Category: Scripture

Does God Help Those Who Help Themselves?

 

“God helps those who help themselves!”

You may have heard this proverb before or perhaps you may have quoted this proverb yourself.
However is this proverb Biblical? Is this proverb true? Does God help those who help themselves or is this proverb a lie?

Despite being quoted often – this particular proverb does not appear anywhere in the Bible and neither does it accurately reflect the truth of God’s word. The proverb is misleading.

According to thefreedictionary.com the proverb “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves” means the following: You cannot solely depend on divine help, but must work yourself to get what you want.

 

In contrast the Bible actually instructs us to rely FULLY / SOLELY on the Lord and NOT on ourselves or in our own abilities. We therefore MUST SOLELY DEPEND ON GOD – ONLY.

The Bible also teaches that God is the helper of the helpless; the distressed; the weak; the lowly; the hurt. The life of Jesus and His attitude towards people reflected this. Furthermore the healings Jesus performed on people reflected that God is a helper of the helpless.

In Luke 7:22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them”.

All of the people that Jesus helped were helpless to help themselves. They could not heal themselves & neither did Jesus help them on the basis of their own righteousness or works. They needed to solely rely on God in faith.

Isaiah 25:4 says “For You have been a strength to the poor, A strength to the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, A shade from the heat; For the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall”

Below are Bible scriptures which reflect the several ways in which the proverb “God helps those who help themselves” contradicts the Scriptures:

 

  1. It Contradicts The Attitude We Should Have Towards God

Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Jeremiah 17:5 NKJV – Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.”
Proverbs 28:26 NKJV – He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.

We cannot trust in ourselves neither can we trust in man. The reason being that man is sinful and is capable of making mistakes, breaking promises & is therefore not perfect. Only God is perfect; only God is totally faithful; only God keeps His promises; only God is trustworthy.

 

  1. It Contradicts God’s Nature & Love Towards Us

Romans 5:8 NKJV – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:10 NKJV – In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:19 NKJV – We love Him because He first loved us.

Whilst we were sinners God loved us first before we knew Him. God sought us first before we even knew that we needed God in our lives. God drew us to Himself before we did. Therefore God ALWAYS takes the FIRST initiative to reconcile and bless us.

 

  1. It Contradicts God’s Grace For Our Salvation

Ephesians 2:8 NKJV – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Titus 3:5-7 NKJV – Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

When a person becomes a Christian, that Christian is saved not because of his own merit or personal righteousness, but he is saved because of the work & righteousness of Jesus Christ. A Christian cannot earn his salvation and therefore cannot help himself if God is not part of the plan.

 

  1. It Contradicts God’s View of Man’s Sinful Nature & Depravity

John 15:5-6 NKJV – I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Isaiah 64:6 NKJV – But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousness are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

Without Jesus we can do nothing. Therefore we cannot help ourselves. Indeed there are many things that unbelievers do and achieve without Christ in their lives, but ultimately all their earthly work will amount to nothing on judgment day before the Lord.

 

  1. God Must Get All The Credit & Glory

James 1:16-17 NKJV – Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV – In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

God must get the glory for every good thing that happens in our lives. Even the unbeliever though he might not be religious or believe in God – the unbeliever still benefits from the things & resources that God has created. The planet and everything we need from the earth belong to God. (Psalms 24:1 NKJV – The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein).
Whether Christian or not, we all cannot survive without the grace and earthly provision of God and for that alone we should give thanks to God.
Therefore there is no situation where a person is totally independent of God or God’s provisions so that an individual can take glory in his own works or ability.

 

 

Does This Mean That We Should Be Inactive & Not Apply Works to Our Faith?

For example, if you need a job and you’ve prayed to God about it, does it mean you shouldn’t practically go out looking and applying for a job?
Of course not. A person should not be lazy and inactive. James 2:17 says “Faith without works is dead”. But why is FAITH dead? It is dead because FAITH is not grounded in God alone. Therefore – FIRST you put your faith & trust in God to supply your needs, THEN God will practically in your actions lead and guide you to the job that He wants you to have. The key thing is to fully TRUST in GOD to supply your needs – not to trust in your OWN works to supply.

Proverbs 16:3 says Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.
Proverbs 3:6 says In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Our full faith and trust in God will automatically lead us to perform godly action/works according to God’s directed will. Therefore be fully dependent on God and trust Him to lead and direct your actions.

 

So does God help those who help themselves? The Scriptures disagree.

Why We Neglect Our Bible

How often do you read your Bible? When was the last time you actually studied a specific topic from the Bible on your own?
Do you faithfully mediate on God’s word on a daily basis – or do you struggle to read even a single chapter?

