Posts Tagged ‘truth’

  

“Behold, I am vile…I lay my hand over my mouth. I have uttered what I did not understand…therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job‬ 40‬:‭4‬; 42:3,6 NKJV)

Francois Fénelon describes self-righteousness thus: 

“[We] start to mistreat the people we are secretly jealous of. Jealousy, hidden in your deepest inner folds, exaggerates the least faults of others. Then come the disguised criticisms. You deceive yourself in order to justify yourself. There is no end to the excuses we come up with. Even your outrage at the faults of others is a great fault. Don’t you see your own wretchedness? It would certainly level your self-righteousness to the ground.”

Job demonstrates the escape from the jail of self-righteousness. Instead of judging the leaders of his land that were less righteous than he, instead of despising the friends that hurt him wrongly, he instead allowed God to show him his own faults and bring personal revelation: We Are No Better Than They. He repents of presumption, adopts grace toward others, and allows God to keep him truly righteous. 

When we forgive out of the shame of our arrogance and in the joy of being truly forgiven ourselves, we sever the root of self-righteousness. You are only good because of God! Be free and sweet through grace! You are loved! 

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“They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.” (1 Timothy‬ ‭1‬:‭7‬ NIV)

In 2011,the Baltimore Sun ran a syndicated piece about atheists in the military that desired to become Athiest Chaplains. According to the writer, Captain Ryan Jean was “one of about a dozen military atheists that see the recognition of lay leaders as a step toward the appointment of ‘nonbelieving chaplains’, who would be responsible — like the priests, ministers, rabbis and imams now in uniform — for responding to the spiritual needs of service members.” Huh?!

As Paul wrote this verse, he was dealing with “religious leaders” who had no clue what they were talking about. Simply put, just because we have religious opinions does not mean we are scholars on the subject. Yet, many are fooled into false beliefs on the basis that someone makes a good argument. The Bible proves itself to be an authority because it’s been tested for years against the authenticity of history, doctrine, and practice. Yet many fall because of a desire for slick packaging over time-tested truth. 

One day there probably will be Athiest Chaplains and Athiest Churches, a misnomer that would leave us torn between despair and humor. People will get for themselves what they want, no matter how ridiculous it may sound. Come to church today and find out what God desires: The Truth that will set you free! You are loved today! Believe that!



Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own.” (John‬ ‭7‬:‭17‬ NLT)

On Friday, February 27th, Boris Nemtsov, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s biggest critics, was gunned down in public…and no one seems to have seen a thing. ABC News reported that there were 18 security cameras where the victim was shot multiple times in the back, and yet ALL OF THEM were either shut down or turned in other directions at the same moment. Can you say “Conspiracy Theory”?! Who’s side is telling the truth about it?

The critics of Jesus and His teachings go way past His earthly life to today. As a Pastor, I do have times when I have to defend His actual life, teachings, and relevancy in this modern age. One of the biggest questions I get asked is simply, how do you know it’s true? The answer can only be found when it’s asked with a faith that longs to believe. 

The world will always abound with skeptics and conspiracy theories. The mystery of Jesus begins to demystify when the heart hungers for the things of God. A believer knows because they simply know. Have an open mind that allows God to reveal who He really is. If you’re seeking Him, He will be found! You are loved! 

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Who are you, lord?” (Acts 26‬:‭15‬ NLT)

My Mom was my 1st grade teacher. In our class that year was a poor kid named “Jimmy”. Jimmy’s Dad did not want his son to grow up to be a smoker. So, at the ripe old age of 6, he taught Jimmy how to dip snuff. As you can imagine, the nicotine wreaked havoc on his little system, causing him to have the scours and be sick everyday. It was a sad case of parenting gone wrong.

In this text, Saul is doing it wrong. He grew up around God, was trained to serve God, but was committing harm and atrocities in God’s name, never realizing that the God he was serving was the very God he was attacking! You can imagine the sense of ironic failure Saul felt, having to be introduced to “his boss”, whom he should have known all along.

As you live the Christ Life daily, do it right. What we do and how we live should reflect the God we serve, not the opinions or emotions we harbor. We should be the best advertising Heaven has! Live like you know the God you serve! You are loved today!

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For the word of God is…a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews‬ ‭4‬:‭12‬ NKJV)

**WARNING: This Could Offend!**

The Bible is the most revered, most misunderstood, and the most underused book we have in our possession. A Pew Research poll in 2010 found that most Christians ranked only SLIGHTLY higher than Athiests in familiarity with New Testament scriptures and Jesus’ teachings! “Americans revere the Bible but, by and large, they don’t read it,” wrote George Gallup Jr. and Jim Castelli, whose poll research was focused on religion in America.

While the Bible does reveal who God is, it also reveals who we are, something we really don’t like. We shout about faith, comfort, and provision, but then shrug at forgiveness, tithing, and even church attendance! I’ve even seen people use scripture to viciously attack tattoos (Lev. 19:28), while ignoring the prohibition against an all-you-can-eat shrimp buffet (Lev. 11:9-12 & Prov. 23:20-21)! If we are a people of God’s word, we must read, accept, and live all of it, even the parts that hit us where we live.

Let the Bible do what is was made to do, bringing comfort and conviction that leads to godliness. It’s your best guide for a better life! You are loved!

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They say to the seers, ‘See no more visions!’ and to the prophets, ‘Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions.'” (Isaiah‬ ‭30‬:‭10‬ NIV)

Søren Kierkegaard was a 19th-century Danish theologian and philosopher. Still a lightning rod years after his death, Kierkegaard was known for his attack on the empty formalities and shallowness of the Church of Denmark. In reference to the issue of self-deception, something he saw both in the world and the church, he once said, “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”

We all like to see life through our rose-colored glasses because negativity is such a drain. But as Christians, we must live passionately for truth, even that which hurts us. A true disciple knows not only the sting of correction, but also the benefit of the needed change, as well as the love of a friend who may have shared it. When we practice self-deception (“I’m a good person”, “God knows my heart”, “They had that coming”…), we become blind to real truth, the things that set us free. And self-imposed bondage is the most shameful of all.

Be a person of truth! The hard admissions that we must reconcile only serve to make us stronger disciples, a people that can lead out of a true example, not a hollow shell of how we wish to be seen. Embrace hard truth! You are loved today!

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Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.” (Luke‬ ‭3‬:‭8‬ NLT)

Steven Spielberg is argumentatively one of the best movie makers to ever hit Hollywood. But to experience his early works might make you wonder how. Even he admits that a lot of his early projects were bad, calling one production as boring “as a piece of drift wood ” or “a Pepsi commercial”! Yet, he proved himself capable by staying at it, improving his craft, and letting his imaginative collaborations display his greater caliber of work.

The mark of a truly godly person is their authentically changed life. We can say whatever we want people to believe, but it’s our actions that will actually proclaim the verdict. It doesn’t mean that we won’t make mistakes or commit sins, but that we react with humility, repentance, and graciousness. What is seen is truer than what is said.

While Spielberg is no longer judged by his lesser works, neither should we. Allow the world to see your greater genuine works as you live for Christ in front of them! You are His best work of grace!