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”

God owns spiritual truth

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6, NKJV). Salvation can’t occur without Christ because his blood is indispensable (Romans 5:6-11; 1 John 1:7).

Thomas a Kempis said, “Without the way, there is no going. Without the truth, there is no knowing. Without the life, there is no living.” These spiritual gifts can’t exist without Christ (Ephesians 1:3). Continue reading “God owns spiritual truth”

Monday editorial flitter

Great day yesterday with the saints in Taubaté and Urbanova (SJCampos). Here’s the skeleton outline of the message I shared in both places, on the death of Christ as the creator of unity.

¶ If a writer should wait until he’s in a good mood to write and has only positive things to say, Jeremiah would never had said a word to Baruch. Of course, it helped that he was inspired.

¶ “For who scorns the day of small things?” Zech 4.10a HCSB. May God burn this into our foreheads, mine especially. Not a good idea, such scorning, when God is in it. Continue reading “Monday editorial flitter”

What happens when we ignore the Composer?

“Be cleansed” (Luke 5:13).

Behold the impact of Jesus’ words:

  • Jesus said, “Be still!” and the storm stopped immediately (Mark 4:39)
  • Jesus said, “Be cleansed,” and the leper was cured instantly (Luke 5:13).
  • Jesus said, “Come forth,” and Lazarus walked out promptly (John 11:43).
  • Jesus said, “Come out” and demons fled fearfully (Luke 4:35-36).
  • Jesus said, “Let there be” (Genesis 1:3,6,14) and the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, sprang into existence from nothing, unhesitatingly (Exodus 20:11; Psalm 146:6; John 1:3).

Continue reading “What happens when we ignore the Composer?”