Living by the Precepts of the Holy Spirit
The Bible is where we learn what God has revealed to us about Himself and about what He expects of us as His children. What is your opinion of the Bible? How much time do you spend reading and studying it? Anne Graham Lotz will explain what she learned about the Bible from her grandmother, mother, and father in this week’s episode.
today on the john ankerberg show. My guest is anne Graham Lots. She was called the best preacher in the family by her late father Billy Graham An is an international speaker and a best selling author when an lost her husband of 49 years, she felt both shock and intense grief than just a few years later, her beloved father Billy Graham passed away and then six months after his funeral and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Yet through it all, she relied on the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit to help her. We invite you to join us on this edition of the johnny Karberg show to here and explain how you can rely on the Holy Spirit to be your constant companion. No matter what you are facing. Welcome to our program. I’m john Achterberg and my guest is very special. And Graham Lots and and I’m so glad that you’re here today. I can’t wait to hear what you’re gonna say. And uh we’re talking about something so very important that the precepts of the Holy Spirit, we’re talking about the bible? What do you think about the bible? I think it’s the inspired word of God. Do you think it’s got airs? What do you think? What do you think? God thinks about it? And um sitting across from me is a lady that has spoken to over 500,000 people in uh some meetings in different countries and some of you are watching right now. And you know what I’m talking about others where she’s been in meetings all over our country and uh just all over the place, All right. How does a lady get to do that? Especially when she didn’t, she felt shy, didn’t even want to speak, How would you like to speak to 500,000 people? What made her do it? Well she’s going to tell you today and it comes from following the precepts of the holy Spirit and and I want you to take us back to your childhood because your mom, your grandmother, your grandmother, your mom, your dad all had an influence on you. And I’d like you to tell the people what it was. You know, it’s a wonderful thing john that I, I was raised in a Christ centered home in a home where Jesus was loved obeyed, served proclaimed and it was behind closed doors as well as out in public. So I’m so grateful for that. And my grandparents on my mother’s side had been missionaries to China for 25 years and they had to leave when the Japanese took over and um came back. But they lived right across the street from my parents so that my daddy gave my mother the permission to live anywhere in the world she wanted because he knew he was gonna be traveling a lot. So she chose right across the street from her parents. And so I spent a lot of time with my grandmother and my grandmother would cuddle me next to her and she, she would read to me um read volumes of books but then she taught me how to read and taught me um you know phonetics and all the stuff. So by the time I went to first grade I could read just about anything. I put my hands on within reason, you know. But then my mother is the one that taught me to read my bible every day. So and she did that by example, so she would gather everybody in the home together um in the morning. So before I went to school everybody gathered in the kitchen and she would pull out her bible and read and she would pray and I never enjoyed those times because I was always thinking I’m gonna be late to school that I study enough do I have all my books, you know your mind is so distracted but she taught me about her example to read my bible every day, preferably in the morning my daddy when he was home, he had led the devotions in the evening but he would pull out a passage of scripture and rather than just reading it and pray, he would read it and then he would stop along the way and discuss, you know, ask questions, we would talk about what he was reading. So so my daddy taught me to think about what I was reading and and all of that combination. Being able to read words, you know which my grandmother taught me and yes and then learning from my mother the habit of reading it every day and learning from my father to think about what I’m reading? It stayed with me. So um when I was uh saved and I shared that yesterday when I was a little girl um eight or nine years of age, I fell in love with the scripture and I read the bible all the way through um before I was even a teenager and and that began my love affair with God’s word and I love it. Um my mother inscribed in my first bible that was given to me when I was baptized at the age of nine and she gave me a leather bound and navy blue scofield king James version of the bible that became my companion until I was married. And, and in that she said um and this is your one sure God in an unsure world. Um read it, love it, study it, obey it, live it and in it you’ll find a verse for every occasion and um and I just praise God that counsel john has seen me through from the age of nine all the way to my age now, you know, it has been the bedrock of who I am because God’s word is a sure foundation. It doesn’t change. So in our world when everything is topsy turvy, just what was right yesterday is wrong today, what was wrong? Yesterday is right today. This, this word doesn’t change. All