Opening our minds to the truth

Does God give us his word in such a way as to confuse us? Some people think Jesus taught in parables to obfuscate the truth so no one could understand it. Did he?

The answer is no.

It is possible for a person’s mind to be so set against the word of God that such a one would reject what God tries to teach. A good example of this is one of the “hard sayings” of Jesus in John chapter six. The Lord said, “As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me” (John 6:57 ESV). Continue reading “Opening our minds to the truth”

The church that pleases God

The young couple came to the truth because, as he said, they quit looking for a church that would please them both—since they were from different branches of Christendom—to search for a church that pleased God.

A coworker had told him to look for a church that “met in the name of Jesus.”

Before that, he’d begun reading his Bible. He noticed the differences between what Scripture said and what his church taught. When he asked a religious authority in his church about such differences, the answer was not convincing. Continue reading “The church that pleases God”

Jesus Christ gives certainty

In a world that considers everything relative except relativity, Christians need to feel sure of their faith and to find certainty in the truth of the gospel. God is a competent and willing revealer of his eternal plan.

The Bible presents us with proven facts, a coherent history, and verifiable written prophecies of the Lord. There need be no embarrassment about possessing truth. Continue reading “Jesus Christ gives certainty”

Honesty

“Moses said to the heads of the tribes of Israel: ‘This is what the Lord commands: When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said’” (Numbers 30:1-2 NIV).

God’s desire has always been that his people keep their word. This involves honesty in every aspect of that word. If we are honest, we are “free of deceit, truthful and sincere” (Oxford Dictionary of English). This means that what we say must be true, but it is more than that. It also means that we do what we say and that we don’t use truth in a way that would deceive another person. Continue reading “Honesty”

Love for truth is love for Jesus

We think truth is hard and unpleasant. For the most part, man’s truth is exactly that. God’s truth, however, is sweet and blessed. It is something to be loved and cherished.

Love for truth is important because it has to do with eternal salvation. Rejecting love for truth results in loss of salvation, 2 Thessalonians 2.10: “They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved” (HCSB).

In the context of this verse, although some things are difficult to understand, several principles appear clearly. Continue reading “Love for truth is love for Jesus”

What are we hearing?

Three true stories. Three very different messages. We might agree with some, but not all. Yet, all contain the same fundamental truth. Can you identify it?

#1 The speaker related Osama Bin Laden’s claim how a divided Christianity had significantly shaped his negative view of Christianity. Then this presenter further prepped the audience with various statements before asking, “How many churches are there in the US?” Affirming ecumenicalism, the audience shouted back, “One!”

#2 A preacher explained how the elders in his congregation had rallied around the principles of Romans 12:1-2 and “You can not do together what you are not doing individually.” These two principles had led them into pursuing habits of personal spiritual formation to transform their elders’ meetings from business board meetings into a more spiritual time for serving the congregation.

#3 Wading through verses in the Gospel of John while sprinkling in several humorous antidotes, the professor asserted that John powerfully portrayed Jesus as allowing himself to be crucified. Jesus was always in control. Jesus was no victim.

Continue reading “What are we hearing?”

Full of grace and truth

Some time ago I was doing the children’s singing at a Vacation Bible School. I was asking the kids what song they wanted to sing next when one voice piped up:

“Jingle bells!” he cried.

I could see the smiles on the faces of several adults in the room, but before they could respond, his buddy responded, clear as a … as a bell:

“He means Jesus songs, Bozo!” Continue reading “Full of grace and truth”

Interesting contrasts between Abraham and Lot

While the Bible is a lengthy book, God was spare in the details and provided only what we needed to know because everything had a purpose.

So often we find themes that run throughout Scripture and they provide pause for deeper contemplation. Light and darkness are common themes and we find them in the story of Abraham, Lot, Sodom and Gomorrah.  Continue reading “Interesting contrasts between Abraham and Lot”