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

The word of God is basically food for your spirit. Your spirit cannot be healthy without a consistent intake of God’s word. It is through God’s word that you can be effective, edified and equipped for righteousness. This is why the Bible says that we should meditate on God’s word “day and night”.

If you are struggling to read the Bible, there are many different reasons why you may be struggling to read God’s word – and these struggles are very common among many people.

Below are a few reasons why we neglect to read our Bible:-

  1. We Are Lazy To Read The Bible
  2. We Claim That We Don’t Have Time
  3. We Think Bible Reading During Church Is Adequate
  4. We Have Replaced Bible Reading For The Pastor’s Sermons
  5. We Find It Irrelevant To Our Life & Situation
  6. We Are Succumbing To Spiritual Warfare

 

  1. We Are Lazy To Read The Bible

Let’s be honest. Some of us cannot reading the Bible for more than 10 minutes. We could probably read our Facebook newsfeed for hours or read an entire celebrity story on the internet, but yet we just become lazy when it comes to reading at least one chapter in the Bible. We need to cultivate a culture of self discipline & motivation if we are to overcome laziness and faithfully study God’s word.
Joshua 1:8 ESV – This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

 

  1. We Claim That We Don’t Have Time

We all know that there are 24 hours in a day. Yet in those 24 hours, we will probably find time to engage in sometimes unproductive activities like watch the television, gossip with friends, visit the social media apps on our cellphones and still fail to find at least 15 minutes within that day to read & meditate on God’s word. The truth is, we can always have time to read the Bible. The question is whether we have chosen God’s word to become a priority in our daily life. Within 24 hours, try to find at least 30 minutes a day to read, study & meditate on God’s word.
Psalms 1:1-2 ESV – Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.

 

  1. We Have Replaced Bible Reading For The Pastor’s Sermons

Do you prefer to be “spoon-fed” by a preacher’s sermons instead of actually studying the scriptures for yourself? Is the temptation of listening to DVD sermons & tele-evangelists greater than the idea of doing a personal study of the word of God? Is listening to a Pastor’s sermon and reading the Bible one in the same thing? NO it’s not!
People who do not regularly study the Bible for themselves are more susceptible to false indoctrination and to follow false preachers. It’s therefore important to always verify for yourself through the Bible everything you hear from a preacher’s sermon.
Acts 17:11 ESV -Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
A person should not live according to the standard of a preacher’s sermon, but he/she should live according to the standard of God’s word (the Bible).
But He (Jesus) answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” – Matthew 4:4 ESV
According to Jesus, a person must live on EVERY WORD that proceeds FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD.
Therefore, you cannot live on the word that proceeds from your Pastor’s mouth alone. You cannot live on the word that proceeds from the mouths of politicians alone. You cannot live from the things that fill your physical desires alone.
You must live “by EVERY word that comes FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD”
Psalms 119:105 ESV – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

 

  1. We Find The Bible Irrelevant To Our Life Situations

If we find the Bible to be irrelevant to our lives or a specific issue in our life it could be because of 1 or more of the following reasons:

  1. We do not adequately know or understand what the scriptures exactly say about our life or our specific situation.
  2. There is a specific sin in our lives which we do not want to repent of, and we do not want God’s word to rebuke us or correct us.
  3. We would rather find unbiblical solutions for the issues in our life.

Hebrews 4:12 ESV – For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Psalms 119:10,11 ESV – With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from Your commandments! I have stored up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

 

  1. We Think Bible Reading During Church Is Adequate

Do you eat food once a week? Would it be adequate for your physical body if you only ate once a week? Perhaps you attend church every Sunday, and the only time you actually open your Bible is on Sunday during the sermon. God’s word is actually spiritual food for our spirit and therefore we need to edify ourselves with His word on a daily basis. Our motivation & desire for reading God’s word must always come from within our own heart and not because of a religious meeting. God’s word is meant to be meditated on a daily basis and not only during a church meeting.
1 Peter 2:2-3 ESV – Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation—  if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Job 23:12 ESV – I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my portion of food.