right. So audience, I’m gonna ask you a question that I’m going to ask and to answer it right now. What is your opinion of the bible? She said she read it every day. Her mom taught her, her dad taught her, her grandma taught her, she learned to love it. Like I said, she’s spoken to over half a million people in one shot. Maybe it’s because of the word of God. But what’s your opinion of the Word of God now? And I’m gonna come back to you and give you a verse first of all, john 16 13, jesus called it the spirit of Truth when he comes. He’s gonna guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own. He will speak only what he hears and he will tell you what is yet to come. And then 2nd Timothy 3 16 and 17, Let’s just take 3 16. All scripture is what God breathed. What does that mean? In spite of the Holy Spirit? It’s like him speaking his it’s the product of his breath. So when you read those words, those are his words. All right. And it’s profitable. It says all scripture is God breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction of sin, for correction when we need it and for training and righteousness so that the man or woman of God can be complete, fully equipped for every good work. Now that’s a really solid little definition of what the bible does for christian and what have you found as you’ve read that in terms of those terms, you know, I’ve studied the bible and then I taught it as we spoke of earlier. Um, and what I’ve discovered is as I read it and I apply it and I obey it and I live it out. It works, you know, it just works so people can argue things. Yeah. Let’s go back to the fact that all the people that have missed the program beforehand. The fact is when you say it worked, you decided that you saw this list, you saw what God said about his word and you wanted to learn it yourself more. And uh, I was the same way I did certain things that made me study the Word of God. I didn’t have a choice. I, I forced myself by going to seminary and school and so on and, and speaking on university campuses and having to answer questions of students. But you did something else. You did what? I was so hungry to know the word of God and to live it out and to be right with him and to be a good mother to my Children. I started a bible class and I wanted to be in the bible class, but nobody would teach it. So, um, I’ve committed myself to teaching it and I’ve never taught anything before in my life, my Children didn’t listen to me, you know, and But I taught it every week for 12 years. Um read about 500 women and we turned over several times 1000 by that too fast. I’m just saying how many women start a Bible class and they’ve got 500 women coming a week to listen to them. Now. What knocked me out was the fact is that every week you were learning a new chapter of a new verse and the fact is you were crash diving into that verse because you didn’t know it yourself. So you had to learn it before. You taught them, Tell me about that. Well, you just did. And that’s what I would tell them. Don’t ask me about next week’s lesson because I haven’t learned that yet. And and I think it’s all right john to admit that we don’t know everything and I don’t have the answers to all this. Let me give an illustration from my daddy’s life because when he was a young and ministry and traveling with a group of evangelists and preaching, he was out in California. And there was a discussion one night and they were um dismissing the inerrancy of the scripture and saying that they didn’t believe it was all true. And then they picked out things like who could believe in adam and Eve because you’ve never heard of a talking snake and who could believe in noah and the ark because you can never get that many animals on a boat and who can believe in Jonah and the big fish because you’ve never heard of fish swallowing a man spitting him out and you know, who could believe in the resurrection. And so daddy said that he got very uncomfortable and he got up and he took his bible and he went outside and he put it down and he prayed and he said, alright God, he said I don’t understand everything and I can’t answer all the questions about it. But I believe from genesis to revelation it’s true because it’s God’s word and God is a gentleman, he doesn’t lie, he doesn’t spin the truth, He doesn’t play games with us, nouns, pronouns, verbs are verbs and and certainly prophecy and the psalms poetry can be symbolic, but this book is true and you can understand it wasn’t written just for scholars and theologians. It’s written for people like me, anybody. I want to ask the audience a question right here. Okay, so those of you that are listening here are the questions how have you been influenced by others? Are they critical of it when they claim it says this? It says this, it says this. I don’t believe that or have you been taught that it’s a good book that contains God’s word, but it is not God’s word in its entirety? I’ve heard that one a lot. Have you been told that the bible contains errors or myths, otherwise it’s just a good book. If you say that God’s word contains errors and you’re gonna pick and choose your going to cherry pick this and take this and reject that. What would you tell them? You’re slurring the integrity of the spirit of truth? Because verse 13 of john 16 says the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and you read that verse from second timothy that is God breathed. And yes, he used people and their personalities and right now I’m going through the minor