change your life

2 Chronicles 7:14: [God says to Solomon, before the dedication of the Temple], “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sins, and heal their land.”

Had a little discussion in Sunday school with a bunch of high school kids; talking about prayer.  The question was, “What do you pray about?”  Right out of the chute, Kelli says, “I pray to know God.”  I was astounded.  I didn’t think we’d even get around to that part of prayer for a long time, maybe not even touch it that day.  I said so.  I asked, “What do you mean?”  She said, “I want to know what God thinks; what He wants for my life; to understand who He really is. I want to know what it means to really trust Him.”

You know it’s like Oswald Chambers said, “When you stop seeking what God can do for you, you have time to seek Him for Himself.”  I think that’s what the verse means when it says, “Seek My face.”  We talked about ‘listening to God’.  Maybe not an audible voice, but that clear feeling you get in your heart about what God thinks, after you seek God’s face.

Later I had a revelation about this little episode.  Never understood it this way before.  When you start to seek God’s face; seeking to know Him for Himself; you enter a whole different dimension of knowing God.  It’s like the difference between ‘believing in God’ with your head and trusting God with your heart.  It changes your whole relationship with Him.  This is the same way (maybe the same thing in different form), when you seek to know God, to develop a relationship with Him as a Father and a friend, it changes the whole complexion of your relationship with each other.  When you really start to listen to Him for understanding, and not just for provision, you really are changed in your heart.  It’s just like it says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He’ll draw near to you.”




I’m convinced that the Bible is inspired by God.  It is (and was) inspired by God when he directed the original writers in writing it down; it was (and is) inspired by God when the scholars and theologians were (and are) translating it into different languages; and it is inspired by God when each individual person reads it, her mind and heart are opened to show her the meaning, just for her, in that particular time and place.  It is so inspired that when we read a passage another time, we often get a different finely tuned message.  Makes me grin.

1] www.biblegateway.com is a website that has a tremendous amount of information about the Bible that is easily accessible, user friendly, and welcoming, no matter what your Christian persuasion.  It has translations of the Bible in 64 different languages, including every major language, many of those in a number of different translations.  English has 54 translations and Spanish has 18.  I recommend “BibleGateway” highly.  I find that when I compare different translations I am better able to understand what a particular verse or passage is saying.  Try it.  You’ll be amazed!

2] There is even one translation, called the “Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament” which shows the New Testament in English, and the translation into New Testament Greek.  If you click on a particular word in the passage, in the margin it shows you the Greek word (in Greek) with a detailed translation (in English), with references to all the places that word appears in the New Testament, so you can compare different shades of meaning for different verses, and learn even more.  Wow!  Way cool.

3] I haven’t researched it yet in Spanish, but in English there are online resources for study Bibles (14), Biblical commentaries (10), Bible dictionaries (6), and even two (2) Bible encyclo-pedias.  Many of those resources are free.  This is especially informative if you’re looking for an explanation about a particular story, or historic context, or underlying Biblical points.

4] All these functions and many more are available on your iPhone or other internet device. So you can look up references and Bible passages while you’re listening to a sermon or talk or Bible study group to allow you to contribute to your own knowledge, and to the benefit of those around you.  (It may sound silly; but sometime you hit on something, because it is so easy and handy, that it makes me think it really is inspired by God.  What a novel concept!)

5] Besides all that you can search for passages in the Bible, when you only know a few words, or just an idea of what it’s about.  They have “Passage Lookup”, “Keyword Search”, and “Topical Index”.  And for further growth in your relationship with God, they have daily devotionals, Bible reading plans, newsletters and more.  BibleGateway is a Christian, mission centered enterprise, focused on making Scripture freely available on the Web in multiple languages and translations. You can find its “Statement of Faith” on the website.