Saturday, August 16, 2014

Open Heavens Devotional for Saturday 16th August, 2014: STUDENT OR SCHOLAR?


Memorise: Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? John 3:4

Read: John 3:1-4
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 

A student is a person who is enrolled to study at an educational institution or under a master who is skilled in a particular area of life. A student is someone who is open to knowledge and learning, or a person who takes an interest in a particular subject, for example the Bible. A scholar on the other hand is a specialist in a particular branch of study, a person who is highly educated or has an appetite for study, a learned person, and someone who by long study has gained mastery in one or more disciplines. With these definitions very clear in our mind, the question is: are you a Bible student or a Bible scholar in the school of the Almighty.

Characteristically, a Bible student would approach the word of God with curiosity and with a spirit of humility. A Bible student is conscious of his or her status and therefore the whole focus is centred on learning. But for a scholar, it is not so. The curiosity of a scholar is not always accompanied with humility. Because a scholar has gained mastery in one or more discipline by long study and research, he or she speaks with the certain confidence of one who knows. It is for these reasons that the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 3:6 that the letter kills and in 1 Corinthians 8:1 that knowledge puffs up.

Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a leader of the Jews and a teacher who may be at the level of what is known as a professor of theology today. He acknowledged his limitations in the knowledge of God’s word and came to recognise that Jesus was in a position to enlighten him. This scholar quickly reduced himself to the status of a student, and because of his humble approach, Jesus took His time to tutor him. Jesus gave him the secret of the kingdom which he never knew before, and he shouted in amazement: "how could this thing be?" I believe that the teaching of Jesus both challenged and transformed Nicodemus that day. Some Christians are not like Nicodemus, they approach God with the arrogance of their limited knowledge in the word of God, thereby denying themselves the revelation knowledge that is available to all that come to Jesus with the humility of a student. When it comes to the matters of salvation, Holy Spirit baptism, sanctification, power over sin, righteousness, the special touch of Master Jesus, the rapture and other kingdom truths that cannot be logically explained or empirically proved, the great Rabbi is definitely required.

Action Point: Father, I humble myself before you, please give me revelation knowledge of Your word.

Bible in one year: Luke 4:16-6:16; Job 22:12-30


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