prophets in my devotions and these are all different guys, a fig farmer, you know, and different people and um, but he’s so controlled what they wrote down on scripture that every word they wrote down, even though it had their personality and all that, it was God’s word, it’s true. And so the spirit of Truth, if he’s powerful enough john to, to hover over the planet in genesis chapter one verse two and prepare that earth that was without form and void and prepared to receive God’s word and be transformed. He is powerful enough to control the minds and the words, the thoughts of the people that wrote down what God told them and to preserve the integrity of this book. So I believe from genesis to revelation, every single word is true and you know, I just use those examples of Adam and Eve and um Noah in the Ark and Jonah and the fish and the resurrection, jesus referred to all of those stories. So I believe jesus is the son of God and therefore I believe everything he said was true. So if he referred to those stories as the truth then who am I to say they’re not. It’s just because in my finite mind I can’t comprehend the snake talking, I can’t comprehend all those animals coming on her, but I can’t comprehend a fish swallowing a man. But but jesus referred to them as as stories that were true. So I believe they’re true and I believe they have tremendous um knowledge for us and in tremendous application for us today. Yeah, I was done in our plane one time talking with the lady and she said you know I think the bible contains the word of God, She says what do you believe? And I said well you know I read jesus a whole lot, he believes it is every word is the word of God. So I’ve got you over here on this side and I’ve got jesus over here and why William, I’m sorry I gotta go with jesus on this one as he said, not one jot or tittle would be passed away until all was fulfilled and the Solomon said that all scripture is settled in heaven, you know it’s eternal. You’ve got an illustration about morrow’s tricycle, tell me about what that means tomorrow um is my second daughter, she was my second child, my first daughter, but it was at christmas time. She was a little girl, I think maybe three or four. And she wanted a tricycle for christmas. So my husband like a lot of fathers, you know they it comes in a box and then I kept telling him Danny you need to put it together while he waited till christmas eve and he opened the box and he pulled up the pieces and he said any the body can put this together, so he slapped the pieces together. But when he finished, you know the handlebars went in one direction, the wheel went in a different direction and then he looked at the bottom of the box and there was a white piece of paper that said read very carefully manufacturer’s directions for assembly. But by then the little nuts and bolts had gone and he couldn’t undo it. So that little tricycle never did run straight. And um you know, I thought that people treat life like Danny put that tricycle together, we just guess our way through life. There’s a piece of paper that came with the instruction that says read very carefully, manufacturer’s directions for assembly and this, this is the creator’s directions for assembly and for living right here and you can guess your way through life and maybe have a pretty good life or maybe not so good, you know, but But this, this book tells you how life works the way it was meant to be lived God is the creator. He’s given us directions, we don’t have to guess. And it’s the Holy Spirit, as you pointed out in John 1613, he’s the one that um makes the Bible makes sense. So I would encourage people before you read your Bible. Pray ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into truth and you may not understand everything you read, but ask him to give you just one thing that you can take to yourself. In fact, I had a mentor who told me, just keep reading your bible in the morning until there’s one thing that strikes you and then you just grab hold of its prey it back to the Lord. And that would be your thought for the day, right? We all know that we’ve got road markings on every road in the United States and we got them all around the world. Why are those road markings there? And how does it apply to the bible? You know, um road markings. And I’m not sure. I’ve been in some countries where there weren’t any. And I passed a lot of accidents because road markings are there to keep you in your lane so that you can get to where you’re going without hurting anybody. And the people who are passing you can get to where they’re going without hurting anybody. And so therefore are good there for our benefit. And God’s word is like road markings to life. And so some people get upset because of what they think is a legalism or discipline or but but the markings are there if if we obey God’s word were more um guaranteed to live a life where we don’t get hurt and we don’t hurt other people. So we don’t have these horrible accidents where we mess up our whole life and you know, bear scars for a long time. So the road markings remember one that I was asked about and I don’t want to get on a rabbit trail at all. But I was asked point blank about submission to my husband and um and Danny and I were great. I was very opinionated. So we always had a great discussion and argument, but if he disagreed in the end, when push came to shove, I did it his way because the bible says that while we submit to each other, that I’m the one that would need to give in and