can say is "amazing!"

                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

First Published January 22, 2007:

One of the most amazing verses in the whole Bible is found in Genesis 20:6. Read it with me. "And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her."

The Lord was speaking to a heathen King named Abimelech. The conversation was in reference to his NOT touching or harming Sarah, wife of Abrfaham.

Notice the verb "withheld!" In Hebrew it is spelled "chasak" and means "to restrain, to keep in check, to hinder or to spare!"

This verb is again used in 1 Samuel 25:39 where God "withheld" David from killing a foolish man named Nabal!

Think of that!

God can restrain a man or woman from sinning!

Maybe that's why Jesus taught us to pray "lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Matthew 6:13 and Luke 11:4

Maybe that's why an obscure Old Testament figure named Jabez boldly prayed to God: "Keep me from evil." 1 Chronicles 4:10

Maybe that's why Jesus, in the longest prayer He ever prayed in Scripture, beseeched God for us Believers ... "Keep them from evil." John 17:15

May I make a suggestion?

As we pray yet today, is it not wise to ask the Lord to yet "withhold us from sinning?"

Lord, keep us from evil!

Lord, lead us NOT into temptation.

Lord, sanctify us through Thy Truth!

Obviously He can do so.

And equally clear is the fact that it's Scripturally permissible to ask such a thing!

Such a great thing!

In a day when sin is so ignored, so denied, we Christians should more than ever fear it and avoid it and pray against it in our personal lives!

Just a thought this Monday in January, 2007.

                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

First Published January 21, 2007:

Let me share with you a quick Bible thought.

Nahum the Old Testament Prophet was allowed to preach the Message Jonah so badly wanted to preach, only two hundred years later!

Nahum prophesied about the downfall, the utter destruction of Nineveh and the Assyrian Empire.

And, unsurprisingly, it happened just as the Prophet declared, with amazing accuracy!

One of the complaints God had against this wicked city was this: "Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and flieth away." Nahum 3:16

Money, money, money!

The verb "multiply" is "rabah" in Hebrew and means "to make great!"

"Merchants" is "rakal" and means "to go around and about," then "to travel or traffic," then "to buy and sell!"

They loved money more than they loved God!

They had become addicted to "filthy lucre" as Paul called it!

The bowed to "the god of mammon" as Jesus termed it!

For this, along with their accompanying unrepentant spirit ... even after a few generations earlier experiencing such great Revival under Jonah's preaching and God's power ... the people of Assyria generally and Nineveh specifically ... faced God's Hand of Judgment!

The cankerworm, a young devouring locust picturing a vast destructive army, came and attacked and destroyed the whole Nation!

And the rest, as they say, is history.

America, who also worships at the altar of money, beware!

                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

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