 

  1. We Are Succumbing To The Enemy’s Spiritual Warfare Tactics

Ultimately, the devil does not want Christians to have knowledge and understanding of the scriptures. It’s through the Bible that we learn about God nature, God’s values, Man’s sinful nature & his need for God, and God’s redemption plan through Christ.
Matthew 13:18-19 ESV – “Hear then the parable of the sower:  19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.
The Bible is also the only offensive weapon in the Armour of God. God’s word is the sword of the Holy Spirit. The scriptures are therefore what every Christian uses in order to discern and overcome the temptations of enemy through Christ. You will discover that when Jesus was tempted by the devil, Jesus always used the Scriptures to overcome every temptation from the enemy.
The devil will therefore do what he can to ensure that you do not have knowledge or understanding of what God says in His word. At times, the devil will also distort the meaning or interpretation of the scriptures through the sermons of false preachers and the like.
2 Timothy 2:15 ESV – Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
Ephesians 6:17 ESV – And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
Ephesians 6:11-12 ESV – Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

 

Conclusion
Just as we cannot be physically healthy without eating the proper food and having the proper nutrition, our spirit man cannot be healthy and spiritually equipped if we do not feed daily on the word of God. God’s word edifies us and equips us for every good work in Christ.
If you haven’t been reading your Bible and mediating on God’s word on a daily basis – start TODAY.

 

Proof That The Bible Is True

Is there proof that the Bible is true? Who wrote the Bible and what evidence exists that the Bible should be treated seriously? How can people say that the Bible was written by God when it was penned by men?

Below is an attempt to answer and perhaps convince the skeptics and unbelievers who do not believe in the Bible and the authority that it carries as being the infallible word of God.

1. Written By Different Men Over 2000 Years
The Bible is a collection of 66 books which were written by about 40 men over a period of 1500 years or more. Most of these authors had never physically met but yet their message in what they wrote is structured, consistent, accurate, inter-related and perfectly unified throughout. Though these writers physically penned the 66 books, the individual writers, at the time of writing, had no idea that their message was eventually to be incorporated into one single Book, that we know today as being The Bible.
Interestingly (as we keep in mind the accuracy & consistency of their writings) these writers believed and claimed that they were writing or transmitting the very word of God – or that their writings were as a result of the inspiration of ONE single Supernatural Author – God Himself.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

2. The Scientific Accuracy of the Bible
Another striking evidence of divine inspiration is found in the fact that many of the
principles of modern science were recorded as facts of nature in the Bible long before
scientist confirmed them experimentally. A sampling of these would include:

FI-thegospel

3. Over 100 Prophetic Accuracies About Jesus Christ
John 5:39 – (Jesus speaking) You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me
The one consistent theme of the Bible, is that from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible consistently refers and prophesies about Jesus Christ who ultimately is mankind’s Lord & Saviour. There are over 300 specific prophecies in the Old Testament that are fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

4. The Bible Is Endorsed by Jesus Christ
Matthew 5:17-18 – (Jesus speaking) “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”
When Jesus was on earth at the time, only the Old Testament existed. Jesus read and quoted from the Old Testament. Therefore if the Bible was inaccurate or untrustworthy, Jesus would have not quoted the Old Testament. When Jesus was tempted by the devil, Christ overcame the devil’s temptation by responding with Scripture quoted from the Old Testament. This was a clear indication not only of the authority and trustworthiness of the Bible but also that Jesus Himself was willing to be obedient to do what The Bible teaches.
READ Matthew 4:1-17

5. Its Survival
The Bible starting from Genesis has survived for over 1500 years. No other book has been so consistently studied, bought or quoted by mankind. Its teachings are still relevant even after 1000 years, a clear proof that God’s word is authoritative and does not change. No other book has been loved or hated as the Bible but yet it still survives and remains the highest seller among all books.
Matthew 24:35 – Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

6. Archaeological Evidence
A number of archaeological and geographic evidences exist to prove the accuracy and historic truthfulness of the Bible. Archaeological discoveries have been made which verify the various Biblical stories and events mentioned in scripture.
Romans 1:20-21 – For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

7. Life Changing Power
For thousands of years, the Bible has changed countless lives and has provided a means by which mankind can know and understand who God is and what God says about every life situation that we face on this earth. The Bible also is one huge story about God’s relationship with man. The Bible speaks of God’s love and plan of salvation from sin through Jesus Christ. People of different backgrounds and beliefs can testify of the life changing experiences that God’s word has brought to their lives.
Hebrews 4:12-13 – For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

 

Helpful Websites & Recommended Websites

http://www.bibleevidences.com/
http://christiananswers.net/archaeology/
http://carm.org/when-was-bible-written-and-who-wrote-it
https://answersingenesis.org/is-the-bible-true/can-you-prove-the-bible-is-true/
http://www.reasons.org/
http://www.the-gospel.org/stdy_aplgy/prophecy.php
https://answersingenesis.org/archaeology/6-archaeological-finds/

 

 

Purpose of God’s Word

What’s the purpose of the Bible? Why do we read it? What do we gain from reading the Bible?