that’s a road marking. I don’t I’m not upset with that. I don’t I don’t submit to men in general, I can tell you, but I submit it to my husband because that’s a road marking. That that makes for the the hierarchy of um leadership in the home. It works. Yeah, you’re so smart, you don’t have to bow down to anybody. I’m telling you the fact is it’s also very practical. The word of God sometimes God uses it for situations. Talk about after your fifth chemo treatment, which was brutal, how God uses the word of God, you know it was after um because I’ve had cancer and went through chemotherapy and I was scheduled for six treatments after the fifth treatment, the side effects were disastrous and my oncologist said she had never seen those side effects for that kind of chemo. It was um so I came home and I was praying Lord, I can’t do this anymore, I’m gonna quit. In fact I told my brother I’m gonna I just can’t do this anymore, you know? And um so I had my two daughters pray with me and in prayer, I felt like the Lord whispered to me that um he was going to heal me. So I got up the next morning and thought you know Lord, if you’re gonna heal me then I don’t have to finish out the chemo. You know, I just take your healing and thank you and but I said I don’t want to make that decision based on an impression and prayer, I want your word. So I want to base on your word, my decision to stop or to continue chemo. So um within a couple of hours my youngest daughter came over and she was telling me what she was teaching in her bible class and it was the story of norman, the Syrian general who had leprosy and it came to the prophet Elisha in Judah and asked Elisha to heal him. And Elisha sent him to the Jordan river? You know, to dip down seven times. And Neeleman was offended because he said we had better rivers in Syria, this one’s muddy and dirty and I don’t want to dip their and and his servant said, you know, if he had asked you to do something hard, you would have done just dip in the Jordan river. Sone aleman dipped seven times. I know he didn’t want to, but he did and he came up the seventh time and he was healed and it was just like that. Just leapt up off the page and the old timey people would say it was illuminated, you know? And I knew God was speaking to me saying, and you have to follow through and do your chemo. But at that time I had to do another treatment. So I did have to have seven treatments instead of the six. And I believe as a result of course I went through the radiation because the doctors wanted me to but I believe I’m healed because of God’s faithfulness to his word and the prayers of God’s people on my behalf. Alright, now we’re getting down to the bottom line here and I want to ask the audience a question, I want you to help out here. All right. I want to ask the audience right now as you sit here listening, what’s your opinion of the bible? Come on confess up. What is it? Do you believe that it is the actual word of God. Word for word. You believe that it contains errors. Are there things that you’re cherry picking? I like this, but I don’t like that. Uh I want you to decide now once and for all where you’re going to stand. I want you to give them some advice on that. Well, I believe that you’ve just done that john but I will just turn to those who are watching and ask you again, what do you think of God’s word? And I know there are many of you um around the world, you may not have a copy of the bible, you may not have access to the completed scripture. And I just pray that um through some of the efforts I know through john’s ministry, through my ministry um that perhaps digitally or in some other way you can have a copy. But for those of you who do and thinking of those in the United States, we only have one copy. We have multiple copies in in different translations. But if it stays up on the shelf, what difference does it make? So my challenge to you would be to do what my mother said. And when she wrote in my bible, she said, and this is your one. Sure God, in an unsure world, read it. Love it, live it, obey it. And in it you’ll find a verse for every occasion. And uh and I’ve Follow that advice for over 60 years now. And I can tell you that it was wise counsel. The Bible works. So decide and you don’t have to decide it based on on your understanding of all the scripture. Because I don’t understand everything. Your decision is based on the character of God. And God is um truth that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. And it says in scripture, it testifies of itself, that God’s word is true, it’s eternal. It’s forever settled And it’s a sure foundation. So in this crazy world, you build your life on the word of God. And and you’ll have a life that’s stable and and hard things may come. And we’ve talked about some of the hard things in my life, but God has carried me through because once again he said so he said. And when you walk through the valley of the Shadow of death, I will be with you. And I’ve gone through that valley several times and I can testify he has been with me. He said when you walk through the river that you won’t be overcome with the floods, he’ll be with me. He will hold me with his righteous right hand. There’s so many promises in scripture to claim and just reach out and put your name in them. My mother taught me to put my name in scripture. So so just put your name in the scriptures though the scripture is speaking directly to you because it is and the Holy Spirit will make it meaningful and um and