Sunday, April 9, 2017


It is more than possible for a new Christian to hurry up and surpass the one "who" taught him/her the ways and wonders of the Lord. It happens all the time. For instance, say a new baby Christian is born (again) and as often happens, this person is immediately more fired up and passionate about the Kingdom and Kingdom work and seems unstoppable. They are an asset to the Body of Christ as long as this energy is directed in a measured and meaningful way.

There was such a man like that in the New Testament. His name was Saul. Later on in his writings, as Paul, he called himself "a Jew of Jews". In other words, he had already surpassed his great teacher - Gamaliel, the famous Jewish Rabbi of Bible days - in both passion, zeal and maybe even the thirst for knowledge. Now as with those whose zeal exceed their knowledge, Gamaliel had more wisdom than Saul when he tried to restrain his student Saul and all the other pharisees from hunting down John and Peter in Acts Chapter 5 (click here)
Psalm 119:97-104
97    O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
98    Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine.
99    I have more insight than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation.
100  I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Your precepts.
101  I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word.
102  I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me.
103  How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104  From Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

This is precisely what is meant by Psalm 119:99, when taken at face value. Saul/Paul WAS more gifted knowledge-wise than Gamiliel, his rabbi. Later on, in the Book of Acts, when he became a Christian after encountering Jesus Christ on the Road to Damascus, he also became a whole lot wiser than all the descendants put together, of the Great Jewish Rabbis from the Exodus to Jesus Christ (about 1500 years). It is also possible that Saul, now Paul, ended up privately witnessing to Gamiliel on one of his many visits back to Jerusalem. But that is another story, as there is no evidence of Gamiliel ever becoming a follower of Christ.

While Psalm 119:97-100...or in fact, this entire portion from verses 97-104 could be about the Apostle Paul and his life's work, it is more about how the Holy Spirit wants us to live and function as Children of the Cross. We are supposed to be become more equipped and wiser in the word than our pastor/teachers. If we spend more time meditating in the Word of God, going to good Bible conferences and walking out our Faith in the market place of ideas, where the rubber meets the road, it is entirely probably to have a complete Christian life than most preachers. Faith in Action- from study to service- will give us an edge over even a seminary president, who may know the entire Bible in Greek, yet could not share the gospel with the girl who cuts his hair, even if his life depended on it! Consider, or think on these things.

Because such a one has solid and growing Faith, which functions mightily with an unction, we instinctively know to stay away from all evil. Not just blatantly evil things like the obvious, but even the things which once captured our attention (Verse 101). Some of the TV programs or movies which we would not dare miss because "we just had to see them" or a series with some popular (yet completely lost) actor or actress which celebrates sin, all of a sudden have absolutely NO appeal to us. This is not only a sign of spiritual growth and becoming sanctified in the Lord, but is also a direct result of the "ordinances" of the Lord (verse 102) taking hold in our spirits and in our lives!

Such a development is terrific because we fall more in love with not just Abba Father, and the Savior, but His Words - His living breathing Words of Life in every page of the Bible (verse 103). The sweetest therein flows from each page like honey from the honeycomb. We become like beekeepers without all the beekeeper hazmat looking suits on, because the honey of the Word of God only stings if we violate it. Apart from that, it is the sweetener in our tea, the sugar in your coffee! There is nothing more delicious than pure natural honey or a honeycomb purchased directly from the Farmer's Market or one of our local apple orchards. There is nothing more satisfying to the soul, than the truth found in God's Word, in which no false way can be found (verse 104). There is nothing more amazing than being completely committed to Jesus Christ, the Author and Perfecter and Creator all things. Amen.

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