Logically right but spiritually wrong

“Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Matthew 4:7).

Following Jesus’ baptism, God said: “This is my beloved son” (Matthew 3:17). Immediately afterward, Jesus was taken to the wilderness to fast and be tested 40 days.

Satan tempted him there. His temptations all began with, “If you are the son of God…” He began with something that seemed perfectly reasonable: make stones into bread and feed yourself.

Men easily err when they think of what is perfectly reasonable to them, but fail to consult God. Why not turn stones to bread? He had the power. He had the opportunity. Continue reading “Logically right but spiritually wrong”

The Bible means what it says. Or, does it?

It is written” (Luke 4:12).

“The Bible means exactly what it says!” I’ve heard this a number of times, and in one sense, I agree. In another sense, that statement could inadvertently be more dangerous than it seems.

The Bible is not just a literal composition. Yes, it is a rule of thumb to understand any passage literally unless there is good reason or evidence to understand it otherwise. However, it should also be understood by all students of the Bible that there is plenty of reason to not take some passages literally. We will illustrate this in a moment. Continue reading “The Bible means what it says. Or, does it?”

The pudding is in the proof: God proves his people

A few school teachers seem to delight in failing students. They make up trick questions, use questionable methods, and prefer murky objectives and subjective grading. But God wants to give every child of his a passing grade, if we will but respond positively to his testing.

The Lord works for our success. He wants us to grow and be like him. He has our best interest at heart. God is good and desires to bless. “The crucible is for refining silver and the furnace is for gold, likewise the LORD tests hearts” Proverbs 17.3. His testing has a good purpose. He hopes to bring out the best in us. Continue reading “The pudding is in the proof: God proves his people”

The deceitful snapshot

A moment frozen in time. An expression of exuberance and excitement captured within pixels. From slick magazines to rectangles rendered in millions of colors upon a computer screen, snapshots exist in many forms and we know all about them.

However, there is much more to the snapshot than meets the eye. By its very nature, it must distort, not reflect, reality. Look deeper.

Continue reading “The deceitful snapshot”

Following Satan’s model in the Garden of Eden

In the Garden of Eden, Satan approaches Eve and incites her to violate God’s will by eating of the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Satan makes three propositions and convinces her to sin. Subsequently, Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden (Genesis 3).

Wisely, Satan presented truth to Eve interspersed with enough error to lead her astray. The right excised or added word can lead to wholly different results. God said, “you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Satan countered they would “not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). Continue reading “Following Satan’s model in the Garden of Eden”