you’ll be glad you did when you’re my age, you’ll look back and you’ll see that God has led you all the way. Yes. And if you want to have fellowship with the Holy Spirit on a constant basis, you have to follow the precepts of the Holy Spirit and the precepts are the word of God. He will speak to you out of the word of God. And I’d like you to pray as we close this program for christians out there. I want them to decide, okay, will you decide that you will follow the word of God that it’s true, every word is inspired by God and that he will use this in your life if you will. I’d like you to pray with an as she closes our program today, I’d love to do that. So pray with me so father, we bow before you and we worship you as the God who um is true, a god who has communicated with us through the living word, who is jesus and through the written word, which is our bibles, how we praise you that we don’t have to guess our way through life. So for all of those who are listening and watching, I pray dear God right now that you would um rise up in their hearts and their spirit would resonate with what we have said, that they would have a hunger and a thirst to get to know you through scripture, The only way we can know you in truth is to read our bibles, Lord and have the Holy Spirit himself revealed to us the things of God in scripture. So, so we ask please that this program would begin a wonderful tsunami of people who are opening their bibles and reading perhaps for the first time in a personal way when they do, Would you speak to them, Lord, would you bless them? We pray and we ask this in the name of the one who is the living word of God, Even our Lord and savior, jesus christ Amen. Amen. That’s a great program today. And the fact is next week we’ve got a very, very important topic reflecting the purity of the Holy Spirit. Holy spirits living in your life. Okay. And he’s the holy spirit. What happened to purity in the american christian church or the church around the world? We’re gonna be talking about that? And what is God’s answer to that. And I hope that you’ll join us. But I’ve got a personal word for you. So please stay tuned. Stay tuned, john will be right back. Let me ask you, have you ever transferred your trust from yourself to jesus for your salvation? The bible says all men and women are separated from God because we have all broken his moral laws, we have sinned against him. Do you realize that second the bible says when jesus was on the cross got picked up our sins and they were placed on jesus and he died in our place, Jesus took the punishment we deserved and could never repay and he paid it in full. It’s his gift to us. Now, if you’ll come to jesus and admit that you’re a sinner and ask him to forgive you, he’ll do just that. You only need to say a prayer to him and entrust yourself into his hands and then he will make you a christian. He will forgive your sins and give you the gift of eternal life. When you die, the bible says, whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. It’s not your faith that saves you but a real jesus who really did rise from the dead and the one who said he was God and can forgive your sins and give you eternal life, He’s The one. You must place your faith in faith is really sticking your hand out to jesus and saying, I’ve got nothing. Please give me your gift of eternal life. He promises he will right now. Would you pray and place your faith in christ? Put yourself into jesus hands and trust him to give you eternal life. If so, you might say something like this. God. I know I’m a sinner. I know my sins have earned from eternal separation from you, But I believe Jesus died in my place when he died on the cross and I accept his death as the full payment for my sin, I accept him right now is my savior. Thank you for saving me. And in jesus name, I pray this amen. Now, if you prayed that prayer, the bible says this, whosoever, who’s what remains, you shall call upon the name of the Lord, how do you call you pray? That’s what you just did. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Those last three words, what God does, he’ll save you. And when the bible says that were to be holy. And I feel like we have overlooked that command as we have succumbed to what everybody around us is doing. And that was illustrated by the um, seminary president who came up and told me that the number one problem they have at seminary and this is a great seminary. The number one problem was pornography among the students and that the students would go into the library and they would go back in the stacks where they thought nobody would see them, they would get on the computers and they were going into pornography not realizing that the staff could look at the computer and find out what they’ve been looking at. And it was just like a poison that has seeped into the seminary and I think john not in the seminary, but think of all the the pastors and leadership that that seminary was spewing out with all of that poison, you know, is just uh and so when you look at least the american church, you see one reason we’re in the shape we’re in because there is sin in the camp, the entire reason for jesus going to the cross is because God hates sin and it had to be forgiven or none of us would get into heaven and jesus was perfect, never sinned once. He’s tempted in all things just like we are. But the fact he’s never sinned once, he was perfect, okay. And he went to the cross and he paid for our sins and God is still holding All right, okay.