Hebrews 13:8-9 NKJV

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines…

Do you find yourself or other people doubting the relevance of the word of God in today’s 21st Century society? Do you find yourself or other people conforming more to the beliefs, philosophies and teachings of modern day society instead of the more than 2000 year old teachings of the word of God?

It is important to realize that YOU might change and other people might change – but God will never change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Do you know that the world may change its values; the world may change its philosophy; the world may change its beliefs – but God’s word and God’s values will NEVER change.

Matthew 24:35 NKJV
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

God’s word is final in all matters. God’s word is above every word that is spoken by man.
God’s word is ALWAYS correct and infallible. God’s word is ALWAYS relevant.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 

First thing we should remember is that God is the author of the Bible and that the Bible according to Paul was inspired by God for 4 main reasons

1. For Doctrine
Definition:-A particular principle, position, or policy taught or advocated.
God wants us to abide and adhere to His Kingdom principles& policies according to His word and not according to the principles and philosophies of this society or world.
Every country or kingdom has its own constitution and policies. However when you become a child of God, you become a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Therefore as a child of God you are required to live according to the policies, principles and beliefs set by God in His word (the Bible) and not of the world.
Romans 12:2 NKJV says And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

2. For Reproof
Definition:-To scold or rebuke usually gently or with kindly intent; to express disapproval of.
God uses His word to rebuke us if we are behaving against His will. When the Lord rebukes us, it is because He loves us and He does not want us to go astray.
Hebrews 12:5-8 NKJV
And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.

3. For Correction
Definition:-A change that rectifies an error, inaccuracy or wrong behavior
God wants you to change or repent of wrong doing. He wants you to renew your mind and actions so that your words and your deeds glorify Him. His word teaches you how to please Him in various areas of life.
Matthew 4:17 NKJV
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

4. For Instruction
Definition:-A direction or order; knowledge or information imparted
The Bible is full of instructions about specific issues. The Lord wants us to never be confused regarding the interpretation of His word. Neither does He want us to manipulate scripture or blaspheme. His word is meant to enlighten us for right living.
Psalms 119:1-4 NKJV
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart! They also do no iniquity; They walk in His ways. You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently.

The benefits of the Bible to us, is so that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for EVERY GOOD WORK.

With all the current social, economic and spiritual controversies that surround the world, the word of God has been under attack – but remember one thing. Even though God’s word may be attacked – God’s word will ALWAYS REMAIN AND NEVER PASS AWAY.
God’s word will never return to Him void and God’s word will NEVER be irrelevant in the past, present and in the future.

Isaiah 55:11 NKJV
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

 

Sword of the Spirit – The Armor of God

Ephesians 6:17 NKJV
And take … the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, is both a weapon of offence and a weapon of defense.
The Lord wants us to always be equipped with the knowledge of His word. The word of God is the final authority and standard by which every child of God / Christian should live by. Our beliefs must be checked and tested against the word of God.

 

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work

We must understand, that whenever we use the word of God, it will be to accomplish any of the 4 purposes which is: (a) for teaching, (b) for reproof, (c) for correction and (d) for instruction in righteousness.
Whenever a soldier goes into battle, he needs to make sure that he is equipped for the battle. In any battle you need to also make sure that you know how to use the weapons that you have.
According to Paul, the word of God THOROUGHLY equips you for EVERY GOOD WORK. It is therefore important that we use God’s word in order to glorify God and to bring about the will and plans of God in ANY situation in our lives.
For example, whenever we encounter unbelievers, we need to be able to use the word of God in order to help them to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Or whenever an unbeliever challenges our Christian faith, we need to be able to use the word of God in order to defend Christian values and beliefs.

When Jesus was being tempted by the devil, Jesus always responded to the devil’s temptations with the scriptures. He would quote the word of God because He knew that the devil cannot win against God’s word. Jesus knew during His time of temptation that God’s word is like a sword with which you can use to defend and attack the enemy.

Psalm 1:2,3 NKJV
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season…

To equip yourself with God’s word you must be able to MEDITATE on His word. The word of God cannot have any effect in your life unless you meditate on it. It is the sword of the Spirit, and therefore God’s word must be rooted inside you, so that the Holy Spirit can bring remembrance of God’s word to you whenever you need it or for any situation in your life.

Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The word of God is more than just text or a book. The word of God is alive; it is living; it is active; it is working; it will not come back void. The word of God is also able to expose our innermost thoughts and desires.

TODAY. Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

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